There is nothing more pleasing to God, than to see a soul who patiently and serenely bears whatever crosses it is sent; this is how love is made, by putting lover and loved one on the same level. . . A soul who loves Jesus Christ desires to be treated the way Christ was treated-desires to be poor, despised and humiliated.
It would be the greatest delight of the seraphs to pile up sand on the seashore or to pull weeds in a garden for all eternity, if they found out such was God's will. Our Lord himself teaches us to ask to do the will of God on earth as the saints do it in heaven: "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
In obedience to humanity, the King of the universe come down from heaven! In obedience to humanity, he lives imprisoned on the altar! I shall not resist. He allows humans to keep him wherever they wish-in monstrance or tabernacle; to carry him in procession; to bring him into the homes of the sick and dying; to dispense him to all, whether saint or sinner. The gospel tells how marvelously he obeyed Mary and Joseph. Today he obeys every priest in the world.
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Let us, at any rate, give heed to suffer joyfully the crosses that God sends us, because they all, if we are saved, will become for us eternal joys. When infirmities, pains, or any adversities afflict us, let us lift up our eyes to heaven and say, "One day all these pains will have an end, and after them I hope to enjoy God forever."
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All would wish to be saved and to enjoy the glory of paradise; but to gain heaven, it is necessary to walk in the straight road that leads to eternal bliss. This road is the observance of the divine commandments. Hence, in his preaching, the Baptist exclaimed: Make straight the way of the Lord.
Certainly amongst all devotions, after that of receiving the sacraments, that of adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament holds first place, is most pleasing to God, and most useful to ourselves. Do not then, O devout soul, refuse to begin this devotion; and forsaking the conversation of men, dwell each day, from this time forward, for at least half or quarter of an hour, in some church, in the presence of Jesus Christ under the sacramental species. Taste and see how sweet is the Lord.
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It often happens that we pray God to deliver us from some dangerous temptation, and yet God does not hear us but permits the temptation to continue troubling us. In such a case, let us understand that God permits even this for our greater good. When a soul in temptation recommends itself to God, and by His aid resists, O how it then advances in perfection.
Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends. Speak to Him often of your business, your plans, your troubles, your fears - of everything that concerns you. Converse with Him confidently and frankly; for God is not wont to speak to a soul that does not speak to Him.
My Lord Jesus Christ, who, for the love You bear to mankind, do remain night and day in this Sacrament, full of pity and love, awaiting, calling, and receiving all who come to visit You; I believe that You are present in the Sacrament of the Altar; I adore You from the depths of my own nothingness; I thank You for the many graces You have given me, and especially for having given me Yourself in this Sacrament...
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The more a person loves God, the more reason he has to hope in Him. This hope produces in the Saints an unutterable peace, which they preserve even in adversity, because as they love God, and know how beautiful He is to those who love Him, they place all their confidence and find all their repose in Him alone.
Before the coming of Jesus Christ, men fled away from God and, being attached to the earth, refused to unite themselves to their Creator. But the loving God has drawn them to Himself by the bonds of love, as He promised by the prophet Osee [Hosea]: "I will draw them with the cords of Adam, with the bonds of love" (11:4). These bonds are the benefits, the lights, the calls to His love, the promises of Paradise which He makes to us, but above all, the gift which He has bestowed upon us of Jesus Christ in the Sacrifice of the Cross and in the Sacrament of the Altar...
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Good friends find pleasure in one another's company. Let us know pleasure in the company of our best Friend, a Friend who can do everything for us, a friend who loves us beyond measure. Here in the Blessed Sacrament we can talk to him straight from the heart. We can open our souls to him, tell him what we need, beg him for powerful graces. We are perfectly free to approach the King of the universe with full confidence and without fear.
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St. Augustine and St. Thomas define mortal sin to be a turning away from God: that is, the turning of one's back upon God, leaving the Creator for the sake of the creature. What punishment would that subject deserve who, while his king was giving him a command, contemptuously turned his back upon him to go and transgress his orders? This is what the sinner does; and this is punished in hell with the pain of loss, that is, the loss of God, a punishment richly deserved by him who in this life turns his back upon his sovereign good.
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If, on a rare occasion, it is necessary to speak with some severity in order to make a grievous crime felt, we should always, at the conclusion of the rebuke, add some kind words. We must heal wounds, as the Samaritan did, with wine and oil. But as oil floats above all other liquors, so meekness should predominate in all our actions.
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New revelations regarding faith or morals ... have always been abhorred and challenged in the Church ... Hence, the Sovereign Pontiffs, the Councils, and the Fathers have been most careful to reject all novelties or new doctrines on matters of faith which differed from those already received.
"Happy he that knows Thee, even if he knows nothing else," says St. Augustine. If we knew all the sciences and knew not how to love Jesus Christ, our knowledge shall profit us nothing to eternal life. But if we know how to love Jesus Christ, we shall know all things, and shall be happy for eternity.
It is just that he should act with reserve towards those who act with reserve towards him. On the contrary, he gives himself entirely to those souls, who, driving from their hearts everything that is not God, and does not lead them to his love, and giving themselves to him without reserve, truly say to him: My God and my all.
He would be guilty of mortal sin, because he exposes himself to the danger of grievously offending God. Hence, before he acts he must lay aside the doubt; and if he has not hitherto done so, he must confess it, at least, as it is before God. But the scrupulous, who have doubts about everything, must follow another rule: they must obey their confessor. When he tells them to conquer their doubts, and to act against scruples, they should obey with exactness; otherwise they will render themselves unable and unfit to perform any spiritual exercise.
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Whoever prays is certainly saved. He who does not is certainly damned. All the blessed have been saved by prayer. All the damned have been lost through not praying. If they had prayed they would not have been lost. And this is, and will be their greatest torment in hell: to think how easily they might have been saved, just by asking God for His grace, but that now it is too late - their time of prayer is gone.
"The flowers have appeared in our land: the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle-dove is heard in our land." When the soul, like the solitary turtle-dove, retires and recollects itself in meditation to converse with God, then the flowers, that is, good desires, appear; then comes the time of pruning, that is, the correction of faults that are discovered in mental prayer.
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Saint Teresa, as the Roman Rota attests, never fell into any mortal sin; but still Our Lord showed her the place prepared for her in Hell; not because she deserved Hell, but because, had she not risen from the state of lukewarmness in which she lived, she would in the end have lost the grace of God and been damned.
Know also that you will probably gain more by praying fifteen minutes before the Blessed Sacrament than by all the other spiritual exercises of the day. True, Our Lord hears our prayers anywhere, for He has made the promise, 'Ask, and you shall receive,' but He has revealed to His servants that those who visit Him in the Blessed Sacrament will obtain a more abundant measure of grace.
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To obtain salvation we must tremble at the thought of being lost, and tremble not so much at the thought of hell, as of sin, which alone can send us thither. He who dreads sin avoids dangerous occasions, frequently recommends himself to God, and has recourse to the means of keeping himself in the state of grace. He who acts thus will be saved; but for him who lives not in this manner it is morally impossible to be saved.
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