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 ~