Saints' Quotes

holy quotations for purification of the soul



Selections

for reflection and meditation


Forgiveness




'Out of the depths I have cried to thee, O Lord: Lord, hear my voice. Let thy ears be attentive to the voice of my supplication. If thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities: Lord, who shall stand it. For with thee there is merciful forgiveness: and by reason of thy law, I have waited for thee, O Lord. My soul hath relied on his word: My soul hath hoped in the Lord.

From the morning watch even until night, let Israel hope in the Lord. Because with the Lord there is mercy: and with him plentiful redemption. And he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.'

Psalm 129, "De profundis", the sixth penitential psalm


'Return to the Lord, and turn away from thy injustice, and greatly hate abomination.

And know the justices and judgments of God, and stand firm in the lot set before thee, and in prayer to the most high God. Go to the side of the holy age, with them that live and give praise to God.

Tarry not in the error of the ungodly, give glory before death. Praise perisheth from the dead as nothing. Give thanks whilst thou art living, whilst thou art alive and in health thou shalt give thanks, and shalt praise God, and shalt glory in his mercies.

How great is the mercy of the Lord, and his forgiveness to them that turn to him!'

Ecclesiasticus 17:23-28


'He that seeketh to revenge himself, shall find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely keep his sins in remembrance.

Forgive thy neighbour if he hath hurt thee: and then shall thy sins be forgiven to thee when thou prayest.

Man to man reserveth anger, and doth he seek remedy of God? He hath no mercy on a man like himself, and doth he entreat for his own sins? He that is but flesh, nourisheth anger, and doth he ask forgiveness of God? who shall obtain pardon for his sins?'

Ecclesiasticus 28:1-5


'Forgiveness of sins is betokened by freedom from the passions; he who has not yet been granted freedom from the passions has not yet received forgiveness.'

St. Thalassios the Libyan


'Because God's justice is inexorable, it is hard to obtain forgiveness for sins committed with complete deliberation.'

St. Mark the Ascetic


'Oh, what peril attaches to sin willfully committed! For it is so difficult for man to bring himself to penance, and without penitence guilt remains and will ever remain, so long as man retains unchanged the will to sin, or is intent upon committing it.'

St. Catherine of Genoa


'Saint John did not absolutely forbid that prayer should be made for those who "sin unto death," since he knew that Moses, Jeremiah, and Stephen had so prayed, and he himself implies that forgiveness is not to be denied them. Such intercessors, then, must be sought for after very grievous sins, for if any ordinary persons pray they are not heard. . . Stephen prayed for his persecutors, who had not been able even to listen to the Name of Christ, when he said of those very men by whom he was being stoned: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" And we see the result of this prayer in the case of the Apostle, for Paul, who kept the garments of those who were stoning Stephen, not long after became an apostle by the grace of God, having before been a persecutor.'

St. Ambrose of Milan, 'On Repentance'


'Humility and ascetic hardship free a man from all sin, for the one cuts out the passions of the soul, the other those of the body. This is what the blessed David indicates when he prays to God, saying, "Look on my humility and my toil, and forgive all my sins" (Ps. 25:18).'

St. Maximos the Confessor


'And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

"If any one shall sin through mistake, transgressing the ceremonies in those things that are sacrificed to the Lord, he shall offer for his offence a ram without blemish out of the flocks, that may be bought for two sicles, according to the weight of the sanctuary:

And he shall make good the damage itself which he hath done, and shall add the fifth part besides, delivering it to the priest, who shall pray for him, offering the ram, and it shall be forgiven him.

If any one sin through ignorance, and do one of those things which by the law of the Lord are forbidden, and being guilty of sin, understand his iniquity, he shall offer of the flocks a ram without blemish to the priest, according to the measure and estimation of the sin: and the priest shall pray for him, because he did it ignorantly: and it shall be forgiven him, because by mistake he trespassed against the Lord."'

Leviticus 5:14-19


'Anselm.. Let us return and consider whether it were proper for God to put away sins by compassion alone, without any payment of the honor taken from him.

Boso. I do not see why it is not proper.

Anselm.. To remit sin in this manner is nothing else than not to punish; and since it is not right to cancel sin without compensation or punishment; if it be not punished, then is it passed by undischarged.

Boso. What you say is reasonable.

Anselm.. It is not fitting for God to pass over anything in his kingdom undischarged.

Boso. If I wish to oppose this, I fear to sin.

Anselm.. It is, therefore, not proper for God thus to pass over sin unpunished.'

St. Anselm of Canterbury, 'Cur Deus Homo'


'Anselm.. Injustice, therefore, if it is canceled by compassion alone, is more free than justice, which seems very inconsistent. And to these is also added a further incongruity, viz., that it makes injustice like God. For as God is subject to no law, so neither is injustice.

Boso. I cannot withstand your reasoning. But when God commands us in every case to forgive those who trespass against us, it seems inconsistent to enjoin a thing upon us which it is not proper for him to do himself.

Anselm.. There is no inconsistency in God's commanding us not to take upon ourselves what belongs to Him alone. For to execute vengeance belongs to none but Him who is Lord of all; for when the powers of the world rightly accomplish this end, God himself does it who appointed them for the purpose.'

St. Anselm of Canterbury, 'Cur Deus Homo'


'That your enemies have been created is God's doing; that they hate you and wish to ruin you is their own doing. What should you say about them in your mind? "Lord be merciful to them, forgive them their sins, put the fear of God in them, change them!" You are loving in them not what they are, but what you would have them to become.'

St. Augustine


'Remembrance of Jesus' passion will heal your soul of resentment, by making it ashamed of itself when it remembers the patience of the Lord. Some people have wearied themselves and suffered for a long time in order to extract forgiveness. By far the best course, however, is to forget the offences, since the Lord says: "Forgive at once and you will be forgiven in generous measure." (cf. Luke 6:37-38)'

St. John Climacus


'Forgetting offences is a sign of sincere repentance. If you keep the memory of them, you may believe you have repented but you are like someone running in his sleep. Let no one consider it a minor defect, this darkness that often clouds the eyes even of spiritual people.'

St. John Climacus


'Do not stop praying as long as, by God's grace, the fire and the water [i.e. fervor and tears] have not been exhausted, for it may happen that never again in your whole life will you have such a chance to ask for the forgiveness for your sins.'

St. John Climacus


'It is true that God promises forgiveness if we repent, but what assurance have we of obtaining it tomorrow?'

St. Louis de Blois


'There is a sin which is always "unto death" (1 John 5:16): the sin for which we do not repent. For this sin even a saint's prayers will not be heard.'

St. Mark the Ascetic


'Angel of God and well-beloved brother, I trust myself to your beneficence and implore you humbly to intercede for me with my Spouse, so that He may forgive me my sins, strengthen me in well-doing, help me by His grace to correct my faults, and lead me to Paradise, there to taste the fruition of His presence and to possess eternal life. Amen.'

St. Lydwine of Schiedam


'There is He, led forth from the palace of Pilate, and conducted without the gates; and they make Simon carry the Cross behind Him. He is nailed to the cross, and two thieves, one at one side and one at the other, are placed beside my Saviour. How, the thief on the left side murmured against Him; the good thief justifies himself and asks Him for His kingdom. I hear our Lord promising him glory. Now he recommends His mother to His disciples and the disciples to His mother; now the Jews insult and outrage Him; now darkness is upon the face of the earth; now our Lord is thirsty and they offer Him gall to drink; now He forgives those who crucified Him, and recommends aloud His spirit to His Father. Now my soul sees Longinus led to the cross, a lance is in his hand, he is enlightened by the blood of my God.'

St. Margaret of Cortona


'Failure to do the good that is within your power is hard to forgive. But mercy and prayer reclaim the negligent.'

St. Mark the Ascetic


'He who seeks forgiveness of his sins loves humility, but if he condemns another he seals his own wickedness.'

St. Mark the Ascetic


'The sign of sincere love is to forgive wrongs done to us. It was with such love that the Lord loved the world.'

St. Mark the Ascetic


'We cannot with all our heart forgive someone who does us wrong unless we possess real knowledge. For this knowledge shows us that we deserve all we experience.'

St. Mark the Ascetic


'No one is as good and merciful as the Lord. But even He does not forgive the unrepentant.'

St. Mark the Ascetic


'A man who has been assiduous in acquiring the fruits of love will not cease loving even if he suffers a thousand calamities. Let Stephen, the disciple of Christ, and others like him persuade you of the truth of this (cf. Acts 7:60). Our Lord Himself prayed for His murderers and asked the Father to forgive them because they did not know what they were doing (cf. Luke 23:34).'

St. Maximos the Confessor


'There are virtues of the body and virtues of the soul. Those of the body include fasting, vigils, sleeping on the ground, ministering to people's needs, working with one's hands so as not to be a burden or in order to give to others (cf. 1 Thess. 2:9, Ephes. 4:28). Those of the soul include love, long-suffering, gentleness, self-control and prayer (cf. Gal, 5:22). If as a result of some constraint or bodily condition, such as illness or the like, we find we cannot practice the bodily virtues mentioned above, we are forgiven by the Lord because He knows the reasons. But if we fail to practice the virtues of the soul, we shall not have a single excuse, for it is always within our power to practice them.'

St. Maximos the Confessor


'If any dust of imperfection cling to your heart, be not troubled, but consume it immediately in the fire of divine love, and, sorrowfully asking forgiveness, continue to live in peace.'

St. Paul of the Cross


'During mental prayer, it is well, at times, to imagine that many insults and injuries are being heaped upon us, that misfortunes have befallen us, and then strive to train our heart to bear and forgive these things patiently, in imitation of our Saviour. This is the way to acquire a strong spirit.'

St. Philip Neri


'If a man finds it very hard to forgive injuries, let him look at a crucifix, and think that Christ has shed all His Blood for him, and not only forgave his enemies, but prayed the Eternal Father to forgive them also. Let him remember also that when he says the Pater Noster every day, instead of asking pardon for his sins, he is calling down vengeance upon them.'

St. Philip Neri


'They who have been exercised in the service of God for a long time, may in their prayers imagine all sorts of insults offered to them, such as blows, wounds, and the like, and so in order to imitate Christ by their charity, may accustom their hearts beforehand to forgive real injuries when they come.'

St. Philip Neri


'Will not God, who has commanded men to act thus, do as much himself and even more? For God commanded Peter to forgive till seventy times seven.'

St. Poemen


'Now, there was an anchorite called Timothy in a coenobium. The abbot, having heard of a brother who was being tempted, asked Timothy about him, and the anchorite advised him to drive the brother away. Then when he had been driven away, the brother's temptation fell upon Timothy to the point where he was in danger. Then Timothy stood up before God and said, "I have sinned. Forgive me." Then a voice came which said to him, "Timothy, the only reason I have done this to you is because you despised your brother in the time of his temptation."'

St. Poemen


'Long-suffering and readiness to forgive curb anger; love and compassion wither it.'

St. Thalassios the Libyan


'Concern for one's soul means hardship and humility, for through these God forgives us all our sins.'

St. Thalassios the Libyan


'All sin is due to sensual pleasure, all forgiveness to hardship and distress.'

St. Thalassios the Libyan


'As for certain lesser faults, we must believe that, before the Final Judgment, there is a purifying fire. He who is truth says that whoever utters blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will be pardoned neither in this age nor in the age to come. From this sentence we understand that certain offenses can be forgiven in this age, but certain others in the age to come.'

Pope St. Gregory the Great


'If thou remainest faithful to Me, I will never forsake thee. . . I forgive thy ignorance, because, as yet, thou dost not know Me; but, if thou art faithful to Me and followest Me, I will teach thee to know Me, and I will reveal Myself to thee.'

The Lord, to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque


'Pardon me, O perfections of my God, for having preferred imperfect and evil inclinations to Thee!

Pardon me, O justice of my God, for having outraged Thee by my sins.

Pardon me, O holiness of my God, for having so long stained Thy sight's purity by my sins.

Pardon me, O mercy of my God, for having despised so long Thy mercy's voice.

In deep sorrow and contrition, I cast myself at Thy feet: Have mercy on me.'

St. Ignatius Loyola


'And I prayed to the Lord my God, and I made my confession, and said: I beseech thee, O Lord God, great and terrible, who keepest the covenant, and mercy to them that love thee, and keep thy commandments.

We have sinned, we have committed iniquity, we have done wickedly, and have revolted: and we have gone aside from thy commandments, and thy judgments.

We have not hearkened to thy servants the prophets, that have spoken in thy name to our kings, to our princes, to our fathers, and to all the people of the land . . .

O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our princes, and to our fathers that have sinned. But to thee, the Lord our God, mercy and forgiveness, for we have departed from thee: And we have not hearkened to the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his law, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.'

Daniel 9:4-6,8-10


'But he whom God hath raised from the dead, saw no corruption. Be it known therefore to you, men, brethren, that through him forgiveness of sins is preached to you: and from all the things, from which you could not be justified by the law of Moses.'

Acts 13:37


'To open their eyes, that they may be converted from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and a lot among the saints, by the faith that is in me.'

Acts 26:18





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