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Chiara Luce: A Life Lived to the Full   Leave a comment


Chiara Luce

Page 32 – With her friends in Sassello, Chiara Luce never wanted to be the centre of attention. She didn’t speak about her Gen experience with them, hers was not an apostolate made up of words – she just loved. “One day I asked her,” said Maria Teresa, “‘Do you tell your friends in the coffee shop anything about Jesus? Do you try to say something about God?’ She replied quite naturally, ‘No, I don’t speak to them about God.’ I looked at her and said: ‘You mean to say you don’t take the opportunity to say something?’ Chiara replied: ‘Talking about God doesn’t count for much. I have to give Him.'”

35 – The doctor’s verdict soon arrived: osteosarcoma with metastasis, one of the most painful and relentless tumors known.

37 – Only once did she ask the reason for her suffering. After the first operation she had exclaimed: ‘Why, Jesus?’ But a few moments later she said: ‘If you want it Jesus, then so do I.’

38 – “You have a marvelous light in your eyes. How come?” After a moment’s hesitation Chiara replied: “I try to love Jesus.”

43 – For three days Chiara kept perfectly still. One evening she said: ‘For me this is a little trial. it hurts and I am sorely tempted to move my thumb. So, to overcome this temptation I say that this butterfly needle is one of the thorns that Jesus had in His head.'” She even refused morphine: “It takes away my lucidity, and all I have to offer Jesus is suffering. That’s all I’ve got left. If I’m not lucid, what sense has my life got?”

44 – “You only see well with your heart, the essential things are invisible to the eyes.”

45 – (Chiara) “Love, love always, love everyone. At the end of every day we should be able to say: ‘I have always loved’.”

45 – She ran into the room straight away to find her gasping for breath and covered in sweat. “Mum, the devil came in here,” said Chiara.

45 – “I’m not used to seeing young people like you. I have always regarded your age as one of great emotion, intense joy and wild enthusiasm. But you have taught me that it’s also a time of total maturity.”

46 – Chiara Luce was lucid right to the end. She constantly refused to take any painkillers that might have reduced her capacity to think and express herself clearly.

53 – (Chiara) “You must have the courage to put aside ambitions and plans that destroy the true meaning of life, which is to believe in the love of God, and nothing else.”

55 – “Often man does not live his life, because he is immersed in times that do not exist: things that happened in the past, or which he now regrets. Man could give meaning to everything by leaving his selfishness behind and going out to others.”

55,56 – Many things unite us: congresses, meetings, songs, experiences, dances, laughing together…But there is something else I would like to do together with Chiara Luce: become a saint.”

Chiara Luce: A Life Lived to the Full
by Zanzucchi Michelle

The Roman Socrates   Leave a comment



11 – How do you think I can work with that row going on?’ An affectionate laugh accompanies the reply ‘Is it as bad as that! As far as I’m concerned, so long as they keep free from sin, they can chop wood on my back if they feel like it.’

29 – a home in which he remained as long as possible since it gave him the greatest possible freedom of movement, and because it gave him all he wanted: a position that just kept him from dying of hunger.

30 – his food, a daily handful of corn and olives;…

30 – At the end of his life the last spiritual book he had read to him was The Fathers of the Desert, a book he always considered a manual of perfection;…

40 – the pilgrims themselves, their devotion having made them vagabonds, resembled tramps rather than the devout tourists whom we call pilgrims today.

72 – the Philippian ideal; neither speeches nor arguments can awaken a living faith in those for whom Christianity has lost its meaning.

75 – It was the most difficult thing in the world to persuade him to take a little rest, delegate some of his duties or add something to a diet which made that of a Trappist, by comparison, seem positively festive.

75 – It is a mystery how he could spend so long there in winter without freezing to death.

83 – Such things were of almost daily occurrence, and were so well known that one of his younger disciples, when tempted to sin, was able to resist by merely saying to himself, ‘No, Father Philip would know at once.’

85 – he sent Baronius to a wineshop to sample all the wines before buying half a bottle; to make it all the worse he had to offer a gold piece in payment and ask for change.

87 – The only antidote to the deadly seriousness into which pride can lead us is, when all is said and done, the joyful simplicity of the children of God.

The Roman Socrates
by Rev. Louis Bouyer
Translated by Michael Day

Posted March 23, 2015 by Mr. Merrick in Books, Saints

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Story of a Soul   Leave a comment



27 – ‘How is it that God can be present in a small host?’ The little one said: ‘That is not surprising, God is all powerful.’ What does all powerful mean?’ ‘It means He can do what He wants!’

27 – “Here, my little sisters, choose; I’m giving you all this.” Celine stretched out her hand and took a little ball of wool that pleased her. After a moment’s reflection, I stretched out mine saying: “I choose all!” and I took the basket without further ceremony.

27 – I fear only one thing: to keep my own will…

28 – The little one will be all right too, for she wouldn’t tell a lie for all the gold in the world.

71,72 – When reading the accounts of the patriotic deeds of French heroines, especially the Venerable JOAN OF ARC, I had a great desire to imitate them; and it seemed I felt within me the same burning zeal with which they were animated, the same heavenly inspiration.

72 – I don’t count on my merits since I have none, but I trust in Him who is Virtue and Holiness.

74 – the eternal riches that one can so easily amass each day, and what a misfortune it was to pass by without so much as stretching forth one’s hand to take them.

77 – Had not Therese asked Him to take away her liberty, for her liberty frightened her?

84 – I have heard it said that one cannot meet a pure soul who loves more than a repentant soul; ah! how I would wish to give the lie to this statement!

85,86 – things it would have been better for me not to hear because vanity slips so easily into the heart. One lady said I had pretty hair; another, when she was leaving, believing she was not overheard, asked who the very beautiful young girl was. These words, all the more flattering since they were not spoken in my presence, left in my soul a pleasurable impression that showed me clearly how much I was filled with self-love.

87 – I knew how to speak only to Him; conversations with creatures, even pious conversations, fatigued my soul. I felt it was far more valuable to speak to God than to speak about Him, for there is so much self-love intermingled with spiritual conversations!

99 – I heard talk of a great criminal just condemned to death for some horrible crimes; everything pointed to the fact that he would die impenitent. I wanted at all costs to prevent him from falling into hell, and to attain my purpose I employed every means imaginable.

140 – Ah! poor women, how they are misunderstood! And yet they love God in much larger numbers than men do and during the Passion of Our Lord, women had more courage than the apostles since they braved the insults of the soldiers and dared to dry the adorable Face of Jesus. It is undoubtedly because of this that He allows misunderstanding to be their lot on earth, since HE chose it for Himself.

165 – “The Lord knows our weakness, that He is mindful that we are but dust and ashes.”

179 – Jesus has no need of books or teachers to instruct souls; He teaches without the noise of words.

188 – If I were hungry, I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and the fullness thereof.

189 – …for the same God declares He has no need to tell us when He is hungry did not fear to beg for a little water from the Samaritan woman. He was thirsty. But when He said: “Give me to drink, it was the love of His poor creature the Creator of the universe was seeking. He was thirsty for love.

209 – people want exceptions everywhere on earth, but God alone hasn’t the right to make any exceptions!

221 – when especially the devil tries to place before the eyes of my soul the faults of such and such a Sister who is less attractive to me, I hasten to search out her virtues, her good intentions; I tell myself that even if I did see her fall once, she could easily have won a great number of victories which she is hiding through humility, and that even what appears to me as a fault can very easily be an act of virtue because of her intention.

222 – for there is no artist who doesn’t love to receive praise for his works, and Jesus, the Artist of souls, is happy when we don’t stop at the exterior, but, penetrating into the inner sanctuary where He chooses to dwell, we admire its beauty.

228 – Truly, when one knows very well that never will the time one lends ever be returned, one would prefer to say: “I give it to you.” This would satisfy self-love, for giving is a more generous act than lending, and then we make the Sister feel we don’t depend on her services.

234 – If it happens that I think or say something that is pleasing to my Sisters, I find it very natural that they take it as a good that belongs to them. This thought belongs to the Holy Spirit and not to me since St. Paul says we cannot, without the Spirit of Love, give the name of “Father” to our Father in heaven.

234 – When they see a soul more enlightened than others, immediately they conclude that Jesus loves them less than this soul, and that they cannot be called to the same perfection. Since when has the Lord no longer the right to make use of one of His creatures to dispense necessary nourishment to souls whom He loves?

258 – “Give me a lever and a fulcrum and I will lift the world.” What Archimedes was not able to obtain, for his request was not directed by God and was only made from a material viewpoint, the saints have obtained in all its fullness. The Almighty has given them as fulcrum:HIMSELF ALONE; as lever: PRAYER which burns with a fire of love.

Story of a Soul – Autobiography of St. Therese of Lisieux
Translated by John Clarke, O.C.D.

They Called Her the Baroness   Leave a comment


They Called Her the Baroness: The Life of Catherine de Hueck Doherty

8 – Few in St. Petersburg understood her altruistic bent. Teachers scolded her because manual labor made her hands rough and callused. “Wait a minute and listen,” Emma insisted, and when she played the piano, “her experience of having gone to the poor, the deep cries of peasants that nobody heard, was in her music.”

14 – He insisted Catherine eat the food of the country, follow the customs, and under no circumstances, he warned, should she say, “But in Russia we do it thus and so.”

19 – (Catherine) …was so moved at the realism of a crucifix that she pried the corpus off every cross she could find, placing the figures in her doll’s bed in an attempt to take away the pain.

28 – Several times during the year, Russians examined their consciences, asked forgiveness of everyone in the household, and went to church to confess their sins to a priest.

35 – “I have seen a field green with grass one day and literally stripped of every blade the next by people who had nothing else to eat. I have seen towns without a single roof on the houses because the straw of the thatching was taken to be boiled and eaten.”

37 – “I used to think that it would be an act of mercy to be allowed to kill some of the poor patients who were brought to us having half their faces blown away and limbs hanging off,” Catherine confessed, but she changed her mind when she saw how these men “showed dauntless bravery in their sufferings.”

47 – In this book you will write day by day what has happened to you. As you know I have affection for what is mine, whether it be much or little. You will hide no bad things or even thoughts from me and I hope I will never find them, in this year, in which you start your diary. – Your Boris

67,68 – He believed that one discovered God through prayer, through nature, and through the performance of ordinary duties and service to others. Tagore’s ideas reflected all Catherine had learned about God from her parents and the nuns, and in her naive enthusiasm, she impulsively asked, “How is it possible that you are not a Christian?” “Child,” Tagore replied, “I am waiting for you to become one.” The words stung, but it remained a lesson in real Christianity that Catherine never forgot.

88 – “The custom of humoring yourself, of indulging in small, unimportant acts that you believed essential to your happiness and well-being. You got rid of those,” another performer confessed. “You forgot all your funny inhibitions about what you could and could not eat.

102 – “Has God saved me from death in Russia so that I should return to bourgeois society…”

112 – My small attempts to be good look like perfection because no one else around me is trying.

115 – Life is just a joke as far as I’m concerned. And my whole soul longs for death. Yet, today, for the first time I was a little afraid of death. For what have I to bring to Christ! Empty hands – empty heart – I look back on my life and have to cry. A little good strewn here and there and everywhere, lost, submerged in the pride of heart, the lack of real charity, of love for my neighbor. And so I have to forget what has gone before and start anew as if life just started today.

123 – “We are to blame who allow conditions to exist which develop a down-trodden class!”

136 – Catherine told stories about children spitting on a crucifix during the Communist Sunday School, and about a young man who joined a Communist cell at the university “because I cannot reconcile my father’s church going with his treatment of his factory hands, because I cannot reconcile my mother’s church going and her treatment of her maid.”

167 – “No white folks live here, Lady,” the janitor told her. When Catherine replied that she was Russian, the janitor assumed she meant Communist, and knowing that Communists accepted blacks when no other white people would, he led Catherine to a tiny unfurnished apartment on the third floor.

178 – Catherine expressed surprise at the sausages, butter, and pastries Father Dlussky offered at tea time, he admitted they were artificial substitutes, created by German chemists from codfish, which was cheap and plentiful.

190 – You have found misery in our dirty neglected streets, in our shocking obscene slums? You are surprised? You are horrified? You blame Harlem for all this? Who made harlem wicked, if it is wicked? Go ask City Hall. Go ask the respectable Christians of Manhattan and the Bronx, Catholics included. Go ask the shopkeepers who fleece them. If harlem is bad, Manhattan is a thousand times worse..

199,200 – As a young priest, Sheil served as a prison chaplain, and he saw that delinquent boys were not evil in themselves, but had become victims of an evil society filled with greed, avarice, selfishness, and intolerance, a society that shirked its responsibility to young people.

233 – Doubts plagued Eddie. “What are you going to do now?” a mocking voice inside of him Taunted. “No job. No dough, unless your Russian has it. No friends. No apostolate…And probably not even a boiled potato or an onion in the house. Why don’t you turn that damn machine around, and go back to a normal life in Chicago or New York?”

256 – Even if we’re in 10,000 mortal sins, He loves us.

270 – Truly this is a tragedy beyond words…to become a dark disciple…to make a god of oneself. No wonder, therefore, that mental illness and emotional disturbance fill modern man, and send him scurrying like a cornered rat to all kinds of escapes including tranquilizers. Emptiness and boredom are his milieu. They spur him, now to a frantic frenzy of useless activity, now to a withdrawal from all reality. Symbolically this adds up to a man-made hell…

They Called Her the Baroness: The Life of Catherine de Hueck Doherty
by Lorene Hanley Duquin

Damien by Aldyth Morris   Leave a comment


Damien is a 1976 one person show about Father Damien by Aldyth Morris.

Damien is a 1976 one person show about Father Damien by Aldyth Morris. The play was originally performed in Hawaii by Terence Knapp and has had numerous professional and amateur productions since that time.

The play is set in 1936 when Damien’s body is being transported from Molokai to his native Belgium. Damien’s story is retold through a series of flashbacks.

Damien featuring Terence Knapp was broadcast nationally on PBS in the United States in 1978 and again in 1986 on American Playhouse. The broadcast received a number of recognitions including a Peabody Award.

I imagine this film would be a great fit for those of us who have fond childhood memories of those old TV shows we use to watch while lounging around on the couch. Shows such as Wild America with Marty Stouffer, This Old House with Bob Vila, The Joy of Painting, or Mr. Rodgers. However this particular piece is likely to affect you more than the charming way Mr. Vila performed his home restorations.

Note: The DVD and VHS copies of this film appear to be quite rare. I found a used DVD on ebay last year, but do not know where else they can be found at decent prices. Amazon has some sellers with low priced VHS copies along with some reviews.

play script:

The Diary of a Country Priest   Leave a comment


Diary of a Country Priest (cover)

19,20 – Poor blokes! They’ve worn everything threadbare – even sin. You can’t have a “good time” just because you want to. The shabbiest tupenny doll will rejoice a baby’s heart for half the year, but your mature gentleman’ll go yawning his head off at a five-hundred franc gadget. Any why? Because he has lost the soul of childhood.

22 – Beasts have few needs and these never vary, whereas human beings-!

26 – After all, they aren’t to blame if weekly visits to the pictures now supplement a precocious realization of sex, inevitably acquired from animals. By the time their lips could first have shaped it, the word ‘love’ had already become a thing to ridicule, a dirty thing to be hunted with shouts of laughter, and stones, much as they treat toads.

51 – …I often think of the Russians with a strange sort of inquisitiveness and tenderness. If one has known real poverty, its joys, mysterious, incommunicable – Russian writers can bring tears to the eyes.

51 – …I used to do my homework squatting behind the bar on the floor-that is to say a few rotting boards. The dank reek of earth came up between them, earth which was always wet, the reek of mud. On pay-nights our customers didn’t even go outside to relieve themselves; they would pass water where they stood, and I was so terrified, crouching behind the bar, that in the end I’d fall asleep.

55,56 – ‘Teach it to the poor?’ I whispered. ‘Ay, to the poor. God sends us to them first, and what is our message? Poverty.

61,62 – You’ve been holding forth against this woman today who has just bathed My feet with very expensive nard, as though My poor people had no right to the best scent. You’re obviously one of those folk who give a ha’penny to a beggar and then hold up their hands in horror if they don’t see him scurry off at once to the nearest baker’s to stuff himself with yesterday’s stale bread, which the canny shopkeeper will in any case have sold him as fresh. In his place those people would do just as he did: they’d go straight to the nearest pub. A poor man with nothing in his belly needs hope, illusion, more than bread. You fool!

103 – I know, of course, that the wish to pray is a prayer in itself, that God can ask no more than that of us.

104 – We take psychiatrists’ word for it. The unanimous testimony of saints is held as of little or no account.

135 – One can deceive a daughter just as well as a wife. It’s not the same. It’s worse.

154,155 – In those days I was still young and much admired. When you know you’re attractive, that whenever you choose you can love and be loved, it isn’t difficult to be virtuous, at least not for women like me. Mere pride is enough to keep us straight.

159 – What does family prestige matter to God, or dignity or culture, if it’s all no more than a silk shroud on a rotting corpse?’

184 – Why, look at my face,’ I said. ‘Surely if our Lord created it for anything, He made it to be slapped, and it hasn’t been slapped yet.’

188 – When I think of my daily fare, which would not satisfy a pauper, I find somewhat irritating this general amazement at my drinking anything besides water.

209 – ‘Keep at the little daily things that need doing, till the rest comes. Concentrate. Think of a lad at his homework, trying so hard and his tongue sticking out. That’s how Our Lord would have us be when He gives us up to our own strength.

235 – …-God, it all seems simple enough now! I was never young because no one wanted to be young with me.

244 – Injustice sustained at the exact degree of necessary tension to turn the cogs of the huge machine-for-the-making-of-rich-men, without bursting the boiler.

245 – ‘Soldiers? Call’em “army-men.” The last real soldier died on May 30th, 1431, and you killed her, you people.

259 – Keep silent, what a strange expression! Silence keeps us.

289,290 – “There be nothin’ so endurin’ as a woman,” she’d say, “she don’t go to bed till she be dyin’.”

The Diary of a Country Priest

by Georges Bernanos

Posted February 18, 2015 by Mr. Merrick in Books

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