God, In His Love, Would Close Hell If It Were Possible!

(The revelation at the bottom of this post is worth pondering!)

“Those who are lost are lost because they willed it, because to arrive at damnation they must have refused thousands of graces and good inspirations that God gave them, hence it is their own fault.”

– Revelation of a soul to Sister M. de L. C. 

A Dominican nun (a saint) one day begged of God that He would close the entrance to Hell, so as to hinder souls from falling there. God replied that He is unable to do so. Why? Because Love is not unjust. If a king, for example, destroyed all prisons, evil would multiply without measure. God sets a limit to evil, not only for the sake of the sinners, but for the sake of the innocent. Consider the sin of scandal, which prevents so many souls from entering the Church and being saved! Our Lord speaks very strongly about scandal in the Bible.

God loves souls tremendously. He is infinitely merciful to the repentant and to those who fear Him ie. who keep His commandments. Many fail to realise that those who abuse God’s mercy will receive His justice. God’s great love is a reason to obey Him and seek to please Him.

It is evident from the Holy Scriptures that God desires the salvation of all men. Does it follow, then, that all will be saved? No, unfortunately. How much charity, then, must we show towards those who live sinful lives or who do not know God! This charity is merely a participation in the Divine Charity ie. in the love of God for souls. This love becomes operant in us to the extent that we unite our will with God’s will. To gain a better appreciation of God’s love for souls (which we are called to imitate as far as is possible), we should consider the following truths:

1. God loves us because He is good. Everything good we have comes from God. We can reject His love, but we can never, ever earn it. That is a consoling and humbling truth.

2. God desires our love for Our sake. God does not need our love; our love adds nothing to God’s infinite goodness. He abases Himself to ask for our love, because He created us out of love, to love, and for love (ie. for Himself).

3. God loves His enemies. Jesus died for even the worst criminals, and He has drawn many great sinners to repentance and salvation. The grace of repentance is a more valuable treasure than any earthly gift, because grace is a participation in the divine nature; grace unites us to God, our final end.

4. God punishes the guilty with reluctance. Jesus came to save sinners, not to condemn them. He would not undergo such excruciating torments if He was unwilling to apply the fruits of His redemption to souls. Christians have a crucial role to play here: evangelisation, prayer and holiness are our privilege and duty! A sinful soul impedes the redemption of others.

 “For although the gift of being God’s belongs to God, yet this is a gift which God denies to no one, but offers to
all, and gives to those who freely consent to receive it.”

– St. Francis de Sales

The following revelation is quoted for the purpose of reinforcing the four aforementioned ideas. God loves all souls, including the most sinful. “Come to Me,” He says. “Keep the commandments,” He adds. There is nothing more to it. Salvation is ours if we die with humble and contrite hearts, even if we had lived like St. Dismas, the Good Thief. God asks us to obey Him, not because He places conditions on His love, but because our hearts wither and die when they turn away from God, Who is love itself; He is our final end, and the commandments tend towards that sublime end!   

Jesus, speaking of those who die in unrepented mortal sin, revealed to Blessed Battista Varani that His love for all sinners – even those with whom He is justly “angry” (God does not get angry as such; His love never changes) – is infinite:

In the overwhelming sorrow produced by the thought of this fatal for ever,

I would willingly have consented to suffer, not once, but an infinite number of times, these cruel separations, with their different lacerations, to recover but one of these souls,

and see it again united to My living members, that is, to My elect who live eternally in the Holy Spirit, by the life which comes from Me, Who am the living life, that is, the life of all living creatures.

You may judge by all that I have said, how inexpressibly dear a human soul is to Me.

– 

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Encouragement For Those Tried By Unwanted Thoughts.

Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he hath been proved, he shall receive a crown of life, which God hath promised to them that love him.

– James 1:12

Thoughout the day – especially during prayer – we might encounter unwanted thoughts. It is very important for those with some form of religious OCD/scrupulosity in particular, to know that God permits everything (including our weaknesses and involuntary imperfections) for our good. It may be that God wishes us to be more humble, trusting or faithful; perhaps He wishes us to sympathise with others; perhaps He is preparing us for future combat; perhaps He is cleansing us of past faults. Whatever the reason, God always acts in our best interest i.e. He arranges everything for our salvation. We can trust Him wholeheartedly.

Even if our current state is due in part to God’s justice, we can rest assured that His loving “chastisements” are tempered with mercy, and that He can draw a greater good from our trials; furthermore, that He allows us to be tried here is evidence that He wishes us to be spared hereafter. Deo gratias!

St. Francis de Sales assures us that, even if our prayer were to consist entirely of repeated attempts to drive away distractions, that prayer is pleasing to God. Why? Because God is pleased with love, which is evident in such good-will, faith and perseverance. The same principle is revealed in the following revelations, which will be of great consolation to many.

Some Relevant Anecdotes

+ When St. Bridget was harassed by temptations in prayer, Mary the Mother of God said to her: “The devil with malicious watchfulness seeks to hinder the good from praying. But do thou, daughter, whatever temptation may assail thee in prayer, persist in thy desire or good will, and in thy holy endeavours, as best thou canst; because thy pious desires and endeavours will be reputed as effectual prayer. Even if thou art not able to cast out the base and evil thoughts that come into thy mind, yet for those endeavours thon shalt receive a crown in heaven; thus these troubles will profit thee, provided thou consentest not to the temptation, but art displeased with whatever is unbecoming.” (pp. 226 –227, ‘Spiritual Works of Louis of Blois’)

+ The Lord Jesus said to St. Bridget: “Wherefore, daughter, art thou anxious and disquieted?” She answered, “Because I am afflicted with many unprofitable and evil thoughts, which I cannot drive away, and the fear of Thy judgments oppresses me.” Then the Lord said, “This is true justice [remember that God permits trials because He loves us; also, His justice is tempered with mercy: He will always give us the strength to remain faithful to Him] ; that as thou hast formerly taken delight in the vanities of the world against My will, so thou shouldst now be molested by various perverse thoughts against thy own will. Do thou, however, fear my judgments with moderation and discretion, ever firmly trusting in Me, thy God. For thou must know, for certain, that evil thoughts, which the mind resists and detests, are the purification and crown of the soul. If thou art unable to avoid them, bear it patiently, and let thy will strive against them. And, although thou consent not to them, fear lest thou take pride in that and fall; for whosoever stands, it is by the power of God alone that he stands.” (p. 237, ‘Spiritual Works of Louis of Blois’)

+ Again, the Lord said to St. Bridget, “In order that man may understand his own weakness, and the strength he receives from Me, it is necessary that he should sometimes be allowed to be attacked by evil thoughts; and if he consents not to them, they become the purification of his mind, and the safeguard of his virtues. And although they are hard to be borne, they heal the soul, and conduct it to eternal life, which cannot be gained without sufferings. The soul should, therefore, labour diligently, lest it consent to them, or take any pleasure in them.” (p. 237, ‘Spiritual Works of Louis of Blois’)

Why does God permit temptation?

“One can distinguish five reasons why God allows the devils to attack us:

first, so that from attack and counter-attack we may become practised in discerning good from evil;

second, so that our virtue may be maintained in the heat of the struggle and so be confirmed in an impregnable position;

third, so that as we advance in virtue we may avoid presumption and learn humility;

fourth, to inspire in us an unreserved hatred for evil through the experience we thus have of it;

fifth, and above all, that we may attain inner freedom and remain convinced both of our own weakness and of the strength of him who has come to our aid.” – St. Maximus the Confessor

In a word, God permits temptation for our greater good. The more we are tempted, the more right we have to trust in Him, without Whom it would be impossible to overcome even the slightest temptation. God rewards our efforts generously in Heaven.

To Inspire us with hope for Heaven:

“If when visions [of Heaven] are shown to thee, thou wert to see the beauty of the blessed souls or of the holy Angels as it is, thy heart would be broken with excess of joy.”

– Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden

Those We Will Be Surprised To See In Heaven…

How much does God desire to save us? We can form no idea. The love that every soul of good-will possesses is but a mere atom compared to the limitless ocean of God’s love. God’s love cannot be divided. According to St. Padre Pio, St. Margaret of Cortona, and others, there will be a number of souls in Heaven that we would not expect to see there. Alas! The opposite is also true. God alone knows how faithfully each soul has corresponded to grace. In Heaven, some souls will glorify the omnipotent mercy of God to a great degree!

May the following beautiful words (taken from ‘Spiritual Works of Louis of Blois’) strengthen our hope in God’s mercy, and may they deter us from judging others. God asks us to be merciful to others because He wants to be merciful to us!

“The blessed Mechtildis [St. Mechtilde] was once considering how immense was the loving-kindness of God, when our Lord said to her: “Come, and contemplate the least of all the blessed who are in heaven; for in him thou wilt be able to understand My loving kindness.”

And while Mechtildis was considering attentively, and longing to know who it was of whom the Lord was speaking; behold there appeared to her a man of royal aspect and dignity, in the flower of his age, with a beautiful, resplendent, and most amiable countenance; to whom she said, “Who art thou? And how didst thou attain to so great happiness and glory?”

He answered,

“On the earth I was a robber and a malefactor; but, because my evil deeds were done rather from ignorance and the habits in which I was trained by my parents, than out of wickedness, I at last through repentance obtained mercy…”

In this manner St. Mechtildis learnt the loving-kindness of God towards him who was the least of all the blessed*. And if our most merciful Lord granted so much to one who had led so bad a life, what will He give to those who live in justice and holiness?” (pp. 211-212)

*This does not mean that he is the greatest converted sinner.

Our Lord addressed St. Bridget (d. 1373) thus:

“No one is so great a sinner that I would refuse him mercy, if he sought it with a humble and perfect heart. Therefore, let sinners who wish to be reconciled to Me, and to obtain My grace and friendship, first, grieve with their whole hearts that they have offended Me, their Creator and Redeemer; then, let them purify themselves before the priest by a sincere and humble confession, and amend their lives, and perform satisfaction according to the advice and discretion of the priest. If they have done this, I will draw near to them, and the devil will be kept at a distance from them. Afterwards, it will be fitting that they should receive My Body with devotion and true love, resolving never more to fall into their former sins, and purposing to persevere to the end in well-doing. These I will run to meet as a mother runs to meet her erring children, and will most gladly receive them. I will be in them, and they shall be in Me, and shall live and rejoice with Me to all eternity.” (p. 213)

This revelation, though beautiful, cannot fail to arouse Protestant Christians to consider the validity of the Catholic Church and its Sacraments, which were ordained, and have been preserved by Almighty God. This is not an apologetics website, but suffice it to say that the Church is necessary for salvation insofar as it is God’s will that those who know this truth submit to “the pillar and ground of the truth”, of which our Lord is the Head and the Heart, which throbs incessantly with love for us in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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)

A Touching Prayer for a Sinner

A Touching Prayer for a Sinner

(Taken from ‘The lives of St. Catherine of Ricci : St. Agnes of Montepulciano, B. Benvenuta of Bojan, and B. Catherine of Raconigi’) Her ardent charity for the souls of sinners was not satisfied with exhortations and with perpetual prayers … Continue reading

The Conversion of Four Hardened Sinners

“I would gladly die for the sake of humanity all over again, if it were possible.”

– Jesus said to St. Bridget of Sweden

The Christian faith is one of perseverance. Love sets no limits. The Holy Spirit says through St. Peter: “And if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the wicked and the sinner appear?” (1 Peter: 4) St. Leonard, in one of his sermons, said: “Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved.” Salvation is a gift that God is infinitely eager to give; He suffered and died for us so that we may receive this inestimable treasure. Can we honestly say that we would rather die than commit mortal sin? If not, then we do not desire to be saved (nor do we desire the salvation of others) as much as God desires to save us! (This, of course, is impossible!)

Why, then, do we not have more confidence in Him? If we are lacking in confidence, it is likely to be because we rely too much on ourselves, and because we make weak/vague resolutions to attain holiness. May our most merciful God give us a profound humility, a love for Him, and a desire for holiness and the salvations of souls! Before reading some beautiful conversion stories, here are some words of encouragement:

+ “Lost nations! Wake up for once, and if you want to ensure your eternity, commend yourself to God, have frequent recourse to Him, through these words or ones like them: ‘My Jesus, mercy!’ And I give you my word, since Jesus Christ gave you His before I did in His holy Gospel: ‘Ask, and it will be given you’ (Mt. 7:7), ask My help and you will have it, and with My help you will sin no more.’ I give you my word, I repeat – if you commend yourselves often to God by saying ‘My Jesus, mercy!’ from the bottom of your heart, you will sin no more, and you will be saved.” – St. Leonard

+ He damns only those who are determined not to be converted; they who have a spark of good will are saved.”

– Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

+ “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

1. (Taken from ‘The Sacred Heart: anecdotes and examples to assist in promoting the devotion to the Sacred Heart,’ 1899)

The following is a letter addressed to the Rev. Father Ramiere, the zealous promoter of the devotion to the Sacred Heart and of the Apostleship of Prayer: “Reverend and Dear Father: The arm of the Lord is not shortened. Yesterday it worked a great miracle in my behalf. Permit me to tell you all about it, so that you and all who read the account of my conversion, may unite with me in praising and thanking the infinite mercy of the Sacred Heart. I was sent, at the age of twelve, to an excellent and fashionable boarding school, where the teachers were a pattern of devotedness and zeal. But the spirit of darkness, who crept into the Garden of Eden, crept also into our dear institute. I was the one chosen by it to fall into its snares, and from a little angel was soon transformed into a veritable little fiend. It was sufficient to speak of confession, Holy Communion, or even to mention the name of God, to make me scoff and laugh at what was said. One day after my music-lesson, weary of the repeated remonstrances of my teacher, I exclaimed in a mocking tone: Satan, I give you my heart; come and take possession of it, it shall be ever yours. From that moment I never knew what it was to have a single hour of happiness. Satan was indeed my master, and left me no peace. I no longer loved God or the saints, but there was still a spark of affection left for our blessed Lady. Remorse tormented me, but I had not the courage to reveal to any one the torture I was enduring. A lady who took great interest in me and watched me closely, could not help exclaiming, on hearing me laugh: That is not the laugh of a human being, but of a devil. She was not mistaken. At last one of my friends, in the hopes of bringing about my conversion, proposed to me to join with her in making a novena to the Sacred Heart. Through the mediation of our blessed Lady, and for the sake of Our Lady, I consented. From the very first day I felt a change had taken place in me. I was no longer the same being, and on the last day of the novena Mass was said in honor of the Sacred Heart to obtain my conversion. Since then God has continued His work of mercy in my behalf. I am now, through a good confession, reconciled to Him and I intend consecrating the remainder of my life to that dear Saviour whose enemy I have been for the last eight weary years. Oh, pray for me, pray for me.”

2. (Taken from ‘The Glories of the Precious Blood’)

Eusebius of Caesarea, the “Father of Ecclesiastical History”, tells us how St. John the Apostle brought into Christ s fold a robber, whose life had been one long catalogue of crimes, and, when the poor man despaired of obtaining mercy from God, how the saint encouraged him by saying: “Fear not, my son; thou mayest yet hope for salvation: I will satisfy Jesus Christ for thee, I will gladly undergo death for love of thee, as the Lord endureth it for us. I will give my soul in the place of thine.” Thus did St. John pass on the satisfactions gained by himself to that poor sinner.

3. (Taken from ‘Saint Anthony: anecdotes proving the miraculous power of St. Anthony,’ 1899)

A man had for twenty-four years concealed in confession a grievous mortal sin, so that every time he received the sacraments he committed fresh sacrileges. At last a ray of light pierced through his darkened soul, and he implored the assistance of St. Anthony. One day whilst saying his prayers the saint appeared, and so forcibly pointed out to him the infinite justice of God, and the danger of eternal damnation, that, filled with terror, the poor sinner hastened to make a good confession and to be reconciled with God. 

4. (Taken from ‘The Life of St. Frances of Rome,’ 1855) 

The kind of apostolate which by this time she exercised in Rome was very remarkable; and her power over men’s minds and hearts scarcely short of miraculous. There was a subduing charm, an irresistible influence in her words and in her manner, which told on every variety of persons. The expression of her countenance, the tones of her voice, her mere presence, worked wonders in effecting conversions, and in animating to virtue those whom she approached. Her gift of reading the thoughts of others, which had increased ever since the archangel had become her companion, enabled her in several instances to bring about conversions, several of which are related at length by her biographers. Amongst them was that of a young woman who was lying dangerously ill in one of the hospitals of the city. Francesca had been distributing food to the sick, and was then attending the death-bed of a young man, who was about to receive the last Sacraments, when a piercing cry from one of the adjoining wards reached her ears. She hastened to the spot, and found a young woman stretched on one of the narrow beds, and dying in all the agonies of despair. No sooner had she looked upon the poor creature than her dreadful history was supernaturally revealed to her. She had some time before had an illegitimate child, and, under the pressure of shame and terror, had destroyed it. The consciousness of this crime was driving her to despair, and she had not courage to confess it. But now words were whispered in her ear, which went straight to the point on which the awful struggle turned; which spoke of the horrible misery of dying impenitent and unabsolved, and of the boundless mercy which has provided a remedy for the deepest stains of sin, the Blood of Jesus applied to the soul by the grace of the Sacrament. For a long time the poor creature resisted, turned her head away, and refused to be comforted. But when Francesca, in still more pressing terms, alluded to the intolerable burden of an unacknowledged crime, of the life-giving humiliation of a sincere confession, of the dire confusion of an unforgiven soul on the Day of Judgment; of the love of Jesus, of the tenderness of Mary, of the indulgence of the Church, the sweetness of pardon, the peace of reconciliation; then the stubborn heart yielded, the seared spirit was softened. Bursting into tears, the dying sufferer exclaimed, “A priest! A priest!” and one was at hand at the first call of contrition, and answered that expiring cry, as Matthew did the royal prophet’s confession: “The Lord forgives; thou shalt not perish.” And shortly after in Francesca’s arms the pardoned sinner breathed her last.

Deo Gratias!

Distrustful soul, “Confide in the mercy of God.”

Distrustful soul, “Confide in the mercy of God.”

The following words, so typical of the gentleness and love of St. Francis de Sales, are taken from ‘Frances de Sales: A Study of the Gentle Saint’, by Louise M. Stacpoole Kenny, p. 45-46): “In particular one hardened old veteran … Continue reading

God’s Great Love For Judas

God has an intense love for all sinners, whom he came to save. Judas, who is referred to in Scripture as the “son of perdition”, tragically seems to have rejected God until the last. Reflecting on the life and death of Judas, we can learn some valuable lessons:

+ “God hates sin; but at the same time never ceases to love the sinful soul while it remains on earth, and always gives it the assistance it requires for salvation: ‘But Thou sparest all, because they are Thine, O Lord, Who lovest souls.’ [Wisd. 11: 27] – St. Alphonsus

+ “Each soul is a matchless treasure [to God]” (Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity). Speaking of the Passion, St. John the Evangelist spoke thus to Sr. Josefa Menendez: “How His Heart thrilled at the thought of the moment, then approaching, when He would go to the Father, but it was crushed with sorrow at the sight of one of the Twelve, one specially chosen, who was to deliver Him up to death, and at the knowledge that for the first time His Blood was to prove useless to save a soul.”

+ To doubt God’s love is great blasphemy. According to the revelations of St. Catherine of Siena, as well as the words of St. Jerome, the despair of Judas was a greater offence to God than his betrayal. In an act of infinite love, Jesus died to save Judas; he doubted this love, thereby blinding himself to the graces of God which sought to save him. Apart from an extraordinary grace, the consequence of despair “worked logically out, is final impenitence” (Fr. Faber). It is in this sense that despair is unpardonable. “The mercy of God [of course] is infinite towards him who repents”; the guardian angel of Adolph Rette assured him of this when he was tempted to despair! How beautiful.

“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” (St. John Vianney). St. John Vianney proceeds to encourage us (as well as those in despair) to trust in God’s infinite mercy. The remainder of the quote can be found here: https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/to-sinful-souls-drowned-in-despair-25/

We must always remember the following: the Precious Blood of Jesus (which was shed in remission for our sins) is infinitely more pleasing to God than our sins are displeasing to God.

+ God’s just anger does not diminish his love. Despite rejecting His love, God still loved Judas, as we have seen. Love itself takes no delight in the death of the wicked [Ezek. 18:23]. Jesus said to Sr. Josefa (and other chosen souls): “My Heart is so sharply wounded at the loss of souls… especially when they are among My chosen ones.” In fact, in the life of St. Joseph of Cupertino, we read that “the loss of Judas was the worst pain of the Passion” (Fr. Faber, p. 250 of ‘Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects, vol. 1’).

+ “God condemns no one” (St. Faustina). Properly speaking, God offers everyone abundant grace to be saved. Consequently, they alone are lost who reject God at the “moment of death”, says St. Catherine. St. Rose of Lima was once troubled by the mystery of predestination. Our Lord consoled her with the following words:

“My child, know that I only condemn those who, by resisting My graces, will obstinately lose their souls: continue, therefore, to make a good use of them, live in peace, and be no longer disturbed with this fear.”

(Taken from p. 175 of ‘St. Rose of Lima’)

+ Relapse into sin prefigures final impenitence. “There is something in the peculiar malice of a relapse very congenial to final impenitence” (Fr. Faber, p. 384 of ‘Growth in Holiness’). A holy fear of sin is necessary in the spiritual life. God promises forgiveness for the repentant, but He does not promise the grace of repentance to any sinner. (There are some extraordinary exceptions, such as the First Nine Fridays devotion etc.)

“Never does My Heart refuse to forgive a soul that humbles itself, especially when it asks with confidence.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

“Ah! daughter, how should I not love you?… My Son shed His Blood for all men… all are my children. But when Jesus selects one soul in particular, my Heart rests in her.”

– Our Lady to Sr. Josefa Menendez

God Abandons No One.

God Abandons No One.

“Love is good actions freely performed. I never refuse love to someone who asks for it—but it is your will*, your actions that will develop it in you.” – Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Trinity *We must not forget, … Continue reading

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