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Chosen by
Charles Williams
Oxford University Press, London 1941.
FOURTH Sunday after Trinity


What is Christ's joy in us, but that He deigns to rejoice on our account?  And what is our joy, which He says shall be full, but to have fellowship with him?  He had perfect joy on our account, when He rejoiced in foreknowing, and predestinating us; but that joy was not in us, because then we did not exist: it began to be in us, when He called us.  And this joy we rightly call our own, this joy wherewith we shall be blessed; which is begun in the faith of them who are born again, and shall be fulfilled in the reward of them who rise again.

St. Augustine, quoted in Aquinas: Catena Aurea




Though he were innocence itself, and knew no sin, yet there was no sin that he knew not, for, all our sins were his.  He was not only made man, and by taking (by admitting, though not by committing) our sins, as well as our nature, sinful man; but he was made sin for our sakes.

Donne: Sermons


Thy conversion is My affair; fear not, and pray with confidence as for Me.

Pascal: Penses





Consider that Jesus suffered in His heart with all the knowledge of a God, and that in His heart there was every human heart and every form of suffering from Adam until the consummation of the world.

Ah yes, to suffer for others can be a great joy if one has a generous soul, but to suffer in others is really to suffer!

Leon Bloy: Letters to his Fiance


The Jews, in testing if he were God, have shown that he was man.

Pascal: Penses





There is a moving absurdity about all human categories when they are applied to Christ; for if one could talk absolutely humanly about Christ one would have to say that the worlds: "my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" are impatient and untrue.  They can only be true if God says them, and consequently also when the God-Man says them.  And indeed--since it is true, it is the very limit of suffering.

Kierkegaard: Journals


No single teardrop lieth hid from thee, my God, my Maker, my Deliverer, no, nor any part thereof.

The Orthodox Liturgy: Prayers of St. Simeon





The greatest exercise at once of the Divine goodness, and wisdom, and power, is to bring good out of evil.

St. Clement: Stromata


Man must be lenient with his soul in her weaknesses and imperfections and suffer her failings as he suffers those of others, but he must not become idle, and must encourage himself to better things.

St. Seraphim of Sarov





The only remedy for having given up a habit of recollection is to recommence it, otherwise the soul will continue to lose it more and more every day, and God grant it may realize its danger.

St. Theresa: The Interior Castle


We make an idol of truth itself; for truth apart from charity is not God, but his image and idol which we must neither love nor adore, and still less must we love and adore its opposite--namely, falsehood.

Pascal: Penses





Three kinds of men see God.  The first see him in faith; they know no more of him than what they can make out through a partition.  The second behold God in the light of grace but only as the answer to their longings, as giving them sweetness, devotion, inwardness and other such-like things which are issuing from his gift.  The third kind see him in the divine light.

Eckhart: Sermons and Collections