It is a most lamentable thing to see how most people spend their time and their energy for trifles, while God is cast aside. He who is all seems to them as nothing, and that which is nothing seems to them as good as all. It is lamentable indeed, knowing that God has set mankind in such a race where heaven or hell is their certain end, that they should sit down and loiter, or run after the childish toys of the world, forgetting the prize they should run for. Were it but possible for one of us to see this business as the all-seeing God does, and see what most men and women in the world are interested in and what they are doing every day, it would be the saddest sight imaginable. Oh, how we should marvel at their madness and lament their self-delusion! If God had never told them what they were sent into the world to do, or what was before them in another world, then there would have been some excuse. But it is His sealed word, and they profess to believe it.
When we pursue first things first [God’s priorities – Mt. 6:33], the second things are thrown in; when we pursue second things first, we not only miss out on the first things, but we also miss the fullness of the second things [see 1 Kings 3:5-14].
Offer men the smaller gifts, and they will run over one another in their scramble for them; but offer them the highest, and they will scarcely hold out a languid hand to take them.
The common good argument is extremely powerful in the Christian tradition. Indeed, it is the second greatest commandment listed by Jesus Christ: to love our neighbors as ourselves. The general principle of the common good comes down to benevolence, love, care for others, laying down personal priorities for the service of others.
Do not have your concert first and tune your instruments afterward. Begin the day with God.
The first priority of my life is to be holy, and the second goal of my life is to be a scholar.