We are parents always on the run who rarely have the time to read long articles, let alone entire books all in one go... we like to read blog posts here and there and certainly enjoy a good quote.
There is nothing like a good, concise and well put phrase to accompany us and move us to a deeper thought!
Here are our 'Top Ten Favourite Quotes':
1. Do not be afraid, open wide the doors to Christ!
'Do not be afraid' family life is one challenge after another, made of continual 'firsts' first child, the first teen, the first communion! With Him we can face all these unknowns without fear.
2. Love is Not a feeling; it's a decision.
. Mother Angelica.
I recently Tweeted this on the occasion of the death of Mother Angelica and somebody replied that they didn't agree with this quote because 'one certainly feels a lot when is in love'. The love to which Mother Angelica is referring to is not the infatuation that belongs to the first stage of courtship! I still remember the butterflies in my tummy and that light-headed feeling of first love when I started dating Pierpaolo...
The love spoken about here is far deeper... It is to Love till it hurts like Christ did.
In Marriage as in the family there are many times when loving the other is not an easy task, where to love, to forgive, to accept humiliations and injustices is a supernatural graced decision not a feeling! Christ decided to Love us unto death and so in the family as in marriage we are constantly asked to make the same decision to truly love one another.
3. There is no greater force against evil in the world than the love of a man and a woman in marriage.
In a world where love is constantly redefined to suit the latest trend and life is under constant threat ... Cardinal Burke puts it very nicely... This creative love that naturally belongs to a man and a woman united in marriage is the key to defeat evil.
The children value highly this love and will always see and recognise the hand of God in their life and will want it for themselves too.
Today more than ever the family is under attack, the unitive and procreative love, tangible, fruitful and co-creational is such a powerful force that the world constantly tries to undermine it.
4. A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.
GK...What a legend! He is not a Saint yet, but we are all praying as a family that he may become one! As a practicing Catholic family, going against the stream seems all we ever do, but what is important is for the children to understand is that we are not going against the crowd just to be rebellious or alternative...No! What we have received, what has been entrusted to us is far more precious than what the world has to offer.
5. Waste time with your children so that they can realise that love is always free.
When we were a young family and we only had the boys, I was always comparing my self with other mothers who were always busy taking their children to this and that class... I soon came to the conclusion that they didn't need me to be a taxi driver, they needed me and my husband to be their parents and 'waste time' with them... to stop doing what we were doing and pay attention to them, to sit down on the sofa to watch a silly cartoon with them, to kneel down on the floor and have a cuddle, to go out for a 5 minute walk around the block... they did not need much, only for me to stop and really 'be' with them without asking for anything in return because it is exactly in the family that the children experience and have the first encounter with the love of God, which is generous and gratuitous!
6. Do small things with great love.
There is nothing like the experience of giving birth... I will never forget my first time, that sense of achievement, of fullness and of having survived something amazing! Once the excitement is over comes the struggle.
There is always the temptation for us mothers to feel that changing nappies, feeding the family, cleaning the house, waking up several times during the night... the list is endless... is just not fulfilling enough!
We think that we should be doing GREATER things than these.
Wrong! I keep on falling for this over and over again... and it is only in the moment in which I embrace this service for my family and receive the grace through prayer to do it with love that I have experienced fullness of joy and have clearly seen the greatness of God's plan for me.
Although we are not of this world we live in it and many times the things that the world seems to offer tend to be VERY appealing... Money, a bigger house, a better paid job, a good private school for the children... and yet this passage has always been before me... by doing the will of the Father first, the wisdom that we need in order to get closer and closer to our heavenly home will be given to us!
7. I would not pin my soul to any man's back.
Thomas More was a just man and even when, to deceive him they told him that Bishop John Fisher had signed the document against the Pope... this is how he answered! Although it is very important to have the support of the Catholic community it is vital for us to have a deep knowledge of the teaching of the Catholic Church and to stand firm in it no matter what others say.
Many times looking at some of the 'older brothers' in faith I have found myself a bit shaken and said..."Well if others can behave like that then also I..." Once again...WRONG! When unsure... always go back to the original teaching and to put yourself these questions... "What does the Church say?", "What would Jesus do?" "What did Jesus do?"... most of the time the answer is not exactly what you would want to hear, but it is certainly liberating!
8.For it is in giving that we receive.
St Francis of Assisi
Although not always easy, especially when tiredness takes over, there is nothing like giving yourself with no reservations... whether to your husband/wife, children, parents, neighbours... the graces that we gain are always greater and more fulfilling!
9.Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.
Saint Francis of Assisi (allegedly!)
Most of us are very good at talking and giving advice to those around us... but what I always say to my children and often need to remind myself is that 'actions really do speak louder than words'. For this reason it is vital for us Christians to be a TRUE example of Christ's love and God's Mercy.
Living the Gospel in the family and acting with coherence in our everyday life, whether at work, at the doctors or at the supermarket is what will draw people closer to God, not because we are great people (not only we are not but we constantly need the help of the Father), but because in us they will see the hand of the One who is the Way, the Truth and the Life and because they have tasted it and will want it for themselves and will find the way that the Father has prepared for them.
10.What does it take to become a saint? Will it.
Saint Thomas Aquinas
We have been created for greatness. In baptism we have been claimed for Christ and have become Children of God. We are all called to sainthood! In the family we constantly need to be reminded of it... Are we ready for it? Are we willing to take on the call? Most of the time my attitude is closer to the infamous quote from St Augustine... 'Lord make me pure, but not yet'!
What is your favourite quote and why?