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Header VOJ 25

Whoever does not willingly serve My goodness in
time, shall unwillingly serve My justice in eternity.

Statue Sacred Heart of Jesus

No one goes to the torments of hell against his will:
all the reprobate rush thither of their own free choice;
therefore, they complain of no one, except themselves.


(6 minute read...enjoy)

 

1. The Voice of Jesus

My Child, so long as men live, I do, in some manner, love them all; the good I cherish with a divine affection; the wicked I tolerate, because I await their conversion; and I go in search of those that are straying.

My Heart, wherein I bear them all written, devises and uses a thousand ways and means to save all.

But, if there are any who disappoint the hopes of My mercy, if they come to judgment laden with the guilt of grievous sin, confirmed in their obstinacy; I will blot them altogether out of My Heart, and, with the thunderbolts of My justice, I will hurl them into the depths of hell.

 

2. There, they are bereft of heaven and all its delights, and never shall they behold My countenance in the kingdom of My glory.

They endure an infinite punishment: because they have lost an infinite good.

Plunged in a shoreless lake of fire, they burn and suffer for evermore; and the smoke of their tortures mounts up unendingly.

All evils rush upon them. There, every sense of the body, every power of the soul, shall have its own and proper punishment.

In that, whereby each has sinned, shall he be specially tormented: as much as he has delighted in evil, so much is he tortured with pain.

There, the unclean are forever devoured with a burning heat, overwhelmed with intolerable stench, gnawed by never-dying worms.

There, the wickedly rich are oppressed by extreme want; and suffer a most frightful hunger and thirst, nor shall they find relief forever.

There, they that wrongly sought after honors, are infinitely debased, and despised and trodden under foot by the very demons.

There, no interruption is felt in torments, not even for a moment; but they continue, and shall continue forever and ever.

There, every one receives according to his desserts.

 

3. The place, the masters, the company, everything superadds to the punishments, in an inconceivable manner.

What can there be more terrible than the dungeons of hell, where no ray of light, no order, but continued darkness and everlasting horror dwell?

What more cruel than the demons, who exhaust their arts to invent new tortures, and their strength to inflict them?

What more gloomy than that wretched throng of sufferers, howling endlessly, hopelessly? As many companions as there are suffering, so many new torments are experienced.

 

4. Behold! So shall he be punished, who is unwilling to serve Me, his God, his Creator, his Redeemer, his unwearied Benefactor.

As I live, every knee shall be bent to Me, and all nations shall serve Me.

Whoever does not willingly serve My goodness in time, shall unwillingly serve My justice in eternity.

Be not amazed, My Child, at the punishment of the damned: they themselves are not astounded, but confess that they receive things worthy of their deeds.

No one goes to the torments of hell against his will: all the reprobate rush thither of their own free choice; therefore, they complain of no one, except themselves.

They confess, that I am infinitely bountiful, and acknowledge, that they are exceedingly wicked.

 

5. The gate of hell is sin; the paths that lead to the same are whatever allures man to sin.

How many have perished by an unlawful desire for pleasure, by an inordinate love of riches, by a wicked pursuit of honors!

Long thou for naught, My Child, which may entangle thee in its toils, and afterwards hurl thee into the abyss.

Nor is it less dangerous, in all things to seek thyself. How many, alas! there are, who seem to begin well, but who, because they do not abandon self, relapse at length – are thrust into deeper evils, and, finally, are miserably lost!

To escape hell, therefore, it is not enough to have begun well, but it is necessary to have persevered in well-doing.

Forsake sin and the world forever, lest thou be in the end forsaken by Me: forsake, moreover, thy self, lest by thy own weight, thou be dragged down to the lowest depths.

Do all, dearly beloved, endure all, that thou mayst avoid never-ending torments. All the labors and afflictions of this life, are as naught, when compared with the sufferings of hell.

Here upon earth, in a short time, there shall be an end to labors and sorrows: but there is no being redeemed out of hell.

 

6. The Voice of the Disciple

O Lord, our God! How awful is Thy justice in eternity! Nevertheless, Thy judgments are just, yea, acknowledged just by the reprobate themselves.

But, although nothing terrifies me more than hell, yet, I know of nothing better adapted to awaken in my heart a love for Thee.

How, indeed, O Lord Jesus, can I think of the fire of hell, without being inflamed with love for Thee?

What is there, that manifests, in a more sensible manner, the bounty of Thy Heart towards me? What is there, that presses me more forcibly to love Thee in return?

Behold! If Thou shouldst free some reprobate soul from the torments of hell, and if to her, thus restored to this life, Thou shouldst give most plentiful means, whereby she might not only save herself, in an easy manner, but also gain an everlasting throne of glory in heaven, O how would that soul love Thee! Would she think that she could ever be able to show Thee sufficient thankfulness? Could she ever think of hell, without wholly melting with love for Thee? O how pure would she keep her heart for Thee! How saint-like would she live for Thee!

Now, O Lord, I am indebted to Thee for much more than that soul should be. By preserving me from the pains of hell, Thou didst far greater and better things for me. For, is it not a greater and better blessing to be entirely kept from an evil, than to be released from it, after having undergone its pangs?

Yet, these things, so astonishing, so wonderful, so sweet, Thou didst do for me; not once, not twice, not thrice, but as often as I committed mortal sin.

Had I committed no mortal sin, my obligation should still be greater, my debt of gratitude should be increased, as well as my reasons for loving Thee. For I should be infinitely more obliged to Thee.

Had not the infinite goodness of Thy Heart preserved me by grace, how long ago might I have fallen into a sin deserving of hell! For there is no sin which one commits, which another may not also commit, unless Thou prevent him by a special grace.

Whatever, then, I may have been, this most O sweet Jesus, this I owe, first of all, to Thee, that I am not now in hell, that I am still able to gain heaven. Thou hast freed me from destruction: Thou hast freed me, according to the multitude and greatness of the goodness of Thy Heart, from the depth of hell, from the hands of them that lay in wait for my soul.

Come ye, therefore, and I will tell you all ye that fear the Lord, what great things He has done for my soul.

Should I, then, not love Thee, O Jesus, infinite Goodness! Should I not cherish Thee! Yea, I love Thee, I love Thee above all things; and I will continue to love Thee thus, as long as I have being, forever and ever. Thou alone shalt possess all my affections: for Thee, Jesus, will I live, for Thee alone, to whom I owe my all.

 


"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 September 17, 2021

Charity is that with which no man is lost, and without which...

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September 17

 

Charity is that with which

no man is lost, and

without which

no man is saved.

St. Robert Bellarmine


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Robert Bellarmine

Under Elizabeth I, his writings were forbidden reading under...

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St. Robert Bellarmine

Roberto Bellarmino was born into impoverished Tuscan nobility at Montepulciano on October 4, 1542. He was the third of ten children born to Vincenzo Bellarmino and Cinthia Cervini, a sister of Cardinal Marcello Cervini, who later became Pope Marcellus II. Educated at the Jesuit College in Montepulciano, he entered the Society of Jesus at the age of eighteen. After studying philosophy at the Roman College, he taught first at Florence and then at Mondovi. He began his theological studies in Padua in 1567, but was sent to Louvain two years later in order that he might obtain a fuller acquaintance with the heretical teachings of the time.  

Bellarmine was ordained a priest in Flanders and quickly obtained a reputation both as a professor and a preacher, attracting Catholics and Protestants alike by his sermons. In 1576 he was recalled to Italy, and entrusted with the chair of Controversies recently founded at the Roman College. He proved himself equal to the arduous task, and the lectures he delivered were later compiled into his most renowned work, “De Controversiis” - Disputations on the Controversies of the Christian Faith. Bellarmine's monumental work was the earliest attempt to systematize the various controversies of the time, and made an immense impression throughout Europe. It dealt such a blow to Protestantism in Germany and England that special university chairs were founded in order to provide replies to it. Theodore of Blaise, an important Protestant leader who succeeded Calvin, acknowledged that “This is the work that defeated us.” So numerous were the conversions wrought by it that Queen Elizabeth I of England decreed that anyone who was not a doctor in theology was forbidden to read Bellarmine’s writings under penalty of death. To the present day, it remains an uncontested standard of orthodoxy that has yet to be superseded. In recognition of this, Benedict XV gave Bellarmine the title of “Hammer of Heresies” in 1921.  

In 1588 Bellarmine was made Spiritual Father to the Roman College, but in 1590 he went with Cardinal Gaetano as theologian to the embassy Sixtus V was then sending into France to protect the interests of the Church amidst the troubles of the civil wars. While in France news reached him that Sixtus, who had warmly accepted the dedication of his “De Controversiis”, was now proposing to put its first volume on the Index. This was because he had discovered that it assigned to the Holy See not a direct but only an indirect power over temporal authorities. Bellarmine, whose loyalty to the Holy See was intense, took this greatly to heart; it was, however, averted by the death of Sixtus, and the new pope, Gregory XIV, even granted to Bellarmine’s work the distinction of a special approbation. Gaetano’s mission now terminating, Bellarmine resumed his work as Spiritual Father, and had the consolation of guiding the last years of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, who died in the Roman College in 1591. Many years later he had the further consolation of successfully promoting the beatification of the saintly youth. It was also at this time that he sat on the final commission for the revision of the Vulgate translation of the Holy Scriptures.

In 1592 Bellarmine was made Rector of the Roman College, and in 1595 Provincial of Naples. In 1597 Clement VIII recalled him to Rome and made him his own theologian as well as Examiner of Bishops and Consultor of the Holy Office. “The Church of God has not his equal in learning,” he stated when making him a Cardinal in 1599. Bellarmine’s appointment as Cardinal Inquisitor soon followed. In 1602 Bellarmine was appointed as the Archbishop of Capua and consecrated by Pope Clement VIII himself, an honor usually accorded as a mark of special regard.

Three years later, Clement VIII died, and was succeeded by Leo XI who reigned only twenty-six days, and then by Paul V. In both conclaves, especially that latter, the name of Bellarmine was much before the electors, greatly to his own distress. The new pope insisted on keeping him at Rome, and the cardinal, obediently complying, demanded that at least he should be released from an episcopal charge the duties of which he could no longer fulfill. He was now made a member of the Holy Office and of other congregations, and thenceforth was the chief advisor of the Holy See in the theological department of its administration.

Bellarmine became one of the most important figures of the Counter-Reformation and the period will be forever marked by his method of confronting heresy: he understood that one cannot do away with a heresy by only preaching the truth; it was also necessary to attack and smash the error. By this method he converted heretics, bringing them back into union with the Church. The profound spiritual treatises that emanated from his pen earned for him the title of Doctor of the Church. But while he was a champion of orthodoxy and a brilliant polemicist, Bellarmine was also a man of capable of dealing with the most sensitive souls guiding them to sanctity as he did with St. Louis Gonzaga. This prodigious apostolate could only spring from a great calmness of spirit and deep interior life.

His death in the summer of 1621 was most edifying and a fitting end to a life which had been no less remarkable for its virtues than for its tremendous achievements. Accordingly, there was a general expectation amongst those who knew him intimately that his cause would be promptly introduced and swiftly concluded. However, reality proved to be otherwise. Although he was declared Venerable in 1627, technical obstacles arose in regards to the beatification process, delaying the progress of his cause for 300 years. Bellarmine was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930 and declared a Doctor of the Church and patron saint of catechists the following year.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a priest who had a special devotion to the so...

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One Good Turn Deserves Another

There was once a priest who had a special devotion to the sorrows of Mary. He would often remain alone in the chapel to commiserate the sorrows of his Lady.

So intently did he meditate on the sorrows endured by Mary Most Holy that, moved by compassion, he was accustomed to wipe the face of a statue of the sorrowful Virgin with a little cloth, as though real tears flowed there.

Now this good priest became quite ill. When he was given up by his physicians, and was going to breathe his last, he saw a beautiful Lady by his side. She consoled him with her words, and with a handkerchief gently wiped the sweat from his brow.

With this, the priest was miraculously cured.

When he found himself well, he said: "But, my Lady, who are you who practice such charity towards me?" "I am she," answered Mary, "whose tears you have so often dried,” and she disappeared.

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

There was once a priest who had a special devotion to the sorrows of Mary. He would often remain alone in the chapel to commiserate the sorrows of his Lady.