“God wills only our good…”

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“Acting according to this pattern [seeing and accepting God’s will in all things], one not only becomes holy but also enjoys perpetual serenity in this life.”

– St. Alphonsus

Those who do God’s will are the happiest of people. The saints are a testimony to this truth. The purpose of this article is: to inspire you with love of (and confidence in) God’s will, to show you that doing God’s will is necessary for your happiness and salvation, and to bring you consolation.

There is not a single suffering in our life that is “superfluous”, as Jesus revealed to Sr. Mary of the Trinity. God’s will is “love and mercy itself” (St. Faustina)! The weight of the Cross will never be heavier than our strength to bear it; we must trust in God’s infinite strength and love. On the contrary, if we love God and carry our cross with love and humility, our very sufferings will become a source of joy! St. Padre Pio was not lying when he said: “My sufferings are pleasing… I suffer only when I don’t suffer.”

Here are some simple, yet profound considerations on God’s will:

+ “God wills only our good; God loves us more than anybody else can or does love us. His will is that no one should lose his soul, that everyone should save and sanctify his soul: “Not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance.” “This is the will of God, your sanctification.” God has made the attainment of our happiness, his glory. Since He is by his nature infinite goodness, and since as St. Leo says goodness is diffusive of itself, God has a supreme desire to make us sharers of His goods and of His happiness. If then He sends us suffering in this life, it is for our own good: “All things work together unto good.” Even chastisements come to us, not to crush us, but to make us mend our ways and save our souls: “Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord have happened for our amendment and not for our destruction.” – St. Alphonsus (Sufferings also merit eternal rewards, and they are used by God to bring souls to Him!)

+ St. Alphonsus relates the story of a holy monk who was a great miracle worker. By merely touching his garments, people were cured. Why? The humble monk said:

“Prosperity does not lift me up, nor adversity cast me down…  God does all things, or permits all that happens, for his glory and for our greater good; thus I am always at peace, no matter what happens.”

This monk was accustomed to thanking God at all times.

+ St. Padre Pio gently reminds us that “On the Calvary Jesus redeemed us, and salvation must be accomplished there.” In a vision, St. Catherine of Siena saw a Cross bridging the gap between Heaven and Earth. If we are not willing to suffer for God, how can we say that we love Him? And if we do not love Him, how can we be saved? Let us know that “Bearing physical and spiritual ailments is the worthiest gift we can offer to Jesus.” (St. Padre Pio).

+ “Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfil, even in adversity, the will of God. Afflictions do not mar their serenity, because by accepting misfortune, they know they give pleasure to their beloved Lord: “Whatever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad.” Indeed, what can be more satisfactory to a man than to experience the fulfillment of all his desires? This is the happy lot of the man who wills only what God wills, because everything that happens, save sin, happens through the will of God.” – St. Alphonsus

+ “The devout Father John Tauler relates this personal experience: For years he had prayed God to send him someone who would teach him the real spiritual life. One day, at prayer, he heard a voice saying: “Go to such and such a church and you will have the answer to your prayers.” He went and at the door of the church he found a beggar, barefooted and in rags. He greeted the mendicant saying: “Good day, my friend.”

“Thank you, sir, for your kind wishes, but I do not recall ever having had a ‘bad’ day.”

“Then God has certainly given you a very happy life.”

“That is very true, sir. I have never been unhappy. In saying this I am not making any rash statement either. This is the reason: When I have nothing to eat, I give thanks to God; when it rains or snows, I bless God’s providence; when someone insults me, drives me away, or otherwise mistreats me, I give glory to God. I said I’ve never had an unhappy day, and it’s the truth, because I am accustomed to will unreservedly what God wills. Whatever happens to me, sweet or bitter, I gladly receive from his hands as what is best for me. Hence my unvarying happiness.”

“Where did you find God?”

“I found him where I left creatures.”

“Who are you anyway?”

“I am a king.”

“And where is your kingdom?”

“In my soul, where everything is in good order; where the passions obey reason, and reason obeys God.”

“How have you come to such a state of perfection?”

“By silence. I practice silence towards men, while I cultivate the habit of speaking with God. Conversing with God is the way I found and maintain my peace of soul.”

Union with God brought this poor beggar to the very heights of perfection. In his poverty he was richer than the mightiest monarch; in his sufferings, he was vastly happier than worldlings amid their worldly delights.” – St. Alphonsus

 “Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you!” – St. Augustine

* The words of St. Alphonsus have been taken from his work, ‘Conformity to the Will of God’, which can be found for free here: http://www.psalm40.org/conformity.html
It is very informative, consoling and profound. It is also quite brief, and it will be of profit to all; even scrupulous souls (although the latter should not read all his works).

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50 ‘Counsels’ To Ease Our Worries, And Bring Us Joy!

Are you greatly tempted? Anxious? Fearful? Distrustful? Scrupulous? These counsels, though for all, are for you especially. This article includes a selection of quotes from previous posts, as well as many new quotes. The counsels are taken/derived from Catholic books with the Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat (declaring that they are free from doctrinal error).

1. “Everything comes from love; all is ordained for the salvation of man. God does nothing without this goal in mind” (St. Catherine). Humble faith in this truth brings great peace, gratitude, and love.

2. “Yes, I love all souls” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa). God desires the ultimate good (salvation) of each individual. Sufferings, temptations and weaknesses are permitted by God for this end.

3. “…the love of God can be exhausted by no human iniquity” (Catechism of the Council of Trent). God’s grace opens our hearts to receive His love. He stands at the door of everyone’s heart, waiting for us to let Him in (Rev. 3:20).

4. “My mercy cannot be exhausted” (Jesus to St. Gertrude). Graces pour forth from the Sacred Heart as from an inexhaustible fountain. Humility and trust are the vessels that we bring to this fountain.

5. “No crime, however heinous, can be committed or even conceived which the Church has not power to forgive, just as there is no sinner, however abandoned, however depraved, who should not confidently hope for pardon, provided he sincerely repent of his past transgressions.” (Council of Trent) “There is no absolutely unforgivable sin such as cannot be forgiven even though a man repents… Christ really referred to evil dispositions of soul which are so hardened that one will lack the will to repent” (Radio Replies, Fr. Rumble/Carty).

6. “As soon as a soul throws itself at My feet and implores My forgiveness, Josefa, I forget all her sins” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa). Our past, however sinful, should never discourage us.

7. “If anyone shall assert that without the previous inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and his assistance, man can believe, hope, love or repent, as he ought, in order to obtain the grace of justification, let him be anathema” (Council of Trent). “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Every good thing comes from God.

8. “He absolutely cannot reject the sincere desire to love him… the desire to love is love” (St. Padre Pio).

9. “Those who die in God’s grace and friendship…  live forever with Christ” (CCC #1023). If we die loving God, detached from all serious sins, we are saved.

10. “Do not be discouraged or frightened by your miseries and weaknesses, because God has seen even worse sins in you, and, by His mercy did not reject you… do not fear and do not be anxious anymore about the doubts of your conscience because fear is in vain and diabolical” (St. Padre Pio). If we are truly seeking to love God, He can forgive those sins of which we are not yet aware. St. Dismas, the “Good thief”, for example, was saved by an act of faith and perfect contrition; it is unlikely that he had time to consider his every sin.

11. “The chief plenary indulgence, which is within reach of everybody, and can be gained without the ordinary conditions, is that of charity, which covers a multitude of sins” (Little St. Therese). An act of perfect contrition remits all sins and punishments.

12. “Fear without hope is a servile fear; hope without fear is presumption; but fear joined to hope is a true love of God” (St. Robert Bellarmine).

13. “[If] you fear God too much… I assure you that this grieves Him. Do not be afraid of going to purgatory because of its pain, but rather, long not to go there because this pleases God Who imposes this expiation so regretfully” (Little St. Therese)

14. “From the moment that you try to please Him in all things, if you have the unshakable confidence that He will purify you at every instant in His love and will leave in you no trace of sin, be very sure that you will not go to purgatory” (Little St. Therese)

15. Do not read things that produce fear and anxiety (‘Dealing With Scruples’, Fr. Dermot Casey). Little St. Therese refused to read certain books because they did not increase her love. If you do the following (daily), there is no need to read such things: pray (this includes some spiritual reading, the Rosary, ‘the morning offering’, an evening prayer), meditate on the Passion of Our Lord, avoid serious sins and occasions of these sins, receieve the Sacraments frequently, avoid lukewarmness (we should always be growing in love and holiness), and ask daily for a greater humility, purity, and love of God. Also, St. Alphonsus reminds us to ask for the all-important grace of final perseverance.

16. “Love Me and you will be happy; and the more you love Me, the happier you will be!” (Jesus to Sr. Consolata)

17. The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone” (St. Alphonsus)

18. “The measure of My gifts is increased with the measure of trials. The Cross is the true and only road that leads souls to Heaven” (Jesus to St. Rose).

19. “God is faithful and will not allow you to be tempted beyond your strength” (1 Cor. 10:13). Confidence, then!

20. “When I permit temptation, it is not through cruelty, but to give the soul an opportunity of merit” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna). “It is by battle against temptations that we give God fruits of our love” (St. John Vianney)

21. “Oh how easily we could win heaven – day by day – just by doing what we have to do, but doing it for God” (St. John Vianney). Therefore do what leads you to love.

22. “You will be saved if you want to be” (St. Thomas). What is the sign of those who want to be saved? They love and seek God and His Divine Will before all else. Conversely, “Only that soul who wants it will be damned for God condemns no one” (St. Faustina). “For terrible is the condition of an impenitent heart; I cannot penetrate it. It is not I who condemn it; it is he who willfully repels Me” (Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity).

23. “My Heart overflows with graces for souls. Lead them to my Eucharist Heart” (Jesus to Bl. Dina). “Yes, because God, as the infinite goodness, in wishing to pour out Himself upon others, has, so to speak, an infinite longing to distribute his gifts; but He wishes to be besought” (St. Alphonsus). The One Whom we have wounded so often by our sins, waits for us, day and night, as a prisoner of love in the tabernacle!

24. “The celebration of Holy Mass is as valuable as the death of Jesus on the cross” (St. Thomas). The Mass is a mystical renewal of Jesus’ sacrifice on Cavalry! At Mass we receive greater graces than can be conceived! At Mass we can repeat the words Jacob: “I have seen God face to face, and my soul has been saved” (Gen. 32:30).

25. “In Mass I come with such humility that there is no sinner, no matter how depraved he be, that I am no ready to receive, if only he desires it. I come with such sweetness and mercy that I will pardon My greatest enemies, if they ask for pardon. I come with such generosity that there is no one so poor that I will not fill him with the riches of My love. I come such heavenly food as will strengthen the weakest, with such light as will illumine the blindest, with such a plenitude of graces as will remove all miseries, overcome all obstinacy and dissipate all fears” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde).

26. “Everyone that asketh, receiveth” (Luke 11:10). “But, someone may say, I am a sinner, and do not deserve to be heard. But Jesus Christ says, Every one that asketh, receiveth. [Luke, xi. 10.] Everyone, be he just, or be he a sinner. St. Thomas teaches us that the efficacy of prayer to obtain graces does not depend on our merits, but on the mercy of God, Who has promised to hear everyone who prays to Him.” [2. 2, q. 178, a. 2.] And our Redeemer, in order to remove from us all fear when we pray, said: Amen, amen, I say to you, if you shall ask the Father anything in My name, He will give it you. [John, xvi. 23.]

27. “You must be persuaded that your sinful past is in no way an obstacle to very close union with God. God forgives, and His forgiveness is Divine. With the Angels, God was not merciful because they had no miseries. With us, who are full of miseries, God is infinitely merciful. The earth is full of the mercy of the Lord” (Bl. Dom Columba)

28. “Much will be forgiven to those who have sinned through ignorance” (A mystical revelation received by an anonymous individual during the time of Fr. Ravignan). “I hope as much from God’s justice as from His mercy” (Little St. Therese). It is this very justice that takes into consideration our weakness, ignorance etc.

29. We are living in a time of great mercy (Diary of St. Faustina). There is much ignorance, and we must not presume that certain people are lost. We must extend charity to every individual. This comforts Jesus (as He revealed to Sr. Consolata).

30. “… our miseries entitle us to God’s mercy” (Bl. Dom Columba). “A just man shall fall seven times (and shall rise again)” (Proverbs 24:16). The Council of Trent condemned the teaching that we can avoid all sin without a special grace from God e.g. as in the case of Our Lady.

31. “Imperfections cannot displease Me, unless the souls loves them” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna).

32. “… you must never forget that I always am, and love to be, kind and merciful towards My creatures” (Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone).

33. “As long as thou remainest engulfed in thy nothingness- and it is this which attracts to thee so many graces- I shall be to thee always a God of goodness, a God of mercy, a God of love; by the day in which thou art elated by pride, I shall become to thee a God of justice. I tell this not to frighten thee, but to warn thee, because I love thee so tenderly” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna). Let us pray frequently for humility, which will lead us to see our guilt, to cease judging others, to grow in love etc.

34. “If only you knew how I suffer when I must dispense justice. You see, My Heart needs to be comforted; It wishes to dispense mercy, not justice!” (Jesus to Sr. Consolata) “The door of My Justice… is shut and locked; and I open it only to him who compels Me to do so; but I never open it spontaneously… To exercise Justice is for Me to go against the current; it does violence to Me” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna).

35. “… because the divine nature is passionless, God never punishes nor takes vengeance with wrath, but with tender care and much loving-kindness. So we must be of much good courage and trust in the power of repentance. God does not punish for His own sake even those who have sinned against Him, for nothing can harm that divine nature (St. John Chrysostom).

36. “One faithful soul can repair and obtain mercy for many ungrateful ones… Every soul can be instrumental in this sublime work [saving souls]… Nothing great is required, the smallest acts suffice: a step taken, a straw picked up, a glance restrained, a service rendered, a cordial smile… all these offered to Love are in reality of great profit to souls and draw down floods of grace on them” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)

37. “I have seen Him moving across the world, laden with his Cross, searching for souls to bear it with Him; but they all ran away at his approach.” (Bl. Alexandrina). The Cross leads to victory! “Suffering + Love = Joy” (St. Maximilian).

38. “The more a soul allows me to reproduce Myself truly in itself, the more happiness and repose I feel in it. The greatest joy a soul can give Me is to let Me raise it to the Divinity” (Jesus to Bl. Dina). “If you only knew what joy it gives Me to sanctify a soul!” (Jesus to Sr. Consolata). Avoid false humility. God wants to save us, and use us to renew the world!

39. Heaven is filled with converted sinners of all kinds, and there is room for more” (St. Joseph Cafasso). Whatever the nature our sins, we can be sure that God desires to pardon us if He has placed within our hearts the desire to be pardoned.

40.  “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). “It is my weakness that gives me all my strength” (Little St. Therese). Why? Because our weakness is a ticket to God’s strength and mercy (as He Himself revealed to Sr. Consolata).

41. “Do not become discouraged in the face of the trials to which divine mercy wishes to subject you. He wants to test and strengthen you once again at the school of sacrifice and suffering… Pray with humility, and remember the calm after the rain; after the darkness, light; after the storm and the turmoil, placid quiet” (St. Padre Pio)

42. “Jesus offers you the cross, a very heavy cross, and you are afraid of not being able to carry it without giving way. Why? Our Beloved Himself fell three times on the way to Calvary, and why should we not imitate Him?” (Little St. Therese).

43. “… persons who suffer from scruples are the most favoured by divine love, and the most certain of reaching Heaven when they bear this trial in patience and humility. Scruples souls die continually, they suffer a perpetual purgatory, and so they leave the earth to fly to Heaven purified and free from sins to expiate” (Bl. Henry Suso)

44. “The Council of Trent tells us that we are bound to confess all mortal sins of which we are conscious… you cannot simultaneously be conscious of doubt about sin and of sin” (Fr. Alfred Wilson).

45. If we forget to confess a sin, we are still forgiven, but should confess it at our next Confession (provided we don’t forget it again). God does not condemn us for faulty memories; He demands only true contrition and a purpose of amendment. (Confession- A Little Book For the Reluctant’, Msgr. Louis Gaston de Segur)

46. “… to love thee [Mary] is a great sign of predestination and a grace which God does not grant except to those whom He will save” (St. Alphonsus). Do we love Mary? Let us thank God for this grace, and stop fearing!

47. “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” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna). Humility makes our burden light, helping us to realise (though not immediately) that “everything is grace” (Little St. Therese).

48. “If thou dost practice humility, thou wilt find peace; if thou wilt practice it more perfectly, thou wilt find more peace; and if thou wilt live and breathe only humility, thou shalt be pursued by My Love, My predilection and My favours, more than a robber is sought for by the police” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna).

49. “And every one that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands for my name’s sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall possess life everlasting” (Matthew 19:29). “Penance… receives in heaven a most sublime recompense. Penance pays for personal faults and those of others… Penance helps the soul rise above things of the earth. Penance cooperates with the Redemption of the world. Penance humbles man; it penetrates him with an inner feeling of his baseness and his wretchedness. Penance brings light to the soul… It raises him higher and higher above the earth, making him taste of delights hitherto unknown and pure. But this penance should be the daughter of reverence and exist in the soul, hidden from all humans” (Jesus to Conchita).

50. “Perfect charity casteth out fear” (1 John 4:18). “Love casts out fear. Since I came to love God with my whole being and with all the strength of my heart, fear has left me. Even if I were to hear the most terrifying things about God’s justice, I would not fear Him at all, because I have come to know Him well. God is love, and His Spirit is peace. I see now that my deeds which have flowed from love are more perfect than those which I have done out of fear. I have placed my trust in God and fear nothing. I have given myself over to His holy will; let Him do with me as He wishes, and I will still love Him” (St. Faustina).

“Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you” (1 Peter 5:7)