With so many interesting stories in the news, here are some quotes that I’ve been thinking about. Enjoy this food for thought.

– Fr. Jared

“President Trump’s recent executive orders … were ill-timed and poorly communicated; they caused widespread confusion and division. They have created a damaging pothole on the road to secure refugee resettlement and meaningful immigration reform… I again commit the Diocese of Providence to welcoming and working with immigrants and refugees who come to us looking for safety and security, and to make a new beginning for themselves and their families. To do so is an expression of our faith and is fully consistent with our national heritage.”— Bishop Thomas Tobin (Providence)

“I understand the desire for every American to be assured of safe borders and freedom from terrorism.  The federal government should continue a prudent policy aimed at protecting citizens. I also understand and heed the call of God, who through Moses told the people of Israel: ‘You shall not oppress an alien; you well know how it feels to be an alien, since you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.’ Jesus asks His disciples to go further, calling on us to recognize Him in the stranger: ‘Whatsoever you did to the least of my brothers, you did to me.’ … [The President’s] Executive Actions do not show the United States to be an open and welcoming nation.  They are the opposite of what it means to be an American. Closing borders and building walls are not rational acts.  Mass detentions and wholesale deportation benefit no one; such inhuman policies destroy families and communities. ”— Cardinal Joseph Tobin (Newark)

“The executive order to turn away refugees and to close our nation to those, particularly Muslims, fleeing violence, oppression and persecution is contrary to both Catholic and American values. … These actions give aid and comfort to those who would destroy our way of life. They lower our estimation in the eyes of the many peoples who want to know America as a defender of human rights and religious liberty, not a nation that targets religious populations and then shuts its doors on them… It is time to put aside fear and join together to recover who we are and what we represent to a world badly in need of hope and solidarity. ‘If we want security, let us give security; if we want life, let us give life; if we want opportunities, let us provide opportunities.’ Pope Francis issued these challenging words to Congress in 2015…”      — Pope Francis

“In education we are used to dealing with black and white formulas, but not with the gray areas of life. And what matters is life, not formulas. Discernment, meanwhile, means moving forward through the gray of life according to the will of God. And the will of God is to be sought according to the true doctrine of the Gospel and not in the rigidity of an abstract doctrine.” – Pope Francis, on the need for seminarians to learn discernment— Pope Francis

“The Church could admit to Penance and to the Eucharist faithful who find themselves in an illegitimate [marital] union when two essential conditions occur: they want to change the situation, but they are unable to fulfill their desire.” – President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, on the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia— Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio

“Things cannot be static, especially when young people are involved. When I was young, it was fashionable to hold meetings. Today, static things like meetings are unpopular. You have to work with young people by doing things, working with the popular missions, social work, going every week to feed the homeless. Young people find the Lord in action.”— Pope Francis

“What is the source of my serenity? No, I don’t take tranquilizers! Italians give some good advice: in order to live in peace we need a healthy couldn’t-care-less attitude. I don’t mind admitting that what I am experiencing is a completely new experience for me. In Buenos Aires I was more anxious, I admit. I felt more tense and worried. In short, I was not like I am now. I have experienced a sensation of profound peace ever since the moment I was elected. It has never left me. I live in peace. I cannot explain it.” — Pope Francis

“This is going to be the greatest comeback of all time.” – during halftime at Super Bowl LI— Patriots safety Duron Harmon

“We were down, but nobody stopped working. We went out there because our instincts — no matter what, the guys on our team — the instincts are to keep fighting. And that’s not everybody’s instinct. Even if you’re down, you can be down and have doubts, but you don’t know any other way but to keep grinding it out. And that’s what we did as a team. I think most of us believed, but some of us had some doubts. It’s natural to have some doubts. We’re only human.” on the greatest Super Bowl comeback in history— Patriots defensive end Chris Long