"The first and fundamental mission that we receive from the sacred mysteries we celebrate is that of bearing witness by our lives. The wonder we experience at the gift God has made to us in Christ gives new impulse to our lives and commits us to becoming witnesses of his love. We become witnesses when, through our actions, words and way of being, Another makes himself present."
Pope Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis
"To defend the truth, to articulate it with humility and conviction, and
to bear witness to it in life are... exacting and indispensable forms of
charity. Charity, in fact, "rejoices in the truth".
Pope Benedict XVI,
Caritas in Veritate
"The saint is a medicine because he is an antidote. Indeed that is why
the saint is often a martyr; he is mistaken for a poison because he is
an antidote.He will generally be found restoring the world to sanity by
exaggerating whatever the world neglects, which is by no means always
the same element in every age. Yet each generation seeks its saint by
instinct; and he is not what the people want, but rather what the people
G.K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas: The Dumb Ox
"In the course of my intellectual life I experienced very acutely the
problem of whether it isn't actually presumptuous to say that we can
know the truth - in the face of all our limitations. I also asked myself
to what extent it might not be better to suppress this category. In
pursuing this question, however, I was able to observe and also to grasp
that relinquishing truth doesn't solve anything but, on the contrary,
leads to the tyranny of caprice. In that case, the only thing that can
remain is really what we decide on and can replace at will. Man is
degraded if he can't know truth, if everything, in the final analysis,
is just the product of an individual or collective decision.
this way it became clear to me how important it is that we don't lose
the concept of truth, in spite of the menaces and perils that it
doubtless carries with it. It has to remain as a central category. As a
demand on us that doesn't give us rights but requires, on the contrary,
our humility and our obedience and can lead us to the common path."
Pope Benedict XVI, Salt of the Earth
Help us to spread Your fragrance everywhere we go. Flood our souls with Your Spirit and life. Penetrate and possess our whole being, so utterly, that our lives may only be a radiance of Yours.
Shine through us, and be so in us, that every soul we come in contact with may feel Your presence in our soul.
Let them look up and see no longer us, but only Jesus. Stay with us, and then we shall 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 ours; It will be You shining on others through us.
Let us thus praise You in the way you love best by shining on those around us. Let us preach you without preaching, not by words but by our example, By the catching force, the sympathetic influence of what we do, the evident fullness of the love our hearts bear to You. Amen.
John Henry Cardinal Newman, "Radiating Christ"
"There is nothing colder than a Christian who does not seek to save others.
You cannot plead poverty here; the widow putting in her two small coins will be your accuser. Peter said, Silver and gold I have not. Paul was so poor that he was often hungry and went without necessary food.
You cannot plead humble birth, for they were humbly born, of humble stock. You cannot offer the excuse of lack of education, for they were uneducated. You cannot plead ill-health, for Timothy also had poor health, with frequent illnesses.
Each one can help his neighbor, if only he is willing to do what is in his power. Look at the trees that do not bear fruit: have you not noticed how strong and fine they are, upstanding, smooth, and tall? If we had a garden, we would much prefer trees with fruit—pomegranates and olives—to trees that are for pleasure, not for utility, and any utility these have is small.
Such are those men who think only of their own concerns. In fact, they are even worse: the trees are at least useful for building or for protection, whereas the selfish are fit only for punishment. Such were those foolish virgins who were chaste, comely, and self-controlled, but did nothing for anyone. So they are consumed in the fire. Such are those men who refuse to give Christ food.
Notice that none of them is accused of personal sins. They are not accused of committing fornication or perjury or any such sin at all: only of not helping anybody else. The man who buried the talent was like this. His life was blameless, but he was of no service to others.
How can such a person be a Christian? Tell me, if yeast did not make the whole mass like itself, is it really yeast? Again, if perfume failed to pervade all around it with its fragrance, would we call it perfume?
Do not say, “It is impossible for me to influence others.” If you are a Christian, it is impossible for this not to happen. Things found in nature cannot be denied; so it is here, for it is a question of the nature of a Christian.
Do not insult God. If you say that the sun cannot shine, you have insulted Him. If you say that a Christian cannot help others, you have insulted God and called Him a liar. It is easier for the sun not to give warmth or shine than for the Christian not to shed his light. It is easier for light to be darkness than for this to happen.
Do not say then that it is impossible. The opposite is impossible. Do not insult God. If we have put our affairs in order, these things will certainly come to be and will follow as a natural consequence. The light of a Christian cannot escape notice. So bright a lamp cannot be hidden."
St. John Chrysostom
The Scarlet and the Black (1983, Gregory Peck, Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud)