More Beautiful Revelations from St. Mechtilde.

Again, another soul dared not approach the most Holy Communion, fearing she was not worthy. “Let Me receive her frequently,” said our Lord; “every time she comes I will receive her as My legitimate queen.”

“Our loving Lord,” said Mechtilde, “teach me how to prepare for the royal banquet of Thy adorable Body and Blood.” Our Lord answered: “What did My disciples do when I sent them before Me to prepare the Pasch which I was to eat with them the night before My Passion? They prepared a large and well-furnished hall.” By this our Lord wished us to remember that with repentance He desires confidence- confidence in His immense bounty and liberality in lovingly receiving those who go to Him.

 “O My Father, I will answer for all that is brought against each one of them, for My Heart is pierced for love of them.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

“When a powerful King comes to stay in a house, it is at once cleaned so that nothing should offend his eyes, but if he is so near that there is no time to carry away the dirt it is carefully hidden in a corner to be afterwards thrown away. In the same way, if thou hast the will to confess thy sins and a firm purpose not to commit them again, they are completely blotted out, and I will remember them no more, but thou must remember them in the confessional. The will and desire which thou hast to avoid sin with all thy strength and power are bonds which attract and unite Me to thee so that nothing could ever separate us.” Jesus had spoken and yet Mechtilde hesitated. This is what so often happens to timorous souls who dare not advance even at the priest’s word. Many different reasons caused her to hesitate. She thought herself unworthy to partake of the banquet of the King of Angels; she felt it impossible to receive so magnificent a gift without preparation and confession. On the other hand, our Lord had suggested thoughts of hope and consolation. Our Lord spoke again: “Reflect,” He said, “on this. Every desire that a soul has ever had to possess Me is inspired by Me; it is like the Holy Scriptures and the words of the saints which proceed, and ever shall proceed, from My Spirit.”

The Blessed Virgin, safe guide of grateful souls will teach us our duty: “Draw nigh and kiss the wounds my Son received for love of thee. But thrice kiss His loving Heart, thanking Him for having given Himself, now and forever, to thee and all the elect… In kissing the wound in His right hand, thank Him for having helped and cooperated in all thy good works. At the left hand thank Him that He will always be for thee an assured refuge. Kiss also the wound in His right foot in thanksgiving for the ardent desire which caused Him to thirst after thee, all His life. Kiss also gratefully the wound in His right foot, for there thou shalt always find forgiveness for all thy sins.”

“Let men meditate with profound gratitude, and keep always in their memory the acts of virtue I practised while on earth, all the sufferings and injuries I bore during thirty-three years, the destitution in which I received the affronts I had to bear from My own creatures, and at last My death on the Cross, that most bitter death borne for love of man. By it, I bought his soul with My Precious Blood to make it My spouse. Let each one have as much love and gratitude for all these benefits as if I had suffered them for his salvation alone.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

The servant of God prayed for a person who had complained to her of the sorrow she felt because she did not love God enough and did not serve Him with enough devotion. She was herself also filled with sorrow at the thought, feeling herself in every way useless, having received such great blessings from God and yet loving Him so poorly. Our Lord answered her: “Come, My well-beloved, be not sad; all that is Mine is also thine.” “If, therefore,” said Mechtilde, “all that is Thine is mine, I possess also Thy love, for Thou has said Thyself by St. John, ‘God is love’ (Jn iv. 16). I offer Thee, then, this love, that it may supply for all that is wanting in me.” Our Lord accepted this offering with pleasure, and said to her: “Thou must always do this; when thou dost desire to praise or love Me without being able always to fulfil thy desire, thou shalt say: ‘Good Jesus, I praise Thee; supply, I beg of Thee, all that is wanting to me.’ If thou desirest to love thou shalt say: ‘Good Jesus, I love Thee; in order to supply what is wanting to my love, I beg of Thee to offer to Thy Father for me the love of Thy Heart.’ Also tell the person for whom thou hast prayed to do the same. If she does it a thousand times a day, her offering shall each time be presented to the Father, for it could never tire or weary Me.”

“Offer to God the Father all thy desires, intentions and prayers in union with My desires and prayers; all will unite and ascend to God, giving Him pleasure, as several perfumes burnt together cause only one column of smoke that rises straight to Heaven. Any other prayer, even though it should reach Heaven, could not be so pleasing to God. In the same way, if thou unitest thy labours and all thy works with all My labours and My works, all that thou dost shall be ennobled; as brass melted with gold is no longer a common metal but is changed into precious gold. If a handful of wheat is thrown onto a heap of the same, it is immediately identified with it, and so the works of men, in themselves nothing, when joined to My works, are multiplied and change to their advantage. In the third place, regulate thy whole life- viz., thy movement, strength, senses, thoughts, words, indeed everything according to My way of living, from which will result a new and higher life. See a beautiful bird which flies from a fetid marsh and poisonous air; it takes a new life in better surroundings. So the earthly man, in the life he has hitherto led, becomes heavenly in the new life he receives, united with Me.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

One day when Mechtilde was honouring the divine Wounds, she saw they were surrounded by precious stones, and as she was astonished at this our Lord said to her: “Precious stones possess great qualities and may sometimes chase away great sickness; in the same way My Wounds are so efficacious that they drive away all languor from men’s souls. Some men have such weak, trembling hearts that they never dare to trust in My tenderness and they try to fly from Me. One would say they had the palsy. If they would take refuge in My passion, honouring tenderly My Wounds, I would deliver them from all fear. Others have restless, fickle hearts; they never stop to think; at the smallest word they give way to impatience or even anger. If they would recall My Passion, if they penetrated their minds with the remembrance of My Wounds, they would acquire stability and find patience. There are others who have a sleeping paralysis. I mean all those who do all lazily and carelessly. They, too, at the remembrance of My Passion and the consideration of the depth and pain of My Wounds would be aroused from tepidity.”

Our Lord appeared one day to St. Mechtilde with His Hands outstretched and His open Wounds. “When I was hanging on the Cross,” He said, “all My Wounds were bleeding, each of them a voice interceding with My Father for the salvation of men, and they still cry to Him to appease His wrath against sinners… As I, in My human nature, offered Myself to God the Father with ineffable love, covered with blood, a victim on the altar of the Cross, so with the same love I offer Myself now to the Father for sinners, I present to Him all the instruments of My Passion, for what I desire most is that the sinner should be converted and live… As long as a sinner remains in sin, he keeps Me stretched and fastened to the Cross, but as soon as he is converted and repentant he detaches Me, and as if I really had been detached from the Cross I fall, with all My weight on him, as formerly on Joseph of Arimathea, with My grace and mercy; I give Myself into his hands, that he may do with Me as he will.”

“See, leave Me to act, and pray for these poor sinners that I have bought with a great price and for whose conversion I long so ardently. He who desires to pray and be heard for those who are captive either in body or in soul, by sin, let him pray to Me by the love of My Heart; by that love which held me captive nine months in the Virgin’s womb; by that love which bound Me in swaddling clothes and delivered Me in fetters into the hands of wicked men. Let him pray by the love which bound Me in chains, when led by the Jews before the judge; by the love which bound Me to the pillar to be scourged; which nailed Me with so much shame to the cross; which after death enveloped Me in a winding sheet. By that love which bound Me in all these different circumstances, let him beg of Me to deliver this captive from the bonds of sin.” How powerful is this prayer for sinners! One day St. Mechtilde was soliciting ardently the conversion of all those in a state of sin, and our Lord said to her: “Very well! For thy prayers I will convert a hundred sinners.”

An Infallible Cure for Scrupulosity

Scrupulosity can be a great burden; I have experienced this first–hand. There was a time when I was terribly scrupulous; my spiritual life was dominated by minute examinations of conscience, endless self–reflection, fear, doubt, anxiety, discouragement, frustration and uneasiness. I did not possess peace, nor could I; for I was too preoccupied with my own desires, my own will.

I may now say, with great gratitude to Almighty God, that I have found many powerful means for overcoming scruples. By God’s grace, I have been extricated from the web of scrupulosity. Of course, this does not mean that I am exempt from doubts and uncertainty etc.

I say these things not to boast, but to encourage others. Scruples can be overcome! How? Please read on. I assure you that these remedies have worked for me.

** Keep in mind that this article will not be exhaustive; it would be impossible to explain every scrupulous doubt and state of mind. Rather, this article will provide several tips for overcoming scruples in general.  

THREE NECESSARY WEAPONS

#1: OBEDIENCE

Obey God; obey His Church; and obey your confessor. From disobedience springs chaos, unhappiness and spiritual blindness. One fruit of spiritual blindness, says a holy author, is the inability to distinguish between venial sin and mortal sin. 

“It is a secret pride,” says St. Francis de Sales, “that entertains and nourishes scruples, for the scrupulous person adheres to his opinion and inquietude in spite of his director’s advice to the contrary. He always persuades himself in justification of his disobedience that some new and unforeseen circumstance has occurred to which this advice cannot be applicable. But submit without other reasoning than this: I SHOULD OBEY, AND YOU WILL BE DELIVERED FROM THIS LAMENTABLE MALADY.”

Here is some excellent, necessary and consoling advice from St. Alphonsus in relation to obedience:

https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2014/10/06/consolation-for-scrupulous-souls-some-advice-from-st-alphonsus/ 

#2: HUMILITY

Humility (i.e. “the sister of obedience” – revelation to St. Catherine of Siena) is necessary for salvation. Humility attracts an abundance of grace. We should ask God frequently for everything we need, including humility, knowing that He will infallibly grant us what is necessary to become holy.

“I possess humility for your pride.” – Our Lord to SG. Sr. Josefa Menendez

“Humility is truth” (St. Teresa, St. Padre Pio and others). The humble soul knows what they are and what God is. Consequently, they are ever at peace; trials are recognised as gifts of love from God’s Providence, which seeks only to purify us on earth so that we might avoid Purgatory and receive a greater reward in Heaven; imperfections are seen as occasions for humbling oneself; and the soul places all its confidence in God, Who desires that we entrust ourselves to Him like little children.  To be humble is to obey God lovingly, calling to mind the truth that God’s will is the best possible thing for us; it is rely on Almighty God for everything; it is to believe that the only good we can ever hope to achieve or possess is a gift from God’s bounty.

“It is only by the measure of thy humility that thou canst hope to please God and save thyself, because it is certain that God ‘will save the humble of spirit.’ (Ps. 33:19– page 60) – Fr. Cajetan

“There is no way that conducts more directly, more securely, more swiftly, and more sweetly to God than humility. But it is the humility studied in the Gospel, humility learned in My Life, humility profoundly taught in the Holy Eucharist. If thou seek humility in these three sources, thou wilt ever find it.”

– Our Lord to SG. Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero 

#3: ABANDONMENT

The term “abandonment” has many meanings in the spiritual life, but here it refers to abandoning one’s will (i.e. making of it a gift) to God, as well as one’s problems. If we are to overcome any vice, imperfection, or struggle, it is certain that we can do so only with God’s help. He loves it when we trust in Him; that way He receives the glory.

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Obedience, humility and abandonment: these three things will help us to conquer scrupulosity. What has been said so far is fairly general. The following pieces of advice are more specific.

1. Have confidence in the Lord with all thy heart, and lean not upon thy own prudence’ (Prov. 3:5)

The scrupulous soul is inclined to excessive reflection and introspection. God does not demand this; He does not will it; it is useless! Consequently, it can never give us peace.

What is the fruit of continually examining and analysing fleeting thoughts, imperfections, sins, spiritual advice, and a host of other things? Quite simply it is this: the mind grows weary; the will loses focus of its proper object (God); and the soul lacks the courage and strength to persevere.

What is the remedy? For starters – and this should go without say – we should ask God humbly for the grace to trust in Him.

What else? We must get used to reasoning (and perhaps praying) as follows: ‘Dear Lord, my mind is perplexed; nevertheless, I will not seek to understand my troubles; this will not bring me peace. Instead, I will follow St. Augustine’s advice and believe in you, so that I may understand. Only you can deliver me from my doubts. It is only reasonable, then, that I trust in you entirely.  Forgive me for relying on my own strength, which is really nothing but an illusion. I confess, dear God, that all light comes from you – all wisdom, all knowledge and all truth. I resolve, therefore, to rely on you for all the knowledge that I need to overcome the Evil One and his lies. Although he is a fallen angel, his intellect is far superior to mine. Help me to avoid dialogue with him. When I encounter his snares, or any evil whatsoever, inspire me to call on you for help. From you alone do I hope for salvation; from you alone do I hope for the graces necessary to overcome my scruples.  Reasoning alone cannot deliver me from my fear; and if it could, this would still be a grace from you. In temptation, in distress, in hardship, let me fly to you, Who are the Source of all goodness. Let me not turn away from you, trusting in my own understanding – I can understand nothing without you. Without your illumination I walk in darkness. You are Light (1 Jn. 1:5); guide me.’

2. Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you’ (1 Pt. 5:7)

We cannot care for ourselves. Without God, we can only damn ourselves. Without self–will, says St. Bernard, there would be no Hell! This is a profound truth. Ponder this truth often and you will grow in distrust of self as well as confidence in God. This is necessary for salvation, writes St. Alphonsus; and Our Lord confirmed to SG. Sr. Benigna Consolata that this is the key to sanctity!

No one loves us more than God. Any love that we possess, including the desire that we have for our own salvation, is a gift from God! Surely, then, we should trust in God’s all-powerful love.

Furthermore, no one knows us better than God; He knows our weaknesses, our needs… everything! He is also the only One capable of saving us. All grace comes from Him. Surely we can make the following prayer: ‘Dear God, you created me for Heaven; your only desire is that I be happy and holy. I cannot do this without you. In fact, the more I rely on myself, the more certain I am of failure. “Take me from myself and give me all to you.” Then I will rest secure in the Sacred Heart of Jesus.’

3. ‘If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all iniquity’ (1 Jn. 1:9)

God’s mercy is inexhaustible to those who repent with contrite hearts. A contrite heart is not necessarily one that feels great sorrow. Contrition is in the will; sorrow is merely an effect of contrition.

As soon as the soul desires to turn from sin to God, she is pardoned, provided that love – not fear – is the mainspring. This is perfect contrition. It is not too difficult to attain if only we ask God regularly for this grace. He is more eager to grant it than we can ever be to desire it.

“You ask me how you can make your act of contrition in a short time. I answer that scarcely any time at all is needed to do it thoroughly well, since all that has to be done is to prostrate oneself in a humble spirit before God, and regret having offended Him. To exercise an act of the will is a wonderful power that God has bestowed upon us, and in consequence of that you have contrition by the very fact that you desire to have it. You do not feel it – perhaps not. The fire that is under the ashes is neither seen nor felt, but the fire is there nevertheless.”

– St. Francis de Sales

Look at a crucifix and imagine that Our Lord were right before your eyes. Better yet, go to Mass, where Our Lord truly is right before your eyes (though only visible with the eyes of faith)! This is a powerful means for achieving true sorrow for our sins, which is always accompanied by a firm purpose of amendment. In other words, we must make a strong resolution to avoid all serious sin (at the very least) and the occasions of sin (e.g. movies with sexually explicit content).

‘Why are you tormenting yourself? Do what lies in your power: I will supply whatever is wanting in you. Moreover, in this sacrament [of Confession] I only require a contrite and humble heart, with sincere will never to offend Me again, and sincere confession. In that case I forgive without delay, and thence comes a perfect amendment.’ 

– Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary

 “Take care of your soul and DO NOT CONFESS SCRUPLES OR FIRST MOVEMENTS OR IMAGININGS IN WHICH THE SOUL DOES NOT DESIRE TO BE DETAINED. Look after your health, and do not fail to pray when you can.”

– St. John of the Cross

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About 3/4 of following words were in the original post. Some further quotes etc., have been added.

Some Helpful Resources

+ ‘Confession: A Little Book for the Reluctant’by Msgr. Louis Gaston de Segur (deals indirectly with scrupulosity by answering objections, such as: ‘I can’t remember all my sins’, ‘My sins are too grave to be forgiven’, ‘I am just going to fall back into sin, anyway’ etc.)

+ ‘Scruples and Their Treatment’by Fr. William Doyle (available for free online): http://fatherdoyle.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/scruples-and-their-treatment.pdf

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You might also like to read some other posts on this site, many of which are aimed at encouraging souls to trust in God. Posts tagged with ‘scruples’ or ‘scrupulosity’ might be particularly helpful.

Side note: For those who fear that they cannot be forgiven, rest assured that you can:https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/the-seemingly-unforgivable-sin/
For a simple explanation of certain sins that typically trouble scrupulous individuals (e.g. lust/impurity, blasphemy, gluttony), try here:https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/clarity-for-scrupulous-souls-simple-explanations-of-grey-sins/

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Keep in mind, dear friend, that Our Lord desires your love more than you desire to love Him. Pray the Holy Rosary well, and Mary, the Mother of Mercy, will obtain for you the grace to acknowledge and remove the source of your scruples. To pray the Rosary well, remember that it is an extremely powerful prayer (search ‘Rosary’), and a great gift, granted to relatively few to know and love; furthermore, we are talking to the most tender of mothers, who is no less attentive to our prayers than she was to St. Bernadette at Lourdes, or the three little shepherds at Fatima. Prayer is a great privilege! Our sins merit terrible punishment, but if- and only if- we exercise the virtue of humility, we will receive not what our sins merit, but what Jesus has merited for us through His Passion, Death and Resurrection. Do not wallow in distrust, which stems from pride and brings only misery, spiritual blindness and a decrease in grace. Trust blindly (if need be) in God’s grace and you will eventually experience the truth of the words of Our Lord to St. Gertrude:

Contemplate now, My beloved, the hidden secrets of My Heart, and consider attentively with what fidelity I have ordered all that you have ever desired of Me for your benefit and the salvation of your soul; and see if you can accuse Me of unfaithfulness to you, even by a single word.” 

The merit for even a single act of faith is immeasurable!

“In the first place it should be known that if anyone is seeking God, the Beloved is seeking that person much more.”

– St. John of the Cross

Various Pieces of Advice

+ (Taken from a website that I cannot recall): “St. Philip Neri suggests that the best remedy for scruples is to treat them with contempt. In his life it is recorded that as well as advising the accepted remedy of total submission in everything to the judgment of one’s confessor, he also advised his penitents to treat scruples with disdain and contempt. His practice with scrupulous persons was to forbid them to confess frequently. And when they did confess to him and mentioned their scruples he ordered them to go to Holy Communion without listening further to their scruples.”

Some maxims to help with scrupulosity:

Bad thoughts are only sinful if we consent to them. As St. Francis de Sales says: “Do not be disturbed about bad thoughts; it is one thing to have them and quite another to consent to them.” Our thoughts are not always free. Various thoughts enter our minds throughout the day; some that even enter our minds subconsciously, without us realising it. Furthermore, our brain forms connections (neural pathways) between certain thoughts or experiences; for example, if someone says the word “sponge”, I immediately think “bob.” I cannot control this, and if “bob” was hypothetically a sinful word, this would not be a sin because I do not will/desire the thought, nor would I let it disturb me. Why? Because that would only increase the thoughts and create a vicious cycle. There were saints, such as St. Faustina, St. Padre Pio, and St. Anthony Mary, who experienced severe blasphemous thoughts. Their remedy was abandonment to the will of God, and trust in His mercy. An excessive fear of offending God, particularly when we desire to please Him in all things, offends His tender goodness. Our Lord consoled Sr. Consolata Betrone by reminding her that He would not consider any thoughts that she had dwelled on involuntarily.

The Law of Presumptions: “Let us consider the question of impure thoughts. It is morally impossible for a person who is habitually careful about purity to give full consent to impure thoughts without being fairly certain of it. When the will is habitually set against impurity, full consent to impure thoughts implies a somersault of the will, a volte-face, a turning round from North to South Pole. It is impossible for such a complete change to take place in the will without the mind being pretty certain about it. Uncertainty is, therefore, a clear sign that there was no full consent. In this matter we should go by what the theologians call “the law of presumptions.” If a person regularly gives way to sins of impurity, in case of doubt it is probable that there was sin. If a person never or hardly ever gives way to sins of impurity, in case of doubt it is morally impossible that there was serious sin, for the reason just given.” (Fr. Wilson)

+ “Peace to men of good-will” (Lk. 2:14)

Good-will comes from God. This extends to all good-will – even the atheist’s good-will. Without actual grace, we cannot so much as think a good thought (2 Cor. 3:5).

When God gives us the desire to repent or to keep His commandments, it is as if He made a pledge with us; it is as if He said: ‘My child, I love you. Receive this gift of my grace. Trust in Me and I will give you grace in abundance. Be faithful and I will protect you.’

We must not anticipate falls and sins. God knows that we are weak and imperfect; He asks only for our trust and fidelity.

“Do not fear, my child, Jesus asks only for your good will.”

– Our Lady to Sr. Josefa Menendez

+ Probabilism

“When a precept is susceptible of a twofold interpretation — one strict and the other more gentle — other things being equal, this latter must be preferred. The reason is because the commands of God and the Church have not been framed so as to destroy all spiritual sweetness, which must inevitably disappear under a too narrow and fearsome interpretation. The intention of God and His Church is not to prescribe the impossible, because, according to the law of justice, ‘no one can be bound to that which he cannot perform.” – St. Antoninus (who was far from a liberal theologian!)

To read more about ‘probabilism’, see this link: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12441a.htm

Our consent or responsibility for sin is diminished by fear and anxiety: Fear and anxiety in particular have the tendency to cloud judgement, exacerbate unwanted thoughts and weaken the will. Fear multiplies the number and intensity of unwanted thoughts. We should ask God to remove this fear, and keep in mind that what we fear is a phantom; it cannot harm us. We must recognise that even the most hideous thoughts (if not consented to) are morally neutral; they are neither good (deserving of reward) nor bad (deserving of punishment), and should therefore be ignored.

“Anxiety is a temptation in itself and also the source from and by which other temptations come.” (St. Francis de Sales). Anxiety that results from distrust, as opposed to the feeling of anxiety, inevitably leads to other sins, because we must trust in God, without Whom we can do nothing. Avoid things that make you anxious, and reflect upon the mercies God has granted you. If He has pardoned us so many times when we were careless and sinful, we can be assured that He is more than willing to assist us when our desire is to love Him. Do not be proud and let past failures discourage us. Pray fervently for humility and trust, and don’t “combat” anxiety. We might think that our weaknesses cause us to fall into sin very easily. This is not so. This mistaken thinking might be the reason we become discouraged so easily.

Likewise, discouragement is a temptation in itself and also the source from and by which other temptations come. “Discouragement is the enemy of your perseverance. If you don’t fight against your discouragement, you will become pessimistic first and lukewarm afterwards. Be an optimist.” (St. Josémaria Escriva). “He (the devil) is overcome by unlimited confidence in Jesus; the more frequent the falls, the more should confidence grow in the divine Mercy” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna). If we are so weak, we are most likely “little souls.” The doctrine of St. Therese on “little souls” (found in her biography and in the book, ‘My Sister, Saint Therese’) is most consoling.

Do not take an active approach to dispelling unwanted thoughts: It is quite useless, of course, to try and rid ourselves of these thoughts by thinking about them. Rather, the scrupulous person must recognise their habits, and proceed to go about their daily lives, regardless of the intrusiveness of their thoughts, which in time will lose their power. Our Lord has compassion for our weaknesses; we must therefore have full confidence in His grace, the advice of our confessor, and any other remedy that His Providence places before us. The book ‘The Doubting Disease’ (by Joseph Ciarrochi) is a helpful tool for recognising and overcoming obsessions and compulsions of all sorts. The author, however, is not a theologian. The author says that Jesus did not tell us what “the sin that will not be pardoned” is. That is true in some sense, but elsewhere in Scripture we are given to understand the context for this Scripture: God the Father draws us to His Son for pardon, and the Precious Blood of Jesus washes away all our sins “without exception”, as St. Ambrose says. Search ‘The SEEMINGLY unforgivable sin’ and you will be assured that God is willing to pardon every sin, but He cannot pardon those who are so blind and hardened that they neither recognise nor accept God’s mercy (which can always be accepted in this life).

+ Jesus Himself, though sinless, experienced the temptations and suggestions of Satan (Mark 1:13; Matthew 4:8). This should encouraged us, as the grace to conquer such temptations is made available to all by “the Lord thy healer”, the “Counsellor”, “The Prince of Peace” (Exodus 15:26; Isaiah 9:6).

“Keep your hearts well under control, beware of over-anxiety. Place your confidence in the providence of our Lord. Be fully convinced that heaven and earth shall pass away rather than that our Lord shall fail to protect you while you are his obedient daughter, or, at least, desirous to obey Him.”
– St. Francis de Sales

+ St. Mechtilde also recommends (as does St. Francis de Sales) that we should bear patiently with our imperfections; we should not struggle to free ourselves from sin. This will only make matters worse. Instead, we should humble ourselves, have compassion for our lower nature (as God most certainly does) and place all our confidence in God. Here are the exact words from ‘The Love of the Sacred Heart’ based on St. Mechtilde’s recommendation “which ought to be received gratefully by scrupulous souls”: “Man should be careful not to wash his stains with too much eagerness- that is, without considering the divine goodness; for by effacing them too eagerly he might easily injure rather than heal, his soul.”

+ Fr. Giovanni Battista Scaramelli: “[Compulsions] Scruples are not grounded on true reasons…. Consequently, to act in despite of them…is not to act against reason but against a fantastic shadow; hence it cannot be said that such an action is unreasonable, and therefore it cannot possibly be sinful. Nay, more, it is necessary to act in this manner, else we could never get rid of these foolish fears and groundless anxieties…. When a man first goes to sea, he is afraid of the violence of the waves, he fears the rocks and dreads the storms; on his next voyage he is less afraid; and if he continues to go to sea, he loses all fear, as, by acting against his alarms, he has conquered and overcome them…. So, too, the scrupulous man, if he act in contempt of his fears and whimsical notions, rises above them and at length conquers them, and by this means gets rid of the toils wherein his scruples, with their countless nonsensical fancies, had entangled him. But if, withheld by empty fears, he abstain from acting, they will begin to master him, to make him a very slave, and to leave him no longer the least liberty of following the dictates of right reason…

[Obsessions] Other temptations there are which are not dangerous, as they are abhorrent…. Such are temptations to blasphemy, certain abominable thoughts and words against God, the saints, and holy images…. Now, with such temptations it is by no means prudent or wise to struggle or to enter on a hand-to-hand fight, saying “I will not consent; I detest, I abhor them”: both because, on account of there being no danger of yielding them consent, there is no need to offer resistance and because, by resisting, the person subjects himself to a slavery, by conceiving such an intense abhorrence of them, as most frequently only stirs them to activity and imprints them more deeply on the fancy….Not a few persons are timorous, and of so delicate a conscience, that they feel great abhorrence of all impurity, and of every action in which a grievous sin may lurk. When an image or a feeling contrary to purity presents itself to such as these, they fall into great fear and feel intense pain; they arm themselves against such thoughts…. And what is the result? The more these thoughts are driven away the more they return to the mind…. [A]s I have already observed, nothing is so apt to awaken such thoughts, or to fix them in the mind, as excessive fear. The reason of which is obvious. Fear excites the fancy and impresses it with the dreaded object.”

On top of this, I recommend that every individual reads the following book (regardless of whether or not you are scrupulous): ‘Love, Peace and Joy: A month of devotion to the Sacred Heart according to St. Gertrude’ by Andre Prevot. This book is certain to fill you with confidence, hope, love, peace and joy if you read it prayerfully. You can access this book legally online – for free – (as it was printed before 1923):

http://archive.org/stream/lovepeaceandjoya00prevuoft#page/n1/mode/2up

 “It is not those who commit the least faults who are most holy, but those who have the greatest courage, the greatest generosity, the greatest love, who make the boldest efforts to overcome themselves, and are not immoderately apprehensive of tripping.”

– St. Francis de Sales

Tender Words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde.

“But when this poor human heart is contrite and broken with sorrow and cries out, ‘I will arise and got to my Father,’ the Sacred Heart thrills with joy. I say to thee, that no matter how great his sins may be, at that same moment, if he sincerely repents, I forgive all his sins, and My Heart inclines towards him with as much mercy and sweetness as though he had never sinned.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

“It is a great joy to Me that men expect great gifts from Me. If any of them expected to receive from Me greater rewards than he had deserved after this life and, if, in consequence, he thanked Me for them during his life, he would thus give Me so much pleasure that, now matter how great his faith or extraordinary his confidence, I would reward him beyond his merit; it is impossible that a man should not receive what he has believed and hoped for. Therefore it is good for a man to hope much in Me, and to place in Me all his confidence.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

“Enter and travel through My divine Heart, see its length and breadth; its length is the eternity of My goodness, and its breadth the love and the desire I have always had for thy salvation. Consider this length and breadth- that is, take possession of it, for all the good that thou dost find in My Heart really belongs to thee.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

At the Wound in His Heart He said: “This wound is so large that it embraces Heaven and Earth and all they contain; come, place thy love near to My divine love, that it may be perfected and so blended with it as to become only one love, as iron is identified with the fire.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

The Son of God deigns to lower Himself to each of us. He stands at our door and knocks, saying: “O son of man, give Me thy heart and receive Mine.” As soon as the soul answers, “Enter, O well-beloved Lord,” He takes possession of us, but by a happy exchange we take possession of Him. “The bee,” He tell us, “does not fly with greater eagerness to the green meadows than do I to thy soul when it calls Me. Now My Heart is thine and thy heart is Mine.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

“I follow,” He tells us, “this sinful soul ceaselessly, and when it returns to Me, by repentance, desire or love, I rejoice exceedingly. It is impossible to confer a greater favour on a debtor than to bestow on him the means to pay his debts: I have become, in a way, a debtor to My Father, by undertaking to satisfy for the sins of men, so I can wish for no greater joy than to see men return to Me by repentance and love.” – Jesus to St. Mechtilde

Tender Words of Our Lord to St. Gertrude.

Taken from the same book as mentioned in the previous post…

+ “For when anyone exerts himself to overcome his faults for love of Me, he offers Me the same testimony of fidelity and respect as a soldier would do to his captain when he courageously resisted his enemies in battle, overcoming them all, and casting them to the ground with his own arm.” – Jesus to St. Gertrude

+ “On the same day (as St. Gertrude’s temptation to abstain from Holy Communion) another person abstained from Communion without any reasonable cause. She said to her Lord: “Most merciful God, why have you permitted her to be thus tempted?” “What can I do for her,” He replied, “since she herself has so covered her eyes with the veil of her unworthiness, that she cannot possibly see the tenderness of My paternal Heart?”

+ “As the Saint was about to Communicate on one occasion, she felt grieved that she had not made sufficient preparation, and she besought the Blessed Virgin and all the saints to offer to God for her all the dispositions which each had entertained in receiving the various graces which had been granted to them. She then besought our Lord Jesus Christ that He would pleased also to offer for her the perfection with which He appeared on the day of His Ascension, when He presented Himself to God the Father and entered into eternal glory. Afterwards she desired to know of what avail this prayer had been to her, and our Lord replied: “It has enabled you to appear before the whole court of Heaven with the ornaments you have desired.” He added: “Why should you distrust Me, who am all-powerful and all-merciful, since there is not one upon earth who could not clothe his friend in his own ornaments and garments, and thereby make him appear as gloriously attired as himself?”

+ “As it usually happens that the injuries which we receive from a friend are more difficult to bear than those which we receive from an enemy, according to the words of Scripture, “If my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne with it” (Ps. liv),– Gertrude, knowing that a certain person, for whose welfare she had laboured with extreme solicitude, did not respond with the same fidelity to her care, and even, through a kind of contempt, acted contrary to what she advised, had recourse to our Lord in her affliction, who consoled her thus:

Do not be grieved, My daughter, for I have permitted this to happen for your eternal welfare, that I may oftener enjoy your company and conversation, in which I take so much pleasure. And even as a mother who has a little child whom she loves specially, and therefore desires to have always with her, places something that will alarm her, and oblige her to come back into her arms, when she has strayed from her, so also, desiring to have you always near Me, I permit your friends to contradict you in some things, that you may find no true fidelity in any creature, and therefore have recourse to Me with all the more eagerness, because you know that I possess the plenitude and stability of all contentment.”

… After this, it seemed to her as if our Lord placed her in His bosom like a little child, and there caressed her in many ways; and, approaching His adorable Lips to her ears, He whispered to her: “As a tender mother soothes the troubles of her little one by her kisses and embraces, so do I desire to soothe all your pain and grief by the sweet murmur of My loving words.” After the Saint had enjoyed these and many other consolations for some time, our Lord offered her His Heart, and said to her: “Contemplate now, My beloved, the hidden secrets of My Heart, and consider attentively with what fidelity I have ordered all that you have ever desired of Me for your benefit and the salvation of your soul; and see if you can accuse Me of unfaithfulness to you, even by a single word.”When she had done this, she beheld our Lord crowning her with a wreath of flowers, more radiant than gold, as a reward for the trial of which we have just spoken.”

Whenever You Gaze Upon A Crucifix…

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(Taken from ‘The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude,’ London: Burns & Oates, with Imprimatur):

“On another occasion she (St. Gertrude) learned that when anyone turns towards a crucifix, he ought to persuade himself that Our Lord speaks thus lovingly to his heart: “Behold how, for your love, I have been fastened to this Cross- naked, despised, torn and wounded in My Body, and in all My members; and still My Heart has such tender charity for you, that were it necessary for your salvation, and were there no other means of saving you, I would even at this moment suffer for you alone all that I have suffered for the whole world.”

On another occasion, as she was occupied in considering the Passion of Our Lord, it was made known to her that there is infinitely more merit in meditating attentively on the Passion of Jesus than in any other exercise*. For as it is impossible to handle flour without attaching it to yourself, so also is it impossible to meditate devoutly on the Passion without deriving great fruit thereby.

*Similarly, Our Lord revealed to St. Faustina, that there is more merit in one hour of meditation on His Passion, than there is in one year of flagellation.

Treatise on the Seven Spiritual Weapons.

By St. Catherine of Bologna:

“(1) to be careful always to do good; (2) to believe that we can never achieve anything truly good by ourselves; (3) to trust in God and, for His love, never to fear the battle against evil, either in the world or in ourselves; (4) to meditate frequently on the events and words of Jesus’ life, especially His passion and death; (5) to remember that we must die; (6) to keep the benefits of heaven firmly in our minds; (7) to be familiar with Holy Scripture, keeping it in our hearts to guide all our thoughts and actions.”