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

  1. Ciao, JC!

    Thank you – glad you appreciate it. I have a couple of little things in the pipeline, but it all depends on how much free time I have on a Sunday. On that note, I would be very glad to send you an e-mail, provided I find the time. For now, be assured of my prayers, and please recommend me to the Blessed Virgin, ‘above all women upon the earth’ (Judith).

    Pax Domini

  2. Hi Ben. Just came across the blog and I really enjoy it and what you’re doing. It has some beautiful content and it’s inspiring to see. Well done.

    I hope you don’t mind, but I just have a quick question regarding scrupulosity I hope you don’t mind helping me with if you have the time? No worries if not. My email is *** if you’re free to get in touch. God bless you and may your life continue to glorify Him.

  3. Dear Littlest Souls,

    Many thanks for replying! I’ll be grateful for the few articles you will try to send us.

    God help you through your busy days,

    Millie Maddela

  4. Dear Millie,

    I have been quite busy, but I should be able to resume at least a little bit of writing once again (probably for a brief period on Sundays only).

    God bless you.

  5. Dear Littlest Souls,

    This issue dated September 9, 2018 was the last I received. You must have been so busy but I hope you have not stopped writing?

    I hope to hear from you soon and many thanks.

    Millie Maddela

  6. I will do my best!

    A blessed Advent to you, too!

    ‘Strengthen ye the feeble hands, and confirm the weak knees. Say to the fainthearted: Take courage, and fear not: behold your God will bring the revenge of recompense: God himself will come and will save you. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped.’

  7. You’re v. welcome, Bernadette. It is good to ask the Saints to accompany us through life – they are more than eager to.

    May the Prince of Peace shower you with an abundance of peace.

    Thanks for sharing!

  8. Oh thank you for this!
    This has been a consolation for me. I feel like Jesus wants to redirect me from all that is going on in the world and the Church to the true remedy: Divine intimacy (although alas I’m still spiritually an unruly toddler!)
    So I come here again. And am encouraged.
    Thanks for the link to the whole book on Fr Paul Moll posted elsewhere on this site, it’s very edifying. I’ve also found this one free online:
    https://www.forgottenbooks.com/en/download/TheVeryRevFatherPaulofMoll_10238580.pdf
    Thank you dear brother, for these beautiful posts! God bless and protect you always.

  9. Nice to hear from you, dear Julie, my Mother in Christ! Thank you so much for the ongoing prayers. I greatly desire, need and appreciate them. You are always in my prayers, especially during Holy Mass when the Liturgy makes us offer ourselves to God, along with all those present, and all those dear to us.

    Fr. Paul of Moll said something that has a bearing on your question: “When you say the ‘Our Father,’ say it with the intention of obtaining the highest place in Heaven.” I think this amounts to saying: For the love and glory of God, seek to love Him as much as possible [with all your heart, etc.], for in this is God glorified.

    Our love will obviously never be a match for Our Lady’s love, and we cannot exceed the measure of love that God is pleased to give us. I think it is safe, then, to conclude that we should aspire to receive all the love God is pleased to shower upon us; to aspire, in imitation of St. Therese, to love Him as He has never been loved (with some exceptions, e.g. Our Lady).

    Certain mystics say that St. Francis of Assisi occupies what was formerly the place of Lucifer. So we can certainly aim high.

  10. Hi Ben My Adopted Son,

    It has been a long time since I emailed you. I love your thoughtfully composed selections for us to read, But also am very grateful for the depth of the material and its beauty. Much to ponder.

    Regarding: “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.”)

    Ben, do you think it is arrogant to ask God to be just itty bitty, like a tiny electron or smaller, but somewhere near the Holy Trinity?? I want to be absorbed into LOVE, having no will, or desire, apart from LOVE. It feels presumptuous but my heart jumped for joy when I read the above.

    The last three years have been a mini passion for me and this thought has given me hope, “a firm and sure anchor passing through the veil”. I have no hope apart from this Divine thread which pulls me up when I fall, which is often.

    Just wanted your thoughts. You, your vocation and all your concerns remain in my prayers.

    With affection as always, Julie

    >

  11. A THOUSAND THANKS FOR BEING BACK IN MY EMAIL INBOX WITH THESE TREASURES THAT I KEEP SO DEARLY. I HOPE TO HAVE THEM ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS.

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