The Secret to Happiness

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“Blessed indeed would we be if we received everything that happens as from God’s fatherly hand.”

– St. Francis de Sales

St. Alphonsus Liguori relates (‘Uniformity with God’s Will’) that Alphonsus the Great, King of Aragon, when asked whom he considered to be the happiest person in the world, replied:

“HE WHO ABANDONS HIMSELF TO THE WILL OF GOD AND ACCEPTS ALL THINGS, PROSPEROUS AND ADVERSE, AS COMING FROM HIS HANDS.” 

This is the key to happiness! ‘As for my God, His way is undefiled: the words of the Lord are fire tried: He is the protector of all that trust in Him.’ (Ps. 18:30) ‘And let them trust in thee who know thy name: for thou hast not forsaken them that seek thee, O Lord.’  (Ps. 9:10)

‘Who is wise, and will keep these things: and will understand the mercies of the Lord?’ (Ps. 107:43)

Adorable is the Will of God!

“St. Mary Magdalene of  Pazzi derived such consolation at hearing the words “will of God,” that   she usually fell into an ecstasy of love.” (St. Alphonsus)

“[Everything] I give or permit happens for the sanctification of My servants.” (The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena)

“It sometimes happens that the just for their greater merit have a most painful death. This is in order that those who have loved virtue may at once soar up to Heaven freed from their sins.” (Jesus to St. Bridget)

“Abandonment to the Will of God is the secret of happiness on earth. Say, then: meus cibus est, ut faciem voluntatem ejus: my food is to do His Will.” (St. Josemaria Escriva, # 766, p. 181, ‘The Way’)

“An act of complete acceptance of the Will of God: ‘Is that what you want, Lord? … Then it’s what I want also!” (St. Josemaria Escriva, #762, p. 180, ‘The Way’)

“The soul that really loves, accepts all from the Hands of its Good Master. It is enough that He gives it, to make the gift welcome.” (Dom Pius de Hemptinne, p. 254, ‘A Disciple of Dom Marmion’)

Imitate Little St. Therese

“You have had many trials today,” someone said to St. Therese. “Yes, but I love them. I love everything that the dear God gives to me.”

“Nothing is too great to suffer in order to win the palm of eternal life.” – St. Therese

A Revelation to St. Bridget

From ‘Book 5, The Book of Questions, Interrogation 13’:

Third question. “Why do some people suffer excessive hardship, while others live more or less free from hardship?”

Answer to the third question. “As to why greater hardships are given to some, I answer: I am the Maker of all things. Thus, no hardship comes without My permission, as it is written: ‘I am God creating woe,’ (Isaiah 45:7) that is, permitting hardship. Hardship does not befall the heathen without me and without a reasonable cause… those who had neglected and abused reason might be taught by suffering, and in order that I, God, who permitted it all, should be known and glorified by every nation…

There is indeed less hardship for some and more for others in order to turn people away from sin and so that those who suffer hardships in the present might be comforted in the future. All those who are judged and who judge themselves in this age will not come into future judgment. As it is written: ‘They shall pass from death into life.’ There are also some that are protected from suffering, but this happens so that they do not incur a harsher judgment by grumbling at their sufferings. Many there are who do not deserve to suffer in this world.

There are also some people in this life who are afflicted neither in body nor in spirit. They pass their lives as carefree as though God did not exist, or as though God is sparing them for the sake of their righteous works. Such people should be filled with dread for fear that I, God, who spare them in the present, come suddenly and condemn them more harshly as being without contrition.

There are also those who enjoy health of body but are troubled in their soul about the contempt of God, while others enjoy neither health of body nor inner consolation of soul and yet persevere as far as they are able in my service and honor. There are others, too, who are always sick, from their mother’s womb up until their death. I, the God of all of these, regulate their sufferings so that nothing happens without cause or reward, for many people, who were asleep before their trials, have their eyes opened by suffering.”

The Perfect Prayer

Jesus: “THY WILL BE DONE” (Mt. 6:10)

Mary: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to thy word.” (Lk. 1:38) [A powerful prayer, to be repeated frequently throughout the day, is “FIAT” – “Be it done…”]

“I cannot tell you what a beautiful thing the Will of God seems to me. For some years past, my Communions, my prayers, my intentions have all been for God’s Will to be done.”

– St. Mary MacKillop

 

Some Revelations about the Catholic Faith

“… before the world ends the Son of Man will be brilliantly and beautifully seen in the Catholic Faith.”

– The Eternal Father to St. Hildegard von Bingen

+ Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden: “… receive and venerate the sacraments of My Church.” (Bk 4, Ch 129)

+ Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden: “She [the Catholic Church] is by nature outstanding by reason of her faith, beautiful by reason of the seven sacraments, laudable by reason of her conduct and virtue, lovable by reason of her fruits, for she reveals the true way to eternity.” (Bk 3, Ch 24)

+ Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda: “Faith illumines and ennobles the understanding of man, since it directs him in the darkness of his natural ignorance, not to stray from the way, and it elevates him above himself so that he sees and under stands with infallible certainty what is far above his powers and assures him of it no less than if he saw it clearly before him. He is thus freed from the gross and vile narrow-mindedness of those who will believe only what they can experience by their own limited natural powers, not considering that the soul, as long as it lives in the prison of this corruptible body, is very much circumscribed and limited in its sphere of action by the knowledge drawn from the coarse activity of the senses. Appreciate, therefore, my daughter, this priceless treasure of the Catholic faith given thee by God, watch over it and practice it in great esteem and reverence.”

+ The Eternal Father to St. Hildegard von Bingen: “Let them lay bare these wounds by making a humble confession to a priest. And why is this? Because true confession is a second resurrection. How? The human race was slain by the fall of the old Adam; the new Adam by His death raised it up. And so the resurrection of souls arose in the death of the new Adam. And so a person should confess their sins, as the old Adam did not; for he concealed his transgression instead of confessing. How? He did not confess it by repenting, but concealed it by accusing the woman. Hence confession was instituted, to raise people up after they fall. And so anyone who confesses their sins to a priest for love of Me rises again from death to life; as the woman who purged herself from her impurity with tears at the banquet in the presence of My Son was snatched away from uncleanness (cf. Luke 7:36-50)… They should confess their sins to the priest, who is the minister of My Son, with devoted heart and mouth. And then the priest will give them a remedy of penance and bury their sins in the death of My Only-Begotten. And then they will rise again to life and glorify the Resurrection of My Son.” (Scivias II.6.82-83)

+ The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi: “Blood and water came out of His side, that the Church might be, like her Bridegroom, clear and ruddy — clear as the waters of His side, and ruddy as the blood…” (p. 391)

Some Powerful Motives to Love God

Reflect on these profound words of St. Crescentia, and strive to make the same resolution as her:

“BY LOVE, I can draw down from Heaven, into my heart, Thee, the Supreme Good, and with Thee I can pass through every wall.

BY LOVE, I can soften the obdurate hearts of sinners; I can break the chains made through sin.

BY LOVE, I can redeem the captives of purgatory.

BY LOVE, I can conquer my evil wishes, my vicious nature, my wicked self-will.

BY LOVE, I can defeat all the attacks and temptations of hell.

BY LOVE, I can endure all hardships and pains.

BY LOVE, I can constantly love God more and more.

Therefore, I will now begin, in all earnestness and fervour, to love God in a very holy manner, so that I may attain the end for which I was created, and that by me He may be praised, loved, and honoured through all eternity.”

To love God is to believe in His love, and to do His Adorable Will. We must submit faithfully to the teachings of the Catholic Church. One cannot love Our Lord, Who is the Head of the Church, if they do not love His Mystical Body.

If faith were alive today, our churches would be filled to the brim. Jesus is truly present in the tabernacle. If we visit Him frequently, we will soon be touched by the flames of His love, as St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi says. If we despise the countless graces that God offers us through His holy Church, it is to be feared that we will meet the same fate as the following individual, who this same saint saw in a vision. It is reported that “she saw the soul of an unhappy man at the moment that he passed from his death bed to the eternal torments. God revealed to her that the chief cause of his damnation was his having held in contempt the treasures of Holy Church, laughing at the indulgences and all the other graces the Church benignly imparts to her faithful.”

Is this not the attitude of many indifferent Christians today? Sadly, this has been my attitude at times. But God has rescued me from the wide gate that leads to perdition.

Whatever we may have done in the past, we must not become discouraged. We must have the same confidence as St. Crescentia. She was no stronger than us; like us, she could do absolutely nothing without God’s grace. But she had faith in God. She relied on Him entirely, and was docile to His inspirations. If I do this; if you do this, our faith will invigorate us and we will find joy and salvation from the Lord.

“I am your Spouse – when will you make up your mind to love Me truly? I am all yours; I come to you to draw you to Myself; I come to you to make you one with Me; I come to you to change you completely into Myself.”

– Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani

A Revelation on Divine Mercy (to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi)

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The Eternal Father addressed these words to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi:

“My Word consummated on the cross the love wherewith I sent Him to you, satisfying My justice for your sins so fully that I received more satisfaction, without comparison, than I had received offense. Hence it is that I am so easily appeased with the sinners who return to Me and are converted; and I receive them in the arms of My Love, because I have been so well satisfied by the obedience of My Word. In this world, or in an infinite number of worlds, so many sins could not be committed, for which My Word had atoned, that I would not be satisfied with the reparation He made for the sins and the offense. Hence, the Royal Prophet, foreseeing this satisfaction, has said: “Copiosa apud eum redemption” – “With Him plentiful redemption” (Ps. cxxix, 7).”

“As St. Thomas says: “He properly atones for an offense who offers something which the offended one loves equally, or even more than he detested the offense. But by suffering out of love and obedience, Christ gave more to God than was required to compensate for the offense of the whole human race”; for the immense charity of the incarnate Son was more pleasing to God than all the sins of men were displeasing to Him, because this act of charity was a theandric act [and therefore infinite in value], inasmuch as it proceeded radically from the person of the Word.” – Lagrange

Be Happy? Be SAVED? …Be ye perfect!

‘Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.’

(Mt. 5:48)

Jesus came to save sinners (Luke 19:10), and to give us [supernatural] life in abundance (Jn. 10:10). To attain such life we must remain united to Him – Who is Life Itself (Jn. 14:6) – by charity (1 Jn. 4:16), which knows neither limit, nor rest.

If we wish to remain united to God, therefore, we must advance in love and holiness. ‘In the way of truth you should never pause, but should always walk forward with great strides, because My Word [Jesus] is not only your Way, He is also your Guide.’ (The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi).

God desires our salvation ardently. He warns us, therefore, that the lukewarm are in danger of losing God’s grace and, in the end, their souls (Rev. 3:16). This truth is proclaimed by Scripture, the Church, the early Fathers, the Saints, and all credible mystics. Sadly, there are many today who teach or believe the contrary; they believe in a “new Gospel,” an “easy Gospel,” which hinders many from aspiring to charity, “without which no man is saved” (St. Robert Bellarmine).

St. Alphonsus relates the following story (from ‘True Spouse of Jesus Christ’): “Blessed Erric Suson, in the vision of the rocks described in his life, (vita cap. 12,) seeing a great many on the first rock, asked who they were. Jesus Christ answered: ‘These are the tepid who only seek to avoid mortal sin.’ The holy man then asked if they should be saved. ‘If,’ replied the Redeemer, ‘they die in the state of grace, they shall be saved: but their danger is much greater than they imagine. They think they can serve God and the senses; but this is scarcely possible: for, it is exceedingly difficult to persevere in the grace of God, and at the same time to indulge in sensual pleasures.’”

Thanks be to God for revealing to us this obstacle to happiness and eternal salvation! It is not difficult to love One Who loves us perfectly, and Who desires only our good. Frequent prayer and meditation (e.g. accompanied by spiritual reading) will keep our hearts set on Jesus, Who gives His love to all those who ask of it (Rev. 21:6).

 ‘My child, as long as you look at Me, you will love Me; as long as you look at Me, you will serve Me; when you do not look at Me, you will not follow Me.’

(Our Lord said to His servant, Armelle)

 “I desire to see another Myself on earth… Begin generously to be faithful to Me; look at Me, never take your eyes from Me, and thus you will copy Me perfectly.”

(Jesus to Bl. Mary Magdalen Martinengo)

If we give Jesus our good-will, He will take care of us. We cannot expect to become saints in a day, as St. Philip Neri says. 

‘To those who begin to wear My yoke, and who are making efforts, I will give My grace. With those who bear My burden – that is to say who try day by day for love of Me to advance in the way of perfection – I will work, I will be their strength, I will inflame them with love so that they may desire Me still more.’

(Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden)

We Must Always Aspire to Greater Love

“In the spiritual life,” says St. Padre Pio, “one must always go on pushing ahead and never go backwards; if not, the same thing happens as to a boat which when it loses headway gets blown backwards with the wind.” If we remain docile to the breath of the Holy Spirit, we will arrively safely at the port of salvation.

 ‘The soul cannot remain motionless; if she does not go forward, she goes back. When you advance in virtue, you give up the imperfection of fear. When you do not attain to love, you turn backwards.’

(The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena)

 ‘Every soul in a state of grace loses ground if she does not incessantly endeavour to develop that grace within her.’

(Jesus to St. Margaret of Cortona)

God is infinitely Good; He is Goodness Itself, containing all good things. What greater gift, then, can He grant us than the grace to grow in charity, which unites us to Him and makes us holy and happy, both here and hereafter?! Listen to these words of Jesus to Sr. Gertrude Mary:

‘I am a jealous God. The more I love a soul, the more I exact from it; it can never give Me enough; and this comes from My ardent love for it.’

If God asks much of us, it is because He desires to give us much! Never forget this consoling truth! 

Generosity Makes Holiness Sweet and Easy

If we desire simply to love God and bear every Cross for the love of Him, we will advance rapidly in holiness, which will soon become delightful to us.

 “Carefully note these words of the Holy Ghost, My child: ‘They shall walk and not faint; they shall run and not be weary’ (Isaiah 40, 31). They mean that it is easier and less tiresome to run and fly rapidly than to go slowly forward, because in the spiritual life there is nothing more wearisome than slowness and laziness.”

(The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi)

The Greater Our Love, the Greater Our Reward in Heaven 

Almighty God is both just and merciful, ‘Who will render to every man according to his works’ (Rom 2:6). 

 ‘The measure of your love for Me now, while you are on earth, shall be the measure of your love in Heaven.’

(Our Lord to Sr. Gertrude Mary)       

 

Why Holiness Brings Unspeakable Joy to the Soul!

“It is certain that your happiness consists in perfect renunciation of yourself. I will fill you with My grace in the same degree as you empty yourself of your will.”

– The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena

I die daily, says St. Paul (1 Corinthians 15:31).  The death of which he speaks is the death of self-will and self-love. 

Self-will is a form of pride; it elevates our own will above God’s will (which is love, mercy, truth and wisdom itself). By self-will we frustrate (to some extent) God’s almighty plans. We hinder our own happiness. 

Self-love refers to our self-seeking or selfishness, which often taints our actions. A true lover of God seeks God’s glory in all things; she accepts everything as coming from God’s loving Providence, which wills only her sanctification and happiness. Subsequently, the humble soul (one who truly loves God is necessarily humble) bears everything with patience, serernity and love. God is the sole object of her desires.

I die daily. If we are empty of self, God will fill us with Himself. A soul full of selfishness and sinful attachments cannot fully appreciate the joys of union with God, Who is the Source of all joy, all life, all happiness. The saints, who were united intimately with Jesus, experienced His joy as if it were their own. This is a forestaste of Heaven, in which the soul will be united with God like a drop in the ocean.

One day, Mary, the Mother of God, revealed to St. Bridget these beautiful words with which Our Lord addressed a faithful servant of His, upon entering Paradise:  

‘O My friend, you have come to present to Me the vessel of your heart empty of yourself, and you have desired to fill it with Me. Come then and I will fill it with Myself. Be in Me and I shall be in you and your glory and joy will have no end.’

When we seek God above all things, He fills our hearts with peace and joy!

The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena (speaking of perfect souls): ‘Observe that these souls always possess Me in a sensible manner; the more they have rejected pleasures and desired to suffer, the more they have lost sufferings and found joy.’

Jesus said to St. Jane de Chantal: ‘In all this [humiliations, mortifications and rebuffs] My great design is to make them [souls] progress in My love; and if they did this they would infinitely please Me, and I should always be working to please them. My Heart is filled with sweetness and kindness for the souls that love Me and sincerely give themselves to Me; and I give Myself to them with the abundance of My favours; for they are My spouses whom I love tenderly.’ (p. 235)

The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalen of Pazzi: ‘Suppose, My child, a man to possess every imaginable riches and to be the idol of every creature. If he does not possess Me who alone am true peace, his heart will never be at rest, for I alone can fill the heart of man, because I am Who am, and I fill up the void of whatever is not, and I fill it all the more when the void is greater and creatures better realise their nothingness.’

The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena (speaking of those who live by and for God’s will):

‘Even in her mortal life she tastes the delights of immortality, and in spite of her mortal body she becomes as light as spirit… it is a greater miracle for the soul not to leave the body in this union that it is for several dead bodies to be raised to life.’

(This seems to explain why some of the saints levitated during prayer e.g. St. Joseph of Cupertino, St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Padre Pio, St. Gemma Galgani etc.)

I could add many similar revelations, but these few are sufficient.

Pax Christi!