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Header VOJ 24

Now withdraw thyself wholly

from a depraved world…

Photo of Sacred Heart of Jesus Statue

For, on what can I rely, when even my good deeds must be mistrusted?
On what shall I ground my hope? Behold! naught do I find,
whereon to place a safe reliance, except on Thy Heart.


( 7 minute read…enjoy)

 

1. The Voice of Jesus

My Child, so soon as thou hast gone into eternity, thou shalt find thyself before My Judgment-seat, to give an account of thy life, and to hear the decision of thy lot forever.

I Myself, the Searcher and Knower of hearts, to whom all power is given in heaven and on earth, I will preside over this judgment.

All and every one, whether they be willing or not, must make their appearance before Me, the Judge of the living and the dead, to receive the final sentence: nor is it possible thereafter to appeal to another tribunal.

What is just, I will judge: neither by gifts nor by promises will I be conciliated; nor shall the prayers of any one change My Heart; neither will I be moved by repentance.

That day shall be a day of justice, not of mercy. Then shall each one receive according to his works.

 

2. What shall thy feeling be then, My Child, when thou shalt stand alone before the infinite Majesty, with naught except thy works alone, whether they be good or evil?

Then will the devil arise in judgment against thee, and accuse thee, ready to drag thee into hell.

Thy Guardian Angel will stand up against thee, to bear witness to the truth of what is brought against thee.

Nay, even thy own conscience will accuse thee, and overwhelm thee with alarm, and dread, and terror.

Thus accused, with none to take thy defense, thou shalt wither away for fear; nor shalt thou dare to open thy mouth.

 

3. For all things, whether they be known or unknown, are in My sight; nor is there anything hidden from My eyes.

Yet, searching I will search the heart, from the first dawn of its reason, even to the last breath of its life.

From it will I draw forth every evil, be it public or private; whether its own work, or that of another; whether great or small; whatever thou hast committed by thought, and word, and deed, and omission.

And not only of things evil, but also of those that are vain, or idle, or useless, I will exact an account.

Nay more, justice itself will I judge: I will weigh, in the scales of the sanctuary, even thy good deeds, and see what was wanting in them; either in the motive, in the manner of doing, or in the end intended, scrutinizing whether all was supernatural and perfect.

Then, many things, which, during life, appeared good, shall be found void and evil.

Then, the showy semblances of the virtues of the lukewarm, shall be seen as they are, and shall be cast aside, as dry stubble, fit only to be burnt.

And, searching still further, I will seek out the fruit of all the favors which I bestowed, of all the graces, of all the means of salvation and perfection.

Yea, I will summon time itself against thee, and I will thoroughly investigate in what manner thou didst use it.

 

4. What shalt thou do then, sinner, when even the just shall hardly be secure?

Above thee thou shalt descry a heaven uncertain, below the yawning abyss; at thy right, Angels as witnesses; at thy left, demons enraged; before thee, the supreme Arbiter of life and death.

 

5. Ah! My Child, now act with care, that thou mayst find safety then. Now it is easy, then it shall be impossible.

Follow now the invitings of My mercy, that thou mayst not then feel the severity of My justice.

Now withdraw thyself wholly from a depraved world, that then, with reprobate worldlings, thou mayst not be forced to hear: Depart, ye accursed, into everlasting fire.

Now, untrammeled by aught of earth, follow thou the Saints, that with them, thou mayst be worthy then to hear: Come, ye Blessed of My Father, possess the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

 

6. The Voice of the Disciple

O Lord! How much better it is, here to examine and judge myself strictly, that I may not be condemned before Thy Judgment-seat!

How much better, here to weigh well all my thoughts, and words, and deeds, that I may plainly see whether they are good, whether they are wholly according to Thy will, whether they shall be able to stand Thy searching, and deserve Thy approval!

At present there is still a remedy, but at that time every effort shall prove unavailing: now mercy is still offered me, then justice will thunder forth: Give an account of everything.

Lord, O Lord! if thou wilt mark iniquities, who shall endure it? If Thou searchest also things indifferent, yea, even those that are good, who can stand before Thee?

O Jesus! Although I am inwardly rejoiced that Thou, and none other, art to be my Judge, yet, when I reflect that I am obliged to give an account of matters so numerous and so dreadful, I tremble with fear.

For, on what can I rely, when even my good deeds must be mistrusted? On what shall I ground my hope? Behold! naught do I find, whereon to place a safe reliance, except on Thy Heart.

In this, therefore, will I hope: for, though It shall then be the Heart of my Judge, yet It will still remain the Heart of my Jesus, of One that loves them that love Him.

O my Jesus! be mindful of Thy word, in which Thou hast given me hope: for Thou hast said: Who loves Me, him also will I love.

If I love Thee, and am loved by Thee, then will I surely not fear to come and appear before Thee.

Lo, therefore, what I will do: I will love Thee, most lovely and most loving Jesus; I will love Thee with my whole heart, and love Thee all the days of my life.

 


“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 17, 2021

People hate the truth for the sake of whatever it is they lo...

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January 17

 

People hate the truth
for the sake of whatever it is they love more than the truth.
They love truth when it shines warmly upon them
and hate it
when it rebukes them.

St. Augustine of Hippo


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Anthony of Egypt

Anthony’s parents died before he was twenty leaving him in...

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St. Anthony of Egypt

Anthony was born in 251 in the village of Koman, south of Memphis in Egypt. Anthony’s well-to-do parents died before he was twenty leaving him in charge of a younger sister, and the owner of a considerable estate.

In 272, wishing to leave all to follow Christ, after securing his sister’s support and upbringing, he distributed his holdings among the poor, and retired to a life of solitude. He lived a life of penance, sleeping on a rush mat on the bare floor, eating and drinking bread and water. The devil was allowed to attack him grievously, on one occasion subjecting him to a beating that left him for dead, only to be saved by friends.  Anthony emerged victorious from all these trials.

At the age of thirty-five, the holy hermit moved from his solitude in the vicinity of his native village, to a location across the eastern branch of the river Nile where he made his abode in some ruins on the summit of a mountain. There he lived for twenty years, rarely seeing any man except one who brought him bread every so often.

St. Athanasius, his friend and first biographer, speaks of Anthony as not only spending his time in prayer and meditation but also in making mats. He also gardened.

At fifty-four, being sought out by men who wanted to follow his way of life, Anthony founded his first monastery in Fayum in a series of scattered caves, which he visited occasionally.

In 311 as religious persecution again broke out under Emperor Maximinus, Anthony left his solitude to give courage to the martyrs in Alexandria. When the persecution abated, he returned to his previous solitude. He later founded another community of monks near the Nile called Pispir, though he continued to live on his mountain.

Years later, at the request of the bishops, Anthony again journeyed to Alexandria to confute the Arians, who denied the divinity of Christ. All ran to hear the holy hermit, and even pagans, struck by the dignity of his character, flocked around him. Heathen teachers and philosophers often sought him out, and were astounded at his meekness and wisdom.

Anthony died at age 101 surrounded by his spiritual sons in his hermitage on Mount Kolsim. His last words were, “Farewell, my children, Anthony is departing and will no longer be with you.” Thus saying, he stretched out his feet and calmly ceased to breathe.

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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