Tag Archives: soul

77 Graces & Fruits To Be Derived From Devout Attendance At Holy Mass

As taken from The Incredible Catholic Mass by Fr. Martin von Cochem 1704 In German and republished in English in 1997 by Tan Books and Publishers inc.


  1. For your salvation, God the Father sends His beloved Son down from Heaven.
  2. For your salvation, the Holy Spirit changes bread and wine into the true Body and Blood of Christ.
  3. For your sake, the Son of God comes down from Heaven and conceals Himself under the form of the sacred Host.
  4. He even abases Himself to such an extent as to be present in the minutest particle of the sacred Host.
  5. For your salvation, He renews the saving mystery of the Incarnation.
  6. For your salvation, He is born anew into the world in a mystic manner whenever Holy Mass is celebrated.
  7. For your salvation, He performs upon the altar the same acts of worship that He performed when on earth.
  8. For your salvation, He renews His bitter Passion in order that you may participate in it.
  9. For your salvation, He musically renews His death and sacrifices for you His precious life.
  10. For your salvation, He sheds His Blood in a mystic manner and offers it up for you to the Divine Majesty.
  11. With the Precious Blood He sprinkles your soul and purifies it from every stain.
  12. For you, Christ offers Himself as a true burnt offering and renders to the Godhead the supreme honor which is its due.
  13. By offering this act of worship to God, you make reparation for the glory which you have failed to give Him.
  14. For you Christ offers Himself to God as a sacrifice of praise, thus atoning for your omissions in praising His Holy Name.
  15. By offering to God this oblation which Christ offers, you give Him greater praise than do the holy Angels.
  16. For you Christ offers Himself as a perfect sacrifice of thanksgiving, making compensation for all failures on your part to render thanks.
  17. By offering to God Christ’s act of thanksgiving, you make ample acknowledgement of all the benefits He has bestowed upon you.
  18. For you Christ offers Himself as the All-powerful Victim, reconciling you to the God whom you have offended.
  19. He pardons you all your venial sins, provided you are firmly resolved to forsake them.
  20. He also makes reparation for many of your sins of omission; when you left undone the good you might have done.
  21. He removes many of the imperfections attaching to your good deeds.
  22. He forgives you the sins, unknown or forgotten, which you have never mentioned in Confession.
  23. He offers Himself as a victim to make satisfaction for a part, at least, of your debts and transgressions.
  24. Each time you hear Mass, you can do more to pay the penalty due to your sins than by the severest work of penance. 
  25. Christ places to your credit a portion of His merits, which you may offer to God the Father in expiation of you offenses.
  26. For you Christ offers Himself as the most efficacious peace-offering, interceeding for you as earnestly as He interceded for His enemies on the cross.
  27. His Precious Blood pleads for you in words as countless as the drops which issued from His sacred veins.
  28. Each of the adorable wounds His Sacred Body bore is a voice calling aloud for mercy for you.
  29. For the sake of this propitiatory Victim, the petitions proffered during Mass will be granted far sooner than those that are proffered at other times.
  30. Never can you pray so well as while present at Mass.
  31. This is so because Christ unites His prayers to yours and offers them to His heavenly Father.
  32. He acquaints Him with your needs and the dangers to which you are exposed, and makes your eternal salvation His particular concern.
  33. The Angels also who are present plead for and present your poor prayers before the throne of God.
  34. On your behalf the priest says Mass, by virtue of which the evil enemy will not be suffered to approach you.
  35. For you and for your everlasting salvation he says Mass, and offers that Holy Sacrifice to God Almighty.
  36. When you hear Mass, you are yourself in spirit a priest, empowered by Christ to offer the Mass both for yourself and others.
  37. By offering this Holy a Sacrifice you present to the Blessed Trinity the most acceptable of all oblations.
  38. You offer an oblation precious indeed, of greater value than all things in Heaven and earth.
  39. You offer an oblation precious indeed, for it is none other than God Himself.
  40. By this Sacrifice you honor God as He alone is worthy to be honored.
  41. By this Sacrifice you give infinite satisfaction to the Most Holy Trinity. 
  42. You may present this glorious oblation as your own gift, for Christ Himself gave it to you.
  43. When you hear Mass correctly, you perform an act of highest worship.
  44. By hearing Mass you pay the most profound reverence, the most loyal homage, to the sacred humanity of Our Lord.
  45. It is the best means whereby to venerate the Passion of Christ and obtain a share in its fruits.
  46. It is also the best means of generating the Blessed Mother of God and increasing her joy.
  47. By hearing Mass you can give greater honor to the Angels and Saints than by reciting many prayers.
  48. By hearing Mass devoutly, you can also enrich your soul more than by anything else in the world.
  49. For in this act you perform a good work of the highest value.
  50. It is a signal exercise of pure Faith, which will receive a great reward.
  51. When you bow down before the Sacred Host and the sacred chalice, you perform a supreme act of adoration.
  52. For each time that you gaze reverently upon the Sacred Host, you will receive a recompense in Heaven.
  53. Each time you strike your breast with compunction, some of your sins are remitted to you.
  54. If you hear Mass in the state of Mortal sin, God offers you the grace of conversion.
  55. If you hear Mass in the state of grace, God gives you an augmentation of grace.
  56. In Holy Mass you spiritually eat the Flesh of Christ and drink His Blood.
  57. You are privileged to behold with your eyes Christ hidden under the sacramental veil, and to be beheld by Him.
  58. You receive the priest’s benediction, which is confirmed by Christ in Heaven.
  59. Through your diligence in hearing Mass, you will also obtain corporal and temporal blessings. 
  60. Furthermore, you will be preserved from many misfortunes that would otherwise befall you.
  61. You will also be strengthened against temptations which would otherwise have vanquished you.
  62. Holy Mass will also be to you a means of obtaining the grace of a holy death.
  63. The love you have shown for Holy Mass will secure for you the special succor of Angels and Saints in your last moments.
  64. The remembrance of the Masses hears in your lifetime will be a sweet solace to you in the hour of death and inspire you with confidence in the divine mercy.
  65. They will not be forgotten when you stand before the strict Judge and will incline Him to show you favor.
  66. You need not fear a long and terrible Purgatory if you already, to a great extent, attoned for your sins by frequently assisting at Holy Mass.
  67. One Mass devoutly heard will do more to mitigate the pains of Purgatory than any act of penance, however difficult of performance.
  68. One Mass in your lifetime will be of greater service to you than many said for you after death.
  69. You will attain a high place in Heaven, which will be yours for all eternity.
  70. Your felicity in Heaven will, moreover, be increased by every Mass you hear on earth.
  71. No prayers offered for your friends will be as efficacious as a single Mass heard and offered on their behalf.
  72. You can amply recompense all your benefactors by hearing Mass for their intention.
  73. The best help, the greatest consolation, you can afford the afflicted, the sick, the dying, is to hear Mass for them.
  74. By this same means you can even obtain for sinners the grace of conversion.
  75. You can also earn for all faithful Christians saving and salutary graces.
  76. For the Suffering Souls in Purgatory you can procure abundant refreshment.
  77. And if it is not within your power to have Mass said for your departed friends, you can by devout assistance at the Holy Sacrifice release them from the tormenting flames.

“If Christians only knew how to profit by Holy Mass, they might acquire greater riches than are to be found in all things God has created.” – Father Sanchez
God Bless BJS!!

Uniformity of God’s Will and the Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ

St. Alphonsus de Ligouri

O Jesus, my love, I am determined to love Thee as much as I can, and I wish to become a Saint; and I wish to become a Saint for this reason, in order to give Thee pleasure, and to love Thee exceedingly in this life and the next!

I can do nothing of myself, but Thou canst do all things; and I know that Thou wishest me to become a Saint. I see already that by Thy grace my soul sighs only for Thee, and seeks nothing else but Thee. I wish to live no more for myself; Thou desirest me to be wholly Thine, and I desire to be wholly Thine.

Come, and unite me to Thyself, and Thyself to me. Thou art infinite goodness; Thou art He Who hast loved me so much; Thou art, indeed, too loving and too lovely; how, then, can I love anything but Thee? I prefer Thy love before all the things of this world; Thou art the sole object, the sole end of all my affections.

I leave all to be occupied solely in loving Thee, my Redeemer, my Comforter, my hope, my love, and my all. I will not despair of becoming a Saint on account of the sins of my past life; for I know, my Jesus, that Thou didst die in order to pardon the truly penitent. I love Thee now with my whole heart, with my whole soul; I love Thee more than myself, and I bewail, above every other evil, ever having had the misfortune to despise Thee, my sovereign good.

Now I am no longer my own. I am Thine; O God of my heart, dispose of me as Thou pleasest. In order to please Thee, I accept of all the tribulations Thou mayest choose to send me—–sickness, sorrow, troubles, ignominies, poverty, persecution, desolation—–I accept all to please Thee: in like manner I accept of the death Thou hast decreed for me, with all the anguish and crosses which may accompany it: it is enough if Thou grantest me the grace to love Thee exceedingly.

Lend me Thy assistance; give me strength henceforth to compensate, by my love, for all the bitterness that I have caused Thee in past time, O only love of my soul!
O Queen of Heaven, O Mother of God, O great advocate of sinners, I trust in thee!

Particular Judgment

 

Complete justice will not be done in this life, but in the next. Then everything will be weighed in the balance of God’s justice, and punished or rewarded. If on earth we have obeyed the commandments of God and of the Church we shall be given an eternal reward in heaven (1). If we have obeyed all the commandments, but die with unforgiven venial sin, or without having satisfied for forgiven mortal sin, we shall be sent to purgatory (2). Alas for us if we die with even one mortal sin! For then we shall be banished from the sight of God and suffer torments in hell forever (3).

    What is the judgment called which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death? –The judgment which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death is called the particular judgment.The existence of the particular judgment can be deduced from the parable of Dives and Lazarus; a soul is shown rewarded immediately after death.

  1. As soon as each soul leaves the body at death it undergoes the Particular judgment, at which its eternal destiny is decided. “We must all be manifested at the judgment seat of Christ.” “It is appointed unto men to die once, but after this comes the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). “Every one of us will render an account for himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).Let us remember that even while the relatives gather around the bed of the departed one, even while his body is still warm, the particular judgment is gone through and finished; the judgment is passed, and the soul gone to his reward or punishment. If we remember this, we shall be more fervent in praying for the dead, in helping others die a happy death, so that without fear they may meet God at the judgment. 
  2. Jesus Christ is the Judge at the Particular Judgment. Before Him each soul must stand. The soul will stand in the awesome presence of God the Son, to give an account of its whole life: of every thought, word, act, and omission.“Neither does the Father judge any man, but all judgment he has given to the Son” (John 5:22). 
  3. A man’s whole life will be spread before him like a great picture. He will remember everything, although he might have forgotten much at the moment of death. How he will wish then that he had done only good! We are not to suppose that the soul will go to heaven before Christ to be judged. God enlightens each soul in such a manner that it fully knows Christ has passed a true judgment on it.“Of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). The judgment will embrace even the good which has been neglected: a strict account will have to be rendered of the use we made of the talents and graces given to us. Even good actions badly performed will come under scrutiny, careless communions, hasty confessions, etc. Only then shall we know the exactness with which God sees and measures every act, word, and even intention in our deepest thought. 
  4. The good and the evil that the soul has done will be weighed in the balance of God’s justice. Then the sentence will be passed by Jesus Christ alone, without the intervention of witnesses. This sentence is final and will never be reversed. The soul will learn the sentence, the reasons for it, and its absolute justice.“But of every one to whom much has been given, much will be required; and of him to whom they have entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48).
    What are the rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment? –The rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment are heaven, purgatory, or hell.“With what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you” (Matt. 7:2). As we have loved God and our fellow-men during life, so we shall be given the proper reward or punishment.

  1. He who dies in his baptismal innocence, or after having fully satisfied for all the sins he committed, will be sent at once to heaven.The just will enter into everlasting life (Matt. 25:46). Only those souls enter heaven who are free from all sin, and from the penalty due to sins which have been forgiven. Nothing defiled can enter heaven (Apoc. 21:27). 
  2. He who dies in the state of grace, but is in venial sin, or has not fully atoned for the temporal punishment due his forgiven sins, will be sent for a time to purgatory.The souls in purgatory are saints, because they are sure of going to heaven. In purgatory they cannot commit any more sin, not even the slightest. They only long for God. 
  3. He who dies in mortal sin, even if only with one single mortal sin, will be sent at once to hell.“For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by” (Wis. 5:15). By mortal sin a man cuts himself off from God. It is really he himself that sends himself to hell. God’s desire would be to see all His creatures with Him in heaven.
    How should we prepare for the judgment? –We should prepare for the judgment by being most careful to lead a good life and die a happy death. 

  1. We should do all the good we can, so that God may forgive the evil we may do. We should not only obey carefully all the Commandments of God and the Church, but do good works in prayer and alms-deeds, practicing charity for the love of God. How can we be careless about a matter of such importance, when we are absolutely certain of being judged by God! “For what shall I do, when God shall rise to judge?” (Job 31:14). 
  2. We should do voluntary works of penance, for love of God, in expiation of any sins we may have the misfortune to commit. The “Imitation of Christ” says on this topic: “In all things look to the end, and how thou wilt stand before the strict Judge, from Whom there is nothing hid; Who takes no bribes, and receives no excuses, but will judge that which is just. … Be, therefore, now solicitous for thy sins, that in the day of judgment thou mayest be in security with the blessed. … Then shall the poor and humble have great confidence, and the proud fear on every side. Then it will appear that he was wise in this world, who for Christ’s sake learned to be a fool and despised. … Then shall the flesh that was afflicted exult more than if it had always fared in delights. … Then a pure and good conscience shall bring more joy than learned philosophy. Then shall the contempt of riches far outweigh all treasures of the children of earth. … Learn to suffer now in little things, that thou mayest be delivered from more grievous sufferings. … All is vanity except to love and serve God alone” (Bk. I, chap. 24). 
  3. We should never go to sleep without being prepared never to awake on earth again, but in the presence of our judge. Let us examine our conscience every day, make acts of contrition for our sins, confess them, and resolve to avoid them in the future.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

An Image of God

 

The Book of Genesis describes the creation of the first man and the first woman in these words: “And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs. … And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman” (Gen. 2:7, 21, 22). Such was the creation of Adam and Eve, our first parents. God gave them power over all created things: the earth, the beasts, birds, fishes, plants, and all things else

.

 

What is man? — Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

Before the creation of man, God said, “Let us make man to our image and likeness; and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26).

 

  1. God formed the body of man from the slime of the earth; but He breathed the soul into man’s body. In this way the soul came direct from God, and indicates closer likeness to Him.

    We should always reverence our likeness to God, trying to perfect it by making our soul as holy as possible. Once the enemies of a king tried to make his son do something wrong. But the youth proudly and resolutely answered, “No! I am the son of the king!” By Baptism man becomes the adopted son of God, Who is infinitely higher than any earthly king. His soul is like his Father in Heaven.

     

  2. The soul of man is different from the soul of brute animals. Animals have senses and instinct, but neither reason nor free will. Free will is that power of the soul to choose whether to act or not to act.

    If a horse has not eaten for a day, and you put some hay before him, he will eat, because his instinct moves him to do so. But a hungry man may fast for days, and still refuse to eat however hungry he may be, if he wills not to eat. The difference between man’s free will and animal instinct is that a man can say “No” to himself.

     

  3. The soul and the body are not loosely connected parts of man; they are united in a substantial union. The soul is not located in any particular member of the body, but is whole and entire in each part

     

Is this likeness to God in the body or in the soul? — This likeness to God is chiefly in the soul. Man continues in this likeness to God only when he remains in God’s grace, for then he is a “partaker of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).

 

  1. Like God, man’s soul is an immortal spirit, with understanding and free will. Some deny the existence of the soul, because it cannot be seen; yet the same people would not deny the existence of human reason, even if this cannot be seen, either.

    Some claim that man has two souls, one good and one evil, striving for mastery. But the struggle that we often experience comes from only one soul with different tendencies arising from the fact of our being made of both body and soul, partly material and partly spiritual. In a living person, the soul should not be considered apart from the body; their union is as close as the relation between a musician and his instrument at the hour of a concert.

     

  2. Through his two faculties of the soul, understanding and free will, man obtains dominion over the material world, as God possesses power over the entire universe.

    As God said before creating man: “Let him have dominion over the beasts and the whole earth” (Gen. 1:26). Through his likeness to God, man has the power to know the true, the good, the beautiful, so far even as to know the Source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, God Himself.

     

How can we prove that the soul of man is immortal? — We can prove that the soul of man is immortal, because man’s acts of intelligence are spiritual; therefore, his soul must be a spiritual being, not dependent on matter, and hence not subject to decay or death.

If even matter cannot totally disappear, however small the particle, how can the soul of man, of a far higher order, be thought to suffer extinction?

 

  1. Man has mind and will. He can reflect, reason, plan for the future, make judgments, remember. These prove his soul spiritual. Such a soul cannot die as the body does.

    Man longs for an ideal state of perfect happiness, such happiness as is impossible to attain on earth. This universal longing must have been placed in men’s souls by God Himself; it is a desire for the infinite happiness of a union with the Creator. If, therefore, man’s soul were not immortal, he would have no chance to realize his dream of bliss, and God would be cruel in implanting the longing for it in his breast.

     

  2. There have been many instances of the dead appearing to the living. In the Gospel, Moses and Elias appeared on Mount Thabor to Christ and three of His Apostles. At Christ’s death, many who were dead rose and appeared in Jerusalem.

    The Blessed Virgin has through the centuries continued to appear to men; such instances are almost innumerable. Saints have also returned to earth to comfort or instruct the living; even souls in purgatory have returned, to beg for prayers. We must, however, be very careful about believing in particular instances of appearances by the dead; the devil can and often does use this instrumentality to trick the gullible.

     

  3. Belief in the immortality of the soul and a life after death is universal among mankind, including the most primitive peoples.

    In the Bible are many instances of the belief of the Jews in another life, where the souls of the dead would be. For instance, one of their laws forbade holding with the dead. The Greeks and Romans believed in Tartarus and Elysium, places for the dead. Other nations have different cults to the dead, especially during their burial ceremonies. Such cults would be meaningless did those who took part in them not have an idea of another life for departed souls.

     

  4. If the soul were not immortal, the wicked who commit evil all their lives would go unpunished. The just who suffer continually on earth would not receive any reward. This would be injustice impossible to the perfect justice of God.

    If even man, imperfect as he is, can see innumerable examples of injustice in life, could not God? Would He not have a way of correcting such injustice? And if so, since it cannot be corrected in this life, there must be another, where immortal souls go to obtain perfect justice.

     

  5. Holy Scripture, the Word of God, teaches that the soul is immortal.

    “And many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake: some unto life everlasting, and others unto reproach, to see it always” (Dan. 12:2). Our Lord Himself said to the good thief, “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matt. l0:28). “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt. 22:32).

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.

God Bless BJS!!

​The Devils/Temptation

 

It was the archangel Michael who led the good angels: “And there was a great battle in heaven; Michael and his angels battled with the dragon, and the dragon fought and his angels. And they did not prevail, neither was their place found any more in heaven” (Ap. 12:7,8).

 

What happened to the angels who did not remain faithful to God? — The angels who did not remain faithful to God were cast into hell, and these are called bad angels, or devils.

“Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt. 25:41).

 

  1. We also call them demons or fallen angels. Led by the most excellent of the angels created by God, Lucifer or Satan, the bad angels refused to obey God when He tested them. God did not give them a chance to repent, but cast them at once into hell.

    “How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer. … Thou saidst in thy heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, … I will be like the Most High,'” (Is. 14:12-14). Jesus said, “I was watching Satan fall as lightning from heaven” (Luke 10:18).

     

  2. God did not create devils, but glorious angels. The rebel angels turned themselves into devils by their sin.

    By one grave sin against God these angels of light became vile demons, and were condemned to hell for all eternity. We should draw a lesson from this and determine never to sin.

     

What is the chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us? — The chief way in which the bad angels try to harm us is by tempting us to sin.

 

  1. The bad angels tempt man and try to draw him away from God. Often the devil appears as an angel of light, and we are tempted by evil which appears good. Under this guise the devil is most dangerous.

    “Be sober, be watchful! For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking someone to devour” (1 Pet 5:8-9).

     

  2. Without God’s permission, the devil can do us no harm. God sometimes permits the devil to tempt just men, to cleanse them from imperfections.

    Our Lord Himself was tempted by the devil. God permitted Job to be harmed bodily by the devil. Saint Anthony, Saint Teresa, and many other saints suffered from the temptations of the evil one. But these temptations only drive the just to greater love of God. “The life of man is a warfare” (Job. 7:1).

     

  3. Sometimes devils are permitted to enter the body of a man, exercising power over his faculties; this is called diabolic “possession”. At other times devils torment one from without; and this state is called diabolic “obsession”.

    When God permits diabolic obsession or possession, it is to show in some way His glory, or to punish sin, convert sinners, or provide some means for the practice of virtue.

     

  4. In cases of diabolic possession or obsession, the aid of the Church should be sought; for the Church received from Christ the power of exorcism. This is the act of driving out or warding off evil spirits. It is only with the permission of his bishop that a priest is permitted to exorcise evil spirits.

     

  5. The Church forbids Catholics to have anything to do with spiritism. This is calling up the spirits of the dead.

    Some manifestations are spirit-rapping, table-lifting, slate-writing, apparitions, communications through mediums in a state of trance. Most of the spiritist seances are fraudulent, but sometimes the devil manifests himself. God can permit the souls of the dead to return to earth. But there is no indication that He permits Himself to obey mediums. The devil may sometimes impersonate the spirits of the dead. Satan is old and skillful in deceit, and can assume the appearance of an angel of light.

     

Do all temptations come from the bad angels? — Some temptations come from the bad angels; but other temptations come from ourselves and from the persons and things about us.

 

  1. This is what we mean when we say that temptations come to us from the flesh, the world, and the devil.

    The evil inclinations of our weak and corrupted nature tempt us to sin. The world, with its sinful wants and vanities, tempts us to sin. The devil goes about continually tempting us, making use of both our nature and the world for his evil purposes.

     

  2. In itself, temptation is not a sin. It becomes sinful only when: (a) we bring it upon ourselves by carelessness or overconfidence; (b) we play with, take pleasure in, or yield to it.

    The greatest saints have often been most strongly tempted. Our Lord even permitted Himself to be tempted. Thus we see that temptation is not a sin, because we are not responsible for it.

     

  3. God permits us to be tempted in order to try us, to let us win an eternal reward.

    God subjected the angels to a test. Those who passed it are now enjoying Him in heaven, their reward. “Because thou wast acceptable to God, it was necessary that temptation should prove thee” (Tob. 12:13).

    God permitted the devil to tempt our first parents. Temptations serve to keep us humble. God permits all mankind to have temptations but never temptation beyond their strength to resist. “God is faithful and will not permit you to be tempted beyond your strength” (1 Cor. 10:13).

     

  4. The stronger the temptation, the greater the graces God gives for its conquest.

    The conquest by the saints of wicked temptations have made them greater saints. Christ Himself was tempted by the devil, to gluttony, to avarice, and to pride. He wanted to show us that by resisting we may rise to greater love of God. Good men who art worried because so many temptations assail them should remember that ants quickly gather over a jar of honey; the devil strives to catch the good, because he is already sure of the wicked.

     

Can we always resist temptations? — We can always resist temptations, because no temptation can force us into Sin, and God will always help us if we ask Him.

The length of time during which a temptation persists does not make it sinful, if we continue resisting it. A temptation may attack us all our lives, but as long as we fight it, or pay no attention to it, as long as we do not yield, we commit no sin. We have not been conquered, and God will reward us for the good fight.

 

  1. No temptation can do us harm if we obey God’s laws and keep away from sin. If we resist, temptation will flee from us.

    Our lot for all eternity depends entirely on ourselves. God votes for heaven; the devil votes for hell. The deciding vote is ours. Shall we vote for heaven or for hell? “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

     

  2. When assailed by temptation, one must at once resist. It is easier to conquer temptation at the beginning than later on, just as a fire is easier to put out at the outset.

    Since nothing can be done without divine grace, one must pray. One must imitate the Apostles who had recourse to Jesus when a storm arose. Let him say at once, “Lord, make haste to help me!”

     

  3. Some remedies against temptation are:

     

    1. Watchfulness and prayer.

      “Watch and pray, that you may not enter into temptation” (Matt. 26:41). Avoid idleness, keeping always occupied, either by work, or by wholesome recreation. If evil thoughts enter the mind, think of other things, in this way ignoring the temptation.

       

    2. Frequent confession and Holy Communion.

       

    3. Devotion to the Blessed Virgin and the Guardian Angels

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.

God Bless BJS!!

Creationism and the Production of the World

I wanted to include a chapter from a book of Apologetics on the Catholic Faith concerning Creationism. As Christians we are constantly on the defense against many false theories of science, and in fact these theories (that are not even supported by complete scientific evidence), are crammed down our throats and that of our children in the education of the public schools (and even private), the curriculum of which our Godless nation gets to decide. A word about evolution,  I do not know a Christian out there that denies that evolution is a process that happens in our lifetime constantly. However, it does not explain the start of the universe at all and merely supports the change of things over time. If evolution was such a complete process we wouldn’t be worried about extinction, monkeys would be asking to be let out of their cages and trying to find jobs,  etc. but this is not the case. In fact all these “missing links” are fraudulent and lead scientists in circles along with the inaccuracies of radio carbon dating and so forth. I am hoping by presenting this chapter it will help one understand that Creationism is in fact the beginning and one true source of everything that we can perceive with our senses.

False Theories About The Production of the World:

Here we discuss Materialism and Pantheism. Materialism teaches that nothing exists but bodily being or matter, and that the world, as we see it, is but a development of an original mass of matter. Pantheism (from the Greek words pan, “all,” and theos, “God”) teaches that the divine substance alone exists, and that the world and all things in it are outpourings or manifestations of this substance.

1. Materialism – Nothing exists but bodily matter. There is no spirit, no soul, no God. Matter is eternal and uncaused. Matter is composed of tiny particles (atoms) which have an indwelling force of motion. The motion of atoms goes on exerting itself according to changeless physical laws. As a result of this motion, the atoms are variously grouped and united, and thus different “kinds” of bodies emerge-minerals, plants, brutes, men. But there is no real diversity among these things; there is only apparent diversity,  which is accounted for by atomic motion. All things in the world are as truly one in kind, and the product of an original and eternal mass of homogeneous matter, as a variety of differently shaped and differently cooked biscuits is the product of one original mass of dough.

Materialism cannot be true. If matter alone existed, then it would have to be self-existing.  Now, as we have seen, a self-existing being must be necessary and not contingent;  it must be infinite and not finite; it must be simple and not composed; it must be immutable and not full of change. But, as a fact, the world is contingent,  finite, composed, and full of change. Therefore,  matter cannot be self-existent, and it requires an efficient cause to account for its existence-a cause that is ultimately the First Cause, which is necessary,  simple,  infinite,  and immutable. No one can doubt that the world is contingent, else it would have to exist, and there could be no change in it; it would have to be always just what it is unchanged and unchangeable. No one can doubt that the world is finite, for it is made up of mensurable, limited objects, and the sum of limited things is finite and cannot be infinite.  No one can question the fact that the world is composed, for the world and things in it are made up of parts. No one can deny that the world is full of change, for it is clearly in motion (as the atomists themselves assert), and is full of births, deaths, renewals, physical change, chemical change, mechanical change.

If materialism were true, then mind and matter would be the same; or rather, mind would be but a phase or development of matter. But matter always has extension; and mind has no extension. Besides, mind can deal with things that transcend the limits of matter, things like unity, truth, goodness, honor, ideals, appreciation of poetry, music, art, etc. Further, if materialism were true, there could be no accounting for intellectual knowledge or free-will. Material objects are essentially individual, and intellectual knowledge is essentially founded upon universal ideas or concepts. Free-will is self-direction following intellectual judgement, and matter is essentially inert and not self-directive.

If materialism were true, then every one of the particles of matter (atoms) would be necessary, eternal,  infinite!  A thing made up of parts, as matter is made up of atoms,  can only amount to the sum of its parts, and if these be finite (as parts must be!) then the whole sum of parts is finite. Yet matter is infinite, says the materialists, for it is eternal and uncaused. Therefore, infinity must belong to each and every particle of matter. This conclusion is obviously absurd and self-contradictory. Hence materialism cannot be true.

Finally, if materialism were true, each atom of matter would be necessarily endowed with force of motion. Yet, as we have seen, motion is essentially a thing given, communicated, received. Motion is not self-originating, but must be traced to a first mover, itself unmoved. How, then, does the atom get its necessary motion?  If nothing but matter exists, motion in matter becomes an utter impossibility.  For all these reasons we reject materialism as a theory wholly incapable of explaining the production of the world.

2. Pantheism – There is but one substance; this is God. The world and all things in the world are either outpourings (emanations) of the divine substance, or manifestations of God. In other words, the world is to God what inlets are to the sea, what sparks are to the fire from which they spring; or the world is a manifestation of God as a smile is a manifestation of mind, or as a ripple on a lake is a manifestation of a condition affecting water, or as wind is a manifestation of atmospheric disturbance. Pantheism of the first type is called Emanationism; pantheism of the second type is called Phenomenalism. There is a third type of pantheism called Idealistic, of which we need only say that it is a very vague and abstract doctrine of God as a kind of idea (called The Absolute) which comes gradually out of its abstract state into concreteness by realizing itself in things.

Pantheism, in whatever form presented, identifies the world with God. This doctrine cannot be true. Pantheism contradicts reason. Reason demonstrates the impossibility of a cause producing itself as its own effect;  yet pantheism makes the First Cause and Necessary Being one with the world, which is a caused and contingent being. Further, pantheism teaches a kind of evolution in God (for He emits emanations, manifestations,  or develops concrete realization of Himself), and thus posits change in the Necessary Being, growth in the Perfect Being, improvement in the Infinite Being!

Pantheism contradicts consciousness. Each of us recognize himself as an individual being distinct from all others. This consciousness must be altogether deceiving if pantheism be true, for then we are nothing but emanations, manifestations, or “parts” of God! And if consciousness so deceives us, we must not trust it at all; so we cannot be sure of anything that we perceive or reason out: hence all doctrines, including pantheism, become utterly uncertain and futile; there is nothing left but the absurd self-contradiction of universal scepticism.

Pantheism would lead to unthinkable consequences in practical life. Pantheism destroys personality in men and makes all men one with one another and one with God. Thus there can be no individual free-will, no individual responsibility. The murderer and his victim, the saint and the sinner, the patriot and the traitor, are all one, are all God! There can be no crime then, for all human action is God’s action, and God cannot commit crime. Thus there is no morality,  and laws and governments become futile inanities. 

For these reasons we are forced to reject pantheism as a theory wholly incapable of explaining the production of the world. Pantheism and Materialism are called monism (from the Greek word monos “one,” “alone”) because they teach that the universe is made of one single kind of substance, viz., either the divine substance,  or matter.

The Fact of Creation:

With materialism amd pantheism rejected as utterly inadequate, we are left but one doctrine on the production of the world. This doctrine, therefore, must, by exclusion, be true. It is called the doctrine of Creationism, and it asserts that the world was produced by an act of God’s infinite will, which called it out of nothingness into real existence.

Creation is the production out of nothing of a thing in its entirety. It is, first of all, an act of production, of efficient causality. Further, creation is an act of efficient causality which produces the entire effect out of nothing. In this we notice that creation is different from all other acts of efficient production. A carpenter builds a house, but he does not create the house; his work is merely an adaptation and use of preexisting materials, and there is nothing preexistent for creation to deal with. A dressmaker may call the product of her art “a creation”; but it is obvious that her work is merely the arrangement and shaping of materials which she did not produce herself. A poet may call his latest sonnet “a creation,” but the poet does not create his thoughts and fancies: they are fundamentally drawn from a material world which the senses perceive,  and which the poet did not produce or help to produce. A creation is a thing produced without preexisting materials. To create is to produce a thing, entirely and completely,  out of nothing.

Now the world is a fact; it is here. In answering the question,  “How did the world get here?” we must not say that it caused itself, for that would be to assert the absurdity that it existed as cause to give itself existence as an effect. Nor can we say that the world is an outpouring,  a manifestation or realization of God, as pantheism teaches. Nor can we say that the world is eternal, uncaused, infinite, and necessary, as materialism asserts. There is only one answer left: the world was created. And thus, even now, we may say that the fact of creation stands proved by exclusion.

We offer also one direct or positive proof of the fact of creation. Whatever is found in a thing belongs to that thing of necessity, or is shared to that thing by another in which it is found of necessity. Thus if a piece of iron is hot, we know that, since iron is not of necessity hot, heat was communicated to the iron by that which is, of its nature, hot, viz., fire. Now, existence belongs of necessity only to that being which must exist and cannot be non-existent; in a word, existence belongs of necessity to God alone. Therefore, when other things are found in possession of existence,  it follows that existence was communicated to them by that which has existence of necessity, i.e. by God. That is to say, the chain of communicated existences  in things must ultimately lead to God, the First and Necessary Cause. Hence, existence in the world points to God as the Cause, the Producer of the world. Now, how did God produce the world? Not out of His own substance, for He is infinite and immutable. Not out of some other substance, for no substance exists which has not its existence from God, and if we say that God made the world out of pre-existing substance,  our question merely shifts to this substance,  and we ask, “How did God produce that?” Ultimately, we must reach the conclusion that God made substances out of no pre-existing substances at all. In other words, God made substances out of nothing, that is to say, He created substances. And whether the world were developed out of other substances into its present form, or was made just as we behold it, in any case the ultimate answer to the question of the world’s production is this: The world was created.



In Scripture we read that God made the world in six days. The Hebrew word “yom” is rendered by “day” in the English translation of the Bible. But “yom” really means a period of undetermined length. It matters not whether God willed (from eternity) that the world should develop slowly or quickly into its present form. In any case, there were six periods or stages of development in the work. This does not mean that the world “evolved” or that it did not; it merely means that six definite stages of creation are a revealed truth. We add, in passing, that it also means that man’s creation was a separate and distinct creation – a special act by which God breathed upon the face of man and man became a living soul. 

The six days of creation are not solar or sun days, for the sun was not made until the fourth day of creation. Whether they were long or short periods we do not know. Experimental science seems to indicate that they were long, very long. Time, however, has nothing to do with the fact. Time, indeed, comes into existence with creatures, and is a measure affecting creatures only, and not God. The six days of creation are known as the Hexahemeron, a word derived from the Greek hex, “six,” and hemera, “day.”

God freely chooses to create, for, since He is all-perfect, He is utterly free and in no wise necessitated in His acts. God is not moved or motivated to create. Hence God has no motive, in the strict sense of that term. Still, God has an end and purpose in creating, for he is most wise, and to act without purpose would  act unwisely. Hence, we rightly say that God has a purpose, an end in view, in creating, but that He is not stirred to create by any motive.

Now God  cannot have made creatures for themselves; creatures are utterly contingent and cannot be an end to themselves; they have nothing of being, nothing of value, to serve as an end except what God gives them. It must be, then, that God, in creating,  acts toward Himself as toward an end.  Hence God is not only the First Efficient Cause of creatures; He is also the Last End or Final Cause of creatures; He is also the Last End or Final Cause for which creatures exist. Theologians prove the truth that God creates for His external formal and objective glory. In a word, God creates for Himself as the only end worthy of divine action.

In this bodily world the chief of creatures (i.e., of things created) is man. Man alone of worldly creatures has a spiritual and immortal soul and  free will. Other creatures exist to help man maintain life and to achieve a measure of happiness here; they exist to help man to live his life on earth in a manner suitable to win him happiness for eternity. That man has a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will is proved in Rational Pschology, a department of Philosophy. Apologetics can give but the briefest of arguments-albeit the arguments are incontrovertible-for the existence of a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will in man.

1. Man has a spiritual soul. That which exercises spiritual (i.e., real but non-material) functions is itself spiritual,  for the action of a thing manifests its nature, and no effect can exceed its cause in excellence or perfection. Now the soul of man exercises spiritual functions. The soul, thinks, reflects, reasons, is aware of such non-material things as beauty, goodness, truth, unity, honor, glory, ideals. It has self-consciousness by which it can perfectly bend back or reflect upon itself-a thing which no material or bodily thing can do: the eye does not see itself seeing, the ear does not hear itself hearing, but the soul can think of itself thinking, can know itself knowing, can make itself and its acts the object of its own study and inquiry. Therefore the soul, since it exercises spiritual functions, is itself spiritual. 

2. Man has an immortal soul. Whatever is spiritual is simple, i.e., not made up of physical parts. Such parts are essentially the component elements of material things. Now the soul of man is spiritual; hence it is not made up of parts. But whatever is not made up of parts cannot be separated into parts. And whatever cannot be separated into parts cannot die-for death is precisely the breakimg up of a living thing into its essential physical parts. Therefore, man’s soul cannot die. In other words. it is immortal. 

3.  Man has free-will. Man is possessed of an indestructible conviction that he is the author of his own acts, and that he has freely chosen to do what he has done, but could have done otherwise. Man is inevitably conscious of his own proper responsibility for what he does: he reproaches himself for having done some things, he approves of his conduct in other instances. If this consciousness be deceiving,  there is no truth to be had by human means at all, and there is no certainty in anything, no learning, no science.  Again, if man be not free in his choice of individual human acts, then all laws, governments,  courts, are absurdities. All human law is based upon the obvious fact of man’s freedom: laws are made to direct free choice lest it be hurtfully abused. Laws are not made for houses or trees or horses, but for man; for only the agent that can break a law is free to keep a law. The conviction of man’s freedom is  obvious and universal as the conviction of the world’s existence. Deny this conviction,  and you deny all validity in human knowledge. Man, therefore, has free-will.

Since man alone of all worldy creatures has the surpassing excellences of a spiritual and immortal soul and free-will, man is the most perfect, the chief, the most important, of creatures in THIS world.”

This chapter was transcribed by tradcat4christ from the book Apologetics by RT. REV MSGR. PAUL J. GLENN,  Ph.D S.T.D

God Bless BJS!!