January 19, 2008


1. Love’s first principle is knowledge.

2. Love is a unifying virtue between the lover and the beloved, which transforms one to the other.

3. Love is the foundation of every good and of every evil, of every peace and of every war, of every fear and every concern, of every fervor and enthusiasm, and of every other passion.

4. Earthly love has eyes closed and does not see; therefore, any love such as this must be suspicious.

5. He who is perfectly capable of controlling love could in every way be victorious over all passions put together.

6. He who does not restrain love through the use of reason will surely fall into the pit of sin.

7. One who is not deceived by love is divine rather than human.

8. He who has not governed love with much prayer and other spiritual exercises, and says he does not sin against it, is not worthy to be believed in.

9. We manifest our love for God in our observance of his commandments and in our readiness to obey even his smallest decree.Dec 10. One who is victorious over love is victorious over all other passions.

11. True love is the source of all perfection; false love is the source of all imperfection.

12. Sometimes the beloved does not reciprocate with the same intensity of love. But as it is,
13. Even though sometimes it seems to diminish, love always grows, since it tends toward the infinite. It is like fire that always grows stronger and becomes bigger.

14. Since every person is an image of God, His love cannot dwell in those who do not love their neighbor.

15. Worldly love aims at pleasing everyone and saddening no one. Many call this politeness, but it is simply self-praise and flattery.

16. Worldly love may seem to perceive many things, but it is actually blind because it is rooted in vanity and not in truth. Therefore, it delights in plays, recreation, and shows.

17. Worldly love is nothing more than loving oneself.

18. Self-love has no interest in leaving the comforts of this life.

19. It is difficult to free oneself from self-love; however, this should encourage us, since the more difficult it becomes, the more praiseworthy it would be.

20. If you wish to get rid of self-love, purify your intentions, and in every action, seek what is pure and what alone will give honor to God.

21. In heaven, self-love shall have no more blemish or misery. It shall be transformed into fullness of joy in God.

22. The power of Divine love exceeds all other love. As it increases, it consumes the soul, which finds its rest in God.
23. Many profess their desire to love God merely with lip service. Few, however, are those who truly want to love Him.

24. One's love for God should be limitless. Honoring God with conditions is dishonoring Him.

25. God's love for His people is the source of all their goodness. His love spurs them to reciprocate and give Him honor.

26. The reason for acquiring, preserving, and increasing Divine love lies in one's deep desire to imitate Christ and to put into practice every virtuous act.

27. Only God's love makes a person noble. Without God’s love, he is ignoble, even if he were to be lord of the world.

28. The more immersed one is in God's love, the more he grows toward perfection.

29. A holy person by despising himself truly loves himself.
30. True love of God knows no pain and fears nothing. It does not seek any reward. The lesser it seeks, the greater it receives.

31. God's love does not diminish in the midst of torment, calamity, or infamy. Instead, it increases to an even-greater degree.

January 18, 2008


February 1
I greatly desire that you become great saints, since you are well equipped to reach this goal, if you will it. All that is required is that you really mean to develop and give back to Jesus Crucified, in a more refined form, the good qualities and graces He has given you.
Letter XI, June 20, 1539

February 2
For I know the summit of perfection Jesus Crucified wants you to reach; the abundant graces He wishes to give you; the fruits He wants to gather in you; and the peak of holiness to which He wants to lead you. Letter XI, June 20, 1539

February 3
Look into my heart; I lay it open to you. I am ready to shed my blood for you provided you follow my counsels. Letter XI, June 20, 1539

February 4
If you wish to become totally self-assured, you must fight and let yourself be tested; and after having fought for a long time, you cannot leave great battles to pursue lesser ones. Letter XII, 1538

February 5
I have decided to devote myself to the care of the spiritual welfare of my neighbor. By so doing, I hope to grow in Jesus' love; and the good Lord Crucified will give me back the spiritual light and fervor, which used to keep me spiritually alive. Letter XII, 1538

February 6
With the help of Christ and of your prayers, I am confident that I will again recognize what is true from what is false, and what is certain from what is doubtful. Letter XII, 1538

February 7
O Wisdom above all wisdom! O inaccessible Light! You turn the learned into ignorant, and those who see into blind; and, on the contrary, you turn the ignorant into learned, and the peasants and the fishermen into scholars and teachers. Sermon I

Would you give your life for your neighbor's health and, then, refuse them your money? You spend your life and your property for your children; could you, then, let them die by refusing them a glass of water? Not so. In fact, those who give what is more usually also give what is less. Sermon I

February 9
You may rest assured that God, in His infinite goodness, has gathered us here above all for our salvation and our souls' spiritual progress. Sermon I

February 10
For God is a faithful and considerate dispenser of all things, and distributes His gifts to everyone according to everyone's abilities and strength. Sermon I

February 11
If a man wishes to reach God, he must proceed by steps. And so, he must go up from the first step to the second one, and from this one to the third one, and so on. He cannot, of course, begin from the second step, jumping over the first one, for his legs as well as his steps are too short. Consequently, since you have not laid the foundation, neither can you build the edifice.
Sermon I

February 12
Let us first strive to keep God's commandments, and then we will reach the liberty of the spirit. May God in his bounty grant it to us. Sermon I

February 13
I will prepare my heart for God in all truth, in all simplicity, and in all sincerity. May He dwell in my heart forever through His grace and make it His temple. Sermon II

February 14
Sanctification means to love God above all things and everything else for His sake. It means to love our friends in Him, and our enemies for Him. Sermon III

February 15
Sanctification means purity of heart and a steady cleansing of one's self. Sermon III

February 16
Sanctification means putting off the old self -- namely, the things of the lower nature and all vices, so as to walk toward the reward of the heavenly homeland. Sermon III

February 17
Sanctification means turning oneself to God both internally and externally. Sermon III

February 18
Man is god in so far as he conforms himself to God by imitating Him in doing His very deeds as much, of course, as is possible to a man. Sermon I

Do you know that your whole interior life is affected by the exterior world you come in contact with? Take for instance the faculty of love -- which proceeds from knowledge -- and you will see that one can love things never seen, but not things never known. Sermon II

February 20
If then your souls adhere to God, they become simpler and more spiritual. Sermon II

February 21
Spiritual life demands that you never turn back or stop going forward; but rather that, as soon as you taste it, you make progress day by day and, forgetting what lies behind, strain forward to what lies ahead. Sermon II

February 22
True spiritual life consists in this: that man keeps his eyes on God all the time. Long for nothing but for God, keep nothing in mind but God, begin every single action in the Lord's name, and direct it to Him. Sermon II

February 23
The Holy Spirit helps you think of God always, even in your sleep. Sermon II

February 24
Experience teaches you that if you are unable to perform the easiest duties, much less can you perform the hardest ones. Sermon II

February 25
God gives you even more than you may desire. Sermon III

February 26
It is necessary to unite ourselves with God by lifting up our hearts, praying and even contemplating. Sermon III

Externally, you turn to God by means of some Scripture reading, by reciting or singing psalms, and, besides, by offering Him sacrifices: the sacrifice of your bodies kept under control by penance for the love of God, the sacrifice of your souls eager to unite themselves with Him, but above all the sacrifice par excellence, the most holy Eucharist. Sermon III

February 28
The surest proof, then, of your return to God is that you go back to receive the Eucharistic food. …. Nothing can make you holier than this sacrament, for in it is the Holy of Holies - the Eucharist. Sermon III,

February 29
Do you want, dear friends, to become holy? Imitate Christ, imitate God: be merciful, particularly on holidays, feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, visit the sick, set the prisoners free, plan your deeds ahead of time and perform them for God's sake; have the right intention; choose the best, fulfill what is good. In all things let love impel you. Sermon III

January 16, 2008


1. There are two kind of penance, interior and exterior. The first is necessary for all sinners, the second for some is useful, for others is pernicious.

2. Penance is an agreement made with God to leave evil, and to do good. Likewise before penance one left what was good to do evil.

3. In the soul which judges and condemns itself without despairing, penance is a continuous refrain from any corporal consolation and mental delights

4. Penance means to abstain from sin, thus the one who does not care to leave every defect, but leaves sin by habit, is not a perfect penitent.

5. Penance is measured more by the proportion of true humility, than by the diversity and the measure of corporal afflictions.

6. Penance is the voluntary endurance of pains, afflictions, insults, and all tribulations.

7. The true penitent has an unquenchable thirst and hunger for justice, derisions, and any evil.

A penitent is one who judges and condemns himself from the heart regarding himself unworthy of pardon while begging justice with mercy, and so his merit is forgiven by God.

9. If you want to obtain pardon as soon as possible ask God with heartfelt humility, not so much for justice but for mercy.

10. A true penitent does not judge the aforementioned things as impossible, or as leading to desperation; those of a different opinion, should be careful because they might be a false penitent.

11. True penance excludes any self love, and without any regard for itself ends in the pure love of God, but false penance is caused by pain, or fear of death.

12. Penance always finds new ways to punish itself, to restrain gluttony, any concupiscence, and always keeps the justice of the soul.

13. The true penitent weighted so much by his sin, that he thinks that even with all the Saints, all the Angels, and with the whole world, he cannot satisfy God.

14. The true penitent keeps thinking how he has dishonored God, despised God, and mocked God, who is all perfect, all beautiful, all justice, and all graciousness. He has lost his virtues, and the spiritual riches. He is interiorly confused and so ashamed that he considers the external shame as nothing.

15. The perfect penitent says: if God does not want to forgive me, may He be forever blessed; if He wants to condemn me, and have me dead in hell, still I want to hope in him.

16. Just as those who are physically ill but sound of mind, do not seek compassion from the doctor, but a remedy to accelerate healing, the true penitent in effort to be healed again provokes meekness in God as a vengeance against himself.

17. The true penitent would not dare to call upon the mercy of God, if God had not commanded it.

18. The true penitent is not satisfied with reconciliation with God; but wants to keep growing in perfection of the virtue, and to be pleasing to God.

19. The true penitent, knowing to have used illicit things, will abstain himself even from the licit ones.

20. Do not believe the diabolic thought which says this is a little defect, this sin is of little importance, because Christ has died for each one of them.

Sin, which is not cancelled by penance right away, through its own weight, draws another sin. Indeed old sin needs a persevering penance and a lot of convalescence.

22. The penance of Christ, and of His Mother, is as different from ours as light is from darkness.

23. The penitent rises right away from a fall done out of pure ignorance, or fragility.

24. The penitent does not rise easily when he falls of his own malice, or of careless negligence, although that defect is not that grave.

25. Do not be saddened by fruitless sadness. If you fall often out of ignorance or fragility, do not despair but rise right away remembering that the just falls seven times a day and rises up.

26. Woe to the one who, after sinning, does not feel stimulated to penance but becomes steeped in crass negligence, or forgets the sin.

27. The hope of the one who says, I will do this sin and then I will repent does not posses penance.

28. Just as the malice of the impenitent sometime reaches the point of excluding any penance, so the malice of the sinner who is a penitent becomes real, so that it does not become damnable.

29. The true penance that is really acceptable to God and fruitful for men, is the mortification of the will, and of one's passions.

30. Interior penance in spiritual things is more solid and fruitful than the exterior.

31. The one who bears deprivation of interior consolation by God with a tranquil spirit is already a sharer of true penance.

32. If one willingly endures the penance sent by God, it will be without any danger and worthy of a great prize.

33. The penance sent by God, even of minimal things, but accepted willingly, is more pleasing to God, and more useful to man, than any virtuous thing done by one’s self.

34. The one who does penance yet wants to always defend and confirm his own will through penance continuously remains at the beginning point of penance.

35. The one who does external penance, without the spice of discretion, should repent, because he is not doing true penance.

36. Sometimes an overwhelming lack of tenderness will be forced upon the one who uses exterior penance without discretion.

37. Just as the one who gives himself to feeble things cannot be spiritually acute, so the indiscreet penitent sometimes cannot avoid falling into serious defect.

38. Just as the distraction of thoughts, frequent distracting movements, and obscurity of the mind are the company of immoderation, so the integrity of the mind and the purity of chastity accompany moderate fasting of the penitent.

39. The one who considers exterior penance his ultimate aim is similar to the one who makes no difference between the end and the means, or between a hostel and one's own country.

40. The one who cannot perform exterior penance complains and is disgusted if he should be lacking something at meal time, shows to have as his end exterior penance.

The one who disciplines the body without discretion convinces himself that he is doing great things. He is besieged with anger, vainglory, and condemns others who do not do the same things. This is against the counsel of St. Paul, who reprimands those who judge their neighbor, saying that those who eat or fast are doing it for their own glory and not of the Lord's.

42. Fasting, vigils, and other corporal afflictions are good when the flesh is afflicted in such a way that it not be impaired to perform necessary activities.

43. Remember, you indiscreet penitent that God does not graze on what you violently steel away from your need.

44. Just as the happy flesh leads us to sin, so the moderately afflicted one would lead us back to the truth. As we have fallen from the joys of Heaven through gluttony, so through abstinence we will return to them.

45. Just as God has always been pleased by the living host, so has he always been displeased by the sacrifice of stolen goods.

46. Some can endure a fast of two or three days, while for others the daily meal is not substantial; therefore, without a sense of guilt we have to adapt to the age, physique, and habit of an individual. It is important to take care of nature, because to ruin it would be imprudent.

January 7, 2008

Different images of St. Anthony Zaccaria

St. Anthony Zaccaria in winter

at the National Shrine of Our of Lady of Fatima

Yongstown, NY

Barnabite Fathers


St. Anthony Zaccaria in Summer

at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima,

Youngstown, NY

Barnabite Fathers

Posted by Picasa

Painting of St. Anthony Zaccaria
at Barnabite House in Warsaw - Poland

designed by Katarzyna Zawadzka (Poland)

St. Paul teaches St Anthony
the sublime wisdom of the Cross.
(by G. Mercoro, 1763)


January 1
Begin doing good, and you will necessarily go forward and become better persons. Sermon IV
January 2
God is not like man who often begins doing something, but does not bring it to fulfillment. God, my dear friends, is unchangeable. Sermon I
January 3
I give thanks to God, for in His mercy He does not treat me as I deserve. Letter I
January 4
It is quite true, that God has made man’s spirit unstable and changeable in order that man would not abide in evildoing. So that, once in possession of the good, he would not stop short, but would step up from one good to a higher one, and to a loftier one still. Letter II

January 5
Advancing from virtue to virtue, we might reach the summit of perfection. Letter II
January 6
Let us run like madmen not only toward God but also toward our neighbors, who alone can be the recipients of what we cannot give to God, since He has no need of our goods. Letter II

January 7
If we, dear friends, do not take the proper measures against this evil weed, it will produce in us a pernicious effect, I mean negligence, which is totally contrary to God’s ways. Letter II
January 8
When you have something important to do, you must think it over and over and, as it were, ruminate upon it; but after such serious reflection and after having sought proper advice, you should not delay executing your project; for the primary requirement in God’s ways is expeditiousness and diligence. Letter II
January 9
I set out to answer it only after kneeling a long time before the Crucifix on your behalf, for I think it is necessary to learn from Him what I have to teach you. Letter III
January 10
First, give yourself to prayer in the morning and at night, as well as at any other hour within a set schedule or not, in any position, and most of all before you start your professional work, usually without any set order, for a short or a long time, as God may grant it to you. Letter III
January 11
Discuss with Christ everything that may be happening to you: your doubts and your difficulties, especially the hardest ones. Present to Him your reasons, thoroughly but as briefly as possible. Letter III
January 12
Present to Him your reasons. Then, only propose to Him the solution you think is the right one or, even better, ask for His opinion; for He will not refuse it if you gently insist. I can assure you that He will let Himself be compelled to give it to you, if, again, you really want to have it. Letter III
January 13
I am indeed deeply convinced that you can learn more about human laws directly from the legislator than from anybody else, especially when that legislator [God] is himself the rule and the pattern of all things, and knows how to explain and disentangle the sophisms of the devil. Letter III
January 14
If, one can unite himself to God, even in the midst of worldly distractions, how much more easily will he be able to unite himself to Him in circumstances more favorable to recollection? Letter III

January 15
Enter into conversation with Jesus Crucified as familiarly as you would with me; and discuss with Him all or just a few of your problems, according to the time at your disposal. Letter III
January 16
You, my dear friend, cannot do without the constant lifting up of the mind to God; for the greater the danger and the more important the matter, a steadier application and sharper sight are required from you. Letter III
January 17
What seems to be impossible in itself becomes very easy with God’s help if only we do not refuse Him our cooperation and that diligent practical commitment with which He has endowed us. Letter III
January 18
By nature, man finds it difficult to be recollected and, much more so, to be united with God because his spirit is naturally driven in different directions and is unable to focus on one thing. Letter III
January 19
If you want to maintain your union with God and, at the same time, to go on working, talking, thinking, reading, and taking care of your affairs as usual, often lift up your minds to God for a long or a short period. Letter III
January 20
Chat with God and ask His advice on all your affairs, whatever they may be, whether spiritual or temporal, whether for yourself or for other people.If you practice this way of prayer, I can assure you that little by little you will derive from it both great spiritual profit and an ever-greater love relationship with Christ. Letter III
January 21
First and foremost, watch how anything concerning yourself or others is begun, whether foreseeable or not, whether at work or at play. Letter III
January 22
Before starting your activities, offer Jesus a few words of your choosing; then during your work often lift up your mind to God. You will benefit much and there will be no detriment to your job. Letter III
January 23
In your meditation, prayers, and thoughts, strive to pinpoint your principal defects, most of all the chief one, the Captain-General, as it were, which dominates all the others. Letter III
January 24
If you follow the practice, [ of often lifting up mind to God] you will get used to praying easily and without detriment to your work or to your health; you will be praying incessantly, even while drinking, eating, acting, talking, studying, writing, etc.; and the external actions will not hinder the interior ones and vice versa. Letter III
January 25
Unfurl your flags, for Jesus Crucified is about to send you to proclaim everywhere the vital energy of the Spirit. Letter V
January 26
The Holy Spirit, the Paraclete will not let you go wrong; rather He will teach you everything. He will not let you lose heart, but will always remain with you. He will not leave you in need, but will provide you with everything. Letter V

January 27
You can be sure that, before you speak and in the very moment of speaking, Jesus Crucified will anticipate and accompany, not only every word of yours, but your every holy intention. Letter VI
January 28
The Holy Spirit will grant you, in particular, a continuous spirit of self-abandonment on the ignominious cross, and lead you to a life conformed to Christ's according to the pattern of the great saints. Consequently, you will be able to say with your Father, "be imitators of us as we are of Christ." Letter V
January 29
Anyone willing to become a spiritual person begins a series of surgical operations in his soul. One day he removes this, another day he removes that, and relentlessly proceeds until he lays aside his old self. Letter IX
January 30
I have prayed Jesus Crucified. I do not want any one thing from Him, unless He grants you the same, to your mind and heart. Letter VIII
January 31
No, I greatly desire that you become great saints, since you are well equipped to reach this goal, if you will it. All that is required is that you really mean to develop and give back to Jesus Crucified, the good qualities and graces He has given you. Sermon IV