Intentional dating, authentic love, and holy relationships can be hard to live out in a culture that celebrates use, pornography, and hook-ups. New online dating services spring up regularly that promote hooking up rather than focusing on authentic love.
If you’re swimming upstream in today’s current, it can be easy to feel alone, left out, and wonder if the struggle is really worth it. We need to hear the truth, especially in a culture that tells us lies about what love should look like.
If you’re striving for a virtuous love life with Christ at the center, what better place to look than to the saints? Our Catholic Church is full of saints who come from all different vocations. Married, single, or consecrated religious, the saints give us a roadmap for how to reach Heaven and sanctity. Their passionate love for their spouse, neighbor, their vocation, and God inspires us here in the Church militant to keep up the good fight.
Elsewhere we’ve looked at bible verses about love. Today, , here are fifteen saint quotes to rejuvenate you in your journey towards authentic love.
“Let us love, since that is what our hearts were made for.” -Saint Therese of Lisieux
Our calling in life is one of love. We are made in the image and likeness of God, complimentary to each other, for the purpose of loving as God loves us.
“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.” -Saint Theresa of Calcutta
The role of suffering in our lives is one of the great mysteries, but what we know is what St. Theresa reminds us of here: real love will hurt. But while it empties us, this emptying out allows us to be filled with the grace of Jesus Christ.
A young person recently commented that young people are leaving the church today because the Catholic Church preaches the cross, and that’s uncomfortable. How true that is.
“Intense love does not measure it just gives. ” -Saint Theresa of Calcutta
Ask anyone who is involved in marriage preparation: marital love works when it doesn’t expect anything back in return. This is the secret behind Catholic marriages being happier and more fulfilling (really, they are): couples in a Catholic marriage are in 100%, not 50/50.
“It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start.” -Saint Theresa of Calcutta
It is easy to say that marriage must be about giving 100% without expecting in return, but it is a lot harder to do this in practice. This creates that emptying out that St. Theresa describes earlier. Ask married men if they always “feel” love for their wife, or ask a married woman if she ever gets annoyed by her husband. But these are the times where love is at its richest.
“When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her. The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women.” -Venerable Fulton Sheen
Women- listen to Venerable Fulton Sheen! Men need to become worthy of your virtue, your love of truth, divine law, goodness, and beauty. The married life has at it’s center one object: to get your husband to heaven.
Men: listen to Venerable Fulton Sheen! You must conform your lives to lives of virtue, lead by the Holy Spirit, and committed to be a husband who leads his wife to heaven. This is a tall task!
“Take away from love the fullness of self-surrender, the completeness of personal commitment, and what remains will be a total denial and negation of it.” -Saint Pope John Paul II
Sacramental marriage is sacrificial in its nature. While movies and romance novels peddle a watered down version of love and marriage, at the heart of sacramental marriage is self surrender and a full personal commitment.
“Don’t you long to shout to those youths who are bustling around you: Fools! Leave those worldly things that shackle the heart – and very often degrade it – leave all that and come with us in search of Love!” Saint Josemaria Escriva
Is there anything more worthy in this world than the pursuit of love? Not just love in a relationship, and not just love for what it can give us. But to live the great mystery of love.
The world is pursuing love in all the wrong places: sexual immorality, fornication, and quick fixes of fun. We have an epidemic of people who are divorced and remarried so they can find their own personal happiness. We need to first seek love, and that requires emptying our hearts!
“Love is the most necessary of all virtues. Love in the person who preaches the word of God is like fire in a musket. If a person were to throw a bullet with his hands, he would hardly make a dent in anything; but if the person takes the same bullet and ignites some gunpowder behind it, it can kill. It is much the same with the word of God. If it is spoken by someone who is filled with the fire of charity- the fire of love of God and neighbor- it will work wonders.” -Saint Anthony Mary Claret
As baptised and confirmed Catholics, we live with the presence of the Holy Spirit within us. But how many of us pray to the Holy Spirit?
The gift of Jesus after his time on earth was the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is our advocate. Let us pray today that we speak with the fire of love of God.
“You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working, and just so, you learn to love by loving. All those who think to learn in any other way deceive themselves.” -Saint Francis de Sales
Such simple advice, but so relevant. You can’t just speak about loving, we must practice loving. Loving is an intentional choice for the good of another. Let’s make that choice for the good of others today.
“If any of you should wish to act out of love, brothers, do not imagine it to be a self-abasing, passive and timid thing. And do not think that love can be preserved by a sort of gentleness – or rather tame listlessness. This is not how it is preserved. Do not imagine that you love your servant when you refrain from beating him, or that you love your son when you do not discipline him, or that you love your neighbor when you do not rebuke him. This is not love, it is feebleness. Love should be fervent to correct.” -Saint Augustine
Think of some of the images of love that we hear of: fire. Love is like a fire. Fire is powerful, destructive, and consuming. But it needs to be fed and nourished.
“Love is never something ready-made, something merely ‘given’ to man and woman; it is always at the same time a ‘task’ which they are set. Love should be seen as something which in a sense never ‘is’ but is always only ‘becoming’, and what it becomes depends upon the contribution of both persons and the depth of their commitment.” -Saint Pope John Paul II
Once again we have a quote that talks about love as a choice, as a task.
When we see a couple commit adultery or betray their fidelity, this happens because someone made a choice. They chose not to love, not to be faithful.
Choosing to love takes work. But it is a worthy task – maybe the only truly worthy task – for our full and total commitment.
“It takes three to make love, not two: you, your spouse, and God. Without God people only succeed in bringing out the worst in one another. Lovers who have nothing else to do but love each other soon find there is nothing else. Without a central loyalty life is unfinished.” -Venerable Fulton Sheen
A good marriage is centered and anchored in Christ. “Love is love” – we hear this refrain echoed so many times without any real knowledge of what it really means to love. Love has as its foundation God. Without God, the task of love would simply be too much to bear.
“The things that we love tell us what we are.” -Saint Thomas Aquinas
Ouch. Something tells me this is going to come up as a reflection in my prayer later.
What do we really love? If you look at your defects, if you look at who you are, then we see who and what we love.
A saint is a saint because they love God. Full stop.
“Everything comes from love, all is ordained for the salvation of man, God does nothing without this goal in mind.” -Saint Catherine of Siena
What a great quote filled with hope! God is in 100% on saving us.
Let us pray that we have the courage to respond to God, to choose His love!
“It is not so essential to think much as to love much.” -Saint Teresa of Jesus, OCD