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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 April 2, 2020

Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer. When   ...

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April 2

Do not grieve over the temptations you suffer.
When the Lord intends
to bestow a particular virtue on us,
He often permits us first to be tempted by the opposite vice.
Therefore, look upon every temptation as an invitation
to grow in a particular virtue and
a promise by God that you will be successful,
if only you stand fast.

St. Philip Neri


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Francis of Paola

Francis explained that the lives of kings are in the hands o...

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St. Francis of Paola

Born in Paola, a small town in Calabria, Francis’ parents were humble, industrious people, dedicated to the service of God. Childless after several years of marriage, the couple prayed earnestly for a son, and when, at last a boy was born to them, the grateful parents named him Francis after the Poverello of Assisi.

At age thirteen Francis was placed in the Franciscan friary of S. Marco where he learned to read and where he began to tread the austere life he was later to live.

Two years later, after a pilgrimage to Assisi and Rome, and with his parents’ consent, Francis retired to a remote location by the sea where he lived in a cave. Before he was twenty, he was joined by two others who also sought a life of prayer in solitude. With help from some neighbors, they built for themselves three cells and a chapel where they sang the divine praises.

Seventeen years later a church and monastery were built on the spot for them with the approval of the bishop of Cosenza. The hermits were so beloved of the people that the whole countryside joined in the work.

Penance, charity, humility. This trinity formed the foundation of Francis of Paola’s rule, which was particularly austere. In addition to the vows of obedience, poverty and chastity, he imposed a fourth binding them to observe a perpetual Lent, abstaining not only from meat, but also from eggs and milk products.

The community received Papal approval in 1474, and in 1492 from being called Hermits of St. Francis of Assisi, they became the “Minims” from their founder’s desire to be known as the least (minim) in the kingdom of God.

Francis of Paola became universally renowned as a wonderworker and prophet. In 1481, King Louis XI of France, who was slowly dying, sent a messenger to the saint begging him to hasten to France to heal him. Francis only acquiesced at the command of the Holy Father to whom the monarch ultimately appealed. At the French court the king fell on his knees before the humble hermit begging for his healing. Francis explained that the lives of kings are in the hands of God and have their appointed limits; prayer should be addressed to God. Ultimately, changed in heart, the king died resignedly in the saint’s arms. In gratitude, his son, Charles VIII, became a great sponsor of the Order.

Francis spent twenty-five years in France and died there on Good Friday of the year 1507 at the age of ninety-one. He was canonized in 1519.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is...

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Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayer?

Question:  I pray and pray, but I feel as if God is not listening. We always had a good, peaceful family life, but these last years have been tough. We don’t seem to be getting along and our finances have taken a turn for the worse.

I am so anxious about this situation that, not having anyone to turn to, I turned to God.

But God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists, who laugh at prayer, saying it is nonsensical and only a figment of the imagination with no real value?

Answer:  God is faithful to His promises, and God promised to answer our prayers. “And I tell you, ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (Luke 11:9–10).

If God promises to answer our prayers, He will do so infallibly. But in prayer there are two sides: he who asks and He Who gives.

Our part is to ask. How must we ask?

Saint Alphonsus Liguori, a Doctor of the Church, teaches in his book Prayer, the Great Means of Salvation that prayer must be persevering and humble.

So many times we hear people saying: “Oh, I used to ask God for this and that and the other, but He never gave it to me. Now, ten years later, how glad I am that He didn’t!”

One thing is certain: God will not fail to answer a humble and perseverance prayer. Whether He chooses to grant what we ask immediately or make us wait, we must trust that He, regardless of appearances, is doing us good. What we think is good and what He thinks is good may be two different things: “My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways” (Isa. 55:8), but here is where we must abandon ourselves to His beneficent will. Our part is to be patient, calm and, above all, faithful, because this is the time for testing and later will come the time for full enjoyment.


Answering Atheists and Agnostics
As for atheists and agnostics, their skepticism proceeds from the fact that they, respectively, deny God’s existence or deny men’s capacity to know God.

In this case, we can only express our regret over their ignorance of this Supreme Being, our omnipotent Creator and loving Savior.

We may direct them to a few sources that may help in their search for the truth of His existence. Atheism and agnosticism can only be sustained in ignorance or ill will because the evidence of God’s existence is overwhelming.

Moreover, God will not hide Himself from those who seek Him sincerely and unconditionally.

Another consideration pertaining to non-believers is this: If God were to grant us absolutely everything we ask at a moment’s notice, such people might start believing purely out of self-interest.

They would look at God as a wand-wielding wizard. And God Our Lord is infinitely more than that. He wants us to know, love, and serve Him for Himself so that He can treat us as children and heirs and grant us unending happiness in Heaven.

"My impression is that the Rosary is of the greatest value not only according to the words of Our Lady of Fatima, but according to the effects of the Rosary one sees throughout history. My impression is that Our Lady wanted to give ordinary people, who might not know how to pray, this simple method of getting closer to God."  Sister Lucia, one of the seers of Fatima.

 

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I turned to God, but God seems to remain deaf to me. Why is that? In addition, what do I say to certain people, agnostics and atheists,

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