January 5, 2016

Saint John Neumann on Human Dignity

The following quote by Saint John Neumann bespeaks the incalculable dignity of every human being in the eyes of God; and our response to God's love and benevolence:
St. John Neumann
Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random; we are not here, that we may go to bed at night and get up in the morning, toil for our bread, eat and drink, laugh and joke, sin when we have a mind, and reform when we are tired of sinning, rear a family and die. God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, …for a purpose. He needs, He deigns to need every one of us. He has an end for each of us; we are all equal in His sight, and we are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has worked, we too have but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do his work, we must rejoice in ours also.* 
— St. John Neumann

*This quote has been variously credited to both St. John Neumann and Blessed John Henry Newman. We attribute it to Neumann, as do a number of reputable Catholic sources, but do not claim infallibility. The saint and the cardinal were contemporaries [the latter being ten years older than the former]. 

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