A 19th century Benedictine Mystic: Some Anecdotes and Sayings (Pt. 2)

Reverend Pere Paul de Moll.JPG
SOME ANECDOTES FROM THE LIFE OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL (d. Feb 24, 1896)

Even the Saints have Imperfections
Someone complained to Father Paul about an ecstatic. ‘Then do not believe,’ he said, ‘that these saintly souls have no faults. No saint in this world is exempt from faults.’

A Vision of Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament
“One day while I knelt in adoration before the Most Holy Sacrament exposed, I saw Jesus standing before me. He wore a white garment and was of dazzling beauty.” – Fr. Paul of Moll

Simultaneous Novenas
Father Paul advised a countryman to make a novena to St. Benedict. ‘I shall have to wait a few days,’ he replied, ‘for I have commenced a novena to St. Joseph.’
‘Nothing prevents you from making the two novenas at the same time; in Heaven, there is no jealousy among the saints.’

Two Places in Heaven
In the confessional, an ecstatic said to Father Paul that in a dream she had seen the Rev. Father’s soul carried to Heaven by angels and there placed near the choir of angels. He replied simply, ‘Yes indeed, my place is there.’
Then he asked, ‘Do you know your place in Heaven?’
‘No.’
‘Well, I know it.’  (“We may here remark that other ecstatics of our country [Belgium] likewise say that the Rev. Father Paul has a high place in Heaven, and that he is a very powerful protector. But the Church alone has the authority to confirm these assertions.”)

A Miracle Worker – Not in Life, but in Death
To an ecstatic Father Paul said, ‘You will not work any miracles during your life-time, but you will after your death.’

Devotion to the Nine Choirs of Angels 
“A very pious young girl was saying the Rosary in our church, in honor of the nine choirs of angels. I saw above her head nine silver strings which continually moved up and down. This symbolized the joy felt by the angels of the nine choirs at the homage which was paid to them.” – Fr. Paul of Moll (“Father Paul loved to propagate this devotion to the nine choirs of angels.”)

The Evil of Scandal
A Woman in Antwerp who sold liberal papers, being threatened with total blindness, went to Termonde to ask Father Paul to cure her. He replied, ‘You cannot be cured, because you sell bad papers.’

A Visit from Our Lady; Abandoned Souls in Purgatory; A Father in Heaven
“At a visit to Father Paul, in 1895, he said to me, ‘If I were to tell you something, would you believe me?’
‘Yes, Father.’
‘The Blessed Virgin appeared to me, and before disappearing she placed her hand upon my shoulder.'”

He also said to me, ‘There are souls in the fire of Purgatory who ask your prayers for their deliverance. You knew these persons well, and now they are forgotten by their children.’

He also told me that my father is in Heaven.” – From a young lady of Heusden (Ghent)

SOME SAYINGS OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL

It is Not Always Enough to Pray for Oneself (A Good Reason to Invoke the Saints!)
“In order to be heard, it is not only always sufficient only to pray oneself: one should also ask the prayers of others.” (The same was revealed to St. Gertrude the Great)

“It is written (Job 5:1): ‘Call . . . if there be any that will answer thee, and turn to some of the saints.’ … Therefore when we wish to pray to God, we should turn to the saints, that they may pray to God for us… Further, the saints who are in heaven are more acceptable to God than those who are on the way.”
– St. Thomas Aquinas

Novenas in the Morning
“It is better to make novenas in the morning than in the evening.”

Different Rewards in Heaven: To Each According to His Works
“It is wrong to imagine Heaven as a place whose inhabitants enjoy the same happiness. Heaven is a dwelling place where every work of charity, ‘werk van liefde,’ enjoys an eternal recompense.”

‘Dash Thy Little Ones Against the Rock’ (Ps. 136:9)
“When a demon suggests a bad thought, it is easy to resist the temptation; but if one does not immediately repel it, a second demon comes at once to help the first. Afterwards, in proportion as resistance is delayed, still other demons come and combine their efforts, and when one has to battle against seven devils all at once, it is very difficult not to succumb.”

[This Psalm verse, understood in its spiritual sense, is often explained thus by the Fathers: When we encounter evil thoughts and temptations, we are to take them captive while they are still young, and we are to dash them against the Rock, Christ.]

SOME EXCERPTS FROM THE LETTERS OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL

Love: An Everlasting Treasure
“I wish you an ardent love for God: it is the richest and most beautiful treasure you can wish or desire. All other treasures will disappear like smoke; but the treasure of love shall remain forever in Heaven.”

Love: The Bond of Perfection
“A sigh of love for God is worth more than a whole year of penance.” (i.e. penance performed habitually or in our own will).

God Loves the Children of Mary
“Mary being truly our Mother, how could God love our Mother so much without loving her children?”

Look Upon Christ, Not Your Miseries
“No matter how miserable he may be, provided he is no longer in the state of mortal sin, God loves him with an incomprehensible love.”

Source: ‘Father Paul of Moll: A Flemish Benedictine and Wonderworker of the Nineteenth Century, 1824 – 1896,’ by Edward Van Speybrouck (2nd ed., Benedictine Convent, Clyde, MO, 1914)

“Ask of me whatever you desire, and it will be procured for you.
And continue to ask, for when I am in Heaven,
my power will be greater.”

– Fr. Paul of Moll to a friend

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A Great Benedictine Mystic: Some Anecdotes and Sayings (Pt. 1)

Reverend Pere Paul de Moll.JPG

“One sigh of love is of more value than the whole world…”

SOME ANECDOTES FROM THE LIFE OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL (d. Feb 24, 1896)

Reader of Souls
In the confessional, Father Paul said to a servant girl from Thielt at the very beginning, ‘I know everything that you are going to confess, but, nevertheless, you have to tell it yourself.’

‘… shew thyself to the priest.’ (Mt. 8:4)

God Greatly Rewards Every Act of Love
Very early one morning, Father Paul, seeing a peasant who had come a long distance through a terrific snowstorm, to hear Mass in the church at Steenbrugge, said to him: ‘If you could see the immense merits which your courage has procured for you, you would be astonished, and you might yet increase them in a measure incredible, by saying: All for the love of Jesus.’

The Priest Acts ‘in persona Christi
As an ecstatic was making her confession to Father Paul, he interrupted her, saying, ‘Do you not see our Lord?’
‘No.’
‘But I see Him: He is at your side.’

The Power of a Just Soul’s Prayer
About the year 1888, Father Paul said to a person at Watervliet that God had decided to punish the whole world with terrible chastisements; but that finally He had spared mankind, in answer to the prayers and penances of one single religious. Father Paul did not tell the name of this religious.’

[The same is said of St. Vincent Ferrer.]

An Affectionate Blessing from the Mother of God
“One evening, in 1895, after our spiritual exercises, I was walking through the cloister in the abbey, reciting, according to my custom, three Hail Marys in honor of Our Lady to obtain her maternal blessing, when all at once I saw this good Mother clothed in a robe of dazzling white. She approached and made a little cross with her thumb on my forehead. The emotion which I felt is indescribable, and if the apparition had lasted two minutes longer, Father Paul would be no more of this world; for I would not have been able to support this brilliancy any longer.” – Fr. Paul of Moll, speaking to a person of Thielt (after which the saintly priest “fell into an ecstasy which lasted about five minutes.”)

SOME SAYINGS OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL

Mary: Living Tabernacle the Word
“From the time of the Ascension of Our Lord, the most Blessed Virgin communicated every day, and by a special privilege, the Host remained intact within her up to the moment of the next Communion, so that Mary always guarded, in her interior, the Humanity and Divinity of Jesus Christ, and thus was able to keep up a continual conversation with her Divine Son.”

[These words agree with the revelations of St. Veronica Giuliani and Bl. Mary Magdalen Martinengo]

The Body of St. Joseph
“In an ecstasy, a saint has seen the body of St. Joseph preserved intact in a tomb, the site of which is yet unknown. The more the glorious Spouse of the most Blessed Virgin is honored, the sooner will the finding of his body take place, which will be a day of great joy for the Church.”

Saints are Always in the Making
“At the time when the Church is most persecuted, God raises up in the world the greatest number of saints.”

The Three Masses of Christmas
“During the consecration of the three Masses on Christmas I obtain everything I asked for.”

SOME EXCERPTS FROM THE LETTERS OF FR. PAUL OF MOLL

God is Infinitely Lovable
“God being infinite love, we can always love Him more and more.”

God is Not Outdone in Generosity
He pays us back in tenfold love, the love which we have for Him.”

Humility: The Key to True Greatness
“Humility renders men great in the eyes of God.”

Do All for the Love and Glory of God
“Before eating, sleeping, opening or closing a door, or any other action, always have the intention of doing all for the love of Jesus. In this way you will continually reap a rich harvest for Heaven.”

‘Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God.’ (1 Cor. 10:31)

Source: ‘Father Paul of Moll: A Flemish Benedictine and Wonderworker of the Nineteenth Century, 1824 – 1896,’ by Edward Van Speybrouck (2nd ed., Benedictine Convent, Clyde, MO, 1914)