There is no evil to be faced that Christ does not face with us. There is no enemy that Christ has not already conquered. There is no cross to bear that Christ has not alreasy borne for us, and does not now bear with us.
If I say, “Let the darkness hide me and let the light around me turn into night,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. My flesh was made by you, and my parts joined together in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul has become fully aware of this.
One cannot desire freedom from the cross when one is especially chosen for the cross. […] The more lofty the degree of loving union to which God destines the soul, so much more profound and persistent must be its purification.
“The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—
is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the
friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and
all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties
you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no
human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with
heaven, if Christ were not there? “
— John Piper
God would never inspire me with desires which cannot be realized…If I were a priest, how lovingly I would carry you in my hands when you came down from heaven at my call; how lovingly I would bestow you upon people’s souls…If I were a priest, O Jesus, with what love would I give you to people!
Do you not know how it is with love? First comes delight: then pain: then fruit. And then there is joy of the fruit but that is different again from the first delight. And mortal lovers must not try to remain at the first step: for lasting passion is the dream of a harlot and from it we wake in despair. You must not try to keep the raptures: they have done their work. Manna kept, is worms.