Tag Archives: Heaven

Thoughts On Death

EVERY MOMENT OF OUR LIVES WE STAND ON THE BRINK OF ETERNITY. TWELVE ADVANTAGES TO BE DERIVED FROM THE CONTEMPLATION OF DEATH

1. Contemplation of death enables us to judge properly and prevents our being imposed upon in all affairs. With nothing we came into this world, and with nothing shall we leave it. Why then should we consume our very lives in the accumulation of riches? No one is to accompany us out of this world; why then are we so fond of creatures? The stench and corruption of the grave in which the pampered body is the prey of the lowest vermin show us the folly of carnal pleasures. In our narrow cell beneath the earth among the meanest things of creation, when our very blanket of soil may be trampled upon by the meanest beggar, then we shall be freed of the vanity of seeking distinction and preference over others.

2. It is our best instructor through life, laying down but one simple rule, which is the direction of all our acts to one last end. This consideration drives away all the petty troubles which punctuate this life with unfailing regularity: it steadies us on the course and sustains us on the journey.

3. It teaches us to know ourselves, one of the essential points of true wisdom.

4. It teaches us to despise all that this world can offer, and is the solace of all true servants of God.

5. It is like ice, and helps to chill and deaden the fire of concupiscence; it is a bridle which curbs our sensual appetites.

6. It is a continual source of humiliation, a specific remedy against pride and vanity.

7. It is an excellent preservative against sin. “In all thy works be mindful of thy last end, and thou shalt never sin.” [Eccl. 7: 40]

8. It brings exasperated minds back to peace and reconciliation. Whoever considers seriously that a certain and unavoidable death will one day bring him before the Judge Who shows no mercy but to those who show mercy to others, he will easily be induced to forgive.

9. It is an antidote against the pleasures and vanities of the world. Thus the prince who once placed a jester in a crazy chair over a large fire told him very justly, seeing the jester’s uneasiness, that life should be considered like a defective chair, which at any hour, at any moment, might fall to pieces; and the fire beneath the prince represented as the fires of Hell which everyone should hold in dread.

10. It teaches us a provident economy with regard to our salvation, by setting before our eyes the transitory character of this life, and the necessity of laying up a treasure of good works while it is in our power to do so.

11. It induces us to embrace penances with a cheerful spirit.

12. It encourages us to persevere in the way of penance with unshakable firmness.

Taken from the Spiritual Combat by Lorenzo Scupoli. I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

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Psalm 42 Lesson 2

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After making the Sign of the Cross, the priest recites a verse from Psalm 42, and the altar boy replies. Then the whole Psalm is said. The priest says one verse; the altar boy says the next. We cannot hear what they are saying. But if we listen, we can hear their voices. Long ago, the Psalm was said by the priest before he came to the altar. It was part of his preparation for Holy Mass. Today, it is also part of his preparation. Now the Psalm is said by the priest as he stands at the foot of the altar.

The first verse the priest says is:
I will go to the altar of God.

That is just what the priest is doing. He is about to go up to the altar to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

The altar boy replies:
To God, the joy of my youth.

Even the sound of these verses makes us feel happy. Let us repeat them to ourselves:
I will go to the altar of God,
To God, the joy of my youth.

These two lines are said in every Mass. The priest is happy. We are happy. It is our privilege to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass to God. The whole Psalm, from which these lines are taken, is not said during the last two weeks of Lent or in Masses for the dead.

Psalm 42 first asks God to protect us from the enemy. Our greatest enemy is always the person or place or thing that causes us to sin. The Altar boy’s reply to the first verse of the Psalm is something to remember always, especially these words:

For Thou, God art my strength.

God is our strength. If we ask Him, He will help us.

There are beautiful thoughts in Psalm 42. Sometimes you will want to think about one of them, and sometimes about another. These thoughts were out into the words of the Psalm by King David. The Psalms are in the Bible.

Psalms 42 has six verses. After the Psalm has been recited, the priest begins “Glory be to the Father.” When this prayer is finished, the priest and altar boy recite the following verses. They repeat the thought of joy in going to the altar, and the thought of trust in God.

Priest: I will go to the altar of God.
Response: To God the joy of my youth
Priest: Our help is in the name of the Lord.
Response: Who made heaven and earth.

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!!

End Times and The Anti-Christ

A Better take on things to come. Bishop Donald Sandborn of The Most Holy Trinity Seminary in Brooksville FL is as about straight to the heart of Catholoscism as we can find in this day and age. Please feel free to browse YouTube for the series “What Catholics Believe”, which aired in the 1980s and had very good topics of interest with a number of terrific clergymen and Catholic role models. God Bless BJS!!


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​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!!

    A Week of Prayers for the Holy Souls

    PRAYER FOR SUNDAY

    O LORD God Almighty, I pray You, by the Precious Blood which Your Divine Son Jesus shed in the garden, deliver the Souls in Purgatory and especially that soul amongst them all, which is most destitute of spiritual aid; and bring it into Your Glory where it may praise and bless You forever. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary.

    Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon them.

    PRAYER FOR MONDAY

    O LORD God Almighty, I pray You, by the Precious Blood which Your Divine Son Jesus shed in His cruel scouraging deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and especially that soul amongst them all, which is nearest to its entrance into Your glory; that it may soon begin to praise and bless You forever. Amen

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest.

    PRAYER FOR TUESDAY

    O LORD God Almighty, I pray You, by the Precious Blood which Your Divine Son Jesus shed in His bitter crowning with thorns, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and in particular that one amongst them all, which would be last to depart out of those pains; that it may not tardy so long a time before it comes to praise You in Your Glory and bless You forever. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest.
    PRAYER FOR WEDNESDAY

    O LORD God Almighty, I pray You, by the Precious Blood which Your Divine Son Jesus shed in the streets of Jerusalem, when He carried the Cross upon His Sacred shoulders, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and especially that soul which is richest in merits before You, so that having soon attained the right place in glory to which it is destined, it may magnify You and bless You forever. Amen

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest.

    PRAYER FOR THURSDAY

    O LORD God Almighty, I pray You, by the Precious Body and Blood of Your Divine Son Jesus, which He gave with His own hands upon the eve of His Passion to His beloved Apostles to be their food and drink, and which He left to His while Church to be a perpetual Sacrifice and the life-giving food of His own faithful people, deliver the Souls in Purgatory and especially that one which was most devoted to this Mystery of infinite Love; that it may with Your Divine Son, and with the Holy Spirit, ever praise You in Your Glory forever. Amen

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest.


    PRAYER FOR FRIDAY

    O LORD God Almighty, I pray You, by the Precious Blood which Your Divine Son shed on this day upon the wood of the Cross, especially from His most sacred hands and feet, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and in particular that soul for which I am most bound to pray; that no neglect of mine may hinder it from praising You in Your Glory and blessing You forever. Amen

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest.


    PRAYER FOR SATURDAY

    O LORD God Almighty, I beseech You, by the Precious Blood which gushed forth from the sides of Your Divine Son Jesus in the presence and to the extreme pain of His most Holy Mother, deliver the Souls in Purgatory, and especially that one amongst them all, which was most devout to her; that it may come quickly into Your Glory, there to praise You, in her, and her in You, through all the ages. Amen.

    Our Father, Hail Mary, Eternal rest.

    PRAYER FOR A HAPPY DEATH

    O God, who has doomed all men to die, but has concealed from all the hour of their death; grant that I may pass my days in the practice of holiness and justice, in the embrace of Your Love. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

    INDULGENCED PRAYERS TO AID THE SUFFERING SOULS

    1. My God and my all.
    2. Teach me, O Lord, to do Your will, because You are my God.
    3. O God, come to my aid. O LORD, make haste to help me.
    4. Jesus, for You I live – Jesus, for You I die – Jesus, I am Yours in life and in death. Amen
    5. From a sudden and improvised death, deliver us, O Lord.
    6. Into Your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit.
    7. Sweetest Jesus be not my judge, but my Saviour.
    8. Divine Heart of Jesus, convert sinners, save the dying, deliver the Holy Souls in Purgatory.
    9. Praised be Jesus, and Mary. Now and forever. Amen.
    10. Jesus, Mary, Joseph.
    11. My Jesus, mercy!
    12. Jesus, my God, I love You above all things.
    13. Sweet Heart of Jesus grant that I may ever love You more and more.
    14. Jesus, keep and humble of Heart make my heart like into Yours.
    15. Sacred Heart of Jesus, Your Kingdom come.
    16. Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in you.
    17. Sweet Heart of Jesus, be my love.
    18. Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation.
    19. Immaculate Queen of Peace, pray for us.
    20. Mary, Help of Christians; pray for us.
    21. Queen of the most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
    22. O Mary, conceived without original sin, pray for us who have recourse to You.
    23. O Sacrament most Holy, O Sacrament divine! All praise and all thanksgiving be every moment Yours.
    24. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. I give you my heart and soul. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph assist me in my last agony. Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with You.

    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!!

    The Last Sacraments (Confession, Holy Viaticum, & Extreme Unction), & Holy Communion Calls

    But the children of the murderers he did not put to death, according to that which is written in the book of the law of Moses, wherein the Lord commanded, saying: The fathers shall not be put to death for the children, neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: but every man shall die for his own sins.”
    4 Kings (2 Kings) 14:6

    What are the Last Sacraments? They are the sacraments administered to a person dangerously ill. The sick person first makes his confession, then receives the Holy Eucharist in the Viaticum, and Extreme Unction.
    Extreme Unction is a remedy; and as medicine is for the living, not the dead, so those dead in sin will not profit from this spiritual remedy. However, if the patient is physically unable to confess, the Church accepts the intention and administers Extreme Unction with confession.
    The sacred Unction of the sick was instituted by Our Lord as a true sacrament of the New Law (Council of Trent, 14, 4). It confers grace, remits sin, and comforts the sick. In administering Extreme Unction the priest anoints the Christian who is in danger of death with the holy oils upon the organs of his five senses, and prays over him; by means of which the spiritual and not infrequently the bodily malady of the sick man is cured.
    We have a serious obligation, if we are taking care of a sick person, to call the priest the moment there is danger of death. It is very wrong to delay calling the priest until the person is already on the point of death. While his mind is clear, he can prepare for the Last Sacraments better, and profit more from them. Some people do not call the priest to administer the Last Sacraments because they fear the patient would be frightened and become more worse. This is a great mistake, for actual observation has provided that a sick person is always more calm and peaceful after the visit of the priest.
    Extreme Unction strengthens the sick because it confers on him grace to bear more easily the inconviences and pains of sickness,  and enables him more readily to resist temptation of all kinds. It is for the healing of the soul, and oftentimes the body; it effects the remission of mortal sins, which through infirmity of mind or body the sick man has not been able to confess, as well as the remission of some temporal punishment. And besides, at times it obtains bodily health, when expedient for the welfare of the soul. Extreme Unction compensates for all that, through no fault of his own, the sick man left incomplete in the Sacrament of Penance. It is thus the completion of the Sacrament of Penance, or the penance of the sick.
    In common with all the other sacraments, Extreme Unction imparts a higher degree of sanctifying grace. This is of more importance to us at our death than at any other moment, for the degree of our future felicity depends on the degree of sanctifying grace we possess.
    And the greater our love of God, the more capable shall we be of the enjoyment of eternal bliss. Thus this holy sacrament cleanses away all that is an impediment to our eternal salvation.
    He, who enters upon the journey from time to eternity without fortifying himself with the last sacraments, is like a traveler who starts on his way with an empty purse. Nor can there be contempt of so great a sacrament without heinous sin and an injury to the Holy Ghost Himself (Council of Trent, 14, 9).

    Note:

    • Those who have not yet received the Sacrament of Penance cannot receive Extreme Unction since it is the completetion of penance.
    • To this class belong idiots and children who have not yet attained the age of reason. It must not be supposed that this includes all children under seven, for children of five years of age have been known on their death-bed to ask for a priest, because they were conscious of having dinner against their parents.
    • Extreme Unction can only be administered to the sick once in the same illness; but if the sick person recovers temporarily, and then has a relapse, he may be anointed again.
    • Every priest who has been duly authorized by the bishop, may give the Papal benediction with a plenary indulgence, provided he makes use of the prescribed formula. The sick man must call upon the holy name of Jesus (the priest usually repeats some ejaculatory prayer to him, in which the name of Jesus occurs) verbally, if he can still speak; if not, mentally, otherwise the indulgence is not gained, and the crucifix is offered to him to be kissed.

    How should we help a sick person prepare for the Last Sacraments?

    We should help a sick person prepare for the Last Sacraments both spiritually and corporally.

    1. Before the priest arrives we should help the patient get ready for his Confession. Let us say with him acts of contrition, and ejaculation to keep him united with God.
    2. The patient’s face, hands, and feet should be sponged with a wet towel.
    3. There should be ready towards the foot of the bed, to the right, a table with a clean white cloth. On it should be the following:
    • A crucifix,
    • 2 lit blessed candles
    • Some holy water, and
    • A glass of fresh water with a tablespoon.
    • A clean napkin,
    • A saucer with six balls of cotton, and
    • A piece of soft bread, or one or two slices of lemon for the hands of the priest, for wiping off the anointing.
    • A basin of water and a towel should be nearby, so the priest can wash his hands after anointing.

    4.  Upon the priests arrival, if he is carrying the Blessed Sacrament, we should meet him with a lighted blessed candle, in silence.

    5.  The priest himself brings the corporal, on which he lays the pyx containing the Blessed Sacrament.

    6.  While the sick man makes his confession, let all leave the room, as the priest may have to speak above a whisper.

    How can we help a dying person?

    1. We should kneel near the patient’s bed and recite the prayers for the dying, which may he found in most prayer books. We should suggest to him short ejaculations that he can easily repeat, at least in his mind. We should recite with him especially those prayers which are enriches with plenary indulgences for the hour of death.

    2.  The following prayer is enriched with a plenary indulgence at the hour of death: “O my God, I now at this moment readily and willingly accept at Thy hand whatever kind of death Thou latest wish to send me, with all its pains, penalties, sorrows.”

    If we reflect that a plenary indulgence gained with proper disposition means that the soul will go straight  from death bed to Heaven, we would be more zealous in helping the dying gain one.

    3.  During the agony, we should sprinkle the bed and the dying person with holy water. Those around should pray, instead of fussing, or showing too extreme grief. The first thing that we can offer immediately to God in relief of the soul of a loved one is an act of resignation to His holy will. Let us humbly say, “Lord, Thy will be done!”

    In case of sudden or unexpected death, should a priest be called?

     If a person is apparently dead and has not received the Last Sacraments, we should immediately call the priest. A person may continue to live two or three hours after has apparently taken place, especially if it is sudden. In that case, Extreme Unction will avail his soul.

    I highly recommend reading St. Alphonsus de Ligouri’s Preparation For Death. All information excerpted from: The Catechism Explained, p.p. 640-643 and My Catholic Faith, pp. 326, 327.

    God Bless BJS!!

    Existence of Purgatory

     

    Both reason and faith tell us that there is a middle ground of expiation, where the soul is cleansed from all stain of sin before it can enter the glory of heaven. “There shall not enter into it anything defiled” (Apoc. 21:27). Christ said, “Amen, I say to thee, thou will not come out from it until thou hast paid the last penny” (Matt. 5:26). Even persons who deny the existence of purgatory instinctively pray for their loved ones who have died. This would be great inconsistency if their reason did not tell them that their prayers would do the dead good. Prayers are useless for those in heaven or hell.

      What is purgatory? –Purgatory is a place of temporary punishment for those who die in the state of grace, but are guilty of venial sin, or have not fully satisfied for the temporal punishment due to their sins.

    1. Purgatory is a middle state where souls destined for heaven are detained and purified. Souls in purgatory cannot help themselves, for their time for meriting is past. But they can be helped by the faithful on earth, by prayers and other good works.In some places, at eight o’clock at night, the church bells sound, to admonish the faithful to pray for the souls in purgatory. This hour is in commemoration of Christ’s prayer in the garden. We should then kneel and pray one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and the Requiem aeternam: “Eternal rest give unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them,” etc. 
    2. Belief in the utility of praying for the dead automatically includes belief in the existence of purgatory. If there were no purgatory, it would be useless to pray for the dead, because saints in heaven need no help, and those in hell are beyond aid.And we can be sure there will be no more purgatory after the General judgment; because the reason for its existence will have passed. 
    3. Purgatory is a place of temporary punishment for those who have died in venial sin, or who have not fully satisfied God’s justice for mortal sins already forgiven.
         

      1. A boy steals an apple from a stall in the market; this is a venial sin punishable in purgatory. Some argue that God is a good God, and will not punish such slight sins with the pains of purgatory. We must remember, nevertheless, that the judgments of God are different from those of men, as His holiness is far above human holiness.“My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are exalted above the earth, so are my ways exalted above your ways, and my thoughts above your thoughts.” Let us reverence God’s holiness and justice, as we have loving confidence in His mercy. 
      2. A man commits a cruel murder. This is a mortal sin which, unrepented and unconfessed, will send him to hell.The man repents, confesses, and obtains absolution for his sin; the guilt therefore is removed. But justice requires that he make up for the evil he has done; this atonement takes place in purgatory, unless he makes full satisfaction before death.

       

    4. The doctrine of purgatory is eminently consoling to the human heart. It consoles us when our loved ones die. Purgatory is a bond of union making us realize that death is not an eternal separation for the just, but only a loss of their bodily presence.Purgatory gives us an assurance that we are still in touch with our beloved dead. We are consoled by the knowledge that we can still help them with prayer, as in life we so helped them.
      Is the doctrine of the existence of purgatory reasonable? –The doctrine of the existence of Purgatory is not only reasonable, but its negation is eminently contrary to reason; it is taught in Holy Scripture, and has been taught by the Church from the very beginning.

    1. The doctrine of a middle state of purgation is taught in the Old Testament,and was firmly believed in by the Hebrews.After a battle, Judas Machabeus ordered prayers and sacrifices offered up for his slain comrades. “And making a gathering, he sent twelve drachms of silver to Jerusalem for sacrifice to be offered for the sins of the dead, thinking well and religiously concerning the resurrection. For, if he had not hoped that they that were slain should rise again, it would have seemed superfluous and vain to pray for the dead. And because he considered that they who had fallen asleep with godliness had great grace laid for them. It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins” (2 Mach. 12:43-46). 
    2. When Our Lord came on earth, He purified the Jewish Church of all those human changes that with the years had crept into its usages and beliefs. But He never reproved anyone for belief in a middle state of purgation, or prayers for the dead.On the contrary, Christ more than once implied the existence of purgatory. He said “And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this world, or in the world to come” (Matt. 12:32). When Our Lord said that a sin will not be forgiven in the next life, He left us to conclude that some sins will be thus forgiven. But in the next life, sins cannot be forgiven in heaven: “There shall not enter into it anything defiled” (Apoc. 21:27). Neither can sins be forgiven in hell, for out of hell there is no redemption. They must therefore be forgive middle state, Purgatory. 
    3. Belief in the existence of Purgatory is a continuous and solemn teaching of the Church. From St. Paul, the early Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, on through the ages, the Church has taught the existence of Purgatory, and the correlated doctrine of the usefulness of praying for the dead.From the beginning Christians prayed for the dead at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. The oldest books used at Mass contain prayers for the dead.The doctrine of Purgatory was given solemn definition by the Council of Trent as follows: “There is a purgatory, and the souls there detained are assisted by the suffrages of the faithful, but especially by the most acceptable, sacrifice of the altar.”

      This dogmatic definition contains three points of faith that all Catholics are compelled to believe: (a) that there is a purgatory; (b) that after death souls suffer there for their sins; (c) that the living can extend assistance to such souls.

       

    4. Reason demands belief in the existence of purgatory. If a man dies with some slight stain on his soul, a sin of impatience, or an idle word, is he fit to enter heaven? God’s sanctity forbids it: “There shall not enter into it anything defiled” (Apoc. 21:27) . But must such a soul be consigned to hell? God’s mercy and justice forbid it.Therefore reason concludes the existence of a middle and temporary state of expiation, where the soul is cleansed from all stain of sin before it can be admitted into the perfect holiness and bliss of heaven. “Amen, I say to thee, thou wilt not come out from it until thou hast paid the last penny” (Matt. 5:26). 
    5. Among nearly all peoples there has persisted a belief that souls must undergo some sort of purification after death. This would point to the doctrine of purgatory.The Greek story of Prometheus implies a place of purgation. The Egyptians and others believed in the transmigration of souls. Legends and myths of all nations, as well as burial customs, indicate belief in the possibility of helping the dead.