Saturday, July 9, 2011

Diary of St. Faustina.....on Hell

One day, just as I had awakened, when I was putting myself in the presence of God, I was suddenly overwhelmed by despair. Complete darkness in the soul. I fought as best I could till noon...I fell to the ground, despair flooding my whole soul. I suffered terrible tortures in no way different to the torments of hell. (24)

One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realising it. And at the end of the raods there was a horrible precipice; that is the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings. (153)

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Trusting God and Holy Fear....Pope Benedict XVI

The Holy Father said the scriptures invite us to reflect on the difference between human fears and the fear of God.  Fear, he said, is a natural dimension of human life. While we overcome the imaginary fears of childhood, others emerge that are founded in reality.
These fears “must be faced and overcome with human commitment and trust in God.”

However, the Holy Father said, there is a deeper fear that exists today, an “existential fear, which at times borders on anguish and which stems from a sense of emptiness that is tied to a certain culture permeated by widespread theoretical and practical nihilism.”
He said the Scriptures speak clearly of a different kind of fear: the fear of God that is the beginning of true wisdom.  "The fear of God defined by the Scriptures as the beginning of true wisdom coincides with faith in God, with respect for His authority over life and the world. To be without this ‘fear of God’ is equivalent to putting ourselves in God’s place, to feel ourselves to be a masters over good and evil, life and death.”

The Holy Father continued, “Those who fear Him have the security of a child in the arms of his mother. Whoever fears God is at peace even in the midst of storms, because God, as Jesus has revealed, is a Father full of mercy and goodness. Whoever loves Him is not afraid: as the Apostle John wrote, ‘In love there is no fear.’ On the contrary, perfect love casts out all fear, because fear assumes punishment, and those who fear do not have perfect love.”

He said that those who believe need not fear anything, since all things are in the hands of God, who does not allow evil and what is irrational to have to the last word. The only Lord of the world and of life is Christ, the Incarnate Word of God who loved us even unto sacrificing himself, and dying on the cross for our salvation.

The Holy Father said the more we grow in this intimacy with God, steeped in love, the more easily we conquer every form of fear. Jesus exhorts us not to be afraid.

“We are reassured just as He reassured the Apostles, as he did with St. Paul in appearing to them in a night vision during a particularly difficult time. ‘Do not be afraid, because I am with you.’ Confident in the presence of Christ and comforted by his love, the Apostle to the Gentiles did not even fear martyrdom.”

From:      Sunday's Angelus
Pope Benedict's address at Nen Deu
Vatican City, Jun 22, 2008

Diary of St. Faustina...on the Greatest Attribute of God

My daughter, imagine that you are the sovereign of all the world and have the power to dispose of all things according to your good pleasure. You have the power to do all the good you want, and suddenly a little child knocks on your door, all trembling and in tears and, trusting in your kindness, asks for a piece of bread lest he die of starvation. What would you do for this child? Answer Me, my daughter. And I said, "Jesus, I would give the child all it asked and a thousand times more." And the Lord said to me, That is how I am treating your soul. .... Bring your ear close to My Heart, forget everything else, and meditate upon my wondrous mercy. My love will give you the strength and courage you need in these matters.(229)

Proclaim that mercy is the greatest attribute of God. All the works of My hands are crowned with mercy. (301)

At that moment, Jesus suddenly stood before me, coming I know not where from, radiant with unbelievable beauty, clothed in a white garment, with uplifted arms, and He spoke these words to me, My daughter, your heart is My repose; it is My delight. I find in it everything that is refused Me by so many souls.......And an instant later, I saw nothing, but a whole ocean of consolations entered my soul. (339)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

St. Therese on Loving those who are difficult to Love

Loving one Difficult to Love

There's one sister in the community who has the knack of rubbing me up the wrong way at every turn; her tricks of manner, her tricks of speech, her character, just strike me as unlovable. But, then, she's a holy religious; God must love her dearly; so I wasn't going to let this natural antipathy get the better of me. I reminded myself that charity isn't a matter of fine sentiments; it means doing things. So I determined to treat this sister as if she were the person I loved best in the world. Every time I met her, I used to pray for her, offering to God all her virtues and her merits.

I felt certain that Jesus would like me to do that, because all artists like to hear their work praised, and Jesus, who fashions men's souls so skillfully, doesn't want us to stand about admiring the façade--he wants us to make our way in, till we reach the inmost sanctuary which is his chosen dwelling, and admire the beauty of that. But I didn't confine myself to saying a lot of prayers for her, this sister who made life such a tug-of-war for me; I tried to do her every good turn I possibly could. When I felt tempted to take her down with an unkind retort, I would put on my best smile instead, and try to change the subject. Once at recreation she actually said, beaming, beaming all over, something like this: "I wish you would tell me, Sister Therese of the Child Jesus, what it is about me that gets the right side of you? You've always got a smile for me whenever I see you." Well, of course, what really attracted me about her was Jesus hidden in the depths of her soul; Jesus makes the bitterest mouthful taste sweet. I could only say that the sight of her always made me smile with pleasure--naturally I didn't explain that the pleasure was entirely spiritual.

From The Little St. Therese of Lisieux

Diary of St. Faustina...on How to treat others..

The Lord said to me, "It should be of no concern to you how anyone else acts; you are to be My living reflection, through love and mercy. I answered, "Lord, but they often take advantage of my goodness." "That makes no difference, My daughter. That is no concern of yours. As for you, be always merciful toward other people, and especially toward sinners." (1446)

It is because you are not of this world that the world hates you. first it persecuted Me. Persecution is a sign that you are following in My footsteps faithfully. (Jesus to suffering souls - 1487)

Monday, July 4, 2011

Meditations from St. Jean Vianney on Receiving Jesus in Holy Communion

Meditation 14: Dispositions of Soul for Holy Communion

When Jesus Christ instituted the Blessed Eucharist, it was in a room well furnished, to teach us how we ought to take care to adorn our soul’; with virtues in order to receive Him in Holy Communion. Let us thank Our Lord for this instruction.

The first ornament of the soul who wishes to communicate is the state of Grace, the next is freedom from any affection for venial sin.
1. To be in a state of grace to receive Communion worthily.

(a) Let a man prove himself, says St. Paul, before coming to the Holy Table: and then let him eat and drink of this chalice. Because he who eats and drinks this chalice unworthily, eats and drinks his own condemnation not discerning the Body of the Lord.

We must, before going to the Holy Table, be sure that we have spent sufficient time in examination of conscience in order to discover our mortal sins, and that we have a great sorrow also, that our confession has thus been entire. We must have a firm determination to do, by the grace of God, all that we can, not to fall into sin again.

If we have not confessed entirely or sincerely, in receiving Holy Communion we would put Jesus Christ at the feet of the devil. What an enormity!

When we go to receive the Body of Jesus Christ in Holy Communion, we should be ready for death and ready to appear with confidence before the tribunal of Jesus Christ.

(b) Those who go to Holy Communion without having purified their hearts, ought to be afraid of incurring the chastisement of the servant who dared to sit at table without a wedding garment. The Master ordered his officials to bind his hands and feet, and to cast him into the outer darkness. Even thus Jesus Christ will say at the hour of death to those who have the misfortune of receiving Him into their hearts unworthily. “Why have you had the audacity to receive Me when you were stained with so many sins ?” No, never forget that to communicate we must be truly converted, and have a sincere determination to persevere.

(c) Sin, according to the mind of St. Bernard, is the poison of our souls.

(d) You would not embrace a King if your mouth gave out a fetid odour, and you embrace the King of heaven with a soul more fetid still! No outrage could be greater. Do you not see with what care, decency and splendour even the Sacred Vessels are kept. How much more pure and shining ought our souls to be! Because the Sacred Vessels do not share in the mysteries that they enclose, they are not conscious of them. There is no real union between them and Him who is in them. For us it is otherwise. We must, then, in order to receive the Sacred Host purify our minds and make our souls all holy.

2. To be free from affection for venial sin, in order to gather abundant fruit from Communion.

Before giving His adorable Body and precious Blood Jesus washed the feet of the Apostles to show us that we must be free from sin, even the slightest, and that we should have no affection for them. The purity of Jesus is so great that the least fault prevents us from being united to Him as completely as He would wish.

Venial sin, it is true, does not make our Communion unworthy, but it is the reason why we profit so little from
it. See, for instance, how many Communions you have made. Are you any better? No, perhaps. Why? Because you retain nearly always the same imperfections. You have a horror of big sins which would kill your soul, but for all these acts of impatience, these murmurings when some trouble or some annoyance or contradiction befalls you, for these little evasions in speech.

You wish everyone should love you, and have a good opinion of you. You do not make the least effort to correct yourself.

Set to work to destroy in yourself all that is not pleasing to Jesus Christ, to speak willingly to those who have caused you pain, to be pleased to see them, to love them sincerely, to practise the perfect renouncement of yourselves and you will see how your Communion will carry you forward with great strides towards Heaven. The more you do it, the more you will feel yourself detached from sin and carried to God.

Diary of St. satan tried to take her peace..

Once I desired very much to receive Holy Communion, but I had a certain doubt, and I did not go. I suffered greatly because of this. It seemed to me that my heart would burst from the pain. When I set about my work, my heart full of bitterness, Jesus suddenly stood by me and said, My daughter, do not omit Holy Communion unless you know well that your fall was serious; apart from this, no doubt must stop you from uniting yourself with Me in the mystery of My love. Your minor faults will disappear in My love like a piece of straw thrown into a great furnace. Know that you grieve Me much when you fail to receive Me in Holy Communion.(156)

On the following day, I had a clear awareness of the following words: "You see, God is so holy, and you are sinful. Do not approach Him and go to confession everyday." And indeed whatever I thought of seemed to me to be a sin. ...when the day for confession came, I prepared a whole mass of those sins of which I was to accuse myself. However, in the confessional God allowed me to accuse myself of only two imperfections, despite my efforts to make a confession according to what I had prepared . When I left the confessional, the Lord said to me, My daughter, all those sins you intended to confess are not sins in My eyes; and that is why I took away your ability to tell them. I understood that Satan, wanting to disturb my peace, has been giving me exaggerated thoughts. (1802)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rules of Discernment from St. Ignatius

Some of the Rules from St. Ignatius on Discernment of Spirits.. for the full document on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, please check out the website below...


First Rule. The first Rule: In the persons who go from mortal sin to mortal sin, the enemy is commonly used to propose to them apparent pleasures, making them imagine sensual delights and pleasures in order to hold them more and make them grow in their vices and sins. In these persons the good spirit uses the opposite method, pricking them and biting their consciences through the process of reason.


Second Rule. The second: In the persons who are going on intensely cleansing their sins and rising from good to better in the service of God our Lord, it is the method contrary to that in the first Rule, for then it is the way of the evil spirit to bite, sadden and put obstacles, disquieting with false reasons, that one may not go on; and it is proper to the good to give courage and strength, consolations, tears, inspirations and quiet, easing, and putting away all obstacles, that one may go on in well doing.


Third Rule. The third: OF SPIRITUAL CONSOLATION. I call it consolation when some interior movement in the soul is caused, through which the soul comes to be inflamed with love of its Creator and Lord; and when it can in consequence love no created thing on the face of the earth in itself, but in the Creator of them all. Likewise, when it sheds tears that move to love of its Lord, whether out of sorrow for one's sins, or for the Passion of Christ our Lord, or because of other things directly connected with His service and praise. Finally, I call consolation every increase of hope, faith and charity, and all interior joy which calls and attracts to heavenly things and to the salvation of one's soul, quieting it and giving it peace in its Creator and Lord.


Fourth Rule. The fourth: OF SPIRITUAL DESOLATION. I call desolation all the contrary of the third rule, such as darkness of soul, disturbance in it, movement to things low and earthly, the unquiet of different agitations and temptations, moving to want of confidence, without hope, without love, when one finds oneself all lazy, tepid, sad, and as if separated from his Creator and Lord. Because, as consolation is contrary to desolation, in the same way the thoughts which come from consolation are contrary to the thoughts which come from desolation.


Fifth Rule. The fifth: In time of desolation never to make a change; but to be firm and constant in the resolutions and determination in which one was the day preceding such desolation, or in the determination in which he was in the preceding consolation. Because, as in consolation it is rather the good spirit who guides and counsels us, so in desolation it is the bad, with whose counsels we cannot take a course to decide rightly.

Taken from Ignatian Spirituality:

Diary of St. Faustina....on Discernment

Even though a soul may immediately distinguish between false inspirations and those of God, it should nevertheless be careful, because many things are uncertain. God is pleased and rejoices when a soul distrusts Him for His own sake; because it loves Him, it is prudent and itself asks and searches for help to make certain that it is really God who is acting within it.

And once a well-instructed confessor has confirmed this, the soul should be at peace and give itself up to God, according to His directions; that is, according to the directions of the confessor. (139)