Lasallian Reflections provide an opportunity for our community to pause our busy lives for a moment, and to reflect on the writings of St. John Baptist de La Salle, patron saint of teachers.

For the week of:

November 3, 2014

St. Charles’ zeal for the salvation of souls was incomparable. Inconceivable as it may be, he wanted to be informed in writing every year about the conduct of every person in his diocese, so that he might exercise all the care possible to procure their salvation. He wanted the parish priests of his diocese to come to the assistance of the dying and to be present at their last hour, the moment when a soul has the greatest need of help.

But the zeal of St. Charles stood out most surprisingly when the city of Milan was attacked by the plague. From the beginning he sacrificed himself to bring help to the victims of the epidemic. He administered the sacraments to them in spite of great fatigue and danger, constantly exposing himself to death.

Compare your zeal for the sanctification of your disciples with that of this great saint. Watch over them with as much attention as St. Charles kept watch over all the members of his diocese.

October 27, 2014

As true interior peace proceeds from love, nothing is more able to destroy it than whatever makes us lose the love of God. What will separate us, asks St. Paul, from the love of Jesus Christ?

Will it be tribulation, that is, either interior or exterior trials?

Will it be distress, that is, whatever can cause you some vexation, like separation or privation of something to which you are attached?

Will it be hunger, because you live in a poor community and have to live sparingly?

Will it be nakedness, because you are given worn or patched clothes causing you embarrassment in public?

Will it be some danger, in which you might lose your health or even your life?

Will it be some persecution, such as insults and vicious treatment against you?

Will it be the sword, a calumny that someone has spread against you?

None of these things can make you lose your interior peace if it is a true peace, because none of them can cause you to lose charity.

October 20, 2014

Now is the time for little speech and much action. Let your aim be to become very silent and very humble and to apply yourself to prayer. To do this you need little thinking, little desiring and little understanding; yet it is the way to live at peace.

You will find silence very useful, even a very necessary virtue, if you are to adore God, serve him in spirit and in truth, and resist temptations.

You must learn how to be silent and to speak only when necessary. Always remain silent when others annoy you, and let God alone be the witness of your innocence.

Take care never to justify yourself, but, on the contrary, admit that you were wrong, without of course telling an untruth.

October 13, 2014

Take a short recreation every day so that you may afterwards resume your duties with greater affection and application. Look upon this relaxation as similar to that which our Lord sometimes accorded his Apostles.

Be careful not to become dissipated and do not lose sight of the presence of God.

Does your tongue cause you some disquietude of conscience during this time?

Be moderate in your conduct and observe discretion in your words.

October 6, 2014

You wicked servant, said the ruler, should you not have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had compassion on you? God has forgiven you a huge debt; he certainly expects you also to forgive those of your Brothers who owe anything to you.

It is impossible for several persons living together not to have to suffer from one another.

  • One will have a touchy disposition,
  • another will have a contrary spirit
  • another bad manners,
  • another will be disagreeable,
  • another will be too prone to give in,
  • another will say what he thinks too quickly,
  • another will be too reserved and secretive,
  • another will be too critical.

If grace does not come to the rescue, it is almost impossible to live in harmony with one another and charity not suffer severely.

The way to maintain union in a community in spite of all these different personalities is to bear up charitably with the defects of each other, to be ready to make allowances for others just as we want others to make allowances for us. Pay attention to this today and for the rest of your life.

September 29, 2014

So great was the love of St. Francis for the poor, that he gladly gave them alms on every occasion and was unable to turn down anyone who asked him for anything.

This was because he saw Jesus Christ in their persons and was convinced that what ever good he did to them, he did to Jesus Christ himself.

This same love for the poor led this great saint to devote himself to instructing them rather than the rich. Motivated by this same love for the poor, he served them in the hospitals of the places he visited. It was to imitate Jesus Christ, who also loved the company of the poor, that St. Francis showed special happiness in their midst.

You are required by your work to love the poor since it is your duty to instruct them. Look upon them as images of Jesus Christ. In this way the more affection you show for them, the more you will belong to Jesus Christ.

September 22, 2014

When giving an opinion, you must be careful not to maintain it stubbornly, for you should not be so sure of your ideas as to think them incontrovertible. It would also be very unseemly to argue in order to make your opinions prevail because you should not be so firmly attached to your ideas that you refuse to yield to those of others.

You should be very careful not to grow angry or abusive in order to force others to adopt your point of view. It is neither courteous nor wise to use emotion to make others accept your position as reasonable. Nor should you ever blame others or ridicule what they have said.

You show the characteristic of a well-mannered person when you esteem and praise the ideas of others.

September 15, 2014

Be sure to be warmly affable toward everyone, to speak to and to answer everyone with a very great gentleness and deference, keeping in mind the way Our Lord spoke and replied to others, even when he was most harshly treated.

Never comment on the faults or behavior of your brothers. When others speak of them, put a good interpretation on their actions, and if you cannot, say nothing at all.

Unless necessity obliges you, don’t ever complain about others in any matter at all, and should you be obliged to do so, do not make it a formal complaint.

You are full of zeal but it is not well regulated, because you want others to be reprimanded for their faults but do not wish to be reproved for your own. Put up with the faults of others and be generous in the interpretation you put on them.

September 8, 2014

The name Mary means star of the sea. It is, says St. Bernard, very well given to her, because she is indeed a star which enlightens, guides, and leads us to a harbor in the stormy sea of this world.

The road you must follow through this life being so dangerous, you need a guide to walk safely. You cannot have a better guide than the most Blessed Virgin, because she is most pure within and without and because she knows all the paths and all the means to keep you safe amid the dangers you will encounter.

You have without doubt a need for light in this life, where you are always as if upon a stormy sea. In danger, in narrow and perilous paths, think of Mary, invoke her sacred name; at once you will find comfort and deliverance from all your troubles.

September 2, 2014

When Jesus went into the house of a leader of the Pharisees to take a meal with him, those who were there watched him maliciously. You are in a work which allows everybody to observe you.

In the first place, your students observe you; this is why you are obliged to give them good example by your teaching, imitating Our Lord in this who began to do before teaching.

This is also something which will make you esteemed by your students; this is why it is important that your actions teach them more than your words.

Is this how you act?

Do you teach your disciples anything you do not practice yourselves?

When you tell them to be self-controlled, are you the very first to act that way?

When you urge them to pray to God, do you do so yourselves?

Do you have the same charity for them that you want them to have for their companions?

It is by conduct of this sort that you will be a model of good works in all things.

August 25, 2014

St. Monica’s husband had an unpleasant and irritable disposition, and when her neighbors wondered how she could put up with him, she told them that they should not be surprised because from the moment she accepted him as her husband, she had submitted herself to him and respected him as much as she was able. Still, by her prayers and tears she converted him and led him to change his disposition.

This Saint teaches us that when we have to live or deal with someone who has a disagreeable disposition, we must do two things:

First, arm ourselves with patience and be accommodating.

Second, often ask God in prayer to give the other person a more accommodating spirit and grant you the grace to put up with him.

Is this how you act when you happen to be in such a situation?

August 18, 2014

It is exceedingly rude to speak of yourself all the time, comparing your behavior with that of others. It is never appropriate to compare yourself with others, or even others with one another. Such comparisons are always odious.

Some people are so full of themselves that they are always telling those with whom they converse what they themselves have done, or what they are doing, letting them know how highly prized their every word and action should be. For you to carry on this kind of conversation would be most disagreeable and burdensome to others.

To brag or to speak highly of yourself is something which violates decorum, besides being the mark of a small mind. A wise person never speaks about himself except to answer a question. Even then he does so with great moderation and modesty.

August 11, 2014

The zeal shown by St. Cassian cannot be praised too much. The Emperor Julian the Apostate, had forbidden any Catholic to teach youth. St. Cassian nonetheless thought that he could not take on a work more useful for the Church than that of a schoolteacher. He devoted himself with all possible care to instruct children, and while teaching them reading and writing, he trained them in piety.

The emperor, for his part, was working to destroy religion by destroying schools, and this saint was trying to establish religion through the education of the young.

How often it happens that work which people consider lowly produces much more good than the most brilliant work. Look upon your work as one of the most important and most excellent in the Church, for it is one most able to strengthen it by giving it a solid foundation.

August 4, 2014

One of St. Dominic’s main virtues was his compassion for his neighbor, and especially for the poor. This virtue led him to do penance for the sins of others as well as for his own. It likewise led him to sell all his property to assist the poor, and when he was unable to assist them any further, he wept with compassion.

Seeing a woman who was in great sorrow because her son had been captured by the Moors, he offered to sell himself as a slave, or to exchange places with her son.

You know you are responsible for the instruction of the poor. Imitate the tenderness of this saint toward them and strive to overcome nature when it suggests that you should show more consideration for the rich than for the poor.

Jesus Christ will look upon the good you do to the poor as done to himself.

July 28, 2014

Seeing that most people are so filled with themselves that generally if they speak, it is of themselves and in their favor, Jesus Christ proposes to us the parable of a publican and a Pharisee. The latter pretended to pray, but his mind was full of nothing but his good qualities, and the former humbly begged God for mercy and was justified because of the simple and humble manner in which he prayed. The other man, on the contrary, reaped only confusion because he had insulted God instead of praying to him.

This is the model Jesus gives you to induce you never to speak or think about yourself except to seek the means to correct yourself of your defects. When you pray, often say with David, my sin is before me always.

Indeed such is your condition; yet, to hear you speak it seems that you are something! Do not imitate the Pharisee, who instead of praying to God thought only of praising and congratulating himself.

Never show any esteem for what you do, for it is God by his goodness and his grace who is the author of all the good there is in you.

July 21, 2014

When love is ardent, it is even stronger than death. One cannot admire too greatly the tender love that St. Mary Magdalen had for Jesus Christ. Nothing held her back, neither human respect, which might have made her think of what people would say about the sudden change in her conduct, nor her attachment to the pleasures and comforts of life, nor her concern for status.

The love she had for Jesus Christ so filled her heart that once she was converted she resolved never to abandon him again.

Are you as faithful to follow Jesus Christ when he causes you to suffer as when he showers you with his blessings? Alas! As soon as someone says something to you that causes you some pain, or as soon as you are given some reproof, do you not show resentment?

By the kindness he showed to St. Mary Magdalen, Jesus Christ has made it clear how good God is to those who love him, and with what tenderness he rewards even in this life the love they have for him.

July 14, 2014

Saint Bonaventure had such a great love for poverty that he wrote a book entitled The Apologia of the Poor to make known the excellence of this virtue. In it he demonstrates that voluntary poverty is the foundation of Gospel perfection. In this book Saint Bonaventure taught only what he himself practised.

The practice of poverty is of little use unless it is accompanied by humility. Saint Bonaventure tried especially to acquire this virtue. No sooner had he entered the novitiate than his greatest pleasure was to sweep the house, wash the dishes and devote himself to the lowliest chores in the monastery.

Even when chosen to be a cardinal, he lived without ostentation and in the practice of religious humility.

The more humble you are, the more graces you will receive. This is one virtue you need very much in your state.

July 7, 2014

You must not be satisfied with keeping the children in your care from doing evil. You must also lead them to practice well all the good of which they are capable. Take care of this, then, and see to it that they always speak the truth, and that when they want to affirm something they limit themselves to saying that it is or is not so. Help them understand that they will be believed more readily when they use few words than when they swear great oaths, because people will consider that it is in a Christian spirit that they do not use more words.

Your zeal for the children you instruct would not go very far and would not have much result or success if it limited itself only to words. To make it effective it is necessary that your example support your instructions, and this is one of the main signs of your zeal. Example makes a much greater impression on the mind and heart then words, especially for children who ordinarily model themselves on the example of their teachers. They are led more readily to do what they see done for them than what they hear told to them, above all when the teachers’ words are not in harmony with their actions.

June 30, 2014

An insult is most shocking to decorum as well as to charity. Our Lord very expressly condemns it in the Gospel. Such words should never be found on the lips of a Christian, since they are extremely improper for a person who has the least claim to being well-educated. You must never insult anybody, and you are never permitted to either say or do anything that might lead to such conduct.

Another fault, no less contrary to propriety and to the respect you owe your neighbor, is mockery, making fun of somebody over a defect or a weakness, or mimicking him by gesture.

There is not much difference between such mockery and an outright insult. Such mockery is entirely unworthy of a well-born person. It goes against propriety and hurts your neighbor. That is why you are never to make fun of anybody, living or dead.

June 23, 2014

St. John the Baptist enjoys this special privilege, that his birthday is honored in the Church, as is that of Jesus Christ.

Living a penitential life in the desert until he was thirty years old, St. John prepared to preach in a holy manner. All the people came to him, even tax collectors and soldiers, and he told all of them what they needed to do in order to be saved. A great number of those who went to hear him followed his advice and were converted to God. It was the example of his secluded and austere life that enabled him to win people’s hearts and to convince them to do penance for their sins.

By your vocation you are obliged to announce the truths of the Gospel every day. Practice those that are required of all Christians before you undertake to teach them to others.

Though you do not have the grace of being the Precursor of Jesus Christ like St. John, you do possess the grace of being a successor in his ministry.

June 16, 2014

Civility is so demanding in what refers to your neighbor that it does not permit you to scandalize anyone in any way and never allows you to speak ill of anyone. It is, then, very rude to be forever finding fault with what others do. If you do not wish to say anything good about them, you should say nothing.

When you hear someone spoken ill of, civility requires that you try to excuse his defects and say something good about him by showing him in a favorable light and by speaking with appreciation of something he did.

Thus, according to the Wise Man’s counsel, if you have heard something unfavorable about your neighbor, you should, if you wish to act with decorum, let the story be buried in your own heart.

June 9, 2014

You must not be upset or anxious over the temptations you experience. When they come, place yourself in God’s hands as you would with a good father. Beg him to help you, being convinced that you cannot help yourself.

Approach the sacraments eagerly; it is in them that you will find the strength to overcome your difficulties.

I cannot understand why you did not tell me earlier of the temptation you experienced. Don’t you know that an illness is already half cured when you tell the doctor about it?

June 2, 2014

You should make an effort to be so sincere in what you say that you will earn the reputation of being entirely truthful, as a person whose word can be counted on and a person people can rely on.

Nothing is more honourable for you than the sincerity and fidelity you show in keeping your promises, just as nothing makes you more worthy of contempt than breaking your word.

As it is a matter of honor to be faithful to your words, so it is very imprudent to speak lightly without having seriously considered whether you will be able to keep your promises.

For this reason, never make a promise without carefully weighing the consequences.

It is shameful for you to make use of fraud and deceit in your words. Those who do this will soon find that they have won for themselves an infamous reputation for dishonesty.

May 27, 2014

You must not doubt that it is a great gift of God, this grace he has given you to be entrusted with the instruction of children, to announce the Gospel to them and to bring them up in the spirit of religion. But in calling you to this holy ministry, God demands that you fulfill it with an ardent zeal for their salvation, because this is the work of God and he curses the one who does his work carelessly.

Let it be clear, then, in all your conduct towards the children who are entrusted to you that you look upon yourselves as ministers of God, carrying out your ministry with love and a sincere and true zeal, accepting with much patience the difficulties you have to suffer. For this reason, and in this spirit, you must have the love and the glory of God as your single aim in the instruction of these children.

The zeal you are obliged to have in your work must be so active and so alive that you are able to tell the parents of the children entrusted to your care what is said in Scripture: Give us their souls, keep everything else for yourselves, that is, what we have undertaken is to work for the salvation of their souls.

May 19, 2014

With good reason we can call the Holy Trinity the mystery of faith, because nothing but faith can throw light on this mystery.

Faith alone can enable us to know it, though only in a superficial manner; nevertheless, we do know it as far as it can be grasped in this life.

Faith alone keeps our mind fixed on the consideration of this supreme mystery, which is infinitely beyond the range of the human mind.

Faith alone, drawing the mind from the darkness of infidelity, leads it deep into this sacred obscurity in which faith holds us captive.

Other mysteries are accompanied by something tangible that gives our senses and our reason some help, but in this one neither senses nor reason find any assistance.

Ask God, therefore, for a deep faith to believe this sacred mystery. Dedicate yourself entirely to the Holy Trinity, to contribute as far as you will be able to extend its glory over all the earth.

May 12, 2014

You must be particularly circumspect in your words when someone has entrusted you with a secret. It would be very imprudent to reveal it, even if you urge the one to whom you repeat the matter to keep it to himself, and even if the one who confided the secret to you has not asked you not to mention it to others.

For, as the Wise Man says so correctly, if you reveal the secrets of a friend, you lose all credibility and will soon be unable to find any close friends (Eccl 27:16-17). He considers this fault as being much worse than speaking injuriously to your friend, for, even after harsh words, reconciliation is possible. But if you have been base enough to betray a friend’s secrets, there can remain no hope of reconciliation, and you will try in vain to recover the lost friendship.

May 5, 2014

For many years this saint led a very disorderly life. He was not always resisting grace, but he was not consenting to its movements. Now he wanted to change, now again he no longer wanted to change. He himself was surprised to see himself so indecisive.

The day finally arrived when God, having gradually softened St. Augustine’s heart, caused him to hear a voice saying to him clearly, Take and read. Upon opening a book of the Epistles of St. Paul, he was moved and converted by the reading of a single passage. It poured into his heart, he says, like a light that filled it with a deep peace and scattered all the darkness of his doubts.

Have you been thoroughly converted to God?

How often has God made you hear an inner voice loud enough to impress you, but you have not listened to it?

At least say with David, today I wish to begin to belong entirely to God.

April 28, 2014

We cannot sufficiently admire the faith of the martyr, St. Peter, for he possessed it perfectly even from his childhood and he died in its defense.

This Saint was born of Manichean parents, yet they never could convince him by promises or threats to follow their false religion. He was only seven years old when his uncle asked him what he had learned in school, and he replied that he had learned what to believe about God, and thereupon recited the profession of faith. When his uncle rejoined that he should not believe any of this, he answered:

“I will believe it unto death; and nothing will ever prevent me from believing it!”

Is it not amazing to find such strong faith in a seven year old child? Do you have such faith, that nothing can prevent you from professing by your actions the truths and maxims of the Gospel?

April 21, 2014

Instead of being upset when your long-standing faults are pointed out to you, you ought on the contrary to thank God for it. No matter how you are told them, Our Lord had worse said to him, and you claim to be his disciple. If you really are, you will be glad to be treated like your master, who patiently bore all the insults that were offered him. So did the saints, his servants.

Instead, what sort of humility have you if you cannot bear something that causes you a little pain? You very much like to profess that you love humility and that you have a great esteem for it, Just as long as you can avoid humiliations as much as possible. What good will it be for you to love the virtue and to refuse to practise it?

What! You complain that others haven’t enough charity, but you don’t complain that you haven’t enough humility. So watch over yourself and do not get upset about something that can be only for your own good.

April 14, 2014

If you cannot pray, tell God that you cannot and then remain at peace. He will not ask you to do the impossible. Or, say to him as the Apostles did: “Lord, teach me to pray.” Then remain humbly before him as one who is incapable of doing anything, and that will be your prayer. Idleness is to be avoided, but, at the same time, you must not hamper yourself with a great number of acts in prayer. All you need and all God wants of you is that you remain in his presence.

April 7, 2014

Charity is generous; this is the third quality attributed to charity by St. Paul. It was also by this quality of generosity that the Samaritan of the Gospel showed the goodness of his heart.

Admire the great charity of this good Samaritan. He was a foreigner among the Jews; people from his country were considered as schismatics by the Jews, and they hated each other. Still, this Samaritan did everything he could for the unfortunate traveller, whom a priest and a Levite, both Jews, had not even wanted to look at. He even showed great unselfishness in his charity, for after having done all in his power for him, personally, he gave the innkeeper money to care for him, and he promised him when he came back he would pay for all that he had spent on this man.

It sometimes happens, even in communities, that we do a service for a Brother because he has done one for us; or we refuse a service, because something about the Brother irritates us, or because he has given us trouble. How human is such charity, how little Christian, how little does it deserve to be called generous!

March 31, 2014

It is necessary, says Jesus Christ, that the sheep know their shepherd in order to be able to follow them. Two qualities are needed by those who lead others.

The first is a high level of virtue in order to be models for others who would not fail to go astray following their guides, if the guides themselves did not walk in the right way.

The second is a great tenderness must be shown by them for those entrusted to their care. They must be very alert to whatever can harm or wound their sheep. This is what leads the sheep to love their shepherds and to delight in their company, for there they find their rest and comfort.

Do you wish your disciples to do what is right? Do it yourself. You will persuade them much more readily through your example of wise and prudent behaviour than through all the words you could speak to them.

March 24, 2014

Consider Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd of the Gospel who seeks the lost sheep, places it upon his shoulders, and carries it back to restore it to the fold.

Since you are taking his place, look upon yourself as obliged to do the same thing. Ask him for the grace needed to procure the conversion of their hearts.

You must devote yourself very much to prayer in order to succeed in your ministry. You must constantly represent the needs of your disciples to Jesus Christ, explaining to him the difficulties you have experienced in guiding them. Jesus Christ—seeing that you regard him as the one who can do everything in your work and yourself as an instrument that ought to be moved only by him—will not fail to grant you what you ask of him.

Guard against any human attitude toward your disciples; do not pride yourselves over what you do. These two things are capable of spoiling all the good there is in the performance of your duties. What have you in this regard that has not been given to you? And if it has been given to you, why are you boasting as if you had it on your own?

March 17, 2014

Silence is one of the principal means of establishing and maintaining order in schools. For this reason, every teacher will enforce it rigourously in all of the classrooms and will permit no one to speak without permission.

Teachers will always use a moderate tone when they give any instructions, as well as on all other occasions when they need to speak to all of the students together. They will never speak either to any student in particular or to all in general until they have carefully thought about what they have to say and unless they consider it necessary.

March 10, 2014

The application to the presence of God by simple attention consists in being before God in a simple interior view of faith that He is present. Remain thus for some time—ten or fifteen minutes according to how you feel yourself occupied by and interiorly attracted to it.

There are several souls so interiorly free, so free from affection for created things, that God gives them this grace. They rarely, if ever, lose the presence of God.

But a soul does not ordinarily succeed in enjoying this privilege unless it has preserved its innocence all its life, or it has been faithful to God for a long time and is thoroughly purified from sin and even completely stripped of its own inclinations and of all human self-seeking. And unless, finally, it no longer has its own will but the will of God working in it.

March 3, 2014

In speaking, make it a point to use a gentle and related tone of voice. It is not polite to talk too loudly or to shout as though speaking to deaf people.

One thing you should be careful about when speaking is not to let anything harsh, bitter, or disdainful creep into your voice, no matter to whom you are speaking. You should always speak with refinement and good will.

There are some people whose way of enunciating is hard and brusque, and this manner of speaking is very rude. To overcome this defect, always speak gently, paying attention to yourself and showing much kindness for others.

February 24, 2014

Serious self-control is one of the most useful virtues for those who are responsible for instructing youth. St. Paul recommends this to the faithful above all things. Let your self-control, he says, be known to everyone. Do not be self-controlled only when you are alone and in private, but also act in the same way before everyone.

Act in such a way that all may recognise and be edified by your self-control. This is necessary because you work for the salvation of others, and you must begin by giving them good example in order to win them back to God.

Do not overlook the account you will have to give of your patience and the control of your passions. This is a very important point to which you must be very attentive, especially when the children in your care do something out of order, and you are required to reprove or correct them. There is nothing you must be more on your guard against than allowing your passions to run away with you.

February 17, 2014

I have failed a great number of times to practice humility, although I have had such wonderful occasions for doing so.

What! The Lord of Heaven and earth humbles himself to the point of washing the feet of poor and miserable human beings. Yet I, a person of no consequence, find it hard to render a service to my neighbour, because this offends my pride.

It was to teach me, Lord, that you humbled yourself. It was to persuade me to humble myself and to feel no shame in serving others, even giving what is considered the most demeaning and lowest service.

You join to your example the promise that I shall be happy if I care to avail myself of your promise. Today, I shall pray that people will make me do the most humbling tasks.

February 10, 2014

The Wise Man says that there is a time for laughter.

You are never allowed to amuse yourself at the expense of others. The respect you should have for your neighbour requires that you never take pleasure in anything that might cause pain to anybody.

With regard to the defects of others, either they are natural or they result from bad habits. If they are natural, it is unworthy of a person with good sense and good judgement to laugh at them and make fun of them, since the person who suffers from these defects is not the cause of them. These same misfortunes could have happened to anyone.

If the defects are due to bad habits and you use them as topics for jokes, you are acting in a manner entirely against charity and contrary to the true Christian spirit, which should lead you to have compassion on these persons and help them to correct themselves rather than take these shortcomings as something to laugh about.

February 3, 2014

Teachers will be careful to maintain a very modest demeanor and to act with great seriousness. They will never allow themselves to descend to anything unbecoming or to act in a childish fashion.

The seriousness demanded of teachers does not consist in having a severe or austere aspect, in getting angry, or in saying harsh words. It consists of great reserve in their gestures, in their actions and in their words.Teachers will above all be cautious not to become too familiar with the students, not to speak to them in an easy manner and not to allow the students to speak to them other than with great respect.

January 27, 2014

If we have esteem for worldly things, it should only be in so far as they relate to God, because we are rightly convinced that God is present in all things and that all things are nothing except in so far as God dwells in them.

From this it follows that we insult God dwelling in us when we do something which displeases him, and when we use our senses wrongly, seeking to please ourselves and not to please God who is the only one in whom we are to find all our pleasure and all our satisfaction.

In fact, we have being, movement, and life only because God is in us, and communicates them to us. So that if God were to cease for one moment to be within us or failed to give us being, we would instantly fall into nothingness.

January 20, 2014

All your care for the children entrusted to you would be useless if Jesus Christ himself did not give the quality, the power, and the efficacy that is needed to make your care useful. As the branch of the vine cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it remains attached to the stem, so neither can you bear fruit, if you do not remain in me, says the Lord.

What Jesus Christ says to his apostles he also says to you. It is the same for you as it is for the branch of the vine, which can bear fruit only if it remains attached to the stem and draws its sap and strength from the vine.

Jesus Christ wants you to understand from this comparison that the more your work for the good of your disciples is given life by him and draws its power from him, the more it will produce good in them. He is also the one who enlightens the minds of your students and leads them to love and to practice the good that you teach them.

January 13, 2014

God is so good that, having created us, he wills that all of us come to the knowledge of the truth. This truth is God himself and what he has desired to reveal to us through Jesus Christ, through the apostles, and through his Church. Just as he commanded light to shine out of darkness, so he himself kindles a light in the hearts of those destined to announce his word to children by unveiling for them the glory of God.

Since, then, God in his mercy has given you such a ministry, do not falsify his word but gain glory before him by unveiling his truth to those whom you are charged to instruct. You have been destined to cultivate these young plants by announcing to them the truths of the Gospel.

Teach them these truths not with learned words, lest the cross of Christ become void of meaning, and all you say to them would produce no fruit in their minds or heart. Those who help them to save themselves must do this in so simple a manner that every word will be clear and easy for them to understand.

January 6, 2014

You should pay attention to your behaviour in what concerns not only yourself but others also. For it is impossible to please God if you do not live amicably with others. Nor will you have peace of soul unless you show consideration for those for whom you ought to set a good example.

Take care never to get into arguments with anybody, for in doing so you can offend against charity, which should be outstanding among you.

Be sure to be warmly affable toward everyone,

to speak and to answer everyone with a great gentleness and deference,

keeping in mind the way Our Lord spoke and replied to others,

even when he was most harshly treated.

So never rebuff anyone; that gives very bad example. On the contrary, speak politely, which is in keeping with the Spirit of God. Let humility and gentleness be always evident in what you say. “A soft answer,” says the wise man “breaks down the hardest nature.”

December 16, 2013

It is not enough to adore the cross, says one Father of the Church, but we must carry it. Nor do we need to go very far looking for it. The cross, says the author of the Imitation, is always ready wherever we are and wherever we may look: above, below, outside, and within. On all sides, the same author says, you will find the cross. Is the cross you carry the cross of Jesus Christ? How do you recognize this? Pay attention to this: if these crosses turn you away and make you complain, they are the crosses of thieves. Prepare yourself today, then to love the Cross, since you will always have it.

December 9, 2013

The first effect of faith is to lead us efficaciously to the knowledge, love and imitation of Christ, and to union with him. Faith leads to the knowledge of Christ, since eternal life is knowing him (Jn 17:3). Faith leads to love of Christ, since anyone who does not love him is a reprobate (1 Cor 16:22). Faith leads to the imitation of Christ, since the predestined ought to be conformed to him (Rom 8:29); and to union with him, since we are to Jesus Christ like branches to a vine, dead when separated from him. (Jn 15:5-6)

December 1, 2013

We must practise application to mental prayer because it is a conversation with God, and has the effect of making the soul occupy itself entirely with the things which pertain to God’s service. Hold in high esteem the holy exercise of mental prayer, since it is the foundation and support of all the virtues as well as the source of light and grace.

Do not seek emotional consolations in mental prayer, but attach yourself:

  • to what is of faith,
  • to what tends to the detestation and destruction of sin,
  • to detachment from created things,
  • to the imitation of our Lord Jesus Christ and
  • to the practice of the virtues he practiced.

Strive to imitate him as perfectly as possible.

November 25, 2013

Converted to the faith in her early youth, St. Catherine found a solid way to preserve her faith in the reading of the holy books and she mastered them perfectly. As a result when some persons wanted to dissuade her from practicing the religion she had embraced, none of them ever succeeded. She was even so strong in her faith that, after she was arrested by order of the emperor, and he saw how she spoke with such energy concerning her religion, he assembled the philosophers and most learned people in Alexandria to refute her. But all they got out of the arguments they had with her was the embarrassment of being overcome by a young woman.

See how important it is for you to know Holy Scripture well. Holy Scripture enlightens the mind with that divine light which St. John says enlightens everyone who comes into this world.

November 18, 2013

The Supervisor must make teachers realize that particular friendships give rise to many serious problems, both for those who are thus cajoled and caressed and for those who are not. The former try to take advantage of this preference in order to do wrong; they later become insolent, lose all respect and no longer pay any attention to the teacher.

The others often grow jealous and conceive sentiments of hatred and aversion for their teacher and for the students who they think are favoured more than themselves.

November 11, 2013

While still quite young St. Martin became a soldier and was a soldier until he was 40. But he showed still greater enthusiasm to enroll in the army of Christ. Although his father was an unbeliever, Martin had his name entered in the Church on the list of catechumens when he was only 11 years old. Afterward he devoted himself to piety and to the service of God.

He had, especially, great tenderness for the poor. Once, when still in the military, he cut his cloak in two and gave half to a naked beggar who had asked him for some clothes. The following night, Jesus Christ appeared to him wearing the same half cloak and said:

“See! Martin, though still but a catechumen, has clothed me with this mantle.”

You who are enrolled in the army of Christ are in his service and, as it were, on his payroll, do you have the service of God as much at heart as St. Martin did? Are you also as charitable toward the poor as he, even though he was still only a catechumen?

November 4, 2013

St. Charles’ zeal for the salvation of souls was incomparable. Inconceivable as it may be, he wanted to be informed in writing every year about the conduct of every person in his diocese, so that he might exercise all the care possible to procure their salvation. He wanted the parish priests of his diocese to come to the assistance of the dying and to be present at their last hour, the moment when a soul has the greatest need of help.

But the zeal of St. Charles stood out most surprisingly when the city of Milan was attacked by the plague. From the beginning he sacrificed himself to bring help to the victims of the epidemic. He administered the sacraments to them in spite of great fatigue and danger, constantly exposing himself to death.

Compare your zeal for the sanctification of your disciples with that of this great saint. Watch over them with as much attention as St. Charles kept watch over all the members of his diocese.

October 28, 2013

Saints Simon and Jude, seeing the miracles performed by Jesus Christ, quit the world in order to follow him and be numbered among his disciples. They had such an ardent zeal for the establishment and progress of the Christian religion, that nothing was able to stop them.

Remain steadfast in the practice of what is right, in spite of all the obstacles you may encounter. God will bless all you do with zeal for love of him, and you will be victorious over those who will oppose what you are doing for God. Do not bother to please those whom Jesus Christ could not please and who are his declared enemies. Often say with St. Paul:

“If I were pleasing men, I would not be worthy to be a servant of Jesus Christ.”

However, it is not enough for you to be true servants of Jesus; you are further obliged to make him known and adored by the children whom you instruct. The care you ought to have for your own perfection should lead you to do this.

October 21, 2013

Saint Hilarion was competent in humane literature, thanks to the keenness of his mind but he made himself much more admirable by the purity of his life and especially by his great piety.

The example of St. Anthony did much to help him acquire this spirit. Once near him he observed with great care St. Anthony’s way of life and his great abstinence, which no infirmity could make him quit. He also noted the saint’s assiduous application to prayer, his humility in dealing with his brothers, his strictness joined to gentleness when he corrected them, and the zeal he showed for their sanctification.

Later on St. Hilarion dedicated himself with all conceivable fervor to practice all these virtues which he had observed in St. Anthony.

What power and efficacy example has to convert souls and to lead them to make progress in virtue!

October 14, 2013

You will not find it very difficult to give yourself to God if you have a little generosity. I hope he will give it to you. Is it not an honour, a very great honour, for you to give yourself entirely to God?

If you seek God and not consolation, you will find peace of mind. Sometimes it seems Our Lord is asleep, but then he awakens and sets us on our way. We must not go faster or at a different pace from what he wants of us, and we must rest when he wishes it.

Do you have to experience consolations to remain in God’s service? Are you not prepared to be his simply out of love for him?

Throw yourself into his arms; he is your Father and he will carry you when the road is rough, that is, in time of temptation.

October 7, 2013

The truths which the Holy Spirit teaches to those who receive him are the maxims found in the Gospel. He helps them to understand these maxims, to take them to heart, and to live and act according to them.

The Spirit of God alone can give us a correct understanding of the Gospel maxims because they are above the level of the human spirit. How, indeed, can we ever realise that blessed are the poor, that we should love those who hate us, and that we rejoice when people say all sorts of evil against us, that we should return good for evil, unless the Spirit of God himself teaches them to us?

September 30, 2013

St. Jerome was gifted with an excellent mind and extraordinary learning. At first he devoted himself to humane learning, but having perceived that this turned him away from God, he gave this up and spared neither pain nor effort to be instructed in Holy Scripture.

In Athens he met St. Gregory of Nazianzen, who told him that to understand well the meaning of Holy Scripture it is necessary to begin by putting it into practice. St. Jerome went at once into the Syrian desert to live there a holy and penitential life, devoting himself to prayer, meditation on Holy Scripture, and the practice of all it teaches.

It was there that he came to understand thoroughly that knowledge sometimes puffs up, but charity edifies; that if anyone thinks he knows something, he has not yet learned what he should know; but if anyone loves God, he is known and loved by God.

If you wish to be filled with the mind of God, make the sacred books of Scripture your special study so that they serve as your rule of conduct.

September 23, 2013

The great benefits that come from receiving Communion often are the reason why the devil does all he can, with various false pretexts, to persuade us to receive Communion only rarely.

Some fear, they say, to commit a sacrilege. They do well to fear this, but to commit a sacrilege we must receive Communion in a state of mortal sin. Is it possible that you could be in such a state?

Others claim that they are not worthy to receive Communion so frequently. They should not wait for what will never be. All persons who receive Communion acknowledge their unworthiness before coming to receive.

But, say others, I am so full of defects; how can I dare go to Communion so often in this state? If you wait till you are without defects, you will not receive Communion in your lifetime.

The fact that you do not fall into more serious faults is something you should see as a result of frequent Communion. This should encourage you to continue in this practice.

September 16, 2013

Even before becoming a Christian St. Cyprian was distinguished for his learning. Even before receiving baptism he studied Holy Scripture. As soon as he was baptized, he sold all his possessions, distributed the proceeds to the poor, and resolved to practice celibate chastity.

He gave edification to everyone by his holy life, just as he won admiration by his talent and knowledge of literature.

St. Cyprian, living such a holy life, was soon made a priest, and almost as quickly Bishop of Carthage by the choice of all the people. As a bishop, he enlightened the entire Church by his excellent writings and during persecution he worked forcefully to support those who were wavering in their faith. Everybody agrees that this saint surpassed all the other bishops of his time in eloquence as well as in wisdom and humility. Following his example, you must know your religion well, and you must also show by your wisdom and piety that you really understand it.

September 9, 2013

Because in your state of life you are called to procure the sanctification of your pupils, you should be holy yourself in no ordinary degree. You must communicate this holiness to them both by your good example and by the words of salvation which you must address to them every day.

Interior application to prayer, love for your exercises, fidelity in performing them well will especially help you to acquire this holiness and the perfection that God wishes you to have.

Beg him for it daily with great earnestness. Beg him that nothing may make you displeasing in his sight, since you are obliged to inspire his love in the hearts of those whom you instruct. Is this how you relate to them?

September 2, 2013

Penances should be remedial and proportioned to the faults committed. Teachers will take great care that the penances that they impose are in no way ridiculous, and do not consist only of words.

No penance will be imposed that might be prejudicial to the silence and good order of the school. Nothing that causes loss of time and that is useless should ever be given as a penance.

The most appropriate penance and the one that is of the greatest utility is to give the students something to learn by heart.

August 26, 2013

Since God has called you to your ministry in order to procure his glory and to give children the spirit of wisdom, you will give an account of how well you have instructed those who have been under your guidance.

You will give account to God whether you have been exact to teach catechism; whether you have not neglected some students because they were the slowest, perhaps also the poorest; and whether you did not show favoritism toward others because they were rich, or pleasant, or naturally possessing more lovable qualities than the others.

Do you believe, perhaps, that you are responsible for your disciples only during the time of school, that your vigilance need not extend to their behaviour outside of school, that they not associate with bad companions during the entire time they are under your guidance?

Are your accounts in good order and are you ready to give them? If that is not the case, put them in order without delay. If there has been any negligence in your conduct, take a firm resolution to correct yourself.

August 19, 2013

There are some children to whose conduct their parents pay very little attention, sometimes none at all. From morning until evening, they do only what they please.

They have no respect for their parents. They are disobedient. They grumble at the least thing.

Sometimes these faults do not come from an evil disposition of heart or mind; they come from having been left to themselves. If they are of a bold and haughty spirit, they should be given some charge or responsibility in school to inspire them with a liking for school. But along with this they must be corrected and brought into line, never allowed to act as they please.

August 12, 2013

It is mainly in communities where good example is most notable that there is the most power and efficacy. All those who live there together encourage one another to practice what is most holy and most perfect in the Gospel maxims, because when someone does something good, others feel ashamed not to do it. Moreover, according to an axiom of the philosophers, both the practice and the love of what is right are easily communicated in community to those who have a little good will to do what is right.

August 5, 2013

It would be of little use to us to be persuaded of our obligation to have a special devotion to Our Lady if we did not know what this devotion includes. Because she is superior to all creatures, we should have a greater devotion for her than for all the other saints. We show our devotion to the saints at certain times and on certain days of the year but the devotion we should have for Our Lady should be continual.

This is why it is a rule in our Institute:

(1) not to let any day go by without reciting the rosary(2) to celebrate all her feasts with great solemnity(3) to consider her as the principal patroness of our Society, placing ourselves under her protection at the end of our morning and evening prayers(4) to invoke her in our most pressing needs as being our first advocate before God after Jesus Christ.

Let us be convinced that all we do to honor Our Lady will be very richly rewarded by God through her.

July 29, 2013

It was St. Martha’s privilege to be greatly loved by Jesus, as the Gospel testifies, and for this reason Jesus honored her several times by lodging with her and being her guest at table. She was most grateful for such favors and each time Jesus visited her she strove to please him by preparing his food and by serving him.

Nothing is more admirable than the faith St. Martha showed when Jesus raised Lazarus to life. When Jesus said that he was the resurrection and the life, and that those who believed in him would live and never die, he asked her if she believed this. She answered yes, that she did believe he was the Christ, the Son of the living God who had come into the world. This answer deserves special veneration because of the great faith it shows.

July 22, 2013

When love is ardent, it is even stronger than death. One cannot admire too greatly the tender love that St. Mary Magdalen had for Jesus Christ. Nothing held her back, neither human respect, which might have made her think of what people would say about the sudden change in her conduct, nor her attachment to the pleasures and comforts of life, nor her concern for status.

The love she had for Jesus Christ so filled her heart that once she was converted she resolved never to abandon him again.

Are you as faithful to follow Jesus Christ when he causes you to suffer as when he showers you with his blessings? Alas! As soon as someone says something to you that causes you some pain, or as soon as you are given some reproof, do you not show resentment?

By the kindness he showed to St. Mary Magdalen, Jesus Christ has made it clear how good God is to those who love him, and with what tenderness he rewards even in this life the love they have for him.

July 15, 2013

This saint had such a great love for poverty that he wrote a book entitled ‘The Apologia of the Poor’ to make known the excellence of this virtue. In it he demonstrates that voluntary poverty is the foundation of Gospel perfection. In this book St. Bonaventure taught only what he himself practiced.

The practice of poverty is of little use unless it is accompanied by humility. St. Bonaventure tried especially to acquire this virtue. No sooner had he entered the novitiate than his greatest pleasure was to sweep the house, wash the dishes, and devote himself to the lowliest chores in the monastery.

Even when chosen to be a cardinal, he lived without ostentation and in the practice of religious humility.

The more humble you are, the more graces you will receive. This is one virtue you need very much in your state.

July 8, 2013

Having recognized the infinite greatness of God, it is very just that we should recognize his goodness and that we should offer him our humble thanksgiving.

We thank him in particular for having created us and redeemed us; delivered us from a great number of sins; withdrawn us from the occasions of committing them, and from the wickedness of the world, by placing us in community and for the graces without number that he has given us since we have been here.

We thank him especially for the grace which He has at this moment the goodness to give us of remaining in his holy presence, and of occupying ourselves with him in mental prayer.

July 1, 2013

An insult is most shocking to decorum as well as to charity. Our Lord very expressly condemns it in the Gospel. Such words should never be found on the lips of a Christian, since they are extremely improper for a person who has the least claim to being well-educated. You must never insult anybody, and you are never permitted to either say or do anything that might lead to such conduct.

Another fault, no less contrary to propriety and to the respect you owe your neighbor, is mockery, making fun of somebody over a defect or a weakness, or mimicking him by gesture.

There is not much difference between such mockery and an outright insult. Such mockery is entirely unworthy of a well-born person. It goes against propriety and hurts your neighbour. That is why you are never to make fun of anybody, living or dead.

June 24, 2013

Do not have any anxiety about the future. Leave everything in God’s hands for he will take care of you.

As for myself, I do not like to make the first move in any endeavor. I leave it to Divine Providence to make the first move and then I am satisfied. When it is clear that I am acting only under the direction of Providence, I have nothing to reproach myself with.

When I make the first move, it is only I myself who am active, so I do not expect to see much good result; neither does God usually give the action his special blessing.

See if God shows his approval of your work, and notice if Divine Providence is assisting you. Throw yourself into his arms; he is your Father and he will carry you when the road is rough, that is, in time of temptation.

June 17, 2013

Punishment should be peaceable. Those who administer it should not be moved to anger and should be totally self-controlled. It is especially necessary that those who inflict a punishment should take great care that nothing appear in their demeanour that might indicate that they are angry.

It must be prudent on the part of the teacher. The teacher should pay great attention to what is done, so as to do nothing that is inappropriate or that could have evil consequences.

It must be willingly accepted by the students. The seriousness of their fault and the obligation under which the teacher is to remedy it must be made clear to them. They must be helped to understand the great harm that they can do to themselves and, by their bad example, to their companions.

June 10, 2013

You must not be upset or anxious over the temptations you experience. When they come, place yourself in God’s hands as you would with a good father. Beg him to help you, being convinced that you cannot help yourself.

Approach the sacraments eagerly; it is in them that you will find the strength to overcome your difficulties.

I cannot understand why you did not tell me earlier of the temptation you experienced. Don’t you know that an illness is already half cured when you tell the doctor about it?

June 3, 2013

Punishment, in order to be beneficial to the students, should be accompanied by the following qualities.

First, it must be pure and disinterested. That is to say, punishment must be administered purely for the glory of God, without any desire for personal vengeance, teachers giving no thought to themselves.

Second, punishment must be just. For this reason, it is necessary to examine carefully beforehand whether the matter for which the teacher is considering punishing the student is effectively a fault and if this fault deserves punishment.

Third, punishment must be proper and suitable to the fault for which it is administered. That is to say, it must be proportionate to the fault both in nature and in degree. Just as there is a difference between faults committed through malice and obstinacy and those committed through weakness, there should also be a difference between the chastisements with which they are punished.

Fourth, punishment must be moderate. That is to say, it should be rather less rigorous than more rigorous. It should be of a just medium. Neither should punishment be administered precipitously.

May 27, 2013

We can make an act of faith in the presence of God by considering him in our soul as in His temple.

I believe that you are the treasure of my soul, and that it has the advantage of possessing you since St. Paul assures us that we are the temple of the living God who dwells in us, and that He will converse with us.

It is, therefore, in order to make me take pleasure in your conversation that you make your dwelling in my soul, in order to make of it a place of delights.

Detach my soul so much from all created things that you may find your delight there. Overwhelm it with your blessings and your graces, so that being fittingly adorned, it may become worthy of receiving you.

May 20, 2013

From his youth St. Bernardine had such great prudence and self-control that the most disorderly of his fellow students were prudent in his presence and did not dare to speak of anything unbecoming. When they saw him coming from a distance, they said to one another,

“No more of this talk; here comes Bernardine.”

Are you likewise equally self-controlled, not only in the presence of your Brothers, but of your students as well? Does what they observe in you make such an impression on them that it is able to make them behave properly?

There is no one to whom you cannot and should not try to be helpful by the example of your virtues. This was the first way St. Bernardine practised his zeal, and it is also the way you are obliged to preach to everyone.

May 13, 2013

You must be particularly circumspect in your words when someone has entrusted you with a secret. It would be very imprudent to reveal it,even if you urge the one to whom you repeat the matter to keep it to himself, andeven if the one who confided the secret to you has not asked you not to mention it to others.

For, as the Wise Man says so correctly, if you reveal the secrets of a friend, you lose all credibility and will soon be unable to find any close friends (Eccl 27:16-17). He considers this fault as being much worse than speaking injuriously to your friend, for, even after harsh words, reconciliation is possible. But if you have been base enough to betray a friend’s secrets, there can remain no hope of reconciliation, and you will try in vain to recover the lost friendship.

May 6, 2013

It would have been of little use if the apostles had instructed the first Christians in the essential truths of our religion, if they did not lead them to live the Christian way of life. The apostles were not satisfied with teaching doctrine, but they had a marvellous care to bring the first Christians to practise their religion.

Above everything else, this is what you are obliged to do in your work. In imitation of the apostles you must give an altogether special care that those whom you instruct receive the sacraments, in particular, that they are ready to receive Confirmation in order to be filled with the Holy Spirit. You must see to it that they go to confession often, after learning how to do this well. You must dispose them to receive their first Communion with holy dispositions and to receive Communion frequently thereafter.

Inspire them also with piety and self-control in church and in the exercises of piety you have them perform in the schools. Instill in them the innocence and humility that Our Lord recommends so strongly in the Gospel. Do not forget to help them acquire gentleness,patience, love and respect for their parents, and all the conduct that is proper to a Christian child.

April 29, 2013

St. Catherine had such a special love for purity that she made a vow of virginity when only seven years old. With time this virtue grew so strong in her that when her parents proposed a very advantageous marriage to her, she refused. This angered her parents so much that they obliged her to do all the lowliest and most difficult household chores. She was very happy about this and endured with the greatest patience all the ill-treatment that they inflicted upon her at the time. She contented herself with setting up a sort of little oratory in her heart where she withdrew to console herself with God.

If, because you are aiming to do good, you are made to suffer insults and scorn, would you be ready to put up with such treatment patiently? It is on such occasions that we see if our virtue is solid.

April 22, 2013

Instead of being upset when your long-standing faults are pointed out to you, you ought on the contrary to thank God for it. No matter how you are told them, Our Lord had worse said to him, and you claim to be his disciple. If you really are, you will be glad to be treated like your master, who patiently bore all the insults that were offered him. So did the saints, his servants.

Instead, what sort of humility have you if you cannot bear something that causes you a little pain? You very much like to profess that you love humility and that you have a great esteem for it, just as long as you can avoid humiliations as much as possible. What good will it be for you to love the virtue and to refuse to practise it?

What! You complain that others haven’t enough charity, but you don’t complain that you haven’t enough humility. So watch over yourself and do not get upset about something that can be only for your own good.

April 15, 2013

Decorum requires that as a Christian you should never utter a single word which is contrary to the truth or to sincerity, or which shows disrespect for God or a lack of charity for your neighbor.

Refinement insists that you never say anything false. On the contrary, it exacts that each one should speak the truth to his neighbor. According to the Wise Man, refinement regards falsehood as a shameful flaw and the life of a liar as a life deprived of honor and always threatened by embarrassment.

You might say that even if you fall into no other vice, frequent lying is enough to push you quickly into a vicious life. Jesus Christ explains why this is so when he tells us that the devil himself is the father of lies.

April 8, 2013

Have you always thought that in order to give yourself to God you must be prepared to be tempted? Are you not upset when some temptation comes to you?

What should induce a soul truly given to God to be always ready to meet temptation, is what Job says: “man’s life is a temptation,” or, according to the Vulgate, “a constant warfare.”

This led St. Jerome to say that it is impossible for our soul to escape temptation in this life; that if Jesus Christ himself was tempted, no one can hope to cross the stormy sea of this life without being exercised by temptation.

Have you been expecting to do battle constantly with the demon and against yourself? Do you have what you need to resist the demon and not give yourself over to the pleasures of the senses?

Be convinced that it is a great misfortune not to experience any temptation, because this is a sign that you do not overcome yourself in any way.

April 2, 2013

One of the principal signs that a person is leading a new life, and is risen with Jesus Christ, is when the person enjoys interior peace.

There are many persons who seem to be spiritual and to possess interior peace, but who really lack it. We might say of them what Jeremiah says, that they desire peace yet peace does not exist in them. Such persons appear to be the most pious and devoted; they speak very eloquently and most willingly about interior things. They often experience the presence of God in prayer. But just say a sharp word to them or do something to irritate them and immediately they are quite upset.

They lose their peace because they are not solidly grounded in virtue and have not worked hard enough to get rid of their natural impulses.

Are you one of these persons? You have to give yourself more resolutely and more truly to God.

March 25, 2013

Let us give thanks for the honor the Blessed Virgin received on this day, to become the Mother of God. This is the greatest honor any mere creature can ever receive. St. Ambrose declares that it was the excellence of Mary’s faith which procured this favour for her.

In this role she has become an object of veneration for the angels themselves, who, though much higher by nature, are nevertheless far beneath her in view of the dignity she received on this day.

Still, this dignity only leads her to humble herself and she has no other reply except that she is the servant of the Lord.

St. Ambrose cannot help marvelling at such a response in the mouth of this holy virgin at the very moment when she is chosen to be the Mother of God.

Let us profit from such great example. May all the graces God gives us, no matter how remarkable they may be, incline us also to humble ourselves.

March 18, 2013

In your times of trouble, when you have had recourse to those who are appointed to guide you and they have been unable to provide a suitable remedy for your difficulty, God wants you then to remain completely abandoned to his guidance, awaiting from him alone all the help you need. Follow the example of this crowd of people who had come following Jesus Christ and who waited patiently for him to provide for their nourishment.

March 11, 2013

Jesus Christ delivered a man possessed by a dumb demon, that is one that prevented the victim from speaking. This is a figure of those who remain mute in their relationship with their confessors.

When you are sick you can scarcely be cured if you cannot explain what is wrong, so too if you do not expose the wound in your soul to your spiritual physician, you run the risk of remaining ill for a long time.

It is pride or human respect that ordinarily prevents us from revealing our interior difficulties to our confessor. Pride, because we are ashamed to expose the depths of our soul and because our self-love suffers keenly when we have to admit certain weaknesses. So, it seals our lips, persuading us that we would dishonour ourselves if we spoke sincerely to a confessor who would then get a bad impression of our behavior.

March 4, 2013

Our Lord was transfigured while praying on a very high, lonely mountain. This teaches us that God pours out his consolation on souls who devote themselves a great deal to prayer and who love this holy exercise. Those who are half-hearted and lazy, who have little love for prayer, should not be surprised if they are not among those whom God favours in a special way. They do not enjoy an intimate union with him, because they do not give themselves to the exercise that unites us with God, in which we learn to enjoy God and to have even on this earth a foretaste of the joy of heaven.

When God makes use of consolation to strengthen souls and to give them a chance to rest a little after undergoing trials and tribulations, they should accept this little refreshment with a simple view of God’s good pleasure, without being complacent about the personal enjoyment they find there.

February 25, 2013

Since you are ambassadors and ministers of Jesus Christ in the work that you do, you must act as representing Jesus Christ himself. He wants your disciples to see him in you and receive your instructions as if he were giving them to them. They must be convinced that your instructions are the truth of Jesus Christ who speaks with your mouth, that it is only in his name that you teach, and that it is he who has given you authority over them.

They must also be convinced that they themselves are a letter which Jesus Christ dictates to you, which you write each day in their hearts, not with ink, but by the Spirit of the living God, who acts in you and by you through the power of Jesus Christ. He helps you to triumph over all the obstacles that oppose the salvation of these children.

All your care for the children entrusted to you would be useless if Jesus Christ himself did not give the quality, the power, and the efficacy that is needed to make your care useful. All the good you are able to do in your work will be true and effective only insofar as Jesus Christ gives it his blessing and as you remain united with him.

February 18, 2013

You say that often you don’t know how to keep from speaking. You must try to learn this. It is great wisdom to know how to keep silence when the occasion requires it. Get into the habit of always speaking in a low voice. You know very well that silence and recollection are two means of becoming interior.

You will find silence a very useful, even a very necessary virtue, if you are to adore God, serve him in spirit and in truth, resist temptations and save yourself from falling into sin.

Always remain silent when others annoy you, and let God alone be the witness of your innocence.

You must learn how to be silent and to speak only when necessary, so that you may not fall into the habit of excessive talking. If you cannot speak without justifying yourself, remain completely silent.

February 11, 2013

Those who teach are only God’s voice. The word which makes God known to those whom they instruct must come from him. It is he who speaks in teachers when they explain him and what is related to him. This is why St. Peter says, if any speak, let it always be clear that God is speaking by their mouth.

February 4, 2013

There are many persons in religious communities who could be asked with more surprise and more justice than those in the Gospel who were standing idle in the market place: Why have you stayed here all the day doing nothing? These persons have consecrated themselves to God and profess to be striving toward the perfection proper to their state, yet they remain in it without making any progress in virtue, especially the virtue of obedience.

So, when it happens that they are given an order they do not expect, they cannot accept it; they say this is too much for them and they are not able to put up with such a trial. They are prepared to carry out orders only on certain conditions, or only when they are in good humor.

It is extremely important that those who profess to practise the virtue of obedience be given the chance to do so every day.

January 28, 2013

St. Thomas was one of the greatest Doctors of the Church, and he enlightened it by the quite extraordinary and almost miraculous learning God gave him. In all the difficulties he met while studying or writing, he had recourse to prayer, and when this did not suffice to give him an understanding of what he wanted to know he added fasting. It was by these means that he acquired such great knowledge and became a miracle of learning.

The admirable thing is that, although so learned, he had no desire to be esteemed by others. Ah! how rare it is to find a man who excels in anything, who does not on that account have a higher opinion of himself.

It is by these three means - I mean books, prayer, mortification - that God wishes you to instruct yourselves in your state about what you need to know and teach others.

January 21, 2013

Never read through curiosity, and do not read hurriedly to get through a book quickly. Stop from time to time to relish your reading. Reflect on and examine yourself about what prevents you from practicing what you read.

Read your spiritual book as if it were a letter sent by Jesus Christ himself to make known to you his holy will.

As it is neither the books we read nor the reasons we hear which of themselves touch our conscience, but rather God who uses these means, we must pray for the grace to draw from them the fruit which God desires to communicate to us.

January 14, 2013

But, you say, you are not prepared to receive Communion because your spirit is in turmoil or because you are experiencing severe temptation. Do you not know that turmoil and temptations, far from making you unfit to receive Communion do nothing of the sort? On the contrary, the more anxiety and temptation you experience, the more you should have recourse to Communion, which is a sure remedy to ease your anxiety and weaken your temptations.

Perhaps you may say at other times that you do not receive Communion because you cannot occupy yourself with God. You feel completely dry; your mind is filled with evil or useless thoughts.

Beg Jesus Christ living in you to make up for your powerlessness, and to make thanksgiving in you and for you. Do not, then, listen any further to what your spirit may suggest to dispense you from receiving Communion.

January 7, 2013

You should pay attention to your behavior in what concerns not only yourself but others also. For it is impossible to please God if you do not live amicably with others. Nor will you have peace of soul unless you show consideration for those for whom you ought to set a good example.

Take care never to get into arguments with anybody, for in doing so you can offend against charity, which should be outstanding among you. Be sure to be warmly affable toward everyone, to speak and to answer everyone with a great gentleness and deference, keeping in mind the way Our Lord spoke and replied to others, even when he was most harshly treated.

So never rebuff anyone; that gives very bad example. On the contrary, speak politely, which is in keeping with the Spirit of God. Let humility and gentleness be always evident in what you say. “A soft answer,” says the wise man “breaks down the hardest nature.”

January 1, 2013

Faith is the way by which God wishes to lead you to himself and by following this way you will please him most. Is it not enough for you to know God alone? Surely this is of more value than all the other knowledge of the most learned men. The Most Blessed Virgin lived her whole life by the spirit of faith, and it is this spirit that God wants you to have. This is why you would derive much benefit from asking her in prayer to lead you to Our Lord along this way.

December 17, 2012

Jesus did not come so much to teach us the holy truths of Christian morality as to engage us to practise them faithfully.

Still it is common enough to see Christians and even members of religious communities, who do not accept these practical truths and who contradict them in their hearts, sometimes even in their external conduct, as when someone tells them that on Judgement Day they have to account for a useless word, that we must pray without ceasing, that we must enter heaven through the narrow gate and that there is a command addressed to them to love their enemies, to pray to God for those who persecute them and to do good to those who hate them.

How many are there who believe that these teachings are merely counsels of perfection? Yet Jesus Christ taught that they were necessary practices and the way to achieve salvation. Take care not to fall into this gross error, which might lead you astray from the true path to heaven.

December 10, 2012

Although it is not recommended to be as stiff as a statue in school, neither is it good to be too fidgety or too flustered. The two extremes must be avoided. The one causes teachers not to be sufficiently vigilant and to lack firmness; the other robs them of all authority and brings down on them the contempt of students.

New teachers must learn to control a natural tendency to be hasty and too quick to react. They must not at every moment modify their expression, their posture, their position, constantly turning the head from side to side; unable to keep the same position for a moment.

December 3, 2012

It is unbelievable how many souls St. Francis converted to God, once he had filled himself with the spirit of God before going off to preach the holy Gospel. It is estimated that he converted several hundred thousand in the Indies and in Japan. He baptised several princes and even several kings. He spent his time preaching, catechising, confessing, and visiting hospitals.

Nothing, no matter how humble it was, was beneath him when it was a question of converting souls. This saint had especially such a great zeal for the instruction of children, that he went about in the streets ringing, a little bell to call them to catechism.

Do you wish to convert your disciples and easily win them over to God? The more you make yourself little, the more you will touch the hearts of those whom you instruct, and to engage them to live as true Christians.

November 26, 2012

Why, do you think, did Jesus Christ praise St. John the Baptist so highly? It was to lead the people to accept his teaching, and to make them understand that what John had said about himself was true; that St. John had been sent to prepare their hearts to receive Jesus Christ himself and to profit by his teachings. This saint began by living a life of seclusion, prayer, and penance, to practise what he wanted to teach others, and thus to dispose his own heart to receive the fullness of the Spirit of God.

Because you have to prepare the hearts of others for the coming of Jesus Christ, you must first of all dispose your own hearts to be entirely filled with zeal, in order to render your words effective in those whom you instruct.

November 19, 2012

The manner in which Jesus Christ says we should love God requires of us a great courage.

To love God with all your heart and with all your soul is truly to sacrifice your life for God, to spend it only for him. This is what you can do in your profession and your work, not being concerned whether you die in a few years, provided you save yourself and win souls for God.

They will help you to rise to heaven because you have helped them procure admittance there, have taught them how to enter and have helped them take all possible means of doing so.

God has put us in this world only for himself; he thinks constantly of us and has given us a mind that can think of him. Jesus Christ, then has reason to say that we must love God with all our minds.

Nothing shows better that we love another person than when we cannot help thinking about that person. How happy you would be if all your thoughts tended only to God. Then you would really have found your paradise in this world.

November 12, 2012

What are your dispositions and with what purity of heart and intention do you go to Holy Communion?

You can easily make the four following considerations before approaching the holy table, to place your heart in the condition in which it ought to be for so holy an action.

The first is, “What am I about to do?” The second is, “Who am I compared with almighty God?” The third is, “Why do I wish to approach the altar to receive him?” The fourth is, “How, and for what reason, should I receive Holy Communion to day?”

Do you approach the holy table with the same dispositions you would wish to have on entering heaven? Surely we should not have less respect in receiving Jesus Christ than in being received by him.

November 5, 2012

Prayer, says St. Chrysostom, is a divine medicine which drives out of our hearts all the malice it finds there and fills them with all justice.

This is why if we wish to deliver ourselves from sin completely, we cannot do anything better than to devote ourselves to prayer.

In fact, no matter how many sins a person who loves prayer commits, he still has, even in the midst of a very great disordered life, a quick and easy recourse, which is prayer, in order to obtain the grace of repentance and pardon.

Ask God, then, to grant you a pure heart that has an aversion not only for the most grievous sins, but also for whatever can stain your conscience.

October 29, 2012

I believe you, my God, became a child for love of me. You were born in a stable in the dead of winter. You lay on hay and straw. Your love for me reduced you to such poverty.

You could have been born in an abundance of riches and honours and in the most magnificent palace. At your birth you could have taken possession of the kingdoms of the world, because they belonged to you. But you preferred not to profit from these rights.

Your infinite wisdom judged that it was much more to my advantage to give me the example of the life which I must lead, the road which I must follow to reach true glory, to enjoy spiritual and heavenly wealth.

I do this by detachment from the perishable goods of the earth and of false and ephemeral honours.

You know, Lord, how my proud, avaricious, and sensual nature inclines me to these things.

October 22, 2012

Now is the time for little speech and much action. Let your aim be to become very silent and very humble and to apply yourself to prayer.

To do this you need little thinking, little desiring and little understanding; yet it is the way to live at peace.

You will find silence very useful, even a very necessary virtue, if you are to adore God, serve him in spirit and in truth and resist temptations.

You must learn how to be silent and to speak only when necessary. Always remain silent when others annoy you, and let God alone be the witness of your innocence.

Take care never to justify yourself, but, on the contrary, admit that you were wrong, without of course telling an untruth.

October 15, 2012

You should be guided in what you do by your rules, not by those who transgress them. Let people think what they wish of you, and do not be troubled, provided you are doing what you ought.

Slackness and rationalizing will lead you into many faults. From now on, look on your rules as an explanation and an application of what is contained in the Gospels. The spirit of faith will lead you to give practical application to this frame of mind.

In all matters I advise you to act as being in the presence of God and not to please others. To take pains that others have nothing to reproach you with and not to be concerned about God is to act as a hypocrite, and not as a Christian.

October 8, 2012

Take a short recreation every day so that you may afterwards resume your duties with greater affection and application. Look upon this relaxation as similar to that which our Lord sometimes accorded his Apostles. Be careful not to become dissipated and do not lose sight of the presence of God. Does your tongue cause you some disquietude of conscience during this time? Be moderate in your conduct and observe discretion in your words.

October 1, 2012

Your work does not consist in making your disciples to be Christians, but in helping them to be true Christians. It would avail them little to have received baptism if they did not live according to the Christian spirit. To give this spirit to others you have to possess it well yourself. Recognise what this requires of you. It is without doubt to put into practice the holy Gospel.

September 24, 2012

When giving an opinion, you must be careful not to maintain it stubbornly, for you should not be so sure of your ideas as to think them incontrovertible. It would also be very unseemly to argue in order to make your opinions prevail because you should not be so firmly attached to your ideas that you refuse to yield to those of others.

You should be very careful not to grow angry or abusive in order to force others to adopt your point of view. It is neither courteous nor wise to use emotion to make others accept your position as reasonable. Nor should you ever blame others or ridicule what they have said.

You show the characteristic of a well-mannered person when you esteem and praise the ideas of others.

September 17, 2012

Be sure to be warmly affable toward everyone, to speak to and to answer everyone with a very great gentleness and deference, keeping in mind the way Our Lord spoke and replied to others, even when he was most harshly treated.

September 10, 2012

I do not fail, nor shall I fail, to pray to God for you, my very dear Brother, that he may keep you in your vocation. You will give me great pleasure if you also pray for me. The affection with which you write to me touches me very much. I am very grateful for the concern you have for my health. Please God he will give you the best of health and make you truly holy.

September 3, 2012

St. Gregory suffered through his life with extreme patience. The only remedy he used in all his suffering was recourse to prayer; in this he found great support.

When elected Pope, he immediately took to flight, but finally accepted the responsibility despite his feelings. Nevertheless, with unflagging zeal, despite his great infirmities, he worked to procure the good of the Church by his preaching, by his writings, and by his constant solicitude.

After he became Pope, he sent out evangelical labourers to preach the faith to unbelievers and to instruct them in our religion. By such conduct he showed that it was only his humility that made him flee the papacy, because once he had accepted it, his zeal led him to accomplish great things for the cause of religion.

August 27, 2012

Since God has called you to your ministry in order to procure his glory and to give children the spirit of wisdom, you will give an account of how well you have instructed those who have been under your guidance.

You will give account to God whether you have been exact to teach catechism; whether you have not neglected some students because they were the slowest, perhaps also the poorest; and whether you did not show favouritism toward others because they were rich, or pleasant, or naturally possessing more lovable qualities than the others.

August 20, 2012

St. Bernard was brought up so well by his mother that in a short time he acquired a solid piety, and displayed all sorts of virtues. These made him known through the whole Church, winning for him the respect of everyone. So high was the esteem he enjoyed that as Abbot of Clairvaux he was followed by a great crowd of people who came to place themselves under his direction.

This made him so venerated by bishops, princes and the people that no one undertook any important project without coming to him for his advice and judgment. The more he tried to keep hidden, the more people came to him.

Virtue cannot hide. When it is seen, it draws all hearts. The example it gives makes such a strong impression that those who see it, or hear about it, are led to imitate it.

August 13, 2012

The zeal shown by St. Cassian cannot be praised too much. The Emperor Julian the Apostate had forbidden any Catholic to teach youth. St. Cassian nonetheless thought that he could not take on a work more useful for the Church than that of a schoolteacher. He devoted himself with all possible care to instruct children, and while teaching them reading and writing, he trained them in piety.

The emperor, for his part, was working to destroy religion by destroying schools, and this saint was trying to establish religion through the education of the young.

How often it happens that work which people consider lowly produces much more good than the most brilliant work. Look upon your work as one of the most important and most excellent in the Church, for it is one most able to strengthen it by giving it a solid foundation.

August 6, 2012

In today’s Gospel Jesus Christ proposes to us an example of Charity. Charity is kind. Indeed, it is not by scolding, murmuring, complaining about or quarreling that we show our love and union. It is by speaking in a kind and affable way. A kind word, says the wise man, turns away wrath, while a harsh reply stirs up fury.

For this reason Our Lord said to his apostles: Blessed are those who show kindness toward others, for they shall possess the land. This means the whole earth, because those who possess the hearts of others do possess the whole earth, which is what persons whose temperament is kind and moderate easily achieve. They gain entry so well into the hearts of those with whom they speak and relate that they win them over little by little.

July 30, 2012

Apply yourself often to remember the presence of God. Look upon this practice as your greatest happiness. Your recollection and self-control should be great enough for you to achieve this. They will be for you a means of overcoming yourself in times of temptation by inspiring you to have continually in mind the will of God.

July 23, 2012

Let people think what they wish of you, and do not be troubled, provided you are doing what you ought.

I advise you to act as being in the presence of God and not to please others, because you know that to take pains that others have nothing to reproach you with and not to be concerned about God is to act as a Pharisee and a hypocrite, and not as a Christian.

July 16, 2012

To speak prudently you must consider whether it is the proper time for speaking or for remaining silent. It is imprudent and thoughtless for you to talk when you are prompted by just the mere desire to talk.

In order to let us know in a few words who the people are who speak with wisdom and prudence and who those are who speak imprudently, the Wise Man gives us this admirable rule: “the hearts of fools are in their mouths, and the mouths of the wise are in their hearts” (Eccl 21:26).

July 9, 2012

Jesus Christ assures us explicitly that all that we ask for we shall receive. Prayer has this efficacy of itself; this is precisely what God promises us. The more we ask of him, the more he gives, because he takes great delight in granting our prayers.

Whatsoever you ask in prayer with faith, says Jesus Christ, you will receive. He says all whatsoever, and he makes no exceptions. Would anyone believe that faith would have such an effect if the Son of God, who is truth itself, had not assured us of this?

July 2, 2012

Let your faith be an active faith, enlivened by charity and detaching you from all things. In other words you should take great care to be always ready to lose all rather than God; to abandon all rather than the divine will; and to sacrifice all honor, health, and life itself for God’s glory and interests.

June 25, 2012

The children who come to you either have not had any instruction or, if they have received some good lessons, bad companions or their own bad habits have prevented them from benefiting. God sends them to you so that you may give them the spirit of Christianity and educate them according to the maxims of the Gospel.

You have reason to be ashamed if you have to teach these children what you do not know yourself or exhort them to practice what you do not do yourself. Ask God, then, to give you what you need in full measure, namely, the Christian spirit and deep religious convictions.

June 18, 2012

How shall I dare to be in the presence of God without respect and without reverence! What! If the presence of a king restrains all the movements of the body and of the soul in such a way that one does not make a single one without circumspection, out of respect for the dignity and personality of the king, shall we forget the worship and reverence due to God in whose presence we always are?

Give me the grace that the thought of your holy presence may occupy me always, so that, being always in your holy presence, I may not pass a single moment without thinking of you.

une 11, 2012

When this saint was put to the work of preaching, it became apparent that God had placed his holy word in his mouth. For when he preached all his hearers were filled with admiration, and he brought about surprising conversions. He succeeded so well in this ministry because he had prepared himself for it by seclusion and prayer.

You need to live in seclusion in order to learn the knowledge of salvation which you have to teach others. In that way you must learn how to speak about God, and be able to speak about him effectively.

June 4, 2012

We can make an act of faith in the presence of Our Lord in the church in the Most Blessed Sacrament. It is here, truly, that Jesus makes his dwelling place. I must consider myself happy to be there often, to keep you company and to fulfill my obligations to you. Although you may be veiled from my eyes, yet you are there as great, as powerful, as adorable, as lovable as you are in heaven. Because you are the same God and because you are equally present in both places.

May 28, 2012

Let us admire the promptness with which the Blessed Virgin went to visit her cousin St. Elizabeth as soon as she learned the will of God. Her promptness drew down God’s blessings on her visit. We should consider ourselves blessed when we are visited by God through his inspirations.

Since you have the honor of being visited by God every day in prayer and often by Jesus in Holy Communion, make sure that their visits to you are not useless.

May 21, 2012

It is this sacrament and the reception of the Eucharist that will support you in your difficulties, and you should regard it as a great happiness to receive the Eucharist frequently. You should take steps to correct yourself of your faults, but it would be an even greater fault not to receive Communion.

May 14, 2012

This holy disciple was admitted among the number of the apostles only after a common prayer was recited publicly by St. Peter in the name of all the apostles and disciples who were praying together in the same place.

This shows us that in all we do for the glory of God, we should undertake nothing without praying to ask God for the light and grace we need to succeed in whatever we undertake for him.

May 7, 2012

When you find the practice of virtue difficult, you must strive to make it become easy by applying yourself to prayer.

Prayer, says St. Chrysostom, is a divine medicine which drives out of our hearts all the malice it finds there and fills them with all justice.

This is why, if we wish to deliver ourselves from sin, we cannot do anything better than to devote ourselves to prayer.

April 30, 2012

Ask and you shall receive. Since God wants to give us his grace, he has provided us with a sure means to obtain them, namely, prayer.

We are so subject to temptation that as Job says, our life is a constant temptation. This made St. Peter say that the demon, our enemy, like a roaring lion, is always roaming around us seeking endlessly some way to devour us. It is prayer that puts us in a position to resist him.

April 23, 2012

You share in the ministry of the Guardian Angels by making known to children the truths of the Gospel, which you have been chosen by God to announce.

Your zeal must go so far in this that in order to achieve it, you are ready to give your very life, so dear to you are the children entrusted to you.

It is your duty, then, to admonish the unruly, and to do this in such a way that they give up their former way of life; you must rouse up those who lack courage, support the weak, and be patient toward all.

April 16, 2012

Decorum requires that as a Christian you should never utter a single word which is contrary to the truth or to sincerity, or which shows disrespect for God or a lack of charity for your neighbor.

April 9, 2012

Be convinced that it is a great misfortune not to experience any temptation, because this is a sign that you do not overcome yourself in any way.

April 2, 2012

Each mystery, has a spirit which is special to it.

The spirit of the mystery of the Incarnation, for example, is charity, since it is through charity and love for us that the eternal Father has given us his only Son, that the Son himself has become incarnate, and that the Holy Spirit has brought about this mystery.

The Spirit of the mystery of the Birth of Our Lord is the spirit of childhood. The Son of God having come into this world, as St. John says, has given to all who have received him, the power of becoming children of God.

March 26, 2012

Jesus Christ was not content with having a lifelong desire to die for us. When he saw the time of his death approaching, he testified to his joy. This is what made him say to the apostles when he celebrated the Last Passover with them. He knew that this was to be the last meal he would eat with his apostles before suffering and dying for us.

March 19, 2012

Teachers will always use a moderate tone when they give any instructions, as well as on all other occasions when they need to speak to all of the students together. They will never speak either to any student in particular or to all in general until they have carefully thought about what they have to say and unless they consider it necessary.

March 12, 2012

You realize how important it is to follow the inspirations that come to you from God. They are precious and it is to them that God ordinarily attaches his graces. He does not mean for them to be given to you for no purpose. So those inspirations that God gives us are to be valued, and he grants his graces only insofar as we are faithful in following them.

March 5, 2012

When we find ourselves in some particular and extraordinary need, or in some violent temptation, it is a great and powerful means, in this need, and to conquer the temptation by which we are strongly assailed, to address ourselves to Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

Feb. 27, 2012

Since you are ambassadors and ministers of Jesus Christ in the work that you do, you must act as representing Jesus Christ himself. He wants your disciples to see him in you and receive your instructions as if he were giving them to them. They must be convinced that your instructions are the truth of Jesus Christ, who speaks with your mouth, that it is only in his name that you teach, and that it is he who has given you authority over them.

Feb. 20, 2012

The effect that the reception of the ashes should produce in you is to make penance a part of all your behaviour, to make you fast with your eyes, your tongue, and your heart:

·your eyes, by great recollection;

·your tongue, by an exact silence,

·your heart, by renouncing all thoughts which might draw you away from communing with God.

Feb 13, 2012

Those who teach are only God’s voice. The word which makes God known to those whom they instruct must come from him. It is he who speaks in teachers when they explain him and what is related to him. This is why St. Peter says, if any speak, let it always be clear that God is speaking by their mouth.

Feb. 6, 2012

Take care never to let anything harsh be seen in your appearance; you should rather manifest wisdom, kindness, and good will.

Jan. 30, 2012

If we have esteem for worldly things, it should only be in so far as they relate to God, because we are rightly convinced that God is present in all things and that all things are nothing except in so far as God dwells in them.

Jan. 23, 2012

To live in a community that is faithful to the Rule is to live in the boat with Jesus and his disciples. There they are protected from the waves of the stormy sea of this world. Still, they are not entirely safe from all difficulties and temptations. Of these, the most dangerous and most hurtful are those which lead us to fail in obedience, or to obey in a faulty manner.

Jan. 16, 2012

The more anxiety and temptation you experience, the more you should have recourse to Communion, which is a sure remedy to ease your anxiety and weaken your temptations.

Jan. 9, 2012

Teachers: You will do well to work hard at your lessons in religious instruction. To give them well, you must begin courageously, even giving them poorly, for no one does anything well the first time. As long as you teach your students to the best of your ability, you can have a clear conscience in the matter.

Jan. 2, 2012

Bad companions are so dangerous, especially in youth, that there is nothing to which you should pay more attention than to prevent those you teach from keeping such company. Nor is there anything you should recommend more strongly to them than to become close friends with the best of their companions, the most pious and the best behaved.

Dec. 12, 2011

We make an act of adoration by recognising God as our Creator and sovereign Lord. And by keeping ourselves in a profound respect in His holy presence, conscious of our baseness and even of our nothingness, of our dependence on God, of our unworthiness to enjoy the advantage and happiness of His holy presence.

Dec. 5, 2011

You are under the obligation to instruct the children of the poor. You should, therefore, cultivate a very special tenderness for them and supply their spiritual needs as far as you are able.

Nov. 29, 2011

The main reason why the just themselves will fear while awaiting the Last Judgement is that we will have to give an account not only of the idle words we have spoken, but even of the good works we have performed. God will probe them to see if they were truly good, and whether anything defective can be found in them.

Who of us, then, will not fear God’s Judgment? Let us constantly strive to free ourselves of our defects, for we cannot know either the day or the hour when we shall die. Those whose life span is so uncertain should not delay to take the steps needed to insure their salvation.

Nov. 14, 2011

Consider that the fruit you will derive from holy Mass will depend very must on the dispositions with which you assist at it. Purity of heart and of the affections is the best disposition we can bring to this action.

Oct. 24, 2011

There are many people who demand miracles and prodigies from themselves. They would like to do everything well and without reproach. But they do not want to take the trouble to attain this.

Whenever they have to do violence to themselves to realize their grand plan, they lose breath, so to speak, at the first step they take in the path of perfection. They would want God to carry them without their having to advance. That certainly would be a great miracle.

Oct. 17, 2011

Spoken words pass on and touch hearts only once and momentarily, but written words which last forever are able to convert a great number of souls.

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