Tag Archives: Grace

The Offering of the Chalice

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We offer unto Thee, O Lord, the chalice of salvation, humbly begging of Thy mercy that it may arise before Thy divine majesty with a pleasing fragrance, for our salvation and that of all the world. Amen.

It is easy to see the priest offer the wine to God. Before he does so, the people have seen him pour the wine and a little water into the chalice. As the priest offers the chalice to God, he is holding it in his hands.

In the prayer, priest and people offer to God the wine that is to be changed into the blood of Christ. In their prayer they pray not only for all faithful Catholics, but for everyone in the world.

In simple English, the prayer of offering the chalice to God would read something like this: “We offer to You, O God, the wine that is to be changed into the blood of Christ. We know we are not worthy to make this offering, but we pray that it may be pleasing to You. We offer it to You, asking Your help to live a good life here on earth, that we may be happy with You one day in heaven. We ask this same help for everyone in the world. Amen”

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

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The Introit Lesson 4

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Let us all rejoice in the Lord, celebrating a feast in honor of all the Saints, in whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and join in praising the Son of God. Rejoice in the Lord, he just; praise becometh the upright. (Introit for the Feast of All Saints.)

Before the Introit

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Three things, in particular, you will want to remember about the prayers the priest says at the foot of the altar: (1) He expresses his desire to offer the Holy Sacrifice in these words, I will go to the altar of God. (2) He shows confidence in God. You remember this line, For Thou, O God, art my strength. And this line, you also will recall, Our help is in the name of the Lord. (3) He speaks of his sins in the Confiteor, and he asks God’s pardon for himself and for us.

These are three thoughts from the priest’s preparation for Holy Mass that is made at the foot of the altar. We could have no better thoughts in preparing to unite with him in offering the Holy Sacrifice. When the priest goes up to the altar, he kisses it. He does so to show respect for Our Lord and for the relics of the saints that are in it.

The Introit

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After kissing the altar, the priest goes to the Mass book on the right. This is really the beginning of Holy Mass. Everything up to this moment has been in preparation. The priest makes the Sign of the Cross. He reads the first part in the Proper of the Mass. It is called the Introit. You already know that the parts of the Mass that change from day to day are called the Proper of the Mass.

In the Introit there is almost always a sentence from one of the Psalms. Hundreds of years ago the Introits were much longer. Often a whole Psalm was included. The Introits, at that time, were sing by the choir during a procession to the altar before Holy Mass. Today, many Introits are hard to understand because of the parts that are now omitted.

Often the Introit tells something about the feast of the day, as you can see in the Introit at the beginning of this lesson.

Taken from The Kingdom of God series The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass by Ellamay Horan. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

​On the Choice Upon to you Between Heaven and Hell Preparation.

Taken from The Saint Francis de Sales Collection Chapter 17.
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God.

2. Humble yourself before Him, and ask His inspiration.

Considerations

1. Imagine yourself alone with your good angel in an open plain, as was Tobit on his way to Rages. Suppose the Angel to set before you Paradise, full of delights and joys; and on the other hand Hell, with all its torments. Contemplate both, kneeling in imagination before your guardian Angel. Consider that you are most truly standing between Hell and Paradise, and that both the one and the other are open to receive you, according to your own choice.

2. Consider that the choice you make in this life will last for ever in the next.

3. Consider too, that while both are open to receive you according to your choice, yet God, Who is prepared to give the one by reason of His Justice, the other by reason of His Mercy, all the while desires unspeakably that you should select Paradise; and your good Angel is urging you with all his might to do so, offering you countless graces on God’s part, countless helps to attain to it.

4. Consider that Jesus Christ, enthroned in Heaven, looks down upon you in loving invitation: “O beloved one, come unto Me, and joy for ever in the eternal blessedness of My Love!” Behold His mother yearning over you with maternal tenderness—” Courage, my child, do not despise the Goodness of my Son, or my earnest prayers for thy salvation.” Behold the Saints, who have left you their example, the millions of holy souls who long after you, desiring earnestly that you may one day be for ever joined to them in their song of praise, urging upon you that the road to Heaven is not so hard to find as the world would have you think. “Press on boldly, dear friend,”—they cry. “Whoso will ponder well the path by which we came hither, will discover that we attained to these present delights by sweeter joys than any this world can give.”

The Choice.

1. O Hell, I abhor thee now and for ever; I abhor thy griefs and torments, thine endless misery, the unceasing blasphemies and maledictions which thou pourest out upon my God;—and turning to thee, O blessed Paradise, eternal glory, unfading happiness, I choose thee for ever as my abode, thy glorious mansions, thy precious and abiding tabernacles. O my God, I bless Thy Mercy which gives me the power to choose—O Jesus, Saviour, I accept Thine Eternal Love, and praise Thee for the promise Thou hast given me of a place prepared for me in that blessed New Jerusalem, where I shall love and bless Thee for ever.

2. Dwell lovingly upon the example set before you by the Blessed Virgin and the Saints, and strive to follow where they point you. Give yourself up to your guardian Angel, that he may be your guide, and gird up your courage anew to make this choice.
God Bless BJS!!

Things to Remember… (p2)

  • “Everyone of you that doth not renounce all that he possesseth cannot be My disciple.” [Luke, 14. 33.]
  • “Learn where is wisdom, where is strength, where is understanding, that thou mayst know also where is length of days and life, where is the light of the eyes, and peace.” (Bar. 3:14).
  • “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, and let not the strong man glory in his strength, and let not the rich man glory in his riches; but let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me.” (Jer. 9:23-24).
  • “Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation.” (Ecclus. 2:1)
  • If all the calamities which have existed in the world since the creation, and all the sufferings of Hell, were put into one side of a scale, and but one mortal sin into the other, it would outweigh all these evils, for it is incomparably greater. This is a truth which must be strongly felt and constantly remembered.
  • We are all made to the image and likeness of God, as Jesus Christ. The life question is whether or not we represent His image and likeness in our daily lives and actions.
  • St. Thomas says all sin, proceeds from self-love, for we never commit sin without coveting some gratification for self. From self-love spring those three branches of sin mentioned by St. John: “the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life” (1Jn. 2:16), which are love of pleasure, love of riches, and love of honors. Three of the deadly sins, lust, gluttony, and sloth, spring from love of pleasure, pride springs from love of honors, and covetousness from love of riches. The remaining two, anger and envy, serve all these unlawful loves. Anger is aroused by any obstacle which prevents us from attaining what we desire, and envy is excited when we behold anyone possessing what our self-love claims. These are the three roots of the seven deadly sins, and consequently of all the others. Let these chiefs be destroyed and the whole army will soon be routed. Hence we must vigorously attack these mighty giants who dispute our entrance to the promised land.
  • Perfection consists: First, in a true contempt of one’s self. Secondly, in a thorough mortification of our own appetites. Thirdly, in a perfect conformity to the will of God: whosoever is wanting in one of these virtues is out of the way of perfection.
  • Certain souls, greedy of spiritual dainties in prayer, go in search only of these banquets of sweet and tender feelings; but courageous souls that seek sincerely to belong wholly to God, ask Him only for light to understand His will, and for strength to put it in execution.
  • “Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning.” (Job. 4:14).
  • “If you find difficulty in the performance of a virtuous action, the trouble is soon past and the virtue remains; but if you take pleasure in committing a base action, its pleasure disappears, but its shame continues with you.”
  • We must patiently endure the tribulations of this life—–ill-health, sorrows, poverty, losses, bereavement of kindred, affronts, persecutions, and all that is disagreeable. Let us invariably look on the trials of this world as signs of God’s love towards us, and of His desire to save us in the world to come. And let us, moreover, be fully persuaded that the involuntary mortifications which God Himself sends us are far more pleasing to Him than those which are the fruit of our own choice.
  • Let us acquire the good habit of saying in every adversity: God hath so willed it, and so I will it likewise.
  • Let us, moreover, force ourselves to endure scorn and insult with patience and tranquility. Let us answer terms of outrage and injury with words of gentleness; but as long as we feel ourselves disturbed, the best plan is to keep silence, till the mind grows tranquil.
  • He that prays, conquers; he that prays not, is conquered.
  • The maxim of St. Francis should never be out of our sight: “We are just what we are before God.”
  • Detach your heart from all creatures. Whoever continues bound by the slightest fondness to things of earth can never rise to a perfect union with God.
  • It was said by St. Philip Neri, that “whatever affection we bestow on creatures is so much taken from God.”
  • We must leave all, in order to gain all. “All for all,” writes Thomas à Kempis. Imit. Chr. 1. 3. C. 37.
  • St. Francis de Sales: “I never remember to have been angry without afterwards regretting it.”
  • St. Philip Neri: “We shall have no account to render to God of what is done through obedience.” Which is to be understood, of course, as long as there is no evident sin in the command.
  • All passes away in this life, whether it be joy or sorrow; but in eternity nothing passes away.
  • What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
  • All that comes from God, whether it be adverse or prosperous, all is good, and is for our welfare.
  • We must leave all, to gain all.
  • There is no peace to be found without God.
  • To love God and save one’s soul is the one thing needful.
  • We need only be afraid of sin.
  • If God be lost, all is lost.
  • He that desires nothing in this world is master of the whole world.
  • He that prays is saved, and he that prays not is damned.
  • Let me die, and give God pleasure. 
  • God is cheap at any cost.
  • Every pain is slight to him who has deserved Hell.
  • He bears all who looks on Jesus crucified.
  • Everything becomes a pain that is not done for God.
  • Whoever wishes for God alone is rich in every good.
  • Happy the man who can say: “My Jesus, I desire Thee alone, and nothing more!”
  • He that loves God, finds pleasure in everything; he that loves not God, finds no true pleasure in anything.

    God Bless BJS!!

    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!!

    Efficacious Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

    O my Jesus, You have said: “Truly I say to you, ask and it will be given you, seek and you will find, knock and it will be opened to you.” Behold I knock, I seek and ask for the grace of… (state intention) Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be; Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.

    O my Jesus, You have said: “Truly I say to you, if you ask anything of the Father in My name, He will give it to you.” Behold, in Your name, I ask the Father for the grace of…Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be; Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.

    O my Jesus, You have said: “Truly I say to you, heaven and earth will pass away but My words will not pass away.” Encouraged by Your infallible words I now ask for the grace of…Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory be; Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place all my trust in Thee.

    O Sacred Heart of Jesus, for Whom It is impossible not to have compassion on the afflicted have pity on us miserable sinners and grant us the grace which we ask of You, through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary, Your tender Mother and ours. Say the Hail, Holy Queen and add: St. Joseph, foster father of Jesus, pray for us.

    This Novena prayer was recited every day by Saint Padre Pio for all those who asked his prayers. The faithful are invited to recite it daily, so as to be spiritually united with the prayer of Saint Padre Pio.

    In a letter, Sister Lucy of Fatima wrote the following:
    “About the other questions, if it will be convenient to insist in order to obtain the Consecration of Russia…

    Intimately I have spoken to Our Lord about the subject and not too long ago I asked Him why He would not convert Russia without the Holy Father making the consecration. (He replied) ‘Because i want My whole Church to acknowledge that consecration as a triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary so that it may extend its cult later on and put the devotion to the Immaculate Heart beside the devotion to My Sacred Heart.'”

    ​Salvation and the Catholic Church

     

    Christ said: “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it remain on the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me, he shall be cast outside as the branch and wither; and they shall gather them up and cast them into the fire, and they shall burn” (John 15:4-6). Time has continually proved the truth of what Christ predicted about schisms and their divisions. This is the reason for the fact that they change so often and finally disappear: they are branches broken from the tree, and must wither as He said.

      What do we mean when we say, “Outside the Church there is no salvation? –When we say, “Outside the Church there is no salvation”, we mean that those who through their own grave fault do not know that the Catholic Church is the true Church, or knowing it, refuse to join it, cannot be saved.

    1. All are obliged to belong to the Catholic Church in order to be saved. Christ said: “Amen, amen, I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into, the kingdom of God” (John 3:5).The Catholic Church is founded on the Apostles, to whom Our Lord gave the commission to baptize; by Baptism one is made a member of the Church. If then Baptism is indispensable, the Church must be indispensable. 
    2. Christ did not die for a part of, but for all mankind. He did not leave His legacy the Church for the benefit of a few, but for all. Our Lord said: “He who hears you hears me; and he who rejects you rejects me” (Luke 10:16).Since God commanded all to be members of His Church. those who deliberately disobey His command will not be saved. Whoever, through his own fault, remains outside of the Catholic Church, will be lost eternally. 
    3. One who, knowing the Catholic Church to be the true one, leaves it or does not join it because he wants to make a good marriage, to advance his business, or for some other worldly motive, will not be saved. He is a willful and malicious unbeliever.One who leaves the Church or does not enter it because of human respect, or because its doctrines require personal sacrifices, will not be saved. One who belongs to another church and has doubts about the truth or falsity of his own church, but takes no pains to find out the truth will not be saved. “If you believe not that I am he, you shall die in your sin.” 
    4. It is not enough to belong to the Church. We must also live up to our beliefs, otherwise our membership will only work to our greater condemnation. Only those Catholics who, live according to the teachings of the Church will be saved.The Church is a guarantee of salvation to those only who obey it. Unfortunately, there are bad Catholics. We must therefore study our religion and then practice it. God has given us the grace to be members of the true Church; we must not waste that grace. 
    5. Catholics who have committed grave sins such as murder, arson, adultery, etc., are still members of the Church. As long as a Catholic does not deny a doctrine of the Catholic faith, or is not excommunicated, he is a member of the Church.Catholics in grave sin are called dead members, for their soul dead in mortal sin. Nevertheless they remain members, and have the privilege of receiving the sacraments to wash away their sins. Christ Himself predicted that in the Church there would be bad people with the good, cockle among the wheat. Mother Church is a good mother that patiently awaits the return of her sinful children, and does not exclude them from her gifts. 
    6. An excommunicate is one who has been cut off from membership in the Church for some serious sin against faith. He is excluded from the sacraments, from Catholic burial, and from being prayed for in the public prayers of the Church. In order to become once more a, member of good standing in the Church, an excommunicate has to obtain the absolution of the bishop.Catholics who join Masonry, or marry before a non Catholic minister, are automatically excommunicated, if they knew the serious nature of their action.
      NOTE: Some revisions have been made to this 1956 edition watering down the Catholic Doctrine: “Outside the Church there is no Salvation.” Some clarifications need to be made. The use of the word “outside” refers to those who are in the state of Invincible Ignorance of the Church and Invincibly Ignorant of the Doctrine: “Outside the Church there is no salvation”. These invincibly ignorant souls, who cooperate with all the graces God sends them are implicitly INSIDE the Catholic Church. Invincible ignorance is quite rare considering the great availability of the truths of the Catholic Faith in today’s information age.Can they be saved who remain “outside” the Catholic Church[[not official members of the Church, but Invincibly Ignorant of the Church and obey the natural law through the use of their reason, are implicitly INSIDE the Church(RMO)] because they do not know it is the true Church? –They who remain “outside” the Catholic Church[not official members, but Invincibly Ignorant of the Church are implicitly INSIDE the Church(RMO)] through no grave fault of their own, and do not know it is the true Church, can be saved by making use of the graces which God gives them.NOTE: TECHNICALLY, NO ONE CAN BE SAVED WHO IS OUTSIDE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH. INVINCIBLY IGNORANT SOULS, WHO COOPERATE WITH ALL THE GRACES GOD SENDS THEM, WHO ARE INVINCIBLY IGNORANT OF THE CHURCH ARE IMPLICITLY INSIDE THE CHURCH. Honestly, in today’s information age, the typical Invincibly Ignorant soul would have to be a native on a primitive island. Most people know the Catholic Church’s basic Doctrines. After all, Protestants protest many Catholic Doctrines so they are very familiar with Catholic Doctrines.

    1. God condemns no man except for grave sin. Therefore He will not condemn those who through no fault of their own are unaware of His command to belong to the True Church[which is quite RARE], provided they serve Him faithfully according to their conscience[However they will be responsible and culpable for what they should know given the information available to them], have a sincere desire to do His will in all things, and therefore implicitly wish to become members of His Church. They are members of the Church, in desire [and they must also be INVINCIBLY IGNORANT of the Catholic Church and the Catholic Church’s Doctrine: “Outside the Church there is no salvation”].baptized Protestant, of Protestant parents, lives all his life a Protestant without ever having a doubt that he is in the wrong. Before death he makes an act of perfect contrition for the sins he has committed. Such a man will be saved, for he dies in the state of grace.[However this Protestant is responsible and culpable for what he should know, given the information available to him. It is unthinkable that this Protestant has never heard the Catholic Doctrine “Outside the Church there is no salvation”.] 
    2. It is possible for one that has never even heard of Jesus Christ to be saved, for God “wishes all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Tim. 2:4) and “Christ died for all” (2 Cor. 5: 15) . In order that such a one may be saved, it is required that he observe the natural law; with the help of God; everyone having the use of reason can do that.Whoever then obeys the natural law will be enlightened by God, at some time in his life, with the grace with which he can make an act of Divine faith. If he makes good use of this grace and firmly believes whatever God has revealed, he will receive the further graces with which he can make the acts of hope, repentance, and charity that must precede before God will bestow on his soul sanctifying grace, with which he can merit eternal life. 
    3. The fact that it is possible for those “outside” the Church to be saved[those who are not official members, but are INVINCIBLY IGNORANT OF THE CHURCH, which is quite RARE, are actually implicitly INSIDE the Church, for if anyone is to be saved, it will ONLY be BY and THROUGH the Catholic Church] should not make us lose sight of the great disadvantages they are under, as compared with Catholics who live in the full light of Divine revelation. Such persons have not the infallible Church to guide them in what they are to believe and do in order to serve God. They have to live without the Sacraments, Holy Mass, and Holy Communion, and the other countless sources of grace which the Church supplies for the sanctification of its children, those professed Catholics who are members of the body of the visible Church.These disadvantages should make us Catholics realize more fully the many reasons we have for humbly thanking God for the priceless blessings we have received without any claim or merit of our own. They should also spur us on to give Him a more worthy service, and help spread our Faith.

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

    Suffering 

    How to Make the Greatest Evil in Our Lives Our Greatest Happiness

    by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan, O.P.

    Suffering is the great problem of human life. We all have to suffer. Sometimes small sorrows, sometimes greater ones fall to our share. We shall now tell our readers how to avoid much of this suffering, how to lessen all suffering and how to derive great benefits from every suffering we may have to bear. The reason why suffering appears so hard is that, first of all, we are not taught what suffering is. Secondly, we are not taught how to bear it. Thirdly, we are not taught the priceless value of suffering. This is due to the incomprehensible neglect on the part of our teachers. It is surprising how easily some people bear great sufferings; whereas, others get excited even at the smallest trouble. The simple reason is that some have been taught all about suffering; others have not.

    SUFFERING IS NOT THE EVIL WE THINK IT IS

    First of all, then, suffering is not simply an evil, for no one suffered more than the Son of God Himself, more than His Blessed Mother or more than the Saints. Every suffering comes from God. It may appear to come to us by chance or accident or from someone else, but in reality, every suffering comes to us from God. Nothing happens to us without His wish or permission. Not even a hair falls from our heads without His consent.

    Why does God allow us to suffer? Simply because He is asking us to take a little share in His Passion. What appears to come by chance or from someone else always comes because God allows it. Every act in Our Lord’s Life was a lesson for us. The greatest act in His life was His Passion. This, then, is the greatest lesson for us. It teaches us that we too must suffer. God suffered all the dreadful pains of His Passion for each one of us. How can we refuse to suffer a little for love of Him?

    SUFFERING IS THE GOLD IN OUR LIVES

    Secondly, if we accept the suffering He sends us and offer them in union with His sufferings, we receive the greatest rewards. Five minutes’ suffering borne for love of Jesus is of greater value to us than years and years of pleasure and joy. The Saints tell us that if we patiently bear our sufferings, we merit the crown of martyrdom. Moreover, suffering borne patiently brings out all that is good in us. Those who have suffered are usually the most charming people. If we bear these facts clearly in mind, it certainly becomes much easier to suffer.

    GOD ALWAYS GIVES STRENGTH TO BEAR OUR SUFFERINGS

    Thirdly, when God gives us any suffering, He always gives us strength to bear it, if we only ask Him. Many, instead of asking for His help, get excited and revolt. It is this excitement and impatience that really make suffering hard to bear. Consider that we are now speaking of all suffering, even the most trifling ones. All of us have little troubles, pains, disappointments, every day of our lives. All these, if borne for love of God, obtain for us, as we have said, the greatest rewards.

    HOW TO BEAR SUFFERING

    Even the greater sufferings that may fall to our share from time to time become easy to bear if we accept them with serenity and patience. What really makes suffering difficult to bear is our own impatience, our revolt, our refusal to accept it. This irritation increases our sufferings a hundred fold and, besides, robs us of all the merit we could have gained thereby. We see some people pass through a tempest of suffering with the greatest calm and serenity; whereas, others get irritated at the slightest annoyance or disappointment. We can all learn this calm and patience. It is the secret of happiness. An eminent physician, in a conference which he gave to distinguished scientists and fellow doctors, told them that he owed all his great success in life to the simple fact that he had corrected his habit of impatience and annoyance, which had been destroying all his energy and activity. Everyone, we repeat, without exception, can learn this calm and serenity.

    PENANCE

    We must all do penance for our sins. If we do not, we shall have long years of suffering in the awful fires of Purgatory. This fire is just the same as the fire of Hell. Now, if we offer our sufferings the very little ones as well as the greater ones-in union with the sufferings of Jesus Christ, we are doing the easiest and best penance we can perform. We may thus deliver ourselves entirely from Purgatory, while at the same time gaining the greatest graces and blessings.

    Let us remember clearly that:

    1) Sufferings come from God for our benefit.

    2) When we are in the state of grace, we derive immense merit from every suffering borne patiently, even the little sufferings of our daily lives.

    3) God will give us abundant strength to bear our sufferings if we only ask Him.

    4) If we bear our sufferings patiently, they lose their sting and bitterness.

    5) Above all, every suffering is a share in the Passion of Our Lord.

    6) By our sufferings, we can free ourselves in great part, or entirely, from the pains of Purgatory.

    7) By bearing our sufferings patiently, we win the glorious crown of martyrdom.

    Of course, we may do all in our power to avoid or lessen our sufferings, but we cannot avoid all suffering. Therefore, it is clearly necessary for us to learn how to bear them. In a word, we must understand clearly that if we remain calm, serene and patient, suffering loses all its sting, but the moment we get excited, the smallest suffering increases a hundred fold. It is just as if we had a sore arm or leg and rubbed it violently; it would become irritated and painful; whereas, if we touch it gently, we soothe the irritation. We suffer from ill-health, from pains, headaches, rheumatism, arthritis, from accidents, from enemies. We may have financial difficulties. Some suffer for weeks in their homes, some in hospitals or nursing homes. In a word, we are in a vale of tears. Almighty God could have saved us from all suffering, but He did not do so because He knows in His infinite goodness that suffering is good for us.

    PRAYER

    We have a great, great remedy in our hands, that is, prayer. We should pray earnestly and constantly asking God to help us to suffer, to console us. or if it pleases Him. to deliver us from suffering. This is all, all important. A very eminent doctor, in an able article he recently published in the secular press, says that “Prayer is the greatest power in the world.” He says, “I and my colleagues frequently see that many of our patients, whom we have failed to cure or whose pains we have failed to alleviate, have cured themselves by prayer. I speak now not of the prayers of holy people, but the prayers of ordinary Christians.” We should above all pray to Our Lady of Sorrows in all our troubles. We should ask her, by the oceans of sorrow she felt during the Passion of Our Lord, to help us. God gave her all the immense graces necessary to make her the perfect Mother of God, but He also gave her all the graces, the tenderness, the love necessary to be our most perfect and loving Mother. No mother on earth ever loved a child as Our Blessed Lady loves us. Therefore, in all our troubles and sorrows, let us go to Our Blessed Lady with unbounded confidence.

    THE MEMORARE

    Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother. To thee do I come, before thee I kneel, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer them. Amen.

    ​Actual Grace

     

    The case of Saul of Tarsus is one of the most wonderful instances of cooperation with God’s grace. Saul of Tarsus was one of the most active persecutors of the early Christians. On the way to Damascus to arrest Christians, Soul was struck down by a brilliant light, and heard a voice say: “Saul, Saul, why dost thou persecute me?” Saul asked, “Who art thou, Lord?” And Jesus answered, “I am Jesus, whom thou art persecuting. Saul immediately grasped at grace, and asked, “Lord, what wilt thou have me do?” From then on he turned his back on his former life, and belonged completely to Christ, till as the incomparable Apostle Paul he was martyred in Rome.

     

      What is actual grace? –Actual grace is a supernatural help of God which enlightens our mind and strengthens our will to do good and to avoid evil.

      By actual grace the Holy Ghost shows us the emptiness in themselves of earthly things. He makes us see our own sins, and the true goal of life. By it we can perform a virtuous act or reject a temptation.

      Actual grace is transient; that is, it is given to us only when we need it, to perform a good act, or to overcome a temptation.

      An example of the wonderful action of the Holy Ghost in enlightening the mind and strengthening the will is the First Pentecost. Before the descent of the Holy Ghost, the Apostles were ignorant and afraid; after His descent, His grace made them wise and fearless men, going forth to preach Christ everywhere, ready to die for their faith.

       

    1. God gives us always sufficient grace to be saved. A true Christian should view his whole life in the light of grace. All God’s gifts granted for man’s salvation are graces.

      A good family, a good education,-these are graces. But even sickness and hardships are God’s graces, and may be the steps by which to ascend to heaven. And God grants graces to protect us against temptation, never suffering us to be tempted beyond our strength. If we do our part, avoid the occasions of sin, and cooperate with His graces, we shall win.

      Is actual grace necessary for all who have attained the use of reason? –Actual grace is necessary for all who have attained the use of reason, because without it we cannot long resist the power of temptation, nor perform other actions which merit a reward in heaven.

      We all need actual grace. Sinners need it to rise from sin. The just need it to persevere in good. Without grace, we fall into sin.

      Herod was offered actual grace when he heard of the birth of the Messias from the three wise men; but Herod rejected the grace, and added to his sins.

       

    1. Grace is given to all men, although not in equal amounts. Some receive more, some less. Some ordinary graces are granted to all men; certain extraordinary graces are granted to chosen ones.

      God is free to bestow His gifts as He likes. The Blessed Virgin received more than other mortals. Christians receive more than pagans. Those in the state of grace are likely to receive more than those in the state of mortal sin. In a way, our graces depend also on our dispositions. If we are faithful in corresponding with what we get, we receive more abundantly. Often our carelessness and indifference turn away God’s graces from us. We reject Him who only wishes to make us saints, whose “delight is to be with the children of men” (Prov. 8:31).

      What are the principal ways of obtaining grace? –The principal ways of obtaining grace are prayer and the sacraments, especially the Holy Eucharist.

      The sacraments of Baptism and Penance give grace to those not possessing it; the other sacraments increase grace in those already in the state of grace.

       

    1. Actual grace is obtained by good works. It is especially obtained by the use of means offered by the Church, such as hearing Mass, sermons, etc., and receiving the sacraments, particularly the Holy Eucharist, which contains God, the Source of Grace.

      Although we cannot merit grace by our good works, still our good works can beg God for us, to give us grace. Good works are necessary, for God will not save us without our cooperation.

      Actual grace is made to act through various means: through sermons, reading of good books, illness and death, advice of superiors and friends, good example, etc.

      The first converts at Pentecost were moved by the preaching of the Apostles. St. Ignatius of Loyola was moved by the reading of the lives of the saints; St. Francis of Assisi, during an illness; St. Francis Borgia, upon seeing the corpse of Queen Isabella. Often God sends us sufferings as a means by which the Holy Ghost may speak to us.

      Can we resist the grace of God? –Unfortunately, we can resist the grace of God, for our will is free, and God does not force us to accept His grace.

       

    1. Grace does not force us. It leaves us free to choose between good and evil. The Holy Ghost guides and enlightens, but we can still close our eyes to His grace. If we cooperate, we gain other graces.

      As Christ said, “For to him who has shall be given, and he shall have abundance” (Matt. 13:12). He who persists in rejecting the gift of God’s grace and refuses to be converted will die in his sin and will be forever excluded from the sight of God. “From him who does not have, even that which he seems to have shall be taken away. But as for the unprofitable servant, cast him forth into the darkness outside, where there will be the weeping, and the gnashing of teeth” (Matt. 25:29-30). Would it not be an insult to a king if he keeps offering gifts to one of his people, and these gifts are despised?

       

    2. We should be on the lookout for the graces of God, ready to accept them as soon as they are offered. The action of the Holy Ghost on the individual soul is not continuous in particular graces; we must be ready when He comes with special gifts.

      Some receive only one summons to the banquet. In the desert, the Israelites who rose late found the manna melted away. There are times of special grace for the Christian, such as Lent, a retreat, etc.

      How can we make our most ordinary actions merit a heavenly reward? –We can make our most ordinary actions merit a heavenly reward by doing them for the love of God, and by keeping ourselves in the state of grace.

       

    1. God grants us the right to a heavenly reward for the most ordinary good actions in the supernatural order, provided we are in the state of grace. God does not ask us to do extraordinary things. If we do the most ordinary tasks of the day, like cooking, studying, doing small chores, carpentry work, sewing, and such, in a spirit of love and obedience to Him, our acts will deserve merit before God’s eyes.

      God does not expect all of us to be great scientists saving thousands of lives each day, great discoverers, great lawyers, great statesmen. Does God need our help? All He wants is our love; and this we can give in the most ordinary daily actions. “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever else you do, do all to the glory of God.”

       

    2. By mortal sin one loses the merit he has gained from his good actions. It is necessary that he regain that state of grace before he can regain that merit.

      To regain God’s friendship, we must be sorry for our sins, make a good confession, and resolve never to displease Him again. Then He will give us back the gift of His grace and love, and the merit of all our good works.

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

    ​Sanctifying Grace

     

    A soul in the state of grace is very beautiful in the sight of God. Then we are friends and children of God and heirs of heaven; then we are like the very angels. We must always try to avoid sin. But when the soul has lost the grace of God by mortal sin, nothing on earth can be uglier in God’s sight. If we are so careful about our personal appearance before mortals, how much more should we be careful about the appearance of our immortal soul, that God may be pleased with us.

     

      What is grace? –Grace is a supernatural gift of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

       

    1. Grace is a favor, a free gift, granted to us though we have no claim to it. God grants us graces because He is good, not because we deserve them. God grants,us graces for the sake of His Son, Who died on the cross to earn for us these graces; we men can never merit these graces.

      “All have sinned and have need of the glory of God. They are justified freelyby his grace through the redemption which is in Christ” (Rom. 3:23-24).

       

    2. The Holy Ghost dispenses the graces of God merited by Our Lord Jesus Christ; He bestows and perfects what is already earned, and acts as the channel of grace.

      In a similar manner the sun does not make the plants, but develops what is already planted; without the sun plants would die and be useless to man.

       

    3. The supernatural is that which is beyond natural Powers. It is of two kinds:

         

      1. When the fact is beyond natural powers in the manner of occurence: as when a blind man instantly can see; and

         

      2. When the fact fundamentally and entirely surpasses all powers of the natural order: as when God imparts a part of His life to man through the gift of sanctifying grace.

       

    4. The assistance of the Holy Ghost is necessary. Without the help of the graces that He dispenses, with merely natural powers, we cannot do the least work to merit salvation. Without God, we are nothing.

      In order to reach heaven, we need God’s grace; so we say with the Apostle: “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything, as from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5) ; “By the grace of God I am what I am. . . . I have laboured more than any of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me” (1 Cor. 15:10).

       

    5. There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying grace and actual grace.

      What is sanctifying grace? –Sanctifying grace is that grace which confers on our souls a new life, that is, a sharing in the life of God Himself.

       

    1. By sanctifying grace, our souls are made holy and pleasing to God. It is anabiding or permanent grace, which we gain by baptism, and lose only by mortal sin.

      By Adam’s sin all mankind lost the friendship of God; that is, we are born in original sin, without sanctifying grace. Our Lord’s death won back sanctifying grace for us; it is granted freely at Baptism.

       

    2. A soul to whom God grants sanctifying grace receives not merely a gift from God, but God Himself. The Holy Ghost lives in him and becomes united with him, so that he receives a new life, a new nature.

      St. Paul refers to this acquisition of sanctifying grace as the putting off of the old man and the putting on of the new. It is as if an old and worn man were suddenly to become a handsome young man full of the vigor of life. The beauty of a soul in the state of sanctifying grace is too great for human eyes to bear. As a child said, when asked how his soul would look immediately after his confirmation, if it could be photographed, “Why, it would look like God!”

      What are the chief effects of sanctifying grace? –The chief effects of sanctifying grace are:

      First, it makes us holy and pleasing to God.-When we are in possession of sanctifying grace, we are free from mortal sin; the two cannot dwell together. The fire of the Holy Ghost sears away all that God abhors, so that we acquire God’s friendship.

      However, although free from mortal sin, we do not: with sanctifying grace, become free from the remains of sin. So even saints feel the human inclination to sin, against which the struggle is lifelong, and from which we should gain merit. This human frailty is imbedded in our flesh, and is present in our souls as a result of original sin.

      Sanctifying grace, however, although it does not cure us of the weakness of the flesh, strengthens our will, so that for us the war against sin becomes easier. The charity accompanying sanctifying grace makes us more prone to good works, more attracted to God, with minds illumined as to the folly of sin.

      Second, it makes us adopted children of God. – With sanctifying grace, the Holy Ghost enters our soul; we are led by His Spirit, and are therefore His children: “For whoever are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Rom. 8:14).

      “Now you have not received a spirit of bondage so as to be again in fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons, by virtue of which we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself gives testimony to our spirit that we are sons of God” (Rom. 8:15-16).

      Third, it makes us temples of the Holy Ghost.-Sanctifying grace brings the Holy Ghost to dwell in us as in a temple. St. Paul says, “For you are the temple of the Living God” (2 Cor. 6: 16).

      “Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone destroys the temple of God, him will God destroy; for holy is the temple of God and this temple you are” (1 Cor. 3: 16,17)

      Fourth, it gives us the right to heaven.When we are in sanctifying grace, we are inspired to do good works. The Holy Ghost does not sleep within us, but expands our heart with His grace, and urges our will to do good. And as we are adopted children of God, such actions become meritorious for heaven.

      If we are children of God, we are at the same time heirs, and therefore have a right to His Kingdom. “We are the sons of God. But if we are sons, we are heirs also; heirs indeed of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Rom. 8:16-17)

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