Conformity To The Will Of God – Pentecost Sunday – St. Alphonsus Liguori

“As the Father hath given me commandment, so do I.” JOHN xiv. 31.

JESUS CHRIST was given to us, by God, as a Savior and as a master. Hence he came on earth principally to teach us, not only by his words but also by his own example, how we are to love God our supreme good : hence, as we read in this day s Gospel, he said to his disciples : ” That the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father hath given me commandment, so do I.” To show the world the love I bear to the Father, I will execute all his commands. In an other place he said : ” I came down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John vi. 38.)

Devout souls, if you love God and desire to become saints, you must seek his will, and wish what he wishes. St. Paul tells us, that the divine love is poured into our souls by means of the Holy Ghost. ” The charity of God is poured into our hearts by the Holy Ghost, who is given to us.” (Horn. v. 5.) If, then, we wish for the gift of divine love, we must constantly beseech the Holy Ghost to make us know and do the will of God.

Let us continually implore his light to know, and his strength to fulfill the divine will. Many wish to love God, but they, at the same time, wish to follow their own, and not his will. Hence I shall show to-day, in the first point, that your sanctification consists entirely in conformity to the will of God ; and in the second, I shall show how, and in what, we should in practice conform ourselves to the divine will.

First Point Our sanctification consists entirely in conformity to the will of God.

1. It is certain that our salvation consists in loving God. A soul that does not love God is not living, but dead. “He that loveth not, abideth in death.” (1 John iii. 14.) The perfection of love consists in conforming our will to the will of God. ” And life in his good will.” (Ps. xxix. 6.) ” Have charity, which is the bond of perfection.” (Col. iii. 14.) According to the Areopagite, the principal effect of love is to unite the wills of lovers, so that they may have but one heart and one will. Hence all our works, communions, prayers, penances, and alms, please God in proportion to their conformity to the divine will ; and if they be contrary to the will of God, they are no longer acts of virtue, but defects deserving chastisement.

2. Whilst preaching one day, Jesus Christ was told that his mother and brethren were waiting for him; in answer he said : ” Whosoever shall do the will of my Father that is in heaven, he is my brother and sister and mother.” (Matt. xii. 50.) By these words he gave us to understand that he acknowledged as friends and relatives those only who fulfill the will of his Father.

3. The saints in heaven love God perfectly. In what, I ask, does the perfection of their love consist ? It consists in an entire conformity to the divine will. Hence Jesus Christ has taught us to pray for grace to do the will of God on earth, as the saints do it in heaven. ” Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” (Matt. vi. 10.) Hence St. Teresa says, that ” they who practice prayer, should seek in all things to conform their will to the will of God.” In this, she adds, consists the highest perfection.

He that practices it in the most perfect manner, shall receive from God the greatest gifts, and shall make the greatest progress in interior life. The accomplishment of the divine will has been the sole end of the saints in the practice of all virtues. Blessed Henry Suso used to say : “I would rather be the vilest man on earth with the will of God, than be a seraph with my own will.”

4. A perfect act of conformity is sufficient to make a person a saint. Behold, Jesus Christ appeared to St. Paul while he was persecuting the Church, and converted him. What did the saint do ? He did nothing more than offer to God his will, that he might dispose of it as he pleased. ” Lord,” he exclaimed, ” what wilt thou have me to do ? (Acts ix. 6.) And instantly the Lord declared to Ananias, that Saul was a vessel of election, and apostle of the Gentiles. ”

This man is a vessel of election to carry my name before the Gentiles.” (Acts ix. 15.) He that gives his will to God, gives him all he has. He that mortifies himself by fasts and penitential austerities, or that gives alms to the poor for God s sake, gives to God a part of himself and of his goods ; but he that gives his will to God, gives him all, and can say : Lord, having given thee my will, I have nothing more to give thee I have given thee all. It is our heart that is, our will that God asks of us. * My son, give me thy heart.” (Prov. xxiii. 26.)

Since, then, says the holy Abbot Nilus, our will is so accept able to God, we ought, in our prayers, to ask of him the grace, not that we may do what he will, but that we may do all that he wishes us to do. Everyone knows this truth, that our sanctification consists in doing the will of God ; but there is some difficulty in reducing it to practice. Let us, then, come to the second point, in which I have to say many things of great practical utility.

Second Point How, and in what, we ought to practice conformity to the will of God.

5. That we may feel a facility of doing on all occasions the divine will, we must beforehand offer ourselves continually to embrace in peace whatever God ordains or wills. Such was the practice of holy David. ” My heart,” he used to say, ” is ready ; God ! my heart is ready.” (Ps. cvii. 2.) And he continually besought the Lord to teach him to do his divine will.

“Teach me to do thy will.” (Ps. cxlii. 1 0.) He thus deserved to be called a man according to God s own heart. ” I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man according to my own heart, who shall do all my wills.” (Acts xiii. 2 2.) And why? Because the holy king was always ready to do whatever God wished him to do.

6. St. Teresa offered herself to God fifty times in the day, that he might dispose of her as he pleased, and declared her readiness to embrace either prosperity or adversity. The perfection of our oblation consists in our offering ourselves to God without reserve. All are prepared to unite themselves to the divine will in prosperity ; but perfection consists in conforming to it, even in adversity.

To thank God in all things that are agreeable to us, is acceptable to him ; but to accept with cheerfulness what is repugnant to our inclinations, is still more pleasing to him. Father M. Avila used to say, that “a single blessed be God, in adversity, is better than six thousand thanksgivings in prosperity.”

7. We should conform to the divine will, not only in misfortunes which come directly from God such as sickness, loss of property, privation of friends and relatives but also in crosses which come to us from men, but indirectly from God such as acts of injustice, defamation, calumnies, injuries, and all other sorts of persecutions.

But, you may ask, does God will that others commit sin, by injuring us in our property or in our reputation ? No ; God wills not their sin ; but he wishes us to bear with such a loss and with such a humiliation ; and he wishes us to conform, on all such occasions, to his divine will.

8. “Good things and evil… are from God.” (Eccl. xi. 14.) All blessings such as riches and honors and all misfortunes such as sickness and persecutions come from God. But mark that the Scripture calls them evils, only because we, through the want of conformity to the will of God, regard them as evils and misfortunes. But, in reality, if we accepted them from the hands of God with Christian resignation, they should be blessings and not evils. The jewels which give the greatest splendor to the crown of the saints in heaven, are the tribulations which they bore with patience, as coming from the hands of the Lord.

On hearing that the Sabeans had taken away all his oxen and asses, holy Job said : ” The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away.” (Job i. 21.) He did not say that the Lord gave, and that the Sabeans had taken away ; but that the Lord gave, and that the Lord had taken away : and therefore he blessed the Lord, believing that all had happened through the divine will.” As it has pleased the Lord, so it is done : blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Ibid.) Being tormented with iron hooks and burning torches, the holy martyrs Epictetus and Atone said: ” Lord, thy will be done in us.” And their last words were : ” Be blessed, eternal God, for having given us the grace to accomplish thy will.”

9. ” Whatsoever shall befall the just man, it shall not make him sad.” (Prov. xii. 21.) A soul that loves God is not disturbed by any misfortune that may happen to her. Cesarius relates (lib. x., c. vi.), that a certain monk who did not perform greater austerities than his companions, wrought many miracles. Being astonished at this, the abbot asked him one day what were the works of piety which he practiced. He answered, that he was more imperfect than the other monks ; but that his sole concern was to conform himself to the divine will.

Were you displeased, said the abbot, with the person who injured us so grievously a few days ago ? No, father, replied the monk ; I, on the contrary, thanked God for it ; because I know that he does or permits all things for our good. From this answer the abbot perceived the sanctity of the good religious. We should act in a similar manner under all the crosses that come upon us. Let us always say : ” Yea, Father ; for so hath it seemed good in thy sight.” (Matt. xi. 26.) Lord, this is pleasing to thee, let it be done.

10. He that acts in this manner enjoys that peace which the angels announced at the birth of Jesus Christ to men of good will that is, to those whose wills are united to the will of God. These, as the Apostle says, enjoy that peace which exceeds all sensual delights.  The peace of God, which surpasseth all understanding.” (Phil. iv. 7.) A great and solid peace, which is not liable to change. “A holy man continue in wisdom like the sun ; but a fool is changing like the moon.” (Eccl. xxvii 12.)

Fools that is, sinners are  changed like the moon, which increases to-day, and grows less on to-morrow ; to-day they are seen to laugh through folly, and to-morrow, to weep through despair ; to-day they are humble and meek, to-morrow, proud and furious. In a word, sinners change with prosperity and adversity but the just are like the sun, always the same, always serene in whatever happens to them.

In the inferior part of the soul they cannot but feel some pain at the misfortunes which befall them ; but, as long as the will remains united to the will of God, nothing- can deprive them of that spiritual joy which is not subject to the vicissitudes of this life. ” Your joy no man shall take from you.” (John xvi. 22.)

11. He that reposes in the divine will, is like a man placed above the clouds : he sees the lightning, and hears the claps of thunder, and the raging of the tempest below, but he is not injured or disturbed by them. And how can he be ever disturbed, when whatever he desires always happens ? He that desires only what pleases God, always obtains whatsoever he wishes, because all that happens to him, happens through the will of God.

Salvian says, that Christians who are resigned, if they be in a low condition of life, wish to be in that state ; if they be poor, they desire poverty ; because they wish whatever God wills, and therefore they are always content. ” Humiles sunt, hoc volunt, pau- peres sunt, paupertate delectantur : itaque beati dicendi sunt.” If cold, or heat, or rain, or wind come on, he that is united to the will of God says : I wish for this cold, this heat, this rain, and this wind, because God wills them. If loss of property, persecution, sickness, or even death come upon him, he says : I wish for this loss, this persecution, this sickness ; I even wish for death, when it comes, because God wills it.

And how can a person who seeks to please God, enjoy greater happiness than that which arises from cheerfully em bracing the cross which God sends him, and from the conviction that, in embracing it, he pleases God in the highest degree ? So great was the joy which St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi used to feel at the bare mention of the will of God, that she would fall into an ecstasy.

12. But, how great is the folly of those who resist the divine will, and, instead of receiving tribulations with patience, get into a rage, and accuse God of treating them with injustice and cruelty ! Perhaps they expect that, in consequence of their opposition, what God wills shall not happen ? ” Who resisteth his will ?” (Rom. ix. 19.) Miserable men ! instead of lightening the cross which God sends them, they make it more heavy and painful. ” Who hath resisted him, and hath peace ?” (Job ix. 4.)

Let us be resigned to the divine will, and we shall thus render our crosses light, and shall gain great treasures of merits for eternal life. In sending us tribulations, God intends to make us saints. ” This is the will of God, your sanctification.” (1 Thess. iv. 3.) He sends us crosses, not because he wishes evil to us, but because he desires our welfare, and because he knows that they are conducive to our salvation. ” All things work together unto good.” (Rom. viii. 28.) Even the chastisements which come from the Lord are not for our destruction, but for our good and for the correction of our faults. ”

Let us believe that these scourges of the Lord….have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction.” (Jud. viii. 27.) God loves us so tenderly, that he not only desires, but is solicitous about our welfare. ” The Lord,” says David, ” is careful for me.” (Ps. xxxix. 18.) 13. Let us, then, always throw ourselves into the hands of God, who so ardently desires and so anxiously watches over our eternal salvation. ” Casting all your care upon him ; for he hath care of you.” (1 Peter v. 7.)

He who, during life, casts himself into the hands of God, shall lead a happy life and shall die a holy death. He who dies resigned to the divine will, dies a saint ; but they who shall not have been united to the divine will during life, shall not conform to it at death, and shall not be saved. The accomplishment of the divine will should be the sole object of all our thoughts during the remainder of our days.

To this end we should direct all our devotions, our meditations, communions, visits to the blessed sacrament, and all our prayers. We should constantly beg of God to teach and help us to do his will. “Teach me to do thy will.” (Ps. cxlii. 10.) Let us, at the same time, offer ourselves to accept without reserve whatever he ordains, saying, with the Apostle : ” Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?” (Acts ix. 6.)

Lord, tell me what thou dost wish me to do I desire to do thy will. And in all things, whether they be pleasing or painful, let us always have in our mouths that petition of the PATER NOSTER- ” Thy will be done ” Let us frequently repeat it in the day, with all the affection of our hearts. Happy we, if we live and die saying : ” Thy will be done Thy will be done !”

Great Aid For Learning The Faith

While many of the readers will already know about this, there are many people who read this blog that are not as steeped in tradition and they need a good starting point to learning the faith. There is an absolute trove of solid Catholic teaching on this website:  https://sentrad.org.  The talks/conferences are given by Fr. Chad Ripperger (an exorcist) and are great to listen to.  There are days and days worth of talks on many different subjects and they are really beneficial.

In the Church today, when there are so many prelates obfuscating the Truth, it is refreshing to hear a priest just state it as it is and show you the way to Christ. My family, and many families that I know of, have really benefited from listening to these talks. The conferences and videos can be found here: https://sentrad.org/multimedia/

Fr. Ripperger has a group of exorcist that he founded called the Doloran Fathers.  The group was previously in the Dioceses of Tulsa, but the new Bishop kicked them out (God forbid there be a group of exorcist in a state known for Black masses……). They haven’t confirmed where the group is going to be moving to yet and I have heard a few different things and will update this post when I know more.

If you are looking for a  way to give money to something that is actually beneficial to souls then might I suggest donating to the group he founded. You know the money is going to actively save souls from hell with the Truth of the gospel.  To make a donation to the Doloran Fathers, please visit this link: http://www.dolorans.org/home/donate/

Pope Francis Is Not Saving Souls, But Losing Them – Repost

Father Carota wrote this in February of 2015.  I wonder what he would say today if he were still here…….


 

Pope Francis’ concept of the Catholic Church is a welcoming home for all the Lesbians, Gays, Transgenders, Bisexual, divorced and remarried, Evangelicals and atheists.  He feels that these people have been oppressed by the Church by Her condemnation of these “sins” and he wants to welcome them into the “hospital church” to be accepted and healed.

pope-francis-interview-1980284w300I think he puts them in the same category as the poor, the unemployed youth and anyone else who may have been oppressed.  Although his compassion is to be commended, it is misplaced.   These people are living in sin and will go to hell if they are not corrected before they die.

pope-francis (1)The pope has a pattern.

  1. He receives a letter from someone feeling alienated from the church because he is gay or had a “sex change”, (which is impossible genetically, a boy is always a boy no matter what operations he may use to change his exterior body. Boys have an X and a Y chromosome. Girls have two X chromsomes), or is divorced and remarried, or is a single mother separated from a violent boyfriend, who could have killed her baby by abortion but did not.
  2. Then there comes the phone call from the pope to make them feel accepted by the “church”.
  3. In some cases, they are invited to have a private audience with him.
  4. Then somehow the media hears about it.
  5. The liberals acclaim the pope as a hero.
  6. Almost every Catholic and non Catholic gets confused.
  7. People begin to believe that the Catholic Church can, and has changed Her teachings on sexual morality.
  8. Most Catholics who have already accepted the “world’s new morality” feel affirmed in their deviant life styles.
  9. Their conscience is appeased because they have heard from the pope that their deviant life style is not immoral after all.
  10. In fact it is something to celebrate and be proud of.
  11. More people copy these sinful “Catholics” immoral life styles.

These same people continue to die at every age imaginable, every minute, all over the world and here are the consequences:

  1. These people are judged by God’s rules, not Pope Francis’ rules.
  2. These people may be damned to hell for all eternity.
  3. Their souls are lost, not saved.

Now let us look at what then happens to someone who might disagree with the pope and instead, uphold what Jesus teaches in the Holy Bible and His 2000 year old Catholic Church.

  1. Progressive blogs, media, clerics and people strongly condemn them as extremist.
  2. They are immediately labeled as unloving and extremely judgmental.
  3. If they happen to speak the truth at a parish or Catholic school, an angry group of opposition is organized against them.
  4. They justify their anger, hate and persecution of that person by quoting “their loving pope” who says “Who am I to Judge” and “Do not talk about Abortion or Birth control”.
  5. The cardinals, (like Cardinal Burke), religious, (like Franciscan Friars),
  6. Franciscanos Inmaculadapriests or persons who spoke the Catholic truth, are then demoted, removed, silenced or punished.
  7. All over the world, traditional Catholics are being persecuted and suppressed by the pope, bishops, religious and other priests.
  8. Being a believing and traditional Catholic is the only “unforgivable sin”.

The very first Spiritual Work of Mercy is to Admonish the sinner.  Yes, we Bible believing and Catholic Church believing people also love and care about the sinners.  We love those struggling with same sex attraction or gender identity confusion or any sinful temptation and confusion.  But we help them to realize;

  • Sin is still sin.
  • God loves us and put His commandments to protect us.
  • God is just.
  • Any unconfessed mortal sin at time of death will condemn us to hell for all eternity.
  • Heaven is our true home and where true pleasure is to be found.

c2Let us keep on speaking the Biblical and Catholic truth no matter how much we are persecuted, judged, condemned, hated, silenced, called extremist and black listed.  We are in great company with Jesus, St. John the Baptist and all the saints throughout history. Be a prophet of truth, you will be ridiculed, ostracized, called names, exiled and maybe soon, imprisoned or killed.  Jesus said: “Do not be afraid”.

 “Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake: Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.”  Matthew 5:11-12.

On Human Respect – Sermon From St. Alphonsus De Liguori

” Whosoever killeth you, will think that he doeth a service to God.”
JOHN xvi. 2.

St. Alphonsus

IN exhorting his disciples to be faithful to him under the

persecution which they were to endure, the Saviour said :
* Yea, the hour cometh, that whosoever killeth you, will
think that he doeth a service to God.” Thus, the enemies
of the faith believed that in putting Christians to death
they did a service to God. It is thus that many Chris
tians of the present day act. They kill their own souls
by losing the grace of God through human respect and
to please worldly friends. Oh ! how many souls has
human respect that great enemy of our salvation
sent to hell ! I shall speak on this subject to-day, that,
if you wish to serve God and save your souls, you may
guard as much as possible against human respect. In
the first point, I will show the importance of not being
influenced by human respect ; and in the second, I will
point out the means by which this vice may be over
come.

First Point On the importance of not being influenced by human respect.

1. “Woe to the world because of scandals.” (Matt,
xviii. 7.) Jesus Christ has said, that through the scan
dals of the wicked, many souls fall into hell. But how
is it possible to live in the midst of the world, and not
to take scandal ? This is impossible. To avoid taking
scandal, St. Paul says, we should leave this world.
” Otherwise you must needs go out of this world.”
( I Cor. v. 10.) But it is in our power to avoid fami
liarity with scandalous sinners. Hence the Apostle
adds : ” But now I have written to you not to keep
company …. with such an one, not as much as to eat.”
(Ibid. v. 11.) We should beware of contracting intimacy
with such sinners ; for, should we be united with them
in the bonds of friendship, we shall feel an unwillingness
to oppose their bad practices and bad counsels. Thus,
through human respect and the fear of contradicting
them, we will imitate their example, and lose the friend
ship of God.

2. Such lovers of the world not only glory in their
own iniquities (“They rejoice in most wicked things.”
Prov. ii. 14) ; but, what is worse, they wish to have
companions, and ridicule all who endeavour to live like
true Christians and to avoid the dangers of offending
God. This is a sin which is very displeasing to God,
and which he forbids in a particular manner. ” Despise
not a man that turneth away from sin, nor reproach
him therewith.” (Eccl. viii. 6.) Despise not those
who keep at a distance from sin, and seek not to
draw them to evil by your reproaches and irregulari
ties. The Lord declares, that, for those who throw
ridicule on the virtuous, chastisements are prepared in
this and in the next life. ” Judgments are prepared for
scorners, and striking hammers for the bodies of fools.”
(Prov. xix. 29.) They mock the servants of God, and
he shall mock them for all eternity. “But the Lord
shall laugh them to scorn. And they shall fall after
this without honour, and be a reproach among the dead
for ever.” (Wis. iv. 18.) They endeavour to make the
saints contemptible in the eyes of the world, and God
shall make them die without honour, and shall send
them to hell to suffer eternal ignominy among the
damned.

3. Not only to offend God, but also to endeavour to
make others offend him, is truly an enormous excess of
wickedness. This execrable intention arises from a con
viction that there are many weak and pusillanimous
souls, who, to escape derision and contempt, abandon
the practice of virtue, and give themselves up to a life
of sin. After his conversion to God, St. Augustine wept
for having associated with those ministers of Lucifer,
and confessed, that he felt ashamed not to be as wicked
and as shameless as they were. ” Pudebat me/ says
the saint, “esse pudentem.” How many, to avoid the
scoffs of wicked friends, have been induced to imitate
their wickedness ! ” Behold the saint/ these impious
scoffers will say ; ” get me a piece of his garment ; I will
preserve it as a relic. Why does he not become a
monk ?” How many also when they receive an insult,
resolve to take revenge, not so much through passion,
as to escape the reputation of being cowards ! How
many are there who, after having inadvertently given
expression to a scandalous maxim, neglect to retract it
(as they are bound to do), through fear of losing the
esteem of others ! How many, because they are afraid
of forfeiting the favour of a friend, sell their souls to the
devil ! They imitate the conduct of Pilate, who, through
the apprehension of losing the friendship of Caesar, con
demned Jesus Christ to death.

4. Be attentive. Brethren, if we wish to save our
souls, we must overcome human respect, and bear the
little confusion which may arise from the scoffs of the
enemies of the cross of Jesus Christ. “For there is a
shame that bringeth sin, and there is a shame that
bringeth glory and grace.” (Eccl. iv. 25.) If we do not
suffer this confusion with patience, it will lead us into
the pit of si a ; but if we submit to it for God s sake, it
will obtain for us the divine grace here, and great glory
hereafter. “As,” says St. Gregory, ” bashfulness is
laudable in evil, so it is reprehensible in good.” (Horn.
x. in Ezech.)

5. But some of you will say : I attend to my own
affairs ; I wish to save my soul ; why then should I be
persecuted ? But there is no remedy ; it is impossible
to serve God, and not be persecuted. ” The wicked loathe
them that are in the right way.” (Prov. xxix. 27.)
Sinners cannot bear the sight of the man who lives ac
cording to the Gospel, because his life is a continual
censure on their disorderly conduct; and therefore they
say: “Let us lie in wait for the just; because he is
not for our turn, and he is contrary to our doings, and
upbraideth us with transgressions of the law/ (Wis. ii.
12.) The proud man, who seeks revenge for every insult
which he receives, would wish that all should avenge
the offences that may be offered to him. The avaricious,
who grow rich by injustice, wish that all should imitate
their fraudulent practices. The drunkard wishes to see
others indulge like himself in intoxication. The im
moral, who boast of their impurities, and can scarcely
utter a word which does not savour of obscenity, desire
that all should act and speak as they do ; and those
who do not imitate their conduct, they regard as mean,
clownish, and intractable as men without honour and
education. ” They are of the world, therefore of the
world they speak/ (1 John iv. 5.) Worldlings can
speak no other language than that of the world. Oh !
how great is their poverty and blindness ! She has
blinded them, and therefore they speak so profanely.
” These things they thought, and were deceived ; for
their own malice blinded them.” (Wis. ii. 21.)

6. But I say again, that there is no remedy. All, as
St. Paul says, who wish to live in union with Jesus Christ
must be persecuted by the world. “And all that will
live godly in Christ, shall suffer persecution.” (2 Tim. iii.
12.) All the saints have been persecuted. You say: I
do not injure any one ; why then am I not left in
peace ? What evil have the saints, and particularly the
martyrs, done ? They were full of charity ; they loved
all, and laboured to do good to all ; and how have they
been treated by the world ? They have been flayed
alive ; they have been tortured with red-hot plates of
iron; and have been put to death in the most cruel
manner. And whom has Jesus Christ the saint of saints
injured ? He consoled all ; he healed all. ” Virtue
went out from him, and healed all.” (Luke vi. 19.)
And how has the world treated him ? It has persecuted
him, so as to make him die through pain on the infamous
gibbet of the cross.

7. This happens because the maxims of the world are
diametrically opposed to the maxims of Jesus Christ.
What the world esteems, Jesus Christ regards as folly.
“For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God.”
(1 Cor. iii. 19.) And what is foolish in the eyes of the
world that is, crosses, sickness, contempt, and ignomi
niesJesus Christ holds in great estimation. ” For the
word^of the cross, to them indeed that perish, is foolish
ness.” (1 Cor. i. IS.) How, says St. Cyprian, can a man
think himself to be a Christian, when he is afraid to be
a Christian ? ” Christianum se putat si Christianurn
esse veretur p” (Ser. v. de Lapsis.) If we are Christians,
let us show that we are Christians in name and in truth;
for, if we are ashamed of Jesus Christ, he will be ashamed
of us, and cannot give us a place on his right hand on
the last day. ” For he that shall be ashamed of me and
my words, of him the Son of Man shall be ashamed
when he shall come in his majesty.” (Luke ix. 2G.) On
the day of judgment he shall say: You have been
ashamed of me on earth : I am now ashamed to see you
with me in Paradise. Begone, accursed souls; go into
hell to meet your companions, who have been ashamed
of me. But mark the words ” he that shall be ashamed
of me and of my words.” St. Augustine says, that some
are ashamed to deny Jesus Christ, but do not blush to
deny the maxims of Jesus Christ. ” Erubescunt negare
Christum, et non erubescunt negare verba Christi.”
(Serm. xlviii.) But you may tell me, that, if you say
you cannot do such an act, because it is contrary to the
Gospel, your friends will turn you into ridicule, and
will call you a hypocrite. Then, says St. John Chry-
sostom, you will not suffer to be treated with derision
by a companion, and you are content to be hated by
God ! JX”on vis a conserve derideri, sed odio haberi a
Deo tuo ?” (Horn. xci. in Act. xix.)

8. The Apostle, who gloried in being a follower of
Christ, said : ” The world is crucified to me, and I to
the world.” (Gal. vi. 14.) As I am a person crucified to
the world an object of its scoffs and injustice, so the
world is to me an object of contempt and abomination.
It is necessary to be convinced, that if we do not trample
on the world, the world will trample on our souls. But
what is the world and all its goods ? ” All that is in
the world is the concupiscence of the flesh, and the con
cupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life.” (1 John
ii. 16.) To what are all the goods of this earth reduced?
To riches, which are hut dung ; to honours, which are
only smoke ; and to carnal pleasures. But what shall
all these profit us, if we lose our souls ? ” “What doth
it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer
the loss of his soul ?” (Matt. xvi. 26.)

9. He that loves God and wishes to save his soul
must despise the world and all human respect ; and to
do this, everyone must offer violence to himself. St.
Mary Magdalene had to do great violence to herself, in
order to overcome human respect and the murmurings
and scoffs of the world, when, in the presence of so
many persons, she cast herself at the feet of Jesus
Christ, to wash them with her tears, and dry them with
her hair. But she thus became a saint, and merited
from Jesus Christ pardon of her sins, and praise for her
great love. ” Many sins are forgiven her because she
hath loved much.” (Luke vii. 47.) One day, as St.
Francis Borgia carried to certain prisoners a vessel of
broth under his cloak, he met his son mounted on a fine
horse, and accompanied by certain noblemen. The saint
felt ashamed to show what he carried under his cloak.
But what did he do in order to conquer human respect ?
He took the vessel of broth, placed it on his head, and
thus showed his contempt for the world. Jesus Christ,
our Head and Master, when nailed to the cross, was
mocked by the soldiers. ” If thou be the Son of God,
come down from the cross.” (Matt, xxvii. 40.) He was
mocked by the priests, saying : ” He saved others; him
self he cannot save.” (Ibid., v. 42.) But he remained
firm on the cross ; he cheerfully died upon it, and thus
conquered the world.

10. ” I give thanks to God,” says St. Jerome, ” that I
am worthy to be hated by the world.” (Epis. ad Asellam.)
The saint returns thanks to God for having made him
worthy of the hatred of the world. Jesus Christ pro
nounced his disciples blessed when they should be hated
by men. ” Blessed shall you be when men shall hate
you.” (Luke vi. 22.) Christians, let us rejoice ; for, if
worldlings curse and upbraid us, God at the same time
praises and blesses us. “They will curse, and thou
wilt bless.” (Ps. cviii. 28.) Is it not enough for us to be
praised by God, to be praised by the queen of heaven,
by all the angels, by all the saints, and by all just men ?
Let worldlings say what they wish ; but let us continue
to please God, who will give us, in the next life, a
reward proportioned to the violence we shall have done
to ourselves in despising the contradictions of men.
Each of you should figure to himself, that there is no
one in the world but himself and God. When the
wicked treat us with contempt, let us recommend to
God these blind and miserable men, who run in the
road to perdition ; and let us thank the Lord for giving
to us the light which he refuses to them. Let us con
tinue in our own way : to obtain all, it is necessary to
conquer all.

Second Point. On the means of overcoming human
respect.

11. To overcome human respect, it is necessary to fix
in our hearts the holy resolution of preferring the grace
of God to all the goods and favours of this world, and
to say with St. Paul: “Neither death, nor life, nor
angels, nor principalities, nor powers, . . . .nor any other
creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of
God.” (Rom. viii. 38, 39.) Jesus Christ exhorts us not
to be afraid of those who can take away the life of the
body ; but to fear him only who can condemn the soul
and body to hell. ” And fear you not them that kill the
body ; but rather fear him that can destroy both soul
and body into hell.” (Matt, x. 28.) We wish either to
follow God or the world ; if we wish to follow God we
must give up the world. ” now long do you halt
between two sides ?” said Elias to the people. ” If the
Lord be God, follow him.” (3 Kings xviii. 21.) You
cannot serve God and the world. He that seeks to
please men cannot please God. ” If,” says the Apostle,
“I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of
Christ/ (Gal. i. 10.)

12. The true servants of God rejoice to see them
selves despised and maltreated for the sake of Jesus
Christ. The holy apostles ” went from the presence of
the council, rejoicing that they were accounted worthy
to suffer reproach for the name of Jesus.” (Acts v. 41.)
Moses could have prevented the anger of Pharaoh by not
contradicting the current report that he was the son of
Pharaoh s daughter. But he denied that he was her
son, preferring, as St. Paul says, the opprobrium of
Christ to all the riches of the world. * Choosing rather
to be afflicted with the people of God;. .. .esteeming
the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasure
of the Egyptians.” (Heb. xi. 25, 26.)

13. Wicked friends come to you and say : What ex
travagances are those in which you indulge ? Why do
you not act like others ? Say to them in answer : My
conduct is not opposed to that of all men ; there are
others who lead a holy life. They are indeed few ; but
I will follow their example; for the Gospel says: “Many
are called, but few are chosen.” (Matt. xx. 16.) “If,”
says St. John Climacus, ” you wish to be saved with the
few, live like the few.” But, they will add, do you not
see that all murmur against you, and condemn your
manner of living ? Let your answer be : It is enough
for me that God does not censure my conduct. Is it
not better to obey God than to obey men ? Such was
the answer of St. Peter and St. John to the Jewish
priests : ” If it be just in the sight of God to hear you
rather than God, judge ye.” (Acts iv. 19.) If they ask
you how can you bear an insult ? or how, after submit
ting to it, can you appear among your equals ? answer
them by saying that you are a Christian, and that it is
enough for you to appear well in the eyes of God. Such
should be your answer to all those satellites of Satan:
you must despise all their maxims and reproaches.

And when it is necessary to reprove those who make little of
God s law, you must take courage and correct them
publicly. ” Them that sin, reprove before all.” (1 Tim.
v. 20.) And when there is question of the divine
honour, we should not be frightened by the dignity of
the man who offends God ; let us say to him openly :
This is sinful ; it cannot be done. Let us imitate the
Baptist, who reproved King Herod for living with his
brother s wife, and said to him: “It is not lawful for
thee to have her.” (Matt. xiv. 4.) Men indeed shall
regard us as fools, and turn us into derision ; but, on the
day of judgment they shall acknowledge that they have
been foolish, and we shall have the glory of being num
bered among the saints. They shall say : ” These are
they whom we had sometime in derision. .. .We fools
esteemed their life madness, and their end without
honour. Behold how they are numbered among the
children of God, and their lot is among the saints.”
(Wis. v. 3, 4, 5.)

Last Interview with Sr Lucia’s – 1957

Speaking to the sisters of Mother house of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart in Mexico on May 22, 1958, Fr. Fuentes said, “I want to tell you the last conversation I had with her [Sister Lucy], which was on December 26 of last year. It was in the convent, where I found her very sad, pale and drawn.”

He then proceeded to read Sister’s Lucy’s words to him at the December 26, 1957, interview:
“Father, the Blessed Virgin is very sad because no one has paid attention to her Message, neither the good nor the bad. The good, because they continue on the road of goodness, but without paying mind to this Message. The bad, because of their sins, do not see God’s chastisement already falling on them presently; they also continue on their path of badness, ignoring the Message. But, Father, you must believe me that God is going to punish the world and chastise it in a tremendous way.
“The chastisement from Heaven is imminent. The year 1960 is on us, and then what will happen? It will be very sad for everyone, and far from a happy thing if the world does not pray and do penance before then. I cannot give more details, because it is still a secret. By the will of the Blessed Virgin, only the Holy Father and the Bishop of Fatima can know the secret. Both have chosen, however, not to open it in order not to be influenced by it. (1)
“This is the third part of the Message of Our Lady, which still remains secret until 1960. Tell them, Father, that the Blessed Virgin said repeatedly – to my cousins Francisco and Jacinta as well as to me – that many nations would disappear from the face of the earth, that Russia would be the instrument of chastisement from Heaven for the whole world if the conversion of that poor Nation is not obtained beforehand. …”

 A decisive battle with the Devil
Sr. Lucy also told me:
“Father, the Devil is fighting a decisive battle against the Virgin and, as you know, what most offends God and what will gain him the greatest number of souls in the shortest time is to gain the souls consecrated to God. For this also leaves unprotected the field of the laity and the Devil can more easily seize them.
”Also, Father, tell them that my cousins Francisco and Jacinta made sacrifices because they always saw the Blessed Virgin was very sad in all her apparitions. She never smiled at us. This anguish that we saw in her, caused by offenses to God and the chastisements that threaten sinners, penetrated our souls. And being children, we did not know what measures to devise except to pray and make sacrifices. …”

 We cannot wait for Rome to speak
Referring to the vision of Hell that Our Lady showed her and Jacinta and Francisco, she said:
“For this reason, Father, it is my mission not just to tell about the material punishments that will certainly come over the earth if the world does not pray and do penance. No, my mission is to tell everyone the imminent danger we are in of losing our souls for all eternity if we remain fixed in sin.
“Father, we should not wait for a call to the world from Rome on the part of the Holy Father to do penance. Nor should we wait for a call for penance to come from the Bishops in our Dioceses, nor from our Religious Congregations. No, Our Lord has often used these means, and the world has not paid heed. So, now each one of us must begin to reform himself spiritually. Each one has to save not only his own soul, but also all the souls that God has placed on his pathway.

 Two last remedies to save the world
“Father, the Blessed Virgin did not tell me that we are in the last times of the world, but I understood this for three reasons:
“The first is because she told me that the Devil is engaging in a battle with the Virgin, a decisive battle. It is a final battle where one party will be victorious and the other will suffer defeat. So, from now on, we are either with God or we are with the Devil; there is no middle ground.
“The second reason is because she told me, as well as my cousins, that God is giving two last remedies to the world: the Holy Rosary and devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And, being the last remedies, that is to say, they are the final ones, means that there will be no others.
“And the third, because in the plans of the Divine Providence, when God is going to chastise the world He always first exhausts all other remedies. When He sees that the world pays no attention whatsoever, then, as we say in our imperfect way of talking, with a certain fear He presents us the last means of salvation, His Blessed Mother.
If we despise and reject this last means, Heaven will no longer pardon us, because we will have committed a sin that the Gospel calls a sin against the Holy Spirit. This sin consists in openly rejecting – with full knowledge and will – the salvation that is put in our hands.
“Also, since Our Lord is a very good Son, He will not permit that we offend and despise His Blessed Mother. We have as obvious testimony the history of different centuries where Our Lord has shown us with terrible examples how He has always defended the honor of His Blessed Mother.
“Prayer and sacrifice are the two means to save the world. As for the Holy Rosary, Father, in these last times in which we are living, the Blessed Virgin has given a new efficacy to the praying of the Holy Rosary. This in such a way that there is no problem that cannot be resolved by praying the Rosary, no matter how difficult it is – be it temporal or above all spiritual – in the spiritual life of each of us or the lives of our families, be they our families in the world or Religious Communities, or even in the lives of peoples and nations.
I repeat, there is no problem, as difficult as it may be, that we cannot resolve at this time by praying the Holy Rosary. With the Holy Rosary we will save ourselves, sanctify ourselves, console Our Lord and obtain the salvation of many souls.
“Then, there is devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Most Holy Mother, holding her as the seat of mercy, goodness and pardon and the sure door to enter Heaven. This is the first part of the Message referring to Our Lady of Fatima, and the second part, which is briefer but no less important, refers to the Holy Father.”
Quote
1. In 1943, the Bishop of Fatima José Correia da Silva authorized Sister Lucia to write down the Third Secret during her bout with pleurisy, which threatened her life. On June 17, 1944, this document was officially placed in his hands. When Sister Lucia gave the letter to Bishop da Silva, she told him that he could read it, but he refused. Instead, he ordered the sealed document to be kept in the safe of the Episcopal Curia. Pope Pius XII also chose not to read the message, and left it in the care of Bishop da Silva until 1957, when the sealed envelope was sent to Rome at his request.