A Helpful Tip for Overcoming Temptation.

One day St. Rose of Lima complained to Our Lord that He let her be exposed to a great danger of falling into sin. Perhaps we have been in this position before. Perhaps we have even fallen into mortal sin many times, despite what we thought to be our best efforts. Maybe we have become so discouraged that we almost expect to fall again…

Whatever the case may be, the good news is that God has not given up on us: if we desire Him, He desires us far more; for we cannot seek God without His grace.

“As soon as your soul is touched by grace, and before the struggle has even begun, hasten to My Heart; beg of Me to let a drop of My Blood fall on your soul. . . . Ah! hasten to My Heart . . . and be without fear for the past; all has been swallowed up in the abyss of My mercy, and My love is preparing new graces for you. The memory of your lapses will be an incentive to humility and a source of merit, and you cannot give Me a greater proof of affection than to count on My full pardon and to believe that your sins will never be as great as My mercy, which is infinite.” (Our Lord to Sr. Josefa Menendez)

If we etch the following truths deep in our hearts and minds, we will be preserved from many sins (provided that we persevere in prayer).

1. Grace is all–powerful. Grace is a participation in the Divine Nature; it is invincible, like God Himself. There is no sinner, however hardened, who cannot abandon his sins and be saved, provided that he calls on Almighty God with confidence and a will to turn from his wickedness. “Ask and you shall receive.”

2. God will not allow us to be tempted beyond our strength. We must not blame God for our falls. Deliberate sin, especially mortal sin, can always be avoided. If we fall, we can turn to God in humility, saying: “My Jesus, mercy! Help me to love You more! Please increase my humility. Help me to trust in you. Without You I am nothing and can do nothing.” And so forth. By our confidence we honour the infinite goodness of God. This is a sure way of obtaining great graces.

3. Without Grace we can do nothing. Everyone receives actual grace – absolutely everyone. Were God to withdraw His grace from us, we would not so much as be able to think a good thought. All life, all holiness, all wisdom, all intelligence, all goodness comes from Him. Pride is a perversion, a lie, spiritual theft, insanity (to a greater or lesser extent).

4. With God we can do all things. Every temptation we have overcome, any good we have ever done, any prayer we have made, any good we possess, is a gift from God. Why, then, do we not trust in Him?

Applying this knowledge to the pursuit of perfection – to which we are all called – it becomes evident that if we are to grow in love/holiness, we must place all our confidence in Almighty God, knowing that we can never place too much trust in Him, just as we can never place too little trust in ourselves!

St. Crescentia certainly distrusted herself, and she was profoundly humble and loving. It is written of her that if she heard of someone committing a mortal sin, she would say: “I should have fallen much lower than this unfortunate man, if Almighty God had not so powerfully upheld me; had the man, on the other hand, had the grace I possess, he would live a thousand times more piously than I do. He that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.” Reflect seriously on these words, dear reader. We can never be too humble.

If we do fall into sin, we must not think: “But my spiritual life was going so well… I had avoided sin for so long… I was soaring with the saints!” No. We must attribute all our former success to God. Likewise, we must only expect to overcome sin with God’s help. Unless we trust in Our Lord, our efforts will be in vain.

“Let Me do it!” This is what Our Lord used to say to St. Veronica Giuliani. He says the same to us. If we are tempted, let Him do it: He will be our strength. If we desire holiness, let Him do it: He will sanctify us. Provided that we follow His inspirations and do not give in to a state of presumptuous passivity, He will lead us into His Sacred Heart.

I said earlier that St. Rose of Lima once complained to Our Lord that He allowed her to come close to falling into sin (or so she thought). This was Our Lord’s reply:

“Would you have conquered if I had not been in your heart? I am always with you and My grace forsakes you not; therefore weep no more.”

On another occasion, He said to her:

“They must no longer be deluded as to the meaning of pain; trial is the path to perfection; by it they attain beauty of soul and the summit of grace, and the glory of the Children of God. The Cross is the true and only ladder to reach Heaven. Without the Cross this ascent is impossible.”

Next time you are tempted, recall these words:

“Would you have conquered if I had not been in your heart? I am always with you and My grace forsakes you not.”

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.

–