God’s Goodness Surpasses All Understanding

“After the death of a certain virgin, St. Gertrude saw her soul exulting in celestial glory; and having heard her relate many most wonderful things, she said to her, “How knowest thou all these things? for whilst thou wert in the body, thy capacity was very simple.” She answered:

“I have learnt them from that Source, of which a certain Saint says, that

to have once behold God, is to have learnt all things.”

… The most favoured virgin, St. Gertrude, once understood in spirit, that the light of the Divinity was so great and so incomprehensible, that if each one of the Saints, from Adam to the last man, were to attain as deep and clear a knowledge of it as any one has ever attained, without that knowledge being shared by any other, and even if the multitude of the Saints were a thousand times more numerous, yet that light of the Divinity would infinitely surpass all understanding. The same is true of the beauty, sweetness, and goodness of God, and of His other desirable perfections.”

– Ven. Louis de Blois (Blosius)

To know God, we must love Him.

“I tell you this, My most sweet daughter, to let you know the perfection of the unitive* state, in which the intellect is ravished by the fire of My charity which gives supernatural light. The soul loves Me with this light, because love follows the intellect. The more she knows, the more she loves, and the more she loves, the more she knows, intellect and love reciprocally nourish one another… This is the most elevated state, when the soul during its mortal life can taste the life of the blessed. Her union with Me is often so great that she scarcely knows whether she is in the body or out of the body. She has a foretaste of eternal life, because she is closely united with Me, and there is no other way to be perfectly united to Me.”

– These words were allegedly revealed by God to St. Catherine of Siena (from memory, they are not found in her ‘Dialogue’ but in another lesser-known text)

* You can read about the unitive state/way (which is attained by very few) here:

https://www.ewtn.com/library/SPIRIT/3WAYS.TXT (‘The Three Ways of the Spiritual Life’ – an excellent little work – by Pere Garrigou-Lagrange)

Advertisements

Don’t Measure God’s Mercy

God’s mercy is infinite. It is so simple; He will forgive us if we repent with contrite hearts.

Satan wants us to doubt God’s goodness; he wants us to despair; he wants us to delve into mysteries too great for our understanding, so as to inspire fear, confusion and distrust. Ultimately, he wants us to lose confidence, for he knows that confidence is the key that unlocks the limitless treasury of God’s grace and mercy. Don’t listen to Him. Look to God, Who is drawing you to Himself, and trust in His words: ‘And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool.’ (Isaiah 1:18)

Below is a revelation – which has been drastically reduced – from Almighty God to St. Bridget. These words, addressed to a Pope, are a powerful reminder of God’s mercy. Although God could, in justice, sentence many of us to damnation, He is free to show mercy to whosoever He wills. God’s ways are just and true; His ways are perfect, though mysterious. All will be revealed in eternity.

”Listen, Pope Gregory [XI]… Why do you hate me so?… Your worldly court is plundering my heavenly court. In your pride you are robbing me of my sheep. You unjustly extort and filch the ecclesiastical property that belongs to me as well as the possessions of the subjects of my church, and you give them to your temporal friends. You snatch and unjustly receive goods from my poor and distribute them dishonorably to your rich. Accordingly, your audacity and presumption are exceedingly great, for you enter into my court so rashly and show no consideration for what is mine.

… Furthermore, you are stealing and plundering countless souls away from me. You cast into the fire of Gehenna nearly all those who come to your court, simply because you do not take diligent care of the things pertaining to my court, though you are the prelate and shepherd of my sheep. It is therefore your fault, because you do not prudently consider what must be done or corrected for their spiritual salvation.

Though I could justly condemn you for all the aforesaid, yet I am again admonishing you out of mercy for the salvation of your soul to come to your see in Rome as soon as you can. I leave the time up to you. Know that the more you delay, the greater will be the decrease in your spiritual and moral development. The sooner you come to Rome, the sooner you will experience an increase of virtue and of the gifts of the Holy Spirit and the more you will be inflamed with the divine fire of my love. Come, then, and do not delay! Come not with your customary pride and worldly pomp, but with all humility and ardent love!

As soon as you have thus come, uproot, pluck out and destroy all the vices of your court! Separate yourself from the counsel of carnal-minded and worldly friends and follow humbly the spiritual counsel of my friends. Approach, then, and be not afraid. Get up like a man and clothe yourself confidently in strength!

Start to reform the church that I purchased with my own blood in order that it may be reformed and led back spiritually to its pristine state of holiness, for nowadays more veneration is shown to a brothel than to my Holy Church.

… Heed my counsel. I am your Father and Creator. If you obey me in what I told you, I will welcome you mercifully like a loving father. Bravely approach the way of justice and you shall prosper. Do not despise the one who loves you. If you obey, I will show you mercy and bless and dress you and adorn you with the precious pontifical regalia of a true pope. I shall clothe you with myself in such a way that you will be in me and I in you, and you shall be glorified in eternity.”

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#9)

“My child, thou shalt suffer and rise again with Me.”

– Jesus to St. Crescentia

No suffering = no Resurrection. Each of us must undergo a spiritual death whereby we “die daily” to self. Why? So that Jesus may live in and through us. What does this involve? Death to sin. Sin is death – the death of the soul. Mortal sin is infinitely worse than physical death.

Every suffering, accepted with faith, is a form of death (in a good sense); but more importantly, it is a form of life. To die to our lower nature is to rise to the Divine Nature. Grace elevates and perfects our nature; it makes us capable of knowing and loving God.

When you suffer, suffer with and for Jesus. He is “the Resurrection and the Life.” To be united to Him, especially in suffering, is to be assured of His Divine presence, His grace, His love and His promise of salvation. Keep your eyes on Him and you will not stray far from Him. He will soon reveal to you the sweetness of having something to offer Him – something for which you will receive an eternal reward! Suffering, you see, is a treasure.

“The Cross is the way to Paradise, but only when it is borne willingly.” (St. Paul of the Cross) Picture to yourself Jesus on the Cross, with God the Father above Him, looking down upon His Beloved Son with ineffable love. Now, take Jesus’ place on the Cross, and know that the Most Blessed Trinity is looking upon you with the same love. Read the writings of Bl. Dom Columba Marmion in particular if you doubt this. He will dispel all doubts.

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#8)

The following words are taken from the Revelations of St. Bridget, Interrogation 13. Additional commentary is unnecessary.

Third question. ”Why do some people suffer excessive hardship, while others live more or less free from hardship?”

“The Judge answered…

As to why greater hardships are given to some, I answer: I am the maker of all things. Thus, no hardship comes without my permission, as it is written: ‘I am God creating woe,’ that is, permitting hardship. Hardship does not befall the heathen without me and without a reasonable cause. Indeed, my prophets made many predictions about the adversities of the heathen in order that those who had neglected and abused reason might be taught by suffering, and in order that I, God, who permitted it all, should be known and glorified by every nation. Therefore, if I, God, do not spare pagans from suffering, even less will I spare those who have tasted the sweetness of my divine grace more plentifully.

There is indeed less hardship for some and more for others in order to turn people away from sin and so that those who suffer hardships in the present might be comforted in the future. All those who are judged and who judge themselves in this age will not come into future judgment. As it is written: ‘They shall pass from death into life.’ There are also some that are protected from suffering, but this happens so that they do not incur a harsher judgment by grumbling at their sufferings. Many there are who do not deserve to suffer in this world.

There are also some people in this life who are afflicted neither in body nor in spirit. They pass their lives as carefree as though God did not exist, or as though God is sparing them for the sake of their righteous works. Such people should be filled with dread for fear that I, God, who spare them in the present, come suddenly and condemn them more harshly as being without contrition.

There are also those who enjoy health of body but are troubled in their soul about the contempt of God, while others enjoy neither health of body nor inner consolation of soul and yet persevere as far as they are able in my service and honor. There are others, too, who are always sick, from their mother’s womb up until their death. I, the God of all of these, regulate their sufferings so that nothing happens without cause or reward, for many people, who were asleep before their trials, have their eyes opened by suffering.”

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#7)

“Look, My child, how they have treated Me. No, all these torments would be nothing to Me if men would only correspond to all the good inspirations I send them; but what pierces My heart is that, when I have merited for them so many good thoughts and holy feelings by the abundant shedding of My Blood, and I desire to fill their hearts most generously with these, they will not let Me.”

– Jesus to Madeleine Vigneron

When Our Lord addressed these words to Madeline Vigneron, His expression, she said, was full of tenderness and compassion for sinners. Soon after, Jesus’ expression appeared to be full of wrath, and He seemed ready to strike down all sinners. But His serene countenance was restored.  “My child,” He said, “you could do nothing more pleasing to Me than to work for these unhappy men.” 

Strictly speaking, God does not get “angry”; this is anthropomorphic language. The Divine Nature, writes St. John Chrysostom, is passionless. God’s anger is nothing other than an infinite hatred of sin. If His hatred of sin were not so great, this would be a sign of imperfection, not goodness.

When God punishes, He does so because He must. God’s punishments are intended to be medicinal. “Benigna must let Me correct her,” said Jesus to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos, “because I love her and I am severe with My dearest spouses as long as they live.” (God’s corrections are evidence of His love for us; all the Saints experienced these loving reproofs).

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#6)

The following revelation is theological and spiritual gold; make use of it.

“Ah My daughter, spiritual profit does not consist in penances;

it does not consist in the frequent reception of the Sacraments

or in compunction of heart,

but in persevering unity of the will with My will.

It may indeed occur that a man will go often to Communion and practise mortifications, and yet make little or no progress because he remains attached to his own will;

but if he gives it up so as only to will what God wills, he will infallibly profit.

– Jesus to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi

All the goodness in the world comes from God – from His perfect Will. To entrust ourselves to God at all times – especially when we cannot make sense of things – is to entrust ourselves to an infinitely wise, perfect, strong and loving Father. Such a living faith gives God great glory; it lightens our burden; it attracts an ocean of infinitely precious graces; it attracts souls to God (it is a very powerful form of evangelising); it purifies us of our faults; it strengthens our will; it brings light to the intellect; it gives us true security and joy; it teaches us wisdom… Why would we not trust in God?

People used to flock to St. Padre Pio, asking for his help – and rightly so. But sometimes it seems that we forget a truth of capital importance: we are mere instruments in God’s hands. St. Padre Pio was the first to admit this; he was a “little soul”. “You do not have to thank me,” he would say; “but you have to thank God!”

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#5)

“I desire you not to abandon these three souls, those of your husband and your two children, because I wish them to be saved by your means.”

– Jesus to Bl. Elizabeth Canori–Mora

We should not be anxious over the thought of the “fate” of our loved ones. God loves them more than we do. We only love them because God gives us a share in His love for them. Rather than worry about what we cannot change, we should do what we can to obtain grace for them. The greatest means at our disposal are:

  1. Prayer
  2. Holiness (intimate union with God)
  3. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass

“It is by love that one can overcome Almighty God; He is so sensitive to love that He can refuse us nothing.” (Fr. Paul of Moll). The Mass is LOVE.

‘… I am the God who becomes all for you in all things – in a word, all things that a loving soul can desire… And if she devotes herself to the good pleasure of My heart, I feel it necessary to conform Myself to the desire of hers.’

– Jesus to St. Gertrude

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#4)

 “If you knew the great advantages and splendid fruits of your sufferings for the noble intentions I recommended to you, you would be ready to sacrifice a thousand lives if necessary, to gain this inexpressible benefit for My Church.”

– Jesus to Mother Dominique-Marie Clare (d. 1895)

Why do we despise sufferings? Temptations? Trials? God permits them for our greater good. They are great blessings if we know how to make use of them. When tried by suffering, we must imitate Mary. She never stopped searching for Jesus; He was her Life and All.

A story is told of St. Margaret Mary in which she addressed these words to Our Lord before receiving Holy Communion: “O my Lord, teach me what you wish me to say to You.”

Jesus replied:

“Nothing, My child, except these words: O my God, my sole Good and my All, You are all for me, and I am all for You. These words will keep you from all kinds of temptations; they will supply for all the acts you would fain do; and they will serve as a preparation for your actions.’ 

“An act of perfect conformity to the will of God unites us more to Him than a hundred other acts of virtue.” (St. Alphonsus).

“Your sufferings have great value because they are united to Mine.”

– Jesus to Marie Brotel

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#3)

 “I showed you all the love I could in order to make you turn to me. However, since you have turned away from me, you deserve to be sentenced, because you scorned mercy. However, I am still so merciful that, if it were possible for me to die again, for your sake I would again endure the same torment I once endured on the cross rather than see you sentenced to such a sentence. Justice, however, says that it is impossible for me to die again, even if mercy tells me to want to die for your sake again, if it were possible.

– Jesus to St. Bridget (addressing a self–condemned soul)

God’s love cannot coexist with mortal sin, but He still loves sinners. He thirsts for souls. If you combine the love of all the Saints throughout the ages, this is still but a drop in the ocean compared to the limitless love of God. Since the beginning of time, every conversion has been owing to the love and mercy of God.

If we did not water down the malice of sin, we would have a greater appreciation of how great and pure God’s love is. “Then they crucify his right hand when they hold justice to be as injustice, saying: ‘Sin is not so heavy and abominable to God as it is said. God does not punish anyone for all eternity; he only threatens us with these hard things to scare us. Why else would he redeem man if he wanted us to perish?’ (Our Lady to St. Bridget) “He wished all of them to be saved (I Tim. 2: 4), and if not all of them attained this salvation, no one can justly complain of his superabundant kindness.” (Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda)

Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#2)

“In order that all might be saved, He came into the world, taking flesh from me, and endured His passion and death on the cross.” 

-Our Lady to St. Bridget of Sweden

St. Leonard of Port Maurice said that if all returned to God with contrite hearts, all would be saved. Unfortunately, many souls do not avail themselves of the graces that God gives (and wishes to give) them. Many – even Christians – are spiritually dead in mortal sin. And to think that many Christians reject this doctrine!

Mortal sin is “a chain of hell” (St. Alphonsus); it is “the assassin of the soul” and “the crucifier of God,” (St. John Vianney); it is irrational and selfish. “In committing a mortal sin,” writes St. Alphonsus, “you have been guilty of a greater fault than if you trod under foot the loftiest monarch of a world.”

“… each soul separates itself from Me, its Head and Source of Life, as often as it sins mortally.”

– Jesus to Bl. Battista Varani

This might all have us feeling a bit heavy-hearted. But do not worry. God, Who is all-merciful, is ever seeking sinners. He is always seeking to use our prayers and sufferings for the salvation of souls.

If our sins are immense, the love and mercy of God is greater still. He never rejects a contrite heart (Ps. 51:17). But we must repent while there is time. ‘The Lord delayeth not his promise, as some imagine, but dealeth patiently for your sake, not willing that any should perish, but that all should return to penance’ (2 Pet. 3:9).

Some powerful sermons to help us root out sin

Sermon XX (‘On the evil effects of bad habits,’ p. 145) AND Sermon XXI (‘On the evil effects of bad habits,’ p. 152) by St. Alphonsus:

https://archive.org/details/sermonsforallsun00liguuoft