Wisdom from the Writings of Saintly Souls (on a Range of Topics)

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The Father’s Love for the Mystical Body, the Church

1. “The more God sees His Son in each one of us, the more abundantly He showers His gifts on us.” (p. 98, ‘The Spiritual Doctrine of Dom Marmion’)

Authentic Christianity: “For me, to live is Christ”

2. “A spiritual life which does not depend entirely on Christ is false, empty, absolutely useless; ‘Without Me you can do nothing.” (p. 54, ‘The Spiritual Doctrine of Dom Marmion’)

Without Jesus, We Cannot Bear the Cross

3. Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos: “… at the beginning of Mass I saw our Lord stooping, as if bearing a heavy burden, and He said to me, I take upon myself the suffering of My daughter.” (p. 402, Life)

The Delight of the Elect: Perfect Union with God

4. Sr. Jeanne Benigne Gojos: “One day the interior voice said to me: God renders the blessed like Himself; yes, Benigne, My elect by seeing Me are in such wise transformed in Me that they have no other will than Mine; their love springs from My Love.” (p. 341, Life)

The Alpha and the Omega

5. Our Lord to Ven. Louise Margaret: “Infinite Love envelops, penetrates, and fills all things. It is the only source of life and of all fertility; It is the eternal principle of beings and their eternal end. If you wish to possess life and not be sterile, break the bonds that bind you to yourself and to creatures and plunge into this abyss.” (p. 4, ‘The Love and Service of God, Infinite Love,’ TAN Books)

Hell Exists because God is Good

6. Ven. Louise Margaret: “No, if there were no Hell, I could not love Thee… If there were no Hell, three splendid jewels would be wanting to the crown of Thy sublime perfections; there would be wanting justice, power and dignity.” (p. 10, TLGIL)

“I desire mercy”

7. From the Life of Bl. Elizabeth Canori–Mora: “Another time He revealed to her and placed before her eyes the sins of His own Ministers and of the public Magistrates. Elizabeth was so much surprised that she was filled with profound indignation, and opened her lips to cry out for justice against these unknown delinquents; but Our Lord prevented her, and said in a tone of love and tenderness: “Ah! My daughter, cry for mercy, not for justice. I wish not the death of the sinner, but that he should be converted and live.” Whilst saying these ineffable words He directed upon her from His Heart a ray of pure and living light; then he added: “May this ray of light serve you to protect men against the anger of Divine Justice.” (p. 184)

The Blood of Jesus Cries for Mercy

8. St. Gemma’s Guardian Angel: “Look at what Jesus has suffered for men. Consider one by one these Wounds. It is Love that has opened them all. See how execrable sin is, since to expiate it, so much pain and so much love have been necessary.” (p. 194, Life)

Imperfections: A Treasure for the Soul of Good-Will

9. Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone: “… you will commit faults, infidelities, and imperfections; and these will help you to advance, for they will cause you to make many acts of humility.” (p. 41, JATTW)

The Cross is a Gift

10. Jesus to St. Gemma (appearing to her with the Cross on His shoulders): “Gemma, wilt thou have it, My Cross? See, this is the present I have prepared for thee.” (p. 174, Life)

A Model of Patience in Suffering

11. From the Life of Sr. Gertrude Mary: “On her bed of agony, coughing incessantly, she murmurs this word of love: Every fit of coughing is a cry to Heaven.”

Heaven on Earth

12. Sr. Gertrude Mary: “The air which I breathe near the Tabernacle is not the same as elsewhere, for it is already that of Paradise. I know this by experience.”

What the Damned Would Give to See God

13. From ‘The Dogma of Hell, Illustrated by Facts Taken from Profane and Sacred History,’ by Rev. F.X. Schouppe:

“A holy priest was exorcising a demoniac, and he asked the demon what pains he was suffering in Hell.

“An eternal fire,” he answered, “an eternal malediction, an eternal rage, and a frightful despair at being never able to gaze upon Him who created me.”

“What would you do to have the happiness of seeing God?”

“To see Him but for one moment, I should willingly consent to endure my torments for 10,000 years. But vain desires! I shall suffer forever and never see Him!”

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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)

 

Humility Feeds Love…

One day, someone told St. Francis de Sales that they desired to become humble so that they could grow in love. The Saint replied that he preferred to aim at love in order to become humble. Who is correct? Why does this matter?

The answer to the first question, I believe, can be found in the writings of Ven. Louise Margaret, a daughter of St. Francis de Sales (i.e. a Visitandine). Our Lord told her that love and humility grow together; they mutually nourish one another (so, in a sense, both St. Francis de Sales and his interlocutor were correct). Consequently, there can be no true charity without humility, and no true humility without charity. “The more you love Me,” said Our Lord to Madeline Vigneron, “the humbler you are.”

One can verify this doctrine with ease; simply consider that God is Charity and Truth. This, then, is the litmus test of holiness or union with God: charity and humility. A soul might appear charitable and virtuous in the eyes of the world; but if they lack humility, their works are to that extent lacking in supernatural value. It is quite possible to donate generously to charity, serve the homeless, pray for souls, go to Mass, and read spiritual books, when, all the while, one is spiritually dead in mortal sin. Purity of intention is necessary. We will avoid delusion (to a great extent) if we offer our prayers, words and deeds to God, asking that He will act in and through us. He cannot fail to hear and answer such a prayer.

A good sign that we are progressing in the spiritual life is that we often think of God with pleasure. But even more indicative of a great love for God, is a docile will that – feelings aside – says with Our Lady: “Be it done unto me according to Thy word.”

We should always end our prayer with these words: “Thy Will be done.” I purposely capitalised the word “Will,” because God’s Will is not distinct from Himself, and therefore deserves to be adored (bearing in mind that God is the First Cause of all good, and merely permits evil).

Humiliations Help to Uproot Self-Love

It is very easy for self-love to creep into our actions. We think that we are serving God, but the moment something doesn’t go according to plan, we get irritated, or we throw in the towel. Really, we should accept failure as we would success, and suffering as we would joy; both are fruitful, so long as our will is directed towards God, Who works all things to our good.

If we are humble, we won’t be so surprised at our falls, nor will be so inclined to judge others, or to distrust, or to any other evil, all of which stem from the same root: pride.

Because God loves us so much, and wants to lavish His graces on us, He often sends or permits humiliations of various sorts. Remember that sharp word someone addressed to you? God wanted it to be a means of sanctifying you. Remember that time you fell into impatience, despite your best efforts? God wanted you to humble yourself and rely more on Him. Remember that time you couldn’t focus during prayer? God wanted to let you know what you are without Him, and to reward your perseverance and patience.

‘Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation. [2] Humble thy heart, and endure: incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding: and make not haste in the time of clouds. [3] Wait on God with patience: join thyself to God, and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end. [4] Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience. [5] For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.’
– Eccles. 2:1-5

In all difficulties, we must remember that God wants us to be humble. Without humility, there is no union with God, no peace, no happiness, no salvation. By bearing humiliations we give God a precious gift; by acknowledging our misery, rather than rebelling against it, we draw God to us. He seeks only to give.

“My child, the more humble you are, the more love will increase in you.”
– Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani (August 23, 1715)

“Nothing is more pleasing to Me than to find a soul seeking the humility and meekness of My Heart.
– Jesus to Mother Marie-Dominique Claire Moes (1832-1895)

+PAX+

 

 

If You Want to Save Souls…

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Pictured: Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

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“I have need of them [priests] to do My work.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret (p. 168)

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The Influence of Holy Priests

If a priest is holy, he has the power to effect much good in the world (as do all of us). If you doubt this, read a biography on St. Alphonsus Liguori, St. Francis Xavier, St. Padre Pio or St. John Vianney, to whom the Devil said: “If there were three such priests as you, my kingdom would be ruined.”

Much could be said about the dignity and duties of the priest, but let this one quote from St. John Vianney suffice for now:

“Without the Sacrament of Holy Orders, we would not have the Lord. Who put Him there in that tabernacle? The priest. Who welcomed your soul at the beginning of your life? The priest. Who feeds your soul and gives it strength for its journey? The priest. Who will prepare it to appear before God, bathing it one last time in the blood of Jesus Christ? The priest, always the priest. And if this soul should happen to die [i.e. the spiritual death of sin], who will raise it up, who will restore its calm and peace? Again, the priest… After God, the priest is everything!”

The Responsibility of Priests

“Priesthood entails the greatest responsibility. Everyone raised to this holy estate is required to give a strict account, not only of the administration of My holy mysteries and of his personal holiness too, but also of the souls that were entrusted to his charge. Woe to those who ill-perform their task in My Church! I require of them again the immortal souls that I redeemed to dearly with My Blood.”

– Our Lord to Marie Dominica Clara Moes (p. 194)

Wounded Priests

Unfortunately, many priests neither know nor love the Church; it seems that many priests have been mortally wounded by sin, and are in desperate need of help. Even in St. Bridget of Sweden’s time, Our Lord often spoke to her about the wickedness of priests.

Nowadays, it is all too common to hear of some scandal or another. Alas, many priests do not know how sublime their vocation is, nor do they appreciate the fact that they have been ordained for God’s glory, for the salvation of immortal souls!

‘In the multitude of people is the dignity of the king.’

– Prov. 14:28

What can we do about this sad state of affairs? Should we wallow in sadness and despair? Should we complain about priests and the obvious crisis in the Church? No!

Victims of Divine Love and Mercy

What can we do, then? We can be Eucharistic souls! Like St. Therese, we can offer ourselves to God to be victims of His Love and Mercy! How?

“It should be made in the form of a sacrifice; you should offer yourselves as holocausts to be consumed in the fire of love, in order that this love may be diffused throughout the world and inflame souls.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret

Victims for Priests

In these troubled times, God is particularly calling souls to offer themselves for the sanctification of priests; He wishes to raise up more generous souls, like Sr. Gertrude Mary, Ven. Louise Margaret, and Mother Marie Dominica Clara Moes, who will spend themselves in the service of priests. A life spent in the service of priests is a life well spent!

“Very well, IF YOU WANT TO SAVE SOULS, there is only one and powerful means: holy priests.

– Jesus to Ven. Concepcion Cabrera de Armida

 

The Priest Fights for the Kingdom of Love

+ “I will make from My dear priests a little army that will fight for good and make My Love reign.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret (p. 173)

+ “I shall reform Holy Church by giving her good and holy pastors; it will not be through war and the sword and cruelty, but by peace and calm and the tears and sweat of My friends.”

– The Eternal Father to St. Catherine of Siena (p. 190)

“Nineteen centuries ago, twelve men changed the world; they were not merely men, they were priests. Now once more twelve priests could change the world.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret (p. 167)

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References:

– ‘The Love and Service of God, Infinite Love’ by TAN Books

– ‘Divine Communications,’ by Rev. Auguste Saudreau, vol. 2

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“Give yourself entirely to priests and I will give Myself entirely to you.”

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret

14 Rules for Christian Living

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Dom Maurus Wolter, O.S.B.

“My omnipotence is great, and grace will enable you to give Me what I ask of you.”

– Jesus to Sr. Consolata (p. 117, ‘Jesus Appeals to the World’)

Only Divine Love can transform the ruins of this fallen world. More than anything, the world needs saints! “Oh,” said Our Lord to St. Gemma Galgani, “that I could make all understand how incensed My Heavenly Father is by the impious world! There is nothing to stay His Hand, and He is now preparing a great chastisement for all the world.” (p. 175–176, ‘Life of St. Gemma Galgani’)

Trust in God, and He will see to your sanctification. What a sublime calling! What a great duty!

“I cannot bear tepid and cowardly souls.” (cf. Rev. 3:16)

– Jesus to St. Margaret Mary

‘And Christ died for all; that they also who live, may not now live to themselves, but unto Him who died for them, and rose again.’ (2 Cor. 5:15) And how can we live unto Him, Who is Charity (1 Jn. 4:16), except by Charity?  “Let your whole life,” said Jesus to St. Veronica Giuliani, “be one continual act of charity. I desire you in charity.” 

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

– Jesus to Ven. Louise Margaret de la Touche

Take heed of the following advice, dear reader – not only for your own benefit, but for the benefit of those dear to you, and for all those who have been redeemed by the Precious Blood of Christ.

(The following quotes have been taken from ‘The Principles of Monasticism’ by Dom Maurus Wolter).

Work Diligently

“The Lord couples sloth with wickedness, saying: Wicked and slothful servant.” (cf. Mt. 25:26)

– St. Basil the Great (p. 498)

Avoid Excessive Chatter

“Avoid excessive speaking for it extinguishes all reasonable thoughts and those which come to the heart from Heaven.”

– St. Dorotheus (p. 66)

Pray Frequently

“He who desires to pray frequently will find the mercy of Christ more abundantly.”

– St. Macarius (p. 139)

Join Prayer to Meditation

“Meditation and prayer are the two wings of charity.”

– Hugh of St. Cher (p. 214)

Love Silent Contemplation

“Arsenius, flee [men, the world], keep silence, and lead a life of silent contemplation, for these are the principles of salvation which prevent a man from committing sin.”

– Our Lord to St. Arsenius (p. 68)

Rid Yourself of Earthly Attachments

“Free yourself of the burden of this world’s goods, and I will personally fill you with those which are heavenly unto your soul’s supreme consolation.”

– Jesus to Ven. Juan de Jesus Maria (p. 280)

Seek God Alone

“And who can be more fortunate than he whose Creator becomes his wealth?”

– Julianus Pomerius (p. 293)

Bear with Humiliations

“If you long for the virtue of humility, you must not flee from the way of humiliation.”

– St. Bernard (p. 298)

Deny Yourself

“Unless a person renounces himself he cannot draw night to that which is above him.”

– St. Gregory the Great (p. 390)

Love Chastity

“O chastity, which begets spiritual joy and banishes sadness!”

– St. Ephraem (p. 374)

Avoid Gluttony

“We must take food not to the point of eating extravagantly or to the state of being glutted, but only so that the body can be properly sustained.”

– St. Isidore of Seville (p. 411–412)

Flee Idleness

“There is no thought so foul, so abominable, so evil and execrable to which idleness, which is so detestable, will not lead. For the heart of a man given to idleness is like a mill which, having no good grain to grind, but being nevertheless in continual motion, grinds on and wears itself out, even unto total destruction, unless such ruin is prevented by someone’s diligence. And it chops up dirty insects flying about just as readily as choice kernels of grain.”

– John Gerson (p. 505)

Admonish the Sinner

“If punishment lies in store for him who has the money and does not help with the same, shall there not be a greater punishment for him who has the opportunity to exhort and does not do so? In the former case the body is nourished, and in the latter, the soul; there you prevent temporal death, here, that which is eternal.”

– St. John Chrysostom (p. 629)

Know your Faith

“THE MAN WHO IS LACKING IN DOCTRINE WILL EVERYWHERE SUFFER DARKNESS.”

– St. Bede (p. 513)