Favorite Quotes from 2013

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Looking back on 2013, here are 10 power quotes that bookmarked the year for me in my editing and writing for the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception here in Stockbridge, Mass. I'll let the words speak for themselves. May they inspire us all to redouble our efforts in the New Year to live the message of Divine Mercy. Consider sharing in the comments section below some of your own favorite quotes of the year.
— Felix Carroll

Pope Francis, in his interview with Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., published in Jesuit publications around the world:

How are we treating the people of God? I dream of a Church that is a mother and shepherdess. The Church's ministers must be merciful, take responsibility for the people and accompany them like the Good Samaritan, who washes, cleans, and raises up his neighbor. This is pure Gospel. God is greater than sin. The structural and organizational reforms are secondary — that is, they come afterward. The first reform must be the attitude. The ministers of the Gospel must be people who can warm the hearts of the people, who walk through the dark night with them, who know how to dialogue and to descend themselves into their people's night, into the darkness, but without getting lost. The people of God want pastors, not clergy acting like bureaucrats or government officials.

Ricardo Castañon, Ph.D, famed researcher and expert in Eucharistic miracles:

We are still crucifying Jesus. The Eucharistic miracles that I have witnessed prove that He is still the living God. He is here for us, but we are not here for Him. Why is He still bleeding from these statues and Hosts? Because He is still wounded. We need to change our lives, we need to live the Word, and we need fight to be holy.

Pope Francis, homily on Divine Mercy Sunday, April 7:

Let us ... remember Peter: Three times he denied Jesus, precisely when he should have been closest to Him; and when he hits bottom he meets the gaze of Jesus who patiently, wordlessly, says to him: "Peter, don't be afraid of your weakness, trust in Me." Peter understands, he feels the loving gaze of Jesus, and he weeps. How beautiful is this gaze of Jesus — how much tenderness is there! Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God!

Floribeth Mora Diaz of Costa Rica, whose cure from an inoperable brain aneurysm served as the miracle that paves the way for Blessed John Paul II's upcoming canonization:

I knew that I was going to die. I felt such a horror. I told my husband: "I don't want to die. Help me." I knew that he could do nothing, but he was the closest one to me. He is the one who was going to give me that strength at that moment. He is my partner. He has always been with me. And I, when I arrived home, saw my children worried about me. ... Many people would come to visit and tell me: "Flori, don't give up. Have faith." And I would tell them, "No, I have faith. But my human side is afraid." ... I would always say at night: "Lord, I have faith; but grow my faith, Lord, because I am afraid. John Paul, pray for me." ... I am not the important one. What is important here is what God worked in me. ... Look at me and believe in God.

Dr. John Bruchalski is a former abortionist whose story is featured in the Marian Press title Loved, Lost, Found: 17 Divine Mercy Conversion Stories. He is speaking of befriending colleagues who perform abortions, one of whom, a doctor from Florida, is in the midst of a conversion:

He's a friend of mine, even though he is murdering babies. You have to become friends with them. You have to form relationships. We talk about being in a "culture war." I phrase it as, "We're fighting principalities and powers. The enemy is sin and Satan." So for me, the enemy is not "the other." It's ourselves. It's our own weaknesses. It's our own lack of conversations with our family and friends. It's our denial that we, too, need the Lord to turn us from hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. We have to love and not judge till the point where our enemies say, "I want your peace, and I don't know how to get it. I want what you have, and I don't know how to get it." And all the while we need to keep saying to ourselves, "Jesus, I trust in You." Why? In order to believe it.

Father Dante Agüero, MIC, superior of the Marians' Argentinean Vicariate, speaking of the election of fellow Argentinian Pope Francis in March:

"We have a Pope who drinks mate!"

[NOTE: Mate (pronounced ma-tay) is the national drink of Argentina and other South American countries. "Drinking mate is a symbol of brotherhood, friendship, and closeness," says Fr. Dante. "We don't say to each other, 'Let's spend some time together.' We say, 'Let's drink mate!'"
 So a Pope who drinks mate is a Pope who brings to his position the effusive, unrestrained, all-loving, all-welcoming deportment typical of Argentines, and South Americans in general.]

Patrick Gardenier of Hatfield, Pa., one of the few people in the world who would ever utter the words, "I'm glad I got cancer":

I stopped praying for me. I started praying for everybody else. I really did. I didn't think of me. I'm not saying that to be a braggadocio. I'm saying it with all humility. Divine Mercy put me in a different place. I've got my eye on the prize.

Maria Passi of Hyde Park, Mass., a volunteer at the Divine Mercy Sunday celebration at the National Shrine of The Divine Mercy in Stockbridge, Mass.:

How can you not love "Jesus, I trust in You"? I say it all day at work. I have to (laughs).

Marge Farren of Waterbury, Conn., speaking of her reconversion sparked by the message of Divine Mercy:

I just went from knowing God in my head to knowing God in my heart. My husband of 52 years died of cancer. It was a very difficult time, a difficult illness. He had to have his leg amputated. That's when God really came into my life. 
How so? He put the right people in my life. I was invited into a prayer group. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit, and within days I was able to give up my bad habits. ... 
How would I encourage others to draw deeper in their faith, to make a leap of faith? Pray. Go to Eucharistic holy hours. Read Scripture. Make time each day to welcome God into your heart. That's how you come to love someone — by making time for them.

Eric Mahl, doing street ministry in Cleveland, Ohio, last February, speaking to a homeless woman who said her sins were too great for God to love her:

You have not been condemned. There's nothing you have done in your life that can cause Him to turn away from you. He wants you to open your heart to Him, to love Him, and trust in Him, and turn to Him with all of your pain and fears. We have until our very last breath to be saved.

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Kathy - Jan 2, 2014

Fr. Dave Richards at St. Gregory the Great, Amherst, NY - "bring Jesus into the world in your own mysterious way." From his sermon on how we can give back to Jesus.

Linda - Dec 27, 2013

Deacon Chris Alar at the Shrine of The Divine Mercy December 17: "Mercy is love in action. Mercy is when we see someone who is suffering and we do something about it!"

Linda Condon - Dec 27, 2013

Fr. Seraphim Michalenko at the 2 p.m. Mass on Christmas Eve at The Shrine of The Divine Mercy: "Pope Francis told us not to place ourselves above others...serve them...become small among the small...poor among the poor.... Jesus is God among us."

Robin Parow - Dec 26, 2013

Pope Francis said, “it is not easy to entrust oneself to God’s mercy, because it is an abyss beyond our comprehension. But we must!”