Tag Archives: will

Hearing God’s Personal Message To You

If ever we are meant to see Our Creator face to face in one beautiful moment of bliss for all eternity; is it not well to consider the statement we always hear that everything happens for a reason, our reason. I have heard this statement so many times in my life, but does one ever really stop and contemplate the power and practicality behind those words?

In order to fully understand the meaning of this statement, we must first realize the reality of coming from such an omnipotent and infinite Designer. Since we are created from the ashes of the Earth, but live in a world of constant change and development; no matter how much of a pedestal mankind would like to elevate itself to, we are still subject to an inevitable change. Unfortunately the separatism that mankind undergoes in attempting to isolate itself from it’s Creator is nigh impossible to achieve, but is seemingly most always the goal of the societies we live in. As well, most people do not understand that created matter is in fact the lowest form of reality, that our senses deceive us in this life and that everything that seems important to devote our time and lives to is in fact not when compared to eternity.

“As a father hath compassion on his children, so hath the Lord compassion on them that fear him; for he knoweth our frame, he remembereth that we are dust.” (Ps. 102: 13-14).

“Can a woman, forget her infant, so as not to have pity on the son of her womb? And if she should forget, yet will not I forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee in my hands; thy walls are always before my eyes.” (Is. 49:15-16)

One may consider the accomplishments mankind has achieved when it comes to the extent of space travel, as compared to the vastness and stretches of space itself. Apollo 13 currently holds the Guinness world record for the farthest travel by mankind in space at 248,655 miles away from the Earth. The Voyager satellite has since now, entered interstellar space and is still venturing forth. But what of those accomplishments compares to the vastness and openness of the space in which we occupy? Hardly any comparison if one takes the zoomed out perspective and sees the inifinte universe in its entirety.

Down at a molecular level, things are happening within us everyday that we are unaware of. White cells are fighting off infections and intruders to the body constantly. Billions of male sperm enter into the female body and fight through obstacle after obstacle; finally releasing it’s tail to enter into the female egg when but one sperm out of billions is left to lay claim to it’s long awaited destination. Automatically knowing what to do, when to do it, and not being given any direction by us as human beings.

The only thing we do have control over is our free will to choose the good things in life and our intellect to know what is TRULY good and what is only apparently good. This Earth as I have stated before is our Garden of Eden. This Earth is mankind’s workshop to achieve the designed end to which we are all subject. There is no middle ground, and we know this because this is what God in the person of Jesus Christ has come to tell us through His Church, and through His Apostles, and Disciples. Knowing that there is no middle ground, one must make a conscience decision everyday in every thought, word, or action to consecrate themselves to God and His Divine Providence for us or to work against it.

How do I know what God’s plan for me is? In order to answer this question, we should start with the best but probably most overlooked example of how we should be living our lives, it is the example of our first parents Adam and Eve. Many exclaim that such stories are only myths and often times distort their relevance when it comes to how it applies in their own lives. Regardless of the details the message is extremely simple and one worth considering everyday. That message is that when Adam and Eve cooperated with everything that God gave them they were happy and in constant contact with Him. It is when THEY chose to hide from Him and when THEY chose to disobey His command that life for them got a little bit harder. And by harder I mean that they were cast out of the Garden and that death, diseases, and sickness are now upon us all as a result.

Getting back to the infinite Majesty of God, is it not possible to think that whatever choices we make, who ever we are surrounded with, and whatever we are doing; that God is speaking to us through all these things. I do not mean that in a general sense, but that the events and happenings in our lives happen, as a result of the direction and guidance we need from God and His bottomless knowledge of His created beings.

“Behold the birds of the air, for they neither sow, nor do they reap, nor gather into barns: and your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not you of much more value than they?” Matthew 6:26

It is said that not one hair falls from our heads without Our Lords consent. That makes everyday a test, a journey, the surrounding events in our lives are a result of how well we are doing, whetherour circumstances are TRULY or only apparently good. If we live in the reality that we all are meant for God then truly good things do and are happening to you, and not just apparently good things.

The things and circumstances placed before us in our lives are a direct reflection of the Love we do or do not have for God. Much as a Gardner who prunes a plant to bear good fruit, God knows what’s best for each and every one of us. We do not, because we do not do a well enough job of governing our senses with out His Graces. If we deny His Graces and live life according to the flesh, then we will die according to the flesh. Everything we need to know about how a person lived can be discovered from the manner in which they died. Whether or not someone has run out of favor or chances to use God’s graces to do His Will and be truly happy even in this life. And we know that the sins of one affect all, as a stone thrown into a still morning lake creates an unending ripple affect.

My grandfather was raised Catholic. During my youth I watched as he attended Church every Sunday with His wife, who taught Catechism to the students. Both of them prayed the rosary with all 8 of their grandkids whenever we were there and there was barely a moment I saw my grandfather without a rosary or Catholic book in his hands. Both my grandparents were extremely devout, and when they noticed the changes of Vatican 2 taking place in the Church, turning it from the only sacrifice acceptable and pleasing to God the Father into another Protestant service, they got up and walked out and did not go to mass until they found a parish that celebrated the Tridentine Mass the was codified at the council of Trent (St. Athanasius in Vienna Va), and did not recognize the heretical hierarchy of the new Novus Ordo religion.

I grew up praying the mass in the basement of a house, we prayed the Novena to St. Joseph to obtain a bigger church, a school, and more priests. Everything we prayed for we eventually received. By the time my grandfather was nearing his death, he completely tuned himself out from the rest of the world, received last rights from our priests several times (as he had several close calls), the final time being in the hospital, he was being given the Apostolic Blessing and died halfway through, on Christmas Day. At this point we now had 3 priests in our parish, his dying wish was to have a high mass said with 3 priests which was accomplished without a hitch. As well, his final resting place (next to his wife in Buffalo, who also died several years prior to him, painlessly in a stroke induced coma); was being pounded by a severe snowstorm as my parents escorted his casket to the Chapel up north. My dad stated that when they got there, the Church was beyond any beauty they had seen in person as well there was an air infantry unit (as my grandfather was a WW2 Veteran), ready and waiting to give him one of the most solemn and reverent burials my parents had ever seen.

The following week I discussed these events with my father wondering in amazement how he was able to coordinate everything and deal with a snowstorm that shut down roads and get everything accomplished. He stated to me that it just happened, everything fell into place without having to do anything. The first thing that came to my mind, was the testament to how this man, my grandfather, lived and devoted his life to God. That God was doing, for him, what he could not do for himself, because my grandfather had devoted his life to the service of His Creator.

When my grandmother passed, my mother was able to find and give me her rosary. At that point in my life I was in the throws of addiction. I had children out of wedlock (contrary to how I was raised), I drank everytime I could find money, I was addicted to pain pills and anything I could get my hands on. Anything to fill the void, and it was bad. I was consistently getting my girlfriend pregnant, we were constantly having utilities shut off because I was blowing money left and right, and my poor son and daughter had to deal with their parents screaming and fighting.

I began to pray every decade of the rosary as much as time would allow, every single day. I started going back to Alchoholics Anonymous, I got a sponsor, I started working the steps. I was able to get a year of sobriety down one day at a time. Sometimes one Hail Mary at a time. And then I kept going, and prayed for more. I prayed to get out of the volatile situation, I prayed for His Will, for the eyes of my significant other to be opened to the changes I had been attempting to make, as 5 years of Hell living with an addict and being pregnant back to back 4 times started to boil over in my first year of attempting to get sober.

I leaned extremely hard on Our Blessed Mother, the saints, and God. As soon as I got a year of sobriety our lease was up and if I continued to stay something bad would happen. We were on the verge of literally ripping each other’s heads off in front of our children. I found a room for rent after many nights sleeping in my truck or at my sponsors house and I left.

Three months later we were engaged, God has done for us what we could not do for ourselves. I have never been happier, because we separated, I made Holy Communion for the first time in 6 years. I have become an example that my kids do not run away from, my fiance loves, and my co-workers come to for advice and help. When we do right and live right God works His miracles through us! I only seek His Will for me everyday and I practically do not have to do anything but reap the rewards. I have had amazing moments of clarity and gratitude where I broke down crying. Not being financially well off, I had a wedding ring fall into my lap and the cross I thought I was to be cursed with carrying my whole life become another reason for me to live and to love.
We only have to live right and do right and have the Faith (see the blog post “In a Nutshell”), and He will meet us halfway. All we have to do is pray, hope, and don’t worry. That small inner voice that you hear everyday will guide you. You can become an instrument for His use in affecting day to day miracles and changes in others. We are all destined to be Saints! It does not matter where you come from, what you believe or don’t believe, everyone’s final end is God. The less we put ourselves, and our sensual desires for fleeting worldly things in between us and Him the more manifest the miracles become. Don’t believe me? Try listening to that small inner voice, the one that is constantly telling you to seek the Truth in all things. LOOK FOR THE TRUTH, not the apparent truth. You do not need to be rich if you have His Graces, and love conquers all. Look to the cross, and bear yours with patience. If Christ as God, had to suffer so much to prove His love for men, what will we have to suffer to prove our love for Him? Contrary to what most believe we actually have to work in order to obtain salvation. What’s the point of being born to just put your feet up, and not do anything? Where is the reward in that? Are not the Saints who are literally numbered in the millions all over the world, and in all times of our existence not the examples we need to follow to be like unto Christ? A life of hard and fruitful labor, with the mindset of laying up our treasure in Heaven that neither moth nor rust consumes, nor thieves break in and steal will pay off in this life AND for eternity. Do not stop drawing souls to Him and Truth until He says it’s time!

God Bless BJS!!

Prayer/Meditation (and subsequent chapters)

The following excerpts are from a book entitled The Spiritual Combat. By Lorenzo Scupoli. A book that subsequently, St. Francis de Sales carried with him for 18 years!


PRAYER
WE HAVE SHOWN that distrustfulness of self, confidence in God, and proper application of the faculties of the soul are the indispensable weapons of conquest in the spiritual combat. Yet a far more important weapon is prayer, since by it are obtained, not only the above-specified virtues, but everything requisite for our salvation. Prayer is the channel of all Divine grace; by it God is compelled, as it were, to grant us the strength of Heaven, and destroy by our weak hands the fiercest of our foes. But in order to receive full benefit from our prayer, the following method should be observed:
1. We must desire sincerely to serve God with ardent fervor in the manner most agreeable to Him; and this desire will be enkindled within our breasts if we consider three things attentively. The first is that Almighty God deserves our homage and service by reason of the excellence of His sovereign being, His goodness, beauty, wisdom, power, and His ineffable, infinite perfection. The second is that God in Heaven became man on earth to consecrate a life of thirty-three years to the cause of our salvation. He condescended to dress our wounds with His own hands, and heal them, not with oil and wine, but with His own precious blood and immaculate body, torn and disfigured by cruel whips, thorns, and nails. The third point is our realization of the obligation to observe His law, and discharge every duty, since this is the only way we can expect to triumph over the devil, to become masters of ourselves, and children of God.

2. We must have a vibrant, living faith and a firm confidence that God will not refuse the assistance necessary to serve Him faithfully and work out our salvation. A soul rekindled with this holy confidence is like a sacred vessel, into which Divine Mercy pours the treasures of His grace; and the larger the vessel, the greater the abundance of Heavenly blessings it receives through prayer. For how can God, Whose power is limitless, and Whose goodness is alien to all deception, ever refuse His gifts to those whose petitions He has encouraged, and whose perseverance and faith He has promised to reward with the blessings of the Holy Spirit?

3. But our motive for prayer must be the will of God rather than the will of self. We must apply ourselves to this divinely appointed duty because He has commanded it, and we must wish no more than that which is in utter conformity to God’s plan. Thus, our intention will not be to make the Divine will subservient to our own, but rather, to transform the human will so that it is in complete harmony with the Divine. The reason for this humble accedence to the Divine will is the perversity of our own, tainted as it is with a blind self-love. Guided by ourselves alone, we would err and stumble, but the will of God, essentially just and holy, cannot be mistaken. Thus the will of God should be the will of men, since not to follow the former is to go astray. Let us, then, be most solicitous that all our petitions be agreeable to God, and if doubts arise concerning the concurrence of the human with the Divine, let a humble submission to Divine Providence accompany our requests. If, however, the things we ask are, by their very nature, pleasing to Him, such as grace, virtue, etc., then let us beg them with a view to pleasing and serving His Divine Majesty, rather than for any other consideration, however creditable.

4. If we wish our prayers to be efficacious, our actions must suit the petitions, and we must exert much energy in making ourselves worthy of the favors we ask. For prayer and interior mortification are inseparable, and he that seeks a particular virtue, without making a serious effort to practice it, only tempts God.

5. Before we ask anything of God, we ought to thank Him most humbly for the innumerable benefits He has graciously bestowed upon us. Let us say to Him: “O Lord, Who after creating me, didst mercifully pay the price of my redemption, delivering me from the fury of myriad enemies, come now to my assistance; and forgetting my past ingratitude, bestow upon me this favor I now ask.” If, however, at the very time we seek to attain a particular virtue, we find ourselves tempted to the contrary vice, let us thank God for granting us the opportunity of practicing the virtue in question, and look upon the occasion as a favor.

6. As the entire force and efficacy of prayer is attributed solely to the goodness of God, at the conclusion of our petitions we should constantly remember the merits of our Savior’s life and passion, and His promise to graciously hear our requests, with one or the other of these sentences:

A) “I beseech Thee, O Lord, through Thy infinite mercy, to grant my petition.”

B) “Through the merits of Thy Son, bestow this favor on me.”

C) “Be mindful, O God, of Thy promises, and hear my prayers.” Again, we may have recourse to the intercession of the blessed Mother and the other Saints; for they prevail much with God, Who is pleased to honor them, in proportion to the honor they accorded Him on earth.

7. We must persist in prayer, since God certainly cannot overlook our humble perseverance. For if the pleadings of the widow in the Gospel prevailed with the wicked judge, how can our pleadings be ignored by God, Who is infinitely good? Thus, although our favors may not be immediately granted, and may even appear to be ignored by God, we must not lose our confidence in His infinite goodness, nor desist from prayer. For God possesses both immense power and will to grant us those things conducive to our ultimate welfare. Therefore, if we are not wanting in ourselves, we shall inevitably obtain what we ask for, something better, or perhaps both. As for the rest, the more we churlishly think ourselves slighted by God, the more we should hold ourselves in contempt. But in considering our misery, we should contemplate the Divine mercy, and far from lessening our confidence in Him, we must increase it; for the steadier we remain in situations attended by fear and diffidence, the greater will be our merit. Finally, let us never cease to thank God, blessing equally His wisdom, His goodness, His charity, whether He grants or refuses our petition. Whatever happens, let us be undisturbed, contented and resigned to divine Providence in all things. 

MENTAL PRAYER

MENTAL PRAYER is the elevation of our minds to God, asking of Him either expressly or tacitly those things of which we stand in need. We ask for them expressly when we say in our hearts: “O my God, grant me this request for the honor of Thy holy name”; or “Lord, I am firmly convinced that this petition is Thy will, and for Thy greater honor, I ask this petition. Accomplish, therefore, Thy Divine will in me.” When harassed by the attacks of the enemy, let us say: “Come swiftly, O Lord, to my assistance lest I fall a prey to my enemy”; or “O God, my refuge and my strength, help me speedily, lest I perish.” When temptation continues, we must continue the same prayer, courageously resisting the foe; and when the fury of the combat has passed, let us address ourselves to the Almighty, imploring Him to consider our weakness in the face of the enemy’s strength: “Behold, my God, Thy creature, the work of Thy hands, a man redeemed by Thy precious blood. And behold Satan trying to carry him from Thee to utterly destroy him. It is to Thee I fly for aid, and it is in Thee that I place my entire confidence, for I know that Thou alone art infinitely good and powerful. Have pity on a miserable creature who stumbles blindly, though willfully, into the path of his enemies, as do all who forsake the assistance of Thy grace. Help me therefore, my only hope, O sole strength of my soul!” We tacitly ask favors of God when we present to Him our necessities, without making any particular request. Placing ourselves in His Divine presence, we acknowledge our incapacity to avoid evil or do good without His aid. We are nevertheless inflamed with a desire of serving Him. Thus we must fix our eyes upon Him, waiting for His assistance with unbounded confidence and utter humility. 

The confession of our weakness and the desire to serve Him, this act of faith so performed, is a silent prayer which will infallibly obtain our request from Heaven. The more sincere the confession, the more ardent the desire, and the more lively the faith, the greater will be the efficacy of the prayer before the throne of God. There is another method of prayer similar to this, but more concise, consisting as it does in but a single act of the soul. The soul presents her requests to the Almighty, adverting to a favor already asked and still sought, although not formally expressed. Let us endeavor to cultivate this kind of prayer, and employ it on all occasions; for experience will convince us that nothing is more easy, yet nothing more excellent and efficacious.

MEDITATION

WHEN A CONSIDERABLE length of time is to be spent in prayer, it is advisable to make a meditation on some feature of our Savior’s life or passion; the reflections naturally arising from such meditation should then be applied to the particular virtue we are striving to attain. If, for instance, you need patience, contemplate the mystery of your Savior scourged at the pillar.

Consider first the blows and revilements hurled at Him by the soldiers as they brutally drag their innocent victim to the appointed place as ordered.

Secondly, consider Him stripped of His garments, exposed to the piercing cold. 

Thirdly, picture those innocent hands, bound tightly to the pillar.

Fourthly, consider His body, torn with whips until His blood moistened the earth. And finally, envision the frequency of the blows, creating new wounds, reopening others on that sacred body. Dwelling on these or similar details, calculated to inspire in you a love of patience, you should try to feel within your very soul the inexpressible anguish so patiently borne by your Divine Master.

Then consider the excruciating agony of His spirit, and the patience and mildness with which that agony was endured by Him Who was ready to suffer even more for God’s glory and your welfare. Behold, then, your Master, covered with blood, desiring nothing more earnestly than your patient acceptance of affliction; and be assured that He implores for you the assistance of the Heavenly Father that you may bear with resignation, not only the cross of the moment, but the crosses to come. Strengthen, therefore, by frequent acts your resolution to suffer, with joy; and, raising your mind to Heaven, give thanks to the Father of mercies, Who didst send His only Son into this world to suffer indescribable torments, and to intercede for you in your necessities. Conclude your meditation by beseeching Him to grant you the virtue of patience, through the merits and intercession of this beloved Son in Whom He is well pleased.

ANOTHER METHOD OF MEDITATION

THERE IS ANOTHER method of prayer and meditation besides the one to which we have adverted. In this latter method, having considered the poignant sufferings of your Savior and His patient endurance of them, you proceed to two other considerations of equal importance. The one is the consideration of Christ’s infinite merits, and the other, of that satisfaction and glory which the eternal Father received from His obedience—an obedience unto death, even the death of the Cross. You must represent these two considerations to the Divine Majesty, as two powerful means of obtaining the grace you seek. This method is applicable, not only to all the mysteries of Our Lord’s passion, but to every exterior or interior act He performed in the course of His passion.
A METHOD OF PRAYER BASED ON THE INTERCESSION OF THE BLESSED VIRGIN

BESIDES THE METHODS of meditation already mentioned, there is another which is addressed particularly to the Blessed Virgin. We first consider the eternal Father, then Jesus Christ Our Lord, and finally, the Blessed Mother. With regard to the eternal Father, there are two considerations. The first is the singular affection He cherished from all eternity for this most chaste Virgin whom He chose to be the mother of His Divine Son. The second is the eminent sanctity He was pleased to bestow upon her and the many virtues she practiced in her lifetime. 

Meditating on the affection of the eternal Father for our Lady, you must begin by raising your mind above all created beings; look forward to the vast expanses of eternity, enter into the heart of God, and see with what delight He viewed the person destined one day to become the mother of His Son; beseech Him by that delight to give you sufficient strength against your enemies, especially those who most grievously afflict you. Contemplate, then, the virtues and heroic actions of this incomparable Virgin; make an offering of each or all of them to God, as they are of such efficacy as to obtain for you divine assistance in your particular necessities. 

After this address yourself to Jesus, begging Him to be mindful of that loving mother who for nine months carried Him in her womb, and from the moment of His birth paid Him the most profound adoration. For this was her acknowledgment that this Child was at once God and man, her Creator and her Son. With compassion she saw Him poorly accommodated in a humble stable, nourished Him with her pure milk, kissed and embraced Him a thousand times with maternal fondness, and through His life and at His death, suffered for Him beyond expression. Present this picture to the Savior, that He may be compelled, as it were, by such powerful motives, to hear your prayers. Appeal to the Blessed Virgin herself, reminding her of her commission from all eternity, to be the Mother of Mercy and the refuge of sinners, and that after her divine Son, you place your greatest confidence in her intercession. Present to her the fact, asserted by the learned and confirmed by miracles, that no one ever called upon her with a lively faith, and was left unaided. Finally, remind her of the sufferings of her Son for your salvation, that she may obtain of Him the grace necessary to make proper use of His sufferings for the greater glory of that loving Savior.

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!!

Are You Idle?

“But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

The more we think of God the more we want Him and to think about Him. We desire His Will above all things. When we stop thinking about God, we stop directing our attention and love to Him. We start to think about ourselves, our selfish wills, and our wants disguised as needs. The devil gets into our heads if we don’t already start to have idle thoughts. He plays with images and thoughts to tempt us and lead us to sin. He whispers and provokes with no remorse. And the best of his accomplishments are to get someone to not believe he is there, ever.
Hardly anyone today believes, salvation or damnation is not the center of much focus today. Most everyone believes they hold the truth in their own interpretation of the way life should be according to them. There is no authority, to answer to, therefore there are no punishments to merit. This in turn allows many to consistently break the commandments of God without care. A greater portion of people cant even recite the commandments, how can one keep the commandments if they don’t even know them?

What do we do when we know our life purpose? Our final end with God that should take precedence over everything. We work it out with fear and trembling! With Faith, Hope, and Charity we merit our salvation by doing His Will. This is not achieved in one day, it is not even achieved in a year. Perfection of one’s soul takes a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice,  God gives us all the tools, as well there are present plenty of distractions and obstacles. How do we know we are doing the Will of God? And what can we do but everything we can daily to obtain it.

In many examples of lives of the saints the thing found common amongst all of them was that they stayed busy. If they were not cleaning, or doing charitable work then they were praying. Or they were praying and doing these works. They were productive, constructive, and never sat idle to allow themselves the possibility of being tempted to sin. St. Martin de Porres is often depicted with a broom in one hand and a rosary in the other. Many Saints were gardners, or spent their time in the confessionals, or traveling to the sick, teaching children, giving to the poor, visiting the incarcerated,  helping the elderly, etc. The greatest tool they used during these times was mental prayer.

The beauty of mental prayer is that you can enter dialogue with God, the Blessed Virgin, your guardian angel, and Saints anytime you want. You can implore their intercession, they can ask God for Actual Graces on their behalf for you, they can teach you how to approach certain situations with their examples of living. You can do it while you clean, or drive,  or when you walk. All you have to do is shut off the music, tv, and put the phone down.

Start reading Catholic literature,  listen to sermons from real traditional priests, learn the truth about God not the many falsehoods the Vatican and learned Bible worshippers now produce. Take God’s Word for everything, it is produced by His Church that offers perpetual sacrifice daily to honor and appease Him who is worthy of all glory. You cannot go wrong with what is truly right. Stop following people who say one thing and do another. Ask God for His Will to be shown to you everyday and it will soon become apparent the tests and opportunities that He allows to happen and that is provided in order that you do the right things.

Do not waste time complaining, moaning, and groaning. They are plenty of people doing that for all eternity. Pains and sorrows are coming know matter what, embrace your cross, step outside of your comfort because this world is not our home anyway. Start building your eternal crown, and the merits that will accompany you for eternity. When one does their best to focus on God constantly and the things of God, interest in everything else starts to dull. The more you get to know God love naturally follows. When you love someone with your whole heart and soul, you want to sacrifice your life in order to serve theirs. There is no one better to serve but our Ultimate Master and Creator from which all good flows. Find truth in things and you will find God. Sit idle and you will be swallowed by the prince of this world.

God Bless BJS!!

Pride

“And I will break the pride of your stubbornness, and I will make to you the heaven above as iron, and the earth as brass:” Leviticus 26:29

Pride blinds us to EVERYTHING. We have impossible expectations of everyone and everything to serve our needs. When these are not met we burst into fits of anger or other extreme emotions out of self will run riot. If we are not in control of our own emotions what an illusion that we think we can control anyone or anything else? It is pride that put the devil in Hell. It is pride that condemned Our Lord to die on the cross. It is pride that sprouted all these different Protestant religions along with private interpretation of Scripture, that takes them off the path that Christ has shown us to follow and that was reiterated by countless saints and martyrs.

To think we are something when truly we were made from nothing. Pride gives fuel to every other sin, believing we are entitled to so offend God. Like a weed in your garden that starts as a seed. It grows first in vanity of one’s self. It then leads to selfishness, and finally the worst of the forms of pride, arrogance. It chokes out the delicate flowers of virtue that ever need our attention in being cultivated and watered. It grows up to attack these virtues no matter how hard we try and the world puts miracle grow on these weeds.

Pride is defined as excessive self-love and is committed in a number of ways with three main forms, vanity (or vainglory), selfishness, and arrogance.

Vanity – this is the lowest form of pride, and consists of paying extra attention to yourself. Along with this is the expectation that others should pay the same amount of attention to you. It is right and proper for people to look good and well kept respectably, but too much looking in the mirror and focus on one’s self means you are pleased with yourself in such a way you believe others should be too.

This is made manifest by boasting of one’s self. Exaggerated conversation as to make what you speak sound more important. Praising your children as to extol your feelings of pride through them. All of these are subtle ways in which individuals express pride. Drawing attention to yourself.

Human respect is defined as the acceptance of sinful living in order to draw or maintain acceptance of other humans over Gods. Early English Protestants lived in such a way as to earn the attention of their king. As well stubbornness engenders discord.

Selfishness- when one seeks their own needs excessively. We have too great a desire and attention to fulfilling our own needs then to think about God or others. This is manifested by us in excessive interest and pursuit of pleasures. Excessive material things lead to an inability to make sacrifice. This inability destroys marriages and religous vocations.

Selfishness destroys marriages because one or both parties are unwilling to do anything outside of pleasing themselves to preserve the blessed union of matrimony before God. They are blinded by pride into lust, gluttony, anger and all the others. People do not choose religous vocations because it is not a “lucrative market”, it doesnt appeal to the senses like pleasure and money do.

Your duties in life become abandoned for ease out of laziness. There is an arising of anger and strong passions. One does not care if people’s lives are miserable, as long as this person can lash out and throw their fit like a child when they don’t get their way. This selfishness leads to cold-hearts and a general lack of compassion.

Arrogance – this is the worst kind of pride and inclines rebellion of the intellect and disrespect. We believe we are not even subject to reality. The errors of subjectavisim and relativism take hold to the point the mind cannot discern between what is real and obviously true anymore.

Rejection of standard norms of reality, today anything goes.  Society embraces heresy and is in acceptance of everything. This is one of the worst sins you can commit before God. It is just under hatred of God and is the spirit of the devil. Contempt for authority and humility. Love of self to the hatred of God as He becomes an obstacle to us and eventually obtains hatred from us. As the devil hates Him, us, and everything, in such ways.

The first question of Catholic Catechism is why God made us. The Catholic answer would be to know, love, and serve Him in this world to be happy with Him in Heaven. The answer the world gives us is to obtain as much human respect, money, and impure pleasure, to die and go to Hell forever. Heroes of human ages are heretics to the truth, they are held with such great esteem. Godless, and liberalized in their thinking of what is owed to them. We were created out of nothing, and it is God that maintains our existence, not us.
God Bless BJS!!