A SURE Way to Be Happy.

A SURE Way to Be Happy.

Image: Blessed Charles de Foucauld, who lived a very simple, austere and charitable life. Be Holy. More specifically, be GENEROUS with God. God desires to fill us with Himself (Who is perfect love, peace and joy), but we must empty … Continue reading

Confession: Sins Forgotten Are Forgiven

(The following words are taken from pp. 51-52 of ‘Confession: A Little Book for the Reluctant’ by TAN publishers)

29. I COULD NEVER REMEMBER ALL MY SINS

What matter? Repent sincerely of your sins, known and unknown; accuse yourself of all you can remember; when you cannot remember the exact number, tell is as nearly as you can; hide nothing deliberately; be firmly resolved, in the future, to observe the commandments of God and the Church, and God requires no more.

Who could remember exactly all his sins? No one in the world. But God, who knows all, pardons all when He sees in the heart a true, sincere repentance. Peace to men of good will!

… Moreover, remember that the sins forgotten in Confession, even if mortal sins, are pardoned like the others. Never disquiet yourself, either before Confession or after it; guard well the peace of your soul. If, after absolution, you remember any [mortal] sin, it will not be necessary for that reason to return to Confession; above all, it is not necessary to deprive yourself of Holy Communion.

(The following words are taken from ‘The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude the Great’)

[Context: St. Gertrude, who was accustomed to having visions and locutions, was one day complaining to St. John the Apostle that she forgot to confess some little faults in Confession, and that she could not always remember her sins for Confession]

“Do not be troubled at this, my child,” replied the Saint lovingly; “for when you have prepared for a good and entire confession of your sins, and find that you cannot then have recourse to a confessor, if you forget anything in consequence of the delay, and omit to accuse yourself of it merely from a defect of memory, what you have forgotten will not fail to be effaced; and the grief you have for the omission will adorn your soul as a precious jewel, which will render it pleasing to the heavenly court.”

(The following words are taken from ‘The Life and Spiritual Legacy of Sister Mary of the Holy Trinity’)

“Have you really understood that My Blood blots out all sins and omissions acknowledged and regretted in Confession? Have you really understood that after having received absolution your soul is renewed? I bought it at a great price. Use the Sacrament of Penance with love and gratitude by preparing for it every day. There also I await you – I await your fidelity and correspondence so that I may bestow My graces… When you show yourself just as you are with all your mediocrity, it is as if you had given Me a beautiful present – because then your confessor will be able to find the remedy necessary for you. Then you have made a good confession.” (Words of Our Lord)

 

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Worried About the Future?

“Do not get agitated; do not be anxious. Everything passes away, except your God.”

– Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity

Why do we worry? One person fears death; another worries about the end of the world; another is concerned about financial security. If we wish to experience God’s peace, we should do two things: ask frequently for this grace, and abandon ourselves to God’s Providence (which works all things to good for those who love Him). God knows exactly what we need. We are too proud and ignorant to see or desire what we need! We cannot even will a good thought without God! We must do all we can to strengthen this conviction, remembering that peace comes to those who are resigned to God’s will. If God wills that we should experience some fear or anxiety, let us be content to unite our sufferings to His. This is true love.

“Never fall back on yourself alone, but place all your trust in God and don’t be too eager to be set free from your present state. Let the Holy Spirit act within you. Give yourself up to all His transports and have no fear. He is so wise and gentle and discreet that He never brings about anything but good. How good this Holy Spirit, this Comforter, is to all, but how supremely good He is to those who seek Him.”

– St. Padre Pio

St. Anthony Mary Claret was permitted to experience terrible blasphemies and persistent thoughts about Hell. What did he do? He embraced God’s will, took up his cross with courage (and great love!), and resolved to love God. What became of him should be obvious. He converted numerous sinners and is now experiencing the unalterable joys of Heaven. A lesson to be learnt from St. Anthony Mary is that we are best off entrusting our sufferings and burdens to God. God uses our crosses not only to rid us of earthly attachments, but to grow in love and virtue, and to help save souls. We can understand, then, why Ven. Fulton Sheen said: “Avoiding the Cross is the essence of the demonic”.

“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.”

– Saint Aloysius Gonzaga

Whatever our worries, the following words will help us to achieve true peace, which remains in the superior part of the soul, even when the inferior part is fearful. It has to be experienced to be understood, but it has to be believed to be experienced.

(Some of these words are particularly addressed at those who worry about the end of the world):

“There are some who are worried from day to day about temporal matters as much as a year in advance. Those who are so concerned are never at rest. Hence Our Lord teaches us to ask that our bread be given us TODAY, that is, whatever we need for the present.” – St. Thomas Aquinas

“Don’t worry about anything.” – St. Padre Pio

“Hear and let it penetrate your hearts, my dear little ones. Let nothing discourage you, nothing depress you; let nothing alter your heart or your countenance. Do not fear vexation, anxiety or pain. Am I not here, your Mother? Are you not in the folds of my mantle, in the crossing of my arms? Is there anything else that you need?” – Our Lady to Juan Diego

“Do not fear anything; you will be my true daughter, and I will always be your good mother.” – Our Lady to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Fear is a greater evil that the evil itself… We must not fear fear… Anxiety and fear do not provide solace for our pain but aggravate it, leading us to a kind of breakdown in courage and strength because it appears that our pain has no possible remedy.” – St. Francis de Sales (Let us distinguish here between voluntary fear and involuntary fear. Voluntary fear is fed by our lack of faith and submission to God’s will. If we trust in God, our feelings cannot alter our courage or confidence. “With God we can do all things.”)

“Be cheerful and tranquilly rest in the arms of Jesus and mitigate your fears with the greatest confidence in Jesus, as it is from him alone that you should expect many blessings.” – St. Pio of Pietrelcina

“Spread the devotion to my Immaculate Heart, in order that many souls maybe conquered by my love and that many sinners may return to my Maternal Heart. Do not fear, for I will accompany with my maternal protection my faithful ones, and all those who accept my urgent warnings, and they — especially by the recitations of my Rosary — will be saved…  Satan goes furiously through this disordered world, and soon will show all his might. But, because of my Immaculate Heart, the triumph of Light will not delay in its triumph over the power of darkness, and the world, finally, will have tranquility and peace.” – Our Lady to Bl. Elena Aiello (Our Lady of Fatima made a similar statement, as have many saints and mystics)

“I do not give much belief to prophecies, because those especially that have come recently do not deserve to be read.” – Pope Pius IX, in an Allocution of April 9, 1872 (This is important. There are many false mystics today. Furthermore, prophecies are difficult to interpret. We must always be prepared for death. Certainly the world cannot go on sinning forever; God wishes to re-build society- very soon perhaps. Live with a good conscience and trust in God’s goodness.)

Our Lord has confirmed to many privileged souls, such as Sr. Benigna Consolata, Sr. Consolata Betrone, Marthe Robin, Ven. Conchita, and Ven. Louise Margaret, that God is preparing a resurrection of society, whereby God will cleanse the world of its sinfulness. This is a great blessing. Let us take refuge in the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which is united most closely to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Do this and be sure of protection.)

When we pray, we should remember that Jesus is present. This alone should be enough to fill us with confidence, love and humility!

“When a soul is in peace and consolation, doubtless it is easier for her to think of Me, but if she is in the throes of desolation and anguish, she need not fear. I am content with a glance. I understand, and this mere look will draw down on her special proofs of My tenderness.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

 

 

Sr. Benigna Consolata: Friend of “little souls”

Dear reader, I have written an article about Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero, the great spouse of Jesus. Please find the article at the following address:

http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2013/10/sister-benigna-consolata-ferrero.html

Sr. Benigna Consolata is a Heavenly advocate and friend worth having!

Here is a brief sample:

Here are but a few examples of the similarities between Sr. Benigna Consolata’s writings and those of the aforementioned saints and mystics:

1. + “Thou art the Apostle of My Love.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Apostle of My mercy.” (Jesus to St. Faustina)
+ “Apostle of Love.” (Jesus to Bl. Dina Belanger)
+ “Apostle of My love.” (Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez)
 
2. + “Thou shalt make thy Purgatory in the flames of My pure love-” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna, July 14, 1903)
+ “… the Fire of Love is more sanctifying than is the fire of Purgatory.” (St. Therese)
 
3. + “Even the single little prayer,‘I trust in Thee’, ravishes My Heart, because Faith, Love and Humility are comprised in this short prayer.” (Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata)
+ “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Words repeated throughout Sr. Consolata Betrone’s diary)
+ “Jesus, I trust in You!” (Prayer dictated by Our Lord to St. Faustina)
+ “How easy it is to please Jesus, to ravish His Heart. We have merely to love Him, while, at the same time, forgetting ourselves.” (St. Therese)

The Joy of Pain.

A conversation between St. Gertrude the Great and Our Lord (taken from her ‘Revelations’):

Christ: Tell Me, My beloved, is it not with love for Me that you languish?

Gertrude: How could I, dear Lord, wretched sinner that I am, dare to say that I languish with love of Thee?

Christ: Whoever renounces his own will to suffer anything for love of Me, can glory in his infirmity; and in thus glorying he will tell Me that he languishes with love of Me, provided only that he suffers with patience and keeps his mind perseveringly fixed on Me.

Gertrude: And what canst Thou gain, dearest Lord, from this assurance?

Christ: Such a sentiment will rejoice My Divinity and give glory to My Humanity. It is pleasing in My sight and a hymn of praise to delight Me. This practice will be a consolation to all who use it; and it touches Me so much that it constrains Me to give grace to the contrite, to convert sinners and to release souls from purgatory.

Gertrude: And wilt Thou, dear Lord, after this, my seventh illness, give me back my former health?

Christ: If, the first time you were ill, I had told you that you had yet to suffer seven different times, you would, perhaps, through human weakness have been afraid, and you might have given way to some im patience. So now, if I promised you health, the hope of coming to the end of your sufferings might diminish your merit. That is why, in My wisdom and care for you, I have left you in ignorance of one and the other in order that you may daily sigh after Me with your whole heart, offering to Me continually all your pains of mind and body.

While you do this, I, on my part, will watch over you with such faithful and tender care as never to permit you to be tried beyond your strength, for I know perfectly both your patience and your weakness. Consider, in proof of this, how you are actually less feeble now than you were after your first illness. Take courage then and trust to My goodness.

A Remedy For Sadness!

“Were anyone to ask me how a sad soul may be delivered from interior suffering, I would answer by an example. There was a servant of God, a friend of the Eternal Wisdom, who, in the beginning of his conversion, was subject to deep fits of melancholy; not only did he lose all relish for reading and prayer, but he found it impossible to work. One day, as he sat in his chamber, abandoned to dejection, he heard an interior voice, which said to him:

Why remain thus, sad and doing nothing? Why be consumed and wasted in the anguish of melancholy? Take courage, arise, do violence to thyself, meditate on My Passion and cruel sufferings, and thou wilt overcome thy grief.’

The servant of God obeyed; meditation on the Passion of Jesus Christ banished his sadness, and by continuing in this holy exercise, he cured his soul, and was nevermore subject to melancholy.” – Bl. Henry Suso

“I am not a little pleased with those who honour the image of My crucifixion very devoutly… “

– Jesus to St. Gertrude

(In other words, Jesus is very pleased with this pious practice! According to St. Alphonsus, all the saints had a great devotion to Jesus Crucified, and they meditated frequently on His Passion.)

“The Cross is the way to Paradise, but only when it is borne willingly.”

– St. Paul of the Cross

“Life is a struggle, and the best remedy for it is to do everything for the love of God, and to endure everything for the love of Jesus.”

– Fr. Paul of Moll

“Suffering + Love = Joy”

-St. Maximilian Kolbe

“Why do you fear death?” – Jesus to Sr. Mary

“Why do you fear death? Do you doubt Me?

(1) For your sins: see here is My mercy.

(2)For your cares, your anxieties, your desires: here is My Providence.

(3) For your weakness: here is My Omnipotence.

(4) It is My joy to give you hour by hour sufficient strength, to have you entirely dependent on My love.”

– Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity

(I have inserted the numbers)

(1) St. John Vianney (Taken from his Catechism): “Some say, ‘I have done too much evil; the good God cannot pardon me.’ My children, this is a great blasphemy; it is putting a limit to the mercy of God, which has no limit – it is infinite. You may have done evil enough to lose the souls of a whole parish, and if you confess, if you are sorry for having done this evil, and resolve not to do it again, the good God will have pardoned you.”

“My mercy for fallen souls is limitless.” – Jesus to Sr. Josefa

(2) Garrigou-Lagrange (Taken from ‘The Three Ages of the Interior Life’): “We read of the just in the Book of Wisdom: ‘Though in the sight of men they suffered torments, their hope is full of immortality. Afflicted in few things, in many they shall be well rewarded: because God hath tried them, and found them worthy of Himself. As gold in the furnace He hath proved them, and as a victim of a holocaust He hath received them.’ Thus trial causes hope to grow, and hope does not deceive us, for God does not abandon those who trust Him. ‘No one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded.’ It is evident that the Lord will not refuse Himself to those who love Him, to those to whom He has already given His Son. . . . He has prepared eternal beatitude for those who love Him above all else.”

(3) “And when the enemy represents to us our weakness, let us say with the Apostle, ‘I can do all things in Him who strengtheneth me’ (Phil. 4:13). Of myself I can do nothing; but I trust in God, that, by His grace, I shall be able to do all things…” – St. Alphonsus

 “The only way to make rapid progress along the path of divine love is to remain very little and put all our trust in almighty God.” -St. Therese

(4) “O My daughter, how many would have abandoned Me if they had not been crucified. The cross is a gift too precious, and from it come many virtues.”

Jesus to St. Gemma Galgani (Born: March 12, 1878; Died: April 11, 1903)

 

An Amazing Conversion Story: From Apostate to Saint

This story is recounted by Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange (in his work, ‘Life Everlasting’):

“I knew a man who had been reared as a good Christian, but who had wandered away from God. After having lost his wife and his only son, the son being an angel of piety, he was assailed by a terrible temptation to despair, a temptation which lasted many months. He determined to kill himself. On the day when he went to do so, at the instant when, in Tulle, he was about to throw himself into a ravine, his sister and the Carmelite nuns were praying ardently for him. At the very moment our Lord appeared to him, sad and sorrowful, and called him by his baptismal name: “Joseph.” After this view of the mercy of God, Joseph
Maisonneuve, [124] that was his name, understood that the redemption was meant also for him. He was converted completely. He became sweet and humble of heart. He expiated his sins by severe penance up to his last hour, dying in the odor of sanctity. He is called the holy man of Tulle. Many wonderful cures were wrought by his intercession. Even during life his prayer worked wonders. In his own village he had a friend who led a bad life. The saint prayed nightly, his arms in the form of a cross, and he performed severe penances to obtain this grace. One day he learned that his friend had shot himself, but that he was not yet dead. The saint at once went to him. The dying man had twenty-four hours to live. Joseph Maisonneuve exhorted him so well that he repented and died a most Christian death.”

God is “rich in mercy”!

But “almost all souls are lost”, say some (including certain saints, who at times appeal to alleged visions etc.). Listen, dear reader. The saints are not infallible. Not all visions and revelations come from God. Not all words come from reliable sources. Many revelations contradict each other (believe me). Only God knows the number of those who will persevere. Regardless of this number, let us not wish to run from the truth, whatever it may be. Instead, let us accept God’s unfathomable goodness, which is no less loveable when punishing unrepentant sinners. Meanwhile, let us turn our attention to the love and mercy of God:

“A single burning prayer of the seraphic St. Theresa (as was learned through a highly creditable revelation) converted ten thousand heretics.”

– Taken from ‘The Soul of The Apostolate’ by Jean Baptiste Chautard

“You see, I long to have My creatures serve Me out of love. Therefore, if a soul avoids some fault for fear of My chastisements, that is not what I am longing for from My creatures. I desire to be loved; I crave the love of My creatures! When they will come to love Me, they will no longer offend Me. When two people really love each other, they never offend each other. That is precisely the way it ought to be between the Creator and His creatures.”

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone

 “A religious was preaching a retreat at Thielt, and a servant girl had been present at the opening sermon in which the preacher said that the souls going to Heaven were as few in number as the leaves that remain on the trees in winter. This remark caused so great a displeasure to the woman that she stayed away from the rest of the sermons. When she mentioned this occurrence later on to Father Paul [the Benedictine “wonderworker”]  he said: “You did right, for in making such a statement the preacher outraged the infinite goodness of God.”

(Taken from p. 253 of ‘The Very Rev. Fr. Paul of Moll…’)

“Having heard a preacher declare that no person could be saved without the love of God, and that all must at least have so much of it as would lead them to repent and to abstain from sin, the Saint began to think that many, when dying, seemed to repent more from fear of hell than from the love of God. Our Lord replied:

“When I behold anyone in his agony who has thought of Me with pleasure, or who has performed any works deserving of reward, I appear to him at the moment of death with a countenance so full of love and mercy, that he repents from his inmost heart for having ever offended Me, and he is saved by this repentance. I desire, therefore, that My elect should acknowledge this mercy by thanksgivings, and that they should praise Me for this amongst the greater number of benefits from which they receive from Me.”

– From ‘The Life and Revelations of St. Gertrude’

You see, things are not so straightforward. If certain subjects lead you to doubt God’s goodness, avoid them. Here is a book that I strongly suggest for all, but especially for those inclined to doubt, discouragement, sadness, melancholy etc:

‘Consoling Thoughts of St. Francis de Sales’:

http://www.catholickingdom.com/s_Library/Books/C/Consoling_Thoughts_of_St_Francis_De_Sales_DeSales_OCR_CK.pdf

“my future to Thy Providence”

St. Padre Pio, the holy priest and stigmatist, used to pray (and encourage others to pray) thus:

“My past, O Lord, to Thy Mercy; my present, to Thy Love; my future, to Thy Providence.”

As children of an “infinitely loving Father” (St. Padre Pio), we must entrust the future to God’s love and wisdom. He knows what we need. God arranges everything for our greatest good, namely, eternal salvation. For this reason, we must trust in Him at all times. This will bring grace and peace.

Here is a beautiful illustration of God’s merciful providence, as well as our inability to discern the things of God: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways”, says the Lord (Isaiah 55:8).

(Taken from p. 319 of ‘The Life of Leon Papin-Dupont, The Holy Man of Tours’)

In everything that happened, even though in its human aspects it was most disastrous and apparently most detrimental to the interests of religion, his faith beheld the action of Divine Providence and the accomplishment of the Divine Will. Thus, when the terrible conflagration which took place in a church at Santiago, on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, was exciting the greatest sensation throughout the civilised world, a lady of Tours felt herself tempted to murmur against God for having allowed so many devout clients of His Virgin Mother to perish by so frightful a catastrophe at the very time when they were rendering her their homage. Meeting M. Dupont in the street, she gave expression to her distress in passionate terms.

“But, madam”, he said, “you let your feelings carry you away. Instead of being afflicted, you ought rather to be thankful. See, I pray you, how, whilst His earthly children were occupied in glorifying their heavenly Mother, God chose that very moment for calling them to Himself and transported them straight into His Paradise. In an instant they are saved, they are happy; it is not a disaster; it is a mercy, and one of the greatest that could have befallen them.”

“I did not venture to reply”, adds the lady, who was herself the Abbe Janvier’s informant. “He was in another sphere. I looked only to earth, he to heaven.”

"The judgments of God are always right, perfectly just, and justice does not manifest severity except where souls 
have abused mercy." - Reginald Garrigou Lagrange