Quotes by Charles de Foucauld

Does my presence do any good here?

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Does my presence do any good here? Contact with the native people helps to lessen the feeling of strangeness, tames them, and slowly makes taboos and prejudices disappear. It is very slow, a very little thing. ... It is painful to see the reign of evil all around, the lack of good, the enemies of the Lord who are so enterprising, the friends who are so faltering, and to see oneself so miserable after so many blessings. However, one should not be sad but should look above it all, to our Beloved Lord. For it is He whom we love and not ourselves, and it is His good that concerns us.

This peace is the one your love gives

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What is this peace, different from that which the world gives? This peace is the one your love gives ... a peace greater than suffering, not a peace without war, but a peace in spite of war, during war, above war, the peace of the soul, having, through love, its whole life in heaven and thus enjoying the peace of heaven in spite of everything which may happen on earth around it and against it.

The suffering members of Jesus’ body

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Have a love that goes with special preference towards the humble and the poor, remembering that it is directly to Jesus that the smallest act of kindness and love is addressed when it is done to the least among his brothers and sisters. Welcome them with respect and love, be all the more considerate towards them, for they are the suffering members of Jesus’ body.

We must stand up for the rights of our neighbour

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We must stand up for the rights of our neighbour who is suffering from injustice; we must defend them all the more vigorously because we see Jesus present in them. Surely this is our duty because of our love for others for his sake. We have no right to be 'sleeping watchmen' or dumb watch-dogs. Whenever we see evil we must sound the alarm.

When an injustice is being done

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When an injustice is being done to someone and there is something they can do to help, the brothers and sisters will not stand by idly, but will say or do all they can to help. Behind masks and outward appearances, they will see in everyone an inexpressibly sacred being in whom Jesus lives.

The Gospel shows me

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The Gospel shows me that the first commandment is to love God with all my heart, and that it is necessary to do everything solely out of love. Everyone knows that the first result of love is imitation.

Proclaim the Gospel from the housetops

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Everything about us, all that we are, should ‘proclaim the Gospel from the housetops’. All that we do and our whole lives should be an example of what the Gospel way of life means in practice, and should make it unmistakably clear that we belong to Jesus. Our entire being should be a living witness, a reflection of Jesus.

Shout the Gospel from the rooftops

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Our entire existence, our whole being must shout the Gospel from the rooftops. Our entire person must breathe Jesus, all our actions. Our whole life must cry out that we belong to Jesus, reflect a Gospel way of living. Our whole being must be a living proclamation, a reflection of Jesus.

Read and re-read ceaselessly the Holy Gospel

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Read and re-read ceaselessly the Holy Gospel... so as to always have before one's mind the actions, words and thoughts of Jesus, in order to think, speak and act like Jesus, to follow the examples and teachings of Jesus, not the examples and ways of behaving of the world. We fall into this latter so quickly, as soon as we take our eyes off the Divine Model.