Cardinal Manning urges: “Aim at the highest and greatest things of God’s kingdom. Do not think that it is humility to try to live a commonplace Christian life. . . . It is like seamen who say, ‘I will not launch out into the deep, but I will keep near the shore.’ To keep near the shore is not always safety; to keep near the shore requires the greater seamanship; to keep near the shore may be to run the greatest risk of wrecking. Do not imagine for one moment that this is humility. The humblest may seek the greatest things in God’s kingdom. Aim at the highest.”
“With all your sins and imperfections about you, you are called to be saints. If you are to be saved, saints you must be before the throne in the kingdom of God hereafter. Saints you are now, if the Holy Ghost dwell in you, and you are united in love to God and your neighbour. . . . As the twilight of the morning is the light of day, and differs from the noonday only in the degree of its splendour, so the sanctity which is in you now differs only in the degree of its manifestation from that perfect sanctity which shall be in you when ‘the just shall shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father’ (Mt 13:43).”
“The grace that is given to each one of you is measured according to the vocation wherewith you are called. If God has called you to be saints, He has given you, and will give you, grace sufficient to enable you to become saints. . . . Even the guiltiest that hears me has grace offered now, at this moment, to become penitent, and through penitence to become a saint. The most tempted, the most buffeted, the soul that has fallen oftenest, that has been cast down over and over again by long habitual and inveterate sin, even to that soul grace sufficient is offered at this time to be a saint if it have the will to receive it.”
Quotations from Henry Edward Manning, Sin and Its Consequences, 2d ed. (London: Burns and Oates, 1874).