The Most Efficacious Remedy for the Evils of Today

A Sad State of Affairs

From a spiritual standpoint, what can be said about humanity in 2016? Is God loved and adored? Is wisdom sought? Is moral progress evident?

Rhetorical question. (Ironically, I would wager that most moral relativists would even answer “no” to the latter question.)

One has only to pick up a newspaper to behold but a few of the evils that afflict mankind today – or rather, that we afflict on ourselves; for evil, recall, enters the world through the door of the will. Even natural evils would not exist were it not for moral evils (c.f. the account of the Fall). (The materialist is really in a predicament here; for by denying immateriality, they at least implicitly deny free-will, without which there can be no morality at all. A universe without autonomous agents is an amoral universe.)

When I think of the prevalence of “sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance,” I ask myself: When, dear Lord, will enough be enough?

Perhaps you, too, are concerned, or even afraid, of the current state of affairs, and ask yourself: Is chastisement imminent? Teresa Neumann, the stigmatic, certainly thought so. But it is not all “bad”…

A Message of Hope from Saintly Souls

In fact, the “resurrection of society” that Our Lord spoke about to Sr. Benigna Consolata (d. 1916) will be “a work of love.” Similarly, Our Lord is alleged to have said to St. Bridget of Sweden, St. Catherine of Siena, Bl. Anna Maria Taigi, Bl. Elizabeth Canori-Mora, Ven. Philomena of St. Colomba (d. 1868), and others, that at some point in the future there will be a great triumph of the Catholic Faith; Jews, Muslims, pagans and Protestants will flock to the Church of Christ (i.e. the Catholic Church); God will be glorified, and many souls will be saved. In the words of Ven. Philomena of St. Columba, God will “fertilise the world” anew with an abundance of graces!

“If I permit so much sorrow in the world, it is for that one purpose, to save souls for eternity.”

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata (p. 20, Jesus Appeals to the World, St. Paul’s)

The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass: An Infinite Source of Goodness

Yes, there is much evil in the world today; yes, injustice abounds; yes, the Church contains many sinners. But hold on. That is not all. We have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; we have the Sacraments; we have the invincible weapon of prayer; we have the hope of eternity; we have the assurance from Our Lady of Fatima (1917) that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph (alongside the Sacred Heart of Jesus). In a word, we have a Saviour Who loves us infinitely – so much, in fact, that He does everything to win our love, even to the point of offering Himself daily on our Altars for our salvation! There alone can be found peace; there alone can be found a solid, unchanging ground for our hope, for peace and for joy. And to think that this Ocean of Goodness, namely, the Sacred Heart, is an inexhaustible Fountain!
Those who have frequent recourse to Jesus, Who remains night and day in our Tabernacles, will soon discover that all their troubles melt away in the Light that shines forth from the Holy Face of Eternal Love Incarnate.
‘For Thou, my Lord, art very admirable, and Thy Face is full of graces.’
(Esther 15:17)
If you want happiness both in this life and the next; if you want to cooperate in the salvation of many souls, there is but one thing to do: strive to be a Eucharistic Soul. Center your life around the Most Blessed Sacrament; live for Jesus and by Him, that is, by His very Life. “The soul,” writes Sr. Jeanne Benigne, “does truly derive invincible strength from Holy Communion, when it understands the sense of those words of our Lord: ‘As I live by the Father, so he that eateth Me, the same also shall live by Me.’ Now, the mortal and corruptible creature cannot by its own power raise itself, the Saviour must by Holy Communion descend into the soul to make it a partaker of His life and of Himself; by this divine participation His grace and love establish in it a new life, new affections all holy and pure, giving it a strong aversion to the very name of sin, however slight, and new inclinations to good and to doing all things according to the good pleasure of God and for His glory, from the sole motive of pure love.”

“In whatever state a soul may be when I favor her with special graces, I attract her to the imitation of My Eucharistic Life.

It is a life of death that I inspire the soul to live.

To have eyes, and see only for the service of Love; to have ears, and no longer hear aught but what can augment Love; to have a mouth, and not use it except to speak of Love; to have hands,feet, heart, body, and no longer use them but as Love wills.

To depend on Love for everything as a little babe depends on its mother.”

– Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero

Just How Great is the Value of the Mass?

“The value of the Mass is infinite.” (St. Thomas) “The sacrifice of Calvary,” writes Rev. Garrigou-Lagrange, “which was offered up for all men, was no less profitable to the good thief than if it had been offered up for him alone.” (p. 316, ‘Our Saviour and His Love for Us,’ TAN Books)

“This sacrifice possesses an infinite potency to obtain what we ask,because of the infinite value of the Victim, the infinite dignity of the Priest [Jesus]. There is no gift, no grace, whichit does not avail to obtain. However numerous are the persons for whom it is offered, this sacred Victim can procure the fulfilment of their petitions; and for these reasons: because Christ, the great High Priest, is infinitely well-pleasing to God; because the merits which He offersto God the Father are infinite; because His passion, His
blood, His wounds, are all-prevailing.”

– Marchantius

The Great Cause of Evil in Our Day

The evils that beset the world today are due, in large part, to ignorance or neglect of the things of God. Those who fail to consider the gifts of God cannot be thankful for them, nor will they seek God with fervour… Jesus came to bring fire!

“Souls aflame with love,” said Jesus to Yvonne-Aimee, “aim solely at pleasing God” – something that implies a more-or-less constant consideration of God. If Jesus is to establish His Kingdom in souls, souls must know where to find His throne (i.e. the Altar).

When the Liturgy is treated with the dignity and respect that it deserves, and when souls communicate frequently and fervently, the world will completely change.

A Prophecy from Sr. Mary Cherubina (d. 1871), A Heroic Soul who Offered Herself for Unworthy Priests

“Make known to all Catholics that God wills that His priests should lead more holy lives, for, although many of them are in the grace of God, yet even they approach the holy Altar with extraordinary coldness, and as if it were an every–day thing. It was not thus that Jesus went to Calvary! He went with a burning love, and priests should offer the Holy Sacrifice with a pure conscience, an immaculate heart, and a lively faith; let them present this Divine Victim to the Eternal Father for the salvation of souls, and especially for the conversion of so many scandalous and apostate priests. They are the crying evil of these days: yet the arms of Jesus are open to receive them. Let them ask of our merciful Jesus, by the merits of His precious Blood, the grace of conversion for these unhappy men, and they will surely obtain this favour when they hold the Divine Victim in their hands. Make known that God is about to send other terrible chastisements upon the world; but they will be lessened if priests offer worthily the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Do not delay to make known all that I have told you.” (pp. 185-186)

“Fill yourself with this love and diffuse it over the world.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret after she received Him in Holy Communion, describing her experience as being like “a sponge plunged into water” (p. 23, ‘The Love and Service of God, Infinite Love,’ TAN Books)

 

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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 (#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)

How to Best Please God

“My child,” said Our Lord to St. Gertrude, “you canst do nothing more gratifying to Me than to submit patiently to all the tribulations that befall you.”

‘If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.’ (Mt. 16:24)

“Fear nothing. I Myself will supply whatever is lacking in you.” (Jesus to St. Lutgarde)

“I know very well that they can do nothing without My grace; but let them begin the task courageously, full of trust in My help, and I will deliver them from all difficulty and trouble. Let them come to Me who await them with open arms on the Cross. (Jesus to St. Catherine de Ricci)

Our sinfulness and weakness is no obstacle to God’s goodness. “…God is nothing other than power itself, wisdom itself, goodness itself…” (Jesus to St. Bridget, Bk 2, Ch 26). “The soul that most annihilates itself,” said the Heavenly Father to Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos, “is best absorbed in Me. THE BEST MEANS OF HOLDING FAST TO ME IS TO REALISE MY IMMENSE GOODNESS.”

“Am I not able,” said Jesus to Mother Mary of the Divine Heart, “to kindle fire with dead wood? The greater your wretchedness, the more glory there is for Me in lovingly stooping and lowering Myself towards you.” 

A Defence of God’s Justice (A Catholic Perspective)

This article consists of a fairly lengthy response I made to someone on Catholic Answers, concerning the justice of God. I am responding to a number of assertions, such as that God cannot be good or powerful if, desiring the salvation of all, all are not saved.

Response:

1. “God antecedently wills every man to be saved [hence the provision of the graces necessary for each man’s salvation], but He consequently wills some to be damned; in consequence, that is, of the exigencies of His justice [e.g. that those who die in mortal sin must be punished].” (Aquinas)

2. God created no one for damnation. All can, in principle, be saved. “If all sinners wished to return to God with contrite and humble hearts, all would be saved.” (St. Leonard). If God revealed to us (hypothetically) that most men would starve themselves to death, despite an abundance of food, I wouldn’t blame Him, even though He necessarily foresaw this and decided to create these men anyway. The fact is, it would be their decision to do so; they could easily have eaten. “Woe to him,” said Our Lord to St. Bridget (speaking of a presumptuous sinner), “if he does not quickly change his ways, for no one is rejected due to My foreknowledge.”

3. Suppose that all were saved but one. Suppose also that this person was “Adam.” Would it be just if God removed Adam from existence, if He knew that, by removing him, his descendants would likewise be removed? There are a number of responses to a hypothetical scenario such as this one, but ultimately they rely on assumptions: we do not know what the just or morally better alternatives are. Reason alone cannot provide the answer.

4. Many can’t get past the fact that God created a universe that He knew would contain evil, but can we logically demonstrate how much evil can be permitted by a God Who is infinitely wise and good? If not, how can we say that a particular degree of evil cannot be permitted by a good God? (This point has to be conceded for the sake of the argument; I am not attempting to demonstrate its truth). Catholic theology says that God permits evil so that He may draw a greater good out of it. I, for one, am in awe of how God is so good, wise and powerful that He can draw a greater good out of unspeakable evil. The sufferings and death of Our Lord, for example, became for us an infinite source of grace. By His sufferings, He has redeemed ours; unlike the angels, we are able to suffer for God; we can procure an increase in (accidental) glory for Him; we can empathise with Him; we can “earn” an abundance of merits that will receive an eternal reward, which, according to the Saints and mystics, is beyond our comprehension! A Visitation nun who had died, allegedly appeared to Sr. Marie–Catherine Putigny, saying: “What are all the sorrows of earth compared with the happiness of seeing God for even one instant!”

5. Hell is a fitting punishment. God is offended by sin; God is infinite; therefore sin is of infinite malice. A holy soul once said to Our Lord: “Lord, I submit to Thy judgements, but do not push the rigours of Thy justice so far.” Our Lord replied: “Do you understand what sin is? …” “I understand, Lord, that sin is an outrage to Thy Majesty.” “Well, measure, if you can, the greatness of this outrage.” “Lord, this outrage is infinite, since it attacks infinite Majesty.” “Must it not, then, be punished by an infinite chastisement? Now, as the punishment could not be infinite in its intensity, justice demands that it be so at least in its duration.” St. Catherine of Genoa and other Saints and theologians say that the pains of Hell are actually much less than they could justly be. God shows mercy even to the damned. We must also remember that the pains of the damned are proportionate to their sins. The fires of Hell, says St. John Chrysostom, discriminate between sinners.                                                                                                                                                                                                                   6. According to St. Thomas, God cannot suffer at the loss of souls, in so far as He is Divine; but this does not mean that God is unloving, cold or apathetic. We often equate emotion with the heart, but the fact is that the Word (Jesus), had as much love for souls prior to the Incarnation (even though He could not then suffer at their loss), as He did at the moment of, and subsequent to, the Incarnation. (I say “at the moment of” because some mystics believe that Jesus suffered from birth.) We know that Jesus suffered intensely at the loss of souls. Consider that Jesus wept; consider His sufferings in the Garden of Gethsemane. Furthermore, many holy souls (e.g. St. Faustina, St. Catherine of Racconigi, Ven. Anne of St. Bartholomew) say that Our Lord suffered inexpressibly at the loss of souls. Others (e.g. St. Bridget, Bl. Battista Varani) add that Our Lord would willingly, if it were possible (i.e. in accordance with His justice) suffer again everything that He suffered to save evenone of the damned! What love! These are great mysteries, indeed, but they are mysteries that should fill us with confidence rather than doubt.

7. It is impossible, in principle, for us to consent to our creation; we must first exist in order to give consent. I believe, however, that you already know this and that you were merely saying something like: ‘Why doesn’t God give us a chance to choose to continue existing?’ I would say this: God created us for union with Him, the Sovereign Good, Who, as the Source of all perfection, is alone capable of satisfying the desires of our intellects, our wills and our hearts. In a word, God “alone can fill the heart of man” (as He said to St. Mary Magdalen de Pazzi). Subsequently, our creation isintrinsically good; whether or not we acknowledge the objective Good for which (of for Whom) we have been created is another issue. Our Lord reputedly said the following to Bl. Alexandrina, who suffered from the stigmata and endured terrible sufferings for the conversion of sinners: “I have died for them, and they say they did not ask me to do so… In order to save them, I select certain souls and lay the cross on their shoulders. Happy the soul who understands the value of suffering! My cross is sweet if carried for love of me.” I certainly won’t argue with my existence. I try to follow St. Crescentia, who, when confronted with the thought of predestination, reasoned thus: “God is infinitely good; He is never the first to depart. It is His peculiar property to be ever merciful and to spare. Yes, He is my hope and my salvation.”

8. If Jesus is God, then any mystery pertaining to our salvation should be seen in the light of revealed truth. Scripture says, for example: ‘Thou art just, O Lord: and thy judgement is right.’ (Ps. 119: 137). We may doubt this if we wish, preferring to trust in our own intellect, but ultimately we have no good reason to do so – especially considering that our reason is only a reliable source if God, Who created our intellects, is true.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     9. In relation to the small number of the Elect, we must remember that this is not dogma. While it seems very likely that a relatively small number are saved (out of the total of mankind), this does not tell us how many are damned. The large number of unbaptized children, for example, who die every day are not included in the number of those who are damned, properly speaking. The Council of Florence says that unbaptized infants go to Hell, but – and this cannot be emphasised enough – the Church is here referring to the loss of the Beatific Vision; for the Church elsewhere teaches that only those who die in mortal sin go to the Hell of the damned. (I do not wish to discuss the exact or ultimate fate of these souls. Ultimately, God is all-good either way; at the very least, these souls will experience a state of natural happiness, as St. Thomas, St. Alphonsus and many others have explained).

Some final quotes (revelations):

Our Lady to St. Bridget: “It would be great audacity to ask why God made his people suffer so much or why there can be eternal punishment, given that a life in sin cannot last forever. It would be as great audacity as to try to reason out and comprehend the eternity of God. God is eternal and incomprehensible. His justice and recompensation is eternal; his mercy is beyond understanding.” (Book 3, Ch 30)

St. Mechtilde: ‘O my sole Beloved, what do you desire that men should know of you?’
Jesus: ‘My goodness and My justice: My goodness which makes Me wait for man so mercifully until he is converted, to which I continually attract him by My grace; but, if he absolutely refuses to be converted, My justice demands his damnation.’

Jesus to Sr. Consolata: “If only you knew how I suffer when I must dispense justice. You see, My Heart needs to be comforted; It wishes to dispense mercy, not justice!”

Jesus to Sr. Benigna Consolata: “To exercise Justice is for Me to go against the current; it does violence to Me… The door of My justice, on the contrary, is shut and locked; and I open it only to him who compels Me to do so; but I never open it spontaneously.”

Jesus to Bl. Alexandrina (October 1, 1954):

“I want you to set fire to the world with this love of my Divine Heart, today extinguished in men’s hearts. Set fire! Set fire!

I want to give my love to all men. I want to be loved by all.

They do not accept it and do not love me.”

Powerful Reflections on Eternity.

Powerful Reflections on Eternity.

The purpose of this post is threefold: 1. To increase our desire for Heaven; 2. To increase our fear and hatred of sin; 3. To increase our love of God; (and thereby to save our souls) “In whatever you do, … Continue reading

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Beautiful Revelation For Every Christian (Pt. 2)

“I am perfect love, for all the things which I have done from eternity, I did out of love; and, whatsoever I do or shall do in the future, likewise proceeds and will proceed from My love. My love for man is now as great and incomprehensible as it was at the time of My Passion, when, out of exceeding love, I delivered all the elect by My death. And, if it were possible for Me to die as many times as there are souls in Hell, I would with most prompt will and most perfect charity give up My Body, and would endure for each soul the same Passion and Death that I endured for all.”

– Jesus to St. Bridget

The holy Benedictine, Fr. Paul of Moll, was often lost in ecstasy when he spoke about the love of God, to the extent that he would sometimes be raised off the ground for ten minutes or so; his face often radiated with an indescribable brightness, and an aureole surrounded his head. This holy priest knew well the love of God, which can bestow on us no greater blessing than transforming us into saints; the saints are partakers in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4) to a remarkable degree, and for all eternity the Heavenly Father will be glorified by them to the degree that they resemble His Son. If we were to consider, even infrequently, the infinite desire that God has for our salvation, we would better be able to appreciate the value and purpose of trials, sufferings and temptations of all sorts. The cross is truly a blessing beyond compare. Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos, the holy lay-sister of the Visitation Order, was accustomed to adoring the holy will of God in all things. With God’s grace, we can do the same. 

If we truly desire to please Jesus and to save our souls, as well as many others, we must ask daily for the gift of divine love. This is a treasure beyond compare; It alone can transform this fallen world.

Deo Gratias!

Some Beautiful Words About HEAVEN.

(Words taken from Martin Von Cochem’s ‘The Four Last Things’)

The more good a saint has done on earth, the grander is the residence assigned him in heaven. These palaces and mansions are transparent as crystal and built of precious stones of the costliest kind. And we may add on the authority of a learned theologian, that the blessed hold intercourse with one another, and meet together to laud and magnify the omnipotence of the Most High, who prepared for them such glorious abodes, and join in extolling His wisdom and His love…

St. Augustine, St. Anselm, and many other saints do not hesitate to maintain that there are in heaven real trees, real fruits, and real flowers, indescribably attractive and delightful to the sight, taste, smell, and touch, different from anything we can imagine. In the revelations of the saints mention is made of the gardens in heaven, and the flowers that blossom there; and we know it is recorded in the legend of St. Dorothea, that she sent to Theophilus by the hands of an angel a basket of flowers culled in the gardens of the celestial paradise, of such surpassing beauty that the sight of them led him to become a Christian, and lay down his life for the faith of Christ.

We also read in the life of St. Didacus, that on coming to himself after a trance into which he fell shortly before his death, he cried aloud: “O what flowers there are in paradise! what flowers there are in paradise!” Similar incidents are frequently to be met with in the legends of the saints. 

Consider how delightful it will be for the happy ones who are saved to wander in the celestial gardens, and contemplate those fair flowers. How pleasing the lovely blossoms are to the eye, how delicious is the fragrance they exhale! Of a truth, if a man were to obtain possession of a single one of these heavenly flowers, it would produce on him the same effect as on Theophilus. He would be spoiled for all the beauty of earth, and would strive with his whole soul after the perfect beauty of heaven… 

In her revelations to St. Bridget, the Blessed Mother of God once said:

“The saints stand around my Son like countless stars, whose glory is not to be compared with any temporal light. Believe me, if the saints could be seen shining with the glory they now possess, no human eye could endure their light; all would turn away, dazzled and blinded.”

The glorified body will be able to traverse the greatest distance with the speed of thought. In one moment it can come down from heaven to earth; in one moment it can pass from one end of the heavens to the other, without labor, without fatigue, without difficulty. We often wish that we could fly like the birds, that we could speed on our way like clouds on the wings of the wind, that we could follow thought in its rapid flight. If it were possible to purchase this power, every one would part with all his worldly wealth for it, if only to obtain it for one single year… 

It would be unwise were we to attempt to describe the gratification it will be to the ear to hear the canticles of the angels, and the soft music of their harps. The nine choirs of angels will sing the praise of God, and the blessed will join them not only in heart, for they will mingle their voices also in the sweet harmony. Thus the powers of both soul and body will be exercised, and the praises of God will ascend in melodious hymns and celestial songs. For if we mortals are impelled by fervent love and heartfelt joy to lift our voice in song, how much more will the holy angels and blessed saints do so, who are all aflame with the love of God, and filled with joy unspeakable. Their hymns of praise will resound without ceasing through the courts of heaven. In a prophetic spirit the elder Tobias says: “The gates of Jerusalem shall be built of sapphire and of emerald, and all the walls thereof round about with precious stones, all its streets shall be paved with white and clean stones, and alleluia shall be sung in its streets” (Tob. xiii. 21, 22)… 

The delicious odors of paradise surpass anything that man can imagine. The fairest lilies, roses, violets, carnations, and other rare and lovely flowers grow in the gardens of the heavenly paradise, and their fragrance is so delightful, that if a man had but a petal of one of those flowers, he would be overcome by the sweetness of the perfume. “Israel [that is the company of the redeemed] shall spring as the lily, and his smell shall be that of Libanus” (Osee xiv. 6). 

Experience has abundantly shown that the bodies of the saints whilst in their graves already emit a fragrant smell; how much more powerful will that fragrance be when they are again raised to life and glorified. Above all the bodies of Christ and of His Blessed Mother will exhale so sweet a perfume that all heaven will be pervaded by it… 

Even the sense of taste will be gratified in heaven, not, it is true, by the consumption of ordinary food, but in a manner whereof we can as yet form no conjecture. The blessed will taste a sweet sustenance which will satisfy them, as we learn from the words of the Royal Psalmist: “They shall be inebriated with the plenty of Thy house, Thou shalt make them drink of the torrent of Thy pleasure” (Ps. xxxv. 9).

The sense of touch will have its own peculiar enjoyment. The more one has mortified himself here on earth, the greater will be his bodily wellbeing hereafter. St. Anselm says: “In the future life the saints will experience a feeling of untold comfort and ease. This pleasurable sensation will pervade every member, producing a wondrous sense of peace and contentment.” 

Finally, the redeemed will take very great pleasure in beholding one another, in conversing with one another, in kindly intercourse and friendly communication. Think how beautiful a sight it will be to see hundreds of thousands of beings in all the splendor of their glorified state. If on earth we esteem it a pleasure to look upon a handsome face, we can appreciate in some slight degree what it will be in heaven, the lowliest of whose inhabitants is possessed of a beauty far exceeding the personal attractions of any mortal man.

 

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!