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Header VOJ 17

 Ask The Departed, 
What They Think Of The World.
If thou cleavest to the world,
thou ceasest, in fact, to be a Christian.

Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

1. The Voice of Jesus My Child, the whole world is made up of deceits, and by its arts and wiles, it allures to itself the unwary.

It holds out to man pleasures, honors, and riches; and says, all these things will I give to thee, if thou serve me.

But attend thou, not to what it promises, but to what it gives.

Through the deceitful hope of pleasant things, it brings its votaries beneath the cruel tyranny of the passions, and thence leads them to the ceaseless tortures of the stings of conscience.

Didst thou ever find a worldling, even the most fortunate, whose heart was every way satisfied? Neither shalt thou find such a one, even if thou searchest the whole earth.

The world, indeed, promises good things; but, in reality, it bestows true evils only; because what it gives, makes man wicked, and hinders him, by no means, from being truly unhappy.

 

2. The Voice of the Disciple

Yet, O Lord, worldlings frequently obtain possession of those things which they covet; and, therefore, they care little for the spiritual distresses of the heart.

 

The Voice of Jesus

Even so, My Child: granted that they abound in whatever things they may lust after in this world; as they possess them with an inordinate affection, and misuse them; nevertheless, they enjoy them not, except for their present and future unhappiness.

Besides, they appear, indeed, not to care for the interior tortures of the soul; but, My Child, if thou couldst look, as I do, into their hearts, thou shouldst see how many things they suffer within, which they endeavor to hide outwardly, and thou wouldst conclude, that the happiness of man consists, not in having an abundance of the things of this world, but rather herein, that he keeps his heart free from every worldly object, and calmly, and permanently satisfied in Me.

Moreover, how long shall these things of worldlings last? Behold! Yet a little while, and eternity shall summon them to appear. What then shall the plentifulness of delights and other things avail them? They shall leave the world, taking with them nothing, except the load of their sins.

Wouldst thou, then, be willing, for the misuse of the things of time, to lose the use of those of eternity? Or, for the false possessions of earth, to forfeit the true riches of heaven?

 

3. My Child, if thou cleavest to the world, thou ceasest, in fact, to be a Christian, and thou foregoest the possession of all the privileges which belong to that noble name.

For, at thy new birth, in the waters of Baptism, thou didst, by a solemn promise made before heaven and earth, renounce the world and its wickedness; nor would I, without that promise, have adopted thee as My Child.

If, after this, thou goest again over to the party of the world, thou art not only faithless, but even worse than the heathen, who made no such promise.

For, it is better not to promise, than not to make good what is promised.

 

4. Ask the departed, what they think of the world. The Elect will answer, that their happiness began from the time they learnt to despise the things of earth: and the reprobate will reply, that they were deceived and ruined by the world. 

Thyself, My Child, shalt, one day, think and experience concerning the world, the one or the other of these things.

Be timely wise, My Child, lest hereafter thou feel sorrow to no purpose: follow the footprints of the Saints, by withdrawing thy heart from the world, and keeping thy affections from its contagion.

 

5. Use the things of this world, as if thou didst not use them; and, whilst thou treadest the earth with thy foot, have thy heart in heaven. The more thou shalt withdraw thyself from creatures, the nearer shalt thou come to the Creator; and the more proper shalt thou be to receive divine gifts.

If thy heart be wholly disengaged from the world, so far from being hurtful to thee, the world itself will be, in many ways, subservient to thy interests.

O, how base the whole world would grow in thy sight, if thou didst duly consider what awaits thee in eternity!

 

6. The Voice of the Disciple

Truly, O Lord, the world is a deceiver. Such have I experienced it to be, to my own loss.

When it offered me its own favors, madman that I was, I believed that thereby I should be happy. But Oh! How greatly was I deceived! How truly wretched was I, even when, giddy with worldly love, I fancied myself most happy!

The animal man within me, made me imagine that I was happy, whilst I was feeding on the husks, which the world threw before me; and, in spite of myself, I groaned full often beneath the degradation of my slavery, beneath the burden of my heart’s misery.

I fully acknowledge now, that I was myself the author of my own unhappiness; and that I can, with justice, blame no one except myself.

Because I was unwilling to serve Thee with joy and gladness of heart, amid the abundance of all things, I became a slave to Thy enemy and to mine, -- served him in hunger, and thirst, and every want, in so far that I even delighted to fill myself with the food of the vilest animals.

 

7. Would, O Lord, that I could blot out from the number of my years, those during which, estranged from Thee, I served the world!

What fruit do I now reap from them, except bitterness, stings of conscience, anguish of heart, sins to be atoned for, either in this life by sorrow, or to be bewailed in vain in the next?

Be gracious to me, O my Savior! And forgive me all my offenses, which I committed by following the world, and which I now detest from my inner most heart.

Suffer no more, I entreat Thee, that my heart cling again to aught – even the least object – of this wicked world: withdraw it wholly, with all its affections, from the false tinseling of earth, which contains naught except deceit, emptiness, and affliction of heart.

 


“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for January 21, 2021

All the strength of Satan’s reign is due to the easy-going...

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January 21

 

All the strength of Satan’s reign
is due to
the easy-going weakness of Catholics.


Pope St. Pius X


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Agnes

Even pagans were moved to tears at the sight of the radiant...

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St. Agnes

Agnes was born around 291 in a Christian, patrician family of Rome, and suffered martyrdom in the terrible persecution of Diocletian.

As a young maiden, she pledged herself to Christ and defended her virginity to the death.

Exceptionally beautiful, she turned down numerous suitors, but when she refused Procop, the Prefect’s own son, things became very complicated. Procop tried to win Agnes with gifts and promises but she answered: “I’m already promised to the Lord of the Universe. He is more splendid than the sun and the stars, and He has said He will never leave me!”

Angered, Procop  took  the maiden before his father, and accused her of being a Christian. The Prefect tried to turn her from her Faith first by cajolements, and then by placing her in chains, but she only rejoiced.

The pagan official, set on overcoming Agnes by any means, next had her taken to a house of prostitution but she was visibly protected by an angel.

Finally, Agnes was condemned to death, but she was happy as a bride about to meet her bridegroom. Even pagan bystanders were moved to tears at the sight of the radiant maiden going to her death, and begged her to relent, to which she retorted: “If I were to try to please you, I would offend my Spouse. He chose me first and He shall have me!” Then praying, she offered her neck for the death stroke.

St. Agnes is one of seven women besides the Blessed Virgin to be mentioned in the Canon of the Mass. She is the patron of chastity, young girls, engaged couples, rape victims and virgins. She is depicted holding a lamb as her name in Latin means “lamb”, “agnus”. But the name “Agnes” is actually taken from the Greek “hagne” meaning chaste, pure, sacred.

Agnes’ relics repose beneath the high altar of the Church of Sant’Agnese Fuori le mura, built upon the place she was originally buried. This church was built in her honor by the daughter of the Emperor Constantine, and is one of the oldest in Rome.  St. Agnes’ skull is in the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone at Piazza Navona.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him h...

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Mary and the Muslim

Don Octavio del Monaco was a wealthy citizen of 17th century Naples. Like many of his class, Don Octavius had several Muslim slaves in his household. These children of Islam were amazed at the kindness of their “master.” He fed and clothed them better than they received in their native land. In return, his slaves attended to their tasks with diligence, as Don Octavius did not over work them, but assigned them duties in keeping with their dignity as children of God.

If these Muslim slaves had any reason for complaint, it was the gentle persistence with which their master and his wife exhorted them to give up their false religion and become Catholics. Don Octavius even went so far as to invite the slaves to join his family in the chapel to worship the one true God with them!

Our story today is about one young slave in particular. His name was Abel, like the slain son of Adam and Eve. He felt drawn in a peculiar way to a lamp that burned in front of a shrine to Holy Mary. Abel would purchase the oil needed to keep the lamp lit from his own meager stipend. As he continued to practice this humble devotion, he would say, “I hope that this Lady will grant me some great favor.”

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian. At first the Turk resisted. But she placed her hand upon his shoulder, and said to him: “Now no longer resist, Abel, but be baptized and called Joseph,” conferring on him a name that was very dear to her Immaculate Heart indeed.

On August the 10th, 1648, there was much rejoicing in Heaven, for on that day “Joseph” and eleven other Muslims converted to the Christian faith and were baptized. Their conversion was brought about by the kindness shown by Don Octavius and the special intercession of the Mother of God.

Our story does not end here. Even once this son of hers was safely baptized, Mother Mary delighted in visiting him. Once, after having appeared to him, she was about to depart. But the Moor seized her mantle, saying, “Oh, Lady, when I find myself afflicted, I pray you to let me see you.” In fact, she one day promised him this and when Joseph found himself afflicted he invoked her, and Mary appeared to him again saying, “Have patience", and he was consoled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.

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