Prayer and Suffering

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“Be apostles, like him [St. Padre Pio, who modelled his life on the Divine Master], of prayer and suffering!”

– Pope St. John Paul II, addressing the “Servants of Suffering,” Dec 2, 2004

“You cannot conceive,” said Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez, “how great is the reparatory value of suffering.” Suffering, you see, nourishes and perfects love, and it is love alone that has any value in God’s eyes; it is love alone that save souls.

Do not think that “suffering” means unpleasantness. Quite the contrary. It may be the case that certain sufferings are unpleasant to bear; but our God is the God of joy. “Joy is the echo of God’s life in us.” (Bl. Dom Columba Marmion) The Cross is necessary to perfect our love, which is the cause of our joy. Here is a simple formula to remember this truth:

  1. Charity (love) unites us to God, the Source of joy.
  2. Suffering nourishes and perfects love, thereby uniting us more intimately to God.
  3. Therefore suffering nourishes and perfects joy.

Bl. Charles de Foucauld, most likely moved by love and humility, sometimes felt guilty that he was the unworthy recipient of such intense joy. He wanted to suffer like and for his Saviour. But, like Bl. Charles, we must remember that joy is a fruit of love; we can no more refuse this gift of God than a flower can refuse its fruit.

‘And not only so; but we glory also in tribulations, knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience trial; and trial hope; And hope confoundeth not: because the charity of God is poured forth in our hearts, by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.’ (Rom. 5:3-5)

If we suffer, let us praise God; if we experience joy, let us praise Him!

***

Joy is still compatible with sorrow; don’t think that our union with God can be measured by feelings:

https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2015/04/22/joy-in-the-spiritual-life-q-a/

***

“Prayer, all prayer,” says Servant of God Fr. John A. Hardon, “is always efficacious. But prayer takes on extraordinary power to win graces, for the one praying and for all mankind, when it is united with patient suffering.”

Next time you suffer or make a sacrifice – be it ever so little – do it for God alone (and by extension, for souls, who are so dear to Him). “God and souls.” (St. Faustina)

Some Powerful Quotes About Prayer and Suffering

“You will save more souls through prayer and suffering than will a missionary through his teachings and sermons alone.” – Jesus to St. Faustina

 “… by it [suffering] many more souls are saved than by the best of sermons.” – Little St. Therese (on the day of her canonization) to Servant of God Teresa Neumann

“It is blindness to avoid pain even in very small things, for not only is it of great worth to ourselves, but it serves to guard many from the torments of Hell.” – Sr. Josefa Menendez

“You know that sin is an infinite offense and needs infinite reparation . . . that is why I ask you to offer up your sufferings and labors in union with the infinite merits of My Heart. You know that My Heart is yours. Take It, therefore, and repair by It.”

– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez

 

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Daily Revelation and Reflection: The Love of God (#6)

The following revelation is theological and spiritual gold; make use of it.

“Ah My daughter, spiritual profit does not consist in penances;

it does not consist in the frequent reception of the Sacraments

or in compunction of heart,

but in persevering unity of the will with My will.

It may indeed occur that a man will go often to Communion and practise mortifications, and yet make little or no progress because he remains attached to his own will;

but if he gives it up so as only to will what God wills, he will infallibly profit.

– Jesus to Bl. Anna Maria Taigi

All the goodness in the world comes from God – from His perfect Will. To entrust ourselves to God at all times – especially when we cannot make sense of things – is to entrust ourselves to an infinitely wise, perfect, strong and loving Father. Such a living faith gives God great glory; it lightens our burden; it attracts an ocean of infinitely precious graces; it attracts souls to God (it is a very powerful form of evangelising); it purifies us of our faults; it strengthens our will; it brings light to the intellect; it gives us true security and joy; it teaches us wisdom… Why would we not trust in God?

People used to flock to St. Padre Pio, asking for his help – and rightly so. But sometimes it seems that we forget a truth of capital importance: we are mere instruments in God’s hands. St. Padre Pio was the first to admit this; he was a “little soul”. “You do not have to thank me,” he would say; “but you have to thank God!”

An Updated Post on Scrupulosity

Dear friends, I have updated an old post on how to overcome scruples/scrupulosity. It is new and improved. The article can be found here:

https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2012/08/28/an-infallible-cure-for-scrupulosity/

Much has been added!

I would also like to say that, for the next month or so, I will be staying in a monastery far from my home, where I will be discerning a vocation to the religious life. Please keep me in your prayers.

 “… St. Antoninus agrees with Gerson in thus reproving the scrupulous soul who, through a vain fear, is not obedient in overcoming his scruples: ‘Beware lest, from overmuch desire to walk securely, thou fall and destroy thyself.’”

– Rev. J. B. Scaramelli, S.J.

 “Scruples are like tight shoes. You can’t walk in them. Despise them.”

– St. Padre Pio

A Prayer EVERY Christian Should Know and Love…

(Every person, actually – we are all impoverished without prayer – but we’ll let that pass for now.)

This prayer has been called “a priceless treasure inspired by God” (St. Louis de Montfort), “the storehouse of countless blessings,” (Bl. Alan de la Roche), “the greatest method of praying” (St. Francis de Sales), “the most efficacious means of attaining eternal life… the remedy for all our evils…” (Pope Leo XIII); for centuries it has been the source of countless miracles; St. Padre Pio held it very dear, and it was never far from his lips or his thoughts; by it, Bl. John Massias released thousands upon thousands of souls in Purgatory; for the saints it was a powerful weapon to convert even the most hardened and despairing sinners; it is a perpetual source of light to the blind, strength to the weak, hope to the despairing, and joy to the sorrowful; and in recent times, Mary, the Theotokos herself, has encouraged us to pray this prayer EVERY DAY.

What is this powerful prayer, of which the Saints speak with so much respect, love and admiration? My friends, it is none other than the Holy Rosary!

Greatly detested by the Serpent, but loved by all the Elect, the Rosary is a compendium of the Gospel: it is a meditation on the mysteries of Our Saviour’s life, death and resurrection. In a word, it is a meditation on Divine Love: ‘and in my meditation a fire shall flame out.’ (Ps. 39:3).

Properly said – i.e. attentively, reverently, confidently and humbly [thus forming the unintentional acronym ARCH] – the Rosary is extremely pleasing to Our Lord and Our Lady.

The arguments in favour of praying the daily Rosary (i.e. at least 5 decades) are innumerable. For those of you who have doubts about the orthodoxy or efficacy of the Rosary, you might consider asking Our Lord for light (as we all must), then make a resolution – perhaps for one month – to pray and reflect daily upon the following words of Scripture:

‘Hail [Mary], full of grace, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.’ (Lk. 1:28)
‘Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb [Jesus].’ (Lk. 1:42)

Surely no harm can come from this practice. In fact, nothing but good will come from this. Our Lord encouraged St. Francis of Assisi to seek perfection under the guidance of Mary. Should we not do the same? Can we possibly be led astray by one who seeks only to unite us to her Son, saying: ‘Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye’? (Jn. 2:5) Can we possibly be led astray if we follow the same path that the Saints (who are now in Heaven) have always taken?

One day St. Francis of Assisi had a vision in which his fellow religious were trying to reach Jesus by a very steep, red ladder; but after ascending a few of its rungs, they would lose their ground. Our Lord then revealed to Francis a different ladder; this ladder was white, it was much less steep than the previous ladder, and at the summit was the Blessed Virgin Mary. Jesus then said to Francis: “Advise your sons to go by the ladder of My Mother.”

As Mary’s spiritual children we ought to love her, to trust in her, and seek to please her. She has an ardent desire to help us! She is more than able to help us! We need her help!

We are truly Mary’s children, and as her children, we require nourishment. And with what, we might ask, does Our Lady nourish us? With the fruit of her womb: with Jesus!

‘I am the mother of fair love… Come over to me, all ye that desire me, and be filled with my fruits.’ (Ecclus. 24:24, 26)

To illustrate this point, we have a story from the life of Bl. Benvenuta Bojani. One day while she was praying in church, “she beheld a poor child of exquisite beauty, and, calling him to her, she inquired if he could say the Hail Mary.”
“Can you say it?” asked the child.
Benvenuta immediately began to recite it; and, when she came to the words: “Blessed is the fruit of thy womb,” the Child said: “And I am He,” and then disappeared.” (Words taken from ‘Dominican Saints’)

A similar event occurred in the life of St. Crescentia (one of my favourite Saints!). One day as she was praying thus: “Praised and blessed be thy noble treasure, Mary, which thou didst receive from the Holy Ghost! and praised be the blessed Fruit of thy womb,” Our Lady appeared to her with the Divine Child, saying: “This is the blessed Fruit of my womb.”

We must not think that honour given to Our Lady detracts from God’s glory. On the contrary, we love Mary because God loved her first; we honour her because He honoured her first; we ask for her prayers because He gave her to us to be our mother; and what mother is not eager to help her children? Can anyone truly doubt that Mary loves us as her most dear children, when we even find the prophet David dedicating himself to Mary as her son, despite the fact that she had not yet been born? ‘Save the son of thy handmaid,’ he said. (Ps. 86:16) “Whose handmaid? She who says: Behold the handmaid of the Lord.” (St. Augustine)

“My mother Mary,” said Our Lord to St. Bridget, “on account of her compassion and charity, was made mother of all in heaven and on earth.” “I have become mother of all of you,” said Our Lady to St. Gertrude, “in the womb of my charity, and you have become my children, the brethren of Jesus.” (cf. Luke 2:7).

Now, Almighty God has commanded us to honour our parents. ‘Honour thy father and thy mother.’ (Eph. 6:2) Nothing could be clearer. Well, if Mary is our mother, then we have the duty to honour her and to obey her as we would our biological mother.

With this in mind, let us all take seriously the words of Our Lady in some of her recent apparitions, which simply confirm the constant teaching of the Church and her Saints. Here are some of her words to us, her dear children:

1. “I am the Lady of the Rosary. Continue always to pray the Rosary every day.” – Our Lady of Fatima (in Portugal), October 13, 1917

2. “Pray and do penance. Pray the Rosary frequently. It is the only powerful weapon to attract the blessings from Heaven.” – Our Lady to Servant of God, Edvige Carboni (of Italy), March 1942

3. “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.” – Our Lady to Bl. Elena Aiello (d. 1961)

4. “Each day, recite the prayers of the Rosary… Pray the Rosary often.” – Our Lady of Akita (in Japan), October 13, 1973

5. “Pray the Rosary. Meditate on the mysteries. Listen to the Word of God spoken in them.” – Our Lady of Cuapa (in Nicaragua), 1980

+ “My daughter, do not be afraid of me. I am your loving Mother whom you praise so faithfully every day. Be steadfast and persevere; I want you to know that the Angelic Salutation gives me so much joy that no man could ever really explain it.” – Our Lady to a member of the Confraternity of the Rosary

+ “Never has any man composed anything more beautiful than the Hail Mary. No salutation could be dearer to my heart than those beautiful and dignified words that God the Father addressed to me Himself.” – Our Lady to St. Gertrude

Some final words:

“Mary has recommended the Rosary at Lourdes and Fatima because of its exceptional value for us and our times.” – St. Padre Pio
“The power of the rosary is beyond description.” – Ven. Archbishop Fulton Sheen

“NOBODY WHO PERSEVERES IN THE ROSARY WILL BE DAMNED, BECAUSE SHE (MARY) OBTAINS FOR HER SERVANTS THE GRACE OF TRUE CONTRITION FOR THEIR SINS AND BY MEANS OF THIS THEY OBTAIN GOD’S FORGIVENESS AND MERCY.” – A revelation to St. Dominic

The Eucharist (part 2): The Eucharist in the Lives of 101 Mystics!

“Holy Communion is the kiss Jesus has for His child; it is His morning kiss. The purer the soul, the better the kiss is imprinted upon her.” – Jesus to Sr. Gertrude Mary

This article will take a look at the Eucharist in relation to Catholic mystics – many of whom were Saints – as they often had profound experiences of Our Eucharistic Lord, and their lives were (and are) a powerful testimony to the Real Presence.

Below is a list (which is by no means exhaustive) of Saints (St.), Blesseds (Bl.), Venerables (Ven.), Servants of God, and other mystics who have had what can be called “mystical” experiences involving the Adorable Eucharist. One mystical experience has been listed for each individual (such as a revelation, a vision etc.).

The list consists of 56 canonized Saints, 20 Blesseds, 3 Venerables, 8 Servants of God, and 14 other Mystics, some of whom might be Servants of God or otherwise; though I cannot say with certainty. That makes for a total of 101 mystics (the number is unintentional).

Before reading further, a prayer (taken from a prayer attributed to Pope Clement XI):

Lord, enlighten my understanding,
Strengthen my will,
Purify my heart,
and make me holy.

Saints:

1. St. Secondo (d. 119): Before dying, he received Communion from a dove.

2. St. Basil (d. 379): He witnessed angels in the form of humans, adoring Our Lord at Mass. (St. Basil is related to St. Macrina the Elder, St. Macrina, St. Basil the Elder, St. Basil, St. Emmelia, St. Gregory of Nyssa, St. Peter of Sebaste and St. Theosebia!)

3. St. John Chrysostom (d. 407): He also witnessed angels in the form of humans, adoring Our Lord at Mass.

4. St. Jerome (d. 420): As death approached, he confessed his sins and received the Eucharist with great fervour. After throwing himself on the ground, singing “Nunc dimittis servum tuum” (“Now lettest thy servant depart” – Luke 2:29–32), an ethereal light flooded the room. Some saw a number of angels; others heard a voice, which promised Jerome the eternal reward prepared for him in Heaven. He then uttered his final words: “Behold, I come to thee, merciful Jesus! Receive me whom Thou hast redeemed with Thy Precious Blood.”

5. St. Ita (d. 570): On one occasion she prayed that she might receive the Holy Eucharist from a worthy priest. She was then transported miraculously by an angel to a certain location in which a holy priest gave her the Sacred Host.

6. St. Gregory the Great, Pope (d. 604): One day, while he was distributing Holy Communion, he witnessed a woman laughing. He questioned her as to why she was acting so inappropriately, and she confessed that she could not possibly believe that the bread she brought to be consecrated (an ancient practice) could become the Body and Blood of Our Lord. After praying to Almighty God that the woman might be illuminated, St. Gregory observed that part of the “bread” became Flesh and Blood. The woman, who had now fallen to her knees, began to cry tears of repentance.

7. St. Egidio (d. c. 710): During Mass, an angel appeared to him. The angel was holding a book in which was written the sin of a man who wished at that time to be absolved of his sins. His wish was fulfilled by virtue of the Eucharistic sacrifice.

8. St. Ignatius, Patriarch of Constantinople (d. 877): “How amazed were all who were hearing his Mass to see the bread glowing with celestial effulgence, a sure sign of the presence and operation of the Holy Ghost! For the Holy Ghost is a burning fire, and as such He appeared to the disciples on the day of Pentecost, to indicate that He is the ardent charity that unites the Father and the Son.” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

9. St. Conrad, Bishop of Constance (d. 975): “During the night preceding the day appointed for the ceremony [to consecrate the Chapel of St. Meinrad], Conrad, going into the church to pray, heard the voices of the angelic choirs chanting the antiphons and responsories of the ritual for the dedication of churches… he beheld Christ the Lord in person, clad in sacerdotal vestments, attended by multitudes of saints and angels, performing the ceremony of dedicating the chapel… he heard and saw distinctly all that went on, and observed that Christ made use of exactly the same formulas and ceremonies which are appointed to be employed by bishops in the consecration of a church, while some of the saints acted as acolytes. The blessed Mother of God, in whose honor the altar and the chapel were consecrated, appeared above the altar… The dedication ended, Our Lord Himself offered the holy sacrifice… The next morning the clergy and people assembled, awaiting the commencement of the ceremony. But the bishop declared he could not dedicate the church, as this had already been done by the denizens of heaven. As, however, every one thought he was laboring under a delusion, he was compelled to begin to perform the ceremony, when he was arrested by a voice from on high, which said three times, in the hearing of all present: ‘Cease, brother, the chapel has been divinely consecrated!’ Thereupon St. Conrad desisted from his purpose, and sent a report of the miraculous occurrence to Rome.” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

10. St. Oswald, Bishop (d. 992): “… an Angel would assist him at Mass, and make all the necessary answers.” (Fr. Mueller)

11. St. Isidore the Farmer (d. 1130): “… every morning he heard Mass in more than one church, and spent some hours in prayer. His piety was so pleasing to God that an angel was sent to help him in his work on the farm lest anything should suffer through his absence.” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

12. St. Bernard of Clairvaux (d. 1153): He exorcised a possessed woman with the Blessed Sacrament.

13. St. Hildegard von Bingen (d. 1179): “On one occasion when the priest, vested, went up to the altar I saw a brilliant light, coming from heaven, irradiate the whole altar. This light was not withdrawn until the celebrant left the sanctuary at the conclusion of the Mass. I noticed that when the priest got to the Sanctus and began the canon a flame of extraordinary brightness shot down from above upon the bread and wine, illuminating them with its light as the rays of the sun make glass to shine. Upon this stream of light the sacred elements rose to Heaven, and when they descended they were transformed into true flesh and blood, though to the eye of man they yet appeared to be bread and wine. As I gazed upon this Flesh and Blood I saw the signs of the incarnation, the birth, the passion, of Our Saviour reflected in them as in a mirror, and just as we know these events to have been accomplished when the Son of God was on earth.” (St. Hildegard; cf. Leviticus 9:23–24; 2 Chronicles 7:3)

14. St. Anthony of Padua (d. 1231): “… St. Anthony of Padua once proved to an unbeliever the Real Presence by showing him a hungry mule kneeling before a monstrance containing the Blessed Sacrament, in preference to devouring the basket of oats placed beside the monstrance.” (Fr. Stephano Manelli, ‘The Most Blessed Sacrament’)

15. St. Lutgarde of Aywieres (d. 1246): She lived on nothing but bread and weak beer (the usual drink at her convent, perhaps due to poor water quality) for the period of three seven–year fasts – two of which were instigated by Jesus.

16. St. Juliana of Cornillon (d. 1260): “At the age of 16, she had a vision of the Church under the full moon with a dark spot on it. She was given to understand that the spot signified the absence of a special feast in honour of the Blessed Sacrament.
In a later vision, Our Lord explained that he desired a separate feast in honour of the Eucharist, since at that time the only celebration was on Holy Thursday, when the Church considered more his sufferings. He told her he wanted the feast for three reasons: to confirm people’s faith in the Real Presence, to strengthen them in virtue by their love and adoration for the Eucharist, and to make reparation for the lack of respect shown to the Blessed Sacrament.” (Fr. Flader)

17. St. Bonaventure (d. 1274): He received Communion from the hand of an angel.

18. St. Thomas Aquinas (d. 1274): “The university referred to him a question on which the older theologians were themselves divided, namely, whether, in the Sacrament of the altar, the accidents remained in reality in the consecrated Host, or only in appearance. After much fervent prayer, Thomas wrote his answer in the form of a treatise, still preserved, and laid it on the altar before offering it to the public. His decision was accepted by the university and afterwards by the whole Church. On this occasion we first hear of his receiving the Lord’s approval of what he had written. Appearing in a vision, the Saviour said to him, ‘Thou hast written well of the Sacrament of My body,’ whereupon, it is reported, Thomas passed into an ecstasy and remained so long raised in the air that there was time to summon many of the brothers to behold the spectacle.” (‘Lives of Saints,’ Published by John J. Crawley & Co., Inc.)

19. St. Mechtilde (d. 1298): “To everyone who attends Mass with zeal and devoutness, I will send at his last hour as many noble personages from among My saints to console and defend his soul and make an honourable escort for it, as he has heard Masses on earth.” (Jesus to St. Mechtilde)

20. St. Gertrude the Great (d. 1302): “In order to console St. Gertrude, who was sighing for Heaven, Our Lord pointed out to her that, while she was awaiting her deliverance, He lavished embraces and kisses upon her. ‘What then can you find in me, vile offscouring of the world (1 Cor. 4:13),’ asked the saint, ‘that You speak of kisses and caresses?’ The Lord replied: ‘I mean by that, that Communion of Myself which I so often make to you in the Sacrament of the Altar. It has for Me more charms than men find in all the embraces and all the kisses in the world. For the pleasure which they find in these passes very quickly, whereas the charm to be found in the union that is consummated between us in Communion does not pass away and never grows weaker. The oftener it is renewed, the stronger and more efficacious it is.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

21. St. Clare Montefalco (d. 1308): “… one day Clare came up to Holy Communion without her mantle. Sister Giovanna rebuked her harshly, saying to her, ‘Go away – I don’t want you to receive Holy Communion.’ Hearing these words, Clare realized that she was without her mantle and felt such bitter regret that after she returned to her cell, she wept bitterly. And while she was praying, amid her tears, Christ appeared to her, and embracing her, gave her Holy Communion, leaving her deeply consoled.” (Words of her biographer, quoted in ‘Mysteries, Marvels, Miracles’ by Joan Carroll Cruz)

22. St. Agnes Segni (d. 1317): She received Communion from an angel on a number of occasions.

23. St. Juliana Falconieri (d. 1341): Before her death, she asked that the Blessed Sacrament be placed on her chest (near her heart). As she began to pray, the Sacred Host disappeared and left a violet–coloured mark on her chest.

24. St. Bridget of Sweden (d. 1373): “When St. Bridget was hearing Mass one day in a private chapel, the Lord said to her: ‘Although few people assist at this Mass, nevertheless all Heaven rejoices thereat and all the souls in Purgatory find some relief therein.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

25. St. Catherine of Siena (d. 1380): As she beheld the Sacred Host in the hands of a priest, she no longer saw the Eucharistic accidents but the Infant Jesus.

26. St. Lydwine of Schiedam (d. 1433): A priest, in order to test St. Lydwine (who had many mystical gifts), gave her an unconsecrated host, but she immediately perceived that it was merely bread. “Your Reverence will please give me another host,” she said, “for that which you hold in your hand is not Jesus Christ.”

27. St. Frances of Rome (d. 1440): She beheld a magnificent light radiating from the Monstrance in which the Blessed Sacrament was reserved.

28. St. Colette (d. 1447): “Look upon this body of flesh, in which I hung upon the cross, in which I suffered for mankind. Look upon My wounds, look upon the blood that I shed, consider My sufferings. Consider My death. All this I endured to save sinners. Now, if Thou dost consign them to perdition on account of their iniquities, and deliver them over to the devil, what compensation shall I have for My bitter passion, for My cruel death? The reprobate sinners will render Me no thanks; on the contrary, they will curse Me to all eternity. But if they were saved they would praise and magnify Me forever in gratitude for My sufferings.” (Words of Our Lord to the Eternal Father, revealed to St. Colette in a vision during Holy Mass)

29. St. Rita of Cascia (d. 1456): For the last four years of her life, she subsisted almost entirely on the Eucharist.

30. St. John of San Facundo (d. 1479): “He was… so slow in celebrating [Mass] that the server used to go away and leave him at the altar, and at last no one could be got to serve his Mass. The saint then went to the prior, and entreated him to order the brothers to do so. But the prior spoke sharply to him, saying, ‘Why do you give the brothers so much trouble by being so long over your Mass? I shall rather enjoin upon you henceforth to say Mass like other priests.’ John did as he was commanded, but obedience cost him so much that he went again to the prior, and, throwing himself at his feet, begged him to withdraw his command. The prior would not consent to do this until John had confided to him, in confession, the reasons which made it impossible for him to say Mass more quickly. Having heard them, he no longer hesitated to tell the brothers that they must serve Father John’s Mass, even though their patience was somewhat taxed. Furthermore, the prior, having obtained permission from the saint, communicated his secret to another father, to whom he said: ‘You may believe me when I say that the reason why our Father John says Mass so slowly is because God reveals to him the profound mysteries that are accomplished in the Mass – mysteries so sublime that no human intelligence is capable of grasping them. The secrets he disclosed to me concerning them were of so tremendous a nature that I was overwhelmed with awe, and almost swooned. It is certain that Christ frequently manifests Himself visibly to this father, speaking with him as one speaks to a friend, and showing him His five sacred wounds, whence proceeds a light of exceeding brightness, which, shed upon the saint, quickens both body and soul, so that he experiences no need of earthly nourishment. He also beholds the body of Christ shining like the sun at noonday, and perceives its infinite beauty and glory. Such are the lofty and divine things he is privileged to know, mysteries which it is not given to man to fathom, much less to utter. Since I have thus been made aware of the immense benefits accruing to mankind by the celebrating or assisting at Mass I have made a firm resolution never to omit saying or hearing Mass, and to do my utmost to induce others to do the same.’” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

31. St. Nicholas von Flue (d. 1487): He lived on the Eucharist alone for 20yrs, until his death.

32. St. Columba of Rieti (d. 1501): She fell into great weaknesses when she did not receive the Eucharist, as if to indicate her total dependence on Jesus Christ, the Life of her soul.

33. St. Catherine of Genoa (d. 1510): Throughout Advent and Lent, she lived on the Eucharist alone.

34. St. Peter of Alacantara (d. 1562): He was a confidante of the great St. Teresa of Avila. It was quite common for him to eat only once every three days. Furthermore, he sometimes went a week without food, drawing, as it were, all his strength from the Holy Eucharist. Subsequently, he had little need for sleep; he slept for about one and a half hours every night for forty years.

35. St. Stanislaus Kostka (d. 1568): “… St. Stanislaus Kostka was sick in the house of a Protestant relative, and debarred of every opportunity of receiving his beloved Lord; he made his appeal to the Queen of heaven, and obtained, through her intercession, the grace to receive the Blessed Sacrament at [/from] the hands of St. Barbara.” (Fr. Mueller)

36. St. Francis Borgia (d. 1572): “… on entering a church, he always walked straight to the spot where the Blessed Sacrament was kept, even when no external sign indicated its presence.” (Fr. Mueller)

37. St. Teresa of Avila (d. 1582): “[St. Teresa] saw Our Lord Jesus Christ, present in the Host so distinctly with the eyes of her spirit, that she said she did not begrudge the happy lot of the Blessed who behold the Lord face to face in Heaven.” (Pope Gregory XV)

38. St. Felix of Cantalice (d. 1587): Angels took his place working in the fields when he attended Mass.

39. St. Germaine Cousin (d. 1589): She was once prevented from attending Mass, due to heavy rain that had made a particular stream too violent to cross. But this did not stop her. She prayed, making the sign of the Cross, and the stream parted, thus allowing her to attend Mass. The same miracle was repeated on her way home.

40. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi (d. 1607): “Scrupulous people for the smallest peccadillo deprive themselves of the Body and Blood of My Word; and, imagining they are avoiding an evil, they lose an infinite good.” (The Eternal Father to St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi)

41. St. Rose of Lima (d. 1617): “… on the mornings when she went to Communion she could often barely manage to get to church, and nearly fainted on her way to the altar. It was this state of exhaustion that became a public proof of the marvellous effect experienced by her pure soul from the Holy Eucharist, for her friends and the general congregation in the churches where she communicated were many times witnesses of the entire change wrought in her by the Bread of Life. After receiving it, the weak, half-fainting girl, who had perhaps been helped to the altar by her mother or a fellow Tertiary, would rise and walk back to her place with firm, brisk tread and glowing face in every way a new creature. Sometimes, even, rays seemed to come from her countenance, so as to inspire positive awe in the priest as he communicated her; and she acknowledged, to those of her confessors at different times who obliged her to tell them, that the inward effect of the Blessed Sacrament on her was not only a spiritual joy and a kind of transportation into God, absolutely impossible to express, but a bodily satiety and vigour which made her walk home after Communion, and remain for many hours, just as if she had not fasted at all.” (F. M. Capes, ‘St. Rose of Lima: The Flower of the New World’)

42. St. Joseph of Cupertino (d. 1663): “He told [/prophesied to] his companions that the first day on which he failed to receive Communion would be the day on which he would die. And so it came about.” (Fr. Albian Goodier, ‘Saints for Sinners’)

43. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (d. 1690): “I ardently thirst for men to honour Me in the Blessed Sacrament, and I can find hardly anyone willing to make an effort to make Me some return by refreshing Me as I desire.” (Jesus to St. Margaret Mary)

44. St. Veronica Giuliani (d. 1727): “St. Veronica Giuliani experienced a violent thirst for Holy Communion. Then the Lord said to her: ‘You seek Me in Heaven and I am here with you wholly united to you, you desire to receive Me in order to unite yourself with Me, and for My part I am wholly desirous that you should be united with Me.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

45. St. Thomas of Cori (d. 1729): On a number of occasions, during Mass, he had apparitions of the Child Jesus.

46. St. Lucia Filippini (d. 1732): In response to her ardent desire to receive the Adorable Eucharist, Our Lord ordained that a fragment of the Host would leave the Priest’s hands one day during Mass, and fly to the saint, where It rested on her tongue.

47. St. Benedict Joseph Labre (d. 1738): After receiving Holy Communion, he was known to levitate. (With regard to levitation, the Eternal Father, speaking of very holy souls, revealed this to St. Catherine of Siena: “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.”)

48. St. Crescentia Hoess (d. 1744): “… she was obliged, in attending to her work, frequently to pass by the Blessed Sacrament, without being able to tarry. She could only, as she passed, frequently direct this ejaculation to her Redeemer: ‘My God, for love of Thee, and in obedience!’ When she passed the altar for the last time, she noticed several flames hovering above it; she was confounded, and asked the Lord what it meant. The Lord answered: ‘These are the aspirations of love you sent up to Me when passing.’” (Fr. Ignatius Jeiler, ‘Life of the Ven. Mary Crescentia Hoss’)

49. St. Gerard Majella (d. 1755): Inflamed with love for Our Lord, little Gerard, aged 8, longed to receive Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Unable to do so, due to the custom that prevailed at the time, he was greatly afflicted. But God heard his loving lamentations and sent St. Michael the Archangel to him with the Holy Eucharist, which the angel placed on his tongue, to Gerard’s astonishment and delight.

50. St. Alphonsus Liguori (d. 1787): “Once, on Good Friday, being unable to receive Holy Communion, his affliction was so great that a violent fever came on him; his life was even in danger. The doctor came and bled him, but there was no improvement until the next day, when the saint learned that he could again receive his Saviour. On receiving these joyful tidings, the fever immediately left him.” (Fr. Mueller)

51. St. Maria Francesco of the Five Wounds (d. 1791): She received Holy Communion from her guardian angel on several occasions.

52. St. Anthony Mary Claret (d. 1870): Our Lord truly abided in Him; he retained the Eucharist in his breast.

53. St. John Bosco (d. 1888): In a dream/vision, he saw – amongst other things – the Holy Eucharist, beneath which appeared the words: “Salvation of believers.”

54. St. Gemma Galgani (d. 1903): She ate nothing, save for the Blessed Sacrament, between the period of June, 1902, and her death on April 11, 1903.

55. St. Faustina (d. 1938): “Oh, how painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion. I wait for souls, and they are indifferent toward Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely, and they distrust Me. I want to lavish My graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat Me as a dead object, whereas My Heart is full of love and mercy.” (Jesus to St. Faustina).

56. St. Padre Pio (d. 1968): St. Padre often experienced ecstasies and visions during Holy Mass. “With what care,” he said, “she [Our Lady] accompanied me to the altar this morning! It seemed to me as though she had nothing to think about other than me filling my heart completely with saintly affections. I felt a mysterious fire from my heart which I couldn’t understand. I felt the need to put ice on it to extinguish this fire which was consuming me! I should like to have a voice strong enough to invite the sinners of the whole world to love our Lady!”

Blesseds:

57. Bl. Alpais (d. 1211): She was a poor peasant girl who was nourished by the Eucharist alone for 10 years.

58. Bl. Mary of Oignies (d. 1213): “On one occasion she went for as long as thirty–five days without any sort of food, passing all the time in a tranquil and happy silence… She would say nothing for many days but “Give me the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ,” and as soon as her request was granted she returned to her former silent converse with her Saviour… At length, after five weeks, returning to herself… she began to speak and take food.” (Cardinal Jacques de Vitry, quoted in ‘Mysteries, Marvels, Miracles in the Lives of the Saints’ by Joan Carroll Cruz)

59. Bl. James of Montieri (d. 1289): Jesus Himself brought him the Holy Eucharist on a number of occasions.

60. Bl. Angela of Foligno (d. 1309): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12 years.

61. Bl. Emilia Bicchieri (d. 1314): One day, while she was busy looking after a fellow sister in religion, she accidentally missed the majority of the Mass. She arrived after Holy Communion and was very upset at being deprived of this precious Gift. In His immense kindness, Almighty God allowed her to receive the Holy Eucharist from an angel.

62. Bl. Imelda Lambertini (d. 1333): From a young age, Imelda had a great desire to receive Our Lord in Holy Communion, but she was all too aware that, due to the custom at the time, she could not do so until she was 14 years old. “Tell me,” she said; “can anyone receive Jesus into his heart and not die?” These words were to be prophetic.
On May 12, 1333, Imelda, aged 11, approached the priest for Holy Communion, hoping that she might receive the Love of her heart. The priest ignored her until he saw a Host, radiant with light, ascend into the air and stop right in front of Imelda. Taking this a sign from God, the priest gave her Holy Communion, after which she experienced a state of ecstasy so profound that she died of joy. Her body, like that of so many other Saints, remains incorrupt to this day.

63. Bl. Henry Suso (d. 1366): “The Blessed Henry Suso made an agreement with one of his brethren in religion that as soon as one of them died the survivor should say two Masses every week, for one year, for the repose of his soul. It came to pass that the religious with whom Henry had made this contract died first. Henry prayed every day for his deliverance from purgatory, but forgot to say the Masses which he had promised. The deceased appeared to him with a sad countenance, and sharply rebuked him for his unfaithfulness to his engagement. Henry excused himself by saying that he had often prayed for him with great fervor, and had even offered up penitential works for him. ‘O, my brother,’ exclaimed the soul, ‘blood, blood is necessary to give me some relief and refreshment in my excruciating torments. Thy penitential works, severe as they are, cannot deliver me. There is nothing that can do this but the Blood of Jesus Christ, which is offered up in the sacrifice of the Mass. Masses, Masses, these are what I need.’” (Ven. Martin von Cochem)

64. Bl. Elizabeth the Good (d. 1420): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 3 years.

65. Bl. Alan de la Roche (d. 1475): “After the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, there is nothing in the Church that I love as much as the Rosary.” (Our Lady to Bl. Alan de la Roche)

66. Bl. Catherine of Racconigi (d. 1547): She was a stigmatist who lived on the Eucharist alone for 10yrs.

67. Bl. Mary Anne De Paredes (d. 1645): She was known to have scarcely taken an ounce of bread every 8 – 10 days. Her only food intake was Holy Communion each morning.

68. Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich (d. 1824): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12yrs.

69. Bl. Elizabeth Canori Mora (d. 1825): “In her humility she dreaded to present herself at this august banquet; but Our Lord called her and gave her with His own Hands the Divine Eucharist.” (Lady Herbert, ‘Life of the venerable Elizabeth Canori Mora’)

70. Bl. Anna Maria Taigi (d. 1837): She often went into ecstasy after Communion. One day Our Lord said to her: “It may indeed occur that a man will go often to Communion and practise mortifications, and yet make little or no progress because he remains attached to his own will; but if he gives it up so as only to will what God wills, he will infallibly profit.”

71. Bl. Mary of the Divine Heart (d. 1899): After receiving Holy Communion, Our Lord said to her: “The Holy Sacrament is the life of your life. I give Myself to you every day with My Body and Blood, while awaiting the hour of your death when I shall give Myself to you with the abundance of My love for all eternity.”

72. Bl. Mary of the Passion (d. 1912): Like St. Benedict and others, she levitated after receiving Holy Communion.

73. Bl. Dina Belanger (d. 1929): “My Heart overflows with graces for souls. Lead them to my Eucharist Heart.” (Jesus to Bl. Dina)

74. Bl. Mother Maria Pierina de Micheli (d. 1945): “All who shall wear a Scapular like this and make, if possible, a visit to the Blessed Sacrament every Tuesday in reparation for the outrages that the Holy Face of my Son Jesus received during His Passion and is still receiving in the Holy Eucharist every day, will be strengthened in the Faith, and will be made ready to defend it, will overcome all difficulties, internal and external, and they will have a peaceful death under the loving gaze of my Divine Son.” (Our Lady to Bl. Mother Maria Pierina)

75. Bl. Alexandrina da Costa (d. 1955): Alexandrina, who lived on the Eucharist alone for 3 years, and who experienced the stigmata, was told by Our Lord: “You are living by the Eucharist alone because I want to prove to the world the power of the Eucharist and the power of my life in souls.”

76. Bl. Elena Aiello (d. 1961): “The dictators of the earth, specimens infernal, will demolish the churches and desecrate the Holy Eucharist, and will destroy things most dear.” (Our Lady to Bl. Elena)

Venerables:

77. Ven. Margaret of the Blessed Sacrament (d. 1648): “[She] was one day suffering great pain. Her sisters, wishing to ascertain whether she would really find relief in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, to which she had a singular devotion, carried her at first to various places in which the Holy Eucharist was not kept, and exhorted her to pray to Jesus Christ; but she answered in a plaintive voice: ‘I do not find my Saviour here,’ and addressing herself to Him, she said: ‘My Lord, I do not find here Thy Divine Truth,’ after which she besought her sisters to carry her into the presence of the Blessed Sacrament.” (Fr. Mueller)

78. Ven. Mary of Agreda (d. 1665): “The devout will [in Heaven] bear on their breast, where they have so often harbored the Holy Eucharist, most beautiful and resplendent inscriptions, showing that they were most worthy tabernacles of the Holy Sacrament.” (Our Lady to Ven. Mary of Agreda)

79. Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida (d. 1937): “I want souls who are dedicated with fervour, with determination and without looking for rest, to plead day and night [before the Blessed Sacrament] for my priests.” (Jesus to Venerable Concepcion Cabrera de Armida)

Servants of God:

80. Servant of God, Domenica Lazerri (d. 1848): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12 yrs.

81. Servant of God, Anne-Louise Lateau (d. 1883): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 12 yrs.

82. Servant of God, Fr. Paul of Moll (d. 1896): “When I distribute Holy Communion, it is the Infant Jesus in person that I see in the Host.” (Fr. Paul of Moll)

83. Servant of God, Sr. Josefa Menendez (d. 1923): “The Holy Eucharist is the invention of Love, but how few souls correspond to that love which spends and consumes itself for them!” (Our Lord to Sr. Josefa)

84. Servant of God, Sr. Benigna Consolata Ferrero (d. 1916): “My most tender, most sweet and most lovable Spouse Jesus, Lily of the valleys, Brightness of Eternal Light, Mirror without spot, Thou, the God of infinite sanctity within me? O my God, God of my heart, Heart of my God, how annihilated I feel before Thee who art the All, yet how I trust in Thy tender Goodness!” (An excerpt from ‘A Prayer of Thanksgiving After Holy Communion’ dictated by Our Lord to Sr. Benigna)

85. Servant of God, Edvige Carboni (d. 1952): She received Holy Communion from Our Lord Himself, as well as from several Saints, including St. John Bosco and his humble student, St. Dominic Savio.

86. Servant of God, Teresa Neumann (Servant of God, d. 1962): She received Holy Communion from Jesus.

87. Servant of God, Marthe Robin (d. 1981): She lived on the Eucharist alone for 53yrs. She was instrumental in founding the ‘Foyers of Charity,’ which are spread throughout the world.

Other Mystics:

88. Esprite of Jesus (d. 1658): “Am I not greater than all My gifts? And when you receive Me in the holy Eucharist, do you not receive all good things?” (Jesus to Esprite of Jesus)

89. Mother Jeanne Deleloë (d. 1660): “What more can you desire than to have within you the true source of all good, My Divine Heart?” (Jesus to Mother Deleloë)

90. Mother Anne Margaret Clement (d. 1661): After receiving Communion, Our Lord said to her: “This [your soul] is My second Nazareth, this is My pleasure–garden which I shall make fertile, for I wish to make of you My dwelling–place of delight.”

91. Madeleine Vigneron (d. 1667): “When I was in church praying before the Blessed Sacrament, Our Lord made known to me that he finds our rejection of His graces unendurable, as He is in the Blessed Sacrament solely to bestow them. When He finds no one on whom to pour out His love this love becomes like a hidden fire which would utterly consume Him if this were possible, and which would cause Him far greater sufferings than His Father sent Him on the Cross.’ (Madeleine Vigneron)

92. Mother Frances of the Mother of God (d. 1671): “Since I delivered Myself up to the Jews to be tormented, wonder not that I should choose to deliver Myself up to you to be loved.” (Jesus to Frances of the Mother of God)

93. Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos (d. 1692): “At every Communion that thou hast received, for fifteen years, My merciful grace has granted to thy prayers the conversion of a heretic, especially of the most obstinate.” (Jesus to Sr. Jeanne Benigne)

94. Mary Josepha Kumi (d. 1817): “Our Lord entrusted Mary Josepha Kumi with this message for two people: ‘Tell them to prepare more fervently for Holy Communion.’” (Rev. Auguste Saudreau)

95. Sr. Mary of St. Peter (d. 1848): “May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most incomprehensible and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified, in Heaven, on earth, and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar. Amen.” (The ‘Golden Arrow’ prayer – a prayer of reparation – dictated by Jesus to Sr. Mary of St. Peter)

96. Maria Von Morl (d. 1868): She had mystical knowledge of the presence of Our Lord in the Holy Eucharist; she knew when her divine Spouse was nearby.

97. Mother Marie Dominique Claire Moes (d. 1895): After receiving the Adorable Eucharist, Jesus said to her: “My beloved daughter, learn of Me that I am meek and humble of heart. If you would become like to My Heart, you must try to fulfil the meaning of those words. Be very humble and you will be very obedient; be very meek and you will be all love. If you are all love, this will make you ready for sacrifice; nothing will be too costly for you; everything will seem to you sweet and easy; you will make the biggest sacrifices with the greatest alacrity. Love produces this effect: that the soul no longer considers anything a sacrifice, because all difficulties and all fatigues are sweetened by the joy she finds in them.”

98. Little Nellie of Holy God (d. 1908): She was only a small child, yet she had a great thirst for the Holy Eucharist, and she sensed the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

99. Sr. Gertrude Mary (d. 1909): On one particular occasion, as she was sighing with love for the Holy Eucharist, Jesus said to her: “I desire for you with a still greater desire at the moment of Communion. There are special graces attached to the Sacrament of My love. It is the moment for a new and most abundant outpouring of grace into your soul.”

100. Rosalie Put (d. 1919): Although she was bedridden for 25 years, and therefore unable to attend Holy Mass, she was brought the Holy Eucharist every night by an Archangel.

101. Fr. John Edward Lamy (d. 1931): “I generally see the Sacred Species surrounded with light. You feel a sweetness, a gentleness out of the ordinary. Yes, at such moments, you think no more of the earth; you feel something so heavenly. It is the effect of the presence of Our Lord. I also feel the presence of the holy angels who help me at Mass, but not every time.”

St. Tarsicius, St. Nicolas Pieck, and St. Peter Maldonado, “martyrs of the Eucharist”, pray for us, that we might offer our lives to Love and for Love.
Our Lady, Tabernacle of the Most High, pray for us, that we might become living tabernacles of the Most Blessed Trinity.

“Oh, gentle Mother, make me love him. Fill my heart with the love that burned in thine. . . Purify my heart that I may know how to love my God and thy God! Purify my spirit that I may adore Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24)! Purify my body that it may become for him a living tabernacle!” (St. Padre Pio)

Some Excellent Resources on the Holy Eucharist:

1. ‘The Early Christians Believed in the Real Presence’: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/father/a5.html

2. ‘Transubstantiation’ (Some Philosophical Answers to Common Objections)
http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/realpres/transubstantiation.htm

3. ‘The Eucharistic Miracles of the World’: http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/mir/engl_mir.htm

4. ‘Eucharist and Mass’ (Ch. 18 of ‘Theology for Beginners’ by Frank J. Sheed):
http://www.ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/SHEEDEUC.htm

5. ‘Transubstantiation’ (Ch. 18 of ‘Theology for Beginners’ by Frank J. Sheed):
http://www.ewtn.com.au/faith/teachings/eucha4.htm

6. ‘Holy Communion’ (Ch. 32 of ‘The Three Ages of the Interior Life’ by Garrigou–Lagrange):
http://www.christianperfection.info/tta44.php

7. ‘Quotes on the Blessed Sacrament’:
http://www.therealpresence.org/eucharst/tes/a7.html

8. ‘The Holy Eucharist’ by St. Alphonsus Liguori:
https://archive.org/stream/alphonsusworks06alfouoft#page/n3/mode/2up

9. ‘Cochem’s Explanation of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass’ by Ven. Martin von Cochem (reprinted under the title, ‘The Incredible Catholic Mass):
https://archive.org/stream/cochemsexplanat02martgoog#page/n18/mode/2up

10. ‘The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure’ by Fr. Michael Muller:
https://archive.org/stream/theblessedeuchar00meuluoft#page/n5/mode/2up

11. Chapter 14 of ‘The Blessed Eucharist, Our Greatest Treasure’ by Fr. Michael Muller (Some Stories that Testify to the Real Presence):
https://archive.org/stream/theblessedeuchar00meuluoft#page/n225/mode/2up

12. ‘The Holy Mass: The Sacrifice for the Living and the Dead’ by Fr. Michael Muller:
https://archive.org/stream/holymasssacrific00ml#page/n15/mode/2up

13. ‘The Blessed Sacrament, or, the Works and Ways of God’ by Fr. Faber:
https://archive.org/stream/theblessedsacram00fabeuoft#page/n5/mode/2up

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)       

 

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 Powerful Meditation: The Thirty-Three Years of Jesus’ Life

“Our Lord revealed to Blessed Michael of Florence, the Camaldolese, how He longed that those who loved Him should honour the Thirty-Three Years with affectionate minuteness.”

– Fr. Faber (‘The Precious Blood or The Price of Our Salvation’) 

We think often of those we love. It is very difficult to love God if we do not take the time to know Him e.g. by means of prayer, meditation, and spiritual reading. In the late 19th century, it was revealed to Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich* that there were living approximately 100,000 souls who loved God greatly. Would we have been counted among this number?

A Fruitful Meditation

“The life of our loving Redeemer was all full of desolation, and bereft of every comfort. The life of Jesus was that great ocean which was all bitter, without a single drop of sweetness or consolation: For great as the sea is thy destruction:

This is what was revealed by our Lord to St. Margaret of Cortona, when he said to her that in his whole life he never experienced sensible consolation.”

(Taken from ‘The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ’ by St. Alphonsus)

How small our crosses are in comparison!

Furthermore, consider the incredible words of our Lord to St. Gertrude:

“Even though a soul be lacking in fervor, yet will I look upon her with much love, if she sometimes meditate upon My Passion. It is an exercise possessing a value in My eyes infinitely surpassing that of any other. Even a short meditation upon My Passion, is worth more than long and multiplied acts of piety that have no direct reference to My sufferings and death.”

 

* The writings of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich are very edifying. Unfortunately, however, many of her prophecies have been manipulated by disobedient or confused Catholics. Here is one such example: http://jloughnan.tripod.com/forgery.htm (How much deception and apparent forgery I have encountered on the internet! Given that the number of false mystics greatly outnumbers the authentic mystics, we would be better off following the example of Bl. Elena Aiello, St. Padre Pio and other holy Saints and mystics who submitted to the Church at all times.)

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