1. Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.
2. When Ignatius understood that God did not wish him to remain at Jerusalem, he began to consider what he should do. The plan he approved and adopted was to enter upon a course of study in order to be better fitted to save souls.
3. My mind withdrew its thoughts from experience, extracting itself from the contradictory throng of sensuous images, that it might find out what that light was wherein it was bathed… And thus, with the flash of one hurried glance, it attained to the vision of That Which Is.
4. Young people are threatened… by the evil use of advertising techniques that stimulate the natural inclination to avoid hard work by promising the immediate satisfaction of every desire.
5. You desire that which exceeds my humble powers, but I trust in the compassion and mercy of the All-powerful God.
6. I believe though I do not comprehend, and I hold by faith what I cannot grasp with the mind.
7. Where a man’s heart is, there is his treasure also.
8. Sufficient for me is that honour which is not seen of men but is felt in the heart, as faithful is He who hath promised and who never lies.
9. Love proves itself by deeds, so how am I to show my love? Great deeds are forbidden me. The only way I can prove my love is by scattering flowers, and these flowers are every little sacrifice, every glance and word, and the doing of the least actions for love.
10. There is nothing evil save that which perverts the mind and shackles the conscience.
11. Teach us to give and not to count the cost.
12. The feeling remains that God is on the journey, too.
13. Be at peace with your own soul, then heaven and earth will be at peace with you.
14. One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate more terrible than dying.
15. For prayer is nothing else than being on terms of friendship with God.
16. There are people and nations, Mother, that I would like to say to you by name. I entrust them to you in silence, I entrust them to you in the way that you know best.
17. Not the power to remember, but its very opposite, the power to forget, is a necessary condition for our existence.
18. Jesus that I know as my Redeemer cannot be less than God.
19. The nation… doesn’t simply need what we have. It needs what we are.
20. The Son of God became man so that we might become God.
21. When I go to Rome, I fast on Saturday, but in Milan I do not. Do you also follow the custom of whatever church you attend, if you do not want to give or receive scandal.
22. You wish me to tell you why and how God should be loved. My answer is that God himself is the reason he is to be loved.
23. If God is slow in answering your request, or if you ask but do not promptly receive anything, do not be upset, for you are not wiser than God.
24. Do not measure your loss by itself; if you do, it will seem intolerable; but if you will take all human affairs into account you will find that some comfort is to be derived from them.
25. You say that you are my judge; I do not know if you are; but take good heed not to judge me ill, because you would put yourself in great peril.
26. Do not test out your mind on the grounds that you are examining what seductive and impure thoughts look like, imagining that, as you do this, you will not be overcome by them. Even the wise have in this way been thrown into confusion and become infatuated.
27. Many a man curses the rain that falls upon his head, and knows not that it brings abundance to drive away the hunger.
28. Mental prayer in my opinion is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. The important thing is not to think much but to love much and so do that which best stirs you to love. Love is not great delight but desire to please God in everything.
29. On the question of relating to our fellowman – our neighbor’s spiritual need transcends every commandment. Everything else we do is a means to an end. But love is an end already, since God is love.
30. I feel in me the vocation of the Priest. I have the vocation of the Apostle. Martyrdom was the dream of my youth, and this dream has grown with me. Considering the mystical body of the Church, I desired to see myself in them all.
31. Before I was humiliated I was like a stone that lies in deep mud, and he who is mighty came and in his compassion raised me up and exalted me very high and placed me on the top of the wall.
32. We should always be disposed to believe that that which appears white is really black, if the hierarchy of the Church so decides.
33. Act as if the maxim of your action were to become through your will a be general natural law.
34. I have always wanted to become a saint. Unfortunately, when I have compared myself with the saints, I have always found that there is the same difference between the saints and me as there is between a mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds and a humble grain of sand trodden underfoot by passers-by.
35. I see that already in this present world I am exalted above measure by the Lord. And I was not worthy nor such a one as that he should grant this to me, since I know most surely that poverty and affliction become me better than delights and riches.
36. You will find something more in woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.
37. We cannot both preach and administer financial matters.
38. There is always the danger that we may just do the work for the sake of the work. This is where the respect and the love and the devotion come in – that we do it to God, to Christ, and that’s why we try to do it as beautifully as possible.
39. These are fountains of salvation that they who thirst may be satisfied with the living words they contain. In these alone is proclaimed the doctrine of godliness. Let no man add to these, neither let him take out from these.
40. If a superior give any order to one who is under him which is against that man’s conscience, although he do not obey it yet he shall not be dismissed.
41. Act, and God will act.
42. A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.
43. I understood that the Church had a Heart, and that this Heart was burning with love.
44. Holy humility confounds pride and all the men of this world and all things that are in the world.
45. Children say that people are hung sometimes for speaking the truth.
46. Good masters teach good doctrine, but that taught by evil masters is wholly evil.
47. When in Rome, live as the Romans do; when elsewhere, live as they live elsewhere.
48. To maintain a joyful family requires much from both the parents and the children. Each member of the family has to become, in a special way, the servant of the others.
49. One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life.
50. The safest and most suitable form of penance seems to be that which causes pain in the flesh but does not penetrate to the bones, that is, which causes suffering but not sickness.
51. Prayer is an act of love; words are not needed. Even if sickness distracts from thoughts, all that is needed is the will to love.
52. My longing for truth was a single prayer.
53. There are people who go clad in tunics and have nothing to do with furs, who nevertheless are lacking in humility. Surely humility in furs is better than pride in tunics.
54. A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently.
55. Our souls may lose their peace and even disturb other people’s, if we are always criticizing trivial actions – which often are not real defects at all, but we construe them wrongly through our ignorance of their motives.
56. If anyone comes to me, I want to lead them to Him.
57. True, I am in love with suffering, but I do not know if I deserve the honor.
58. Action without a name, a ‘who’ attached to it, is meaningless.
59. Wishing to open my mouth, O brethren, and speak on the exalted theme of humility, I am filled with fear, even as a man who understands that he is about to discourse concerning God with the art of his own words. For humility is the raiment of the Godhead.
60. I am Patrick, a sinner, most uncultivated and least of all the faithful and despised in the eyes of many.