Divine Love Drives Out Scruples.

FORGETFULNESS OF SELF IS THE TOMB OF SCRUPLES.”

– Marie-Catherine Putigny (a great mystic)

“You see, Consolata, sanctity means self-forgetfulness in everything, in thoughts, desires, words….Allow Me to do it all! I will do everything; but you should, at every moment, give Me what I ask for with much love!”

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone (taken form ‘Jesus Appeals to The World)

What hinders us from loving God? Self-will and self-love. We all have it. It is an effect of Original Sin. Divine love alone can conquer it, and this precious gift is obtained by means of prayer. Ask God often for this pearl of great price.

Jesus is deserving of all of our love. To love Him, we must acknowledge our unworthiness and accept God’s mercy with great confidence. We have no reason to be discouraged. God gives us the grace to conquer sin. 

Discouragement shows that we care more for our guilty selves than our innocent Lord. This is not genuine love; rather, it is tantamount to the sorrow of Judas, which led to despair and damnation. 

By meditating daily on the Passion we will certainly grow in divine love.  This will replace our self-love, which is the cause of so much misery that we can scarcely form an idea of it!

I stronly suggest reading ‘The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ’ by St. Alphonsus. It is an excellent tool for growing in divine love, confidence and humility. It is one of St. Alphonsus’ more accessible works. It can be read for free online:

https://archive.org/stream/passiondeathofje00ligu 

Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God, and his justice, and all these things shall be added unto you. (Mt. 6:33)

If we constantly fix our attention on ourselves, it will be impossible for us to fully perceive the great and tender love of God, which speaks to us through the peaceful action of the Holy Spirit. The evil spirit, on the other hand, produces sudden anxiety, and seeks to lessen our confidence in Almighty God. Let us renew our confidence in God. His love is boundless, therefore our confidence should be boundless. Avoid useless reasonings. Love God. 

(The following quote is taken from the ‘Life of Marie-Catherine Putigny: lay-sister of the Visitation Convent at Metz’)

“A certain ecclesiastic, a friend of our convent, was greatly tormented by scruples. One day, he said to Mother Marie-Seraphine: “I should like to know what Almighty God thinks of me.” Mother Marie-Seraphine made no reply at the moment, but the next time she saw him, which was shortly after, she said: “Father, do you remember telling me your desire to know what God thinks of you? I told Sister Marie-Catherine to ask Our Lord, and here is His answer: ‘I am not displeased with that priest, but he yields too much to his fears.’ Then she entered into a detail of his interior so clear and so precise that the priest recognized himself perfectly. It was evident that God had clearly manifested his interior to Sister Marie-Catherine.”

“Do not be absorbed in your misery-you are still too weak to speak of it-but, rather, gaze on My Heart filled with goodness…”

– Jesus to St. Faustina (words addressed to a despairing soul)

 

 

 

A Revelation That Most Catholics Are Saved.

Venerable Joseph of St. Benedict (d. 1723) was a holy lay-brother of the Benedictine Order of Montserrat in Spain. He was favoured with many mystical gifts, such as visions and the discernment of spirits. Venerable Joseph declares that he is “divinely certain” that the greater number of Catholics are saved. As a part of the process to declare him Venerable, 40 doctors and theologians examined his writings, and “none objected to his thesis” (Fr. William Most).

I mention this revelation for two reasons, primarily:

1. To call to mind the fact that there are contrary revelations; therefore, we should not place our hope in something so uncertain. (Our hope should be in Christ, whose burden is light, provided that we offer him our good will, without reserve. Such souls need not fear damnation, as St. Claude says).

2. To remind oneself that the love and mercy of God are a reason for loving Him more, not less. 

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The revelations of Ven. Joseph of St. Benedict can be found in the book, ‘Fratris Josephi a Sancto Benedicto Opera Omnia’ (available in Latin on ‘Google Books’). The censura of Fr. Dominici Lossada relates to the number of the elect.

Some Beautiful Words About HEAVEN.

(Words taken from Martin Von Cochem’s ‘The Four Last Things’)

The more good a saint has done on earth, the grander is the residence assigned him in heaven. These palaces and mansions are transparent as crystal and built of precious stones of the costliest kind. And we may add on the authority of a learned theologian, that the blessed hold intercourse with one another, and meet together to laud and magnify the omnipotence of the Most High, who prepared for them such glorious abodes, and join in extolling His wisdom and His love…

St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and many other saints do not hesitate to maintain that there are in heaven real trees, real fruits, and real flowers, indescribably attractive and delightful to the sight, taste, smell, and touch, different from anything we can imagine. In the revelations of the saints mention is made of the gardens in heaven, and the flowers that blossom there; and we know it is recorded in the legend of St. Dorothea, that she sent to Theophilus by the hands of an angel a basket of flowers culled in the gardens of the celestial paradise, of such surpassing beauty that the sight of them led him to become a Christian, and lay down his life for the faith of Christ.

We also read in the life of St. Didacus, that on coming to himself after a trance into which he fell shortly before his death, he cried aloud: “O what flowers there are in paradise! what flowers there are in paradise!” Similar incidents are frequently to be met with in the legends of the saints. 

Consider how delightful it will be for the happy ones who are saved to wander in the celestial gardens, and contemplate those fair flowers. How pleasing the lovely blossoms are to the eye, how delicious is the fragrance they exhale! Of a truth, if a man were to obtain possession of a single one of these heavenly flowers, it would produce on him the same effect as on Theophilus. He would be spoiled for all the beauty of earth, and would strive with his whole soul after the perfect beauty of heaven… 

In her revelations to St. Bridget, the Blessed Mother of God once said:

“The saints stand around my Son like countless stars, whose glory is not to be compared with any temporal light. Believe me, if the saints could be seen shining with the glory they now possess, no human eye could endure their light; all would turn away, dazzled and blinded.”

The glorified body will be able to traverse the greatest distance with the speed of thought. In one moment it can come down from heaven to earth; in one moment it can pass from one end of the heavens to the other, without labor, without fatigue, without difficulty. We often wish that we could fly like the birds, that we could speed on our way like clouds on the wings of the wind, that we could follow thought in its rapid flight. If it were possible to purchase this power, every one would part with all his worldly wealth for it, if only to obtain it for one single year… 

It would be unwise were we to attempt to describe the gratification it will be to the ear to hear the canticles of the angels, and the soft music of their harps. The nine choirs of angels will sing the praise of God, and the blessed will join them not only in heart, for they will mingle their voices also in the sweet harmony. Thus the powers of both soul and body will be exercised, and the praises of God will ascend in melodious hymns and celestial songs. For if we mortals are impelled by fervent love and heartfelt joy to lift our voice in song, how much more will the holy angels and blessed saints do so, who are all aflame with the love of God, and filled with joy unspeakable. Their hymns of praise will resound without ceasing through the courts of heaven. In a prophetic spirit the elder Tobias says: “The gates of Jerusalem shall be built of sapphire and of emerald, and all the walls thereof round about with precious stones, all its streets shall be paved with white and clean stones, and alleluia shall be sung in its streets” (Tob. xiii. 21, 22)… 

The delicious odors of paradise surpass anything that man can imagine. The fairest lilies, roses, violets, carnations, and other rare and lovely flowers grow in the gardens of the heavenly paradise, and their fragrance is so delightful, that if a man had but a petal of one of those flowers, he would be overcome by the sweetness of the perfume. “Israel [that is the company of the redeemed] shall spring as the lily, and his smell shall be that of Libanus” (Osee xiv. 6). 

Experience has abundantly shown that the bodies of the saints whilst in their graves already emit a fragrant smell; how much more powerful will that fragrance be when they are again raised to life and glorified. Above all the bodies of Christ and of His Blessed Mother will exhale so sweet a perfume that all heaven will be pervaded by it… 

Even the sense of taste will be gratified in heaven, not, it is true, by the consumption of ordinary food, but in a manner whereof we can as yet form no conjecture. The blessed will taste a sweet sustenance which will satisfy them, as we learn from the words of the Royal Psalmist: “They shall be inebriated with the plenty of Thy house, Thou shalt make them drink of the torrent of Thy pleasure” (Ps. xxxv. 9).

The sense of touch will have its own peculiar enjoyment. The more one has mortified himself here on earth, the greater will be his bodily wellbeing hereafter. St. Anselm says: “In the future life the saints will experience a feeling of untold comfort and ease. This pleasurable sensation will pervade every member, producing a wondrous sense of peace and contentment.” 

Finally, the redeemed will take very great pleasure in beholding one another, in conversing with one another, in kindly intercourse and friendly communication. Think how beautiful a sight it will be to see hundreds of thousands of beings in all the splendor of their glorified state. If on earth we esteem it a pleasure to look upon a handsome face, we can appreciate in some slight degree what it will be in heaven, the lowliest of whose inhabitants is possessed of a beauty far exceeding the personal attractions of any mortal man.

 

Jesus Loves Your Company.

“My delights are to be with the children of men. To satisfy My love I instituted this Sacrament [the Eucharist]. I remain thus with them until the end of the world, and I desire that they receive Me frequently.”

– Jesus to St. Gertrude

You are a masterpiece of God’s creation. Your soul is fashioned, not by Michelangelo, but by Almighty God, the Uncreated Beauty. When you love God, He dwells within your soul in a more sublime manner than the way in which Our Lord dwells in the tabernacle. He adorns your soul, not with silver or gold, but with precious virtues, that will shine forth in the Heavenly Kingdom for all eternity. Could any physical beauty, such as mountains, valleys, and rivers, compare to the beauty of a soul in a state of grace? A soul in which God makes His inhabitance? A soul in which God takes His delight? The answer should be obvious, my dear friend. That is why we must pray often that our souls remain spotless for our Sacred Guest. We must at least not fail to cleanse our souls, though holy contrition, when we happen to fall into sin.

Consider your dignity! Sin is not befitting of a child of God, of which we all are. Ask Our Lord and His holy Mother to preserve you from sin, which is nothing more than a turning away- however small- from God, our Creator, Redeemer, Saviour, Spouse and most faithful friend. May the moment of death find you in Our Lord’s friendship, so that He may take you swiftly to your Heavenly home!

Pax Christi!

Consoling Thoughts On Salvation.

“How many are saved?” “What is the number of the elect?” Questions such as these are common. I do not intend to offer a definitive answer to these questions; that would be great presumption on my part (not even Jesus told us how many would be saved; rather He told us to love and obey Him). The purpose of this article is to provide reasons for doubting the most restrictive view of salvation.

Those who will derive the most consolation from this article (and it is for these relative few that it is primarily written) are those who have read the most restrictive view on salvation. I allude here to the writings of a particular Saint. As there is no obligation to say more than the Scriptures, I believe it would be imprudent to share his writings.

Some Preliminary Points

+ However many souls are saved, God is all good (the more we believe it, the more we will see it; therefore, cultivate hope in God e.g. by meditating on the Passion, or reading a simple book like ‘A Call to Souls’ by Sr. Josefa Menendez) + The devil can appear as “an angel of light” and deceive us with false visions etc. + Even canonized Saints have believed that they had certain revelations that were evidently false (e.g. http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/MARY523.HTM#27 — see ‘Appendix: Discernment of Spirits’) + Even great and influential Saints have been wrong on crucial issues (e.g. St. Augustine’s ‘massa damnata’ theory and denial of the universal salvific will: http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/AUGUSTIN.htm. St. Alphonsus also indirectly refutes St. Augustine on this point: http://www.catholictreasury.info/books/prayer/pr16.php) + The imagery in Scripture that refers to the number of the saved is not straightforward (compare the number of grapes left in a vineyard after harvest, to some of the New Testament passages or parables e.g. Parable of The Ten Virgins, the good fish and the bad fish, the wheat and the cockle etc.) + The Church teaching on “No Salvation Outside the Church” has been clarified since the 19th century (the Church has not changed its teachings; rather, God- in His infinitely wise and loving Providence- has clarified our understanding of this doctrine. The Church has always implicitly taught that salvation is possible to non-Catholics e.g. by means of an act of perfect contrition. It is worth adding- only because they do not add anything new to Church teaching- that Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich, St. Padre Pio and others confirm this fact.) + As Lagrange reminds us, the number of the elect is known only to God (one Saint apparently learnt through revelation that a particular percentage of people will be saved) + Even certain Saints who believed that the majority are lost, still believed that many are saved (which could hardly be said for the Saint alluded to in this article).

Some Optimistic Considerations

Now, let us consider which souls are certainly saved:

+ Baptized infants (this number alone is very great).

+ The Saints.

+ Blesseds e.g. Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

+ Those who were reconciled to God at the moment of death (e.g. by means of the intercession of the Saints or a family member. We read frequently of such examples in the lives of the Saints.)

+ Those who die having sincerely confessed all their sins.

These considerations are sufficient to assure us that certain writings of the Saints are not dogma. To the aforementioned number we could add: those who faithfull fulfill the Nine First Fridays devotion, those who persevere in devotion to Mary, those who have a sincere devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows (it was revelealed to a Saint that no soul who had practised this devotion faithfully had yet been lost) etc.

Holy fear is very useful in detaching us from sin, and as Fr. Faber says, a holy fear of God and Hell is a solid foundation in the spiritual life. Nevertheless, God does not want us to give in to despondency. His love for us is so great that if we only entrust ourselves to God’s merciful love and Providence, we will see that (and numerous Saints have confirmed this) God will preserve us from serious sin, which is the only thing that can separate us from God. Even then, God is so generous as to offer us the grace of perfect contrition, which reconciles us to Him instantly!

St. Frances de Sales is an excellent guide in the spiritual life. The following words of his, though address to nuns, are truly applicable to all:  “Jesus Christ, full of gentleness sweetly invites you saying: ‘Come, very beloved soul . . . Look at the Most Holy Virgin who invites you like a mother and says to you: ‘Courage, my daughter . . . Look at the Saints who exhort you and that multitude of holy souls who with great sweetness invite you desiring to see one day your heart united with those who eternally praise God, and they assure you that the road to Heaven is not as difficult as the world paints it. Have courage, they tell you, because if you consider well the road of love by which we have ascended, you will see that we have arrived at these delights by other delights incomparably more sweet than those of the world” (Introduction to the Devout Life, Part 1, Chapter 17).

“The mercy of God is infinite. I have seen that at the time of the Deluge, many, very many were saved from eternal punishment. Fright and anguish converted them to God.”

– Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (p. 91 of ‘The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations Complete’)

*The Deluge (in which eight were saved from the flood) is often referred to by certain Saints and pious authors as a type for (or allusion to) the number of souls saved.

“I saw too that, by prayer and the offering of sufferings for others, many souls that have done no good upon earth may be converted and saved at the hour of death.”

– Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (p. 53 of ‘The Life of Jesus Christ and Biblical Revelations Complete’)

More could be said on this topic, but what has been said suffices to plant a seed of holy optimism in God’s love and mercy, which desires our salvation with such ardour that Our Lord revealed the following to Bl. Dina Belanger:

“My Heart so loves souls that to obtain the affection of a single one, though it were the most miserable, the least worthy, I would have suffered infinitely more than I did during my whole mortal life, had it been possible.”

Our Lord does not want us to be lost. As St. Joseph Cafasso said: “Hope in Him and Heaven is yours!”

“… our Lord revealed to St. Gertrude that he would be ready to die as many times as there were souls damned, if they were yet capable of redemption: “I would die as many deaths as there are souls in hell.”

(Taken from p. 29 of ‘The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ’ by St. Alphonsus)