Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach and your actions speak. We are full of words but empty of actions, and therefore are cursed by the Lord, since he himself cursed the fig tree when he found no fruit but only leaves. It is useless for a man to flaunt his knowledge of the law if he undermines its teaching by his actions.
But the apostles "spoke as the Spirit gave them the gift of speech." Happy the man whose words issue from the Holy Spirit and not from himself!
We should speak, then, as the Holy Spirit gives us the gift of speech. Our humble and sincere request to the Spirit for ourselves should be that we may bring the day of Pentecost to fulfillment, insofar as he infuses us with his grace, by using our bodily senses in a perfect manner by keeping the commandments. Likewise we shall request that we may be filled with a keen sense of sorrow and with fiery tongues for confessing the faith so our deserved reward may be to stand in the blazing splendor of the saints and to look upon the triune God. - from a sermon by Saint Anthony of Padua
When life gives us a downpour of tasks, deadlines or situations that seem too difficult to handle I try to remember this quote.
"Start by doing what’s necessary, then what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible."
St Francis of Assisi
We all need encouragement from time to time especially when we're faced with 'mountains' which we believe can't be moved.
To believe a thing impossible is to make it so. French Proverb
Impossible only means that you haven’t found the solution yet. Anonymous
Nothing is impossible, the word itself says 'I'm possible'! Audrey Hepburn
Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible to do that very thing. G. M. Trevelyan
I'm not always quick to remember these quotes but I do try, and when I remember I do find it easier to deal with the 'mountain'. One small step after another and before you know it the job is done and sometimes you've accomplished something way beyond your expectations. It is so true when St. Francis finished off his quote by saying 'and suddenly you are doing the impossible'.
It's also true when Walt Disney said
"It’s kind of fun to do the impossible."
Encourage one another.
I have been pondering a few quotes from two women with beautiful hearts, who were doers and respected dignity for all. For me, the above quote is a favoured and inspiring one from St. Mary MacKillop. It's a short and simple sentence and yet it says so much. How quick can we be to judge and criticise people for anything at all? How often would we stop to think about whether those we're criticising are in some kind of need?
There's a story of Mary MacKillop, seeing a woman sitting in the gutter went and sat with her. A companion of Mary MacKillop had assumed the woman was drunk but Mary sat in the gutter with the her and discovered that the woman needed help as she was ill. Mary then helped her to a chemist where she could get assistance.
Anything that Mary did she did because she also believed that
God gives me strength for what is necessary.
Here are some beautiful words from another doer - Mother Teresa tells us,
- God doesn’t require us to succeed, he only requires that you try.
- Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.
- If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.
- Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.
I love the above quotes from Mother Teresa. We may not be able to help everyone at all times but even doing the smallest thing could be the greatest thing we do for someone. It could become quite contagious once we begin.
More information on the great Aussie battler and overcomer Mary MacKillop can be found here.
More information on the merciful and compassionate Mother Teresa can be found here.
The beautiful heart of St. Lawrence can be found in the love and care he gave to the poor and needy, the love he had for Rome - the centre of Christianity and the seat of the Vicar of Christ; and his faithfulness to the church.
St. Lawrence of Rome was martyred in the third century during the persecutions of Emperor Valerian. He was one of the seven deacons in charge of helping the poor and carried the title of archdeacon – a position of great trust that included the care of the treasury and riches of the church and the distribution of alms among the poor. Lawrence was ‘keeper of the church’s treasures’.
During the persecution of Valerian, Pope St. Sixtus II and six deacons were condemned to death. This would leave Lawrence as the ranking Church official in Rome, but Lawrence too would follow in steps of martyrdom four days later.
The Prefect of Rome had ordered Lawrence to bring the Church's treasure to him. Lawrence said he would do this within three days. He worked swiftly to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, so as to prevent its being seized by the prefect. He then went through the city of Rome and gathered a multitude of the poor, sick, blind, crippled and suffering – these he presented to the Prefect saying “These are the true treasures of the Church!"
It was in great anger that the Prefect condemned Lawrence to a slow, cruel death. On the 10th of August, the last of the seven deacons of Rome, suffered a martyr’s death. St. Lawrence was tied to a gridiron placed over a low fire that roasted his flesh slowly.
After the saint had suffered the pain for a long time, he even joked with his torturers, "assum est...versa et manduca" - "This side is done, turn and eat". From this derives his patronage of cooks and chefs, and also of comedians.
Saint Lawrence's feast day is August 10th.
Patron saint of many … several are listed as follows -
• against fire
• laundry workers
• poor people
• stained glass workers
• vine growers
• wine makers
• 36 cities and dioceses, including Rome.
More information can be found on St. Lawrence on the Vatican website.
Note: The image of St. Lawrence is a photographic reproduction of a two-dimensional, public domain work of art. This photographic reproduction is also in the public domain. All other images are copyright of Precious Treasures.
Today we celebrate the feast day of Australia's first saint ~ Mary MacKillop.
Mary was born in Melbourne in 1842 and died in Sydney on the 8th August 1909. She responded to the isolation of colonial families and pioneered a new form of religious life to provide education for their children.
Mary and her sisters shared the life of the poor, offering special care to destitute women and children. She will be remembered for her eagerness to discover God's will in all things, and for her abiding trust in God's providence.
Pray to be ever ready for God's will, even when it takes you by surprise. 1880
Do all you can with the means at your disposal and calmly leave the rest to God. 1891
Never see a need without doing something about it.
Try to at least excuse what you cannot understand. 1877
Mary MacKillop is a source of inspiration for all Australians. She will be our first canonised saint - someone for all people of all ages and faiths. Her life was a 'teaching by example', showing us that we can be successful in anything we do if what we do is in accordance to God's perfect will.
Hers is also an example to never give up on what we believe to be worthy of undertaking - if we see a need then help out, look out for others & be kind. People will see something special in us because we are living our life as Christians. We begin to shine so as to be a light to others; and preach without preaching but by example (Cardinal Newman)
There is a commercial on TV that uses this line - "from little things big things grow" - think of how a smile from a loved one can brighten your day, then think if you were to smile to everyone you meet how you could be brightening their day.... and so on. Doing good is infectious & it will spread.
Little did either of us dream what was to spring from so small a beginning
Mary MacKillop 1891
Anything is possible if we dare to carry out our dreams with passion and with hearts desiring to love all people through the heart of Jesus.
Don't do anything from selfish ambition or from a cheap desire to boast, but be humble rowars one another, always considering others better than yourselves. And look out for one another's interest, not just for your own. The attitude you should have is one that Christ Jesus had....
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me.
Prayer by Cardinal Newamn
Help me to spread your fragrance wherever I go. Flood my soul with your Spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess my whole being so utterly that my life may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine though me and be so in me that every soul I come in contact with may feel your prescence in my soul.
Let them look up and see no longer me, but only Jesus! Stay with me and then I will begin to shine as you shine so to shine as to be a light to others.
The light o Jesus, will be all from you; none of it will be mine. It will be you shining on others through me.
Let me thus praise you in the way which you love best, by shining on those around me.
Let me preach you without preaching, not by words but by example. By the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what I do, the evident fullness of the love my heart bears for you.
A special prayer for you to say each day ......
Lord Jesus. I come before you, just as I am.
I am sorry for my sins. I repent of my sins, please forgive me.
In your name I forgive all others for what they have done against me. I renounce Satan, the evil spirits and all their works.
I give you my entire self, Lord Jesus, now and forever. I invite you into my life Jesus, I accept you as my Lord, God and Saviour.
Heal me, change me, strengthen me in body, soul and spirit.
Come Lord Jesus, cover me with your precious blood and fill me with your Holy Spirit.
I love you Lord Jesus, I Praise you Jesus.
I thank you Jesus. I shall follow you every day of my life. Amen.
Mary my mother, Queen of Peace, St Peregrine the cancer saint, all you Angels and Saints please help me. Amen.
Say this prayer faithfully, no matter how you feel, when you come to the point where you sincerely mean each word, with all you heart, something good spiritually will happen to you. You will experience Jesus, and He will change your whole life in a very special way. You will see.
1993 Servite Fathers, O.S.M.