There can exist much infighting on social networks, in family conversations, amongst close friends, etc. Of course, we have a right to feel angry over the situation. We also have the right to respond to it in different ways, whether that be being vocal (the more extroverted approach) or wanting to avoid arguments and praying earnestly for an end to racism and other injustices (a more introverted approach).
Sometimes, we forget to be charitable in these heated arguments and that causes more problems. So, what’s a fired up (or sensitive and empathic) Catholic to do? Here are 25 saintly quotes full of wisdom for these—and any—troubling times.
For those who don’t “understand what’s the big deal”
“We must stand up for the right of our neighbor who is suffering from injustice. We must defend them all the more vigorously because we see Jesus present in them. Surely this is our duty because of our love for others, for His sake. We have no right to be ‘sleeping watchmen’ or dumb watch dogs. Whenever we see evil we must sound the alarm.” Bl. Charles de Foucauld
“We know that every effort to better society, especially when injustice and sin are so ingrained, is an effort that God blesses, that God wants, that God demands of us.” – St. Oscar Romero
“He who is not angry when there is just cause for anger is immoral. Why? Because anger looks to the good of justice. And if you can live amid injustice without anger, you are immoral as well as unjust.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
“We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice.” – Bl. Miguel Pro
For those need a reminder to keep their emotions in check
“To be angry is human; to put an end to one’s anger is Christian.” – St. Jerome
“No one heals himself by wounding another.” – St. Ambrose
“If you judge people, you have no time to love them.” – St. Teresa of Calcutta
“If you are desirous of practicing the beautiful virtue of charity, strive in the first place to reject every rash judgment, distrust, and unfounded suspicion of your neighbor.” – St. Alphonsus
“Dismiss all anger and look into yourself a little. Remember that he whom you are speaking is your brother, and as he is in the way of salvation, God can make him a saint in spite of his present weakness.” – St. Thomas of Villanova
“Guard against anger, but if it cannot be averted, let it be kept within bounds. For indignation is a terrible incentive to sin. It disorders the mind to such an extent as to leave no room for reason.” – St. Ambrose
“Put aside your hatred and animosity. Take pains to refrain from sharp words. If they escape your lips, do not be ashamed to let your words produce the remedy since they have caused the wounds. Pardon one another so that later on you will not remember the injury the recollection of an injury is itself wrong. It adds to our anger, nurtures our sin, and hates what is good. It is a rusty arrow and poison for the soul. It puts all virtue to flight.” – St. Francis of Paola
“Force yourself, if necessary, always to forgive those who offend you, from the very first moment. For the greatest injury or offense you can suffer from them is nothing compared to what God has forgiven you.” – St. Josemaria Escriva
For those worried about the state of our country and/or society
“I am worried about America! I am not so much worried about its politics and economics, important though they are. I am worried about its soul. After all, politics and economics are determined by the sense of values which underlies them.”- Ven. Fulton Sheen
For those who are fearful of the situation:
“Be brave! From the Heart of Jesus comes graces, strength, and help!” – St. Madeleine Sophie Barat
“Go forward bravely. Fear nothing, trust in God; all will be well.” – St. Joan of Arc
“When sorrows and misfortunes, physical or spiritual, afflict you, turn to your Guardian Angel with strong trust and he will help you.” – St. John Bosco
For those who need hope:
“Comfort in tribulation can be secured only on the sure ground of faith holding as true the words of Scripture and the teaching of the Catholic Church.” – St. Thomas More
“Do not look forward to what might happen tomorrow. The same everlasting Father who cares for you today will take care of you tomorrow and every day. Either He will shield you from suffering, or He will give unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace, then, and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginations.” – St. Francis de Sales
“In tribulation immediately draw near to God with confidence, and you will receive strength, enlightenment, and instruction.” – St. John of the Cross
“We shall steer safely through every storm, so long as our heart is right, our intention fervent, our courage steadfast, and our trust fixed on God.” – St. Francis de Sales
“If we patiently accept, through love, all God allows to happen, then we will begin to taste even here on earth something of the delights the saints experience in Heaven, but for this we must serve God willingly and lovingly, seeking to obey the Divine Will rather than to follow our own inclinations and desires for the perfection of love demands that we desire ourselves only whatever God wills. Let us implore the good God unceasingly to grant us this grace!” – St. Jane Frances de Chantal
For those who are unsure of what to do in this situation:
“You know well enough that our Lord does not look so much at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.” – St. Therese of Lisieux
“We have been called to heal wounds, to unite what has fallen apart, and to bring home those who have lost their way,” – St. Francis of Assisi
As Pope Benedict XV said on Christmas Ever 1917, “The present calamities will not come to an end until the human race has returned to God.” However we choose to tackle this situation, let us not forget that we are, first and foremost, children of God who are called to act as such. Trying to keep your emotions in check may be difficult but it’s absolutely necessary in order to open up dialogue that will make progress to the goal of undoing injustices.
And to those who are optimists and are getting ridiculed for it, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting things to get better. As St. Brigid of Kildare (Ireland) has been quoted to have said, “I would like an abundance of peace. I would like full vessels of charity. I would like rich treasures of mercy. I would like cheerfulness to preside over all.”
Let’s pray for our country and for all humanity during this time of great pain.
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