Tag Archives: justice

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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​Of those who Continue in Sin, trusting in the Mercy of God 

Taken from the book entitled The Sinner’s Guide by the Venerable Louis of Granada 





Besides those who defer their conversion till the hour of death, there are others who persevere in sin, trusting in the mercy of God and the merits of His Passion. We must now disabuse them of this illusion. You say that God’s mercy is great, since He died on the cross for the salvation of sinners. It is indeed great, and a striking proof of its greatness is the fact that He bears with the blasphemy and malice of those who so presume upon the merits of His death as to make His cross, which was intended to destroy the kingdom of evil, a reason for multiplying sin. Had you a thousand lives you would owe them all to Him, yet you rob Him of that one life which you have and for which He died. 
This crime was more bitter to Our Saviour than death itself. For it He reproaches us by the mouth of His prophet, though He does not complain of His sufferings: “The wicked have wrought upon my back; they have extended their iniquity.” (Ps. 128:3). Who taught you to reason that because God was good you could sin with impunity? Such is not the teaching of the Holy Spirit. On the contrary, those who listen to His voice reason thus: God is good; therefore, I must serve Him, obey Him, and love Him above all things. God is good; therefore, I will turn to Him with all my heart; I will hope for pardon, notwithstanding the number and enormity of my sins. God is good; therefore, I must be good if I would imitate Him. God is good; therefore, it would be base ingratitude in me to offend Him by sin. Thus, the greater you represent God’s goodness the more heinous are your crimes against Him. Nor will these offenses remain unpunished, for God’s justice, which protects His mercy, cannot permit your sinful abuse of it to remain unavenged. This is not a new pretext; the world has long made use of it. In ancient times it distinguished the false from the true prophets. While the latter announced to the people, in God’s name, the justice with which He would punish their iniquities, the former, speaking in their own name, promised them mercy which was but a false peace and security.
You say God’s mercy is great; but if you presume upon it you show that you have never studied the greatness of His justice. Had you done so you would cry out to the Lord with the psalmist: “Who knoweth the power of thy anger, and for thy fear who can number thy wrath?” (Ps. 89:11-12). But to dissipate your illusion, let me ask you to contemplate this justice in the only way in which we may have any knowledge of it – that is, in its effects here below. Besides the result we are seeking, we shall reap another excellent advantage by exciting in our hearts the fear of God, which, in the opinion of the saints, is the treasure and defence of the soul. Without the fear of God the soul is like a ship without ballast; the winds of human or divine favor may sweep it to destruction. Notwithstanding that she may be richly laden with virtue, she is in continual danger of being wrecked on the rocks of temptation, if she be not stayed by this ballast of the fear of God. Therefore, not only those who have just entered God’s service, but those who have long been of His household, should continue in this salutary fear; the former by reason of their past transgressions, the latter on account of their weakness, which exposes them to danger at every moment. This holy fear is the effect of grace, and is preserved in the soul by frequent meditation.

To aid you in this reflection we shall here propose a few of the practical proofs of the greatness of God’s justice. The first work of God’s justice was the reprobation of the angels. “All the ways of God are mercy and justice” (Cf. Ps. 24:10), says David; but until the fall of the angels, divine justice had not been manifested. It had been shut up in the bosom of God like a sword in the scabbard, like that sword of which Ezechiel speaks with alarm, foretelling the ruin it will cause. (Cf. Ezech. 21). This first sin drew the sword of justice from its scabbard, and terrible was the destruction it wrought. Contemplate its effects; raise your eyes and behold one of the most brilliant beings of God’s house, a resplendent image of the divine beauty, flung with lightning-like rapidity from a glorious throne in Heaven to the uttermost depths of Hell, for one thought of pride. (Cf. Lk, 10:18). The prince of heavenly spirits becomes the chief of devils. His beauty and glory are changed into deformity and ignominy. God’s favorite subject is changed into His bitterest enemy, and will continue such for all eternity. With what awe this must have filled the angels, who knew the greatness of his fall! With what astonishment they repeat the words of Isaias: “How art thou fallen from heaven, 0 Lucifer, who didst rise in the morning”? (Is. 14:12).

Consider also the fall of man, which would have been no less terrible than that of the angels, if it had not been repaired. Behold in it the cause of all the miseries we suffer on earth: original and actual sin, suffering of body and mind, death, and the ruin of numberless souls who have been lost forever. Terrible are the calamities it brought upon us; and even greater would be our misfortunes had not Christ, by His death, bound the power of sin and redeemed us from its slavery. How rigorous, therefore, was the justice of God in thus punishing man’s rebellion; but how great was His goodness in restoring him to His friendship! In addition to the penalties imposed on the human race for the sin of Adam, new and repeated punishments have at different times been inflicted upon mankind for the crimes they have committed. In the time of Noe, the whole world was destroyed by the deluge. (Cf. Gen. 7). Fire and brimstone from Heaven consumed the wicked inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrha. (Cf. Gen. 19). The earth opened and swallowed alive into Hell Core, Dathan, and Abiron for resisting the authority of Moses. (Cf. Num. 16). Nadab and Abiu, sons of Aaron, were destroyed by a sudden flame from the sanctuary because they offered strange fire in the sacrifice. (Cf. Lev. 10). Neither their priestly character, nor the sanctity of their father, nor the intimacy with God of their uncle, Moses, could obtain for them any remission for their fault. Recall the example of Ananias and Sapphira, struck dead by God for telling a lie. (Cf. Acts 5). 
But the strongest proof of the rigor of God’s justice was the satisfaction required for sin, which was nothing less than the death of His only-begotten Son. Think of this Price of man’s Redemption, and you will begin to realize what sin is and how the justice of God regards it. Think, too, of the eternity of Hell, and judge of the rigor of that justice which inflicts such punishment. This justice terrifies you, but it is no less certain than the mercy in which you trust. Yes, through endless ages, God will look upon the indescribable torments of the damned, but they will excite in Him no compassion; they will not move Him to limit their sufferings or give them any hope of relief. Oh! Mysterious depths of divine justice! Who can reflect upon them and not tremble? Another subject to which I would call your serious attention is the state of the world. Reflect on this, and you will begin to realize the rigors of God’s justice. As an increase in virtue is the effect and reward of virtue, so likewise an increase in sin is the effect and punishment of sin. Indeed, it is one of the greatest chastisements that can be inflicted on us, when we are permitted, through blindness and passion, to rush headlong down the broad road of vice, adding sin to sin every day and hour of our lives. This is but just; for when man once mortally sins he loses all right to any help from God. It is owing solely to the divine mercy when he is converted.
Look, therefore, over the world, and behold the greatness of its iniquity. Think of the millions who are living in infidelity and heresy. Think how many calling themselves Christians are daily betraying their name by their scandalous lives. Why is this sad condition permitted? Ah! It is owing to man’s crimes. God is disobeyed, insulted, and mocked by the majority of men, and His long-suffering justice, being wearied by their wickedness, permits them to go on in their mad career. St. Augustine is an illustrious example of this. “I was plunged,” he says, “in iniquity, and Thy anger was aroused against me, but I knew it not. I was deaf to the noise which the chains of my sins made. But this ignorance, this deafness, were the punishments of my pride.” Reflect on this. Men act freely when they sin, for no man is forced to do wrong. But when they have fallen they cannot rise without the divine assistance.

Now, God owes this to no man. It is His gratuitous gift when He restores the sinner to His favor. Hence He but exercises His justice when He permits him to remain in his misery, and even to fall lower. When, therefore, we behold so much iniquity, have we not reason to feel that God’s justice permits men to become so blinded and hardened? I say permits, for man is the cause of his own miseries; God urges him only to what is good. If, then, you perceive in yourself any mark of such divine anger, be not without fear. Remember that you need no help but your own passions and the devil’s temptations to carry you along the broad road to destruction. Stop while you have time. Implore the divine mercy to aid you in retracing your steps till you discover that narrow way which leads to everlasting life. Having found it, walk manfully in it, ever mindful of the justice of God, and of the terrible truth that while thousands throng the road to death, there are few who find the way of life. Tremble for your salvation, and, while always maintaining an unshaken hope, have no less fear of Hell. 
You have no reason to expect that God should treat you differently from other men. Bear in mind the law of His justice, as it has been explained, and so live that you may never expose yourself to its terrible effects here and hereafter. Be not the victim of a vain confidence which you may flatter yourself is hope, while it is naught but presumption. Rather, in the words of the Eternal Wisdom, “Be not without fear about sin forgiven, and add not sin upon sin. And say not: The mercy of the Lord is great; he will have mercy on the multitude of my sins. For mercy and wrath quickly come from him, and his wrath looketh upon sinners.” (Ecclus. 5:5-7). If, then, we must tremble even for sin which has been remitted, how is it that you do not fear to add daily to your crimes? And mark well these words: “His wrath looketh upon sinners”; for as the eyes of His mercy are upon the good, so are the eyes of His anger upon the wicked. And this agrees with what David says in one of the psalms: “The eyes of the Lord are upon the just, and His ears unto their prayers. But the countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.” (Ps. 33:16-17). “The hand of God,” says the inspired author of the book of Esdras, “is upon all them that seek him in goodness; and his power and strength and wrath upon all them that forsake him.” (1Esd. 8:22). Be reconciled, therefore, with God; amend your life; and then you can confidently hope for the mercy promised to His faithful servants. “Hope in the Lord and do that which is good,” we are told by the psalmist; “offer the sacrifice of justice, and trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 36:3 and 4:6). This is hope; any other confidence is presumption. The ark of the true Church will not save its unworthy members from the deluge of their iniquities, nor can you reap any benefit from the mercy of God if you seek His protection in order to sin with impunity. “Men go to Hell,” says St. Augustine, “through hope, as well as through despair: through a presumptuous hope during life, and through despair at the hour of death.” (De Verbo Dei, Serm. 147).

I entreat you, therefore, O sinner, to abandon your false hope, and let God’s justice inspire you with a fear proportioned to the confidence which His mercy excites in you. For, as St. Bernard tells us, “God has two feet, one of justice and the other of mercy. We must embrace both, lest justice separated from mercy should cause us to despair, or mercy without justice should excite in us presumption.” (In Cantica, Serm. 80)

I am not the Author merely the distributor. God Bless BJS!!

Hearing God’s Personal Message To You

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God Bless BJS!!

​The Forgiveness of Sins

 

Christ taught about the forgiveness of sins in the parable of the Prodigal Son (1). He instituted the Sacrament of Penance for the forgiveness of sins when He said to the Apostles: (4) “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain they are retained.”

    What is meant in the Apostles’ Creed by “the forgiveness of sins”? –By “the forgiveness of sins” in the Apostles’ Creed is meant that God has given to the Church, through Jesus Christ, the power to forgive sins, no matter how great or how many they are, if sinners truly repent. 

  1. In the Old Law, sins were forgiven through the merits of the Redeemer that was to come. In the New Law they are forgiven through the merits of the Redeemer Who has come.Pointing to Christ, St. John the Baptist said: “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” 
  2. We can obtain forgiveness of sin, because Christ the Redeemer merited forgiveness for us by His death. The Church has power to remit sins through the merits of Jesus Christ, “in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins” (Col. 1:14).During life, Christ actually forgave sin. For example, He forgave Mary Magdalen, the paralytic, and the good thief. In curing the paralytic, He said, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins -then he said to the paralytic –“Arise, take up thy pallet and go to thy house” (Matt. 9:6). 
  3. Christ gave to His Apostles and disciples and their successors power to forgive sins. He said: “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).This power to forgive sins was not given to the Apostles alone, since men of later ages would need forgiveness as much as men of Apostolic times. The power, therefore, must also remain in the successors of the Apostles. 
  4. It is true, as the enemies of the Church assert, that man cannot forgive sins. Man, by his own individual power, can never forgive the smallest sin. But he can forgive all sins, with the power and authority God gave him, as minister of God, acting in God’s place. Or is God limited because man is sinful? “These things I write to you in order that you may not sin. But if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just” (1 John 2:1).From the very beginning the Church has exercised this power, through the sacraments of Penance and Baptism, and even through Extreme Unction.
    How may sins be remitted or forgiven? –Sins may be remitted or forgiven by various means, according to the kind and gravity of the sin: by Baptism, by Penance, and by good works. 

  1. Original sin is remitted through Baptism. When we are baptized, we become children of God, and heirs of heaven.None but children of God, the baptized, can have a pass to God’s eternal home. 
  2. Actual sin is remitted by Baptism, by Penance, by Extreme Unction, and by good works. Such good works are: prayer, fasting, and alms-deeds.Good works cannot remit grave or mortal sin; they can only dispose a person to the state of mind which leads him to the Sacrament of Penance. 
  3. The guilt of forgiven sins never returns. Once forgiven, a sin is forgiven forever. If after our sins have been forgiven we commit a new sin, or sins like the ones already forgiven, we are guilty of new sins.A man tells five lies. He repents and confessing his sin, obtains forgiveness. After a month he tells five lies again. He is guilty of having told only five lies, not ten.
    What is vice? –Vice is a habit of sin formed by repeated acts of sin. 

  1. One who makes a practice of stealing has the vice of theft. One who habitually drinks to intoxication has the vice of drunkenness. One who frequently sins against chastity has the vice of impurity.If one commits robbery and ever after avoids that sin, he has committed the mortal sin of robbery, but he has no vice. Similarly one may be completely intoxicated once, but if he resolves never again to drink, and sticks to his resolution, he has no vice. 
  2. A vice is easily acquired. This is one reason why we must be very careful not to commit sin. If we should be so unhappy as to fall into sin, we must at once cut off the possibility of forming vice by contrition, penance, and a resolution not to sin again.After the first fall, one more readily yields to the next temptation. Each yielding weakens the will for the next. Thus step by step one who starts a sin will soon find himself the slave of a vicious habit. “He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little” (Ecclus 19:1). 
  3. A vice is easy to break off in the beginning, difficult to break when fully formed, but always capable of being overcome by a resolute will with God’s grace.It is easy enough to uproot a very young tree. But when it has grown into a mighty tree, it becomes extremely difficult. The vice having been firmly formed, it becomes a necessity and is impossible to break without extraordinary grace. This impossibility often leads many vicious persons to despair and to final impenitence. But God can do all things. One therefore who has contracted a habit of sin must have recourse to God, who will strengthen him, so that he can conquer his vice, by patient acts of virtue and a constant exertion of the will.
    Can all sins be forgiven? –Yes, all sins, however great, can be forgiven, through the infinite merits of Christ, Who is God.The repentant sinner is told in Scripture: “If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow” (Is. 1:17) 

  1. God is always ready to forgive our sins, no matter how great or how many they are, if we are truly sorry for them. No actual sin can be forgiven without sorrow and repentance on the part of the sinner.Our Lord said: “I say to you that, even so, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15:7). 
  2. The sin against the Holy Ghost which Christ warned us would not be forgiven in heaven or on earth is persistent impenitence, the sin of one who rejects conversion and dies in mortal sin. One guilty of this sin can never obtain forgiveness of God, because at the hour of death he continues to thrust God away from him.A man mortally wounded cannot have any hope of cure if he not only refuses to listen to his doctors, but shuts his mouth against all medicines, and kicks away all medical instruments and help. Even Judas would have been pardoned if he had asked for forgiveness and made a sincere act of contrition before his death.

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

​The Eight Beatitudes

 

And opening his mouth he taught them, saying, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth. Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God. Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 5:1-10). These are the beatitudes; they are thus called, because they bring us happiness on earth as well as in heaven.

 

    Which are the eight beatitudes? –The eight beatitudes are: 

  1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
       

    1. The poor in spirit are those who, however great their wealth, dignity, learning, etc., acknowledge that in God’s sight they are poor, and realize that their riches come from God. They are detached in heart and mind from worldly possessions, for love of God. Even in this life they are at peace, a foretaste of heaven.Thus a rich man may in fact be poor in spirit, if he is not attached to his wealth, but spends it freely for good causes, and is willing to be parted from it at God’s will. On the other hand a poor man is not truly poor in spirit, if he is not resigned to his poverty, but envies the rich, if he is poor against his will, or prides himself on some quality of his. 
    2. In general, the poor in this world’s goods are also poor in spirit. They are saved from temptations into which the wealthy fall. This is one reason for seeking poverty voluntarily, according to Christ’s counsel.Our Lord often emphasized the difficulty of salvation when one is rich: “But woe to you rich! for you are now having your comfort” (Luke 6:24). “If thou wilt be perfect, go, sell what thou hast and give to the poor, … and come, follow me” (Matt.​ 19:21). “With difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 19:23) 
    3. We are, however, expected to be industrious. Pauperism which is the result of laziness is not a virtue. Beggary which can be avoided is not beneficial either to the individual or to society in general. Each one is obliged to provide for himself and for those dependent on him.

     

  2. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the earth.”
       

    1. The meek are those who bear patiently all the contradictions of life, looking upon them as happening through God’s Will or by His permission. The meek shall have peace of heart and peace of life, loved and respected by all, and at death will “possess the earth” of the living, heaven. 
    2. Those are also meek who, though of a naturally fiery disposition, master their anger, impatience, or desires for revenge. The meek man does not get angry or curse or seek revenge. He forgives his enemies, and even wins them by gentle words. He imitates Christ, Who said: “Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart” (Matt. 11: 29).

     

  3. “Blessed are they who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Here the reference is to spiritual sorrow, grief for sin, one’s own sins or the sins of others. It includes a longing amidst the sorrows of life for the joys and peace of heaven.Mourning for sin is not sadness, for it is not incompatible with spiritual joy. Those who are most penitent feel most gladness upon their release from sin. But to sinners who do not mourn, these words of Our Lord should bring salutary fear: “Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep” (Luke 6:25). 
  4. “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.”This refers to those who ardently desire the things of God, truth and perfect virtue, as well as to those who try to become better, more humble and pure, more closely united with God. Spiritual hunger and thirst is the craving for growth in holiness, a desire to be more pleasing to God, to make daily progress in doing His will. Even in this life they shall taste the joy of divine consolations; in heaven they shall enjoy the full abundance of heavenly bliss. 
  5. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” The merciful are those who practice the works of mercy, corporal and spiritual, who help others not from human or natural motives simply, but from supernatural ones, from faith, from love of God. To such people, Christ at the day of judgment will say: “Come, blessed of my Father, take possession of the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger, and you took me in …” (Matt. 25:34-35). 
  6. “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.” Only those who are not in habitual sin are clean of heart, and possess virtue. They will be rewarded with the vision of God in heaven; and even on earth by the great light given them. There are several degrees of purity of heart: to the first degree belong those who are free from mortal sin; to the second belong those who are free from deliberate venial sin and all affection for sin; to the third degree belong those who are free from the least ill-regulated affection; to the fourth belong those who are free from the almost imperceptible stains that delay a soul’s entrance into God’s home; and to the last degree belong those Christians of such purity of life and thought, of such perfection of zeal and intention, that they habitually live for God alone, that they are perfectly united with Him, so that when they close their eyes in death they will fly straight into the Heart of God. 
  7. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.” Men who love peace and preserve it in themselves and among others are beloved by God.We should also try to reconcile those who are not on good terms with each other. This is a superior degree of the second beatitude. 
  8. “Blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Those are blessed who suffer for Christ, religion, or some Christian virtue. They will receive an eternal reward. Those who faithfully observe the entire law of God and defend the cause of His Church, procure His glory and save souls. In this world those who are active in preserving the rights of the Church are often ridiculed and persecuted; they will be especially blessed.Our Lord preached the Eight Beatitudes in the Sermon on the Mount. In this sermon He taught something new in the world. Where people had always striven for riches, honors, and pleasures, Christ praised the poor, the humble, the suffering.If we practice faithfully the doctrine of the eight beatitudes, we shall find the true path of perfection and be happy besides on earth. The Beatitudes contain in substance the law of God and all evangelical perfection.

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