Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.
By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.
Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.
Love all men, even your enemies; love them, not because they are your brothers, but that they may become your brothers. Thus you will ever burn with fraternal love, both for him who is already your brother and for your enemy, that he may by loving become your brother. ... Even he that does not as yet believe in Christ ... love him, and love him with fraternal love. He is not yet thy brother, but love him precisely that he may be thy brother.
This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.
What is the use of believing, if the dost blaspheme? Thou adorest Him as Head, and dost blaspheme Him in His body. He loves His body. Thou canst cut thyself off from the body, but the Head does not detach itself from its body. "Thou dost honor me in vain," He cries from heaven, "thou dost honor Me in vain!" If someone wished to kiss thy cheek, but insisted at the same time on trampling thy feet; if with his hailed boots he were to crush thy feet as he tries to hold thy head and kiss thee, wouldst thou not interrupt his expression of respect and cry out: "What are thou doing, man? Thou art trampling upon me!" ... It is for this reason that before He ascended into heaven our Lord Jesus Christ recommended to us His body, by which He was to remain upon earth. For He foresaw that many would pay Him homage because of His glory in heaven, but that their homage would be in vain, so long as they despise His members on earth.
Incomprehensible and immutable is the love wherewith God loves. He did not begin to love us only on the day we were reconciled to Him by the blood of His Son; He loved us before the world was made, that we too might become His sons together with His Only-begotten Son, long before we had any existence....
In this one man, the whole Church has been assumed by the Word.
We are members of this Head, and this body cannot be decapitated. If the Head is in glory forever, so too are the members in glory forever, that Christ may be undivided forever.
We are He, since we are His body and since He was made man in order to be our Head.
Since He is the Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus has been made Head of the Church, and the faithful are His members. Wherefore He says: "For them I hallow Myself" (John 17:19). But when He says, "For them I hallow Myself," what else can He mean but this: "I sanctify them in Myself, since truly they are Myself"? For, as I have remarked, they of whom He speaks are His members, and the Head of the body are one Christ. ... That He signifies this unity is certain from the remainder of the same verse. For having said, "For them I hallow Myself," He immediately adds, "in order that they too may be hallowed in truth," to show that He refers to the holiness that we are to receive in Him. Now the words "in truth" can only mean "in Me," since Truth is the Word who in the beginning was God. The Son of man was Himself sanctified in the Word as the moment of His creation, when the Word was made flesh, for Word and man became one Person. It was therefore in that instant that He hallowed Himself in Himself; that is, He hallowed Himself as man, in Himself as the Word. For there is but one Christ, Word and man, sanctifying the man in the Word. But now it is on behalf of His members that He adds: "and for them I hallow Myself." That is to say, that since they too are Myself, so they too may profit by this sanctification just as I profited by it as man without them. "And for them I hallow Myself"; that is, I sanctify them in Myself as Myself, since in Me they too are Myself. "In order that they too may be hallowed in truth." What do the words "they too" mean, if not that thy may be sanctified as I am sanctified; that is to say, "in truth," which is I Myself? [Quia et ipsi sunt ego. "Since they too are myself"]
The members of Christ, many though they be, are bound to one another by the ties of charity and peace under the one Head, who is our Saviour Himself, and form one man. Often their voice is heard in the Psalms as the voice of one man; the cry of one is as the cry of all, for all are one in One.
Therefore let every Christian, yea, let the whole body of Christ everywhere cry out, despite the tribulations it endures, despite temptations and countless scandals, saying: "Preserve my soul, for I am holy; save Thy servant, O my God, that trusteth in thee" (Ps. 85:2) No, this holy one is not proud, for he trusts in God.
"For I am holy." When I hear these words I recognize the voice of the Saviour. But shall I take away my own? Certainly when He speaks thus He speaks in inseparable union with His body. But can I say, "I am holy"? If I mean a holiness that I have not received, I should be proud and a liar; but if I mean a holiness that I have received - as it is written: "Be ye holy because I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2) - then let the body of Christ say these words. And let this one man, who cries from the ends of the earth, say with his Head and united with his Head: "I am holy." ... That is not foolish pride, but an expression of gratitude. If you were to say that you are holy of yourselves, that would be pride; but if, as one of Christ's faithful and as a member of Christ, you say that you are not holy, you are ungrateful. ...
O sons of Peace, sons of the One Catholic [Church], walk in your way, and sing as you walk. Travelers do this in order to keep up their spirits.