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Founded within the Prelature of Pope John Paul II (1985)
Catholic Apostolic Church | Eastern Rite | International Ordinariate 
 

Roman Catholic Franciscan Religious Order 

Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos

Province of Saint Mary Theotokos

 

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical

Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo, OFE, Minister General
History of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Click Here
The General Constitutions of OFE Click Here
 

Roman Catholic Franciscan Religious Order 

Because of the fruit of this endeavor and the originally desired by Pope John Paul II,we would like​ the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist to be recognized as a Society of Apostolic Life of Pontifical Right of the Universal Catholic Church.
 

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist

Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Blog 

 
Opinions expressed in this Blog do not necessarily represent views of the Bishop Protector of OFE,  Provincial of OFE, Minister General of OFE, the OFE Board and Council, the Abbey Board, the OFC Advisory Board, or any other members of OFE, OFES, COFE, Sanctification of Families Union of Saint Francis of Assisi, Theotokos Association of Catholic Priests,  and OFE Charters.
 

A Hungry Child

“You cannot tell a hungry child that you gave him food yesterday.”  (Zimbabwean Proverb)
 
Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign is the ministry of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. Its mission statement is of funding the Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign and to meet the needs of orphan children that we serve so that they may grow, learn, and have the opportunities of life that they deserve.
 
Jesus says, “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)
 
Members of the body of Christ we are called to assist those in need. We can’t disregard the plight of orphan children suffering hunger, thirst, nakedness, homelessness, or sickness.
 
The greatest motivation for helping others is because we are loved by a loving God who created us, provides for us, and gave everything.  A God who has asked us to love and take care of human beings just as he loves and takes care of us.
 
The Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. is seeking out others to partner with us, make a monetary gift, become a benefactor, volunteer, support an orphan child, become a sustaining member, tithe, make a bequest gift, donate in someone’s memory, make a tribute gift, and make a bequest gift.
 
All donations received are used for the sole purpose of supporting the Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign. There is no compensation of any kind paid to the President/CEO or other Board members. 
 
Your individual contribution is a means of sharing in the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos campaign and its ongoing ministry. 
 
Your prayers and contributions are true blessings,
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Letter to Pope Francis

Open Letter to Pope Francis on Behalf of Married Roman Catholic Priests
 
April 5, 2019
Memorial of St. Isidore, Bishop | Doctor of the Church
His Holiness Francis
Apostolic Palace 
00120 Vatican City State
 
Your Holiness Pope Francis,
 
Cordial greeting to you.
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is pleased to provide a “home” for married Roman Catholic priests and hopefully to eventually enable them to continue to serve sacramentally within the Roman Catholic Church.
 
As historically documented, we were canonically created in 1985 as the Catholic Apostolic Church, Eastern Rite, International Ordinariate, later identified as the Federation of Jesus Abbeys and most recently as the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical. We were founded within the Personal Papal Prelature of Pope John Paul II of 1985. Our specific pastoral activity, as well as the desire of Pope John Paul II, was to create a way for married Roman Catholic priests to return home to continue to serve within Roman Catholic parishes.
 
One day St. Francis of Assisi prayed in the little church of Saint Damian outside the walls of Assisi. He felt the eyes of the Christ on the crucifix gazing at him and heard a voice saying three times, “Francis, go and repair my house, which you see is falling down.” This message is just as relevant today as it was in the time of Francis of Assisi.
 
You “were the only Roman Catholic cleric to praise the life of a former bishop [Jerónimo José Podestá] who had left the priesthood to marry ….You knelt at his deathbed and comforted him.” As Archbishop of Argentina, you noted that in the Eastern churches, priests can be married, and “they are very good priests…It is a matter of discipline, not of faith. It can change.” Obviously, you are very sensitive to the needs of the People of God for the Eucharistic food which only a priest can provide. There is refreshed anticipation that our Church will return to our earliest tradition embracing both married and celibate priests.
 
The Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is where we embrace priests who have left celibate promises/vows as Roman Catholic priests to marry. Sadly, they have become abandoned by the Church and disheartened, and we seek in the OFE to love and console them. We have within the Order married priests of proven seriousness and maturity who wish to return to sacramental ministry. We select married men who are called to priesthood to make them available to Roman and Eastern Catholic Bishops.
 
We can say is that the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is the only formal outcome of a 34 year study presented by the task force created by the Vatican in 1985. Holy Father, we will be remembering you in our prayers during the Divine Liturgy. We, too, ask to be remembered in your prayers.
 
In filial devotion,
 
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE 
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Roman Catholic Married Priesthood

Save My Church and Restore Married Priesthood / Optional Celibacy Back into the Roman Catholic Church
 
By Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE
 
The Church is suffering within its own ranks. On the grassroots level, we meet priests who live in grief and sometimes in poverty. We welcome Pope Francis acknowledging in Amoris Laetitia that “we could draw from the experience of the broad oriental tradition of a married clergy.”
 
The mission of the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) is to minister to celibate and married Roman Catholic (and Catholic) priests by offering them a welcoming home, support, acceptance, affirmation of their marriages, and validation of their lives and ministries. It also supports efforts to restore married priesthood to the Roman Catholic Church. Canon Laws 212 §2 and §3 tell us that we have the duty to express our views about the Church’s “matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful.” Men who have left the priesthood to marry are made to feel that they failed merely because they wanted the fulfillment of wives and families of their own. Sadly, they have become disheartened by the Church’s abandonment.
 
All of us have seen how many good priests have been dismissed because they chose to love a woman and have a family. Most of them have to find other work to support their families. Those who could not find work often have been pushed into poverty and suffered emotionally because of the treatment they have received from the Church. 
 
Countless people in the pews have let it be known that they want a priest – married or celibate, it matters little – who will be compassionate about their life issues. Many would welcome a move of the Church to allow married priests back into active priesthood. If the Church is willing to welcome married Episcopal priests into our Church, surely you should be open to accepting former and now married Roman Catholic priests.


Married Roman Catholic Priests

“I support married priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. Certainly, this will augment the vocation to priesthood in the Roman Catholic Church. As there is shortage for priesthood and since total celibacy in the Roman Catholic priesthood discourages priestly vocation in the present modern society and also the existing priests go through untold emotional and psychological and sexual pressures, it is better priests are married and render service to the people of God.” (Father J. Arokia Nathan)


Our Order’s Apostolic Works

The Apostolic Works of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)

Sanctification of families;
Blessing of married Roman Catholic priests.


“For I was hungry and you gave me food.”

“For I was hungry and you gave me food.” (Matthew 25:35)

If you love our work then tell the world! You have an opportunity to help us (the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc.) make even more of a difference in our community. GreatNonprofits-a review site like TripAdvisor-is honoring highly reviewed nonprofits with their 2019 Top-Rated Awards. Won’t you help us raise visibility for our work by posting a review of your experience with us? All reviews will be visible to potential donors and volunteers. It’s easy and only takes 3 minutes! Go to https://greatnonprofits.org/org/abbey-of-saint-mary-theotokos-inc to get started!
 
Blessings and thank you,
Abbot Father Michael+, OFE
Very Reverend Michael Cuozzo+, OFE, MDiv, DD, STD, PhD
Website Link Click Here


Mission Statement of the Abbey

The Mission Statement of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc. 
 
The mission statement of the Abbey of Saint Mary Theotokos, Inc, is of funding the Feeding the Hungry Children Campaign and to meet the needs of orphan children that we serve so that they may grow, learn, and have the opportunities of life that they deserve.


Our Order’s Mission Statement

The Mission Statement of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)
 
The mission statement of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE) are to minister to celibate and married Roman Catholic (and Catholic) priests and laity by offering them a welcoming home, support, acceptance, affirmation of their marriages, and validation of their lives and ministries. It also supports efforts to restore married priesthood to the Roman Catholic Church.


Our Order’s Mission

The Mission of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)
 
Welcome married Roman Catholic priests;
Provide the People of God the Eucharist;
Have married Roman Catholic priests available to Roman Catholic bishops;
Affirm the marriages and lives of married Roman Catholic priests;
Provide a home and support for married Roman Catholic priests through acceptance, communications, and ongoing activities of the Order; 
Welcome celibate Roman and Eastern Catholic priests in good standing in the Roman Catholic Church to serve as brothers; 
Support efforts of members, other clergy, and laity in their efforts to restore married priesthood to the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Roman Catholic Church.


Our Order’s Charism

The Charism (gift) of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)

Recognition of the primacy of our Lord Jesus Christ;
Inspiration from the spirituality of Saint Francis of Assisi;
Reverence for creation;
Dignity of human persons;
Support of family unity;
Compassion;
Peacemaking;
Service; 
Community;
Simplicity;
Welcoming married and celibate Roman Catholic priests and laity.


Our Order’s Goals

The Goals of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist (OFE) and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (OFE)

We seek out laborers and advisors for our mission.
We voice our story.
We await a college of bishops to rise to oversee our mission.
We seek to openly serve the Roman Catholic Church and minister within Roman Catholic ecclesiastical jurisdictions.


Oneness

“So that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me.” (John 17:21)
 
“We will achieve the oneness of hope, oneness of faith, and oneness of love that alone will convince the world that Jesus Christ is the one sent by the Father for the salvation of all.”  (Father Paul Wattson, SA, Founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement)


Canonization of Fr. Paul of Graymoor

Prayer for the Canonization of Father Paul of Graymoor
 
God of unity and peace, in Christ your Son, you reveal your compassion for sinners and love for the poor which inspired Fr. Paul of Graymoor to pioneer the mission of Church Unity and spend himself in the care of our outcast brothers and sisters. Grant, we pray, that the example of this apostle of unity and charity will inspire us to advance the reconciliation of all things in Christ, without counting the cost. With confidence we ask that Father Paul be raised to the honors of the altar, and through His intercession, grant the favor we now ask (mention your petition), if it be in conformity with Your will. We ask this through Christ Our Lord.  Amen.
 
(Father Paul Wattson, SA, (1863-1940), Servant of God, Apostle of Christian Unity and Charity, Founder of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, Garrison, NY, USA)


Saint Athanasius (Church Father)

The great Athanasius, in his sermon to the newly baptized, said, “You shall see the Levites bringing loaves and a cup of wine, and placing them on the table.  So long as the prayers of supplication and entreaties have not been made, there is only bread and wine.  But after the great and wonderful prayers have been completed, then the bread is become the Body, and the wine the Blood, of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  And again: “Let us approach the celebration of the mysteries. This bread and this wine, so long as the prayers and supplications have not taken place, remain simply what they are.  But after the great prayers and holy supplications have been sent forth, the Word comes down into the bread and wine – and thus His Body is confected.” (Sermon to the Newly Baptized, [Ref. Unknown], (c. 373 A.D.)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p.18)


The Three Branches of OFE

The Three Branches of OFE
 
A friend who has expressed interest in our order has asked this question: What are the differences between the three branches of your Order? 
 
The first branch consists of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist ​and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, which together are considered an order within an order (companion communities). Each Order has separate and distinct realms of emphasis. This branch is comprised of priests who are married, as well as celibate Roman Catholic priests who were ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop. Current OFE members and those who join at a later time will be members of both Orders.​​ Celibate Roman Catholic priests will function as brothers in each Order.
 
Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist distinct and independent ecclesiastical realms are: According to the OFE Motto: Repair My Church; Restore Unity of Roman Catholic Married and Celibate Priesthood; Mission Emphasis: Minister to Married Roman Catholic Priests; Mission Emphasis: Provide the People of God regular access to the Eucharist.
 
Order of Franciscans Ecumenical distinct and independent ecclesiastical realms are: According to the OFE Motto: Repair My Church; Nonprofit Religious Corporation; Ecumenical and Interreligious Outreach; Mission Emphasis: Minister to celibate, married Roman Catholic and Catholic priests, and laity; Mission Emphasis: Ecclesiastical Affiliation Charters.
 
The second branch is the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical Secular (OFES) of Roman Catholic laypeople and wives of married Roman Catholic priests.
 
The third branch is the Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical (COFE) comprised of married and celibate Catholic autocephalous (ecclesiastically independent) bishops and priests (men and women) who are of the “One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church” and who were not ordained by a Roman Catholic bishop.


OFE Rule of Life

Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical
Rule of Life
 
A rule is the most straightforward description of a religious way of life. The Rule of 1223  A.D. was written by Saint Francis of Assisi, approved by Pope Honorius III. The Friars, Brothers, and Laity of the Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist and the Order of Franciscans Ecumenical commit to the General Rule, a modern interpretation of the 1223 A.D. Rule of Saint Francis of Assisi is this:
 
When Jesus was asked, “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40)
He also said, “No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)
We are to live a life of commitment to our Lord Jesus Christ and to serve him faithfully.
We are to acclaim the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ and the study of the Scriptures.
We are to keep the Eucharist and the Gospel at the center of our lives. 
We are to acquire knowledge and inspiration of the Franciscan spirituality of our patron Saint Francis of Assisi.
We are to infuse our daily life with compassion, service, community, simplicity, reverence for creation, dignity of human persons, peacemaking, prayer, and support of family unity.
We are to welcome celibate and married Roman Catholic priests and laity.
We are to be respectful to the Pope, Patriarchs, Bishops, Abbot General, Minister General, and members of our Order.


Forgiveness Prayer

Loving Father, hear my prayer as I am now experiencing deep hurts,
anger, resentments and bitterness in my heart.
Thank you for the grace you have given me to humbly acknowledge my pain.
Touch all the areas of woundedness in my heart and fill it with your love and peace.
Change my aching and broken heart with a new heart coming from your Sacred Heart.
Because it is only through this that I will receive the grace to forgive even if it is
the hardest thing for me to do.
Let me give all this pain and deep hurts to you as an offering of love
and give me the grace to see all the blessings that have come
from this experience of pain and suffering.
Grant me the virtue of humility to acknowledge my own mistakes
and failures and desire to ask for forgiveness in the future.
Only by your grace, your strength and your love can true forgiveness
and reconciliation happen.
But I believe that nothing is impossible with you so long as the desire to forgive
is there in my heart and people will continue to persevere in prayer for me.
Bless me and plant in my heart this desire to forgive and lead me on
with patience and perseverance in my healing journey
I believe that in time, true forgiveness will happen.
All these I pray in Jesus’ name through Mary and all the angels and saints.
Amen.


Why friaries or abbeys?

 Why friaries or abbeys?

A priest who has voiced interest in our Order has asked this question: Why friaries or abbeys?  Community members of Order of Franciscans of the Eucharist, Order of Franciscans Ecumenical, and Catholic Order of Franciscans Ecumenical set up home-based friaries or abbeys to minister to celibate and married Roman Catholic and Catholic priests and laity by offering them a welcoming home, support, acceptance, affirmation of their marriages, and validation of their lives and ministries. It also welcomes laity who support married and celibate priests. The friary or abbey is a place where members are called to live out the Franciscan “Rule of Life” and to assist OFE to accomplish its mission, goals, apostolic works, and charism. The friary or abbey is where all are welcome to celebrate Eucharist and other sacraments.
 
Friaries or abbeys are self-governing, with friars and brothers supporting themselves and their ministries with secular, church-related, and/or church employment.


Guardian Angel Prayer

Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
Amen.


Saint Cyril of Alexandria (Church Father)

“Christ said indicating (the bread and wine): ‘This is My Body,’ and ‘This is My Blood,’ in order that you might not judge what you see to be a mere figure. The offerings, by the hidden power of God Almighty, are changed into Christ’s Body and Blood, and by receiving these we come to share in the life-giving and sanctifying efficacy of Christ.” (Saint Cyril of Alexandria, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, [26, 27], (c. 428)

 

(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 21)


Act of Love (Prayer)

O my God, I love Thee above all things with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and I ask pardon for all whom I have injured. Amen.


Act of Hope (Prayer)

My God, relying on Thy infinite goodness and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.


Act of Faith (Prayer)

O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God, in three Divine Persons, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man and died for our sins and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, Who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.


Salve Regina (Hail, Holy Queen)

Hail, holy Queen, mother of Mercy.
Hail, our life, our sweetness and our hope.
To thee do we cry,
poor banished children of Eve;
to thee do we send up our sighs,
mourning and weeping
in this vale of tears.
Turn then, most gracious advocate,
thine eyes of mercy toward us;
and after this our exile, show unto us
the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
O clement, O loving,
O sweet virgin Mary. Amen.


Saint Ambrose of Milan (Church Father)

“You perhaps say: ‘My bread is usual.’  But the bread is bread before the words of the sacraments; when consecration has been added, from bread it becomes the flesh of Christ.  So let us confirm this, how it is possible that what is bread is the body of Christ. By what words, then, is the consecration and by whose expressions?  By those of the Lord Jesus.  For all the rest that are said in the preceding are said by the priest: praise to God, prayer is offered, there is a petition for the people, for kings, for the rest.  When it comes to performing a venerable sacrament, then the priest uses not his own expressions, but he uses the expressions of Christ.  Thus the expression of Christ performs this sacrament.” (The Sacraments (De Sacramentis), Book 4, Ch. 4:14.)

 

(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), pp. 17-18)


Act of Contrition (Prayer)

My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart.
In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good,
I have sinned against you whom I should love above all things.
I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more,
and to avoid whatever leads me to sin.
Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us.
In His name. My God have mercy. Amen.


Saint Leo I (Church Father)

“When the Lord says: ‘Unless you shall have eaten the flesh of the Son of Man and shall have drunk His blood, you shall not have life in you,’ you ought to so communicate at the Sacred Table that you have no doubt whatever of the truth of the Body and the Blood of Christ.  For that which is taken in the mouth is what is believed in faith; and in doing those respond, ‘Amen,’ who argue against that which is received.” (Sermons, [91, 3], c. 461)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 25)


Abbot Father Sean Anderson, CFC

“We [Celtic Franciscan Companions] seek to become the hands, feet, and heart of Christ within creation and towards all whom we meet along the way.” 


Saint Basil the Great (Church Father)

“What is the mark of a Christian?  That he be purified of all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit in the Blood of Christ, perfecting sanctification in the fear of God and the love of Christ, and that he have no blemish nor spot nor any such thing; that he be holy and blameless and so eat the Body of Christ and drink His Blood; for ‘he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgement to himself.’  What is the mark of those who eat the Bread and drink the Cup of Christ?  That they keep in perpetual remembrance Him who died for us and rose again.” (The Morals, [Ch. 22])
 
To communicate each day and to partake of the holy Body and Blood of Christ is good and beneficial; for He says quite plainly: ‘He that eats My Flesh and drinks My Blood has eternal life.’  Who can doubt that to share continually in life is the same thing as having life abundantly?  We ourselves communicate four times each week, on Sunday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; and on other days if there is a commemoration of any saint.” (Letter to a Patrician Lady of Caesaria, [93], (c. 372)
 
(Cf. Michael Cuozzo, Theological Aspects of Worshipping God in the Holy Eucharist (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Northwestern Theological Seminary, Florida, 2006), p. 19)


Saint Pio of Pietrelcino

“Prayer is the oxygen of the soul.”
 
“Our Lord loves you and loves you tenderly; and if He does not let you feel the sweetness of His love, it is to make you more humble and abject in your own eyes.”
 
“Always humble yourself lovingly before God and man, because God speaks to those who are truly humble of heart, and enriches them with His gifts.”
 
Joy, with peace, is the sister of charity. Serve the Lord with laughter.”
 
“Walk the way of the Lord in simplicity; do not torment your spirit. Speak the truth, always the truth.”


Saint Basil the Great

“What is the mark of love for your neighbor? Not to seek what is for your own benefit, but what is for the benefit of the one loved, both in body and in soul.”
 
“A tree is known by its fruit; a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost; he who sows courtesy reaps friendship, and he who plants kindness gathers love.”
 
“I know many who fast, pray, sigh, and demonstrate every manner of piety, so long as it costs them nothing, yet would not part with a penny to help those in distress.”
 
“Words are truly the image of the soul.”


Saint Vincent de Paul

“We must love our neighbor as being made in the image of God and as an object of His love.”
 
“Go to the poor: you will find God.”
 
“Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.”


Saint Catherine of Siena

“Charity is the sweet and holy bond which links the soul with its Creator: it binds God with man and man with God.”
 
“Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.”
 
“Merit consists in the virtue of love alone, flavored with the light of true discretion without which the soul is worth nothing.”
 


Saint Pope John Paul II

“There is no place for selfishness—and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.”
 
“The person who does not decide to love forever will find it very difficult to really love for even one day.”
 
“Man cannot live without love. He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it. This is why Christ the Redeemer ‘fully reveals man to himself.’ “
 
“Real love is demanding. I would fail in my mission if I did not tell you so. Love demands a personal commitment to the will of God.”
 


Saint Thomas Aquinas

“The things that we love tell us what we are. “
 
“Love takes up where knowledge leaves off.”
 
“The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Love; It signifies Love, It produces love. The Eucharist is the consummation of the whole spiritual life.”
 


Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo, OFE

By Abbot Father Michael Cuozzo+, OFE
 

“Look around and embrace everyone you see; you never know which one is Christ. Find the Christ in each other.” 



Blessed Titus Brandsma

“I see God in the work of his hands and the marks of his love in every visible thing.”
 

Blessed Titus Brandsma was Dutch Carmelite friar, Catholic priest and professor of philosophy. He was imprisoned in the infamous Dachau concentration camp, where he died. He has been beatified by the Roman Catholic Church as a martyr of the faith.



Saint Teresa of Calcutta (Mother Teresa)

“A life not lived for others is not a life.”
 
“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”
 
“Intense love does not measure . . . it just gives.”
 
“Spread love everywhere you go: first of all in your own house. Give love to your children, to your wife or husband, to a next door neighbor… Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness in your warm greeting.”
 
“We can cure physical diseases with medicine but the only cure for loneliness, despair, and hopelessness is love. There are many in the world who are dying for a piece of bread but there are many more who are dying for a little love. Let us not be satisfied with just giving money. Money is not enough, money can be got, but they need your hearts to love them. So spread love everywhere you go.”
 
Mother Teresa was the founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic congregation of women dedicated to helping the poor. She was canonized as Saint Teresa of Calcutta in 2016.


Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

“May my life be a continual prayer. A long act of love.” 
 
“I can’t find words to express my happiness. Here there is no longer anything but God. He is All; He suffices and we live by Him alone.”
 
“Believe that He loves you. He wants to help you Himself in the struggles which you must undergo. Believe in His Love, His exceeding Love.”
 
Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity was a French Discalced Carmelite professed religious, mystic and a spiritual writer.
 


Saint Thérése of Lisieux

“What matters in life is not great deeds, but great love.”  “My God, I love you!”
 
“Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger or higher or wider; nothing is more pleasant, nothing fuller, and nothing better in heaven or on earth, for love is born of God and cannot rest except in God, Who is above all created things.”
 
“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.”
 
Saint Therese of Lisieux was a French Catholic who became a Carmelite nun. She died in obscurity at the age of 24. Her autobiography –Story of a Soul was published and became a best-seller. Her books explained her spiritual direction of love and selflessness.



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