Voice Of Jesus 22: Of the Shortness of This Life
Eternity is thy dwelling-place:
eternity is thy country: eternity is thy lasting home.
There all, the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the well formed and the
misshapen, shall be without distinction, except such a one as arises from
virtue. Yet a little time, My Child, and thou also shalt be there.
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1. The Voice of Jesus
My Child, in all thy works, remember thy last end; and thou shalt never sin.
Whilst thou hast time, do whatever thou canst for eternity, mindful that thy life is exceedingly short. Soon thou must return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.
What is the life of man upon earth? A vapor, which appears, for a little time, then vanishes away, and leaves not even a vestige behind.
Ever since thou wast born, thou hast not ceased to hasten on to death neither is it in thy power to stay thy steps.
2. Think over the time thou hast lived. Does it not appear like a dream? Yet know, My Child, that it shall seem still more so, when death is near, which thou must meet full soon. For what is even the longest life? Behold! The number of mans’ days are threescore and ten years: and, if he be among the powerful, fourscore year. But, compared with eternity, these years are accounted as a drop in the waters of the ocean.
Nay more, the time of this life, placed in comparison with the endless duration of the life hereafter, is only a point. Yet on this point is hung thy eternity, whether of bliss or of woe.
Yes, hadst thou lived from the beginning of the world, even to this hour, if thou wert now about to die, what should this life be worth to thee, when thou art entering into eternity; in which there are neither days, nor years, nor ages, but which flows perpetually onward, through an uninterrupted forever.
3. Wherefore, My Child, I understand well the value of time. Time is the measure of life: as much as thou squanderest of time, so much dost thou lose of thy life.
Time exceeds in value all the treasures of this world. With all the riches of earth, thou couldst not purchase a second of time: but, with time, everlasting treasures may be secured.
O! Could the dead return from eternity, thinkest thou that they would misspend even a moment? That they would not employ it; some to free themselves from punishments, others to increase their merits?
But alas! Though nothing is more precious than time, to many there is naught more wearisome.
There are those, not only among persons that follow the spirit of the world, but even among such as make a profession of piety, to whom time seems a burden. They complain of its dullness; they love to waste it; they rejoice when they have spent it uselessly, but without irksomeness.
And thus they squander, in dishonoring Me, and in harming themselves, that by means of which they were able and obliged to glorify Me; to help their neighbor; to gather treasures of merit for eternity.
4. Frequently call to mind, My Child, for what purpose thou didst enter into this world. Evidently for none other, except to prepare thyself for eternity. For, what else is the present life, if not a novitiate of eternity?
Whilst this brief career continues, thou hast numberless duties to fulfill. For, there are thy many faults to be atoned for; thy soul to be saved and sanctified; hell to be escaped; Purgatory to be avoided; heaven to be secured; thou hast a neighbor whom thou must edify and help to life everlasting; lastly, thou hast to honor and glorify Me, in a befitting manner, and with all thy powers.
If thou do not this during life, after it, time shall be no more: and, throughout eternity, thou shalt bear the consequences of thy heedlessness and neglect.
Time is Mine, not thine: I have lent it to thee, that thou mayst use it to perform those things, which I demand, or desire of thee.
If thou squanderest it, thou shalt one day be held to a most strict account: but if thou usest it well, thou canst merit, at every moment, a new degree of grace, and of ever-enduring glory.
5. Hearken, My Child: frequently imagine thyself at that point, when time shall cease, and eternity begin: and weigh, attentively, what thoughts will then occupy thy mind, both concerning all the past, and concerning the whole future.
Behold! Eternity is thy dwelling-place: eternity is thy country: eternity is thy lasting home.
Thou art a traveler and a stranger upon earth; fleetly thou passest over it, in search of thy kindred in eternity. Thither, all that have been, that are, and that shall be, must repair. There all, the great and the small, the rich and the poor, the well formed and the misshapen, shall be without distinction, except such a one as arises from virtue. Yet a little time, My Child, and thou also shalt be there.
There shalt thou live: yea, live an endless life. Behold! What a lofty thought, My Child! Time shall wing away its flight, ages shall succeed to ages, the world itself shall perish: but thou shalt never cease to be; thou shalt never cease to live.
O! would, My Child, that thou didst understand this rightly!
6. If thou savest not thyself for eternity, who will save thee? Most certainly, no one: not even I; for, although I created thee without thee, I will not save thee without thee.
And if thou dost not now work out thy salvation and perfection, how wilt thou do it hereafter? The future is a time, which, perhaps, thou shalt not have, and which thou canst, by no means, promise to thyself. But even wert thou to possess it, the matter would grow more difficult from day to day, and would induce thee to delay still farther: and thus thou shouldst stand, at the gates of eternity, still unprepared.
Believe every day to be the last, and live each day in such a manner, that, when the Son of Man comes, far from fearing, thou mayst be able to rejoice at His coming.
Blessed is he whom, when I come, I shall find thus employed. Verily, I say, I will place him over all My possessions.
7. The Voice of the Disciple
O Lord, how short is life, and how many, and what great things have to be done during it! But, alas! How have I spent hitherto the time of my life!
All these things of supreme importance, which Thou gavest me to do for eternity, I have overlooked, as if they were of little or no worth.
O blindness! O wickedness of mine! Although these things deserve to be wept over, with tears of blood, O! Would that they were my worst transgressions! Woe is me! I have employed a great part of the time of my life in tormenting and grieving Thy Heart, in committing and heaping up sin for myself.
Much of it have I wasted in serving the world, in seeking after its empty possessions, in pursuing its fruitless glory, deceitful pleasures, trifles of every kind.
Much of it have I squandered in satisfying myself, in fostering self-love, in gratifying the inclinations of nature, yea, even in things which otherwise were good and pious.
O my Savior! How wretchedly have I lived! Instead of virtues and merits, I have gathered wood, and straw, and stubble, to feed the fire, and burn myself in the life to come.
Pardon, I entreat Thee, pardon the evils, I have done. Grant me grace to redeem lost time, to repair the past and make it good, by fervently employing what still remains of my life, in those things for the performing of which it was given me.
The source of my misfortunes was that I did not love Thee, Lord Jesus; that I felt indifferent toward Thee; that I was defiled with a corrupt and corrupting love for other objects.
O my God, Thou who hast freed me from so great a curse, I beseech Thee, enkindle my heart with that fire of love, with which Thy Heart is burning. This most hallowed flame will utterly destroy my offenses; this will arouse me faithfully to perform whatever is enjoined to secure a blissful eternity.
“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
DAILY QUOTE for January 24, 2020
SAINT OF THE DAY
St. Francis de Sales
One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.