| The Lord of the Harvest | Sacrifice | Apostolic Zeal | Friendship and Confidence | Human Virtue Needed |

The Lord of the Harvest

"For thus says the Lord God: behold I myself will seek my sheep, and will visit them.... I will seek what was lost: and that which was driven away, I will bring again: and I will bind up that which was broken, and I will strengthen that which was weak, and that which was fat and strong I will preserve." (Ezech 34 passim)

"We have to go after each soul, to win it for Christ. Treat them all with affection. Drown them all in love for Christ!" (St Josemaria)

"You have visited the land and watered it; greatly have you enriched it. God's watercourses are filled; you have prepared the grain. Thus have you prepared the land: drenching its furrows, breaking up its clods, softening it with showers, blessing its yield. You have crowned the year with your bounty, and your paths overflow with a rich harvest; the untilled meadows overflow with it, and rejoicing clothes the hills. The fields are garmented with flocks and the valleys blanketed with grain. They shout and sing for joy." (Ps 64:10-14)

"Let Me reap the fruit My own way." (Leo Trese, Vessel of Clay, p 96)

"...semper scientes quod labor vester non est inanis in Domino."

"When he looked at the multitudes, he was moved with pity for them, seeing them harried and abject, like sheep that have no shepherd. Thereupon he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful enough, but the labourers are few. You must ask the Lord to whom the harveset belongs to send labourers out for the harvesting." (Mt 9:36-38)

"It is important that men see in us the dispensers of God's mysteries (cf I Cor 4:1), credible witnesses of his presence in the world. Let us often consider that God does not ask part of our person when he calls us, but our vital person and energy, in order to announce to men the joy and peace of the new life in Christ and to guide them to a meeting with him. To do this let our first zeal be that of seeking the Lord, and once we find him, find out where and how he lives, staying with him the whole day (cf Jn 1:39). Staying with him especially in the Eucharist, where Christ gives himself to us, and in prayer, through which we give ourselves to him. The Eucharist has to be complemented and prolonged through prayer in our daily occupation like a 'sacrifice of praise' (Roman Missal), Eucharistic Prayer). In prayer, in that trusting conversation with God our Father, we discern better where our strength is and where our weakness lies, because the Spirit comes to our aid (cf Rom 8:26)." (John Paul II, Mexico, 26 January 1979)

"An apostle who does not pray regularly and methodically will necessarily fall into lukewarmness...and he will then cease to be an apostle." (St Josemaria, The Forge, 121)

"I am giving you an assignment for your families, parents, brothers and sisters: greet them all, embrace them; if there are small children, you can kiss them and tell them: 'The Pope kisses you'. I also greet your colleagues and friends in the university where you study. I greet your professors as well--some of them are here. I want to send all these greetings to the whole world through you, because you are truly from all over the world....
"I am happy to have been with you and having listened to songs in different languages. I am also glad to see the unity among you, a unity of different countries and different peoples." (John Paul II, extemporaneous discourse to UNIV Congress Participants, 1985)

"Words which do not give the light of Christ increase the darkness." (Bl Teresa of Calcutta)


"This is my body, which is given up for you. ...This is ... my blood ... which is shed for you and for all, so that sins may be forgiven." (Eucharistic Prayer)

"Those who sow in tears will sing when they reap. They go out, they go out, full of tears, carrying seed for the sowing: they come back, they come back, full of song, carrying their sheaves." (Ps 128)

"It is not bad for there to be obstacles, but that we give them too much importance. Let us make the sincere resolution of facing the setbacks gallantly, with an upright intention, with supernatural grace and human elegance. Let us ask God so that we do not fear difficulties, tiredness, sacrifice." (A. del Portillo, 1989)

"Almost all my memories of childhood and adolescence are connected with my father. The violence of the blows that struck him opend up immense spiritual depths in him; his grief found its outlet in prayer. The mere fact of seeing him on his knees had a decisive influence on my early years. He was so hard on himself that he had no need to be hard on his son; his example alone was sufficient to inculcate discipline and a sense of duty." (John Paul II)

Apostolic Zeal

"The time was noon, and our Blessed Lord was 'wearied in his journey'; so that he sat down at Jacob's well. But along with this weakness, there appeared his Omniscience, and he read the heart of a woman. Christ was weary in his work, not of it. Two of the greatest converts that our Blessed Lord ever made, the Syro-Phoenician woman and this woman, were both made when he was tired. When he seemed most unfit to do His Father's business, He did it most effectively. St Paul was taken from work to prison; but he converted some of his jailers and wrote his Epistles. The willing heart always creates its own opportunities." (Fulton Sheen, Life of Christ, Chapter 8)

"Love that truly loves cannot but see." Amor quod amat non potest non videre." (a Father of the Church)

"Mark this: he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Let each one give according as he has determined in his heart, not grudgingly or as if by compulsion, for 'God loves a cheerful giver'" (II Cor 9:6-7)

"Be ready always with an answer to everyone who asks a reason for the hope that is in you." (I Pt 3:15)

"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a cellar or even under the measure, but upon the lampstand, that they who enter in may see the light." (Lk 11:33)

"Everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I in turn will disown him before my Father in heaven." (Mt 10:32-33)

"How then are they to call upon him in whom they have not believed? But how are they to believe him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear if no one preaches? And how are men to preach unless they be sent?" (Rom 10:14-15a)

We are infected with love of God, a highly-contagious madness which is both creative and enterprising.

"No Christian community is faithful to its duty unless it is missionary: either it is a missionary community or it is not even a Christian community, because these are simply two dimensions of the same reality, which is brought about by Baptism and by the other Sacraments." (John Paul II, Message for World Mission Day, 1991)

"The only and inadispensable strategy for missionary work is precisely deep, personal, convinced, ardent love of Jesus Christ! ... Love is intrepid and courageous: Jesus is still unknown to three-quarters of mankind! The Church therefore needs so many, willing missionaries, men and women, to proclaim the Gospel!... Life is noble and great only to the extent that it is given! Be fearless.... Love of Christ urges us to bear witness, to announce, proclaim the Good News, to everyone and in spite of everything!
"Precisely in these times you must be witnesses and missionaries of truth: do not be afraid! Love of Christ must drive you to be strong and resolute, because 'if God is for us, who can be against us?' (Rom 8:31). No one, in fact, can 'separate us from the love of Christ' (Rom 8:35)." (John Paul II, World Mission Sunday, 20 October 1979)

"Sometimes I think that some few enemies of God and of his Church live off the fear of many good people, and I am filled with shame." (St Josemaria, Furrow, 115)

"It is important to awaken in the faithful courage in the apostolate. The evil that spreads in the world is often a consequence not only of the evil of men, but also the silence of Christians. Yes! For the apostolate, interior formation is not enough. Valor is also needed. The contemporary world is sealed by vileness and fear! And all the dictatorships instrumentalise these human weaknesses to establish their own dominance!" (Card. Temasek (Prague), during the Synod on the Laity)

"Zeal, whatever way we take it, arises from the intensity of love." (Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, q. 28, a. 4)

Qualities of Zeal

Friendship and Confidence

"The joys and hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties of the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts." (Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes, 1)

"Whoever fears the Lord makes true friends, for a man is, so is his friend." (Sir 6:17)

"For though I am free of all men, I made myself a slave to all, that I might win the more. To the Jews I became a Jew, in order to win Jews... To the weak I became weak, that I might gain the weak. I became all things to all men, that I might save all." (I Cor 9:19-20, 22)

"Wojtyla [John Paul II] was a superb listener and master of silences, blessed with the gift of making his interlocutors believe instantly that he was absolutely enthralled by their thoughts." (Tad Szulc, Pope John Paul II, p 145)

"He visits them; he writes them; he invites them over; he shows concern for their health and for their projects; he knew about the happy and sad incidents in their families; he squeezes time out to help them in some small or great necessity; he does them favours, when he can; and when needed, he stakes his honour for them. In short, he knew how to love them." (on the apostolate of St Josemaria, in P. Urbano, El hombre de Villa Tevere)

"Many do not know what friendship really is: they do not know the difference between a friend and an acquaintance. No, no... Friendship is a relation of affection, of knowledge, which leads one to open his heart; at that point one can hand on the word of God. Friendship leads the Christian ... to bare his soul to his friends in order to communicate God to them." (1979)
"When there is friendship between two persons, one gets to a level of intimate conversation, because all of us need to tell somebody about our joys and our sorrows. And who do we talk to about these things but to our friends? Things that gladden us and seem splendid to us may be the butt of jokes of strangers, but a friend understands them, do you see?
"Hence, friendship means offering our heart to others, so that they themselves may do the same with us. In this way we can give them spiritual help, we will alleviate their sorrows..." (1981)
"Friendship is not meeting someone in the tram and asking him, 'Where are you going?' 'What do you study?' That can be the beginning of an acquaintance but it should eventually turn into a friendship." (1981)
"Be truly friends, which is not the same as saying: I know so-and-so, who studies in my faculty and works with me. No, that is being colleagues. Neither does it mean that there is friendship when one says: I know such-and-such and I am inviting him to a recollection, or to some courses... No, that is being acquaintances. To be friends is much more than taht: it means seeking interpersonal dealings. It means confiding ones pains and sorrows. It means reaching intimacy, with our Lord always in the midst. In order to be afriend we have to overcome selfishness, get out of our ivory tower." (1979) (A. del Portillo)

Human Virtue Needed

"When the joy of a Christian heart spreads to other men, it generates hope, optimism, desires to be generous amidst daily effort, infecting society at large. My children, only if you possess within you that divine grace, which is joy and peace, can you construct something authentic for men..." (John Paul II, Discourse to University Students, 10 April 1979)

"Don't ever work with pessimism nor with a sombre outlook. We are doing a God-given task, and whatever we do for the Lord is never lost. It is always fruitful if we go at God's pace." (J. Echevarria, 1994)

"Here is my servant whom I uphold, my chosen one with whom I am well pleased, upon whom I have put my spirit; he shall bring forth justice to the nations, not crying out, not shouting, not making his voice heard in the street. A bruised reed he shall not break, and a smouldering wick he shall not quench, until he estsablishes justice on the earth; the coastlands will wait for his teaching."
"Thus says God the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spreads out the earth with its crops, who gives breath to its people and spirit to those who walk on it: I, the Lord, have called you for the victory of justice, I have grasped you by the hand; I formed you, and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out prisoners from confinement, and from the dungeon, those who live in darkness." (Is 42:1-7)