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Category Archives: Words of Wisdom

YOU CANNOT CONTINUE TO LIVE IN SIN AND AFTERWARDS GO TO HEAVEN

YOU CANNOT CONTINUE TO LIVE IN SIN AND AFTERWARDS GO TO HEAVEN

JUDGMENT

In that day every trial borne in patience will be pleasing and the voice of iniquity will be stilled; the devout will be glad; the irreligious will mourn; and the mortified body will rejoice far more than if it had been pampered with every pleasure. Then the cheap garment will shine with splendour and the rich one become faded and worn; the poor cottage will be more praised than the gilded palace. In that day persevering patience will count more than all the power in this world; simple obedience will be exalted above all worldly cleverness; a good and clean conscience will gladden the heart of man far more than the philosophy of the learned; and contempt for riches will be of more weight than every treasure on earth.

A GOOD AND CLEAN CONSCIENCE 

Then you will find more consolation in having prayed devoutly than in having fared daintily; you will be happy that you preferred silence to prolonged gossip.

Then holy works will be of greater value than many fair words; strictness of life and hard penances will be more pleasing than all earthly delights.

Learn, then, to suffer little things now that you may not have to suffer greater ones in eternity. Prove here what you can bear hereafter. If you can suffer only a little now, how will you be able to endure eternal torment? If a little suffering makes you impatient now, what will hell fire do?  In truth, you cannot have two joys: you cannot taste the pleasures of this world and afterwards reign with Christ.

ALL IS VANITY, EXCEPT TO LOVE GOD AND TO SERVE HIM ALONE

If your life to this moment had been full of honours and pleasures, what good would it do if at this instant you should die? All is vanity, therefore, except to love God and to serve Him alone.

He who loves God with all his heart does not fear death or punishment or judgment or he’ll, because perfect love assures access to God.

It is no wonder that he who still delights in sin fears death and judgment.

It is good, however, that even if love does not as yet restrain you from evil, at least fear of hell does. The man who casts aside the fear of God cannot continue long in goodness but will quickly fall into the snares of the devil.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HELL – THE DAMNED HAVE NO REST OR CONSOLATION

HELL – THE DAMNED HAVE NO REST OR CONSOLATION

For a man will be more grievously punished in the things in which he has sinned. The lazy will be driven with burning prongs, and the gluttons tormented with unspeakable hunger and thirst; the wanton and lust-loving will be bathed in burning pitch and foul brimstone; the envious will howl in their grief like mad dogs.

EVERY VICE WILL HAVE ITS OWN PROPER PUNISHMENT 

Every vice will have its own proper punishment. The proud will be faced with every confusion and the avaricious pinched with the most abject want. One hour of suffering there will be more bitter than a hundred years of the most severe penance here. In this life men sometimes rest from work and enjoy the comfort of friends, but the damned have no rest or consolation.

THE PROUD WILL BE STRUCK WITH FEAR

You must, therefore, take care and repent of your sins now so that on the day of judgement you may rest secure with the blessed. For on that day the just will stand firm against those who tortured and oppressed them, and he who now submits humbly to the judgment of men will arise to pass judgment upon them. The poor and humble will have great confidence, while the proud will be struck with fear. He who learned to be a fool in this world and to be scorned for Christ will then appear to have been wise.

– From: Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

 
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Posted by on October 13, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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ORIGINAL SIN BECOMES TO ME ALMOST AS CERTAIN AS THAT THE WORLD EXISTS

ORIGINAL SIN BECOMES TO ME ALMOST AS CERTAIN AS THAT THE WORLD EXISTS

MAN IS CALLED SO HIGH AND FALLS SO LOW

To consider the world in its length and breadth, its various history, the many races of man, their starts, their fortunes, their mutual alienation, their conflicts… the greatness and littleness of man, his far-reaching aims, his short duration… the prevalence and intensity of sin, the pervading idolatries, the corruptions, the dreary hopeless irreligion – all this is a vision to dizzy and appal; and inflicts on the mind a profound mystery, which is absolutely beyond human solution.

THE HUMAN RACE IS IMPLICATED IN SOME TERRIBLE ABORIGINAL CALAMITY 

What shall be said to this heart-piercing, reason-bewildering fact? I can only answer, that either there is no creator, or this living society of man is in a true sense discarded from his presence… if there is a God, since there is a God, the human race is implicated in some terrible aboriginal calamity. It is out of joint with the purpose of its creator. This is a fact, a fact as true as the fact of its existence; and thus the doctrine of what is theologically called original sin becomes to me almost as certain as that the world exists, and as the existence of God.

– Bl. John Henry Newman; Man is called so high and falls so low. Apo., 241-43

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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IN ALL THINGS CONSIDER YOUR END

IN ALL THINGS CONSIDER YOUR END

In all things consider the end; how you shall stand before the strict Judge from Whom nothing is hidden and Who will pronounce judgment in all justice, accepting neither bribes nor excuses. And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the countenance of an angry man, what answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins? Why do you not provide for yourself against the day of judgment when no man can be excused or defended by another because each will have enough to do to answer for himself? In this life your work is profitable, your tears acceptable, your sighs audible, your sorrow satisfying and purifying.

PRIORITIES

The patient man goes through a great and salutary purgatory when he grieves more over the malice of one who harms him than for his own injury; when he prays readily for his enemies and forgives offences from his heart; when he does not hesitate to ask pardon of others; when he is more easily moved to pity than to anger; when he does frequent violence to himself and tries to bring the body into complete subjection to the spirit.

It is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices than to keep them for purgation in the hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised love of the flesh. What will that fire feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and the more we satisfy the flesh, the harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the burning.

– From: Thomas a Kempis; The Imitation of Christ

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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THE WEAPON OF THE SECOND EVE IS PRAYER

THE WEAPON OF THE SECOND EVE IS PRAYER

I consider it impossible then, for those who believe the Church to be one vast body in heaven and on earth, in which every holy creature of God has his place, and of which prayer is the life, when once they recognise the sanctity and the dignity of the Blessed Virgin, not to perceive immediately, that her office above is one of perpetual intercession for the faithful militant, and that our very relation to her must be that of clients to a patron, and that, in the eternal enmity which exists between the woman and the serpent, while the serpent’s strength lies in being the tempter, the weapon of the second Eve and Mother of God is prayer.

– Bl. John Henry Newman; Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Diff. II, 73

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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THE COMFORTS OF LIFE ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF OUR WANT OF LOVE OF GOD

THE COMFORTS OF LIFE ARE THE MAIN CAUSE OF OUR WANT OF LOVE OF GOD

I must say plainly this, that fanciful though it may appear at first sight, the comforts of life are the main cause of our want of love of God; and, much as we may lament and struggle against it, till we learn to dispense with them in good measure, we shall not overcome it.

Till we, in a certain sense, detach ourselves from our bodies, our minds will not be in a state to receive divine impressions, and to exert heavenly aspirations.

A smooth and easy life, an uninterrupted enjoyment of the goods of Providence, full meals, soft raiment, well-furnished homes, the pleasures of sense, the feeling of security, the consciousness of wealth – these and the like, if we are not careful, choke up all the avenues of the soul.

– Bl. John Henry Newman; The necessity of self-denial; P. S. V, 337

 

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WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH NOT BY ARGUING

WE ARE SAVED BY FAITH NOT BY ARGUING

Many a man seems to have no grasp at all of doctrinal truth. He cannot get himself to think it of importance what a man believes, and what not. He tries to do so; for a time he does…

Yet though he thinks so one day, he changes the next; he holds the truth, and then lets it go. He is filled with doubts… Reasonings do not convince him; he cannot be convinced; he has no grasp of truth.

Why? Because the next world is not a reality to him; it only exists in his mind in the form of certain conclusions from certain reasonings. It is but an inference; it can never be more, never can be present to his mind, until he acts instead of arguing.

– Bl. John Henry Newman, We are saved by faith not by arguing; P. S. IV, 231

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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THROUGH PRAYER, A MAN IS NO LONGER WHAT HE WAS BEFORE

THROUGH PRAYER, A MAN IS NO LONGER WHAT HE WAS BEFORE

I say, then, it is plain common sense that the man who has not accustomed himself to the language of heaven will be no fit inhabitant of it… The case is like that of a language or style of speaking of this world; we know well a foreigner from a native…

[S]o a habit of prayer, the practice of turning to God and the unseen world, in every season, in every place, in every emergency (let alone its supernatural effect of prevailing with God) – prayer, I say, has what may be called a natural effect, in spiritualising and elevating the soul.

A man is no longer what he was before; gradually, imperceptibly to himself, he has imbibed a new set of ideas, and become imbued with fresh principles.

– Bl. John Henry Newman, Moral effects of Communion with God, P. S. IV, 229-30

 
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Posted by on October 9, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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HOW CAN I BE GOOD?

HOW CAN I BE GOOD?

Dear little souls, God loves, you and your sufferings are not unknown to me; you who so ardently feel the happiness of devoting yourselves to others, but are unable to do so, because the occasions seem to fly from you; you who so often try to devote yourselves, but are suddenly held back by timidity and the fear of not being accepted – it is for you that I have collected these little occupations, which permit you to taste, without coming from under the shadow of silence and obscurity, the joys of a devotion known to God alone, of a benevolence all the sweeter to the heart of him who exercises it because no one thinks of thanking him.

THE SWEET OFFICE OF MEDIATOR

This little occupation consists in never suffering two hearts in a family or community to remain for any length of time at variance.

It seems a most natural thing to extend your hand to a friend who is offended, saying simply, with that friendly smile which brightens the whole countenamce: Let us love each other as we did before.

The wounded heart closes, retires, and shrinks back upon itself, exaggerating the injuries inflicted on it by a friend and its own wrongs, and it remains estranged; it desires to revive the old friendship, but it knows not how to commence.

Oh! if some advance were only made.

Make it, you who accept the sweet office of mediator. Go from one to the other; be the bearer of a simple good morning; tell him who is offended that you have seen his friend sad.

Is there a reparation to be made, a pardon to be asked? Take it upon yourself, arrange an interview, cause a smile, a tear. Do not become weary until you have re-established the union between these two hearts.

And then quietly resume your ordinary life, as if you had done nothing, and await some new occasion of being useful.

Oh! what account will not God take of your steps and your words.

– From: Golden Grains, A Collection of Counsels for the Sanctification And Happiness of Every-Day Life, M. H. Gill & Son, Dublin, 1889

MORE WAYS TO BE GOOD

The Repairer of Neglects

 

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THIS HOME IS AN EXAMPLE OF MARRIED LIFE AND OF VIRGINITY

THIS HOME IS AN EXAMPLE OF MARRIED LIFE AND OF VIRGINITY

ST ANNE, THE MOTHER OF OUR LADY

The home of Anne is set before us, giving an example at once of married life and of virginity, the first in the person of the mother, the second in that of the daughter; of whom the one has just been freed from sterility, and the other, a little later on, is to bring forth Christ in a supernatural birth, adapted by a divine artifice to the circumstances of our nature. Therefore, filled with the divine Spirit, her soul happy and joyous, deservedly does Anne cry aloud: “Rejoice with me, for from my sterile womb I have borne the bud of promise, and, as I had desired, I feed at my breast the fruit of blessing. I have put off the mourning-garment of sterility, and put on the joyful raiment of fruitfulness. Let that other Anne [Hannah], the rival of Phenenna, rejoice with me this day, and let her celebrate with me this new and unexpected miracle, which has been wrought in me, as it was in her.

LET ALL THE BARREN AND CHILDLESS SING IN HARMONY TOGETHER

Let Sara rejoice, she who rejoiced in conception in her old age, and foreshadowed my conception from sterility. Let all the barren and childless sing in harmony together at my visitation made to me from heaven in a wonderful manner.” Likewise, let all mothers endowed with this fruitfulness say: “Blessed be he who granted what they wished to those who prayed to him, and who gave fruit to the sterile, and granted her to bear that most happy bud, the Virgin who was the Mother of God according to the flesh, whose womb was a heaven, in which he dwelt whom no place can contain. And let us also offer praise becoming to these very things, that she who was called sterile now stands forth as the mother of a virgin mother. Let us say to her in the words of Scripture: “How blessed is the house of David, from which you have sprung, and the womb in which God fashioned the ark of sanctification,” that is, her from whom he himself was conceived without seed.

TRULY BLESSED ARE YOU, AND THRICE BLESSED

Truly blessed are you, and thrice blessed, you who have borne an infant given you by the blessing of God, that is to say, Mary, whose very name is likewise to be honoured in the highest degree; from whom came forth Christ, the flower of life; a Virgin whose origin was glorious, and whose child-bearing was above all the world. We also congratulate you, most blessed woman, for truly you have brought forth by the divine bounty the hope of all of us, that is, the child of promise. Blessed indeed are you, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. For the tongues of the godly magnify your offspring, and every joyful word is spoken concerning your child. It is truly fitting indeed, and most fitting it is, to praise her, who received a revelation by the divine goodness, and brought forth for us so great a fruit, from whom came forth the sweet Jesus.

– St John Damascene (Discourse II on the Birthday of the Blessed Virgin Mary), from: An Approved English Translation of the Breviarium Romanum, Burns & Oates, London, 1964

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2019 in Words of Wisdom

 

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