9 Powerful and Miraculous Prayers

Those who pray well are the most fortunate people on Earth; they receive immense graces: contrition, knowledge of- and the light and strength to avoid- sin, humility, peace, joy, and all good things in abundance. The saints, who took seriously Our Lord’s exhortation to “pray always”, were favoured with a profound love of God.

To truly love God is an immense gift because it contains all others: humility, confidence, patience in suffering, peace and ultimately salvation.

Here are some very powerful, yet short prayers or ejaculations, accompanied by a brief, incomplete explanation. We should make a habit of saying some or all of them frequently throughout the day. They will be sure to obtain for us many great blessings.  

“Jesus.”

(This short prayer requires a more lengthy explanation)

Very few know the incredible power of the Holy Name of Jesus, which, as Fr. Paul O’Sullivan says, is “… first of all, an all-powerful prayer. Our Lord Himself solemnly promises that whatever we ask the Father in His Name we shall receive. God never fails to keep His word… Each time we say, ‘Jesus,’ we give God infinite joy and glory, for we offer Him all the infinite merits of the Passion and Death of Jesus Christ. St. Paul tells us that Jesus merited the Name Jesus by His Passion and Death. Each time we say, “Jesus,” let us clearly wish to offer God all the Masses being said all over the world for all our intentions. We thus share in these thousands of Masses… which we may apply to the souls in Purgatory… The Holy Name of Jesus saves us from innumerable evils and delivers us especially from the power of the devil, who is constantly seeking to do us harm. The Name of Jesus gradually fills our souls with a peace and a joy we never had before. The Name of Jesus gives us such strength that our sufferings become light and easy to bear… All the Saints had an immense love for and trust in the Name of Jesus. They saw in this name, as in a clear vision, all the love of Our Lord, all His Power, all the beautiful things He said and did when on earth. They did all their wonderful works in the Name of Jesus. They worked miracles, cast out devils, cured the sick and gave comfort to everyone, using and recommending to all the habit of invoking the Holy Name. St. Peter and the Apostles converted the world with this all-powerful Name.”

“My Jesus, mercy!”

Keep in mind that this prayer contains the word Jesus, as does the ‘Hail Mary’, for example. This prayer is an act of faith, hope and love, for by it we acknowledge Jesus’ infinite love and mercy, which led Him to offer Himself for each of us. These were the final words of Bl. Mariam; they have led to great conversions; and they were strongly recommended by St. Leonard, who said: “I give you my word, I repeat – if you commend yourselves often to God by saying ‘My Jesus, mercy!’ from the bottom of your heart, you will sin no more, and you will be saved.”

“O Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in thee.”

This prayer, which is a slight variation of the prayers given to St. Faustina and Sr. Benigna Consolata, greatly glorifies and consoles Jesus. Jesus told St. Gertrude that these words have the potential to bring Him great joy! (Of course, we must mean them, and be willing to do what God desires of us). And to Sr. Benigna, Our Lord said: “Even the single little prayer, ‘I trust in Thee’, ravishes My Heart, because Faith, Love and Humility are comprised in this short prayer.”

“For Thee and for souls.”

When we suffer, in body or mind, let us offer our suffering to God for His greater glory and pleasure; sufferings borne with love are profitable for the salvation of souls. This truth is lost on many Christians. On a more serious note (of course, these words are not absolute): “He who suffers in patience, suffers less and saves his soul. He who suffers impatiently, suffers more and loses his soul.” (St. Alphonsus)

“O Jesus, I surrender this to you. You take care of it.”

These words were revealed to St. Padre Pio’s spiritual director. When said with faith, Jesus promises to take special, or even miraculous care of us.

“Thy will be done.”

God is infinite love and wisdom. If we wish to be happy in this life and the next; if we desire God’s glory; if we wish to thank Him and praise His goodness; if we wish to atone for our sins; if we wish to save souls, let us not be deceived: God’s will alone suffices (Mt. 7:21). We must pray frequently in order to discern God’s will. Short prayers and ejaculations are a helpful way of doing this.

“Blessed be God.”

“One ‘Blessed be God’ in times of adversity, is worth more than a thousand acts of gratitude in times of prosperity.” (St. John of Avila) Suffering, properly understood, is a blessing. Holy souls prefer it to consolation. Most of us are far from this stage, so let us begin by making a habit of recalling Jesus’ sufferings, which He underwent for our salvation.

“Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto Thine.”

“Humility is truth.” (St. Padre Pio) As God is truth, those who grow in humility necessarily grow nearer to God. As they approached infinite light, goodness and wisdom, the saints realised their own weaknesses, sinfulness and ignorance all to well. If we have committed so much as one serious sin, we should frequently repeat this prayer, lest we wound Our Lord again. Humility makes life much easier, and it brings down countless graces for the entire world. We must direct all glory to God alone, from Whom all good things come (1 Cor. 4:7). To take credit for anything good we have done is to disregard this truth, rob God of glory, and deprive ourselves and others of graces. 

“Jesus, Mary, Joseph.”

This prayer will obtain for us a happy death, among other things. A happy death is worth immeasurably more than every temporal pleasure, because it opens for us, in a sense, the Gates of Paradise. If someone as holy as St. Paul did not presume to persevere in God’s grace until death, how much more should we pray for the grace of perseverance and a happy death! (1 Cor. 9:27) Let us ask confidently for this grace, for God longs to give it! The ‘Nine First Fridays’ devotion given to St. Margaret Mary (including the promise of final repentance attached i.e. promise twelve) is but one example of Our Lord’s eagerness to save us. 

“After baptism, continual prayer is necessary to man, in order that he may enter Heaven; for though by Baptism our sins are remitted, there still remain concupiscence to assail us from within, and the world and the devil to assail us from without.”

– St. Thomas Aquinas

“I love souls madly; they must not be lost… Oh help Me in this undertaking of love.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

 

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Nine Reasons To Love God

In his inspiring book, ‘How to Be Happy, How to Be Holy,’ Fr. Paul O’Sullivan writes the following:

‘Why Should We Love God?’
Here are nine reasons:

God is infinitely good and loveable. Were we to see Him for one moment, our hearts would burn with love for Him and we should fly to Him.

It is the sight of God’s beauty and love and mercy that fills Heaven with happiness. This is the God that we are asked to love.

If the devil could see God for one instant, his being would be so filled with happiness that he could never suffer again.

God made us with infinite love.

God died the awful death of Cavalry for the love of us.

God made our hearts expressly and solely to love Him, and they can never be happy if they do not love Him.

The smallest act of love will have an eternal reward.

The greatest works a man can do, if they are not done for the love of God, are worth nothing.

The heart of man that was made for God can never find rest or find peace or be happy if it does not love God.

This, then, is the grace we must ask Our Lady in the Fifth Joyful Mystery (of the Rosary): to find God, to know God and to love God.

Commenting on the Scripture, “To those who love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom. 8:28), St. Alphonsus says something very profound: “Those who love God are always happy, because their whole happiness is to fulfill, even in adversity, the will of God. Afflictions do not mar their serenity, because by accepting misofrtune, they know they give pleasure to their beloved Lord: ‘Whatever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad.'”

There is a beautiful story of a religious Sister from the same convent as St. Gertrude. She was deeply touched by the way St. Gertrude brought out the words, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart…”. Jesus said (to this Sister): “From her childhood I have carried her in My arms, keeping her soul pure until she gave herself to Me with her whole will. Then I gave Myself entirely to her, putting Myself in return into her arms. This is why the great love she bears Me draws Me towards her ; and, as wax melts before the fire, so does My Heart melt with the ardour of her love and pass, drop by drop, into her soul. In her I take so much pleasure that often, when I am offended by others, I come to her for rest and comfort by afflicting her with some suffering of mind or body. This she accepts in union with My Passion, with so much gratitude, bearing it with such patience and humility, that My anger and sorrow are appeased and, for her sake, I pardon innumerable sinners.”

Our lives will be transformed if all our actions and prayers are guided towards one end: to love God’s will above all things. He will surely give us the grace to carry our cross with love and joy; the cross is necessary for growing in love, humility, compassion, faith. None of our sufferings are wasted when they are accepted with love, and for Love. On the contrary, every cross we accept from God’s loving Providence will be met with a reward in eternity (remember, we can only merit if we possess sanctifying grace), and it can be used to save souls, thus giving glory and joy to God, and filling the angels and saints with raptures of joy and love! “If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint. And if you wish to become a great saint, entreat Him yourself to give you much opportunity for suffering; for there is no wood better to kindle the fire of holy love than the wood of the cross, which Christ used for His own great sacrifice of boundless charity.” – St. Ignatius Loyola

Pax Christi!

Why is “The denial of sin… worse than sin”? (Archbishop Fulton Sheen)

“Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that
leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.” (Mt. 7:13). This is traditional Christian teaching, which has been held by many saints, and the Church, since the time of Christ. We must not water down Jesus’ words.

Now, I do not presume to know how many are saved, but if you reject these words, I ask you to read this article. If you accept them, you might also like to reflect on why it would be uncharitable to deny the reality of God’s justice. If you fear God’s justice, read this: https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2013/04/04/50-counsels-to-ease-our-worries-and-bring-us-joy/

 Following Reginald Garrigou Lagrange, the eminent theologian, I believe that the way of love is preferable to the way of fear. Nonetheless, Hell is as real as sin.

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According to Sacred Scripture, only the pure and humble of heart will see God. This means that we must acknowledge our sin, repent of it, and then make amends. As St. John Vianney says, “To be a Christian and to live in sin is a monstrous contradiction. A Christian must be holy.” If we deny or diminish sin, we inevitably grow cold and blind; we wound the tender Heart of Our Lord; we lead souls away from God and His Sacraments. 

St. Padre Pio encouraged weekly Confession as a minimum. St. Ambrose went to Confession daily. St. John Vianney heard confessions for up to 16 hours a day. Bl. Francis Xavier Seelos encouraged all to confess their sins. St. Pius X encouraged frequent Communion with an ardent zeal!

… How often do we receive the Sacraments, which are the securest means of persevering in grace? How ignorant we are of God’s goodness, and our need for His constant help! But we can change this! Start by thanking God daily for the Mass, in which He offers Himself to God the Father for our salvation. We need His help every day (“Thou canst do nothing of thyself; one thing only canst thou do, offend Me…” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata).  He deserves our gratitude every day! We should strive to avoid sin every day!

Now… back to Fulton Sheen’s quote. Why is it worse to deny sin than to sin? Because by denying sin, we deny our need for forgiveness; we remain blind and deaf to the inspirations of God, which seek to change us and then change the world! If we are blind to sin, we will go on offending Our Lord, growing in unhappiness, and provoking God’s just anger. For the same reason, the denial of Hell is worse than Hell. Hell is merely a just state of misery for those who have refused to love, whereas the denial of Hell is most unjust! Sinners must be admonished, instructed and warned. We must pray for them!

“My Heart overflows with great mercy for souls and especially for poor sinners… The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered.”

– Jesus to St. Faustina

God reluctantly punishes unrepentant sinners (whose punishments are far less than they deserve, according to St. Catherine of Siena, St. Catherine of Genoa, Fr. Faber. St. John Eudes etc.). “This is My torment”, said Our Lord to St. Margaret Mary.

Whether or not you are scrupulous, if you fear God’s justice, the remedy is not denial; it is faith (which coexists with humility)! It is enough to know that God desires our salvation, that His mercy is inexhaustible, that we can each become saints, and that prayer is extremely powerful for the conversion of sinners! Remember, dear reader, that God is the source of all goodness, and His ways are perfect, though incomprehensible, ” … for all His works are true and His ways just, and He is able to humble those who walk in pride” (Dn 4:37).

 I end with a poignant quote from St. Faustina:

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, Diary, 589

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What We Can Learn From Victim Souls

Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez, "Victim soul."

Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez, “Victim soul.”

A “victim soul” is someone who offers their life, their will and their intense sufferings to God for the salvation of immortal souls. By uniting their sufferings to Jesus’ sufferings, they bring down torrents of graces upon souls. Bl. Alexandrina was told by Our Lord: “Thousands have been saved by your terrible sufferings.” Many victim souls received revelations about God’s love and mercy. Here is one touching example: “I want to make known in writing the intense love with which My Heart burns for souls; I want to complain that I am forgotten, rebuffed; I want to plead for love as a beggar pleads for a crust of bread; I love souls so much, yet very often I am not understood and not loved.” – Jesus to Bl. Dina

We are not all called to be “victim souls”. St. Padre Pio said to one of his spiritual daughters that relatively few are called to be victim souls. We are all called to carry our cross with love and patience, however. In his encyclical ‘Miserentissimus Redemptor’, Pope Pius XI elaborates on this topic: “Although the copious Redemption operated by Our Lord has superabundantly forgiven all sins, yet through that admirable disposition of Divine Wisdom, there must be completed in us what is missing in Christ’s suffering on behalf of his Body, that is, his Church (Col 1:24). We can and we must add to the homage and satisfaction (expiatory suffering) that Christ renders to God, our own homage and satisfactions on behalf of sinners.”

With this in mind, let us reflect on some of the valuable life lessons given to us by these dear victim souls:

1. The Cross alone leads to Heaven.
St. Faustina had a vision of two paths. The wide path, which leads to suffering and loss, was full of temporary joys and pleasures. The narrow path, on the other hand, on which there were rocks and other causes for suffering, leads to eternal joy and peace. We should pray ardently for the salvation of the dying. According to St. Faustina and others, many souls have been converted on their deathbeds, even when they appeared to be without repentance.

2. We were created for Heaven.
“Our present life is given only to gain the eternal one and if we don’t think about it, we build our affections on what belongs to this world, where our life is transitory. When we have to leave it we are afraid and become agitated. Believe me, to live happily in this pilgrimage, we have to aim at the hope of arriving at our Homeland, where we will stay eternally.” – St. Padre Pio

3. Many do not reach Heaven.
I’m sorry, dear reader, if these words upset you or make you anxious, but they are the words of Jesus, and they are confirmed by countless victim souls. This is a Gospel truth that should not be watered down for anyone (though this site is not concerned with the specific details of such doctrines); in fact, it is highly uncharitable to neither warn nor admonish sinners, in the same way that a doctor would be uncharitable to turn a “blind eye” to their patient’s cancer. “Fear of the Lord”, which is regulated by confidence and humility, is a powerful means of remedying some cases of scruples, conquering vices, bringing souls closer to Christ, and establishing peace in our souls.

There is no limit to God’s mercy; we do not know how many souls are saved, but God wants us to avoid presumption (“hope without fear [humility and sorrow for sin]” – St. Robert Bellarmine) because this state of soul blinds us to sin and the action of the Holy Spirit, Who wishes to free us! Also, it is important that we know this, otherwise we will never understand the value of suffering, the malice of sin (which brings unhappiness), the importance of the Sacraments, the need for persevering prayer etc. Do not be afraid, however; Our Lord is most generous, and He always begins what He finishes, provided that we cooperate with His graces. We will be saved if we truly love Him. God ardently desires that all be saved, but His justice (and love of course) has fastened Him to the Cross. His Mystical Body, that is, the Church, must complete the work of redemption. “I am giving you a share in the redemption of mankind.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

While suffering enormously both physically and mystically, Bl. Alexandrina said (in an ecstasy): “No Jesus! No Jesus! Crucify me! Pardon! Pardon! Pardon! They have the same right as I have, because you died on the cross for them as well as for me. Jesus, I want no soul to go to Hell, neither in my parish nor in the entire world. I love you for them. Forget the sinners, Jesus. Remember me through my crucifixion.” We must never forget that God desires our salvation more than any saint did/does!

4. Suffering is valuable.
I have already explained the value of suffering here: https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/consoling-revelations-about-suffering/
If we are in a state of grace, our sufferings have incomparable value when united to Jesus’ sufferings. Such suffering gives us strength, increases our love, increases our merit, expiates our sins, and save souls!

“When God sends spiritual darkness and desolation, His true friends become known… Sickness is the acid test of spirituality, because it discloses whether our virtue is real or sham.” – St. Alphonsus

“When anything disagreeable happens (humiliations, sufferings etc.), remember it comes from God, and say at once, ‘This comes from God’, and be at peace.” – St. Alphonsus

“If souls knew what it means to suffer, and suffer for God, not a soul would be found who would not be willing to suffer for Him.” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata

5. The joys of loving God surpass any earthly joy.
The saints enjoyed intense consolations. While they suffered much, and for long periods of time, God gave them a taste of the joys that await them. St. Gemma was known to experience ecstatic states for an hour, in which her countenance was luminous and joyful. During these ecstasies she would say the most beautiful things to Our Lord and Our Lady. There are many moving stories like these in the lives of saints and victim souls. We must not seek these consolations, however. We must seek to love God, and will only what He wills. Doing this will surely lead us to eternal joy!

6. Life is short.
Death comes to many of us like a thief in the night; therefore we must be prepared; we must start taking our salvation seriously today. The average person’s notion of a “good person” will not suffice for salvation, nor will lukewarmness, apart from a special grace on God’s part, which we cannot rely on. I say this not to incite fear, but because it is true. Jesus reminded Sr. Josefa how easy it is to love Him. If we do not seek Him, we will never know this, and faith will appear burdensome. “How easy it is for a mere nothing to lose itself in that abyss of love.” – Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

God calls us to perfection. Certainly this is no easy accomplishment, but it is much easier when we constantly seek to know and love God (daily prayer and reading the Bible is the bare mininum). For this, we must make use of the means for growing in love and humility, such as Confession, the Holy Mass, and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. What infinite treasures! Jesus is waiting for us in the Tabernacle. He offers Himself for us daily in the Holy Mass. Perhaps it will help to imagine Jesus, as He appeared in His Passion, waiting eagerly in the Tabernacle for us to come and console Him. Indeed, Our Lord suffers grievously in this Sacrament of Love! “I was in prison, and you came to me.” (Mt. 25:36)

Essentially, victim souls are a reminder of our dignity and vocation as children of God. As Christians, we have been favoured before many others. This should humble us greatly, for to whom “much is given, of him much shall be required.” (Lk. 12:48) “We must not voluntarily nourish a desire to continue and persevere in venial sin of any kind. It would be an extremely foolish thing to wish deliberately to retain in our heart anything so displeasing to God as a will to offend Him.” (St. Francis de Sales) The victim souls remind us to pray frequently (especially the Rosary), to make sacrifices in atonement for our sins and for the salvation of sinners, to adore Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, to receive the Sacraments frequently, to suffer patiently, and most of all, to love God in a spirit of humility and gratitude!

Here is a quote from St. Alphonsus that should console us: “Having merited hell for our sins, we should be consoled that God chastises us in this life, and animate ourselves to look upon such treatment as a pledge that God wishes to spare us in the next. When God sends us punishments let us say with the high-priest Heli: ‘It is the Lord, let him do what is good in his sight’.” – St. Alphonsus

“My daughter, suffering is the key to Heaven. I have endured so much to open Heaven to all mankind, but for many it was in vain. They say ‘I want to enjoy life, I have come into the world only for enjoyment.’ They say ‘Hell does not exist.’ I have died for them, and they say they did not ask me to do so. They have formed heresies against me. In order to save them, I select certain souls and lay the cross on their shoulders. Happy the soul who understands the value of suffering! My cross is sweet if carried for love of me… I chose you from your mother’s womb. I watch over you in your great difficulties. It was I who chose them for you, that I might have a victim to offer me much reparation. Lean on my Sacred Heart and find therein strength to suffer everything.” – Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina, victim soul

If you knew how much I love you, you would die of joy. I have established my home in your soul. I live in you as if you alone exist in the world and I had only you to bless. You are a tabernacle constructed by divine hands. I want you in my arms with the same simplicity of a baby in those of its mother. Give me your heart to place in mine in order that you will have no other love but for me and for the things that are mine. In your body is Christ; Christ in your glances and in your smiles. You are the valley and I the water which flows in it, which washes and purifies. You are rich in me. It is because of this that your glances attract. It is because of this that your smile has the fineness of Heaven. I want you to preach devotion to the tabernacles. I want you to kindle in souls devotion to this Prisoner of Love. I do not stay in this world only for love of those who love me, but for everyone. Even those engaged in work can console me.” – Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina

Here is a final counsel from Bl. Alexandrina herself: “Do not sin. The pleasures of this life are worth nothing. Receive Communion, pray the Rosary every day. This sums up everything.”
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Book recommendations
“The harm that comes to souls from the lack of reading holy books makes me shudder… What power spiritual reading has to lead to a change of course, and to make even worldly people enter into the way of perfection.” – St. Padre Pio

Here are some beautiful, illuminating books (about victim souls) that I encourage you to read:
– ‘Alexandrina: The Agony and the Glory’ by Francis Johnston (Free online: http://www.catholicrevelations.org/PR/alexandrina%20maria%20da%20costa.htm )
– ‘The Spiritual Legacy of Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity: Poor Clare of Jerusalem’ by Rev. Silvere van den Broek O.F.M
– ‘The Life of St. Gemma Galgani’ by Venerable Fr. Germanus
– ‘Marthe Robin: A Prophetic Vision of the Gospel Message’ by Bernard Peyrous
– ‘Padre Pio: Man of Hope’ by Renzo Allegri
– ‘The Way of Divine Love’ by Sr. Josefa Menendez (Free online: https://archive.org/details/TheWayOfDivineLove )
– ‘Sister Benigna Consolata Ferrero, a professed choir nun of the Order of the visitation, B. V. M., Como, Italy’ (Free online: http://archive.org/stream/sisterbenignacon00como#page/n3/mode/2up )

How To Attain Peace Of Soul

Blessed_Alexandrina_da_Costa_1935
(Bl. Alexandrina, victim-soul)

What profound peace do saints and victim-souls enjoy, despite such intense sufferings! How? … They embraced the Cross with love.

“If thou dost practice humility, thou wilt find peace; if thou wilt practice it more perfectly, thou wilt find more peace…” – Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero

We all yearn for that “peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). The martyrs are a good example of those who possessed this God-given peace. Even amidst tortures they were able to lovingly embrace God’s will; these dear souls are now enjoying eternal peace. Sr. Josefa, though not a martyr, possessed an extraordinary peace and calmness of soul, which could not even be shaken by excruciating sufferings, which she accepted from God to save sinners.

The following advice from Jesus and several holy souls will help us to attain true peace. Their advice can be summarised into the following points:

1. LOVE. Strive to know, do, and love God’s holy will. His will alone can give us peace.

2. ABANDONMENT. Accept everything as coming from God’s will: sufferings, humiliations and the like are for our benefit. See here, for example: https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2013/05/01/consoling-revelations-about-suffering/

3. PURITY (avoid sin). Avoid deliberate sin. Do not focus on sin, however; focus on the love of God, especially in His Passion, and in the Holy Eucharist.

4. MEDITATE. Especially on the Passion, which Jesus has revealed will give us the strength to rise above anything! Also,

5. HUMILITY. Ask daily for this grace, pray often, and persevere in prayer. Many spend a lifetime studying to obtain earthly wealth and honour, but diligence in prayer brings us precious graces, salvation, and merit that will be enjoyed for all eternity, if we persevere.

Here are their words:

“The heart of our Divine Master has no more amiable law than that of sweetness, humility, charity. Often place your confidence in Divine Providence and be assured that sooner heaven and earth shall pass away than that the Lord neglect to protect you.” – Padre Pio

“Do not fear what may happen tomorrow. The same loving Father who cares for you today will care for you tomorrow and every day. Either he will shield you from suffering or He will give you unfailing strength to bear it. Be at peace then and put aside all anxious thoughts and imaginings.” – St. Francis de Sales

“Fear starts sometimes in the soul, sometimes in the body, and the one communicates the weaknesses to the other. But if your soul is unafraid even when the body is terrified, you are close to being healed.” – St. John of the Ladder (This valuable advice for overcoming scrupulous thoughts)

“Life is often irksome and bitter; it is hard to begin a laborious day, above all when Jesus hides Himself from us. What is this tender Friend doing? Does He not then see our anguish, the load that oppresses us; where is He? Why does He not come to console us? Ah, fear not … He is there, quite near! He is watching us; He, it is, who begs for these our labours and our tears … He has need of them for souls, for our soul; He wants to give us so glorious a recompense. Ah! Truly, it costs Him to make us drink of this bitter cup, but He knows that it is the one way by which to prepare us to know Him as He knows Himself and to become ourselves God-like.” – St. Therese of Lisieux

“In the multitude of my anxieties within me, your comforts delight my soul.” – Psalm 94:19

“I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” – Psalm 121:1-2

“It is above all on days of weariness, sickness, impatience, temptation, spiritual dryness, and trials, during hours of sometimes terrible anguish which press upon a soul, that holy abandonment is pleasing to God.” – Bl. Columba Marmion (God rewards holy abandonment with peace and joy)

“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 (As Jesus said to Sr. Consolata, the happiest are also the holiest and vice versa)

“Holiness is a disposition of the heart that makes us humble and little in the arms of God, aware of our weakness, and confident- in the most audacious way- in His Fatherly goodness.” St. Therese of Lisieux

“We must not voluntarily nourish a desire to continue and persevere in venial sin of any kind. It would be an extremely foolish thing to wish deliberately to retain in our heart anything so displeasing to God as a will to offend Him.” – St. Francis de Sales (Every sin we overcome is a reason to love and thank God. Without Him we can do nothing. Jesus spoke to Sr. Josefa of a nun whose pride displeased Him; she took credit for her virtue as though it was not a gift from God. Rather, be like St. Padre Pio, who when thanked for healing people through his intercession, always said the same thing: “Don’t thank me. Thank God!”)

Finally, read carefully the words of Cardinal Cajetan on the subject of humility: “The heart of the proud man is like a stormy sea, never at rest: “Like the raging sea which cannot rest;” [Isa. lvii, 20] and the heart of the humble is fully content in its humility– “Rich in his being low” [James i, 10]– and is always calm and tranquil and without fear that anything in this world should disturb him, and shall “rest with confidence.” [Isa. xiv, 30] And from whence proceeds this difference? The humble man enjoys peace and quiet because he lives according to the rules of truth and justice, submitting his own will in all things to the Divine will. The proud man is always agitated and perturbed because of the opposition he is continually offering to the Divine will in order to fulfil his own.

The more the heart is filled with self-love, so much the greater will be its anxiety and agitation. This maxim is indeed true; for whenever I feel myself inwardly irritated, disturbed and angered by some adversity which has befallen me, I need not look elsewhere for the cause of such feelings than within myself, and I should always do well to say: If I were truly humble I should not be disquieted. My great agitation is an evident proof which ought to convince me that my self-love is great and dominant and powerful within me, and is the tyrant which torments and gives me no peace.

If I feel aggrieved by some sharp word that has been said to me, or by some discourtesy shown me, from whence does this feeling of pain proceed? From my pride alone. Oh, if I were truly humble, what calm, what peace and happiness would my soul not enjoy! And this promise of Jesus Christ is infallible: “Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart, and you shall find rest to your souls.” [Matt. xi, 29]

When we are distressed by some adversity, it is unnecessary to seek consolation of those who flatter us or have pity on us, and to whom we can pour out our troubles. It is sufficient to ask our soul: “Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?” [Ps. xli, 12] My soul, what hast thou? and what seekest thou? Dost thou perchance desire that rest which thou hast lost? Listen then to the remedy offered to thee by thy Saviour, exhorting thee to learn of Him to be humble, “Learn of Me, because I am meek and humble of heart,” and further listen to what He adds when He assures thee that with thy lost humility thou shalt also recover thy peace: “And you shall find rest to your souls.”

PAX

Consoling Words of Jesus to St. Gemma

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The life of St. Gemma Galgani is extremely inspiring and illuminating. It will be sure to touch even the hardest heart.

Our Lord said the following to St. Gemma: “My child, thou complainest because I will to keep thee in the dark; but remember that after darkness comes light, and then thou shalt have light indeed. I put thee to this test for My greater glory, to give joy to the Angels, for thy greater gain and also for example to others. If thou dost really love Me, thou oughtest to love Me even in the midst of darkness. I delight in and play with souls. I thus play through love. Be not afflicted if I begin to abandon thee. Do not think it chastisement. It is truly My own Will in order to detach thee from creatures and unite thee to Myself. When I appear to be far away then I am near at hand. Take courage, for after the battle comes peace. Fidelity and love must be thy necessary weapons. For the present, therefore, be patient if I leave thee alone. Suffer, be resigned and be consoled. I am leading thee by rough and sorrowful ways, and thou shouldst consider thyself honoured when I treat thee thus and when by a daily and hidden martyrdom I allow thy soul to be tried and purified. Think only for the present of how thou art to practice great virtue. Make haste in the ways of divine love, humble thyself, and rest assured that if I keep thee on the Cross, I love thee. Be not like some who, being attached to consolations and spiritual satisfactions, care but little for the Cross. Finding themselves in desolation of spirit, they shorten by degrees the time of prayer because they no longer find in it the consolations they had before experienced.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

We would also do well to ponder the words of St. Gemma: “Imagine that you see a light of immense splendour, that penetrates everything, surrounds everything, enlightens everything, and at the same time gives life and animation to all, so that whatever exists has its beginning from this light and in it lives. Thus I see my God and creatures in Him. Imagine a fiery furnace, great as the universe, nay, infinitely greater, that burns everything without consuming anything, and burning, illumines and strengthens, and those who are most penetrated by its flames are happiest, and desire more ardently to be consumed. Thus I see our souls in God.”

“Let us recall, my dear sister, that we are disciples of this Jesus who suffered so much. It is not enough to look at the cross, or to wear it; we must carry it in the depths of our heart. Together, let us visit Jesus crucified. Let us look at him; he is lifted up on the cross. If Jesus is nailed there, let us not complain if we must stand at his feet.”

“He asked me if I loved Him. I wept, for you know, Father, whom I have loved more than Jesus. I have loved myself, and often times creatures and pleasures. What could I answer to Jesus? I wept for a long time, and that was my reply. It is Jesus alone whom I should love, and I have never loved Him as I should.” And her love was great, indeed!

So as to console, rather than afflict, the tender Heart of Our Saviour, let us follow the advice of St. Padre Pio: “Implore the Lord to increase two things in us: love and fear. As long as you are afraid to fall, you will not sin. You should be afraid when you are not afraid anymore.” Every humble soul possesses this holy fear, which is the beginning of wisdom. Let us bear in mind the words of Our Lord to St. Mechtilde, concerning sin and repentance: “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.”

“My daughter, behold these wounds. They have all been opened for your sins. But now, be consoled, for they have all been closed by your sorrow. Do not offend Me any more. Love Me as I have always loved you. Love Me.” – Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani

There Is Nothing Greater On Earth Than Holy Mass!

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Jesus revealed to St. Gertrude: “If you believe that I am offered up to God the Father on the Cross because it was My will to be offered in this manner, believe also and doubt not that every day I desire, with the same love and strength of desire, to be sacrificed for every sinner upon the Altar, as I sacrificed Myself on the Cross for the salvation of the world. Therefore, there is no one, however heavy the weight of sin wherewith he is burdened, who may not hope for pardon if he offers to the Father My sinless life and death, provided he believes that thereby he will obtain the blessed fruit of forgiveness.”

These are the fruits of Holy Mass, taken from ‘The Holy Sacrifice of The Mass Explained’ (Cochem). The words in bold will be particularly helpful to scrupulous individuals.

1. For thy salvation God the Father sends his beloved Son down from heaven.
2. For thy salvation the Holy Spirit changes bread and wine into the true Body and Blood of Christ.
3. For thy sake the Son of God comes down from heaven and conceals Himself under the form of the sacred host.
4. He even abases Himself to such an extent as to be present in the minutest particle of the Sacred Host.
5. For thy salvation He renews the saving mystery of the Incarnation.
6. For thy salvation He is born anew into the world in a mystic manner whenever Holy Mass is celebrated.
7. For thy salvation he performs on the altar the same act of worship He performed when on earth.
8. For thy salvation He renews His bitter passion in order that thou mayest participate in it.
9. For thy salvation He mystically renews His death, and sacrifices for Thee His precious life.
10. For thy salvation He sheds His blood in a mystic manner, and offers it up for thee to the Divine Majesty.
11. With this Precious Blood He sprinkles thy soul and purifies it from every stain.
12. For thee Christ offers Himself as a true burnt-offering, and renders to the Godhead the supreme honor which it is due.
13. By offering this act of worship to God, thou dost make reparation for the glory which thou hast failed to give Him.
14. For thee Christ offers Himself to God as a sacrifice of praise, thus atoning for thy omissions in praising His Holy Name.
15. By offering to God this oblation which Christ offers, thou givest Him greater praise than do the Holy Angels.
16. For thee Christ offers Himself as a perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving, making compensation for all failures on thy part to render thanks.
17. By offering to God Christ’s act of thanksgiving, thou dost make ample acknowledgment of all the benefits He had bestowed on thee.
18. For thee Christ offers Himself as the all powerful victim, reconciling thee to the God Whom thou hast offended.
19. He pardons thee for all thy venial sins, provided thou art firmly resolved to forsake them.
20. He also makes repartition for many of thy sins of omission, when thou didst leave undone the good thou mightest have done.
21. He removes many of the imperfections attaching to thy good deeds.
22. He forgives thee the sins, unknown or forgotten, which thou hast never mentioned in confession.
23. He offers Himself as a victim to make satisfaction for a part at least of thy debts and transgressions.
24. Each time thou hearest Mass thou canst do more to pay the penalty due to thy sins than by the severest work of penance.
25. Christ places to thy credit a portion of His merits, which thou mayest offer to God the Father in expiation of thy offences.
26. For thee Christ offers Himself as the most efficacious peace-offering, interceding for thee as earnestly as He interceded for His enemies on the cross.
27. His Precious Blood pleads for thee in words as countless as the drops which issued from His sacred veins.
28. Each of the adorable wounds His sacred body bore is a voice calling aloud for mercy for thee.
29. For the sake of this propitiatory victim, the petitions proffered during Mass will be granted far sooner than those that are proffered at other times.
30. Never canst thou pray so well as whilst present at Mass.
31. This is so because Christ unites His prayers to thine, and offers them to His heavenly Father.
32. He acquaints Him with thy needs and dangers to which thou art exposed, and makes thy eternal salvation His particular concern.
33. The angels also, who are present, plead for thee, and present thy poor prayers before the throne of God.
34. On thy behalf the priest says Mass, by virtue of which the evil enemy will not be suffered to approach thee.
35. For thee and for thy everlasting salvation he says Mass, and offers that holy sacrifice to God Almighty.
36. When thou hearest Mass, thou art thyself in spirit a priest, enpowered by Christ to offer the Mass both for thyself and others.
37. By offering this Holy Sacrifice, thou dost present to the Blessed Trinity the most acceptable of all oblations.
38. Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, of greater value than all things in heaven and earth.
39. Thou dost offer an oblation precious indeed, for it is none other than God himself.
40. By this sacrifice thou does honor God as He alone is worthy to be honored.
41. By this sacrifice thou dost give infinite satisfaction to the Most Holy Trinity.
42. Thou mayest present this glorious oblation as thine own gift, for Christ Himself gave it unto thee.
43. When thou hearest Mass aright, thou dost perform an act of highest worship.
44. By hearing Mass thou dost pay the most profound reverence, the most loyal homage, to the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord.
45. It is best means whereby to venerate the Passion of Christ, and obtain a share in its fruits.
46. It is also the best means of venerating the blessed Mother of God, and increasing her joy.
47. By hearing Mass, thou canst also enrich thy soul more than aught else in the world.
48. By hearing Mass devoutly, thou canst give greater honor to the angels and the saints than by reciting many prayers.
49. For this in act thou dost perform a good work of the highest value.
50. It is a signal exercise of pure faith, which will receive a great reward.
51. When thou dost bow down before the Sacred Host and the Sacred Chalice, thou doest perform a supreme act of adoration.
52. For each time thou doest gaze reverently upon the Sacred Host thou wilt receive a recompense in heaven.
53. Each time thou dost smite thy breast with compunction, some of thy sins are remitted to thee.
54. If thou hearest Mass in a state of mortal sin, God offers thee grace of conversion.
55. If thou hearest Mass in a state of grace, God gives augmentation of grace.
56. In Holy Mass thou doest spiritually eat the flesh of Christ, and drink His blood.
57. Thou art privileged to behold with thine eyes Christ hidden under the sacramental veil, and to be beheld by Him.
58. Thou dost receive the priest’s benediction, which is confirmed by Christ in heaven.
59. Through thy diligence in hearing Mass, thou wilt also obtain corporal and temporal blessings.
60. Furthermore, thou wilt be preserved from many misfortunes that would otherwise have vanquished thee.
61. Thou wilt also be strengthened against temptations which would have otherwise have vanquished thee. (The Eucharist is the most powerful food for the journey.)
62. Holy Mass will also be to thee a means of obtaining grace of a holy death.
63. The love thou hast shown for Holy Mass wilt secure for thee the special succor of angels and saints in thy last moments.
64. The remembrance of the Masses heard in thy lifetime will be a sweet solace to thee in the hour of death, and inspire thee with confidence in the divine mercy.
65. They will not be forgotten when thou dost stand before the strict Judge and will incline Him to show thee favor.
66. Thou needest not a fear a long and terrible Purgatory if thou hast already to a great extent atoned for thy sins by frequently assisting at Holy Mass.
67. One Mass devoutly heard will do more to mitigate the pains of Purgatory than any act of penance, however difficult of performance.
68. One Mass in thy lifetime will be of greater service to thee than many said for thee after death.
69. Thou wilt attain a high place in heaven, which will be thine to all eternity.
70. Thy felicity in heaven will, moreover be increased by every Mass thou hearest on earth.
71. No prayers offered for thy friends will be as efficacious as a single Mass heard and offered on their behalf.
72. Thou canst amply recompense all thy benefactors by hearing Mass for their intention.
73. The best help, the greatest consolation, thou canst afford the afflicted, the sick, the dying is to hear Mass for them.
74. By this same means thou canst even obtain for sinners the grace of conversion.
75. Thou canst also earn for all faithful Christians saving and salutary graces.
76. For the suffering souls in Purgatory thou canst procure abundant refreshment.
77. And if it is not within thy power to have Mass said for thy departed friends, thou canst by devout assistance at the Holy Sacrifice release them from the tormenting flames.

Consoling Revelations About Suffering

+ “If I had another way of bringing you closer to me than suffering, I would chose it.” (Jesus to Gabrielle Bossis)

“The cross is the greatest gift God could bestow on His Elect on earth. There is nothing so necessary, so beneficial, so sweet, or so glorious as to suffer something for Jesus. If you suffer as you ought, the cross will become a precious yoke that Jesus will carry with you.” (St. Louis de Montfort)

The saints say similar things. Catholic doctrine on suffering (which is sadly unknown to many) is most consoling! The following considerations will help us to see why:

+ “Suffering is the key to Heaven.” (Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina). “The Cross is the true and only road that leads souls to Heaven.” (Jesus to St. Rose of Lima)

+ “I loved suffering, I the Man of Sorrows; I chose it because it makes reparation for sins when it is offered with love… when suffering is joined to love, the proofs of love given through suffering are a true reparation offered to God. It is giving God something that He does not have in His Heaven. Therefore, I chose suffering so that all My creatures, even the most miserable, like yourself, might have something precious to offer to God.” (Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity)

+ “I am fair, and I am all thine, as I am for all who take up their cross and follow in My footsteps… He who desireth to win Heaven must lead a life of penance, and he who suffereth shall not be deceived, for he walketh in a way of great security.” (Jesus to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi)

+ “Help Me, My daughter, to save souls. Join your sufferings to My Passion and offer them to the Heavenly Father for sinners.” (Jesus to St. Faustina). “Take My Cross, My Nails and Crown. I go in search of souls.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)

+ Meditation on the thirteenth station of the Cross (Jesus is taken down from the Cross): “Whenever a soul receives with faith and love any occasion of suffering, it is as if she received Me in her arms when taken down from the Cross; the two arms with which the soul receives Me are resignation and love for My divine Will.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)

+ “Affliction is always accompanied by Grace; Grace is proportionate to suffering. The measure of My gifts is increased with the measure of trials.” (Jesus to St. Rose of Lima) (Beg for the virtue of patience, and remember that we may not be rewarded until we reach Heaven)

“If a person wishes to make Me an acceptable offering, let him seek refuge in none beside Me in tribulation, and not complain of his griefs to anyone, but entrust to Me all the anxieties with which his heart is burdened. I will never forsake one who acts thus.” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde)

+ “When thou art suffering, whether interiorly or exteriorly, do not lose the merit of thy pain; suffer only for Me. The greater number of souls, often even pious souls, lose much merit by relating what they suffer to anyone who will hear them; and although they do not complain, they desire no less the sympathy of creatures. When My Divine Heart sends suffering It wills that the soul accept it with patience and resignation. Such persons believe that their trials will be relieved by pouring them out to the creature; nature is satisfied, but grace is weakened, and courage fails them afterward to bear their sufferings through pure love.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)

What The Saints Said About Suffering

“There is no more evident sign that anyone is a saint and of the number of the elect, than to see him leading a good life and at the same time a prey to desolation, suffering, and trials.” – St. Aloysius Gonzaga

“One must not think that a person who is suffering is not praying. He is offering up his sufferings to God, and many a time he is praying much more truly than one who goes away by himself and meditates his head off, and, if he has squeezed out a few tears, thinks that is prayer.” – St. Teresa of Avila

“Nothing afflicts the heart of Jesus so much as to see all His sufferings of no avail to so many.” – St. John Vianney

“If the angels could desire anything, it seems to me that they would envy us our privilege of suffering…” – Bl. Dina Belanger

“Let us understand that God is a physician, and that suffering is a medicine for salvation, not a punishment for damnation.” – St. Augustine

“Let us strive to face suffering with Christian courage. Then all difficulties will vanish and pain itself will become transformed into joy.” – St. Teresa of Avila

“Suffering is like a kiss that Jesus hanging from the cross bestows on persons whom He loves in a special way. Because of this love He wants to associate them in the work of the redemption.” – St. Bonaventure

“To suffer and not to suffer for God is torment.” – St. Gerard Majella

“Difficulties and sufferings will disappear, but the merit we acquire through our fidelity will remain forever.” – St. Jane Frances de Chantal

“If God causes you to suffer much, it is a sign that He has great designs for you, and that He certainly intends to make you a saint.” – St. Ignatius Loyola

“What greater consolation can come to a soul, than to know that, by patiently bearing some tribulation, it gives God the greatest pleasure in its power?” – St. Alphonsus

“It would be like blasphemy to believe that God is indifferent to our needs and sufferings. God always looks upon us with an infinite look, one that is infinitely intense, penetrating to the very depths of our soul and knowing all its griefs and its needs.” Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

“Let us tell ourselves that every day, every hour, every instant of suffering borne with Jesus and for love of Him will be a new heaven for all eternity, and a new glory given God for ever.” – Bl. Dom Columba Marmion

Do not be frightened at these words, dear reader. They are necessary for our humility, which opens our hearts to God’s goodness and grace: “We are indebted to God’s justice for a hundred thousand bushels of wheat; and he lets us off for a portion of it. O great favour! We merit eternal torments, and he lets us suffer a few small temporal afflictions. Ah, what goodness! We should take care to make good use of our afflictions. God wants to cleanse us of the filth of our sins by a lye-bath of suffering that seems very strong. But the stronger it is, the more it whitens us. It makes us pleasing in the sight of his divine majesty, provided that we cultivate the necessary dispositions, chiefly these four:
First, we must accept our sufferings from the most adorable Trinity, and not attribute them in any way to our fellow creatures. They are merely the rods our Father uses to punish us.
Second, we must humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, regarding ourselves not as innocent, but as guilty criminals. The humbler we become, the more will God protect us and convert all things to our welfare.
Third, we regard sin as the sole author of all our ills, turning all our hatred against this monstrous enemy. We must forcefully destroy sin by true penitence and banish it beyond the doors of our souls. Let’s remove the cause, and the effect will cease.
Fourth, we must guard against subscribing to the pagan sentiment of hating those who hate us. We must follow Jesus, our gentle leader, by loving all- including enemies.” – St. John Eudes

Consider Our Lord’s sufferings!

“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

“As My divinity drew to itself the sufferings of My humanity, and made them its own (it is the dowry of the bride), thus will I transport thy pains into My divinity; I will unite them to My Passion and will make thee to share in that glory which My Father bestowed upon My sacred humanity in return for all its sufferings.” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde)