I love the stories of the Saints and the inspiration that I always glean from their zeal for life and their love for God. They are often quoted, little catchy sayings that are so simple and yet so packed with wisdom. Some of my favorite maxims are:
- “Love spurs us on to do great things, and makes all that is bitter sweet and savory.” – St Teresa of Jesus (Avila)
- “Give me, Lord, only Thy love and Thy grace; with these I shall be rich enough; there is nothing more that I desire.” – St Ignatius of Layola
- “Love, and do what you will.” – St Augustine
- “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.” – St Francis of Assisi
- “If anyone comes to me I want to lead them to Him.” – St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Stein)
- “Be ever engaged, so that whenever the devil comes he may find you occupied.” – St Jerome
- “At the end of our life, we shall all be judged by charity.” – St John of the Cross
- “It is better to be the child of God than a king of the whole world.” – St Aloysius Gonzaga
- “May you be content in knowing you are a child of God.” – St Therese of the Child Jesus (Lisieux)
- “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta
- “Jesus, if you want it, I want it too!” – Bl. Chiara Luce Badano
- “Those who love are never tired, since love knows no burden.” – St Magdalene of Canossa*
These ‘maxims’ remind us of the road, tried and true, and shake us out of our apathy to realign us to heaven (our true aim in this life!). Within their brevity lies an underlying Gospel value that remind us of the Sacred word that has become an appendage to the Saints; the Word has shaped their view of life and of the world.
And you? What is your ‘maxim’ – or mantra – that keeps you on course in the difficult moments of your life? If you don’t have one of your own, what is one of your favorites from the saints?
—* Our Institute has a book – Thoughts – full of gems of wisdom collected from the volumes of writings of our Foundress Saint Magdalene of Canossa. We read from them every morning before breakfast a word from St Magdalene. More often than not, these brief words shed light on a current situation, to help us see through God’s lens. You can read some of her thoughts too, here. God bless!