Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: Using Everything for the Glory of God

" I can't bear being photographed,
but I make use of everything for the glory of God.
When I allow a person to take a photograph,
I tell Jesus to take one soul to Heaven out of Purgatory."

~ Blessed Teresa of Calcutta ~
excerpt from The Joy in Loving by Mother Teresa

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI: The Promise of Eternal Life

"...the Church invites us to pray for the faithful departed...As human beings, we have a natural fear of death and we rebel against its apparent finality. Faith teaches us that the fear of death is lightened by a great hope, the hope of eternity, which gives our lives their fullest meaning. The God who is love offers us the promise of eternal life through the death and resurrection of his Son. In Christ, death no longer appears as an abyss of emptiness, but rather a path to life which will never end. Christ is the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in him will never die. Each Sunday, in reciting the Creed, we reaffirm our faith in this mystery. As we remember our dear departed ones, united with them in the communion of the saints, may our faith inspire us to follow Christ more closely and to work in this world to build a future of hope."

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rosary Promises From Our Blessed Mother

6. Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.

7. Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.

8. Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.

9. I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.

10. The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.

13. I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of death.

All 15 Promises of Our Lady for those who faithfully recite the Rosary:

Quotes about the Rosary:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Msgr Charles Pope: The Trivializing of God's Judgment Following Death

Too many make light of judgment today. Too many announce the immediate arrival of the deceased into heaven. They usher Jesus away from the Judgment Seat, take the seat themselves, and pronounce that, “Joe is in heaven!” They usually follow this “canonization” with some triviality such as “He’s probably playing poker with Jesus and Noah right now!” (For presumably “Joe” liked poker here, and thus heaven must include poker (of all things)).

The complete ignoring of the judgement that follows death is emblematic of our age which answers to no one. Even among Christians, there is a widespread trivializing of the notion of judgment. Yet Jesus in ways too countless to set forth here, commands a sobriety about judgment and says, But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken (Matt 12:36). If even our words will be judged, how much more so our deeds which many make light of.

Further God is Truth Himself and he will not simply call good in us what is defective or sinful. Judgement is a moment of truth where the divine physician makes a true diagnosis, not a flattering one. And whatever remains unfinished he, by his grace and power will bring it to completion. This too is part of his mercy as well as his justice. Some purgation is surely a likely reality for most adults who die. St. Paul speaks of us as unfinished works when he says, And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6). Do we really think that “Joe” is just going to walk into heaven just as he died, with a pack of cards in his hands, no less? Perhaps some saints have been fully perfected by their death, but it seems more likely most of us will need purgation and to pass through purifying fire as St. Paul describes.

So, we are back to fire. And fire must be respected. Back-slapping at funerals ought to be replaced with a little more knee-bending and confident but sober prayer for our beloved who have died. They would probably appreciate a little more prayer from us, for they have encountered Truth, unlike a lot of us who still like to entertain fanciful notions, contrary to Scripture that judgment is either non-existent or “no big deal.”

~ Msgr. Charles Pope; excerpts from here ~

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Fr. Mark Bozada: Purgatory Is God's Merciful Gift to Us

My Dear People,
It has been the glorious tradition of the Catholic Church to pray for the dead, particularly our own family members. We know that we all sin. We lack perfect contrition for our sin. And so, when we die, everyone with the exception of Our Blessed Mother, carries the stain of sin into eternity. There are no shadows in Heaven, because we are immersed in the Light and Beauty of God. God the Father is merciful. We have the opportunity to have “burned”from our souls any remaining stain of sin. Purgatory is God’s merciful gift to us.
Poor souls found there cannot sin nor pray for themselves. That’s where we come into the picture. Our prayers, masses, rosaries, novenas, indulgences, and sacrifices are what “lift up”the poor souls in Purgatory. PLEASE, please remember to pray and sacrifice daily for the deceased members of your family. Your “prayer relief” is the greatest treasure they can receive in their state of being purified. We pray each month at the poor souls mass, for all of your prayer intentions. Please make praying for the dead a daily habit in your life. When you and I find ourselves in Purgatory, after our own death ,it is then that we will thank God for all the prayers we will receive on our behalf.

Entrusting you to the care of Our Lady,
Fr. Mark Bozada

May we always be eager to pray for the repose of the poor souls in purgatory.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Jesus Tells Sr. Consolata Betrone How to Console His Suffering Parental Heart

"A true mother will not consider her child ugly, no matter how much it may be so; to her it is always lovely, and so it will always remain in her innermost heart.  That is precisely the way My Heart feels toward souls:  though they be ugly, soiled, filthy, My Love considers them always beautiful.  I suffer when their ugliness is confirmed to Me; on the other hand, I rejoice when, in conformity with my parental sentiments, someone dissuades Me about their ugliness and tells Me that it is not true and that they are still beautiful.  The souls are Mine; for them I have given all My Blood!

"Now do you understand how much My parental Heart is wounded by every severe judgment, reprimand, or condemnation, even though based on truth, and how much comfort, on the other hand is afforded Me by every act of compassion, indulgence and mercy?  You must never judge anyone; never say a harsh word against anyone; instead, console My Heart, distract Me from My sorrow; with eager charity make me see only the good side of a guilty soul.  I will believe you, and then I will hear your prayer in her favor and will grant it.  If you only knew how I suffer when I must dispense justice!  You see, My Heart needs to be comforted; It wishes to dispense mercy, not justice!"

~ Jesus to Sr. Consolata Betrone;
excerpt from Jesus Appeals to theWorld by Fr. Lorenzo Sales, I.M.C. ~

Reflection by Fr. Francis Martin of the Archdiocese of Washington
and the Mother of God Community.

Friday, August 26, 2011

St. Louis IX: Advice From a Wise and Holy King and Father

3. Therefore, dear son, the first thing I advise is that you fix your whole heart upon God, and love Him with all your strength, for without this no one can be saved or be of any worth.

20. If you have anything belonging to another, either of yourself or through your predecessors, if the matter is certain, give it up without delay, however great it may be, either in land or money or otherwise. If the matter is doubtful, have it inquired into by wise men, promptly and diligently. And if the affair is so obscure that you cannot know the truth, make such a settlement, by the counsel of s of upright men, that your soul, and the soul your predecessors, may be wholly freed from the affair. And even if you hear some one say that your predecessors made restitution, make diligent inquiry to learn if anything remains to be restored; and if you find that such is the case, cause it to be delivered over at once, for the liberation of your soul and the souls of your predecessors.

35. Finally, most sweet son, I conjure and require you that, if it please our Lord that I should die before you, you have my soul succored with masses and orisons, and that you send through the congregations of the kingdom of France, and demand their prayers for my soul, and that you grant me a special and full part in all the good deeds which you perform.

36. In conclusion, dear son, I give you all the blessings which a good and tender father can give to a son, and I pray our Lord Jesus Christ, by His mercy, by the prayers and merits of His blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, and of angels and archangels and of all the saints, to guard and protect you from doing anything contrary to His will, and to give you grace to do it always, so that He may be honored and served by you. And this may He do to me as to you, by His great bounty, so that after this mortal life we may be able to be together with Him in the eternal life, and see Him, love Him, and praise Him without end. Amen. And glory, honor, and praise be to Him who is one God with the Father and the Holy Spirit; without beginning and without end. Amen.
~ St. Louis IX: excerpts from Saint Louis' Advice to His Son ~

Reflection for 8/25/11

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Meditation on the Pains of Hell

The Pains of Hell

MY CHILD, I have proved My goodness by My numberless gifts to men. They cannot mention a single good thing in their daily life which does not belong to Me. My love for them was proved by My earthly life of labor, work, suffering and prayer to obtain forgiveness for their sins. Anyone who takes time to think of what I deserve, cannot deny that he owes Me more than he can ever repay. Yet, in spite of My goodness and love, some people choose to walk away from Me. They refuse to follow My directions. As a result they fall into sin. Though I made them for Heaven, they shall never see it because they are refusing to do what it takes to get there.

2. Hell was made for the devil and his rebel angels. Man was made for Heaven. In refusing to live for Heaven, a man chooses to exist without Me. He shall have his wish--he shall join the rebel angels in hell. In refusing to follow My law, a man actually turns his back on Me as the fallen angels did. If he dies in this condition, he condemns himself to hell. The jury which convicts him is his own sinful life. I merely pronounce sentence on what he himself has chosen.

3. There is nothing on earth which can compare with hell. It is beyond all description. One must see it to know it. Though I may try to give you some small idea of it in this chapter, remember, this is a tiny and very imperfect idea of the real thing. Words fall far short of the reality which is hell. I make no threats here. I simply want you to face this fact: Unless you live for Heaven, you shall one day be in hell.

4. All the sufferings known to man are as nothing in comparison with the sufferings of hell. The wise man would rather bear any trial on earth than place himself in danger of hell. One single hour of hell will be harder than a hundred years of suffering on earth. In this earthly life people have some rest from their labors and trials. They get some measure of consolation from their friends. In hell, however, there is no rest, no consolation, and no friends.

5. The fires of hell will never die. There will be no end to suffering. One will find no comfort in knowing that he has been there a thousand years. He can never hope for an end to his tortures. All the other sufferings would be bearable if only the damned could hope for relief. Despair is hell's bitterest pain.

6. In hell a man will be punished through the same faults by which he sinned on earth. Each sin will have its own particular torment. The lazy will be forced to work continuously. The gluttonous will be tormented with extreme hunger and thirst. The proud will be filled with confusion, and the greedy will feel the pinch of miserable want.

7. And yet, the worst pain of hell is none of these. The people in hell would gladly bear all of this and much more if only they could hope for My friendship and love, no matter how long it might take, be it even a billion years from now. Their keenest torment is that they have forever lost Me, the Source of all true joy and perfect happiness. This suffering makes hell the home of despair and undying hatred.

8. My child, follow My Will in your daily life, and you need never fear hell. In fact you have every reason to be joyful and merry if you are following My commandments and using My sacraments. Do not condemn yourself to hell by refusing to obey My directions. I love you dearly. Do not prevent Me from taking you to Heaven.

Hell is a fact. Christ, Our Lord, pointed this out time and again during His earthly life. Whoever rejects this fact is simply denying the word of Christ. He is God. He proved His divine power many times during and after His earthly life. His word is truth. He preached the truth of hell and continues to preach it today through His Church and Holy Scripture.

My Jesus, many find too hard a command in the words: "Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me." Yet a much harder command will be: "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire." If I become so impatient with a little suffering now, how can I ever stand hell? I cannot expect to have unrestricted enjoyment on earth and still rejoice with You in Heaven. Therefore, dear Lord, that I may be safe from eternal punishment, let me do my best in bearing the burdens of this earthly life. Let me prefer to suffer on earth or even die now rather than commit a mortal sin. Amen.

~ Excerpt from MY DAILY BREAD byAnthony J. Paone, S.J., 1954 ~

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Archbishop Charles Chaput: "Our choices shape our eternity."

"None of us lives forever. Or rather, all of us live forever, but only for a very short time in this world. If we lose our money, we can often earn it back. But if we misuse our time, we can never get it back. Where we put our time shows the world what we really value and believe. What we really believe shapes our choices. And our choices shape our eternity.

"...If we took just one hour of the time we waste on television every day and used it to study and pray over the Gospels, we’d be fundamentally different people, and our country and our world would be transformed."

"We were made for better things than silver and gold. We’re more than what we own or think we want. We’re children of God bought back from slavery by the blood of God’s son. Somebody infinitely good, willingly died to make us free. That’s how precious we are in the eyes of God. God loves us infinitely. That’s the source of our faith and hope.

"God’s love is not something anyone can buy. It’s a free gift. But it comes with consequences. If we really believe that God raised his son from the dead in order to raise us along with him, then we need to act like it. We need to submit our time and our actions to what we claim to believe. A meaningful life is a life conformed to imperishable things. And a futile life is a life that puts its time in the wrong places—into things that perish; things that lead us away from conforming our lives to Jesus Christ.

"Those are the two options. We get to choose."

~ Archbishop Charles Chaput; excerpt from here ~

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cry of a Lost Soul: Society of the Damned

"We died with willful resolve to be separated from God. Do you now understand why hell lasts forever? It is because our wills were fixed for eternity at the moment of death. We had made our final choice. Our obstinacy will never leave us.

"Under compulsion, I must add that God is merciful even towards us. I affirm many things against my will and must choke the torrent of abuses I should like to vomit out.

“God was merciful to us by not allowing our wicked wills to exhaust themselves on earth as we should have been prepared to do. This would have increased our faults and our pains. He caused us to die before our time, as in my case, or had other mitigating circumstances intervene. Now He shows Himself merciful towards us by not compelling a closer approach than that afforded in this remote inferno. Every step bringing us closer to God would cause us a greater pain than that which a step closer to a burning furnace would cause you." 

"I tell you, the fire of which the Bible speaks does not mean the torment of the conscience. Fire is fire! What He said: ‘Away from Me, you accursed ones, into eternal fire’, is to be understood literally. Literally! How can the spirit be touched by material fire, you will ask? How can your soul suffer on earth when you put your finger on the flame? In fact the soul does not burn; and yet what torture all the individual feels! 

"Our greatest torture consists in the certain knowledge that we shall never see God. How can this torture us so much, since on earth we are so indifferent? As long as the knife lies on the table it leaves you cold. You see how keen it is, but you do not feel it. Plunge the knife into the flesh and you will start screaming in pain. Now we feel the loss of God; before we only thought of it.

"Not all the souls suffer to the same degree. With how greater wickedness and how more systematically one has sinned, the more weighs on him the loss of God and the more the creature he abused is choking him. The lost Catholics suffer more than those of other religions, because they, mostly, received and despised more graces and more light. He who knew more suffers more cruelly than he who knew less. He who sinned out of malice suffers more keenly than he who sinned out of weakness. But nobody suffers more than he deserves. Oh, if that were not true, I should have a motive to hate!"

~ Revelation of a Soul from Hell; excerpt from here ~

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Jesus Reveals to Sr. Consolata Betrone How Free Will Sends Souls to Hell

"Believe Me, Consolata, into hell go only those who really wish to go there; for though no one can snatch a soul from Me, the soul may , through the free will granted her, flee from Me, may betray Me, deny Me, and so go to Satan of her own volition."

"You see, final impenitence is found only in a soul who purposely wishes to go to hell and therefore obstinately refuses My mercy, for I never refuse to pardon anyone!  I offer the gift of My immense compassion to all, for My Blood was shed for all, for all!  No, it is not the multiplicity of sins which condemns a soul, for I forgive everything if she repents, but it is the obstinacy of not wishing to be pardoned, of wishing to be damned.  Dismas on the cross had only one single act of faith in Me, but many, many sins;  he was pardoned in an instant, however, and on the very day of his repentance he entered into My kingdom and is a saint!  Behold the triumph of My mercy and of faith in Me!"

excerpts from Jesus Appeals to the World by Fr. Lorenzo Sales, I.M.C.~

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Fr. William Doyle: Hell--Motivation for Living Each Moment Perfectly

I can imagine I am a soul in hell,
and God in His mercy is saying to me,
" Return to the world for this year
and on your manner of life during the year
will depend your returning to hell or not."
What a life I should lead !
How little I should think of suffering, of mortification !
How I would rejoice in suffering !
How perfectly each moment would be spent !
If God treated me as I deserved, I should be in hell now.
Shall I ever again have cause for grumbling or complaining,
no matter what may happen ?
My habit of constantly speaking uncharitably of others,
and, in general, faults of the tongue,
seem to me the chief reason why I derive so little fruit from my Mass and spiritual duties.
Nothing dries up the
fountains of grace so much as an affection for sin.

~ Fr. William Doyle ~

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Our Lady of Good Success Messages: The Divine Infant's Revelation on Purgatory

"Mother Francisca of the Angels, my faithful spouse who secretly bears my wounds...will end her earthly life to enter eternity on the fourth day of October at five o'clock in the evening.  Only eight months of her pilgrimage remain, and then, Heaven.  She will not even see Purgatory.

"But in order to cleanse her from the dust of the road, for three months...she will suffer indescribable torments of soul and temptations of every kind against all the virtues, the most difficult being those against Faith...

"During this period of great affliction for My beloved spouse, I will enrich her soul with great merits.  For when I give some souls who are beloved of My Heart their purgatory while they yet live in mortal life, it is so that this purification may be accompanied by merits, which cannot be accrued in the place of expiation outside of mortal life, where souls make amends for the faults they committed without acquiring the least personal merit.  They suffer, like indigent beggars, awaiting the charity of the intercessory prayers of the Church Militant.

" have, before your eyes this city of fire, suffering, and pain, filled with countless number of souls of every age, sex, condition, and state of life, suffering what is incomprehensible to mortals.  But since they are souls already confirmed in grace, they possess an admirable peace, resignation, and patience, and give glory to God.  Their greatest suffering results from their supernatural love for their God and Lord and their great desire to contemplate Him in Heaven, but they must remain far from His company."

Raising her eyes, the holy Spanish religious saw this city inhabited by a multitude of souls afflicted by indescribable torments.  With loud voices, they implored her prayers, penances, and intercession.  Her compassionate heart felt great pity for these suffering souls, and she promised them that in the little time that still remained to her on earth, she would do all that she could to alleviate their pains and help as many as possible to enter Heaven. 

~ The Divine Infant Speaks to Mother Mariana and shows her a vision of Purgatory ~ 
Excerpts from The Admirable Life of Madre Mariana de Jesus Torres, Volume II  
by Fr. Manuel Sousa Pereira

Related Posts:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Our Lady of Good Success: Prophecies for Our Times

 "Oh, if only human beings and religious knew what Heaven is and what it is to possess God, how differently they would live, sparing no sacrifice in order to enter more fully into possession of it! But some let themselves be dazzled by the false glamour of honors and human greatness while others are blinded by self-love, not realizing that they are falling into lukewarmness, that immense evil which in religious houses destroys their fervor, humility, self-renunciation and the ceaseless practice of religious virtues and fraternal charity and that child-like simplicity which makes souls so dear to my Divine Son and to me, their Mother."

"O, if mortals only understood how to appreciate the time given to them, and would take advantage of each moment of their lives, how different the world would be! And a considerable number of souls would not fall to their eternal perdition! But this contempt is the fundamental cause for their
~ Our Lady of Good Success to Venerable Mother Mariana de Jesus Torres; excerpt from
here ~

~ Excellent DVD,  Our Lady of Good Success - History, Miracles & Prophecies; order here ~

~ Our Lady of Good Success, Prophecies for Our Times by Marian Therese Horvat, Ph.D. here ~

~ Much more on Our Lady of Good Success from Tradition in Action ~

Friday, June 17, 2011

If We Were to Die Today...

"On earth you simply do not know what God is. There, each one of you has an idea of what you think God is, according to your very limited knowledge, but when we leave our covering of clay and when nothing impedes the liberty of our souls, we at last begin to know God, His goodness, His mercy, His love. After this clearer view and the thirst for union, our souls yearn for God. This is our very life and we are forever repulsed because we are not sufficiently pure. This, in a word, is our worst suffering, the hardest, the most bitter. Oh, if only we were allowed to come back to earth, after knowing what God really is, what a different life we would lead! But what useless regrets, and yet on earth you do not think of these things and live as if you were blind. Eternity is of no account to you. The earth, which is only a journey and receives only the body which in itself turns to dust, is the sole object to which almost all of your desires tend and you do not even think of Heaven while Jesus and His love are entirely forgotten."

~ Sr. M.G., a  soul from Purgatory; excerpt from An Unpublished Manuscript on Purgatory ~ 

Reflection for 5/2/11

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Purgatory for Negligence in Preparing for and Receiving Holy Communion

In the year 1589, in the monastery of St. Mary of the Angels, in Florence, died a Religious who was much esteemed by her sisters in religion, but who soon appeared to St. Magdalen de Pazzi to implore her assistance in the rigorous Purgatory to which she was condemned. The saint was in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament when she perceived the deceased kneeling in the middle of the church in an attitude of profound adoration. She had around her a mantle of flames that seemed to consume her, but a white robe that covered her body protected her in part from the action of the fire. Greatly astonished, Magdalen desired to know what this signified, and she was answered that this soul suffered thus for having had little devotion toward the August Sacrament of the Altar. Not withstanding the rules and holy customs of her Order, she had communicated but rarely, and then with indifference. It was for this reason Divine Justice had condemned her to come every day to adore the Blessed Sacrament, and to submit to the torture of fire at the feet of Jesus Christ. Nevertheless, in reward for her virginal purity, represented
by the white robe, her Divine Spouse had greatly mitigated her sufferings.

Such was the revelation which God made to His servant. She was deeply touched, and made every effort to assist the poor soul by all the suffrages in her power. She often related this apparition, and made use of it to exhort her spiritual daughters to zeal for Holy Communion.

To tepidity is allied negligence in the preparation for the Eucharistic Banquet. If the Church unceasingly calls her children to the Holy Table, if she desires that they communicate frequently, she always intends that they should do so with that fervour and piety which so great a mystery demands. All voluntary neglect in so holy an action is an offence to the Sanctity of Jesus Christ, an offence which must be repaired by a just expiation. Venerable Louis of Blois, in his Miroir Spirituel, speaks of a great servant of God who learned in a supernatural manner how severely these faults are punished in the other life. He received a visit from a soul in Purgatory imploring his aid in name of the friendship by which they had formerly been united. She endured, she said, horrible torments, for the negligence with which she had prepared for Holy Communion during the days of her earthly pilgrimage. She could not be delivered but by a fervent Communion which would compensate for her former tepidity.

Her friend hastened to gratify her desire, received Holy Communion with great purity of conscience, with all the faith and devotion possible; and then she saw the holy soul appear, brilliant with an incomparable splendour, and rise towards heaven.

~ Excerpts from Purgatory:  Illustrated by the Lives and Legends of the Saints ~

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

St. John Bosco: Harmful Conversations

"No matter how good food is,
 if poison is mixed with it, it may cause the death of him who eats it.

So it is with conversation.
A single bad word, an evil action, an unbecoming joke,
is often enough to harm one or more young listeners,
and may later cause them to lose God's grace."

~ St. John Bosco ~

Friday, June 10, 2011

Prayer to the Holy Spirit for Time and Grace to Make an Act of Perfect Contrition

Prayer for the Afflicted

O HOLY SPIRIT, Who art God together with the Father and the Son,
deliver us this day from sadness and discouragement;
preserve all Christians from despair and its fatal results.
To all, even to those who destroy their own lives,
or who may be overtaken by a sudden or violent death,
mercifully grant both time and grace to make an act of perfect contrition.
~ From Devotion to the Holy Spirit , Tan Books ~

1451  Among the penitent's acts contrition occupies first place. Contrition is "sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again."

1452 When it arises from a love by which God is loved above all else, contrition is called "perfect" (contrition of charity). Such contrition remits venial sins; it also obtains forgiveness of mortal sins if it includes the firm resolution to have recourse to sacramental confession as soon as possible.

1453 The contrition called "imperfect" (or "attrition") is also a gift of God, a prompting of the Holy Spirit. It is born of the consideration of sin's ugliness or the fear of eternal damnation and the other penalties threatening the sinner (contrition of fear). Such a stirring of conscience can initiate an interior process which, under the prompting of grace, will be brought to completion by sacramental absolution. By itself however, imperfect contrition cannot obtain the forgiveness of grave sins, but it disposes one to obtain forgiveness in the sacrament of Penance.

1457 According to the Church's command, "after having attained the age of discretion, each of the faithful is bound by an obligation faithfully to confess serious sins at least once a year."56 Anyone who is aware of having committed a mortal sin must not receive Holy Communion, even if he experiences deep contrition, without having first received sacramental absolution, unless he has a grave reason for receiving Communion and there is no possibility of going to confession.57 Children must go to the sacrament of Penance before receiving Holy Communion for the first time.

Act Of Contrition

O my God,  I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee.
 I detest all my sins because I dread the loss of Heaven and the pains of Hell;
but most of all because I have offended Thee, My God,
Who art all-good and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve, with the help of Thy grace,
to confess my sins, to do penance, and to amend my life.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Wise Counsel of Blessed Pope John XXIII: "Only for Today..."

"Consult not your fears but your hopes and your dreams.
Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential.
Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in, but with what it is still possible for you to do."

~Blessed John XXIII~


1) Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2) Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behaviour; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3) Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4) Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5) Only for today, I will devote 10 minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6) Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7) Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure that no one notices.

8) Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9) Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10) Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for 12 hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life.

~ Blessed John XXIII, excerpt from Homily of Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone

at the Eucharistic Concelebration Commemorating Pope John XXIII on his Memorial  ~
(Thanks to Valerie)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Archbishop Fulton Sheen: Building Our Heavenly Home

"Believe me,you will never lose your soul if you use your blessings to spread the faith."

~ Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen ~

Insights from the Bible and Servant of God Fulton Sheen on building our true home in heaven:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Saint Philip Neri: Practical Advice

"The true way to advance in holy virtues, is to persevere in a holy cheerfulness."

~ St. Philip Neri ~

Saturday, May 21, 2011

St. John Eudes: Renouncing Ourselves so Jesus Can Live and Reign in Us

"Our wish, our object, our chief preoccupation must be to form Jesus in ourselves, to make his spirit, his devotion, his affections, his desire, and his disposition live and reign there."

"Finally, you are one with Jesus as the body is one with the head. You must, then, have one breath with him, one soul, one life, one will, one mind, one heart. And he must be your breath, heart, love, life, your all."
~ Saint John Eudes ~

Friday, May 20, 2011

Saint Faustina: Is Hell Real? Do People Go To Hell?

"I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God's mercy upon them. O my Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend You by the least sin."

~ Saint Faustina; excerpt 741 from The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska ~

Monday, May 16, 2011

St. Teresa of Avila's Prayer to Redeem Lost Time

A Prayer to Redeem Lost Time
(by St. Teresa of Avila)

O my God! Source of all Mercy! 
I acknowledge Your sovereign power.
While recalling the wasted years that are past,
I believe that You, Lord, can in an instant turn this loss to gain. 

Miserable as I am, yet I firmly believe that You can do all things.
Please restore to me the time lost, giving me Your grace, both now and in the future,
 that I may appear before You in “wedding garments.” 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Can the Souls in Purgatory Pray for Us?

“Oh! if it were but known how great is the power of the good souls in purgatory with the Heart of God,
and if we knew all the graces we can obtain through their intercession,
they would not be so much forgotten.
We must, therefore, pray much for them, that thev may pray much for us.”

~ St. Jean Vianney ~

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Stations of the Cross for the Souls in Purgatory

We find an incident relating to this subject in the Life of Venerable Mary d Antigna.  For a long time she had the pious custom of making the Stations of the Cross each day for the relief of the souls departed; but later, for motives more apparent than solid, she did it but rarely, and finally omitted it altogether. Our Lord, who had great designs in regard to this pious virgin, and who desired to make her a victim of love for the consolation of the poor souls in Purgatory,vouchsafed to give her a lesson which serves as an instruction to us all.

A Religious of the same
convent, who had died a short time previously, appeared to her, complaining sorrowfully, " My dear sister," she said, " why do you no longer make the Stations of the Cross for the souls in Purgatory? You were formerly accustomed to relieve us every day by that holy exercise ; why do you deprive us of that assistance ? "

Whilst the soul was still speaking our Lord Himself  appeared to His servant, and reproached her with her negligence. " Know, my daughter," He added, " that the Stations of the Cross are very profitable to the souls in Purgatory, and constitute a suffrage of the greatest value. This is why I have permitted this soul, for her own sake and for the sake of others, to implore this of you. Know also that it was on account of your exactitude in practising this devotion that you have been favoured by frequent communication with the dead. It is for this reason also that those grateful souls never cease to pray for you, and to plead your cause at the tribunal of my Justice. Make known this treasure to your sisters, and tell them to draw from it abundantly for themselves and for the dead."

~ Excerpt from Purgatory: Illustrated by the Lives and Legends of the Saints
by Fr. Francis Xavier Shouppe, S.J. ~

A plenary indulgence can be gained once a day for praying the Way of the Cross
 and the indulgence may be offered for the souls in Purgatory.

~ A related post on Indulgences ~

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki: Entrusting Suicide Victims to Divine Mercy

The church teaches that, “We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us. It is not ours to dispose of. … Suicide is contrary to love for the living God.”

However, the church also teaches that, “Grave psychological disturbances, anguish, or grave fear of hardship, suffering, or torture can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide. We should not despair of the eternal salvation of persons who have taken their own lives. By ways known to him alone, God can provide the opportunity for salutary repentance. The church prays for persons who have taken their own lives.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2280-2283.)

From 1917 to 1983, the church’s canon law said that “those who killed themselves of a deliberate purpose” were to be deprived of ecclesiastical burial. This provision was dropped from the revised Code of Canon Law promulgated by Pope John Paul II in 1983, which is still the current norm. One of the main reasons for this change is a greater understanding of the “grave psychological disturbances” mentioned above that can diminish the responsibility of the one committing suicide.

~ Bishop Thomas John Paprocki; excerpt from here ~

~ From Divine Mercy for Lost Souls:
To join our team to pray for the souls in Purgatory who have committed suicide,
for the salvation of those who are in the midst of committing suicide (for their final repentance),
and/or those who are contemplating suicide

(that they come to know God's love and do not follow through with it) ~

Monday, May 2, 2011

Blessed John Paul II Quotes

"Do not abandon yourselves to despair.
We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song."

~ Blessed John Paul II ~

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki: Avoiding Despair and Presumptiom

As we remember our friends and relatives who have died, we grieve not only because they are no longer with us here on earth, but we may also grieve at the thought that our loved ones may not be in God’s presence in his Kingdom of heaven, so we pray for their intentions and offer the Sacrifice of the Mass for their purification, that they may attain the beatific vision of God.

In thinking about death and preparing ourselves for that inevitable reality, it is good to avoid two extremes. One extreme is to think that it is impossible to get into heaven. We call this despair. It is the sin of Judas, thinking that our sins are so great that God will not or cannot forgive us. It is the Devil’s main trick to make people believe that they are unworthy of God’s forgiveness. The other extreme is to think that everyone will go to heaven no matter what they believe or how they have lived here on earth. We call this presumption. It is wrong to presume that everyone will go to heaven or even that a particular person is now in heaven because we are somehow convinced of his or her goodness. Only God knows what is in a person’s mind and heart and conscience. God’s offer of salvation is indeed made to everyone through Christ’s suffering, death and resurrection, but God also respects our freedom to accept or reject this invitation. Not everyone accepts it; some may certainly reject it.

While we hope that our loved ones are in heaven with God, if they are not, it is at least our hope that they are in purgatory awaiting their final reward. The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the doctrine of purgatory in this way: “All who die in God’s friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven. The church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned” (paragraphs 1030-1031).

~ Bishop Thomas John Paprocki; excerpt from here ~

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blessed Alexandrina da Costa: Heroic Victim Soul for the Salvation of Sinners

"My daughter, suffering is the key to Heaven. 
 I have endured so much to open Heaven for all mankind, but for many it was in vain. 
They say 'I want to enjoy life, I have come into the world only for enjoyment.' 
They say 'Hell does not exist.'
I have died for them, and they say they did not ask Me to do so. 
They have formed heresies against Me.
In order to save them, I select certain souls and lay the Cross on their shoulders.
Happy the soul who understands the value of suffering!
My cross is sweet if carried for love of Me...
I chose you from your mother's womb.
I watch over you in your great difficulties.
It was I who chose them for you, that I might have a victim to offer Me much reparation.
Lean on my Sacred Heart and find therein strength to suffer everything."

~ Jesus to Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa ~

"Sinners of the world, do not lose Jesus for all eternity.  He is so good..."
"...Enough of sin.  Love Him!  Love Him!"

"O sinners, I am enduring a life of terrible suffering on your behalf.
Convert yourselves!  Sin no more!  Sin no more!"

~ Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa ~

This is a trailer for a 56 minute documentary on the life and message of Blessed Alexandrina Maria da Costa who is also known in Portugal as the Fourth Seer of Fatima. This film has been produced by Mary's Dowry Productions to promote the life and message of this Blessed, closely linked to the message of Fatima, strong advocate of the First Saturday devotions and Fatima message. A victim soul, she suffered mystically the Passion of Christ every Friday although paralized from the age of 14 having jumped from a high window to escape intruders and protect her purity. More information at

~ Related post on Blessed Alexandrina ~

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dr. Gloria Polo Testimony: Demons, Hell and a Devastating Review of Her Life

“You will go back, but you won’t repeat this 1000 times. You will repeat it 1000 times 1000. And woe of those who don’t change their ways despite having heard you, because they will be judged much more severely, just like you will when you come back here again, even their anointed or their priests, or any of them, because the worst deafness is that of a man who refuses to hear.”

~ Jesus to Gloria Polo ~
12. When I was under anesthesia, I came out of my body again. I saw what the surgeons were doing to my body. I was worried for my legs. All of a sudden I went through a moment of horror. I had been a “dieting Catholic” all my life. My relationship with the Lord was down to Sunday Eucharist, no longer than 25 minutes, wherever the priest’s homily was shortest, because I couldn’t stand anything longer. That was my relationship with the Lord. All the trends of the world tossed me like a windsock. In fact, when I was already in graduate school, I once heard a priest say that hell didn’t exist and neither did demons. That was the only thing that had kept me in the Church. When I was told the devil didn’t exist, I just thought we were all going to heaven regardless of who we were. That distanced me completely from the Lord. My conversations became bad, because sin was not contained inside of me. I started telling everyone that demons didn’t exist, that they had been invented by the priests, that they were manipulations. Hanging out with college friends I started to say that God didn’t exist and that we were the sole product of evolution.

13. But back to that instant in the operating room, I was really terrified! I saw demons coming for me and I was their pay. At that moment I saw many people coming out of the walls of the operating room. At first sight they looked normal, but with a look of hatred on their faces, a horrible look. At that point through some special insight given to me, I realized I owed each one of them. I realized sin was not for free and that the main infamy and lie of the devil was to state that he didn’t exist. I saw how they were coming for me. You can imagine how scared I was. This scientific and intellectual mind was of no avail to me. I bounced off the floor, into my body, trying to come into it again, but my body wouldn’t let me in. I ran away and I’m not sure when I went through the wall in the operating room. I was hoping to hide in some hallway in the hospital but I ended up jumping into thin air.

14. I went into some tunnels heading downward. At first, they had light and looked like bee hives. There were lots of people. But I started descending and light became scarce and I started roaming some tunnels in pitch darkness. That darkness has no comparison. The darkest darkness on earth is like noontime sunlight compared to it. That darkness causes pain, horror, and shame. And it smells very bad. I finished descending down those tunnels and landed desperately on a flat spot. I used to claim I had an iron will, that nothing was too much for me. But that was useless now, because I wanted to climb up and I couldn’t. At that point I saw a huge mouth opening up on the floor and I felt immense emptiness in my body, a bottomless abyss. The most horrifying thing about that hole was that not even a bit of God’s love was felt in it, not a drop of hope. The hole sucked me in and I felt terrified.

~ Dr. Gloria Polo; excerpt from here; her website homepage here ~

~ Another more detailed testimony of Dr. Gloria Polo ~

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Angelus: The Christian Call to Prayer

We rightly admire Muslim neighbors and co-workers who put everything on hold five times a day in answer to the "call to prayer." But Christians have a "call to prayer," too! It is the Angelus. Three times a day (at 6:00 a.m., noon and 6:00 p.m), we pause to reaffirm our faith in the Incarnation: that "God so loved the world he sent his only Son" (Jn 3:16), who "worked with human hands, thought with a human mind and loved with a human heart." God knows what life on earth is like: he lived on this very planet of ours! And so "it is right to give him thanks and praise" for "having not spared his Son, but delivering him up for us."

This video was prepared to help you learn and pray the Angelus. Once you have made this practice part of your daily prayer life, you can use the video to invite others to renew their faith in this "pivot point" of the Christian creed, in which the mysteries of the Trinity and of our Redemption in Christ come together. If we are Christians, we need to "know him whom we have believed"! The Angelus can help.

The Angelus video was prepared by Sister Anne of the Daughters of St. Paul, an international Catholic religious community dedicated to evangelization through communications.

In discernment about a religious vocation or a call to consecration? The worldwide Pauline Family is made up of nine Institutes of consecrated life and a lay Cooperators' Association, all intent on living and proclaiming Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life. For info and links, go to

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI Reflects On Life After Death

“Death represents for us a wall we are unable to see over; even though our hearts reach out beyond, and even though we cannot know what it hides ... we imagine it, expressing our desire for eternity through symbols”

“Christ breaks down the wall of death, and in Him there resides the fullness of God, which is life, eternal life. Therefore death had no power over Him; the resurrection of Lazarus is a sign of his full dominion over mortal death, which is like sleep before God.”

“But there is another death, against which Christ fought hard; and for which he paid on the cross: spiritual death, sin, which threatens to ruin the existence of every man.”

~ Pope Benedict XVI ~

Friday, April 8, 2011

St. Alphonsus Liguori & Fr. Edgardo Arellano: Sacrilegious Confession

"The devil does not bring sinners to hell with their eyes open:
 he first blinds them with the malice of their own sins.
Before we fall into sin, the enemy labours to blind us,
that we may not see the evil we do
and the ruin we bring upon ourselves by offending God.
After we commit sin, he seeks to make us dumb,
that, through shame, we may conceal our guilt in confession."

~ St. Alphonsus Liguori ~

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B.: Lenten Fasting and Feasting

"Lent is a time to fast on certain things and also a time to feast on others.
Fast from discontent, anger,
bitterness, self-concern,
discouragement, laziness,
suspicion, guilt.

Feast on gratitude, patience,
forgiveness, compassion for others,
hope, commitment,
truth, and the mercy of God."

~ Fr. Thomas Rosica, C.S.B. ~


Monday, April 4, 2011

St. Faustina's Vision of Two Roads: Destination Heaven or Hell

One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings.

~ St. Faustina; excerpt 153 from The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska ~

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The Wisdom of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta: Ways We Can Practice Humility

"It is our emptiness and lowliness that God needs and not our plenitude.
These are a few of the ways we can practice humility:

Speak as little as possible of oneself.
Mind one's own business.
Avoid curiosity.
Do not want to manage other people's affairs.
Accept contradiction and correction cheerfully.
Pass over mistakes of others.
Accept blame when innocent.
Yield to the will of others.
Accept insults and injuries.
Accept being slighted, forgotten, and disliked.
Be kind and gentle even under provocation.
Do not seek to be specially loved and admired.
 Never stand on one's dignity.
Yield in discussion even though one is right.
Choose always the hardest."

~ Blessed Teresa of Calcutta ~
Excerpt from The Love of Christ by Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mother Angelica: "You can't go to Heaven hating somebody...Forgive now..."

"If we knew that one truth--I shall never die.  I shall be somewhere forever."

"You can't go to Heaven hating somebody...
Forgive now. 
Love now. 
Be Compassionate now. 
Be patient now. 
Be understanding now. 
Be grateful now. 
Love Jesus and Mary now. 
Accept God's will now."

~ Mother Angelica ~

(Mother Angelica's talk on Purgatory begins at about 15 minutes.)

Mother Angelica's List of Scripture Verses Relating to Purgatory:
Mark 9:48, Sirach 7:37, 1st Corinthians 3:14, Luke 12:47-48, Matthew 12:32

Friday, March 25, 2011

Marino Restrepo: Testimony on Purgatory and His Conversion Experience

"...we are just dust and we are going to be buried...the only thing that is going to be left of us is the love that we give--not the love that we receive--the love that we give.  That's all that's going to be left of us.  It is the only money that is going to be deposited in Heaven--love.  So let's put money in Heaven's bank.  Let's deposit love."
~ Marino Restrepo ~

Marino's life took a drastic turn during his visit to his hometown in Colombia at midnight on Christmas Eve in 1997. While he was driving into the ranch of one of his uncles where he was to spend the night, he was kidnapped by the Colombian rebels of the FARC (Revolutionary Arm Forces of Colombia) and taken to the jungle as a hostage for six months. During the first fifteen days of his kidnapping, he was kept in a cave with bats and different kinds of bugs while the captors were waiting for the rebels to pick him up. In that very cave, and after finding out that he was sentenced to death by his captors, he went through a mystical experience with God that changed his life forever. Five and a half months later, Marino was miraculously released from captivity after a miracle of God, and after his release he went back to his Catholic faith. Eighteen months later he became a full time missionary for the Catholic Church leaving all of his past, and his worldly possessions behind. constantly on the road of the mission around the world. Marino's testimony has been put into a book that he wrote and he is currently developing other teachings in writing, video and audio formats. All materials are available via this web page. Marino travels giving conferences and he can also be booked through this page as well.

Marino Restrepo on Purgatory:

Marino Restrepo Conversion Testimony:

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich: Conquering Impatience Helps Poor Souls

"My guide warned me to guard carefully against impatience and to offer every vexation for the poor souls.  The other morning I almost forgot his admonition and was on the point of yielding to impatience, but I repressed it.  I am very glad I did so, and I thank my good angel for helping me.  No words can say what immense consolation souls receive from a little sacrifice, a trifling self-victory."

By the Very Reverend Carl E. Schmoger, C.SS.R.