Pray, Fight, Love: 10 Inspiring Quotes From Montse Alvarado

Montse Alvarado, Vice President and Executive Director of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty was the keynote speaker at Benedictine College’s 2021 Academic Convocation Aug. 31. Alvarado, who is a member of Benedictine College’s Board of Directors, was recently profiled in the Wall Street Journal’s Weekend Edition, which called her “a defender of all religion, on the front lines of America’s culture wars.” She was born in Mexico City and holds a B.A. from Florida International University and has a master’s degree from George Washington University. Born in Mexico City, she also serves as a lay consultant to the U.S. Bishops’ Religious Liberty Committee and hosts EWTN’s News In-Depth television program. She is fluent in Spanish and French.

Here are selections from her inspiring words to students at the Gregorian Fellows leadership class and at the Convocation.

At the Gates of Heaven

One day, you’re going to stand in front of St. Peter and you’re going to give him … what? Your resume? A piece of paper with a bunch of accomplishments? He’s going to ask, ‘Who did you bring with you, babe?’ Jesus himself might ask you, ‘Who did you tell about me?’”

A Bible for the Broken

“The Bible transformed my life. Going through the stories of all the broken people that God has used is what helps me.”

At the Gates of Heaven

One day, you’re going to stand in front of St. Peter and you’re going to give him … what? Your resume? A piece of paper with a bunch of accomplishments? He’s going to ask, ‘Who did you bring with you, babe?’ Jesus himself might ask you, ‘Who did you tell about me?’”

A Bible for the Broken

“The Bible transformed my life. Going through the stories of all the broken people that God has used is what helps me.”

The Church as Bridge

“Nothing stands between you and your relationship with God. The Church is just there to facilitate that.”

Your Self-Seeking

“You will spend the rest of your life getting rid of your self-seeking. There is no point in thinking you can get it completely out of you in the next four years. But what you can do is find the place where those two meet. Get to know yourself and your talents.”

Your Spirituality

“Your spirituality is yours. There are all these things the Church offers you. Which looks like you?  God has designed a spirituality for you.”

Declaration of Interdependence

“We are not just beings floating around with no purpose and no calling, we are individuals with our eyes fixed on the far horizon, constantly asking big questions about who we are and why we are here. Our religion then becomes a declaration that we are beings made to search for truth. “

Freedom of (not From) Religion

“Many people have tried to use religious freedom as a tool to silence others, claiming that religious freedom is the right not to be exposed to ideas you disagree with, ever.  And they advocate to limit freedom of conscience often using the phrase ‘freedom of worship’ to minimize the broader, fuller right encompassed in religious freedom. They want you to check your beliefs at the door when you go to work or enter civil society. Freedom from religion instead of freedom of religion.”

A Lifetime for Three Words

“When Armando Valladares was 23 years old, he followed his conscience and ended up in Castro’s gulag. Living in Castro’s Cuba, Armando refused to do something that at the time seemed very small. He refused to say a few words, ‘I’m with Fidel.’ Even after years of torture and watching many fellow fighters die, either in body or in spirit, he would still refuse to say those words. …  In reality those three words meant everything. Saying those words would constitute a type of spiritual suicide. “

Soul-Care

“Listen, the only self-care routine you need to invest time in developing is your prayer life. Talk about living your best life — if you get your prayer life in check, and you learn to spend some time in front of the Blessed Sacrament — you will be living your best life.”

God’s Glory Surrounds Your Day

“God knows our human anxieties so well …  he made a supernatural beginning and end to our day to remind us to stop, to force us to reflect, to find quiet. The rising and setting of the sun is a wonder to behold and miraculous reminder that everything will settle.”

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Benedictine College

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide to Choosing a Catholic College. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.