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Unit 6 The Mass of the Faithful The Communion; The Our Father Lesson 1

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Priest: Our Father, Who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation.
Altar Boy: But deliver us from evil.
Priest: Amen.

The Communion part of the Mass begins with the Our Father.

During the Offertory and Canon we give to God. In the Communion of the Mass, God gives to us. He gives us Himself. Our Lord wishes to give us in Holy Communion the blessings He obtained for us in dying on the Cross.

Holy Communion is a part of the Mass. When we do not recieve Holy Communion, we are not receiving all the graces that Our Lord obtained for us in His sacrifice on the cross.

In the Mass, the Our Father is introduced with these words: Let us pray. Instructed by Thy saving commandments and following Thy divine directions, we presume to say, Our Father…

You know why we have these words in the Mass. One day, when Our Lord was on earth, the apostles said to Him: “Lord, teach us to pray.”

Our Lord replied: “When you pray, pray thus.” And then He gave them the Our Father.

In the Mass, the Our Father is the first step in our preparation for Holy Communion. This prayer asks God to give us our daily bread. Our Lord Himself told His followers that He is the “bread of life.”

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 Three Remembrance Prayers After the Consecration Lesson 6

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The Fourth Remembrance: Of the Dead

Be mindful, O Lord, also of Thy servants and handmaids, N. and N., who have gone before us with the sign of faith, and rest in the sleep of peace.

To these, O Lord, and to all who sleep in Christ, we beseech Thee to grant, of Thy goodness, a place of comfort, light, and peace. Through the same Christ Our Lord, Amen.

There are three remembrance prayers before the Consecration in the Mass, and there are three remembrance prayers after the Consecration. In the remembrance prayers after the Consecration we pray for the dead, for ourselves who are sinners, and for everything in nature.

Let us look at the first of these prayers after the Consecration. You will see there is a special place in this prayer for us to mention the names of our dead. We ask for own dead, and for all who died in the grace of God, comfort, light, and peace. The prayer uses the words comfort, light, and peace to describe the happiness of heaven.

The Fifth Remembrance: Of Ourselves

To us also, sinners. Yet Thy servants, trusting in the goodness of Thy mercy, deign to grant some part and fellowship with Thy holy apostles and martyrs: with Stephen, John, Matthias, Barnabus, Ignatius, Alexander, Marcellinus, Peter, Feclicitas, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, Anastasia, and all Thy saints; into whose company we implore Thee to admit us, and not weighing our merits, but freely granting us pardon. Through Christ Our Lord.

If we listen carefully, we can hear the priest as he says the first words of this prayer. In English they mean “To us also, sinners.” As the priest prays them, he strikes his breast.

In this prayer we call ourselves sinners, but we tell God that we put our trust in His very great mercy. We ask that one day we may have some place with the saints in heaven. We say we do not deserve this favor, but we beg it of God just the same. At the same time we ask pardon for our sins.

This prayer is very old. That is why only saints of the early Church are mentioned in it.

The Sixth Remembrance: Of All Nature

Through Whom, Lord, Thou dost ever create, hallow, fill with life, bless, and bestow upon us all good things.

The last remembrance prayer asks God to bless everything on earth. In this prayer we say that we know it is through Our Lord Jesus Christ. Who offered Himself to His Father at the Consecration. It is Our Lord Whom we offered to God the Father in the orayer immediately after the Consecration.

In this short prayer we say God creates, makes holy, and fills with life, that He blesses, and gives us all good things.

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!!

The Consecration Lesson 4

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Consecration of the  Bread

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Who, the day before He suffered, took bread into His holy and venerable hands, and having raised His eyes to heaven, unto Thee, O God, His Father almighty, giving thanks to Thee, blessed, broke it, and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take ye all and eat of this, FOR THIS IS MY BODY.

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Consecration of the Wine

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In like manner, when the supper was done, taking also this goodly chalice into His holy and venerable hands, again giving thanks to Thee, He blessed it and gave it to His disciples, saying: Take ye all, and drink of this FOR THIS IS THE CHALICE OF MY BLOOD OF THE NEW AND ETERNAL COVENANT: THE MYSTERY OF FAITH, WHICH SHALL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR MANY UNTO THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS. As often as you shall do these things, in memory of Me shall you so them.

The Consecration is the most holy moment in the Mass. It is the time when then body and blood of Our Lord become present on the altar. It is the time when Our Lord offers Himself again to His Father, just as He did on the cross.

At the Consecration of the Mass Our Lord Himself is the priest. The words and actions are those Our Lord used at the Last Supper.

The priest takes the bread into his hands, lifts his eyes toward heaven, bows in thanksgiving, and blesses the bread. Only after he has done these things does he bend over the altar and say the words of Consecration. Jesus Christ, true God and Man, becomes present. Bread is no longer there, only that which looks like bread. The priest genuflects to adore Our Lord. Next he raises the Sacred Host high so that all the people may see it. Then he puts the Host upon the corporal, and again he genuflects.

The priest does the same at the Consecration of the wine. He takes the chalice, and he blesses it. He bends over it and says the words of consecration. Then he genuflects to adore, holds the chalice up so that all may see it, and again he genuflects.

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!!

The Two Offering Prayers Before the Consecration

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Graciously, accept, then, we beseech Thee, O Lord, this service of our worship and that of all Thy household. Provide that our days be spent in Thy peace, save us from everlasting damnation, and cause us to be numbered in the flock Thou has chosen. Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Do Thou, O God, deign to bless what we offer, and make it approved, effective, right, and wholly pleasing in every way, that it may be for our good, the Body and the Blood of Thy dearly beloved Son, Jesus Christ Our Lord.

These two prayers come immediately after the three remembrance prayers. As the priest prays the first of the two offering prayers, he spreads his hands over the bread and wine. It is at this time the bells ring once. The bell tells us that it is time for the Consecration, for the bread and wine to be changed into the body and blood of Our Lord.

In the first offering prayer we again ask God to recieve our gift. The words “this service of our worship” mean the offering of Jesus to His Father. Jesus is our gift.

We know that our gift is most pleasing to God because it is Our Lord Himself. But, at the same time, we know the truth about ourselves. We know we are not worthy to offer this gift. For this reason we ask God “graciously” to recieve it.

In the first offering prayer we pray for peace during our lives on earth, to be saved from the never-ending punishment of hell, and to be happy forever in heaven.

As the priest prays the second prayer of offering, he makes the Sign of the Cross five times over the bread and wine. In this prayer, priest and people ask God that the bread and wine may become the body and blood of His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. A number of different words are used in this prayer to tell God our desires about the offering. We pray that God may bless it, and that it may be pleasing to Him in every way.

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!!

The Secret Lesson 8

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Sanctify, O Lord, the gifts we offer, and cleanse us from the stains of our sins. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the union of the Holy Ghost, God world without end. Amen. (Secret for the Second Sunday after Epiphany).

The priest prays the Secret or Secrets right after the Orate Fratres. Sometimes there is one Secret, sometimes two, sometimes three. The priest reads the Secrets from the Missal. These prayers change day to day. The priest prays the Secrets in a voice which the people cannot hear.

The Secret is the tenth and last prayer of the Offertory.

The Secrets are almost always about the bread and wine that are to be changed into the body and blood of Our Lord. The Secrets always ask a favor of God.

The Secret for the Second Sunday after Epiphany speaks of the bread and wine as “the gifts we offer.” When we ask Almighty God to cleanse us from the stains of our sins, we are thinking about the most pleasing offering our Blessed Lord will make to Him at the Consecration of the Mass. At that time He becomes our great gift to God. In a most special way He is making up for our sins.

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!!

The Sacrifice of the Cross and the Sacrifice of the Mass Lesson 2

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The Bible tells about many sacrifices. Abel offered the finest lamb of his flock to God. Noe offered sacrifice when he came out of the ark. Abraham was ready to obey God and to offer even his son in sacrifice. When an angel stopped Abraham, he offered a ram. From the time of Moses, the priests of the Jews offered sacrifices for the people.

Saint Paul said that the sacrifices offered by the Jews were a shadow of the good things to come. Saint Paul was speaking of the perfect sacrifice. In this sacrifice Jesus, the Son of God, was and would be the victim.

Jesus offered to God the Father His sufferings and death on the cross. This is called that sacrifice of the cross. On the cross Jesus gained merit and made up for the sins of men.

Every day Jesus makes the same offering that He made on the cross. He again offers Himself to God the Father. He offers His sufferings and death on the cross. He does This In the Sacrifice of the Mass. Our Lord applies to us the merits of His death on the cross. No better victim, no greater gift, could be offered to God. The victim in the Sacrifice of the Mass is Our Lord Himself.

The Mass is the same sacrifice as the sacrifice of the cross. There is only one difference. The way in which the sacrifice is offered is different. On the cross Our Lord shed His Blood. In the Mass there is no shedding of blood. There is no death. Jesus offers Himself to God under the appearances of bread and wine.

The first Sacrifice of the Mass was offered by Our Lord at the Last Supper. He did it in this way. He changed bread and wine into His body and blood. He offered Himself to God the Father. He said: “This is My body which is given for you; this is My blood which is shed for you.”

Jesus made the apostles priests at the Last Supper. At that time He gave them the power to change bread and wine into His body and blood. He said: Do this in Remembrance of Me.” And the priest does this every day in the Sacrifice of the Mass.

When I pray the Mass with the priest, I offer Jesus to God the Father. I also offer myself to God the Father. During Holy Mass, God the Father wishes to give me a gift. He wishes to give me His Son in Holy Communion. This gift is food for my soul. Our Lord Himself said: “Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood, you shall not have life in you.” Our Lord meant the life of grace which I must have to belong to the kingdom of God.

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!!

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!!

Uniformity of God’s Will and the Practice of the Love of Jesus Christ

St. Alphonsus de Ligouri

O Jesus, my love, I am determined to love Thee as much as I can, and I wish to become a Saint; and I wish to become a Saint for this reason, in order to give Thee pleasure, and to love Thee exceedingly in this life and the next!

I can do nothing of myself, but Thou canst do all things; and I know that Thou wishest me to become a Saint. I see already that by Thy grace my soul sighs only for Thee, and seeks nothing else but Thee. I wish to live no more for myself; Thou desirest me to be wholly Thine, and I desire to be wholly Thine.

Come, and unite me to Thyself, and Thyself to me. Thou art infinite goodness; Thou art He Who hast loved me so much; Thou art, indeed, too loving and too lovely; how, then, can I love anything but Thee? I prefer Thy love before all the things of this world; Thou art the sole object, the sole end of all my affections.

I leave all to be occupied solely in loving Thee, my Redeemer, my Comforter, my hope, my love, and my all. I will not despair of becoming a Saint on account of the sins of my past life; for I know, my Jesus, that Thou didst die in order to pardon the truly penitent. I love Thee now with my whole heart, with my whole soul; I love Thee more than myself, and I bewail, above every other evil, ever having had the misfortune to despise Thee, my sovereign good.

Now I am no longer my own. I am Thine; O God of my heart, dispose of me as Thou pleasest. In order to please Thee, I accept of all the tribulations Thou mayest choose to send me—–sickness, sorrow, troubles, ignominies, poverty, persecution, desolation—–I accept all to please Thee: in like manner I accept of the death Thou hast decreed for me, with all the anguish and crosses which may accompany it: it is enough if Thou grantest me the grace to love Thee exceedingly.

Lend me Thy assistance; give me strength henceforth to compensate, by my love, for all the bitterness that I have caused Thee in past time, O only love of my soul!
O Queen of Heaven, O Mother of God, O great advocate of sinners, I trust in thee!

Particular Judgment

 

Complete justice will not be done in this life, but in the next. Then everything will be weighed in the balance of God’s justice, and punished or rewarded. If on earth we have obeyed the commandments of God and of the Church we shall be given an eternal reward in heaven (1). If we have obeyed all the commandments, but die with unforgiven venial sin, or without having satisfied for forgiven mortal sin, we shall be sent to purgatory (2). Alas for us if we die with even one mortal sin! For then we shall be banished from the sight of God and suffer torments in hell forever (3).

    What is the judgment called which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death? –The judgment which will be passed on each one of us immediately after death is called the particular judgment.The existence of the particular judgment can be deduced from the parable of Dives and Lazarus; a soul is shown rewarded immediately after death.

  1. As soon as each soul leaves the body at death it undergoes the Particular judgment, at which its eternal destiny is decided. “We must all be manifested at the judgment seat of Christ.” “It is appointed unto men to die once, but after this comes the judgment” (Heb. 9:27). “Every one of us will render an account for himself to God” (Rom. 14:12).Let us remember that even while the relatives gather around the bed of the departed one, even while his body is still warm, the particular judgment is gone through and finished; the judgment is passed, and the soul gone to his reward or punishment. If we remember this, we shall be more fervent in praying for the dead, in helping others die a happy death, so that without fear they may meet God at the judgment. 
  2. Jesus Christ is the Judge at the Particular Judgment. Before Him each soul must stand. The soul will stand in the awesome presence of God the Son, to give an account of its whole life: of every thought, word, act, and omission.“Neither does the Father judge any man, but all judgment he has given to the Son” (John 5:22). 
  3. A man’s whole life will be spread before him like a great picture. He will remember everything, although he might have forgotten much at the moment of death. How he will wish then that he had done only good! We are not to suppose that the soul will go to heaven before Christ to be judged. God enlightens each soul in such a manner that it fully knows Christ has passed a true judgment on it.“Of every idle word men speak, they shall give account on the day of judgment” (Matt. 12:36). The judgment will embrace even the good which has been neglected: a strict account will have to be rendered of the use we made of the talents and graces given to us. Even good actions badly performed will come under scrutiny, careless communions, hasty confessions, etc. Only then shall we know the exactness with which God sees and measures every act, word, and even intention in our deepest thought. 
  4. The good and the evil that the soul has done will be weighed in the balance of God’s justice. Then the sentence will be passed by Jesus Christ alone, without the intervention of witnesses. This sentence is final and will never be reversed. The soul will learn the sentence, the reasons for it, and its absolute justice.“But of every one to whom much has been given, much will be required; and of him to whom they have entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48).
    What are the rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment? –The rewards or punishments appointed for men after the particular judgment are heaven, purgatory, or hell.“With what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you” (Matt. 7:2). As we have loved God and our fellow-men during life, so we shall be given the proper reward or punishment.

  1. He who dies in his baptismal innocence, or after having fully satisfied for all the sins he committed, will be sent at once to heaven.The just will enter into everlasting life (Matt. 25:46). Only those souls enter heaven who are free from all sin, and from the penalty due to sins which have been forgiven. Nothing defiled can enter heaven (Apoc. 21:27). 
  2. He who dies in the state of grace, but is in venial sin, or has not fully atoned for the temporal punishment due his forgiven sins, will be sent for a time to purgatory.The souls in purgatory are saints, because they are sure of going to heaven. In purgatory they cannot commit any more sin, not even the slightest. They only long for God. 
  3. He who dies in mortal sin, even if only with one single mortal sin, will be sent at once to hell.“For the hope of the wicked is as dust, which is blown away with the wind, and as a thin froth which is dispersed by the storm: and a smoke that is scattered abroad by the wind: and as the remembrance of a guest of one day that passeth by” (Wis. 5:15). By mortal sin a man cuts himself off from God. It is really he himself that sends himself to hell. God’s desire would be to see all His creatures with Him in heaven.
    How should we prepare for the judgment? –We should prepare for the judgment by being most careful to lead a good life and die a happy death. 

  1. We should do all the good we can, so that God may forgive the evil we may do. We should not only obey carefully all the Commandments of God and the Church, but do good works in prayer and alms-deeds, practicing charity for the love of God. How can we be careless about a matter of such importance, when we are absolutely certain of being judged by God! “For what shall I do, when God shall rise to judge?” (Job 31:14). 
  2. We should do voluntary works of penance, for love of God, in expiation of any sins we may have the misfortune to commit. The “Imitation of Christ” says on this topic: “In all things look to the end, and how thou wilt stand before the strict Judge, from Whom there is nothing hid; Who takes no bribes, and receives no excuses, but will judge that which is just. … Be, therefore, now solicitous for thy sins, that in the day of judgment thou mayest be in security with the blessed. … Then shall the poor and humble have great confidence, and the proud fear on every side. Then it will appear that he was wise in this world, who for Christ’s sake learned to be a fool and despised. … Then shall the flesh that was afflicted exult more than if it had always fared in delights. … Then a pure and good conscience shall bring more joy than learned philosophy. Then shall the contempt of riches far outweigh all treasures of the children of earth. … Learn to suffer now in little things, that thou mayest be delivered from more grievous sufferings. … All is vanity except to love and serve God alone” (Bk. I, chap. 24). 
  3. We should never go to sleep without being prepared never to awake on earth again, but in the presence of our judge. Let us examine our conscience every day, make acts of contrition for our sins, confess them, and resolve to avoid them in the future.

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

An Image of God

 

The Book of Genesis describes the creation of the first man and the first woman in these words: “And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth, and breathed into his face the breath of life; and man became a living soul. Then the Lord God cast a deep sleep upon Adam: and when he was fast asleep, he took one of his ribs. … And the Lord God built the rib which he took from Adam into a woman” (Gen. 2:7, 21, 22). Such was the creation of Adam and Eve, our first parents. God gave them power over all created things: the earth, the beasts, birds, fishes, plants, and all things else

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What is man? — Man is a creature composed of body and soul, and made to the image and likeness of God.

Before the creation of man, God said, “Let us make man to our image and likeness; and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth” (Gen. 1:26).

 

  1. God formed the body of man from the slime of the earth; but He breathed the soul into man’s body. In this way the soul came direct from God, and indicates closer likeness to Him.

    We should always reverence our likeness to God, trying to perfect it by making our soul as holy as possible. Once the enemies of a king tried to make his son do something wrong. But the youth proudly and resolutely answered, “No! I am the son of the king!” By Baptism man becomes the adopted son of God, Who is infinitely higher than any earthly king. His soul is like his Father in Heaven.

     

  2. The soul of man is different from the soul of brute animals. Animals have senses and instinct, but neither reason nor free will. Free will is that power of the soul to choose whether to act or not to act.

    If a horse has not eaten for a day, and you put some hay before him, he will eat, because his instinct moves him to do so. But a hungry man may fast for days, and still refuse to eat however hungry he may be, if he wills not to eat. The difference between man’s free will and animal instinct is that a man can say “No” to himself.

     

  3. The soul and the body are not loosely connected parts of man; they are united in a substantial union. The soul is not located in any particular member of the body, but is whole and entire in each part

     

Is this likeness to God in the body or in the soul? — This likeness to God is chiefly in the soul. Man continues in this likeness to God only when he remains in God’s grace, for then he is a “partaker of the divine nature” (2 Pet. 1:4).

 

  1. Like God, man’s soul is an immortal spirit, with understanding and free will. Some deny the existence of the soul, because it cannot be seen; yet the same people would not deny the existence of human reason, even if this cannot be seen, either.

    Some claim that man has two souls, one good and one evil, striving for mastery. But the struggle that we often experience comes from only one soul with different tendencies arising from the fact of our being made of both body and soul, partly material and partly spiritual. In a living person, the soul should not be considered apart from the body; their union is as close as the relation between a musician and his instrument at the hour of a concert.

     

  2. Through his two faculties of the soul, understanding and free will, man obtains dominion over the material world, as God possesses power over the entire universe.

    As God said before creating man: “Let him have dominion over the beasts and the whole earth” (Gen. 1:26). Through his likeness to God, man has the power to know the true, the good, the beautiful, so far even as to know the Source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, God Himself.

     

How can we prove that the soul of man is immortal? — We can prove that the soul of man is immortal, because man’s acts of intelligence are spiritual; therefore, his soul must be a spiritual being, not dependent on matter, and hence not subject to decay or death.

If even matter cannot totally disappear, however small the particle, how can the soul of man, of a far higher order, be thought to suffer extinction?

 

  1. Man has mind and will. He can reflect, reason, plan for the future, make judgments, remember. These prove his soul spiritual. Such a soul cannot die as the body does.

    Man longs for an ideal state of perfect happiness, such happiness as is impossible to attain on earth. This universal longing must have been placed in men’s souls by God Himself; it is a desire for the infinite happiness of a union with the Creator. If, therefore, man’s soul were not immortal, he would have no chance to realize his dream of bliss, and God would be cruel in implanting the longing for it in his breast.

     

  2. There have been many instances of the dead appearing to the living. In the Gospel, Moses and Elias appeared on Mount Thabor to Christ and three of His Apostles. At Christ’s death, many who were dead rose and appeared in Jerusalem.

    The Blessed Virgin has through the centuries continued to appear to men; such instances are almost innumerable. Saints have also returned to earth to comfort or instruct the living; even souls in purgatory have returned, to beg for prayers. We must, however, be very careful about believing in particular instances of appearances by the dead; the devil can and often does use this instrumentality to trick the gullible.

     

  3. Belief in the immortality of the soul and a life after death is universal among mankind, including the most primitive peoples.

    In the Bible are many instances of the belief of the Jews in another life, where the souls of the dead would be. For instance, one of their laws forbade holding with the dead. The Greeks and Romans believed in Tartarus and Elysium, places for the dead. Other nations have different cults to the dead, especially during their burial ceremonies. Such cults would be meaningless did those who took part in them not have an idea of another life for departed souls.

     

  4. If the soul were not immortal, the wicked who commit evil all their lives would go unpunished. The just who suffer continually on earth would not receive any reward. This would be injustice impossible to the perfect justice of God.

    If even man, imperfect as he is, can see innumerable examples of injustice in life, could not God? Would He not have a way of correcting such injustice? And if so, since it cannot be corrected in this life, there must be another, where immortal souls go to obtain perfect justice.

     

  5. Holy Scripture, the Word of God, teaches that the soul is immortal.

    “And many of those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake: some unto life everlasting, and others unto reproach, to see it always” (Dan. 12:2). Our Lord Himself said to the good thief, “This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise” (Luke 23:43). “And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matt. l0:28). “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living” (Matt. 22:32).

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

God Bless BJS!!