A Word from the Saints

On the Spiritual Life

St Ita of Killeedy'God is not accustomed to refusing a good gift to those who ask for one.  Since He is good, and especially to those who are faithful to Him, let us hold fast to Him with all our soul, our heart, our strength, and so enjoy his light and see his glory and possess the grace of supernatural joy.'
- St Ambrose of Milan

'Three things that please God are true faith in God with a pure heart, a simple life with a grateful spirit, and generosity inspired by charity.'
- St Ita of Killeedy

'Imitate the Publican and you will not be condemned with the Pharisee.  Choose the meekness of Moses and you will find your heart which is a rock changed into a spring of water.'
- St Syncletica of Alexandria

St Ambrose of Milan'In Christ we have everything…
If you want to heal your wound, He is the doctor.
If you are burning with fever, He is the fountain.
If you are in need of help, He is strength.
If you are in fear of death, He is life.
If you are fleeing the darkness, He is light.
If you are hungry, He is food:
"O taste and see that the Lord is good.  Blessed are they who take refuge in Him."’
- St Ambrose of Milan

On Prayer

'God is near to all those who call on Him; the Kingdom of Heaven can be reached from any land.'
- St Samhthann of Clonbroney

'Prayer is the wing by which the soul flies to heaven, and meditation the eye whereby we see God.'
- St Ambrose of Milan

'If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else - even his own soul - when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks.'
- Abba Zeno

On Peace

St Seraphim of Sarov'Acquire a peaceful spirit and thousands around you will be saved.'
- St Seraphim of Sarov

'Peace is the first thing the angels sang.
Peace is the mark of the children of God.
Peace is the nurse of love.
Peace is the mother of unity.
Peace is the rest of the blessed souls.
Peace is the dwelling place of eternity.'
- Pope St Leo the Great

On the Last Things

'We see the water of a river flowing uninterruptedly and passing away, and all that floats on its surface - rubbish or beams of trees - all passes by.  Christian! So it is with our life... I was an infant, and that time has gone.  I was an adolescent, and that too has passed.  I was a young man, and that is also far behind me.  The strong and mature man that I was is no more.  My hair turns white, I succumb to age, but that too passes away; I approach the end and will go the way of all flesh.  I was born in order to die.  I die that I may live.  Remember me, O Lord, in your Kingdom!'
- St Tikhon of Voronezh

On Charity

'The rich who give to the poor do not bestow alms but rather pay a debt.'
- St Ambrose of Milan

St Maria of Paris'At the Last Judgment I will not be asked whether I satisfactorily practised asceticism, nor how many bows I made before the divine altar: I will be asked whether I fed the hungry, clothed the naked, visited the sick, and the prisoner in his jail.  That is all I will be asked.'
- St Maria of Paris

'Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy; mercy as shown chiefly towards the poor, that you may treat them as sharers in common with you in the produce of nature, which brings forth the fruits of the earth for the use of all.'
- St Ambrose of Milan

On Judgement of Others

'Fire and water do not mix, neither can you mix judgement of others with the desire to repent. Even if someone should commit a sin before you at the very moment of death, pass no judgement because the judgement of God is hidden from human eyes.  There have been those who have sinned immensely in the open but have done greater deeds in secret, so that those who would disparage them have been fooled, with smoke instead of sunlight in their eyes.'
- St John Climacus

'Never confuse the person, formed in the image of God, with the evil that lies within: because evil is but a chance misfortune, an illness, a devilish attack.  But the very essence of the person is the image of God, and this remains despite every disfigurement.'
- St John of Kronstadt

On Creation

St John of Saint-Denis'God created the universe in such a manner that all in common might derive their food from it, and that the Earth should also be a property common to all.'
 - St Ambrose of Milan

'The sunset that I started to enjoy was so beautiful that I realised I was unworthy of being human.  It occurred to me then that humankind is not created to take advantage of nature but to cultivate it and to release it.  So I said to the ocean, "Christ is risen!"'
- St John of Saint-Denis

'The whole Earth is a living icon of the face of God.'
- St John of Damascus

On the Sacramental Life

'Through the sacrament of baptism you have become a temple of the Holy Spirit.  Do not drive away so great a guest by evil conduct and become again a slave to the devil, for your liberty was bought by the blood of Christ. 

St Leo the Great, Pope of Rome'In the unity of faith and baptism, therefore, our community is undivided.  There is a common dignity, as the apostle Peter says in these words: "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people set apart."

'For all, regenerated in Christ, are made kings by the sign of the cross; they are consecrated priests by the oil of the Holy Spirit, so that beyond the special service of our ministry as priests, all spiritual and mature Christians know that they are a royal race and are sharers in the office of the priesthood.'
- Pope St Leo the Great

'The Lord Jesus himself proclaims, 'This is My Body.' Before the blessing of the heavenly words something of another character is spoken of; after consecration it is designated 'body'. He himself speaks of his blood.  Before the consecration it is spoken of as something else; after the consecration it is spoken of as 'blood'.  And you say, 'Amen', that is, 'It is true.'  What the mouth speaks, let the mind within confess; what the tongue utters, let the heart feel.'
- St Ambrose of Milan

'There are three stages in the spiritual life: that of serfs who are moved by fear, constantly concerned about pomp and evil; that of the servants who seek the reward, the gifts, the perfection, the powers, who yearn for metaphysical riches; and that of the children who stand in the disinterested praise of God - they like the Eucharistic momentum of the liturgy, and by forgetting themselves, they act liturgically, that is to say in common.  In the Church all have their place: serfs as well as servants.  She supports the first and enriches the second, but She is happy with those who know how to be jubilant before the face of the Most High.'
- St John of Saint-Denis