My laptop seems to have partially survived (thank You God) an involuntary attempt to install java (handle on a coffee cup broke, spilling the contents on the keyboard and requiring it to be left off for 72 hours). So I was able to expand my readings this weekend. Doing my readings, I found little nuggets of insight that I just want to share. It's a reminder of the treasure trove of graces that God provides us through His servants.
Cardinal John Henry Newman
You sometimes hear, for example, of Catholics falling away, who will tell you it arose from reading the Scriptures, which opened their eyes to the “unscripturalness,” so they speak, of the Church of the Living God. No; Scripture did not make them disbelieve: (impossible!) they disbelieved when they opened the Bible; they opened it in an unbelieving spirit, and for an unbelieving purpose; they would not have opened it, had they not anticipated, I might say hoped, that they should find things there inconsistent with Catholic teaching. They begin in pride and disobedience, and they end in apostasy.
(Discourses addressed to Mixed Congregations p162-163)
Pope John Paul I
A certain British preacher MacNabb, speaking in Hyde Park, had spoken of the Church. When he finished, someone asked to speak and said: “Yours are fine words. But I know some Catholic priests who did not stay with the poor and became rich. I know also Catholic husbands who have betrayed their wives. I do not like this Church made of sinners." The Father said: “There’s something in what you say. But may I make an objection?”—“Let’s hear it.”—He says: “Excuse me, but am I mistaken or is the collar of your shirt a little greasy?”—He says: “Yes, it is, I admit.”—“But is it greasy because you haven’t used soap, or because you used soap but it was no use?” “No”, he says, I haven’t used soap.”
You see. The Catholic Church too has extraordinary soap: the gospel, the sacraments, prayer. The gospel read and lived; the sacraments celebrated in the right way; prayer well used, would be a marvellous soap, capable of making us all saints. We are not all saints, because we have not used this soap enough.
(Audience, September 13, 1978)
Archbishop Charles Chaput
Tolerance is a working principle that enables us to live in peace with other people and their ideas. Most of the time, it’s a very good thing. But it is not an end in itself, and tolerating or excusing grave evil in a society is itself a grave evil. The roots of this word are revealing. Tolerance comes from the Latin tolerare, “to bear or sustain,” and tollere, which means “to lift up.” It implies bearing other persons and their beliefs the way we carry a burden or endure a headache. It’s actually a negative idea. And it is not a Christian virtue. Catholics have the duty not to “tolerate” other people but to love them, which is a much more demanding task.
(Render Unto Caesar p. 145)
Pope Benedict XVI
...I would insist that statistics do not suffice as a criterion for morality. It is bad enough when public opinion polls become the basis of political decisions and when politicians are more preoccupied with "How do I get more votes?" than with "What is right?" By the same token, the results of surveys about what people do or how they live is not in and of itself the measure of what is true and right.
(Light of the World, p.146)