The shepherd’s staff is used to guide and protect the flock against wolves and beasts of the forest. The staff of the Good Shepherd has the appearance of a staff in His hand, though in reality it is a scepter. The oaken crook in the hand of the Good Shepherd becomes as a scepter, and the ornamented scepter remains in His hand as the oaken crook.
The full thimble and the full pot are alike. Whether you are a pot or a thimble, the most important thing is that you are full. Try always to be full, whatever your size may be. Do not be distracted with outside things. The things around you, before you and behind you are less valuable than the things inside you. His truth always rises even when the world collapses. The world never gives to you, but always puts you in debt. God alone gives.
You cannot lift people higher than yourself, but if Christ is in you, you can go up and draw them to you. When you climb high, pull your brothers towards you. Christ raised you when He was lifted up, so raise your brothers, as you are raised through the power of Christ. As you are drawn towards Christ, you will draw people around you.
Do not sell your souls in the markets of this world. Your souls are very valuable. Whatever price the world may pay you, it is too low a price compared to your souls’ true value. Do not sell your souls because the world cannot pay you the true price. The true price is paid only by the blood of Christ, fully paid on the cross. The kingdom of God is not a goal but a journey that you can realize in yourself by the power of the Holy Spirit. Step by step, day-by-day, in the small details that fill the moments of your life, second after second. Meditation is to look at things as they are, not as you imagine them in your mind, or as you want them to be.
You love your idea about the person, not the person himself. And you hate your idea about the person, not the person himself. Beware, do not condemn. Do not put in your mind preconceived ideas and judgments about anyone. Prejudices are colored lenses you put on your eyes through which you see each person with the color of your lenses, and not with the true color of the person. Put in your head the wisdom of nature, in your heart its beauty and in your spirit the power of its constant renewal.
When you make a mistake, admit it. Admit your misdeed, confess it, and correct as much as you can. Acknowledging the error and correcting it build you up and not put you down. Fix what you can and confess to God that which you cannot fix. He will fix what you are not able to fix and make up for what you are not able to make up for.
Do not justify your mistake with your good intentions. Good intentions are not enough to lead you to heaven, as your works must be good like your intentions. What counts are the fruits of your labor and the consequences of your words. The good intention is the argument of the ignorant and ignorance resembles sleep. You do not realize you are sleeping until you awake. Wake up the sleepers. When they are awake, they understand they were sleeping. Do not speak with a sleeper; he does not hear you. Wake him up and then speak to him.
The more the holiness grows in man, the more he ceases to see it. When he observes his holiness, then it will have vanished.
Ponder in your mind the word you will say like the stone-thrower rotates the stone in the sling. The stone thrower does not cast his stone unless he is sure of his aim. The word in your mouth is like the stone in the sling, once released you will not be able to take it back. If your word will not reach its target, do not throw it because it will hurt. Inappropriate words will surely cause harm. Avoid using ambiguous language and only choose the word that has only one explanation. Be a good example instead of only giving good advice. Whenever you see a wrong, correct it in silence, rather than blaming loudly.
The stone in the wilderness under the sun, submerged in the river, bathed with scented oils, soaked with incense, or coated with colors will remain a stone. Only rubble, stones, pebbles, and sand come from the rock, and as much as it softens, it gives only dust. Being a saint is completely different from showing you are a saint; one is possible without the other.
Always distinguish between your desires and your needs. Man longs for many things he does not need, and needs many things he does not desire. Your wealth is measured by the lack of your needs, not by the plenitude of your possessions. Everything you think you possess in this world, in reality, it owns you. Whatever you think is under your dominion in this world, in reality, it is dominating you. All the things in this world which you seek to control make you a partner of the evil one. You exist in this world to give and serve, not to possess and command.
There is a big difference between involvement and commitment. Live the commitment in the Church not the involvement in the community. The direction you take is more important than the speed you adopt. What is the benefit of speed and acceleration if the direction is wrong? Do not start anything on earth if it does not end in heaven. Do not walk on a path on earth that does not lead to heaven.
Your five senses are incomplete, your spiritual sense completes them. You cannot go toward holiness without passing through humanity. Things that happen in you are much more important than those that happen with you.
Always discern between the opportunity and the temptation. To grasp the opportunity is different from surrendering to the temptation. For trying to seize an opportunity is an initiative for good, while submitting to the temptation is a downward spiral to evil.
Sin is like poison. When you sin, it is as if you drank poison; you are the one who is going to be poisoned, it does not matter how you drank it or who gave it to you. It is useless to blame others when you get poisoned and die.
The ignorant man clings to the dust until he becomes dust; the wise and prudent man clings to heaven until he reaches heaven. You will belong to the place to which you cling.
Whatever enters you and you receive is not yours and whatever comes out of you and you give away belongs to you. You are not evaluated by what enters you but rather by what comes out of you. What enters you is not you, what comes out of you is you. By the power of the Spirit which you receive through your prayers, transform everything that enters you, and from which you own nothing, into holiness that radiates from you and makes you own everything.
On the Lord’s way, if you stand back a step, the Devil makes you go back ten. However, if you advance one step, the Lord helps you advance a hundred.
He who spends his entire life tolling the bell of the Church is not necessarily the one who enters heaven and saves his soul. It is better that he listens to the bell of his conscience when it announces a sin. Many are those who chime the bell of the church so as not to hear that of their own conscience.
Do not eat to satiety, eat to quell your hunger. For man knows when he is no longer hungry but does not know when he is full. Man’s satiety has no limits. The taste of chastity is more delicious than the taste of sexual pleasure. It is not the wine that makes man drunk; it is man who gets drunk.