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 http://www.marysdowryproductions.org/

~ 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 daughtersofstpaul.com

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 ~