With only the virtues, even though they be supernatural, man is like an apprentice who knows fairly well what he must do but does not have the skill to do it well. Consequently, the master who is teaching him must come along from time to time, take his hand, and direct it so that the work may be presentable. Thus, as long as our prayer is only the fruit of an assiduous meditation, it remains too human to taste truly the word of God. In meditation we drink only of water that has flowed along the ground and is mixed with mud, as Saint Teresa says. That we may drink from the fountain, the Holy Spirit must, like the master of the apprentice directly intervene, take possession of our intellect and will, and [via his Gifts] communicate to them His manner of thinking and of loving.
Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange OP (1877–1964)
Almsgiving heals the irascible part of the soul; fasting extinguishes the concupiscible part; and prayer purifies the mind and prepares it for the contemplation of reality.
Saint Maximus the Confessor
I think that only Jesus is capable of making you always happy… If one day you know suffering, sadness, go throw yourself at the foot of the Cross and say to Jesus, “Jesus, friend of my heart, teach me to look for my happiness in the Cross, teach me to live and to sacrifice myself for Love.”
Little Brother Marcel Văn CSsR (1928–1959)
You desire the fire of your love to burn in us so that it sets us aflame, burns us up, and consumes what we are, transforming us into you.
Saint John of Ávila
Remain in peace, little brother!
The dark cloud will one day disappear.
Yes, may your heart stay peaceful;
Jesus will emerge one day from his hiding-place.
May your heart be joyful;
Neglected love perhaps fills it to overflowing.
May your heart stay peaceful,
And I will plunge you into the fire of Love.
From a poem given by Saint Thérèse to Marcel Văn during his novitiate year in Hanoi