His hidden life

There is a mysterious lesson to be learned from the Gospel story of our Lord’s life on earth. He became man to save the human race, to instruct men, to preach His Gospel, to found a Church, to establish a doctrine and an organization that should last forever. His own life was planned in all its details by the divine wisdom for that very purpose.

Yet, how that plan contradicts our notions!

We find that, born in obscurity, He – as we might foolishly think – ‘wastes’ thirty years of His life in Egypt and Nazareth, first as the son of a workman and then as a workman himself when He grew old enough. After reaching thirty years of age, He spends three short years – He knew the duration of His life in advance – in the work of preaching His Gospel and instructing a handful of simple folk to form a nucleus of His Church. Then He allows the whole work to end in the apparent failure and shame of the Crucifixion, dying in degradation on the cross, deserted by all His followers, save only His Mother, a few women, St. John, and apparently a few friends in the crowd!

In fact the most surprising thing about His life is not what He did, but all that He left undone. And His whole anxiety seems to have been to complete His public ministry quickly in order to press on to His death. His whole reliance for the result of His life work seems to have been placed on the power and fruit of His death, rather than on the power and fruit of His life. If anything stands out from the Gospel story, it is our Lord’s zeal, rather to die for His Father’s glory than to live for it!

Let us not forget that He is our model. Very few of us, however, are called to imitate His public life. But we are called to reproduce His hidden life, according to our condition. All, too, have to learn the lesson of His preference for death rather than life, and all must be prepared to follow His example. For, if the truth can be told in a few words without exaggeration, it is not so much the extent to which we live for God that is important, as the extent and generosity with which we die for Him.

Most of us are called, like the Holy Innocents, to confess to God’s glory moriendo non loquendo – by dying rather than by living – by the interior life rather than by the active ministry. There are some souls – and their number seems to be increasing today – who are called to die the violent death of martyrdom for God. But there are a great number more who are called to die for God the slow death of humility and abandonment to His will. The trial of the first is short and sharp – that of the latter may last long years, for they shed their blood drop by drop.

We really never exactly know where God is leading us – and we must eventually give up all attempts to know. Very often our own ideas are quite wrong – we are thinking of great works for God, but God is thinking of great love from us. We do not realize the truth of the words of St. John of the Cross: ‘An instant of pure love is more precious in the sight of God, and of the soul, and more profitable to the Church than all other good works put together, though it may seem as if nothing were done’ (Spiritual canticle).

The most valuable part of our life is often that which we esteem least, and the good works in which we think to have done great things for God and His Church may have little real value in His eyes.


22 Responses to “His hidden life”

  1. 1 churchmouse January 25, 2010 at 15:24

    Hi, Gabriella — You are so right about living up to Our Lord’s example for the inner life in an everyday world. How difficult it is to achieve, especially if we are distracted by doing a great temporal act in His name which would only glorify us, not Him.

    Humility in all things and from God’s grace come all good things.

    Have a good week!

  2. 2 Ron January 25, 2010 at 15:51

    Well said, Churchmouse.
    The actions of Jesus Christ are intended for us as examples and instructions, as much as His words. As He said, “I have given you an example, that as I have done to you, so you also should do” (John 13:15) The hidden life of Jesus is for us a perfect model of humility. He lived in poverty and lowliness: the Mother He chose was a poor woman; His foster-father was a carpenter; the town in which He spent the greatest part of His life was an obscure place despised by the Jews: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (John 1:46)
    By His hidden life Jesus Christ teaches us to learn holiness and wisdom before we presume to teach others. He teaches us, by living in obscurity, to fight against our vanity, which makes us desire to be doing only what seems great and important, which makes us desire to be praised and noticed. By His hidden life Our Lord teaches us to subdue our pride, to live day after day without impatience or complaint, unknown to the world, and even despised, if that is the will of God for us; then we shall have true peace of heart. And so Jesus said, “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matt. 11:29). For long years of obscurity in Nazareth, He was just “a carpenter’s son”.

  3. 3 godamongus January 25, 2010 at 17:09

    The evidence is overwhelmingly clear that Jesus did not “come to die” as is so wrongly taught by most Christians. No one “comes to die!” Please read topic #13, “they would not have crucified the lord of glory.” Jesus came to live, restore the blessings of genesis 1:28, and to begin the long-awaited Kingdom of Heaven on the earth. His death was the will of Satan…a huge mistake by the faithless jews, beginning with John the Baptist. For unknown reasons, Christians refuse to acknowledge that John the Baptist was a complete failure, utterly faithless, and beheaded as a wager for a lap dance! John was given a crystal clear revelation directly from God as to who Jesus was; so, why does he later ask Jesus, “are you he who is to come, or should we look for another?” John the Baptist fell from prophet to puppet of Satan; and, all of the bible scholars pretend not to see the clear record of this in the bible. It is laughable!


  4. 4 Brian January 25, 2010 at 19:23

    Thank you Gabriella –

    Your thoughtful and happy reflection is a tale of Christian Hope. St. John’s words about the “Instant of Pure Love” should make all of us full of joy. We can strive to do great things, but it is many times unrealistic. But that small act of love, a smile for the sad, an embrace for the unloved, a loaf of bread for the hungry – these small acts of love open the windows wide – and the Kingdom of God comes rushing through…

    PS: March 1st I will be installed as “Acolyte.” Please pray for me! (as I will for you)

    God bless!

  5. 5 Raman Chakravorthy January 25, 2010 at 19:50

    Brian that will certainly be an unforgettable day for you. What an important event! I will join Gabriella and all her readers in praying for you.

    Jesus introduced the idea that the Christian life is a paradox: To attempt to save your life means only to lose it. A person who “saves” his or her life in order to satisfy desires and goals apart from God ultimately “loses” life. By contrast, those who willingly “lose” their lives for the sake of Christ and the Kingdom of God actually “save” their lives. To lose one’s life for Christ refers to a person refusing to renounce Christ, even if the punishment were death. What a strange paradox this is and how hard it must have been for the disciples to understand its truth the first time they heard it. Find life by losing it?

    On one occasion, Sadhu Sundar Singh, a Saint in India, and a companion were traveling through a pass high in the Himalayan Mountains. At one point, they came across a body lying in the snow. Sundar Singh wished to stop and help the unfortunate man, but his companion refused, saying, “We shall lose our lives if we burden ourselves with him.” But Sundar Singh would not think of leaving the man to die in the ice and snow.
    As his companion bade him farewell, Sundar Singh lifted the poor traveler onto his back. With great exertion on his part, he bore the man onward, but gradually the heat from Sundar Singh’s body began to warm up the poor frozen fellow, and he revived. Soon both were walking together side by side. Catching up with his former companion, they found him dead-frozen by the cold. This story clearly tells us about what “finding life by losing it” means. In the case of Sundar Singh, he was willing to lose his life on behalf of another in the name of God, and in the process found it; in the case of his callous companion, he sought to save his life but lost it.

  6. 6 Karinann January 25, 2010 at 20:25

    As always, another excellent post. Very though provoking. I guess there are many ways to die, but all of us are asked to die to ourselves and our own wills for the love of God and neighbor.
    I agree that whatever God calls us to, we have Christ as our model in how we are to respond.
    Prayers for Brian!

  7. 7 anne bender January 25, 2010 at 20:30

    Gabriella, I think this was your very best post ever! It is so full of meaning and beauty! How often I forget that I am called to live an ordinary life in my efforts to be successful in life, to be somebody. How often I forget that I already am somebody, I am a child of God and that is all that I am called to be. Thank you for lifting me up today!

  8. 8 pablo January 25, 2010 at 23:31

    Melchisedek was never born, and never died. He had no parents, and was the King of Salem. The Mystics state he laid the foundations, literally, of what would become Jerusalem. He broke bread and drank wine with Abraham as a sacrifice to God. The foretelling of the Holy Eucharist. He lived the life of a Jew. Everything he did, he did as a Jew. It was God’s will.

    Jesus the Christ, lived life as a Jew, in His childhood, and into His adult life. It should be no surprise or secret about what Jesus did growing up as a Jewish boy. He was just the best Jew ever born. He was born to die, as a sacrifice in reparation for the Sin of Adam.

    I like the story of when Jesus became lost, and Mary and Joseph searched like crazy looking for Him. I think this shows God has a sense of humor.

    It must have been a wonderful childhood for Jesus. Mother Mary holding Him to her breasts, and Saint Joseph providing such a manly example to Him.

    God bless Mary and Joseph for providing the good example of the Holy Family which we all can use as we establish our own families.

    Through the Kingdom of Christ for the Glory of God.


  9. 9 Mary Nicewarner January 26, 2010 at 00:30

    I guess the break did you good. You came back better than ever, if that is possible. This was a great post. I agree with Anne, one of your best yet:) Clearly, Jesus did come to die for us, there are prefigurations of this throughout the Old Testament. I read the comment section and would like to state that Jesus himself thought John the Baptist was the holiest among men up to that point in time. I would also like to state that Satan has no power except that which is permitted by God. And if Our Lord permits something, great good will come out of it. God bless you, Gabriella!

  10. 10 godamongus January 26, 2010 at 03:48


    You disregard the “prefigurations throughout the Old Testament” that foretold the exact opposite, that Jesus would not die. Don’t forget, all the prophets and the law prophesied until John. Faith versus faithlessness determined which side of the coin would come true; that is, King of Kings versus sacrificial lamb, 2,000 years ago. Keep in mind, God permitted Adam and Eve’s faithlessness to commit the original sin, and, a lot of human suffering continues to come out of it. Also, a lot of God suffering, as well. Genesis 6:6 – “it grieved him to His heart.” Faithlessness is NEVER the will of God. It was FAITHLESS people who did not believe in Jesus and crucified him. Judas Iscariot did not do the will of God by betraying Jesus. The bible states plainly that “Satan entered into Judas.” John the Baptist was not be-headed for testifying or leading people to Jesus. To the contrary, John the Baptist continued doing his own thing as if God had never given him a crystal clear revelation that Jesus, the sinless messiah, was walking in his midst. John could never quite stomach the idea that his younger cousin, Jesus, was ACTUALLY THE SINLESS MESSIAH. Hence, John’s faithlessness in Jesus caused his life to spiral into a meaningless beheading. Jesus is someone whom we, including John the Baptist, should “love more than our own mother and father or son and daughter.” Clearly, John’s wondering if we should “look for another” is proof that John did not love Jesus that way. If Jesus “came to die,” it would have been a whole lot simpler for Joseph and Mary to have lost faith, like John the Baptist did, in the mere dream God gave to Joseph to flee to Egypt. Joseph could have woke up and asked Mary, “should we obey the dream or look for another?” He could have dilly-dallied around and let Herod kill Jesus along with all the other babies that he killed throughout the land. No, Jesus did not “come to die.” Faithlessness, quite in contrast to the FAITH of Mary and Joseph, is why Jesus was crucified. FAITHLESSNESS is what killed Jesus; and, FAITHLESSNESS is never God’s will. FAITHLESSNESS is the devil’s workshop.

  11. 11 Cara January 26, 2010 at 10:10

    I stand with Mary.
    God among us (beautiful), your thoughts seem to me rather senseless – they have never been confirmed by our great saints, theologians and doctors and the wise who continuously study the Gospels.

    St. Thomas Aquinas refers to the Incarnation (which includes the passion) as necessary insofar as it was the most fitting way to restore our souls, but was not necessary in the absolute sense, as the Almighty God could have restored our soul in many number of ways.
    Here’s the reference, from the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas: (ST, III, 1, 2)

    St. Anselm of Cantebury’s work “Cur Deus Homo” also described the necessity of the incarnation and death of Christ. In Bk II, chapter XVII, the following is affirmed: “How he did not die of necessity, though he could not be born, except as destined to suffer death.”

    St. Anselm contrasts “necessity” with “voluntariness.” Jesus was not constrained to die, but gave up his life voluntarily. “For that is improperly called necessity which involves neither compulsion nor restraint.” (St. Anselm, ibid., ch. X).

    Christ death was necessary in the sense that it was most fitting. It was not necessariy in the sense of compulsion, but completely voluntary. He laid down his life for us. It was not taken from Him.

    How does his giving up of his life atone for our sins now? “Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Pet 4:8)

    God bless you all.

  12. 12 Rachel January 26, 2010 at 10:40

    Great post, Gabriella. Love the conversations that go on in your blog, so civilized, never rude, so Catholic! 🙂

    Pablo, I love your comments 🙂
    especially those you made for the post “Marriage – a perfect partnership”, I wholly agree with you about the compass gone awry….

  13. 13 Godamongus! January 26, 2010 at 16:57


    Jesus stated in John 3:14, “And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up.” Keep in mind that the reason Moses had to go through the exercise of lifting a serpent up on a pole in the wilderness was because of the FAITHLESSNESS of the jews in the wilderness. Their faithlessness was not God’s will, so, fiery serpents came to kill them. As a plan “B” provision, God allowed Moses to “lift up” the serpent on a pole so that all those who believed in it would be saved from being killed. In like manner, according to Jesus, the son of man would have to be lifted up…once again…because of similar FAITHLESSNESS by the jews. If the chosen people had been Faithful in the sinless messiah, as was God’s will for them and why He sent prophets to prepare them, then Jesus would never have been crucified just as the jews in the wilderness would never have been subjected to fiery serpents. The crucifixion was a direct consequence of faithlessness in Jesus. God did not prepare the Jewish nation for the purpose of killing the sinless messiah. Yet, God has to adjust His providence based upon either a faithful response or a faithless response by human beings. If it were God’s primary plan for Jesus to just “come and be killed,” Jesus never would have said, “you did not know the time of your visitation.” He never would have said from the cross, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” He would have merely shouted from the cross with glee, “Father, aren’t they wonderful for doing exactly what you wanted them to do!” Everything could have been accomplished 2,000 years ago and there would be no need for the second coming. FAITHLESSNESS IS NEVER GOD’S WILL AND ALWAYS RESULTS IN VERY NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES. FAITHLESSNESS IS THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP. Don’t forget, humans can do things contrary to God’s will…just look at Adam and Eve’s faithlessness. Don’t forget, it was NOT God’s will for them to eat the fruit; yet, they did it anyway. Similarly, it was not God’s will for the prepared, chosen nation of Israel to REJECT the sinless messiah through their FAITHLESSNESS; yet, they did it anyway! The bottom line is that Jesus did not have to die, nor shed any drop of blood, to redeem or forgive our sins while he was alive…that’s what he was doing until he was betrayed and crucified as a ransom to redeem a faithless humanity.

  14. 14 Cara January 26, 2010 at 18:08

    Isaiah 52:14 declares, “Just as there were many who were appalled at Him—His appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.” Jesus suffered most severely throughout the trials, torture, and crucifixion (Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19). As horrible as His physical suffering was, it was nothing compared to the spiritual suffering He went through. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus had the weight of the sins of the entire world on Him (1 John 2:2). It was sin that caused Jesus to cry out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). So, as brutal as Jesus’ physical suffering was, it was nothing compared to His having to bear our sins and die to pay the penalty for them (Romans 5:8).

    Isaiah predicts Jesus’ suffering in clear language: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3, 5). Psalm 22:14-18 is another powerful passage predicting the suffering of the Messiah: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint. My heart has turned to wax; it has melted away within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth; you lay me in the dust of death. Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet. I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”

    Why did Jesus have to suffer so badly? Some think that Jesus’ physical torture was part of His punishment for our sins. To some extent, this is true. At the same time, the torture Jesus underwent speaks more of the hatred and cruelty of humanity than it does of God’s punishment for sin. Satan’s absolute hatred of God and Jesus was surely a part of the motivation behind the relentless torture and abuse. The suffering heaped on Jesus is the ultimate example of the hatred and rage sinful man feels toward a holy God (Romans 3:10-18).

  15. 15 godamongus January 26, 2010 at 20:28

    The key question we must ask is, was it God’s will for Adam and Eve to eat the fruit and commit the original sin? Of course not! They enacted the will of the serpent. For a moment, let our imagination fathom the outcome had they enacted God’s will. Wouldn’t they have enacted the blessings of Genesis 1:28 – To be fruitful, multiply, replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth? Of course, and they would have done it without sin. There would have been no need, ever, for a “sinless” messiah or savior, because, all humanity would be sinless. The word (or logos) would have been incarnated and made flesh in each person comprising humanity, each reflecting a unique God-identity. The “Kingdom of God” would have started with Adam and Eve, as the original trinity. But, the word never became flesh in Adam, Eve, and their descendants because of sin.

    Through a faith-building process over many generations of Adam’s descendants, God recreated a baby born free of the original sin, a 2nd Adam, in no way different from the first. Both were sinless men, nothing more, nothing less.

    Jesus never became faithless, like Adam did. Jesus is the only human being in history to have lived a sinless, morally pure life that allowed the word (or logos) to manifest perfectly. And, he wanted to expand that sinless state of being to every single human that has ever lived and that will ever live, if they will believe in him.

    There have been 2 hindrances in history that have slowed down the process of achieving a sinless humanity: 1. The original sin of Adam and Eve spread to all their descendants. 2. The crucifixion of Jesus, the sinless messiah. Yes, Jesus knew this and that is why he tried every single thing possible to bring people to his way of life, not to kill him, but to have faith in him, while he lived. That is why he prayed, sweating blood, for the cup to pass from him, not because he was a coward, but because he knew God’s primary will for him was to catch root like a mustard seed among the FAITHFUL, chosen nation. He also listened to God when God told him that the chosen nation had fallen in to utter FAITHLESSNESS and were, thus, claimed by Satan.

    For a moment, let our imagination fathom what could have happened had Israel had faith in and united with Jesus, rather than despise, reject and crucify him. After all, Isaiah 9:6-7 states, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

    Keep in mind, that is a prophecy that could have come true 2,000 years ago. Matthew 11:13 clearly states, “For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.” Not BEYOND John…UNTIL John. Hence, Is 9:6-7 had just as much probability of occurring 2,000 years ago as Is 52:14, the key to which future would unfold was FAITH versus FAITHLESSNESS by the chosen nation of Israel.

    Yes, Jesus suffered spiritually, he was forsaken by God. God cannot dwell in Godlessness and sin; yet, because God loves all humanity, God GAVE Jesus (his only begotten son – but, not the only son God wants, clearly God wants each of to be His sons and daughters, growing each of us to the spiritual level of Jesus) to Satan as swap, payment, or ransom for the faithlessness of the chosen people. If God had not done this, we can only imagine what Satan could have done with a world of faithless people who won’t listen to the sinless messiah. What a nightmare scenario.

    The beauty is that Jesus never lost faith, never sinned, HE DID IT!!!! He subjugated Satan. He showed us the way; that is, as much as he could given what he had to work with out of all that was available had the world united and had faith in him 2,000 years ago. Yes, even while hanging on the cross, even when he descended into hell full of the sin of the world, Jesus never lost faith, never yielded his spirit to Satan, even though the ransom for the FAITHLESSNESS of Israel was that he had to yield his flesh to Satan, and be scourged and crucified. A sinless human can never be defeated by an angel or any other part of the creation. Hence, Jesus spirit remained sinless, pure, and full of faith in God. God raised Jesus from hell on the purity of his faith to a mansion waiting for all humans who embody his lifestyle through faith and belief in him.

    We await his return in that spirit.

    Gabriella, that is an excellent post and I appreciate you allowing all of us to express and examine each others ideas here as well as your own. It is nice finding spiritual and meaningful discussion such as what you have here.

  16. 16 godamongus January 26, 2010 at 20:43

    correction – a sinless, “fruitful” human full of faith can never be defeated by Satan or any other part of the creation.

  17. 17 pablo January 27, 2010 at 00:16

    It is easier to trace the flight of an eagle than it is to follow God’s Will.

    We will never understand fully in this world. The Truths we are to believe are to come from Holy Mother Church; Christ has spoken through Holy Mother Church and her Magisterium.

    Holy Mother Church instructs us we do not know the hour of our death, but we can know when we will die. We will die when we have accepted or refused the last Grace God has appointed in the measure of our life. We will die when we have either committed or refused to commit the last sin allocated to our life.

    Traditional Roman Catholic Catechism. A good thing to have.

  18. 18 Jeffrey Low January 27, 2010 at 08:59

    A very good and important thing to have, Pablo 🙂
    The modern catechism lacks much doctrine and is primarily written for children.

  19. 19 Cathy January 27, 2010 at 13:15

    I simply want to say thank you for this most thought provoking reflection. I will be considering these words and those who have commented. Wishing you a grand day! On this note I will be off to pray my rosary and reflect on those mysteries!!

  20. 20 Barbara January 29, 2010 at 11:38

    You have given me much to reflex upon.

    Thanks as always for making me contemplate on the scriptures and your words of wisdom.


  21. 21 Maria January 29, 2010 at 12:18

    Thank you for this post, Gabriella. Well written, well thought out. Gives me a lot to think about for today.

  22. 22 donna April 22, 2010 at 10:35

    godisamongus[ronald johnson]i”m so sadden to say, past away feb.02,2010 at the age of 53.I loved him so very much ,keep him in your prayers,he will be forever missed Donna Williams my e-mailed is williams4996@att.net if you have any questions

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Another beautiful day! Praise the Lord.

January 2010
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INDIFFERENTISM is a mortal sin; a condemned heresy. That's the Catholic view of the matter. INDIFFERENTISM paves the way to MORAL RELATIVISM. I have been accused of the opposite of ‘Indifferentism’, which is defined as ‘Rigorism’, and the charge is not without some merit. I believe in a rigorous following of Church doctrine and in strict accuracy in proper Catholic catechesis, and I openly attack watered-down Catholic doctrine and catechesis whenever and wherever I encounter it. Many friends scold me saying that for me it’s either my way or the highway. But here’s the thing … it’s not my way; I didn’t make up all (or any of) the rules of Catholicism. I’ve been told “you’re too rigid in your doctrine,” as if it were my doctrine. When it comes to Catholic catechesis, there is only one Church teaching, and it is represented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m prepared to defend any item in it, against any opponent. I draw the line at ‘indifferentism’ and ‘moral relativism’. All belief systems are not the same. The ones who push it the most are the ones who seek to replace it with something less. Again, indifferentism paves the way to moral decay. Don’t let it seep into your thinking. May you please God, and may you live forever.

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(John Henry Newman)

Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.

“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)

Lo Spirito Santo

Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!


Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.

“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)

"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)

"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.