GOD WANTS YOU IN HEAVEN
Learn why the saints, in their great wisdom, teach:
"VERY FEW CHRISTIANS ARE SAVED"
and learn what we, the whole of humanity, need to do to live
Christians are Dying!
Please know, Our Lord’s Sacred Heart of Love is being stabbed profusely over the loss of so many souls. It is unfathomable how many people are dying: choosing Hell, “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46), but don’t even know it… until “the day of judgment” (Matthew 11:22) when it is too late.
My friend, please know, we aren’t automatically saved just because we go to church or do any good work. No. “He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done” (Titus 3:5) but from His love.
Therefore, please don’t be deceived. Not all “good” people go to Heaven… that is a fallacy… that isn’t how salvation works. Thinking we are saved, forgiven of our sins, because of something we do… because we are so “good” is a lie of the devil to keep us lukewarm and not concerned with our eternity.
We are “saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8), but that doesn’t mean all “Christians” are saved, since sadly our faith is FAR from a “sincere faith” (1 Timothy 1:5) in Christ.
Yes, to be saved, our faith must become a SAVING FAITH–true faith in Jesus–not just some belief in Christ, for “such faith has no power to save” (James 2:14).
“There are many who arrive at the faith [Christianity], but few who are led into the heavenly kingdom [obtain a saving faith].”
–St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church, (“On the Gospels,” Homily 19, Sunday Sermons of the Great Fathers)
A saving faith is a faith that has grown from “infancy” (2 Timothy 3:15) into “maturity” (Hebrews 6:1) and now has TRUE love for God, which stems from obtaining TRUE contrition (true sorrow) for our sins. Since we can’t truly love God, if we aren’t truly sorry for offending Him.
Therefore, a saving faith is a faith that can ACCEPT God’s forgiveness, from the true hatred/true contrition we have for all of our offences against Him.
So to accept God’s most merciful gift of perfect forgiveness, our confessions, our repentance, needs to be sincere. But sadly, they aren’t. We deceive ourselves and “say” we are sorry for sinning, but in our hearts, which God clearly reads, shows we simply aren’t.
“How rare such [true] repentance is. Alas, it is as scarce as a good confession.”
–St. John Vianney, (Sermon on repentance)
Yes, sadly, how rare it is to find a soul with a saving contrition. Our contrition is far from true. Therefore, from our LACK OF TRUE CONTRITION–“worldly sorrow [which] brings death” (2 Corinthians 7:10)—we can’t accept God’s forgiveness, and we wind up unknowingly choosing our sins over God, rejecting “everlasting joy” (Isaiah 35:10) for the “everlasting fire[s] [of Hell]” (Matthew 25:41), which is absolutely tragic!
Please know, this isn’t only a concern for those who aren’t striving to live the faith, but from the devils great deception, shockingly, this is an equally great problem for the “faithful” too, as the saints teach and is explained later.
“Scarcely Anyone is Saved”
I know we all want to believe we are part of the “saved” but today we live in the time of darkness–“Its kingdom [earth] was plunged into darkness” (Revelations 16:10), and practically all of humanity lives greatly deceived. Now, the few who are saved are even fewer… horribly, hardly anyone is “reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). This is the horrible truth.
“The elect [those who obtain Heaven]… are few in number. It would cause us to faint away from grief to learn how surprisingly small is their number.”
–St. Louis De Montfort, (A Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Part II, #14)
Yes, despite God’s burning passion to save us, the saved are few… very few. We don’t want Him; we want our sins instead.
I know this can be hard to believe. But please don’t be so proud to think we are given more wisdom than the saints, who all preach the same united truth… the ONE way to Heaven. They want to guide us to Life. Eternity is forever!
Sure, we all like to think that everyone dies and goes to Heaven because God is so merciful. But please know the saints, who have far greater wisdom than we do, from the beginning of Christianity until the present age have been warning us that despite God’s unfathomable mercy “indeed, many will be damned; few will be saved.” as St. Benedict Joseph Labre teaches (The Life Of The Venerable Benedict Joseph Labre).
“Lord, will only a few be saved?” He said to them, “[Christians will] strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able. [They won’t have a saving faith]” (Luke 13:23-24).
Truly, many will want to go to Heaven but won’t have the faith to obtain it, even though “God did not create any man for Hell, and that He wishes all men to be saved, [but] it remains equally true that only few will be saved; that only few will go to Heaven; and that the greater part of mankind will be lost forever” as St. John Henry Newman warns us (.
Like was said, to be saved we can’t just “say” we believe in Jesus; we can’t just confess our sins and assume we are saved. To be saved, we need to GROW in faith into a SAVING FAITH in Christ–we must “come to maturity” (Wisdom 3:16), and not stay as “children [who are easily deceived and], tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine” (Ephesians 4:14), which is why we are so lost.
Truly most–and I mean MOST–don’t have this mature faith. We simply have not sought Christ correctly to give us this kind of saving faith/contrition for our sins. Many people will want to grow in faith and might even grow in their “appearance” of holiness, and we can grow in many aspects of our faith but still be no were close to being truly humble and contrite for our sins.
How many of us believe if we feel we have a good relationship with God, or if we go to church or pray or maybe confess our sins then we are “saved.” But the saints are telling us that just doesn’t prove we have true contrition for our sins; that doesn’t prove we have a saving faith. Please don’t be deceived.
St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, has written bounds of writings about how to obtain a SAVING faith in Christ…. and how, as a result of us not achieving it, he tells us that, “scarcely anyone is saved” (Letter to Christians). Yes, scarcely anyone, but yet, who of us is actually concerned about our and our neighbor’s salvation? I tell you, salvation is MUCH harder to obtain than we ever thought.
St. Alphonsus has tried desperately to motivate us to seek Mercy (Jesus) for help so we can change and have Eternal Life. But his warnings and the warnings of the rest of the saints have fallen upon deaf ears. We still have no concern about our salvation, not enough to sincerely follow the way the saints obtained Heaven (the only way).
Most Are Greatly Deceived
The devil has been busy deceiving the whole world. He has confused us so greatly that we don’t know The Way to Heaven and are now stripped of concern for the things in life that matter the most, and we hardly have a thought about our eternal lives.
“The huge dragon, the ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, who deceived the whole world, was thrown down to earth… Fascinated [by his lies], the WHOLE WORLD followed after the beast [and lost The Way to Heaven]… whoever has ears ought to hear these words” (Revelations 12: 1-9).
Sure we can see how most aren’t truly “faithful.” But, from being deceived ourselves, we aren’t concerned about their salvation. Yes, we have become blind to the fact the practically all of humanity is dying an eternal death. Yes, “The number of the damned is incalculable” (St. Veronica Giuliani, Diary).
Now, scores of Christians and of course non-Christians are not going into Heaven after they die but are perishing into the fires of Hell for all eternity–“thrown into Gehenna, where ‘their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched,“ as St. Mark teaches us (Mark 9:48), yet thinking they are saved. We must put an end to this.
If we really understood that not everyone is saved–that “many are invited, but FEW are chosen” (Matthew 22:14)–and had any real care/love for another wouldn’t we be doing ALL WE CAN (according to God’s will) to help save at least those who are obviously not striving to live the faith, so to spare them from “undergoing a punishment of eternal fire” (Jude 1:7)? What is more important than this?
But since we are so deceived, and not actually living the faith correctly ourselves, helping others to avoid eternal suffering is hardly a thought in our minds. Truly, what are we actually doing to warn others of their impending doom and helping to bring them into a saving faith? Anything? Do we even care? Sadly, no. We have been deceived.
Oh, we might say we need to “believe in Jesus to be saved” but what kind of belief do we really need? Tragically, we don’t know. And we can’t teach others The Way, if we don’t know it ourselves. Oh, we have been greatly deceived. We don’t understand that we must advance in our believe from some faith in Christ into “maturity [a saving faith]” (Hebrews 6:1).
Horribly, we have been tricked into believing we are already saved or numbed from caring about our eternal lives, and now “countless people…[are] in awful peril and very few of them ever reach their proper haven [Heaven]” as St. Ambrose was explaining to St. Bridget (Revelations Ch.5).
“[Only] those who have grown to maturity [into a saving faith] in the grace of God will find the joy of adopted children in the kingdom of heaven; those who have not grown to maturity will become God’s enemies and, even though they were once his children [from baptism], they will be punished according to their deeds for all eternity.”
–St. Andrew Kim Taegon, (His Final Exhortation Letter)
Sure we want to do good and help others, but what kind of love do we really have? What kind of Christians are we, if we aren’t even laboring to save souls? Truly, we have lost care for what is most important in life? Honestly, do we pray, fast, and sacrifice for grace to be sent to others, like the true Christians and Jesus, Himself, did for us, to help save us–to advance into a mature saving faith? Sadly, No.
We have been tricked by the devil into only being concerned about people’s earthly happiness. Oh, what kind of Christians have we been deceived into becoming? We are called to SAVE SOULS–to “save others by snatching them out of the fire” (Jude 23) but tragically, from being so deceived, we don’t realize they are running to their doom. Tragic!
“Charity presses me, urges me, makes me walk and even run from one town to the other; it makes me cry out; “My son, poor sinner, look out! You are falling into eternal fire! Stop! Do not take another step forward!”
–St Anthony Mary Claret (Autobiography, Motives for Preaching The Word of God)
Oh, since we suffer from presumption of salvation, our most important endeavor–seeking to “grow into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2)… to grow into a saving faith–is not even a concern, expect perhaps right when we are dying. But oh, how hard it is to grow enough in faith at the moment of our death, if we have not sought God to help save us during our lives.
From being so deceived, most are looking for some free pass into salvation, without spending our lives seeking Our Savior to help us obtain a faith that can save. And now most of God’s children are unknowingly choosing to go to Hell upon their deaths. Tragic!.
“If the wisest man in the world could count how many souls go to hell EVERY DAY, he could number the grains of sand in the sea or the pebbles on the beach [meaning that there is a great great number]. This is a question of [God’s] justice, because these souls have separated themselves from their Lord and God [and chosen the punishment for their sins instead of His mercy].
I am saying this [horrific truth] so that the demon’s numbers may decrease, the danger becomes known [so we gain some fear of the Lord and can work towards changing], and my army is complete [so souls can stop this unfathomable loss of My children]. If only they could hear and understand! ”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations, Book 2, Ch. 6)
Yes, Jesus says EVERY DAY an incredible number of souls perish into Hell. Truly, the saints aren’t lying. Please hear and understand.
Now we can think this saint and the rest of them are wrong and that we or some other non-sanctified person has greater wisdom and continue to live our lives without concern, just the same–not according to the way they say we need to live to obtain Life, as explained later. But if the saints are right, and we don’t follow them (who surely obtained Heaven), we will lose it all.
“The path to Heaven is narrow, rough and full of wearisome and trying ascents, nor can it be trodden without great toil; and therefore wrong is their way, gross their error, and assured their ruin who, after the testimony of so many thousands of saints, will not learn where to settle their footing [and still follow the wrong path to their doom].”
-St. Robert Southwell (An Epistel of Comfort)
This blindness to the majority of humanity’s impending doom is only the tip of the VAST ways we are being deceived right to our eternal suffering. For truly, we don’t know the path to walk on to obtain Life.
But hopefully, we can understand something. And from here we can grow in knowledge until we fully comprehend how countless of God’s beloved children, even those who think they have a great relationship with God, are rejecting His mercy. And from there we can grow in understanding of The Way so we can correctly seek Our Savior to change us–to save us. Hopefully, God’s grace working through this article and web-site can help do this for us.
Truly, don’t you think we should be concerned about our eternity? It is forever. Please don’t be so proud to think it isn’t possible for you to become deceived? “The deceiver” (Isaiah 32:5) can trick anyone, and he has come to trick the Christian people. “The dragon… went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring [the Christians], those who keep God’s commandments and bear witness to Jesus” (Revelations 12:17).
No Peace During the Cross = a Broken Faith
If we look at the world today, we can see a world hurting with much anger and pain. We see a world confused, rejecting The Way and needing its Savior to change us, so we can have His peace.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you” (John 14:27).
But please know, it isn’t just the world, who is suffering, we are too.
One of the great proofs we have that we are not living the faith correctly is when we are not experiencing the “great peace” (Psalm 119:165) God promises to those who love Him. Sure, we have peace some of the times when things are going the way we desire. Some of us even think life is great since everything is going so well for us, but when a cross comes into our lives (our test), we lose our peace.
“The most certain sign that the soul loves God is its peaceful conformity to the will of God in all adverse occurrences, such as poverty, sickness, losses, and ruin.”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church (The Way of Salvation and Perfection, Conformity to the Will of God, Med. 97)
If we are not in great peace, and even made stronger, when our crosses occur, then we know something is very wrong with our faith. For, if we were truly committed to Christ and perfectly united with Him, the source of perfect peace… “the King of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6), we would constantly have His peace within us, especially during the cross. NOTHING would break down our contentment.
“Great peace have those who love your law; NOTHING can make them stumble [become outside of peace]” (Psalm 119:165).
But when we sin–when we don’t follow or want God’s will but our own–we reject God’s peace… and for some of the sins we commit, they are in fact the “deadly sin[s]” (1 John 5:16), which break our saving union with God, causing us to reject God’s saving forgiving mercy.
I know a lot of us love Jesus. We want Him as part of our lives. We see Him blessing us, and we think we have Him and are living the faith correctly. But since we are obviously not accepting this perfect peace God gives, since we are still suffering with many frustrations, anxieties, complaints, worries, arguing and bounds of other ways we show our unhappiness–our lack of peace–is it possible we aren’t saved, and the salvation we all assume we have isn’t really ours? “I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts may be corrupted from a sincere [saving] commitment to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 11:3).
Truly, is it possible we have been “deceived” (Revelation 12:9) and are not actually saved–“For the gate is narrow and the road is hard that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it” (Matthew 7:14)–like The Word speaks about and the saints are warning us is occurring.
We Are Rejecting Salvation
We must know, this unfathomable unmerited gift of Eternal Life that we received at our baptism, this perfect forgiveness of our sins, that Christ, from His unfathomable love for us, suffered and died to give us, we REJECTED the very first time we sinned and didn’t repent with TRUE sorrow for that offence.
Yes, Christ gave us the gift of perfect forgiveness of our sins when we were baptized –for “you are now saved by a baptismal bath” (1 Peter 3:21)–but we rejected that gift the very first time we lacked true contrition for offending Him. Honestly, if we lack true sorrow for any sin, we reject salvation for sin (Hell).
“Thy death will not save me, if I do not on my part detest every evil and have TRUE sorrow for the sins I have committed against Thee.”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, (Meditations for Every Day of Advent)
Please know, it is a most grievous sin to not be sorry for offending Our Beloved Lord with any sin. How horrible is that! What kind of love for God would someone have if we weren’t truly sorry for offending Him? Certainly not a saving love.
This is because one sin is of infinite offence against our infinitely perfect Lord; “[sin] is more hateful to God than any matter” (St. Robert Belarmine, Doctrina Christina, Ch.16), making us deserving of Hell as a fitting consequence. Yes, “the wages of sin is death [Hell]” (Romans 6:23).
Therefore, if we wish to be free from our great guilt of sin, if we want to embrace God’s mercy and escape our just punishment—we must accept God’s forgiveness–which is done by obtaining true sorrow for all of our sins.
So please fully understand, just ONE sin we don’t repent of–that we don’t truly hate–rejects Heaven for “Hell… the unquenchable fire” (Mark 9:43). Please don’t be deceived.
“Whoever keeps the whole law but fails in ONE point has become guilty of all of it [and must repent to be saved]” (James 2:10).
How Can We Be Truly Sorry?
One sin we don’t truly repent of damns us forever. But how can we be truly sorry and repent of a single sin, so to accept Jesus’ forgiveness, if we won’t even:
- admit our sins, or
- work hard to stop them.
We can’t. That isn’t true repentance. To be truly sorry for our sins, we must at least love God enough to be willing to admit our guilt and be resolved to stop our offences against Him.
How foolish would we be, if we pretended like we were sorry for sinning but in reality we won’t even humble ourselves to admit our wrong doings? Yes, how blind would we be, if we deceived ourselves into believing we were contrite for our offences against God, when we won’t even strive to stop our sins? How absurd would that be! Yet, this is exactly what we do.
Really, how many sins won’t we acknowledge because we like doing them (refuse to see them); or because we are too embarrassed by them (to proud to show how sinful we are), or since we are too scared of the consequences that might occur if someone were to know of our sins, so we intentionally hide them?
Honestly, what sins won’t we even put forth effort towards stopping them, and we just continue in them day after day? Yet, if we refuse to confess or neglect to work hard to abandon just one sin, we choose that sin over God and His forgiveness and reject Eternal Life.
No wonder “only a small part of the human race will be saved” as Sr. Lucia Santos of Fatima prophesized. For, how many of us are actually admitting our wrong doings and striving to stop them–all of them? Honestly, are any of us actually doing this?
But I tell you, The Word clearly tells us we must confess and forsake our sins to obtain God’s saving forgiving mercy. Please believe. Our eternal life depends on it.
“Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who CONFESS and FORSAKE them [leave them] obtain mercy” (Proverbs 28:10).
Truly, this is what we must do to embrace God’s forgiveness. But we aren’t really doing this.
Yet, even with this truth so clearly written and repeated throughout The Word, we aren’t concerned about our or the rest of humanity’s salvation. Why aren’t we striving to repent and teaching others that we need to repent… to truly repent: to become humble (willing to admit our sinfulness) and contrite (sorrowful) enough to sincerely want to confess our sins and never commit our them again–in order to embrace God’s forgiveness for the salvation of our souls? Please know, “A humble and contrite heart, O Lord, you will not spurn” (Psalm 51:17).
Well, the reason we aren’t warning others or truly helping others to save their souls–to obtain true contrition for all of their sins–is because we have become blind as to what is needed to be saved and to the fact that we are dying (rejecting saving mercy for sin). Yes, we are in “gloom and darkness” (Isaiah 29:18), and don’t know how to save our souls.
“We shall find out at the day of judgment that the greater number of Christians who are lost were damned because they did not know their own religion.”
–St. John Vianney (Sermons of the Cure De Ars, The Word of God)
True Repentance Saves — Insincere Repentance Damns
Yes, Christ came to instill in us that it is by “repentance, for the forgiveness of sins [that we would be saved, which] would be preached in his name” (Luke 24:46). Yes, repentance is how we accept God’s forgiving mercy. “I have… come to call the… sinners to repentance” (Luke 5:32).
But as we now know, we aren’t doing this. We aren’t confessing or working to stop many of our sins. Sadly, from following people, who mean well, but don’t realize it themselves that they have been tricked by the devil into becoming “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:1), we have lost care for our sins and in a big way. I mean, sure we don’t like them, but we are far from being truly contrite (truly sorry) for them.
Either we think since we are under God’s grace, we can sin and there are no consequences, or we think to be saved/forgiven we only have to declare some kind of sorrow with our thoughts or words. Yet, as a result of being deceived into believing “the father of lies” (John 8:44) and not the the saints, who have actually obtained Heaven and are “a model for you, so that you might imitate [them]” (2 Thessalonians 3:9), we simply haven’t learned correctly nor sought Jesus to help us advance properly in our faith. We haven’t grown into a saving contrition.
From having such little care for our sins, we are lucky if we have even the smallest amount of real contrition, never mind a true repentance for all of our offences, which is even more than just wanting to stop our sins. To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow?”
“Even through His yoke [command] is easy and His burden [cross] light, there are FEW who wish to receive Him and be saved through Him [sadly, most choose our sins instead].”
–St. Francis of Assisi, (Letter to All the Faithful)
But even with the saint’s vast warnings, which have echoed through the Church for years, we simply aren’t hearing them and still have no concern for our or others salvation. We have allowed the devil to blind us.
What is a Saving Contrition?
From our pride allowing us to become deceived, we have lost a desire to seek a saving contrition. Frankly, we don’t even know what it is.
We must come to learn what a saving contrition is and seek God daily to give us such saving faith. But please know, if we haven’t even been concerned with the fact that we have been offending God, we are FAR from being truly contrite for our offences against Him and must grow much in faith.
A saving contrition is when we have a “[truly] contrite heart and humble spirit” (Daniel 3:39):
- HUMBLE SPIRIT– being humble enough to look for and see our sins/our sinfulness. It is when we don’t hide our sins (Proverbs 28:13), nor convince ourselves or others we aren’t sinning (1 John 1:8), nor lie to ourselves, pretending to be someone we aren’t (Matthew 7:5), along with possessing a desire to admit our guilt: confess our sins (1 John 1:9);
- CONTRITE HEART– hating our sins enough (no longer desiring our sins/have died to sin) to where we are truly resolved to sin no more (John 8:11), which causes us to want to avoid all that leads us to sin (Matthew 5:30), to make and keep resolutions to amend our sins/to discipline ourselves (1 Corinthians 9:27), to suffer anything rather than commit the slightest offence against God (Hebrews 12:4), to progressively leave our sins and continuously grow in virtue (2 Peter 1:1-9), to make right our wrongs (Numbers 5:5-8), and to live a life of penance (Colossians 1:24)….
and all of this is done, not only because we don’t want to suffer in Hell from our unrepentant sins (Luke 13:5), known as servile fear/imperfect contrition, but when we have finally grown into a saving contrition, we do all of the above mostly because we can’t bear to offend God, whom we seek to perfectly love with our whole heart (Mark 12:30), known as filial fear/perfect or true contrition (a saving contrition).
Honestly, how can we sincerely tell God we are sorry for any sin, if we won’t do any one of those acts of contrition? We can’t. Can we honestly say, “Lord, I’m sorry for my sins, but I won’t do anything to try to make up for the wrong I have done (have acts of penance)?” No; of course not. Can we honestly say, “Lord, I’m sorry for my sins, but I won’t even avoid what is causing me to sin?” No; that would be ridiculous.
“If the soul, fallen into what sins soever, corresponds to the grace of God [allows God to change her heart] and [truly] abhors her past sins, with a resolution and a [sincere] will to sin no more, he immediately frees her from her guilt.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa (Life and Doctrine, Ch.11)
Therefore, let’s no longer allow the devil to make us liars deceiving ourselves right to our doom. Not seeking to follow/obey any ONE of those commands of God–acts of contrition–is proof of our lack of TRUE contrition… our lack of true love for God. And boy does it take much help from God–much grace from Our Savior–to obtain this kind of sorrow for all of our sins. There is no time to waste. We must seek Jesus to save us today.
“A [truly] contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.” (Psalm 51:19).
Souls, who have grown enough in faith and now truly love God and have true sorrow for their sins–who would truly never offend God again (if they had the strength to do it)–have allowed God to transform them so much that they are far from complacent with a single sin. They are now “resolved to suffer death rather than commit a deliberate venial offence against God” as St. Alphonsus teaches in his sermon on Passion Sunday. Yes, a soul who’s mind is constantly set towards never offending God again and proves their desire is true, would rather suffer than sin. This is a soul who has true hope for Eternal Life.
But as we know, we don’t have this kind of dedication to not sin. We will suffer to obtain other goals, but to avoid offending God. We need to grow much more in faith to obtain that kind of detestation for sin.
This is the kind of hatred for sin and love for God we must work hard to obtain, if we want Life, as described later. We must, obtain enough grace to, in sincerity of heart, be willing to suffer rather than offend God, with any sin. That is when we truly hate our sins and truly love Our Lord more than our sins and ourselves. And boy do we need to seek Mercy to give us this kind of saving faith. Fortinuately, God has provided us many means of obtaining much grace to move us into true contrition, especially in the sacrament of reconciliation.
Yes, to grow into this kind of contrition Our Lord has given the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven to us through the sacraments… especially reconciliation in His Church; For without this sacrament even fewer than the few would be saved, as explained later.
Fear–An Essential for Faith
Many think if we have any kind of “fear” we don’t have faith. Oh, what a lie from the evil one to keep us complacent with our sins (as explained later).
“We are expressly told, that “strait is the gate and narrow the way that leads to life, and few there be that find it;” that we must “strive” or struggle “to enter in at the strait gate,” for that “many shall seek to enter in,” but that is not enough, they merely seek and therefore do not find; and further, that they who do not obtain everlasting life, “shall go into everlasting punishment” [Matt. vii. 14. Luke xiii. 24. Matt. xxv. 46.]…
[But many] cannot bear to think of it. They shrink from it as too terrible… [They say] we need not alarm ourselves,—that God is a merciful God… [These] Christians.. go on to deny the mysteries of the Gospel… [But] I beseech you, my brethren, and lay it to heart… as you will answer for having heard it at the last day [when you neglected to save your soul despites its warnings].”
–St. John Henry Newman (Sermon: Religion of the Day)
Sure some fears are good and some bad, but how can anyone with any amount of knowledge of The Way–who has a faith that can lead to a saving faith–not fear perishing into the eternal fire, if just one sin we lack true contrition for rejects Heaven for Hell? What is more concerning than that? But horribly, if God’s grace touches us and we do have a concern for a moment, people, from misguided love, do all they can to strip us of it, which is tragic!
Listen to what St. John Vianney says: “we lose the faith… [when] we do not fear Hell” (The Little Catechism, On Lust, Chpt. 8). Yes, the fear of Hell is the proof of faith, not the other way around. Do we have a balanced rational fear of Hell? Do we fear we can go, if we don’t seek Mercy and accept His grace to give us true contrition for all of our sins? Probably, not. Then what kind of faith do we really have? Is it a real faith: a faith that can gain a saving faith (a living faith) or is it a deceived faith and actually dead: not able to obtain a saving faith because we don’t even know we need one.
Oh, how many of us, who perhaps thought we had great faith because we are really trying to know, love and serve God, now we have proof that we are deceived, since we have no fear of going to Hell… no fear that God will send us there is we lack contrition for offending Him.
“I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed [called you from this life], has authority to cast into hell [if you die without His saving grace in your soul]. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” (Luke 12:5)
But fearing God and His just punishments has been removed from our lives. We are now all about mercy, no judgement. We don’t understand God, nor what is love anymore.
Of course, if we no longer sin and perfectly loved God–don’t offended Him anymore–that fear would be gone since it is our unrepentant sins that condemn us. But for the rest of us, who still sin, we must fear Hell, we can go. It will help keep on the straight and narrow path to Life–the path those who truly hate their sins walk on–or we will die because of our blinding pride.
So, now that God, from His great mercy, has enlightened us, please don’t pride ourselves and believe we are surely counted among the saved or we won’t hear and neglect to do what is needed to allow Christ to transform us and save us. Please know, pride make us blind and deaf.
Truly, can you read your soul? Of course not. Then please don’t presume you are saved. You simply don’t know if your contrition for all of your sins is true or not… and eternity is forever! This is nothing to take lightly. Therefore, let’s learn what the saints say is The Way, so we can follow them, because now is the time to “awake, O sleeper” (Ephesians 5:14). God wants you in Heaven.
Where is Our Understand of Our Faith?
Truly, the devil has deceived us so greatly, we don’t know our faith and that we need to spend our lives seeking Our Savior to save us… to give us much grace so we can gain a humble and contrite heart of true love for God and true contrition for all of our sins.
How many of us think all we need is to be baptized, and we are saved? Well sure, we need to be baptized to even become a Christian, but if we want to become a saved Christian–“united with Him” (Romans 6:5), a Christian that embraces God’s saving forgiving mercy upon their death–then every sin we commit after our baptism needs to be forgiven. And, again, how can we be forgiven of a single sin, if we don’t even hate it enough to work hard to stop it? We can’t.
Then there are others, who have been deceived into thinking we are “saving souls” if we can just get people to see how much Jesus loves them.. as if we are saved if we can see God’s love for us. Of course Jesus loves all of His children, and it is good for souls to know that, but knowing of unfathomable God’s love for us doesn’t force us to love Him and to have true sorrow for offending Him.
Sure, knowledge of God’s great love for us should move us into wanting to STOP OFFENDING HIM, but for most, since our hearts are so hard (selfish/lacking much grace), neither seeing God’s punishments nor seeing His love moves us into saying “I will not offend [Him] any more” (Job 34:31).
Rather seeing God’s love only moves us into wanting to take love from God–wanting His help in our daily lives or a free ticket out of Heaven--not wanting to stop our offences against Him–which proves the love we have for God is far from a TRUE love for Him. It proves we are greatly lacking true contrition for our sins (lacking a saving faith).
“Whoever says, ‘I have come to know him [love Him],’ but does not [strive with their whole heart to] obey his commandments [all His Word], is a liar, and in such a person the truth does not exist” (1 John 2:4).
Of course God wants to help us on earth and to obtain Heaven, but that only proves His love for us… NOT our love for Him. When we love someone, we do all we can to not hurt them. It is our desire to stop offending Him… “to STOP SINNING” (1 Corinthians 15:34)–which proves how much love we have for Him.
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments [the entire Word]” (John 14:15).
Are we even working hard to stop one sin? How much love for God do we really have? If we truly love Him, we are sincerely striving to stop ALL of our sins–to keep His Word perfectly–and our desire to obey would be proven to be true, because our sins would be progressively leaving. This is a heart that truly loves God and truly hates their sins. But we aren’t doing this.
Sadly, from being so deceived, we aren’t striving to perfectly love God, to become perfectly pure. Horribly, we pay so little attention to our sins. We are ok with being defiled and causing insurmountable pain to God’s Most Sacred Heart of Love, and from being so greatly deceived, we just don’t care.
“How often they rebelled against God… [and] grieved him” (Psalm 78:40).
Yet, we make all sorts of claims of love for God, but our actions–our lack of sincere effort to stop our sins, proves we are lying to ourselves and God. Truly, how can we claim, with any sincerity of heart, that we love God if we aren’t even working as hard as we can to perfectly surrender our will for God’s… to perfectly keep His Commandments… His Word… ALL of His Word? We can’t.
Oh, we have been greatly deceived. We think Mercy will forgive us no matter what we do. And sure God wants to forgive us, frankly He burns with desire to forgive us of our sins, which is why He came to earth, showed us The Way, gave us His Word and died to save us. But neither us nor anyone in the world can accept His forgiveness if we aren’t truly sorry for offending Him. This is the truth we must fully understand if we wish to grow into a saving faith and live.
Obtaining Salvation is Anything But Easy
Have we been led away from understanding how to obtain salvation and lost concern over our eternity, since we have been tricked into thinking there is an “easy” way to Eternal Life? Truly there isn’t.
“It is hard for the righteous to be saved” (1 Peter 4:18).
Sure, obtaining salvation is simple; all we need is true love of God and true contrition for our sins and then we embrace God’s forgiveness and are saved. But no prayers, no devotions, no sacraments… nothing will force us to love God and hate our sins. They are only a means to HELP us obtain Life. They don’t make us obtain it. Our free will must change from desiring our sins (rejecting God) into desiring God (embracing His mercy).
“Oh Christian soul… where are you going?.. so that you may gain salvation I have given you laws and Sacraments, helps and special graces [to assist you in getting there. Use them].”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret (The Golden Key to Heaven, Med. 1)
To change our will, which is so inclined to sin and now loves sin greatly, is VERY HARD to do. Only with much desire to change, much effort and willingness to suffer, with much grace (help) from God, is this possible. Truly, “the road is HARD that leads to Life” (Matthew 7:14). Believe!
Oh, how hard it is to truly hate the sins we have made part of our lives… that we habitually commit! We desire them so greatly. “Those habitually guilty of sin are their own worst enemies” (Tobit 12:10). We need much effort and grace from God to sincerely want to leave them, so we can come to truly hate those sins that have possessed us and made us anything but true Christians.
“If a person is at the moment of death [and still] possessed of a vicious habit, his soul will descend into hell [for not hating the sin and being attached to it and not God].”
–St. John Vianney (Sermons of the Cure d’Ars, Last Sunday After Pentecost)
Now this salvation we desire isn’t “hard” to obtain because God’s Way to Life is hard. Actually, with The Way is very easy. But what makes it horribly hard is that our will doesn’t want to follow God’s Way but our own. Therefore, it is our love of ourselves and not God that makes obtaining Salvation so very hard… and if we reject His grace (help), it makes it impossible.
But please know, the sacraments of God’s Church (God’s means of sending much grace) don’t force contrition upon our souls. So please don’t be deceived into thinking the sacrament of anointing is the “easy” way to Heaven and is going to save us after a life-time of not seeking Mercy to save us (not seeking Christ to open our eyes and change our hearts). Again, no sacrament forces us to love God and hate sin. They only help us, IF we sincerely want to leave our sins to love Our Lord.
And since practically all of humanity right now is deceived and not seeking Mercy to give us truly sorrowful hearts for all of our sins, the sacraments are doing little if anything to assist in moving us to Life; Tragic! To learn more please read the article, “Will Anointing of the Sick Forgiven Mortal Sin?”
Yet, many of us are deceived into thinking salvation is already won for us, and we no longer have to work hard and obey God and “run with perseverance the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1) to Life, because we think since The Word says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9).
Well, of course The Word is correct, but this is only true IF our words we declare and belief we profess are SINCERE. For, our words are meaningless if we “say” Christ is Lord, but we won’t even sincerely strive to follow or obey Him in our actions. What kind of fidelity to Christ would that be?
“One can be counted as a Christian and not be a Christian. This everyone knows.”
–St. Theophan the Recluse, (The Path to Salvation, Ch. 1)
True belief in Christ, which is what saves our souls from the eternal torment we deserve, is so much more, than just “saying” with our words we believe in Him, as explained later. But I tell you, if we have true faith in Christ, we have true contrition for our sins. We must repent to be saved.
“Repent, therefore, and be converted [leave sin/live The Word], that your sins may be wiped away” (1 Timothy 2:4).
Our Sins Have Blinded Us
The whole reason we are so deceived and don’t know how to accept God’s saving mercy is because we have been sinning and not repenting of them.
Sin has horrible consequences and one of them is the loss of wisdom. When we are suffering from a lack of wisdom, many, from our pride, are deceived into thinking we are still wise, which causes us to walk blindly to our doom and bring many others with us.
“They were led astray, for their wickedness [sin] blinded them” (Wisdom 2:21).
Yes, every sin we aren’t truly sorry we commit: the sins we won’t confess nor strive with all our hearts to never commit again have blinded us, and now we don’t know The Way to Heaven or that we are dying. We must awaken to This Truth.
Oh, there are so many of sins we just IGNORE and REPEAT–that we lack true sorrow for. We desperately need to seek Mercy to help us change our lives or we will perish forever. This is why the saints are warning us that, “Habitual sin binds down the mind [with its desire for sin], so that it cannot rise to uprightness [it can not gain a state of grace]” as St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, teaches us (Catena Aurea, 13:10-17).
Yes, our desire for sin and our lack of desire to love God (to not sin) prevents us from “uprightness [a state of grace]” and it renders us unable to “seek him with sincerity of heart” (Wisdom 1:1), since we don’t sincerely desire God and what is good, but we still desire sin and what is evil, which all comes from our lack of “fear of the Lord [the] hatred of evil” (Proverbs 8:13), as explained later.
“He who walks in uprightness [with a saving faith] fears the Lord” (Proverbs 14:2).
Therefore, please fear sinning against God (have fear of the Lord) and know that, everything we think, say or do that Christ or a saint wouldn’t do are great offences against The One we should be loving. And boy are there a lot of them. We have a lot to change. To learn more please read, “What is Fear of the Lord?”
“We cannot have the [saving] grace of God except through the fear of God because ‘the mercy of the Lord is from eternity and unto eternity upon those who [love Him enough to] fear [offending] Him.'”
–St. Bonaventure (discourse on Ps. 102:17)
Honestly, this is why we are rejecting God’s forgiveness and not united with Him living in His great peace. We aren’t truly sorry for sinning, since WE DON’T FEAR TO OFFEND HIM. We think nothing of offending Our Lord God the Almighty; we think it is no big deal. We could care less that God’s “heart was [is] grieved” (Genesis 6:6) because of our sinfulness. We greatly lack true love for God, and we are rejecting His grace from a lack of hatred for our sins.
Actually, to have TRUE love for God… TRUE sorrow for offending Him is much more than simply admitting our sins and being resolved to stop them (as explained later). But this is the essence of true contrition.
“A gracious God gives us the hope of forgiveness of guilt, if we repent with contrition [true sorrow] and set forth a firm intention to flee past sins… This is the essence of repentance.”
–St. Theophan the Recluse (The Spiritual Life, #36)
But if we won’t at least do this much, we are no where close to being TRULY contrite for our vast offences against Our Lord, and we are fixed in our sins rejecting Heaven for sin.
Therefore, please know, “there is a sin which is always ‘unto death’ (1 John 5:16):” as St. Mark the Ascetic teaches (“On Those Who Think that They are Made Righteous by Works”, Ch. 41), “the sin for which we do not repent [lack true sorrow for].”
So, you don’t need to try to figure out which sins are mortal (deadly) and which are not to be saved. Well, of course we want to avoid the mortal sins, since they greatly offend God and harm our neighbor and ourselves. They are the one’s that reject God’s forgiveness. But ANY SIN, even if it is venial (less serious), which we aren’t truly sorry we commit now becomes mortal: a sin which is always “unto death.”
“The smallest sin is enough to damn anyone… who does not repent.”
–Our Lord to St. Bridget (Revelations Bk 1, Ch. 32)
Yes, it is a grave sin to not be sorry for offending Our Beloved Lord with any sin. Truly, no soul is saved unless his sins–ALL of his sins–are forgiven. Please don’t be deceived.
“The Lord has given a redemption of repentance… [so that] ALL our sins may be cast off; and so that we may receive the seal of the Holy Spirit, and may thereby be made heirs of eternal life.”
–St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lecture 350 AD)
Therefore, we must strive with all of our heart to obtain true repentance for All of our sins, to grow in faith to come to truly hate our sins: become humble enough to admit our offences against God and do all we can to stop committing them (to no longer desire them).
Yes, we must believe in God enough to TRULY LOVE and DESIRE HIM (not any sin) if we are to receive His Spirit that saves, which we received at our baptism, back into our souls. For if we don’t, we “will either hate [the] one and love the other”(Matthew 6:24) and reject Life.
Truly, we can’t love and desire both God and sin. If we want to truly love God and have Eternal Life, we MUST truly hate ALL evil. Or we will “say” we love God and are sorry for sinning with our words, but in our hearts, which God can clearly see, we will still really hate Him (still desire sin).
This is what we need to be saved. But please fully understand, we aren’t born with this true love and true contrition in our hearts. We need to spend our lives seeking Our Savior to help us convert and grow in faith–to “grow into salvation [into a saving faith]” (1 Peter 2:2)–so we can come to TRULY hate and repent of ALL our sins we have spent our life time loving. Then we can obtain true love for God and true sorrow for our sins, which is a heart that can ACCEPT God’s gift–His forgiveness He agonized on the cross to give us for the salvation of our souls.
Our “love [must] be genuine; [we must] hate what is evil [all sin]” (Romans 12:9).
So, to not be deceived and die from any one of our unrepentant sins, like the saints have been warning us is occurring, please honestly ask ourselves, what sins won’t we even admit (conceal) nor work hard to leave (won’t forsake)? Oh, there are just so many. But any ONE of them will reject Heaven for Hell. We greatly need to seek Mercy to help us change. We have been terribly deceived, and we are dying.
We Are Saved by Faith–Obedience–Trust in Christ (The Word)
Did you know The Word of God is our directions to Life? Yes, The Bible is the written Word of God that instructs us with what we need to change and do so God’s grace can make our hearts truly humble and contrite for the salvation of our souls… so we can truly love and praise God and not sin. So when we follow Christ, do His will, serve Him, obey His commands, He leads us to Life.
Anything Christ wouldn’t do, that isn’t His will, that doesn’t serve Him, that isn’t obeying His command in which we or anyone pays no attention to or that we only put a half-hearted effort into amending, rejects God and His Way to Heaven to remain in those sins.
“The doers [obeyers] of the Law [are those] who will be justified [saved]” (Romans 2:13).
Therefore, to receive grace from God to grow in faith to obtain true contrition for offending Him–a saving faith–is done by striving to follow and obey His Will… His Word… truly striving to obey His Word. It is when we little by little leave our sins to love God.
So, we are saved by following Christ, doing His will, serving Him… yes, we are saved by obedience to Jesus–Our Savior. That is true faith in Him.. not “saying” we believe in Him, but yet not doing what He commands of us, but saying we believe and doing what He says is The Way.
“He became the source of eternal salvation for all who OBEY HIM” (Hebrews 5:9).
Please know, we are not supposed to obey the “law” thinking we are saved by obedience to a law. No. “A man is not justified by observance of the law” (Galatians 2:16).
We aren’t obeying just a “law”, from the fear of our “Disciplinarian” (Galatians 3:24-25) punishing us… well, in the beginning of our conversion towards Life… yes, we will obey out of fear of punishment (servile fear), because we lack the grace to do any better.
It takes much grace from God to think selflessly and be willing to do what it takes to leave our sins–to obey God–from only being concerned with the fact that our sins offend God (filial fear). Having the fear Our Lord will say to us, “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire” (Matthew 51:41), since we never accepted His grace to grow to truly love Him is our initial motivation to change.
Then with each sin we reject and virtue we choose (good we choose), we obtain more grace. And one step at a time, from rejecting evil to love, how Christ loves us, we grow in faith into a saving faith. We will grow into a faith that doesn’t just want to run from sin because we know if we are complacent with any sin, we don’t truly hate it and are choosing that sin over God, but we must grow in faith to be willing to leave our sins, so we can LOVE GOD (not offend Him). That must be the intention of our hearts if we love God above ourselves.
Therefore to be saved, we must GROW IN FAITH to obey the “law” because we desire to perfectly love Our Lord… knowing each time we sin, we aren’t loving Him, but offending Him. Yes, to grow into salvation, we must never want to offend God, but burn with desire to LOVE Him (filial fear).
Our self-concern, wanting to stop sinning in order to be saved (to benefit ourselves), must leave or at least become less than our desire to leave sin to love God/to not offend Him, if we are to have a contrition that saves. We must love God more than ourselves or we will reject Him for self-love (pride).
“For those who desire Eternal Life, a pure love… is necessary, for it is not enough for eternal life to fly sin [to leave sin] from fear of punishment [servile fear/attrition], or to embrace virtue [gain qualities of Christ] from the motive of one’s own advantage [to experience God’s love/to feel like we are good people (to build up our pride)/mercenary love].
Sin should be abandoned because it is displeasing to Me, and virtue should be loved for My sake [to LOVE GOD/filial fear/true contrition].”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna, (A Treatise of Discretion)
Again, we aren’t obeying just a “law”, we are obeying Christ, who is The Law, Our Savior–“The Word [who] became flesh” (John 1:14)… not just some “rules” from fear if we don’t obey we will perish. No, we are obeying Christ since, The Law is Christ… Our Savior.
Therefore, we seek Christ’s help to guide us to know right from wrong (learn what to do and not do) as we seek to live the Law of Love, from having FAITH in God’s Word (Jesus), knowing that by persevering in striving for perfect obedience to God–striving to perfectly follow His Word (our directions to Life)– that He can save us. We trust that Jesus can change our hearts, which have spent our lives:
- Loving ourselves over Him (doing what we want and not what God wants),
- Loving our sins instead of loving Him (habitually committing sin without seeking Mercy for strength to reject them nor working hard to change from them), and from
- Loving and desiring the world’s pleasures for happiness–our idols—instead of finding our happiness in loving Him (seeking out things of the world–anything that isn’t God or His will–to fill our desire for self-love)…
…into hearts of true hatred for our will, for sin and for our idols (which are really all sins), so we can desire Him and His will alone for the salvation of our souls.
“Through his [man’s] discernment of good and evil, he may be able to direct his own will to the knowledge of God and to obedience to His commands; and [then]… is able to attain even to that grace by witch we are reborn in Christ [is able to obtain enough grace to begin to grow in faith towards Life]; and thus he can… attain to the grace of salvation [can grow into a saving faith].”
–St. Prosper of Aquitaine (Letter to Augustine of Hippo)
Therefore, when we have faith in Christ, we seek Jesus to teach us The Way (right from wrong) and allow Jesus to change our hearts from our wicked wayssa through striving for perfect obedience to Him. Then, we will obtain enough grace to have true love for God and true hatred for our sins – a saving faith- which can embrace His saving forgiving mercy He died to give us.
Yes, this is true faith in Jesus… not all of the other lies that are preached… and certainly not believing Christ can forgive us if we just “say” we believe in Him or if we just “say ” we are sorry for our sins when we still lack true contrition for them in our hearts. Those lies are what is damning us.
But rather true faith is believing and trusting that Christ can, at least at the hour of our death, give us a saving faith/true sorrow IF we become sincerely resolved to sin no more: work hard to hate our sins, amend our lives and follow Christ (live His Word, do His will, serve Him and become like Him)–and of course, persist in seeking His perfection until our very last breath of life. For “the one who perseveres to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13). This is what we hope for; this is how the saints obtained Heaven and what is explained in this article.
“The gospel is the power of God leading everyone who believes in it [enough to live it] to salvation” (Romans 1:16).
Yes, those who are saved have “purified your souls by your obedience to the truth [Christ/The Word]” (1 Peter 1:22). This is the true faith. It is our faith in Christ, not only believing that He is Lord, who died to give us forgiveness of our sins, but believing that–living His Word–saves: changes our hearts into hearts of TRUE contrition/true love for Him, so we can accept and keep the forgiveness He suffered so greatly for us to have. Praise God!
“If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments [the entire Word]” (Matthew 19:17).
If we follow another lukewarm doctrine and don’t follow The True Way that the saints traveled to Heaven, we will die. Please don’t be deceived. “There are some who are confusing you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ” (Galatians 1:7). Don’t follow them. God wants you in Heaven.
Rejecting God for Sin
If we want to know what sins we are rejecting Heaven for Hell, the sins we don’t confess nor work hard to amend, then we need to come to see them so we can confess them and work towards leaving them. If we continue to hide or ignore them, we will die.
So, let’s honestly look into what we think, say or do and what we should have thought, said or did, but didn’t, to see how have we failed God and didn’t love Him or others? What commands of God do we ignore? Yes, there are a lost of them, but we must start somewhere.
Do we even “observe the sabbath day [by resting and going to Church on Sunday] as the Lord, your God, commanded you” (Deuteronomy 5:12) and as Christ has requested of us to “do this [breaking the Bread/the last supper] in remembrance of Me” (1 Corinthians 11:24), in which the true disciples have been doing from the beginning of Christianity? Probably not, since most Christians don’t actually attend Church weekly anymore and have made it a day about family and fun, not about God.
“On the first day of the week [Sunday, the new sabbath]… we gathered to break bread [celebrate Mass/the last supper]” (Acts 20:7).
What grace from God (help to obtain Life) we are rejecting from omitting The Mass (Church) from our lives!
But not only is that killing us, neglecting this law or any law of love makes us deserving of death. Please don’t be deceived.
“Neglect of God’s law [any law] brings inescapable punishment for the soul and that unquenchable fire.”
–St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church, (On Marriage and Family Life, SVS pg. 89)
But of course, we are rejecting much more than just not going to Church. Tragically, we can’t see much of The Word we aren’t obeying, since we are willingly concealing many of our sins and have been deceived into thinking we hardly sin. Perhaps we don’t think we do this… but we do. We just don’t recognize it.
To not stay blind to our sins we have grown accustomed to and can no longer see, a good way to visualize our sins is to ask someone else to describe our sins or our sinful personality traits for many can’t see them ourselves? They do exist. Pretending we aren’t sinners won’t save us. “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves” (1 John 1:8).
But I tell you, this refusal to see our sinfulness has many consequences. It has blinded us to The Way and deceived us into believing we are so “good” and surely saved. But it has also resulted in us only being able to visualize just a small hand full of our offences against God making it impossible to truly repent. Because we can’t repent for what we refuse to see.
Frankly, that is one of the main reasons for this article and web-site: to enlighten us to the vast sins we have been darkened from seeing, so we can repent.
“Poor blind persons, who imagine that they can see clearly and distinctly, and all the time their eyes are closed by sin. In spite of all the grace which God in His goodness gives them, they intend to go to perdition [hell].”
–St. John Vianney (Sermons of the Cure of Ars, Third Sunday in Lent – Indulgences)
But if we are humble enough to have any honestly within us, we should easily recognize how we are not truly resolved to leave many of our trespasses, since we are doing little, to nothing at all, to stop so many of them. Therefore, EACH ONE is “deadly.” Yes, deadly… a sin we are rejecting Eternal Life to remain in. We must “turn away from evil” (Proverbs 3:37) or we prove clearly we lack true sorrow for offending God.
Therefore, please know, it doesn’t matter how much we grow in our faith, if we still cling to ONE sin, at the moment of our death, we reject everything for that sin. We must come to understand this.
So, let’s look humbly and honestly into ourselves and ask, “What resolution did we have today to amend even one sin?” Was there anything? But yet, we are far from perfect saints. So, why are we ignoring everything that is keeping us from becoming a saint, which are of course our offences against God.. Yes, anything that a saint wouldn’t do… anything that keeps us from becoming a saint is a sin, since God didn’t call us to be sinners; we are “called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2)?
Well, then why are we ignoring what is preventing us from becoming saints, because we have been deceived into believing they don’t matter or that they are not even sins.
Sadly, we have been deceived and are complacent with many of our sins, and we are far from truly hating them… far from true repentance. Oh, how distant are we from being sincerely resolved to leave ALL of our sins? Yet, this is what we need to Live. This is what we need to seek Mercy to give us. Without a true resolution to leave EVERY offence against God–everything that keeps us from becoming saints– we still love sin.
I know, many of us don’t really know how to truly love God… what a saint is… or how to truly follow Christ to get there. But we should know this, law of love, that truly love’s God, can make us saints and we obey when we follow Christ to Heaven, is part of our innate understanding–“what the law requires is written in their hearts” (Romans 2:15)–but if we are so engrossed in the world, we have darkened much of that law from the forefront of our consciences. Therefore, we have much to learn and change so we can come to truly hate our sins and embrace God’s mercy to Live. To learn more please read, “How to Become a Saint.”
However, there are some of us who believe we are working to leave our sins–to become saints. But much of the time what we think and what is reality are not the same. But to not live deceived and die, please ask ourselves, what are we really doing to see we stop our sins? Is it enough? Are we actually leaving our sins and becoming true self-sacrificing saints?
If not. Then how much do we really hate our sins if we “say” we are trying to leave them but don’t? Truly, lying to ourselves won’t save us. God knows the truth in our hearts. Therefore, what kind of contrition do we really have if after all of our “efforts” to amend our ways, we are remaining in our sins? Oh, no wonder, as St. Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, in his Summa Theologica (I q.23, art.8), teaches us “those who are saved are in the minority.”
Tragically, the majority have been deceived into believing that God’s unfathomable mercy will save us, so we hardly try to stop offending God. When in reality, we are actually REJECTING His mercy, since our love for Him is so little that we still prefer to stay in our sins rather than admit them and work hard to stop so many of them.
“Many, I tell you, will attempt to enter [Heaven] but will not be strong enough [for we lack true love for God and true contrition for our sins… for our sins have weighed us down]” (Luke 13:23-24).
Therefore, please understand if we don’t seek Christ correctly to help us grow in faith (to sincerely hate our sins) and change during our lives, to come to TRUE repentance for ALL of our offences before our death, any one of those sins we don’t truly hate will reject God’s forgiveness and damn us forever. Please don’t be deceived. Eternity is forever!
We must learn how to let go of our sins, so we can truly love God.
“The first degree of knowledge [of our sinfulness/humility] brings about repentance–that is, sorrow–changing laughter into lamentation [loosing our false happiness (founded upon pride from thinking we are so “good”) and crying over our offences against God]…
In its second degree knowledge brings about amendment [a desire to stop what is harming us, others and God], and as a result you no longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but you curb gluttony, throttle lust, put down pride and make the body that formerly served sin into a servant of holiness.
Repentance without amendment gains nothing…
–St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church (Sermon on Christmas Eve)
Hopefully, we can now understand, at least a little bit, why there are so “few” who are saved? “Many are invited but FEW are chosen” (Matthew 22:14), because few of us love God enough to sincerely want to stop offending Him. Yes, we, who aren’t really trying to live the faith and even those who do so many great “works” for God, who declare we love Him, are rejecting His forgiveness because we haven’t humbly sought Him to help us grow into true love for Him—true contrition for our sins. This is tragic!
I tell you, it doesn’t matter how much “good” we do… or if we think we are doing God’s will… “God will smite the head… of those who persist in their sins” (Psalm 68:21). We must humble ourselves. “There is no partiality with God” (Romans 2:11). We all have sinned. You MUST “repent [truly repent] and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins [or you won’t be saved]” (Acts 2:38). Believe!
This is why we need Jesus to save us. We need Him to send us much grace (help) to:
- bring to light what we have hidden in the dark (which is a huge problem), so we can see and confess our sins, and to
- give us hearts that are truly leaving all of our sins to Love Him.
Then we can come to true hatred and true contrition for our sins, so to embrace His saving forgiving mercy for the salvation for our souls. And this web-site is here to help us do just that.
“Repent, therefore, and be converted [hate/leave the sin], that your sins may be wiped away”(Acts 3:19).
No wonder so few are saved. How many laws of God do we completely ignore… that we prove we are far from truly hating them. Each one is deadly! We need to become greatly concerned about our Eternal Life, and “work out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12), as we have been commanded to do.
Oh, salvation is much harder to obtain than we ever thought. Please don’t be deceived. Yes, this is true, despite what any non-sanctified person wants to try to convince us, so we continue to remain unconcerned with our eternity and die. Truly “scarcely anyone is saved.” WE MUST CHANGE!
Please know, St. Alphonsus doesn’t want us to despair; God will save us, but only, IF we sincerely with our whole heart by turning to Him to help us see, confess and amend our sins, as explained in this article. “Turn to Me and be saved” the prophet Isaiah (45:22) tell us.
Oh, St. Alphonsus is trying to get us to “wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death” (Revelations 3:2) before it is too late, so we can come to understand what is at stake if we don’t come to see our errors and modify our lives.
The saints, in their vast wisdom, are telling us our belief in Christ simply isn’t true… it isn’t enough to accept His forgiving saving mercy, and we are damning our souls. Truly, we must seek to live the entire Word, obey all of it, if we are to grow in faith to ever truly hate sin and truly love God: have a contrition for our sins that can accept His saving forgiving mercy.
“He became the source of eternal salvation for all who OBEY Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
As Prophesied… Even the Seemingly “Holiest” People are Lost
Yes, we have allowed the devil to rob us of The Light and now we don’t know The Way to Heaven. Even the seemingly “holiest” of people don’t know the most basic foundation of what we need to be saved–the need to truly love God and truly hate evil… to have true contrition for our sins.
From being so deceived, what is most important in life is not even a concern. We can’t see correctly at all. We see bad as good and good as bad. Yet, our pride has convinced us we can see. Truly, it is terrifying what the devil has done. Plus, practically everything Our Lord has taught us to do so to obtain true love for Him–true contrition for every sin–through His Word and His saints is lost too.
Horribly, the wisdom of the saints has banished from our understanding, and we are in total spiritual darkness with nobody to guide us to Life. Yes, we are in great darkness. What has been prophesied, has come true.
“Prepare to live three days [a short period of time] in total darkness. These three days [when nobody knows The Way] are very close… And in these days they [we] will remain as dead [without saving grace… not growing towards Life] without eating or drinking [without receiving grace from the Body and Blood of Christ].
Then the light [of true knowledge] will return. But many will be the men who will not see it anymore [still won’t be able to see or understand The Way].”
–St. Padrie Pio (Letter to Superior 1959)
The three days of darkness (a short span of time considering the span of the world) St. Padre Pio, other saints and The Word speaks about (as addressed later) has arrived.
Yes tragically, we are in the dark and don’t understand The Way to Heaven, like the saints have warned us, since we don’t REALLY know we must, at least, be willing to confess our sins and work hard hard to stop all of them if we are to have a contrition that can accept God’s saving forgiveness.
“Among the penitent’s acts [the person confessing their sins] contrition occupies FIRST PLACE [since it is needed for salvation and forgiveness]. Contrition is sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the RESOLUTION NOT TO SIN AGAIN.”
–Pope St. John Paul II (CCC #1451)
For if we REALLY understood this, we wouldn’t be ignoring scores of our sins, thinking we are just “sinners” brushing off our offences. We wouldn’t be saying we are sorry with our words, yet doing nothing in our actions to amend them, when God’s mercy–all the strength in the world–is waiting to help. We would be seeking His help and banishing our sins from our lives. But we aren’t doing this.
Horribly, from the devil priding us so greatly, we are now so “darkened in understanding” (Ephesians 4:18), who REALLY understands that without having true sorrow, for literally every offence we have ever committed against God, we are choosing sin–Hell–over God for eternity? Is there anyone?
Well, I mean sure many of us know we need to be truly sorrow to be forgiven. That is part of our innate understanding. We haven’t all blocked this reality from our conscience. But if we REALLY knew, we were choosing “Hades, being in torment [for eternity]” (Luke 16:23), wouldn’t we be running to God… sincerely seeking Mercy DAILY to help us truly hate the sins that we have spent our life time justifying or ignoring. But we aren’t.
Sadly, we might “say” we hate our sins, but we aren’t truly leaving them… not all of them. So many sins we just ignore or defend them as if they are good. We are committing bounds of the same offences against God, day in and day out, with little to no change at all… proving our hatred for our sins is far from true and our knowledge of The Way far from being in the forefront of our conscience.
Tragically, for most of our sins, we are without even the smallest thought or effort towards amending. We are far from having a true desire–a burning passion—“a fire of the spirit which in its zeal penetrates our whole being [to never offend God again]” as St. Theopahn the Recluse teaches in his book “The Path to Salvation” (Ch. 1). Oh, we are far from having a true hatred for offending God! We still love sin and have been blinded from even caring that we are perishing because of them.
Oh, we might in our “thoughts” want to stop our sins, but if our desire is outside of thought alone, we would have actions. But our desire to change simply hasn’t proven to be true or if we are changing, it is all for the wrongs reasons–to benefit ourselves or others–NOT TO LOVE GOD: to stop offending Him, as is explained later.
So please know, many faiths tell us we need to repent to be saved, but they have been deceived into believing just “saying” we are sorry or asking for forgiveness is enough. But I tell you, our words are MEANINGLESS if our actions don’t live the hatred for sin—the sorrow–we claim we have.
We can do endless good works, pray the most pious prayers and have a great appearance of being “holy”, thinking we are “following” Christ, but our prayers and works will merit us NOTHING in the end if we are not living all the facets of true contrition (as explained later) and if we aren’t truly striving to turn from our sinful ways.
“[Only if they] turn from their wicked [sinful] ways, then I [God] will hear [their cries for mercy] from heaven, and will forgive their sin” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
So this blatant disregard for our sins, doesn’t only reject God’s forgiveness, it is what is ruining our lives and causing us distress when things don’t go as we desire. We must change.
Please know, it doesn’t matter how we acquired our sinful behaviors, if we aren’t daily making resolutions (creating a real plan to stop the sin), working hard to change, so to become a perfect self-sacrificing saint and seeking Mercy for strength to do it… with our efforts proving to be true by changing, we don’t really hate those sins and are choosing those sins instead of God (rejecting God for sin).
Yes, we have been deceived; our repentance is far from true? We aren’t concerned about our salvation nor turning from our wicked ways to love God, so we can accept His forgiveness; we aren’t becoming saints. We aren’t TRULY repenting for bounds of our sins; yet not repenting for just ONE damns.
“A great number of Christian adults are damned… those who are damned are damned by their own [unrepentant] malice.”
–St. Leonard of Port Maurice (Homily on the Fewness of the Saved)
This “ignorance [of one’s faith] arises from their indifference concerning their salvation” as St. Charles Borromeo teaches us. We must gain concern for our salvation since from being so deceived, we are blindly walking to our doom. Yet, God has warned us that we were going to lose the light of understanding. “The light will be among you only a little while [and then darkness will fall upon the earth].” But we weren’t alert looking to see that we didn’t fall into the evil one’s trap–so that “darkness may not overcome you. [For] whoever walks in the dark does not know where he is going” (John 12:35), and now we are lost… loving bounds of sins. God have mercy on us.
What is Our Faith Doing?
After all of our years of attending church and all of the grace God has sent us, is our faith really saving us: humbling us… causing us to admit and truly hate our sins… are we losing our desire for them, so we can truly love God? Or is it making us more proud, self-righteous and blind? I know, that is a hard truth to accept, especially if we feel close to God (as explained later), but hopefully we can humble ourselves to see we are dying and need Our Savior to save us (to help change us).
To begin to see our reality let’s first start with a basic sins. Are we still seeking praise, complements and attention from our friends, family and others, and we lose our peace when we don’t get it? Is that still our source of happiness (our idol)? Yes, seeking self-glory is a huge problem. Frankly, it is much more dynamic than just those few issues. But most are so blind to to the fact we desire self-glorification, we don’t even see ourselves doing this.
“Alas, my soul! We are so blind! The thing we cherish most among ourselves is honor and worldly praise and glory, and the Heavenly Father cherishes ONLY those who despise and humble themselves before men [because of our sinfulness. But we live to build ourselves up… we don’t know The Way to Heaven]”
–St. Anthony Many Claret teaches in his book “The Golden Key to Heaven” (Med 17).
Oh, we have so many deceptions within us!
Here is another sin we ignore. Are we still unable to “deal patiently with the ignorant and erring” (Hebrews 5:2) and continue to become frustrated when things don’t go well? Perhaps we are even troubled by something so slight… like maybe when someone pulls their car out in front of ours when we are driving?
What kind of peace and patience do we have after a life time of being “Christian”? Oh, what little grace we possess, because we have REJECTED GOD AND HIS GRACE FOR SIN. Really, there are endless proofs we are rejecting God for sin. We just have to open our eyes to see all of the vast sins we aren’t striving to leave.
I tell you, if it isn’t patience we continue to lack, it is something else, since we have not humbly, correctly sought Christ, “who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29), who not only removes our original sin but our actual sins too…. Yes, Christ truly removes our desires for our sins, if we seek Him properly to take them away.
Now, that doesn’t mean if some of our sins are leaving we are living the faith correctly. By nature, some sins will just fade away if our temptations or hormones/health changes, or if someone is interceding for us (praying to God for us). But if we aren’t actively seeking Christ to take away our sins and working hard to leave them, so we can stop offending Him with all of our sins, our faith is dead. Yes, dead.
Oh, how many souls go to church dead thinking we are growing in holiness, when we are only growing in more blinding pride… deceiving ourselves into believing the more rightious things we do, the holier we become. But for most, that just isn’t so. Our intentions for attending religious things is far from pure (to love God). Some go to church to have friends, some to experience God’s love and peace… others go so God can help to make our lives better. But sadly, we don’t go to seek His help to STOP OFFENDING HIM, so we can love Him.
And sure we might experience some of God’s love and peace for a moment, since He tries to help us even when we most grievously offend Him, hoping we will see His love and begin to see our need to change. Yet, God clearly tells us how to remain in His love, so His peace can constantly be with us. “If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love” (John 15:9), which, again is why we aren’t constantly in God’s peace; we don’t obey Him..
Really Hate Your Sins… then Become a Saint — a REAL SAINT
I tell you, if we really hated our sins–no longer desired them and were truly sorry we committed them–our desire to love God and not offend Him would be proven true… we would little by little be leaving our sins and growing into saints. Yes, saints… not just into a better version of who we are. We “are called to be saints” (1 Corinthians 1:2).
But who is becoming an actual saint? This isn’t a calling for someone else, but for YOU. Truly, God didn’t come and die to teach you how to stay a sinner. No. He came to teach you how to become a perfect saint. “The Son of God became man so that man might become [like] God” (Saint Athanasius, CCC 460).
Therefore, is God’s goal for us our goal? Are we really following Christ and becoming saints, traveling through the “gate [which] is narrow and the road [which] is hard that leads to life” (Matthew 7:13)?
“In truth it [The Way] is so very narrow, much narrower than you think… He [Jesus] teaches us that the soul that will enter in by the gate of Christ, which is the BEGINNING of the road, must first of all constrain itself [from sin], and detach the will from things of time and sense [all that pull our hearts from loving God to even begin to obtain a love and contrition that saves].”
–St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church (The Second Night of the Spirit, Ch. 7)
Sure some may “say” we are wanting to become saints, but in reality, after a life time of being a Christian, we are FAR from being true self-sacrificing perfect saints, who live their lives fleeing from their sins like they are poison, who loves the cross (all of their life problems) knowing God is using them to help change, save and purify them, and who happily deny themselves of all sorts of worldly pleasures so to detach from the world (lose our idols: all we desire for happiness that isn’t God or His will) and who suffer/sacrifice for the salvation of souls (lives a life of penance) like Christ and His true saints have done before us, and is explained later. No, we are “saints” who dress, act and live just like the rest of the world, which of course is far from a true self-sacrificing perfect saint.
We go to church, pray and do good works, if we are even doing that, perhaps growing in those. But sadly, at the same time, we are growing in blinding pride… not growing into the true virtues of Christ. All of those pious things we do sadly are not moving us into greater hatred for our sins, nor are they helping us gain a greater love of the cross, nor are they giving us greater humble hearts that seek to suffer for the salvation of souls–the way Christ loved us.
No. We aren’t really growing in faith to truly become like Christ… to really follow Him, cross and all. We love the world and its pleasures, which proves that our faith is very ill: riddled in unrepentant sin. We might be growing in greater knowledge of the faith (which is distorted because of our unrepentant sins), and in prayers and works, but again, what is killing us is, is that we are growing in greater self-righteous pride. And have been lulled to sleep and no longer have concern for our salvation.
We want the resurrection to Life, without working to obtain contrition for our sins through the cross. The example Christ gave us and the one that the saints followed we don’t really want.
“The elect [those who obtain Heaven], who are willing to be made conformable to the crucified Christ by carrying their cross are few in number.”
–St. Louis De Montfort, (The Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Part II, #14)
Yes, we have been deceived. We don’t want the cross of Christ. We don’t know The Way to Heaven. Yet, “the Lord’s passion depicts for us our present life of trial—shows how we MUST suffer and be afflicted [to lose our desire for sin and the world] and finally die [die to sin–truly hate it–to be saved].” as St. Augustine teaches in his discourse on the psalms.
But tragically, we hate the transforming cross and do all we can to make our lives cross free. We live for the pleasure, not for Christ by Way of the Cross. Oh, we are far from knowing The Way… far from pursuing true contrition for our life time of sins, so we can truly love God. We are far from being saved.
“For the message about the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Love our suffering… run from the world’s pleasures to the cross… Oh, that is truly foolishness, for those who don’t have ears that can hear. But hopefully no we can hear and will change.
But from falling into the devils schemes, we have spent our lives not understanding The Word or The Way the saints obtained Heaven.
Tragically, we actually have such a great lack of love for God and contrition for our sins, we aren’t even working to stop the most basic of offences: our impurity, lust, anger, lack of trust (our worries), laziness, impatience, vanity, gluttony, envy, pride… and the endless other crimes we commit against God. We are complacent with much of our sinfulness. Yet, don’t forget, being complacent with just ONE sin kills.
We greatly need Jesus to save us.
Oh, maybe, we confess some of them, if we are even willing to see them, but then we go right back to the sin at next opportunity. That isn’t true repentance.
“He is a scoffer [someone who mocks the faith], not a penitent [not someone sorry for his sins], who [easily] commits what he repented of. Nor is he cleansed [forgiven] who weeps for his sins, yet does not forsake them [leave them].”
— St. Isadore of Seville, Doctor of the Church (De Summo Beno ii)
Yet, from being greatly deceived, we think we are saved. However, the proof we aren’t is clearly before us.
We Can’t Repent for What We Refuse to See
Oh, how hard it is to truly hate sin–so we can come to true repentance–since we have been deceived so greatly that we have grown accustomed to many of our offences against God and have made them an acceptable part of our lives.
“Ah, dear Lord, what blindness! oh, ugly sin of hypocrisy which leads souls to hell… Unfortunately, such a large body of Christians do not know themselves [their sinfulness] and do not even try to know themselves. They follow routines and habits [making sin part of their lives], and they do not want to see reason. They are blind, and they move along in their blindness.”
–St. John Vianney (Sermons of the Cure d Ars)
Hopefully, now we can see reason and won’t remain totally blind. For, even though we are greatly under the spell of the evil one, since we have fallen into “his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:11), I’m sure many of us can see some of the sins that we don’t truly hate, because we can recognize we aren’t sincerely resolved to stop them. Those are of course deadly… therefore, we need to seek Mercy to give us a real hatred for them so we can work hard to banish them from our lives, so we can love God and not offend Him.
But truly, I tell you, on top of the sins we can see, we have many many sins we refuse to even acknowledge. Unless we have received a special grace from God or have toiled and toiled away seeking knowledge of the truth about ourselves, we simply can’t correctly see. Please have this much humility to accept this truth. We look at ourselves with distorted glasses.
It takes much grace and time, for most, to uncover the truth about ourselves–our sinfulness–so to gain humility, since our pride has made us into someone we aren’t. For most the knowledge of our sinfulness, doesn’t move us to Life, but into greater self-pity and depression, since our pride wants to be who we aren’t, as explained later.
But to grow into a saving humility from knowledge of our sinfulness, OUR PRIDE MUST BE CRUSHED. Truly, until we come to realize how deceived, lost, blind and wretched we really are, or we simply won’t be able to see, even if we want to. Our pride will blinded us.
“How greatly man deceives himself.”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Siena, (Treatise on Discretion)
Now, please don’t be deceived; to be saved we don’t have to come to see all of our sins. Frankly, that isn’t possible; only God knows that. But we absolutely must come to truly hate every last one of them. We must truly hate to offend God (truly love Him). But I tell you, we can’t hate a single sin that we refuse to even admit or neglect to see it as something to be concerned about.
And boy do we refuse to acknowledge bounds of sins and tolerate many others as if they are nothing wrong. Yes, we ignore many sins or justify them away as acceptable. But I tell you, no matter how much “good” we do, God will hold that against us, and it will cause us to “suffer intensely, unless they [we] repent… [for He will] will repay each of you according to [what you have done]” (Revelation 2:18-29).
Therefore, please know each sin we conceal–because we won’t admit it is sinful–since we have justified it as good (see bad as good), whether we have committed the sin or not, proves our lack of hatred for sin and rejects God (salvation) for evil (damnation). Again, this is because it is a “deadly sin” (1 John 5:16) to not “hate what is evil [sin] (Romans 12:9).
“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).
Oh, it is a great sin to darken ourselves from the Light by accepting evil as good. We can never confess or repent of a single sin, in which we are declaring it to be good. This is a huge problem. What a rejection of Love!
“The light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to light” (John 3:19).
But most sadly, we do this. We prefer darkness to light and call what is evil good all of the time. But hopefully, after reading this article, God can “open their eyes that they may turn from darkness [sin] to light [virtue] and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance [in Heaven]’ (Acts 26:17-18).
Typical Chronic Failure to be a Christian
Let’s look into a typical example of when we prefer darkness to light and call evil good. For example: How many of us feel we have the right to treat others badly if they have done us wrong? But I tell you, there is never a time when it is justifiable to do wrong to another. “Do not return evil for evil, or insult for insult; but, on the contrary, [return] a blessing” (1 Peter 3:6).
No matter what someone does to us, we can NEVER justify it as acceptable to do wrong to them: to hate another… to want another to pay for what they have done (hurt their reputation, finances, or person), or to want to do to them what they did to us (to seek revenge)… It is never acceptable to become angry at, to reject, to hold grudges, to be cold towards or to ignore another when they have offend us; nor is it appropriate to gossip or slander anyone no matter what they have done. It is not okay to to yell at (disrespect) another, to be rude, impatient or non-understanding towards another’s imperfections… among all of the other un-kind things we do to others. God calls us to bless others, not to harm them.
“Bless [do good to] those who persecute [you], bless and do not curse [do not do wrong to] them” (Romans 12:14).
Those above sins are horrible, but we commit them and continue in them, much of the time even pretending like they are good/justified. We are preferring darkness to light and are declaring evil as good, and if we don’t repent and neglect to become resolved to stop any one of those sins, each one will reject God’s forgiving saving mercy from our lack of contrition for that sin.
Therefore, to not be deceived and die from our unrepentant sins, please ask ourselves, who won’t we properly love because of what they have done to us? Are we holding on to the hurt they have given us and simply won’t forgive them? If we won’t stop focusing on our offender’s sins, and be willing to at least admit that our wrongful reactions towards them are quite sinful, then we will never obtain true contrition for those sins.
Truly, “It will be EASY for you to accept a harsh or disrespectful word [if you are humble and living the faith]” as St. Maximilian Kolbe teaches in his spiritual writings (#969). Where is our faith? Are we understanding and sympathetic towards those who are treating us poorly, who we see lacking grace. Or are we angry, harsh or disrespectful in return. Or are we even worse, which is what often happens?
Yes, if someone does something wrong to us, much of the time, we want to do something even worse to them. Horrible, but true!
When someone is or appears to be sinning towards us, we are far from loving them in our thoughts, words and/or actions. We say, “You disrespected me; well in return, I will destroy your character, lie about the situation to make it seem worse, and even banish you from my life.” Okay, perhaps we aren’t a person who responds with that much self-love and hate towards another’s word that we find disrespectful. But what do we do when we are wronged, whether it is just a word that offends us or even if we are greatly harmed by another? Have we even payed attention to how we respond to life’s problems and how we are treating others?
Are we acting like a true Christian and rejoicing in the cross, praying for our offender in wonderful peace (trusting and loving the cross), not even considering ourselves and the burden we have to carry… just seeing their brokenness and wanting to help? No, we don’t do this. But yet, this is what Christians should be doing… being self-less, focusing on loving others and saving souls… being an example of a true Christian.
“I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake [so grace may be sent to help you convert]” (Colossians 1:24).
At the very least, we ignore those who are disrespectful towards us, and we neglect to truly help and pray for them. And from there, our sin increases to perhaps thinking badly about our offender (to put them down and build ourselves up) and/or maybe we have self-pity towards ourselves for having a cross because of them, since we don’t really want the cross of Christ. But most of us, want to hurt/do wrong against those who offend us. So, the next time someone does something wrong against us, just pay attention to how we respond and we will clearly see…. how we start thinking and talking badly about them, and for most it just escalates from there.
Yet, from being deceived, we think our unloving thoughts, words and actions are justified since we were treated poorly. Oh, sadly we are just like our offender… no better. We return sin with sin. We are a sinner too… just in a different way. No, actually, most aren’t just like them; we are worse: a person seeking revenge, who will hurt another to build up our pride, since we (our pride) won’t tolerate being treated like Christ. We hate the cross.
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart [that he is faithful], his religion is vain” (James 1:26).
How vain is our religion? We claim we are faithful and love God, but we don’t even strive to love those who offend us. Tragic! As we hold on to grudges and bad thoughts about others. Oh, how many of us even support others sinful reactions to being “offended” so we can be a “good” friend, but what kind of friend are we really? Instead of leading others to live the faith of love, we lead them and ourselves to our doom. “Not only they who do evil things, but they also who consent unto the doers, are worthy of death” (Romans 1:32).
However, if our religion is not in vain… if we want Christ to help us amend our ways, so our sickness could leave, so we could love Him and others… if want to obtain true sorrow for sinning and didn’t want to continue in our offences, we would recognize that we are sinning, never making excuses as to why it is acceptable or pretending like we didn’t even do it or blaming another or ignoring it all together. Then we would confess our great guilt and how it is trough our fault alone that we have sinned.
“A sinner who confesses his sins and says: “my wounds stink and are corrupt because of my foolishness” loses his foul wounds and is made whole and clean. But “he that covers his sins shall not prosper.”
–St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church (Letter to Rusticus)
Then, after admitting our guilt, we would seek to learn what caused us to sin. From there, we would repent and make a resolution to see we never commit the sin again, as we seek God for mercy (help), so we can stop the sin and grow in grace… and of course, we would make right (however we can according to God’s will) for the wrong we have done (humble ourselves), no matter what someone has done to us.
But tragically, from being deceived, we aren’t doing this. From our pride, we focus mostly on what we perceive as other’s sins and not our own, as we live in self-pity or anger: the products of sin. Oh, we are not TRULY forgiving others nor repenting. We don’t want the cross of Christ, and we are rejecting Mercy because we feel it is justified to sin–to do evil–against someone who has wronged us. We must change. That isn’t The Way to a life of peace on earth or Eternal Life with Christ.
“The deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him [and the whole world was tricked by them into hating good and loving sin]” (Revelation 12:9).
So, if we want Eternal Life, we must learn how to love what is good and be willing to suffer, knowing God can use it for great good if we allow Him; then we can leave/hate what is evil.
If we love good and hate evil, we must love, forgive and be understanding towards others when they sin or error, like Christ loves, forgives and understands our weaknesses. “[For] if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions [since you want forgiveness from God and others when you do wrong but from your pride (self-love), you won’t even forgive others for their sins, because you love yourself and what is evil and not God and what is good].” (Matthew 6:15).
Therefore, in order for us to no longer want to harm others in return when they do wrong against us, we must stop striving to be loved… as crazy as that sounds, that is The Way. We must stop: looking for approval, to be treated fairly, or with respect. We must stop seeking to gain something for ourselves and focus on HOW TO LOVE. That is how we live a self-less godly life, truly following Christ and in great peace.
If our mission in life was to carry our crosses God allows to bear and love others like Christ loves us (to actually live The Word, as explained later)… and not to get love, we would stop being upset when we aren’t loved and just focus on how we can love, being grateful for the cross and offer up any suffering, like Christ and the saints have done, for the salvation of souls. For the cross is The Way to Life. Then peace would live in our hearts.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another [especially those who do us wrong; for we do wrong to God everyday, and He still loves us]” (John 13:34).
Yes, if we aren’t loving others who offend us, like Christ loves us, who offend Him, we know for sure we aren’t true disciples of Christ. I do want to mention, that loving how Christ loves is far from just being kind to those who aren’t kind. Frankly, from being deceived, we no longer know what being “kind” really is either, as explained later.
But I do want to say, when we do truly follow Christ, that doesn’t mean we enable others to harm us, nor condone their wrongful behavior, nor necessarily stay in a dangerous situation, but if we don’t come to recognize those unloving behaviors of ours as never acceptable (as sins), confess them, and become truly resolved to amend them, then we can’t repent. Then we will die loving those sins instead of God and what is good, and forfeit Eternal Life for evil. Tragic!
“So do not become proud [thinking you are so holy and saved]… For if God did not spare [many unrepentant sinners], neither will he spare you [if you don’t repent]. Note then the kindness [still trying to save you] and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness [to others]; otherwise you too will be cut off” (Romans 11:19).
But from the devil deceiving us so greatly, I can’t even begin to tell you how many sins we try to justify as good or try to convince ourselves we have nothing to worry about so we can blindly continue in what we love and never repent.
Pope St. John Paul II speaks in length about this reality of humanity losing the sense of sin in his Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance as he tell us, “When the conscience is weakened [from sin] the sense of God is also obscured, and as a result…the sense of sin is lost. This explains why my predecessor Pius XI, one day declared…that ‘the sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin.’” But we never listed to him. If we knew of his writings, we probably, proudly thought he was speaking about someone else, but he was speaking about YOU.
Yes, we are dying because we aren’t repenting of our sins… since we refuse to even see most of them.
Yes, we greatly need Our Savior to enlighten and change us. It is really unfathomable what little hatred for sin we have. But God willing, we will begin to see and gain some concern about our sins and salvation. Then we can start seeking Our Savior correctly to save us.
“The enemy [the devil] pursues my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me dwell in darkness… Lord, make haste and answer [help me]; for my spirit fails within me [it doesn’t know how to see]. Do not hide your face [help me] lest I become like those in the grave [dead]… Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies [the devils]; I have fled to you for refuge [help]. Teach me to do your will for you, O Lord, are my God [rescue me]” (Psalm 143).
Be Perfect – Yes, Perfect
Please know living the faith–following Christ–is so much more than just praying and serving others… it is toiling away to become perfect (without sin) just like Jesus, The One we should be following and imitating. Like was said, Christ didn’t come to show us a way to sin, but a way to live without a single sin. The Word doesn’t tell us to continue on sinning… and that it is okay. No; it clearly tells us to “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34).
It is our lack of trust in God and our unwillingness to work hard to leave our sins, due to our love for sin, which has us believing a lie and living lukewarm lives… lives which are not–truly living the faith–not striving to become perfect (without sin) like Christ.
“Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Oh, how many of us have been deceived into thinking it is not even possible to stop sinning? Yet, the saints are horrified by that notion: “You [lukewarm soul] have regarded perfection as something impossible, even though Jesus Christ tells you to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Therefore instead of achieving perfection, you have drunk down iniquity [sin] like water. Oh, what grumbling! What lying!” These are the words of truth from St. Anthony Mary Claret, who tries to shame us into seeing the great wrongs we have done, so we can gain some humility: some knowledge of our great sinfulness. (The Golden Key to Heaven, Med. 1, first point).
But please know, of course, we will never rid the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin that weighs on all humanity, which causes us to accidently do wrong. That only leaves after we die… but we will most certainly never choose to sin again… our desire for sin will banish… our habitual sins will leave… and God’s love (mercy), if we don’t reject it, will envelop us and cause us to never not want to love Him again.
But sadly, we believe so little in God’s transforming mercy, we only think He can remove some of our horrible sinful habits. So we only seek Him for help with the sins we want to leave, if we are doing that. Sadly, we don’t believe God has the power to remove ALL of our ability to choose sin… just some of them. Tragically, we don’t really believe in the almighty power of God? Now, do we? Where is our faith?
Sure, we “say” Christ is Lord, but our thoughts and actions are proving we don’t really believe He is Lord… The One who can save us (who can remove our desire for sin), and who can literally take away all of our sins. But I tell you, most certainly, some saints have become perfect (unable to choose sin), and we can too, if we allow God to change us.
“Since that day [when I had made my Act of Oblation on June 9, 1895], love has surrounded me and penetrated me through and through. Moment by moment, the Merciful Love of God renews and cleanses me and leaves my heart without a trace of sin.”
–St. Thérèse of Lisieux (Story of a Soul, Ch. 8)
Yes, like St. Therese of Lisieux, some saints have received so much grace, His love has made them perfect. Believe! This should be the goal of our faith… to NEVER hurt God again… to be “without a trace of sin.” With God’s grace, He can make us perfect. We just need to stop rejecting His love. And to do that we must work hard and seek Him and seek Him to obtain a heart that fully accepts God’s grace. “Perfection cannot be attained without the greatest toil” as St. Philip Neri, teaches us (Maxims).
Beware, perhaps the evil one has us seeking greater knowledge (of the faith), prayers and works, only so we can pretend like that makes us true followers of Christ. And of course true followers do that, but true followers, unlike false followers, produce good fruit of The Spirit (lose sin, gain virtue).
But when we have been deceived, we read The Word enjoying how we are growing in understanding of it, but we don’t truly strive to live it… not ALL of it… and this “understanding” we think we have is really darkened because of our unrepentant sins, and is proven, since our knowledge of the faith isn’t continuously helping us gain fruit of The Spirit. From there we live in false happiness, since our pride has us thinking we are saved because of the seemingly pious acts we perform. When it is the contrition in our hearts for all of our sins alone that embraces God’s saving forgiving mercy, which produces fruits of The Spirit.
If the sorrow we have for our sins doesn’t result in us progressively loosing more and more sin–really becoming like Christ–not just in prayers and works, but most importantly in fruits of The Spirit… growing into becoming perfect self-sacrificing saints, then we are far from real followers of Jesus. We must be becoming like Him.
“When he [John the Baptist] saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees [who had no desire to leave their sins] coming to his baptism [for the forgiveness of their sins], he said to them, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come [and now you know you need forgiveness]?
[If you want to be forgiven and Live] produce good fruit [love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control… stop the sin] as evidence of your [true] repentance… every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit [leave sin and gain fruits of the Spirit] is cut down and thrown into the fire [from proving their lack of true repentance]” (Matthew 3:7–8).
Yes, if our faith is alive/growing, we must believe in Jesus enough to be constantly loosing sin and gaining virtue… growing into the image of Christ, striving to become perfect because our contrition for our sins is moving us to change.
But how many of us have experienced God’s love and declare how Jesus has changed us–removed some problem we were having like: addiction, low-self esteem, anger, bitterness, worries, materialism, fear, etc. but after that one conversion, now we think we are converted enough and in a great relationship with God, since we do feel closer to Him… when we are still FAR from perfect saints (perfectly united with Him) and sadly we actually love Him so little that we are ignoring many of our other offences against Him–living lukewarm lives–not living a life of true contrition–growing towards perfect saints.
Therefore, to not remain blind, please ask ourselves, after our entire life of being a “Christian” or how ever long it has been that we have been following Christ and receiving His grace, are we now just like Jesus or close to it? Has our faith, proven to be true, since we have accepted God’s grace (not rejected it from our love of sin), and are now we are exploding with the virtues of a saint or have even obtained perfection?
Or have we only changed a little perhaps when we first converted but now our conversion (loss of sin) has stopped, and we are pretty much the same person (lukewarm) or are we changing so slowly, we will never obtain a truly contrite heart for every sin before our death, from our great lack of hatred for offending God?
“Because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth” (Revelation 3:16).
If we aren’t sincerely striving to never offend God again and actually improving (constantly leaving sin and gaining virtue) advancing towards becoming a perfect saint… not just growing in prayers and works, but LEAVING SIN–gaining fruits of The Spirit–our faith isn’t alive (on fire with love for God) and we are lukewarm or cold.
We must accept enough of God’s grace to actually be leaving our sins. We can’t just say we want to leave our sins… no our words must mean what we say… we must do what it takes to actually DO IT. Therefore, we should greatly fear eternal damnation… and seek God for help and do something to change or we will choose to be “thrown into the fire, and burned” (John 15:6) for eternity… for rejecting God’s healing saving mercy for sin. If we aren’t afraid something is very wrong. “You should be afraid when you are not afraid [of death] anymore” (St Padre Pio)… for you have been greatly deceived and are dying.
Therefore, what ways are you not like Jesus? What are your rotten fruits? Are you allowing those rotten fruits to stay on your tree, or are you really ridding them from your life and truly bearing good fruit for the love of God?
This is a vital quality one has when we are correctly advancing towards obtaining a truly contrite heart. But even if we have these qualities–leaving sin and gaining virtue–since true contrition is much more, we still very well might not have grown enough in our faith to have obtained TRUE sorrow for every one of our sins. Please don’t be deceived.
Venial Sins are Easily Made Mortal
How many of us have been deceived into thinking venial sins are nothing to be concerned about, so we just continue in them unfazed? But that isn’t what the saints teach.
“One venial sin can do us greater harm than all the forces of hell–for that is really true.”
–St. Theresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church, (Autobiography, Ch. 25).
Please know, whether a sin is venial or not, like was said, not truly hating ANY sin–not truly repenting for the smallest sin–kills.
Everyone should know that we must sincerely hate our sins or we reject God for sin. God wrote this in our hearts. We must hate what is evil. Please don’t be deceived. “[I] detest the smallest sin” Jesus told to St. Faustina (Diary #1728). We need to too.
How can we say, “God, I love you, but I have no problem whipping You lightly” and honestly think we have any kind of real love for God or real contrition for our sins? We can’t. I know this truth can be hard to accept if we have spent our lives thinking we are loving God. But truly, someone who hasn’t been deceived and has a love for God that can grow into true love (real love) isn’t alright with offending God in the slightest way.
Jesus was scourged for every one of our offences at His crucifixion, both great and small alike. “He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5). But tragically, most of humanity, has been deceived so greatly, we just doesn’t care enough about our sins or God to put forth effort to stop and we just keep on adding to His suffering.
This is what we have allowed the devil to do to our faith… we, “say” we love God, perhaps because we feel His love or because He has blessed us, but then we beat God greatly or “lightly” with our sins depending on our offence.
But if we really understood the gravity of just one venial sin, we would know what we consider a “light” sin, really isn’t light at all.
“Venial sin is an offense done to God and this offense contains in itself so much malice that one should not commit it, not even if thereby he could save a man’s life, not even if he could save all the inhbitants of the world… .”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Prophecies and Revelations, Ch. 19)
Yes, one sin is unfathomably horrible. What malice against Perfect Goodness! How can we ignore such an injury against God? Yet, how many sins have we committed in our life and never even thought they were a problem? Well, now is the time to repent. They are horribly offensive against God. To learn more please read, “How to Make a Good Confession?”
Even look at our lives right now. How many mortal or venial sins do we commit and pay no attention to and just habitually continue in, because we never thought they were harming us or God either? Those are quite deadly. “How sad you make me feel when you are not sorry for your venial sins! For, until you are, you cannot begin to have true interior life” as St. Joesmaria Escriva teaches (The Way, #330).
Yes, all these venial and of course our mortal sins that we have become attached to–that we habitually commit, since we aren’t striving to leave them–we must seek Mercy for great strength to detach from them… and come to truly hate them, at least at the moment of our death or all will be lost.
Therefore, all of our habitual sins, whether they are venial (a lesser serious sin) or mortal (a gravely serious sin), that we either disregard as nothing to worry about or lack a sincere effort to change, we simply don’t truly hate them. No matter how many times we confess them, they will still remain deadly. Because, as was said, our words are meaningless, if we just continue in any sin with out being sincerely resolved to leave it.
For most of us, it is shocking to hear that our venial sins, which we don’t truly hate are mortal–“deadly sin[s]” (1 John 5:16), since we have spent our lives being deceived into thinking venial sins are nothing to worry about, so we have been committing them without concern. Boy have we been deceived.
“Sins are increased through habitual practice, and a venial sin that could have been pardoned through contrition [alone] becomes a serious one [mortal] through a person’s negligence [not working to stop the sin] and scorn [disregarding it of importance and must be confessed and stopped to be forgiven].”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations Ch. 19)
With that said, how much sorrow do we have, for any sin, if without reservation we habitually commit it?… not much, if any… diffidently not true sorrow. So, our habitual sins that aren’t leaving, need to be taken away if we want Eternal Life… to obtain a state of grace.
What Sins Can I Commit and Still Go to Heaven?
Many of us might have some fear of going to Hell (fear God’s punishments), which is good, for they are real. But instead of allowing that fear to move us to true fear/finial fear (the fear that saves), we want to figure out how we can sin without getting in trouble with God. Yes, we actually try to figure out what sins we can commit and which ones we can’t… WE WANT TO SIN…. we want to offend God. Horrible!
What an unbelievable lack of love we have for God! Oh, we have NO concept of the horror that just one sin causes against ourselves, others and Perfect Goodness. We care nothing about how we “grieve” (Ephesians 4:30) Our Lord’s Sacred Heart of Love with each sin we commit. Our faith is almost pure self-love.
“You MUST purify your soul from all inclination to venial sin;—that is to say, you must not voluntarily retain any deliberate intention of permitting yourself to commit any venial sin whatever. It would be most unworthy consciously to admit [to accept] anything so displeasing to God, as THE WILL TO OFFEND HIM.”
–St. Francis of Sales, Doctor of the Church, (Introduction to the Devout Life, Ch. 22)
But we permit ourselves to venially offend God all of the time, since we have become utterly careless about sinning. Yes, our minds aren’t set on not offending God. We don’t strive to constantly have God and His will on our minds… always seeking what He wants us to do at all moments so His grace can move us, so to not offend Him in the slightest way. No; we simply pay no attention to what we are thinking, saying or doing. If we happen to sin, we sin. If we see it, we might ignore it or confess it, but again, we aren’t truly striving to stop it or to never commit it again.
We are so detached from reality. We have very little knowledge of what we are doing. This is a huge problem! We will have to greatly learn how to stop ignoring our thoughts, words and deeds and come to truly understand what they are so we can repent and change, because our will to offend God is great!
Yes, we offend Him and we just don’t care enough to work hard to see our sins or stop so many of them. We are apparently ok with causing “His heart [to be] grieved” (Genesis 6:6) unfathomably, because our love for Him is just so little and our love for sin is just so great.
“Never be careless about [sinning]… Gain this fear of God [fear of sinning against Him]… realize what a serious thing it is to offend Him. Do your utmost to learn this and to turn it over in your minds; for our [eternal] life, and much more than our life [the lives God calls us to save], depends upon this virtue being firmly planted in our souls.”
–St. Theresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church (The Way of Perfection, Ch. 41)
If we don’t seek Christ to give us a great fear of sin, so we can see and run from our offences against Him, we will die loving our sins and not God. Truly, we are greatly attached to sin and desperately need to seek Mercy to change our entire lives, if we want to Live.
Therefore, our unrepentant mortal sins aren’t the only sins which are damning us. Our unrepentant venial sins–the sins we lack true hatred for–are causing us to reject God for sin as well. We must “hate what is evil” ALL EVIL, or they will destroy us.
Listen to what happened to St. Teresa, who ignored her venial sins. “As for venial sins, I payed little attention; that is what destroyed me.” (Book of Her Life, Ch. 4). Sadly, just like St. Teresa of Avila, who paid little attention to her venial sins (lived lukewarm) before she decided to change her life to really love God (strove to sin no more), we do the same and they are destroying us too. Hopefully, now however, we can understand some what of the gravity of unrepentant sin and see how we ignore at least some of our disobedience… so we won’t remain blind.
“For NO ONE AT ALL can reach eternal life if he be not obedient [in action and/or heart/desire: sincerely never want to disobey God again]… The whole of your faith is founded upon obedience, for by it you prove your fidelity… This obedience is of such excellence that you all derive grace [to Live] from it, just as from disobedience you all derive death [reject grace from it].”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna (Treatise on Obedience)
Yes, every sin… not just our big sins but even the least sin we delight in/lust for–that we want/desire–so much that we won’t even sincerely strive to leave proves our great lack of fidelity to Christ–that we don’t really believe His Way is the Path to Life; we still want the way of sin.
This is why we are dying. Our Savior, who’s love for us is unfathomable, came to save us (He wants to forgive us and teach us The Way), but tragically, we are rejecting Him. We aren’t repenting of all of our sins nor striving to follow Him. We actually want to love our sins. Our desire to leave our sins to love and follow God simply isn’t true, and we are rejecting forgiveness for sin.
“There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting [truly repenting], rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit.” (CCC #1864)
But we don’t have to die. With much grace, we can Live. This is why Christ came… to give us grace to help change, us so we can accept His forgiving mercy He died to give us.
“Only grace [showing the sinner his need to change, what to do and strengthening Him to do it] takes the sinner out of his habitual and customary bondage and relieves him from his fetters. In this way grace affords him an opportunity to choose an entirely new life and to attune himself to it.
If he avails himself of this opportunity [seeks God for grace and accepts it], then it will be a blessing for him [and he can obtain Life, if he persists to the end]. But if he does not take this opportunity [to be moved by grace], then he will be submerged again into the same deep sleep as before and will be thrown into the same abyss of destruction [Hell].”
–St. Theophan the Recluse (Turning the Heart to God, Ch. 4)
Please hear grace calling you right now. Don’t ignore God’s call. Turn to Him. We need grace! Oh, what little faith… what little love for God we really have! The devil has deceived us greatly. Oh, “how few the elect are” as St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, warns us in his commentary on Matthew! Now is the time to seek Mercy to save us/ to change us.
Oh, Lord, we need someone to teach us these truths so we can learn how to LOVE YOU. We have been greatly deceived and have been driven to a life of complacency with our offences against You! Come to our rescue. We need to turn from darkness to Light!
“Turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they [we] may obtain forgiveness of sins and an inheritance [of Eternal Life]” (Acts 26:18).
Abomination of Love
From living in darkness, we don’t know how to love God anymore… not with true or perfect love. Frankly, we don’t know how to love anyone–not how Jesus loved us (as explained later), so we don’t even have the correct goal to aim for. We only know how to love ourselves and others with a false or one of the worldly loves… which are far from true or perfect love. To learn more please read, “How to Perfectly Love God?”
But the basic essence–the foundation–of love is quite simple. How do we love God?–by NOT OFFENDING HIM. We now know this.
“Whoever loves me will keep my word” (John 14:23).
Please understand every time we sin–the we don’t follow Christ, don’t do His will, don’t serve Him, don’t obey Him, we aren’t loving God; we are offending Him. Offending someone isn’t how we love anyone. Yet, “love of God [to offend Him no more] is the highest objective toward which one can strive in this life” as St. Peter Damian taught on his “Teachings on the Spiritual Life” (Ch.5), but are we even seeking this?
We might think we are loving God because we feel some love for Him. Or perhaps we feel we are loving God by all of our prayers and works, but are we really? Oh, we can do good deeds and pray a million prayers… we can preach and heel… thinking we are loving Him, but if we aren’t working hard stop all of our sins–to perfectly keep God’s Word–those prayers and works are meaningless. They are done from hearts that have been so deceived, we have lost sight of how we truly love God.
“Whoever has my commandments and OBSERVES THEM is the one who loves me” (John 14:21).
Again, it is an abomination of love to not care that we are offending God with any sin? That isn’t how someone feels who has a saving faith–true love for God. How horrible is that! But for many of us, we aren’t even concerned with the fact that we are offending God–not loving Him–because of our sins.
We think mercy will forgive us, so our sins don’t really matter all that much. Perhaps we recognize that our sins harm our lives on earth, but we have been darkened so greatly that we don’t even find it concerning that our sins OFFEND GOD–that we aren’t loving Him–with every sin we commit!
Oh, from the deceiver blinding us, our hatred for sin and love for God is so little that we don’t really care that we are offending Our Beloved Lord, since we hardly do anything to avoid sinning?
“Let love be genuine; hate what is evil [sin]” (Romans 12:9).
We Habitually Don’t Love God– Hate Him
How can we honestly say we hate sin and love God, if without restraint, we repeatedly offend God with any sin. What kind of love is that? Can we sincerely tell anyone we love them, if we beat them and beat them and don’t even try to stop? Of course not. Yet, this is what we are doing with endless sins to God, who loves us so tenderly.
God loves us more than we could ever fathom… like with our gift of eternal life. Please know, since there was no way to pay the price for our sinfulness that God’s divine justice demanded, since one sin’s consequence is so great and unable to be repaired by someone tainted with sin, “for God so loved the world [us] that [through His mercy] he gave his only Son” (John 3:16) to be the unblemished Lamb, (to make the sacrifice) to take the punishment we deserve to save us from Hell.
But what do we do in return for such great love shown to us, deplorably, we habitually without restraint don’t love Our Lord–we offend Him–and we just don’t care enough to work hard to stop, which causes us to reject that “immeasurably generous [gift]” (Ephesians 1:7), for sin.
“You have no excuse for remaining in your sins. If you wish to be justified, confess your sins. For a shamefaced confession of sins breaks the bond of your crimes… [but do you] think that they [who repeat their sins without concern] can do penance repeatedly [and be forgiven]; for they are making a farce of Christ. Indeed, if they TRULY did penance [confessed their sins with true sorrow], they would take no thought of repeating it afterwards.”
–St. Ambrose of Milan (De paenitenia)
To obtain Life we must LOVE GOD enough to be grief stricken over offending Him, which causes us to resist temptation and grow in goodness (never stopping) towards becoming like Our Savior.
“To reach the Promised Land you must weep with grief at the thought of the sins you have committed. Further, you must resist temptations to evil, and you must ‘advance from virtue to virtue ‘ (Psalm 83).”
–St. Bonaventure (Holiness of Life, Ch. 1)
But we need to understand that these sins we habitually commit against God are actually acts of hatred towards God. Yes, as long as we are still sinning, we are hating God and reject His love. “Abhorrent [hateful] to God is the wicked [sinful] man” (Wisdom 14:9). Horrible but true. Knowing this will hopefully help us “weep with grief” over our sinfulness, since we are hating God with each sin we commit. But of course to “weep with grief” we will really need to believe this is true, and only grace can give us that gift.
But, you might ask, how can we hate to offend God, when we are hating God (sinning)? Well, what we need to do is to seek to hate to hate God. But the problem is we don’t just hate God sometimes, we habitually, without restraint hate God. This is what must stop if we are to have any hope of obtaining true love for God–a love that truly doesn’t want to hate God.
But acknowledging how we hate God is very hard for many of us, since we feel we love God, and we certainly don’t want to feel like we are doing anything wrong against him… and I’m sure there is some kind of love for God within us… perhaps not real or true love.. but at least a feeling of love for God.
I know, for many of us, we can see how God has changed us and filled us with His love. We can see how Jesus, His Mother, the angels and the saints are trying to help us (if we seek their assistance and sometimes even when we don’t). We feel their love and we recognize ourselves growing closer to them as they love us, but what do we do in return for such love shown to us, we still don’t desire to love God in return. Sadly, we habitually offend Him since we aren’t sincerely wanting to stop. Yes, we habitually hate God in return for His love.
Yes, at the same time we think we are loving God, horribly we are hating Him. This we need to understand to obtain the kind of humility–knowledge of our sinfulness–we need to begin to be able to change. So from gaining knowledge of our misery, we will more fully understand how God loves the sinner… those who hate Him, so we can humbly embrace His mercy to help us stop every one of our sins (acts of hatred towards Him).
Tragically, we are content with the love we feel and the few sins we have left, thinking since we have change some of our ways, we are now “faithful.” When we aren’t even striving to love God… we aren’t even working as hard as we can to stop ALL of our offences against Him… to sincerely become saints. Yes, a saint: someone who wants to give their life to strive to perfectly love God, who sincerely never wants to offend Him again, who has grown into perfect contrition and atoned for their sins, so they are pure enough to enter into Heaven… for “everyone who has this [real] hope based on him [for eternal life] makes himself PURE” (1 John 3:3).
Sure, we might have changed some of our life, but for the rest we don’t care at all or we declare that we are too “weak” to avoid the sin. Okay, sure, we are all “weak”, but that really isn’t our problem. The problem is that we are unwilling to suffer, to be discomforted, to be put out, to lose what we love, to carry a cross in order to stop our sins… and that lie (pretending like we are too weak) and the bounds of others, are keeping us in our sins and killing us.
“Your falls [into sin] are due to weakness. Alright, but those weaknesses are so frequent! You don’t know how to avoid them [you don’t even try]… [Your desire to amend] is a desire without [any real] desire, as long as you don’t put firmly aside the occasions of falling [leave everything that causes you to sin]. Don’t fool yourself telling me you’re weak. You’re a coward [unwilling to suffer], which is not the same thing.”
–St. Josemaria Escriva (The Way, Interior Struggle)
We Grow in Greater Pride Because of God’s Unfathomable Love
How many of us, from experiencing God’s love for us, have been deceived into thinking that proves our righteousness? But please don’t be deceived. God loves the just and the unjust alike.
“He makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
What parent who has a child, who is always doing wrong, doesn’t still help them if they request assistance or take away his gifts if they do wrong (unless that is what is good)? All good parents overlook their children’s imperfections and love them anyway. And God does the same for us miserable sinners too.
We can be greatly deceived and horribly sinning, but if we seek God, He will still bless and help us anyway. That is NO PROOF OF RIGHTEIOUNESS. That is proof of God’s love for us. I know this can be hard to accept if we have been so sure we know The Way and are serving God and living the faith correctly. But this is true and only the truth will save.
Sure, much of the time, if we lose feeling God’s love, that is a direct result of our sinfulness (but not always). But regardless, experiencing God’s great love for us is only proof of His love for us. We must accept this humbling truth if we want to have any real hope for Life.
Frankly, it is very dangerous to associate any consolations, healings or anything from God as given to us or coming forth from us through our prayers or works, because we are of great faith. That leads only to self-righteousness, blindness and death.
From God’s great love for us, even though we don’t really love Him nor fear sinning against Him (at least, not for the right reasons), He still tries and tries to help us grow in faith no matter how broken our faith is. And He works through us regardless of our great brokenness. That is why we experience so much of His love as He heals and helps us… or even if He give us unique talents and blessing. It isn’t because we are so “faithful” and deserve His love or help… it is because He loves us.
But for most of us, when we experience God’s unfathomable love: His help, gifts, improvement in our lives, answer to our prayers, that causes us to boast of our “goodness” and our pride becomes so great that, we think we are some blessed righteousness soul because we are experiencing His love. Then we never even come to know the truth about ourselves (our great sinfulness) which results in us not finding the path to Life… The Way to Heaven. Tragic!
Yet, quite the opposite feelings are produced, when the humble experience God’s love, His closeness, His healings… When the humble see God giving them healings, talents, increasing their knowledge, or prayers or works, etc. they become so enlightened to God’s goodness and to their undeserving misery, they feel overwhelmed with unworthiness of how He would show such favors on someone so wretched… so underserving, that their understanding of His mercy and their unworthiness grows and grows… They feel even less “good” about themselves (humble) than before. Yes, when the humble experience God’s love they become more humble (obtain greater hatred of their sinful self and greater love and gratitude for God)
But when the proud experience God’s love, when He envelopes them with His peace, strength, talents, healings, they feel “holy” and priveledged. They we desire to serve God, not to love Him, but to get love from Him. “Certainly there is little difference between serving Christ for money and serving Him for consolations and pleasant feelings in the soul… [for] the ultimate purpose is my avarice [greed].” (St. John of Avila, Listen O Daughter!” Ch. 25).
Instead of growing in greater hatred of our sinful self, when the proud experience God’s love, we grow in greater pride… wanting more and more from God (to love ourselves) and continue to live horribly deceived. Thinking we must be someone great, when we are far from it. And the longer this continues, the deeper in habitual practices of pride we will acquire, and the more blind they will become… as what is truth becomes disfigured.
And this is why we are in the time of darkness… OUR PRIDES have grown out of control and are deceiving us. Now we don’t know The Way. We see bad as good and good as bad. But of course we won’t see everything distorted, but it isn’t the truth that we do know that will kill us, but all wrong we are justifying as right that will. Yet, from this great deception that lives in us, we will think we are saved and doing well. When, from our lack of true love for God–OUR LACK OF FAITH: our unwillingness to leave sin for God–we are rejecting the gift of salvation He died to give us.
If we don’t notice this poison–our pride inflating–and do all we can to rid it, we will become nothing but a mass of pride, doing religious things, living the life of a seemingly faithful person, but being far from it–finding our happiness in ourselves (idolizing ourselves) instead of finding our happiness in loving God (by not offending Him/doing His will), but not even realize it.
“Pride [is acquired by]… human praise… [the greatly prideful] uses all of his will to have a reason to be proud and win praise of men… he does, all his time and all his thoughts and all his strength so that he may fulfill his pride [but from his sickness is clueless he does this and to this aliment]… [The] thought of how he may attain some honor [do something well, especially in front of others, to build up his self-esteem/self-glory] or something [so] he may feel worldly pride [feel good about himself, rules his thoughts].
–The Mother of God to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations Ch. 29)
I can’t tell you how true this is and how BLIND we are that we are doing this. Unless we learn how to look into our feelings and why we do what we do, we will remain proud and blind and damned loving ourselves and not God.
Yes, tragically, the deceiver has us so greatly in his trap, we live to feel good about ourselves. If we do see some of our sinfulness, it is just to live is self-pity, so we an complain how we aren’t who we want to be, not to grow in humility by accepting ourselves as great sinners, needing Mercy to save us so we can grow into greater contrition for our sins, but to grow in greater pride. He to see and cure our flagrant pride is discussed later.
Therefore, instead of having the mindset of a saint, who despises themselves–who has a holy self-hatred for their sinful self, we relish getting and giving complements… anything to increase our pride… to feel like we are good. When there is NOTHING good within us. And until we truly realize this, our pride will keep us blind. Yes, our will is completely that of self-love, and unless we learn to relent our will for God’s and allowed Him to move us, ALL we do is tainted with sin. Therefore, the more we focus on how “good” we are, the less we will love God but rather love ourselves.
“The soul, on fire with desire and a holy self-hatred [on fire with desire to love God by hating her will/herself], having found her place by the light of faith [trust in God], enters there as one dead [no longer desires sin], if she is truly obedient [follow’s God’s will not her own… knowing it is only sinful].”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna (Treatise of Obedience)
Sadly, we don’t know how to find happiness or self-value without being immersed in the sin of pride, since we are blind to The Way. To learn more please read, “How to Find True Happiness.”
This pride has blinded us so greatly that now we don’t even know what faith is. Many think faith is believing Jesus is Lord or serving Him, and I mean sure that is part of faith, but please know, a saving faith is founded on LOVING GOD… striving with all of our heart to leave ALL sin–to surrender our will perfectly for His–so to not offend Him in the slightest way. For we know when we love Jesus, He can save us… change us and give us a saving faith! Then we can spend eternity with Him, which is all God desires.
“God’s will is to save us, and nothing pleases him more than our coming back to him with TRUE repentance. The heralds of truth and the ministers of divine grace have told us this from the beginning, repeating it in every age. Indeed, God’s desire for our salvation is the primary and preeminent sign of his infinite goodness.”
–St. Maximus the Confessor (Divine Office, 4th week of Lent pg. 304)
Yet, from experiencing God’s love, how many of us go off to serve God, but we don’t realize that we are doing works of mercy from deceived hearts, not knowing what real love is… thinking our works prove our love for God, and sure those with true faith have works, for “without works our faith is dead” (James 2:17), but our true love for God is really proven by our hatred for sin–love for God over our sins? “Let love be genuine; hate what is evil [sin]” (Romans 12:9).
Common Blinding Sin
Yes, the deceiver has us. As a result, we are now in darkness. The one thing that prevents us from loving God and Eternal Life–SIN–we have lost concern about and now we don’t knowing The Way to Heaven, since our unrepentant sins have blinded us.
Yes, when we don’t repent and strive to stop our evil ways, no matter how “slight” they may be, we become VERY BLIND. For truly following God, isn’t following a God of imperfection (sin) but a God of perfection (no sin). If we aren’t following The Way of Perfection (Christ), we are following the way of darkness, not Light.
“Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness” (John 8:12).
Therefore, since most have been tricked into becoming false followers of Christ, blinding darkness is upon us. So, if we want to be saved and gain a truly great relationship with Christ and know The Way, so to have a life and eternity of great peace, we must remove the one thing that is preventing it all from happening: SIN.
So, please gain a great concern about our sins and repent… truly repent… admit, hate and leave our sins–everything that Christ or a saint wouldn’t do–so we can love and follow God. For “No one who abides in him keeps on sinning” (1 John 3:4); we strive with all of our heart to stop.
Therefore, how may commands of God have we committed and don’t truly detest… since we habitually continue in them from our lack a sincere effort to change. Below are a few basic ones to help us see. What about our:
- Sexual Impurity: impure things that we wear, watch, think, listen to, say or do. (Ephesians 5:5),
- Gossiping/slander: speaking poorly about another (Exodus 23:1),
- Love of the world’s pleasures: seeking the world for happiness instead of God, idolatry (1 John 2:15),
- Anger: upset over not getting what we want and/or having a lack understanding and forgiveness of others (Colossians 3:8),
- Anxiety: wanting thing our way and not trusting in all God allows as leading to good (Philippians 4:6),
- Jealously: envy; wanting what others have (James 3:16),
- Lust: desire for sexual pleasure for self-gratification (Romans 1:24),
- Want of Power: seeking knowledge, success, authority, or control to boost our pride (Philippians 2:3-4),
- Passion for Money: having the desire for financial gain ruin the intentions of our hearts and actions (1 Timothy 6:10),
- Theft: taking what hasn’t been given to us, or cheating, or extorting money or something from another under false pretences (Leviticus 19:11),
- Profanity: obscene/impure language (Colossians 3:8),
- Deception: the lies, misleading words, manipulation to obtain what we want (Psalm 52:2),
- Seeking power or help from idols: sorcery, sumening the devil; praying to rocks, statues, Buddha… created things… not God (Exodus 20:3-6),
- Disobedience to authority: failure to humbly do what we don’t want to do (Romans 13:2),
- Hatred of our crosses/suffering: not wanting to carry our cross/lack of trust in the cross (Romans 5:3),
- Lack of Self-control: absence of discipline to do what is right instead of wrong (2 Timothy 3:2-4),
- Laziness: loving self instead of doing what we should, wasting our time in idleness (Proverbs 13:4),
- Vanity: doing what will build-up ourselves and not God/self-glory (1 Peter 3:3-4),
- Gluttony: having or craving more–money, food or material things–than we need (Sirach 37:31),
- Self-seeking: not doing what is best to love God and neighbor, but desiring to love/please ourselves, (Romans 2:8),
- Lack of Mercy: not showing mercy to a sinner, the weak, the hurting, the poor, the mentally or physically ill, or someone who has offended you (Zechariah 7:8-10),
- Lack of trust in God: seeking our will; worrying or complaining when life doesn’t go as we desire (not surrender our will for God’s), not trusting in God’s plan to use all moments to lead us to a life and eternity of happiness, idolizing ourselves (Romans 8:28)…
Oh, there are just so many habitual sins. Our sexual impurity alone is enough to make us feel overwhelmed. That is out of control, and we love it. Just look at our lives… how about what we wear. Do we look like saints? No, not even close. We want to look and feel attractive… sexy. Our pride is craving attention. No matter how old we are vanity has consumed us. Our dress and mindset is far from saintly.
But if we aren’t dressing impurely, we are thinking impurely and a lot of the time it is from being tempted by what everyone else is wearing. And everything else after that–what we listen too, watch, speak and do–is sadly, also an abomination of impurity too… we are dripping in immorality… far from a saint. Partaking in bounds of things a true saint would never do.
Oh, we need God’s help. How many of these sins are we not ready to leave? How many of these sins are we willing to beat God so to stay in them? How much love for God do we really have? We need help.
If you don’t want to leave any of those sins because they are too hard for you, then please ask yourself, are you willing to give up Eternal Life so that for the few years you have left on this earth you can enjoy the pleasure you get from those sins? Do you really want to do this? Eternity is forever! Believe.
Yet, this is just a fragment of our sinfulness, that most of us have been just ignoring. Yes, we have a big problem. Of course, it is nothing too big, that Christ can’t eradicate. But it is a big problem and it will take great effort to change, especially since we greatly love many of those sins.
But please know, gaining this knowledge of these habitual sins won’t instantly cause us to see correctly. It will help us get started with repenting, but coming to see our great personal sinfulness and gaining a sincere desire to leave them, so we can know The Way, for most, will take time. And for the greater majority to gain this kind of transforming humility takes much time.
“Oh, what peril attaches to sin willfully committed! For it is so difficult for man to bring himself to penance [contrition], and without penitence guilt remains and will ever remain, so long as man retains unchanged the will to sin, or is intent upon committing it.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa (Life and Doctrine, Ch. 4)
But again, if we aren’t sincerely resolved to stop any ONE of those sins, we are not in a state of grace. Please don’t be deceived. And even if we “think” we are striving to amend them, if we aren’t leaving them (progressively committing them less and less until they are gone), our desire to leave them is just a lie and we still need more grace to crush our pride, so we will sincerely desire to turn from evil for good.
For many of us admitting we commit these sins and are dead because of them is very hard to do. Our pride won’t allow us. We prefer to make all sorts of excuses and reasons why we commit them, so to some how make them good or pretend we don’t even commit them. But no matter what we do, sin/bad never equals good. Truly, we can make all of the excuses in the world as to why we commit them or we can pretend like we don’t even know they are sins. Yet, such knowledge of them is “written in their [our] hearts” (Romans 2:15), so please don’t lie to yourself.
And if we don’t understand why they are all sins, hopefully after reading this article we will have a better understanding. Therefore, please fully understand, not sincerely hating or neglecting to strive with our whole heart to leave any ONE of those sins kills. This is the truth.
“[Those habitual sins] how slight soever their objects may be, any one of them, not over come, is sufficient to prevent this union [dying united to God and not sin]. “
–St. John of the Cross, (Ascent of Mount Carmel, Ch 11)
We should be very concerned about sin and our Eternal Life and heed The Word and “work out your salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12), by vigilantly seeking Our Lord to enlighten us and give us true hatred for our sins, for we have so many sins we haven’t truly repented of and are rejecting God because of those sins.
Have Faith… Have Wisdom… Fear Going to Hell
From the deceiver tricking us, how many of us think if we “fear going to Hell” we don’t have faith in Jesus? But, that simply isn’t true at all. Not fearing Hell is from a GREAT lack of faith.
“From the moment man sins he incurs a debt–a debt to be paid by eternal damnation… A Christian who is damned to hell loses God… the misfortune that goes beyond all that the imagination can grasp… In this prison [hell] the damned are sprawled out and packed so tightly one on the other like bricks in a kiln… the fire in which he is totally enveloped… resembles a glowing hot piece of iron which has just been withdrawn from an oven… [that penetrates our being for all eternity]”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret (The Golden Key to Heaven; Med. 7 “The Pains of Hell, in Particular the Pain of Sense and its Duration”)
Truly only someone greatly fooled and in the dark, with no understanding of the consequences of sin, would not fear Divine Justice and the punishment we deserve. To not fear this reality would make us faithless… a soul who doesn’t seek Christ to save us from such torments.
The Bible speaks about many different kinds of fear, some which are bad and proves our lack of faith and trust in God–like when we fear what God allows as being bad–and some of the fears The Word speaks about are in fact very good and keep us on the straight and narrow path, which saves.
But if we don’t fear sin–what our sins do to God, others and ourselves–then the devil has made us into fools. Yes, fools. A fool is someone who acts unwisley. And oh, how unwise would we be if we didn’t fear perishing into Hell if just one unrepentant sin can cause us eternal torment.
“Every one who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man” (Matthew 7:26).
Sin has horrific consequences, as explained later. One of the least of them being, “If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Luke 13:3). We must fear sin and its consequences. They are real and many. May that fear drive us to choose what is good, until we obtain perfect love for God–until we perfectly accept God’s grace into our souls and can no longer choose to offend Him. Then all fear will banish, since we won’t offend God any more. Praise Jesus!
But, the evil one has even deceived many of us into believing if we have a fear going to Hell, we lack faith in Jesus, since The Word says, “perfect love casts out all fear [of Hell]” (1 John 4:18).
Of course, perfect love casts out all fear of going to Hell, but do we have perfect love for God? Do we no longer offend Him? Have we received so much of Jesus’ transforming grace that God’s love has removed our ability to sin? No. We still sin. Therefore, we don’t perfectly love God, and we very much have something to fear.
As longs as we still sin, as was said earlyier, “we ought to be fearful of disobeying [sinning] lest any one of you be judge [and found guilty] to have lost his chance of entering [into Heaven]” (Hebrews 4:1).
The fear of sin and its consequences–fear of the Lord–MUST live in us. We can damn ourselves into an eternity of torment from a single unrepentant trespass. Yes, we should fear damnation and take caution to avoid sin and repent of them all. His mercy can’t save us if WE REJECT HIM for sin.
Having a fear of going to Hell isn’t having a lack of faith; it is having WISDOM… what the devil doesn’t want us to have and has stolen from our lives. Oh, how many of the “faithful” have no fear of going to Hell? And think that is proof of their faith… oh, all that is proof of is their lack of wisdom… their lack of faith
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge [of how to obtain salvation]; fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Proverbs 9:10; 1:7).
Oh, we are fools. No wonder hardly anyone goes to church. We don’t think it is necessary.
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12)… oh, we don’t really understand what that means. We have no wisdom.
If we do go to church… that is good, but tragically, we still go and seek Mercy for the wrong reasons. Sadly, we go to get God’s help for us in this life, or out of obligation, or to become holy (for self-benefit, to feel God’s love/mercenary love… not to truly love God/not to stop offending Him/filial love… not to help us really save souls). Or, perhaps we go to church to have friends or to do “good” because we like being “good”, making a difference or feeling like we are doing God’s will. I mean none of those reasons are “bad” but if we don’t change, those reasons they won’t bring us to Eternal Life.
But if we already consider our lives as good enough (don’t see our need for God), why would we even bother spending our time going to church… If we don’t realize we need God to SAVE US… to change our hearts and give us a true hatred for sin/a saving faith or we will choose to be cast into the “place of torment” (Luke 16:28) for eternity, why would we make such an effort to change.
Truly, if we want people to go to church (for the right reason–to love God) and do what is necessary to amend our lives so to obtain a saving faith, we need to PREACH THE TRUTH. We need to know we need to be saved. We need to know we need God to remove our great liking for sin or we will be damned forever.
Oh, what has the devil done? He has stolen our faith, removed our hatred of sin, killed our love of God, destroyed our comprehension of sin and our sinfulness, blinded us to The Way, and tainted our understanding of our need for mercy (help and forgiveness). He has greatly confused us.
If the whole world knew how guilty we are of sin and how much we need Jesus to save us--to remove our desire for sin... so we can desire God alone and be saved--we wouldn't be living the lives we live. Praise God for any guilt and fear of sin we have. It is a good thing. We have offended God, and we need His mercy (help to change). And if we run to Him, no matter how sinful we are, He will save us, if we allow Him.
But tragically, as St. Aquinas, Doctor of the Church, in his Summa Theologica I (q.23, art.7), teaches us “very many in accordance with the common course [of life] and tendency of nature [follow our desire for sin and] fall short [of salvation]”…even though God sends us so much mercy to help us and wants us all in Heaven.
We simply refuse His help, mostly from not understanding our sinfulness, the seriousness of sin and from our lack of fear of God; we just don’t seek Him correctly (humbly) from being deceived. We don’t know of our NEED to be saved. We pridefully assume we already are. Then we choose our sins instead of Him and die.
“They will not amend their ways. They have NO FEAR OF GOD [no fear of sinning against Him]” (Psalm 55:20).
Please don’t ignore God’s servants. As Pope St. John Paul II taught us, “become a saint and do so quickly [you don’t know when your hour will come].” We must teach people fear of the Lord and our need for Mercy–our need to be saved–or we will all be lost forever!
“They [the lost] dishonor Him [Jesus] when He warns them through His servants, [by] ignoring the warnings and doing what they want.
–The Queen of Heaven to St. Bridget of Sweden, (Revelations, Ch. 37)
This is why the faithful and non faithful alike are dying. We have not heeded the warnings of God’s servants and now have no concern/fear about our Eternal Life. We have no fear of the Lord. And have wasted our lives being concerned about everything else.
“I will redeem from the punishment of hell the souls of those who love me [truly hate sin] and worship me [not any idol], that is, the souls of the saints and the souls of the just; for no one can be saved from the bonds of the devil, in which he or she is tied up by bitter death because of their breaking of God’s commandments, except by the redemption of the one who will redeem his chosen people with his own blood.”
–God the Father to St. Hildegard, Doctor of the Church (Scivias, Part II, Vision 1)
Yet, we are supposed to be spending our lives seeking Our Savior to save us: to change our hearts and give us “a new heart, and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26), that no longer thinks lightly of our sins but truly hates every one, so we can come to true repentance and truly love God, so He can redeem us. But we aren’t. Most ignore our sinfulness and still cling to many of our sinful ways, and are suffering greatly because of it.
Also, please don’t fall into the temptation of looking at others and what we perceive as their “greater” sins, for that act of pride will blind us from seeing our own. Sure someone might commit a particular sin more greatly than ours. But what does any of that matter, when just ONE of our own sins that we don’t truly repent of rejects it all. Therefore, please just focus on ourselves and let’s learn where we are going wrong, so we can gain true sorrow for our life-time of sins. Eternity is forever!
Saved By Faith
If we think we are saved by faith, well that is true. “For by [God’s saving/forgiving] grace you have been saved through faith” (Ephesians 2:8). But if we think we have a faith that saves–a faith that can accept His free gift of saving forgiving grace–without having true sorrow for all of our sins, we are believing a lie from the deceiver. “Such faith has no power to save” (James 2:14).
I know since the “gospel is veiled” (Corinthians 4:3), and if we don’t pay careful attention to its entirety, we can be easily deceived into thinking all we need to do to be saved is “believe in the name of the son of God” (John 5:13). And sure that is really all we need to do. But the kind of “belief” we need, is what determines if our faith/belief in Jesus’ name is real or bogus.
If we want to be saved, to accept the forgiving saving mercy Christ suffered to give us… that we received at our baptism but, like was said, we REJECTED when we didn’t truly repent of our first sin, then we must grow in faith to obtain a mature SAVING FAITH, a belief in Jesus which is much more than just “saying” we are Christians. It is a belief that will cause us to leave everything that is keeping us from praising, reverencing and serving God, so we can follow Jesus to Heaven.
“Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord [not sin, our will or our idols], and by this means to save his soul.”
–St. Ignatius of Loyola (Spiritual Exercises, Ch. 1)
To obtain this faith/belief, that causes us to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, instead of sin, our desires (our will) and the world (our idols), we must begin anew and learn the true faith (The Way to Heaven) all over again, so we can GROW if faith correctly “until we all attain… to mature manhood [a saving faith]” (Ephesians 4:13).
But we can’t begin a new, if we think we understand The Way. WE MUST BECOME HUMBLE, like a little child and understand that we are deceived, lost and needing Jesus to save us. We must look for Christ to teach us–not so our pride can now be “knowledgeable and wise” to boost our blinding egos, but from true humility to learn how we have failed to love God and our neighbor so we can change.
Yes, the disciples are “warning everyone and teaching everyone in all wisdom, so that [at judgement] we may present [ourselves and] everyone MATURE in Christ” (Colossians 1:28) for the salvation of our souls. The disciples want to save us. But we aren’t hearing them. It is as if we are looking for any excuse to remain in our sins and still be saved. Oh, how much we love our sins.
We have been so deceived. We aren’t seeking to become “mature in Christ.” We don’t even know we need a saving faith or we will reject Heaven for Hell. We think we are faithful enough, but reality is, we are perishing. “The world is on the road to perdition [Hell]” as St. Padrie Pio warns us in his letter to the Seers of Garabandal in 1962. Please don’t die as one of them. May God’s grace now move us to Life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son [to redeem us from our sins], so that everyone who believes in him [with a saving faith] might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).
We Must GROW into a Saving Faith
Truly, we can’t just “say” we believe… stating we are Christians and think we are automatically saved without seeking Our Savior for mercy (grace) to help us GROW into a saving faith, which is a faith that doesn’t desire any sin, since it has grown into true hatred/true sorrow for them all.
The Word is warning us of our need to be “mature in Christ” not only because it is needed for salvation, but also because it is incredibly hard to obtain. Yes, it is very hard to sincerely come to hate what we have spent our life-time loving (sin).
Every hour of our lives is meant to help us obtain that goal, but are we using our hours wisely? There are so few of them and then our eternity begins. But from being darkened to the truth, our hours are wasted away seeking everything but salvation.
“Lord, let me know my end, and what is the measure of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is!” (Psalm 39:4).
Please know, due to our great inclination to sin, from the fall of Adam and Eve, “the path leading to Heaven is so narrow and so rough, so over grown, so dark and difficult to discern [since we can’t see what is causing us to reject God], that there are many who never find it their whole life long.” as St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church, warns us in his commentary on Matthew.
Yes, sadly, many stay so deceived that we never even find “the path to Life” (Proverbs 15:24): the road of self-denial, denying ourselves of the worldly things and the sins that we want thinking they will bring us happiness, in which we walk with Jesus on to purify our souls. Remember, “the gate is narrow and the road is HARD that leads to life, and there are FEW who find it” (Matthew 7:14).
Yes, the road to Life is the one of self-denial: surrendering what we love–sin, our will and worldly pleasures (as explained later)–for God. But are we really working HARD to find and then walk on the path of Life… to detach from the world so to be with the few? Or have we been deceived into thinking we are already saved by doing nothing, from being darkened into not understanding Scripture?
“Everyone who believes in him [with a saving faith] will receive forgiveness of sins through his name” (Acts 10:43).
Yes, we need a saving faith. But, from the devil deceiving us as to what is needed for salvation, the whole purpose of our lives–to grow in faith to obtain a saving faith, “mature manhood” (Ephesians 4:13), so to be with Jesus for eternity–is lost. We should be working hard for this goal, since “every athlete exercises discipline in every way. They do it to win a perishable crown, but we [those who are seeking a saving faith, discipline ourselves in everyway to win] an imperishable one [Eternal Life]” (1 Corinthians 9:25).
Yet, who of us is working like an athlete, disciplining ourselves, denying ourselves of what we want, so God can change us and give us a saving faith? Is there anyone sincerely training like an Olympian for Eternal Life? It is hard work to come to hate what we love. If so, what are we doing? If not, then do we think we are just going to ask God for mercy and bam we are saved? That is the deceiver tricking you.
“They want to continue sinning until the end, saying: ‘If we say at the end, just once, “God, have mercy on me!” God’s mercy is so great that he will pardon us.’ This is not virtue [something good], wanting to sin without making amends, wanting to get the prize [Eternal Life] without having to struggle for it… a greater punishment [in Hell] is due to them than to others…
They are worse than Judas, for Judas after he had betrayed the Lord, recognized that he had sinned gravely… These people recognize their sin and yet they persevere in it with no compunction [no feeling of guilt] about it in their hearts. [They have no sorrow for their sins].”
–Mother of God to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations, Book 1, Ch. 37)
Humanity is Doing Nothing for Jesus to Save Us?
Sadly, for practically the whole of humanity right now, since we live in a time when “[the earth is] plunged into [spiritual] darkness” (Revelations 16:10), we are doing nothing to obtain a saving faith. Oh, we have so many other goals and aspirations in life that we work towards, but not this one.
Growing into true contrition/true repentance/true hatred for our sins/true love for God–a saving faith–is the most important goal in one’s life, but we have been blinded away from seeking it. Yet, if we don’t obtain Eternal Life, what does anything else matter?
“What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his [eternal] life?” (Matthew 16:26).
I tell you, “many deceivers have gone out into the world” (2 John 1:7). There isn’t one truth being preached like the saints unitedly preach… no; there are a billion different “truths,” coming from each pulpit in the world and now, we are so confused as to The Way, so much so, that we aren’t even seeking Jesus to save us.
Oh, we might seek a better job, or more money, or greater accomplishments, or more friends, or someone to love us. Maybe we seek better material things or perhaps more fun or relaxation or a great time with our family or a life of peace or even to grow in faith. But we aren’t seeking to grow into a SAVING faith… true contrition for our sins so we can detach from them and attach to Our Savior. We just continue in our sins ignoring their consequences. To learn more please read, “What Are the Requirements of Salvation?”
Then we will believe in Christ not just with some faith, but we will advance into maturity… into a SAVING FAITH… a faith that has come to truly hate to offend God–will do and suffer anything so to not offend Him in the slightest way– a faith that has grown to truly love Him above our sins… every sin, so we can come to truly repent of all of our offences and accept His saving redeeming grace He died to give us.
Oh, we don’t want to die with unrepentant sin. Eternity is forever!
Awake from Our Sleep – We Need Faith – God’s Peace
What are we spending our life toiling for? Is it God’s goal… to be perfect or is it some other distraction that keeps us from the greatest good? Oh, how many hours do we have left before hour comes? Prepare yourself… God still wants to save you. Please, don’t waste a single moment anymore. There is hope if you learn how to let go of all your sins.
“For if those [fallen angles] who committed but one sin have merited the eternal punishment of hell, what will those [us] deserve who have committed many [if we don’t sincerely repent].”
–St. Francis Borgia (Second Treatise, Things which are below the earth ought to humble us before God)
I tell you, the devil wants us toiling away for what we think is God’s will, while we ignore our sins all together or only trying to change the faults we are interested in leaving, so we can be distracted with what appears as good, so we can neglect much of God’s law and live live complacent with the rest of our sinfulness–living in mortal sin–and die… since we never prepared for our death.
“Oh! if all persons would be thinking of death, in which everything [we love of this world] must be relinquished; of judgment, in which an account must be given of our whole lives [and when we receive its consequences]; of a happy or miserable eternity… no one would be lost. [Yet, in reality] the present only is thought of, and from here is eternal salvation lost.” –St. Alphonosus, Doctor of the Church
We must begin to contimplate our eternity so we can wake up.
“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead [of not caring about your sins], and Christ will give you light [to see and hate your sins]. (Ephesians 5:14).
Just look at our vast ways we aren’t like a perfect self-sacrificing saint. Yet, we are ignoring those sins.
How many of us open our mouths, day after day, and profanity, gossip, negativity or complaining just spill out when things don’t go the way we want. Heaven forbid someone does something we don’t like, then we are a mess of complaints about them. We are so far from loving and understanding others. But for most of us we don’t even realize we are doing this. That these are normal patters of our lives.
The evil one has deceived us so greatly, for many of us, we don’t even recognize those behaviors as sins and slandering others has become our common social past time as we bash others to our spouse, our friend, our co-worker, or anyone who would listen as a social norm.
“Can you believe what he did” we tell another, since instead of being with God in prayer praying for others who we see as doing wrong, we spend our time gossiping and complaining about their imperfections instead. When most of the time, our lack of love and understand of others is a far worse an offence against God, than what we are complaining about. But we only have our eyes on others and can’t see ourselves enough to wake up.
Sadly, most are so deceived, we only consider murder, theft and alike as offences against God to be concerned about, and we ignore the rest? But sin, as we hopefully understand a little more clearly now, is so much more.
“You MUST put them all away:… anger… slander, and obscene language out of your mouths” (Colossians 3:8).
Yes, they are all sins, sins we should be amending. Please know, there is a reason why God tells us “do not complain” (James 5:9). That is great proof of our lack of trust in what God allows, as leading to our good. That is us wanting our will and not His.
“Do not complain as some of them did, and were destroyed by the destroyer” (1 Corinthians 10:10).
Yes, complaining is a horrible evil. It destroys us. It is us hating God’s will (what has occurred or what might occur) and wanting our own way. Please know, following God’s will is the ONLY way to Life.
This is what faith in God is: it is believing that God wants us in Heaven and if we trust in His will, and not our own, believing all that God allows to occur is needed, so He can remove our great liking for sin: so we can come to see them, confess them and truly hate them for the salvation of our souls. Therefore, all of our moments we are OUTSIDE OF PEACE are derived from sin.
Unless, of course, we are outside of peace–not content–because of our or others offences against God; that is good. We are to never be in peace with anyone’s offences against God. Being content with our sinfulness and the loss of souls, is a great sign of a lack of faith. Our hearts should never cease to cry and beg God for mercy for our sins and the sins of the world.
Jesus was “sorrowful even unto death” over the sins of man. He sweat blood over how so many souls, even after His passion (show of great love), would still choose sin over Him. He was far from being in peace the way the world knows it. Even now until the end of time, when sin finally ceases to reign on earth, God’s Sacred Heart of Love will continue to be in anguish in Heaven over each offence and the loss of so many souls. And if we are truly following Christ, we should be too.
If we have ever wondered why all the frescos and images of God and the saints, from of old (when most had true faith), are of them with solemn expressions? That is because their hearts are bleeding for us. They are constantly petitioning to The Father on our behalf for the salvation of our souls.
It isn’t until the understanding of The Way was lost that current artists, during this time of darkness or even at the beginning when the stars (our understanding) began to fall away from the Church that a few jovial images have been painted. But that isn’t the true disposition of them. God in Heaven and on earth, no mater what “personality” He has, is constantly devastated over our sins and praying on our behalf so we won’t perish because of our great love for evil.
Therefore, if we are living the faith correctly, we will have Jesus’ peace constantly in us–“My[Jesus’] peace I give you” (John 14:27)–a total trust in all He allows as leading to our good, if we allow Him to change us… and understanding all this is needed for the end of evil to manifest (at the end of time).
But if we are true Christians, we won’t have the peace of the world in our hearts, which is in peace/content when we and others offend God… ignoring our sins… pretending like there is nothing wrong with them.. not caring that we and our neighbors are dying. No; there is nothing peaceful about sin and death. How grievously Our Lord suffers! How many children are lost! We should be horrified over this… not in peace like the world knows it.
“My soul is sorrowful even unto death [over the loose of My children despite my approaching bitter passion]” (Matthew 26:38).
But those without wisdom don’t understand God’s peace and the anguish of the saints over sin and the salvation of souls, as being part of God’s peace. We think if we are faithful, even with these horrors around us, we should always be waking around with false smiles on our faces thinking everything is great. But that just isn’t The Way.
If we lack this peace of Christ that is strictly driven from pride/sin. So, when we feel upset, frazzled or lack the perfect serenity of God’s grace in all adverse situations, even if someone sins against us, we should be looking for the sins which have lead to such behaviors so we can change.
Yes, even in “poverty, sickness, losses, and ruin” like St. Alphonsus has taught us, we should be in peace… yes, even if we are hungry, or tired, or problems occur, or if we are running late or whatever “burden” we are allowed to carry, God’s grace is more than enough to keep us in peace (if we have His grace). Truly saints aren’t moved to sin if they have those crosses, those crosses make them stronger (more filled with grace), as explained later.
But some of us are so far from peacefully accepting all God allows as for our good. Many even become sick in worry when things go against our liking or might even go opposed to our wishes. Oh, the stress we live in because of our lack of faith. While other become livid and enraged… or full of complaints when problems or sickness happens. This is all because we don’t want the cross of Christ… if that is what is best for our souls, if that is what God allows. We don’t want to surrender to God’s will and so to be healed by Christ through the cross. We want things our way… no cross. It is tragic!
“If Jesus afflicts you in body it is always in order to purify your soul… if you were dead to yourself [didn’t want your will] you would not be so disturbed.”
–Guardian angel to St. Gemma Galgani (Autobiography Part 4)
Therefore, if we can’t learn how to follow God and trust our loving Lord only allows everything to help bring us to a saving faith and then sanctity, then we really have no faith in Him. Jesus wants to bring us to a life of peace and true contrition for our sins (to save us), but if we don’t–stop complaining, worrying and wanting our will–how will we ever allow Him to lead us to Life… if we have made ourselves God (thinking we are the one who really knows what is best). Truly, we don’t know The Way… only He does.
“I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6).
Therefore, we must not only love others and stop complaining about them, we must also trust all that occurs in our lives as being part of God’s divine providence: what we need to experience for the salvation of our souls. That is, IF we seek Mercy to TEACH and GUIDE US, especially through our crosses, to what we need to change and accept, so we can become more like Christ… to learn how to truly hate our sins and love God.
Of course, we won’t always see the silver lining in all that happens, but if we don’t, we trust it is there, because we know God loves us. This is what faith in God is. But the deceiver has us. We just don’t understand… and we simply continue in our sins and complaining when life goes opposed to our will without a care in the world. Oh, what little love for God… what little faith we have.
Suffer Rather Than Offend God
In order to obtain a saving faith… to truly want to sin no more –to have true contrition for our sins–our hatred for sin and resolve we need to amend our trespasses can’t be a small hatred or resolve–a half-hearted effort. No. Like was said, to be saved, our belief in Jesus must grow from some faith–having a slight desire to love God, some desire to not offend Him–until we love and believe in God so greatly, we would choose to suffer anything rather than offend Him… even to the point of shedding blood rather than sinning. This is when we truly hate sin.
“In your struggle against [removing your liking/desire for] sin, you have not yet resisted [temptation enough] to the point of shedding blood [to avoid offending God].” (Hebrews 12:4)
Yes, souls who truly love God don’t just seek His grace thinking His grace will save them. Only having concern for themselves (getting to Heaven). No, souls who truly love God want to die for Him… would do anything rather than offend The One they love.
“Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin [truly hate sin] still live in it [still continue in it]? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death [we must die to sin/come to truly hate sin, if we are to Live]?” (Romans 5:19-6:3).
When we truly love God, we will daily die for the love of Him. We are called to die to ourselves… to suffer and deny ourselves of what we want–our sins–so to not choose to satisfy the sinful, self-loving desires we have. And yes, it is hard to restrain ourselves from sinning…. especially if we have made them a habitually practice, but that is how we love God/die for Him.
“But how will I conduct myself in the future? I will sin no more. If I cannot avoid sin except by dying, I will gladly choose death, even the most cruel death, rather than sin. If I can avoid sin only by bearing insult and contempt, I will gladly suffer being despised and abused by everybody rather than sin.
I want to die rather than sin. Therefore, with this aim I will us all my days and all my hours and moments in loving my Supreme Good and keeping closely united with Him. O my Jesus, engrave deeply in my heart these resolutions; keep them there so that I will never forget to practice them.”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret, (Golden Key to Heaven, Med. 6)
Therefore, if we desire to embrace God’s saving forgiving mercy, we must lose our self-love so we can embrace God’s saving love and that is done by growing in our faith from being willing to suffer at least a littl to love God… and then grow into having a true desire, being willing to “shed blood” rather than sin.
Oh, but how far are we from this kind of love… this kind of hatred for sin? Be willing to shed blood rather than sin… oh, most of us won’t do anything to avoid sinning… never mind suffer. If we have a craving, we don’t know how to apply restraint, make a resolution, or avoid what is leading us to sin; we just fill it. We can’t suffer at all.
We greatly lack discipline for the love of God. Some might have discipline for the love of self–to lose weight, to do well in school, to achieve a goal in work, a hobby, etc.–but not for the love of God. We need Mercy to give us a desire and strength to truly live the faith.
Therefore, we need to GROW in our hatred for sin from just some hatred, which perhaps only has a thought of stopping a sin, into a hatred so great we would rather suffer anything even death than offend God again with any sin. Please don’t be deceived.
“If you ask me what [true] repentance is, I tell you that it is an anguish of the soul, and a detestation for past sin, and a firm resolve never to sin again… No my friends, you must not rely on tears alone. They are often deceiving, and many persons weep in the confessional and fall back into the same sin at the first opportunity… Christians who have sinned and wish to obtain pardon, must be so minded that he would rather SUFFER THE MOST CRUEL TORTURES than fall back into the sin which he has just confessed.
–St. John Vianney, (Sermon of the Cure d Ars, Passion Sunday: Repentance).
Truly, if we lack this contrition–this hatred for sin–for just ONE sin, we reject God and His saving forgiving mercy for that sin. This is the truth. To be able to accept God’s saving mercy, we must reject sin–ALL sin–so we can choose Him over evil… not just in our words but in our hearts, which is proven by our actions.
This is why we need Jesus so greatly to save us. To obtain this kind of faith, which saves, takes A LOT OF GRACE. To do this, we need to seek Mercy to help us grow into such a great love for Him, to where we love Him above ourselves… then we would rather suffer greatly than to offend, in the slightest way, The One we seek to love. This is true love.
This is the kind of contrition we need before we can atone for a single sin after our baptism too. But, we have been deceived. Tragically, we have wasted away our lives seeking bounds of worthless things instead of seeking salvation (a saving faith) and then sanctity.
If we were really sorrowful for our sins and really hated to offend God, I promise you, we most certainly would be leaving everything that causes us to sin, and making real resolutions to help prevent us from sinning, and seeking Him daily for help (grace), as we work hard every moment to avoid sin, all sin and we would be growing into saints. Not casually repeating them over and over again.
“If your hand or foot causes you to sin [if anything causes you to sin], cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter into life [Heaven] maimed or crippled [without what we want] than with two hands or two feet [with what we want] to be thrown into eternal fire” (Matthew 18:8).
Honestly, what have we rid from our lives that is causing us to sin? What resolutions did we have today to not sin again… did we even have a resolution to amend a single sin or a single idol/attachment? Oh, we are far from being willing to suffer rather than offend God. Yet, if there is just ONE sin we ignore, don’t work hard to leave, and neglect to obtain a true hatred for (true contrition), we choose that sin over God. Oh, the devil has deceived us!
Now is the time to learn how to remove what is causing us to sin and make and keep real resolutions to amend our ways. We simply can’t continue to sin. If we were really sorry, truly we would be removing all that causes us to sin.
“Many of those who had believed [Jesus is Lord] kept coming, confessing and disclosing their [sinful] practices [wanting forgiveness]. And many of those who [sinned] brought their [devices of sin] together and began burning them in the sight of everyone [which proved their true desire to sin no more]” (Acts 19:18-19).
We Must Die to Our Sins
Please know, we can ask God for forgiveness, but when we haven’t grown enough in our faith to accept enough of God’s mercy (helping grace) to truly die to that sin–to lose our desire for that sin–we will reject His forgiveness for the sin, since we still have some kind of desire for the sin (haven’t died to the sin).
“In his own body he brought your sins to the cross, so that all of us, dead to sin [who no longer desire any sin], could live in accord with God’s will [and be saved]” (1 Peter 2:24).
Even though we perfectly “died to sin” (Romans 6:1) through Jesus’ sacrifice through our baptism, sadly, we rekindled our love for sin when we lacked contrition for our first sin. Therefore, if we want to accept God’s gift we rejected, we need to obtain true hatred for sin. We must still must become “dead to sin” ourselves… and kill all desire for any sin, so we can desire God alone and be saved by Him. We can’t “live in it [want our sins]” (Romans 6:1) and think we are going to embrace saving mercy and Live.
Oh, please don’t say, “I don’t desire any sin.” That simply isn’t true. From the fall of Adam and Eve, we are all greatly inclined to sin, which causes us to desire many, many sins. If we haven’t spent our lives seeking Mercy to kill that desire and have succeeded in our efforts, we ALL desire sin. If we don’t think we desire sin, our pride has us believing a lie. We don’t know the truth about ourselves. We will need to learn how to become humble and honest with who we are (as explained later).
“Having destroyed the venom of disordinate desire [our desire for sin], and ruled it with love and fear of Me… he will be capable of receiving eternal life”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna (A Treatise of Discretion, #107).
But sadly, from either being blinded to our sinfulness and not understanding the consequences of sin, we aren’t dying to sin (losing our desire for sin)… we are lucky if we have even a single thought about stopping just one of our sins, never mind have a mind set of striving with “[all] our hearts… to walk in ALL his ways, and to keep his [ALL of His] commandments (1 Kings 8:28)… so to amend all of our offences against Him.
Our great desire for sin has us forgetting we must “repent and turn to God [seek God to help us hate and stop the sin]” (Acts 26:20), if we wish for our sins to ever be forgiven. Again, we can’t just continue in our sins, “saying” we are sorry, but yet doing little to nothing at all to stop them. That is a desire for sin.
Sadly, like was said, most have a GREAT lack of repentance in our hearts upon our deaths, from our great neglect to seek Mercy to remove our great will to sin— from our neglect to seek Christ to save us.
“The souls in hell having been found at the moment of death with a WILL TO SIN [desire to sin], have with them an infinite degree of guilt [since one sin is infinitely offensive to Perfect Goodness]; and the punishment they suffer, though less than they deserve, is yet, so far as it exists, endless.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa, (The Treatise of Purgatory, Ch. 4)
So, again please honestly ask ourselves, what sins are we working hard to leave? Honestly, are there any? Yes, we have a great will to sin, but we need to seek mercy to obtain a great will to love Him… for there is no other Way to Heaven. We must hate sin all sin to be saved. For no soul who hates God (loves sin) is in Heaven.
“Faith has been given to us so that… it might be a light for the knowledge that helps move our will to love God and keep his commandments, by which man is saved.”
–St. John of Avila (Listen, O Daughter Ch. 43)
A lot of us don’t understand that when ever we don’t do God’s will we are in fact sinning. God tells us to follow His will and when we don’t that is a sin. Therefore, sin is much more than just the wrong actions we tend to comprehend. It is literally doing anything God doesn’t want us to do or neglecting to do what God does want us to do.
Of course God never wills us to sin any “sin” but He also has a plan that we are to follow–things He wants us to do–which lead us directly to a life of peace and eternal happiness in Heaven with Him that we need to follow if we want Life. But we tend to refuse to do God’s will and wind up following our own most of the time.. mostly because we don’t see neglecting God’s will–not doing all He desires of us at all minuites of our life–as being sinful… nor even something we should be striving to comply.
“By your stubbornness [refusing to do God’s will] and impenitent heart [not feeling shame for your sins], you are storing up wrath for yourself for the day of wrath and revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who seek glory, honor, and immortality through perseverance in good works [of God’s will], but wrath and fury to those who selfishly disobey the truth and obey wickedness [who did our own will instead]” (Romans 2:5-8).
But following God’s will as perfectly as possible is how God intends to save us: to remove our great will to sin. We must trust in Him (His will as being perfect). God–Our Shepard– is The One we should be trusting to lead us to Life, and not ourselves by doing our will. God literally has a plan (what he wants us to do) for EVERY moment of our lives, so we don’t give a second to doing the wrong thing. Yes, every single second God has designed a perfect plan for us to grow closer to Him, if we want to follow it.
To find true happiness on earth and Eternal Life, we must let go of our will and follow His, not just with the “big” things God wishes for us to do, but with EVERYTHING, because on our own, the only thing we can find is death… we don’t know The Way.
“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me [does what I will] will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life [will know how to obtain Life]” (John 8:12).
This is because our will (our flesh) is opposed to God’s will. “The flesh is hostility toward God [it desires sin–to do our will]” (Romans 8:7). Yes, what we want to do is driven from self-love and what God wants is driven from perfect love. So doing things our way, will merit us nothing.
“Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith [saying you believe] apart from works [without doing God’s will] is barren?” (James 2:20).
Therefore, if we want to love God and obtain all the blessings He wants to give us… and of course to obtain a saving faith, our goal needs to be to “walk in the way of perfection” (Psalm 101)–by learning how to perfectly surrender our will (all that is evil)… to want nothing but God’s will. We must learn how to focus solely on doing His will, through “pray[ing] without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) and never again say “I want”… hoping things go our way ever again.
Yes, we need to learn how to humbly happily love what God has allowed to occur, knowing it is His will–which is good–and what He intends to use to help hate our sin and love Him, for the salvation of our souls. But we can only learn and grow in faith if we trust in God’s plan and look for His direction so we can change and come to perfectly follow Him. Then we will learn how to hate what is evil and won’t take the wrong path or not advance on the path to Life because we have rejected God’s will for our own.
Now, to want nothing but God’s will for every second of our lives is a tall order to fill since, from the fall of Adam and Eve, we are greatly inclined to follow our own desires and impulses, and for most of our desires they are quite opposed to God’s will, since grace isn’t moving them. Without grace moving us, our will is vastly opposed to God’s.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8).
So, even if we think we are doing “God’s will” it is probably only partially true, since God’s will is so much more than we could fathom. But as we grow in God’s grace, we will grow in
But every time we sin and follow part or all of our will, we reject Grace. This grace we reject is the very grace we need to be strong to resist sinning, and find and walk on the path to Life so we can follow God to Heaven. But for every moment that we do we follow Christ–and surrender to His will, at least partially, and not fall into temptation to sin/or do our will–from turning from evil and doing good, we can accept and keep some of all of His grace He sends, so He can guide us towards Life. This is because we didn’t reject His help through sin but accepted His help/grace through obedience to His will.
Therefore, the more we can reject sin and follow God’s will, the more He will lead us towards a saving faith and then perfection, because this is what God will is: the salvation of our souls and then for us to become perfect saints. And the only thing that is preventing God from doing this for us is our free will–our desire for sin/our will and not God and His will, which rejects this gift for sin.
If we are so blessed to grow so much in faith that, from unceasing prayer, we reject our will at all moments, then we can allow God to fill us with His grace and we will never push Him away again. Then He will make us perfect (unable to sin again). Wonderful!
We can easily some of our self-willed choices… it comes pretty much every time we say “I want.” We will find ourselves saying, “I want a coffee” “ I feel like having some pasta tonight” “I want some candy” Oh, you know what I mean… we have cravings and what do we do? We fill them, if we can. But is that what God wills? Probably not, especially since living for the cross (choosing what we don’t want) to send grace for the salvation of souls is how we really love God and our neighbor (as explained later).
But on top of that, the constant satisfying of ourselves of whatever desires we have is why we lack so much discipline and can’t reject the temptations (cravings) we have, which cause us to commit so many sins. Do we have the strength to shut our mount and not complain when something isn’t to our liking, or to distract ourselves and not satisfy our impure sexual desires for self-gratification. Sadly, most don’t know how to stop sinning because we don’t have any discipline and don’t know how to find self-control… since we just do whatever we feel like.
If we don’t have discipline– discipline like an athlete–how are we going to reject evil and choose good? To obtain this discpline requires to participants: ourselves and God. But a lot of the time, we expect God to do everything, without our will putting forth any effort. But that just isn’t how rejecting temptation works most of the time.
Many temptations are great, and if we are expecting God to force us to choose good, He won’t. God’s grace will only go so far. God’s grace doesn’t force us to obey Him and do good; it works with our will. And if our will has no desire to do good and/or no self-discipline to do it, God’s grace won’t be able to help us amend our ways.
Therefore, for our will to want to do good, for the right reasons, enough to do what is necessary to change, we need to first be moved by God into desiring to do good… God can touch us, like after we read this article, or books by the saints, or The Word. But He isn’t going to do everything for us. After the first call we need to take action. If we don’t we allow the seed God planted to be washed away and it won’t grow or produce good fruit.
To use God’s grace so to grow, we will need self-discipline to do something. To acquire this discipline we need, we must practice acts of discipline and fasting is how we can do that. Fasting with the desire for strength to sin no more so we can desire God alone (His will only) to love Him obtains much grace.
You see grace is acquired by giving. God gives the first gift and if we accept it, He expects us to move (do something to grow in faith). If we burry the gift and return nothing additional to Him, He won’t give us more. If our free will doesn’t move us, to acquire more grace, then the gift is wasted. But if we moved from that gift, and do something to seek out more grace (through obedience), then He will sends more grace, and if that grace causes us to move towards Him, He will send more and more and more… moving us right to Life.
And this is how God saves us one step at a time by surrendering our will for His, until we literally want nothing… not for a milli-second of our life… then our will no longer impedes God’s grace from consuming our soul. Then God’s love can constantly dwell in us and make us perfect—not able to sin again.
We Must Teach the Truth
Yes, we need Our Savior to save us–to help us advance in faith, with the goal of becoming perfectly “mature”–until we become truly “humble and contrite in spirit” (Isaiah 66:2), and no longer desire to commit any of our sins (aren’t attached to any sin), so to obtain true contrition, for the salvation of our souls and one day offend God no more. Then we can go out and save souls too.
Please know, “A great many persons live constantly in the state of damnation [but don’t even know it]!”as St. Vincent De Paul has warned us (Voice of the Saints). The world needs to hear the words of Truth so we can seek Mercy to help change our lives. We don’t want all of God’s children to die. But tragically, the deceiver has confused us so greatly that not only are we ignoring The Truth, we are not warning God’s children of their impending doom if we don’t change either.
“I can not rest, but must needs [to] run and shout a warning to them… Neither can I understand why other priests… do not preach or exhort their flock so that they might avoid this unbearable eternity of Hell.
It is still a source of wonder to me how the laity–those men and women blessed with the Faith–do not give warning [what kind of faith do they really have?]…. why should there not be a warning of the eternal fire to waken those who are drifting in the sleep of sin [to their eternal doom]…”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret, (Autobiography, Ch. 2)
Horribly, we don’t even have the faith to save souls.
Oh, how many of us lie to ourselves and think we truly love God and others, since we enjoy helping others with their worldly and maybe even their spiritual needs. But we do them from misguided love, since we are oblivious to what is the greatest good–to what is needed for salvation–and we wind up never really helping to move others towards Eternal Life (loving how Christ loves), since not only do we not know how to obtain a saving faith, we aren’t even concerned about obtaining one.
Because of our blindness, all of our works will end in nothing that will truly love another–nothing that will help save their soul. If we aren’t seeking the true “treasures in Heaven” (Matthew 6:19): to help others, where they are in their faith, through our corporal and spiritual works, so they may grow in faith until they obtain unity with God… until they truly hate sin and truly love Him, all our works will be in vain. If we can’t help others to embrace God’s forgiveness of their sins and one day sanctify their souls (become pure enough to be welcomed into Heaven), we are not living the Christian faith (as explained later).
Oh, we save souls by doing all so others can grow into a saving faith (to help save them, just like Jesus does), and because we are in such great darkness, that greatly entails preaching THE TRUTH. Yet, as we know, The Truth is no longer being taught and the fear of damnation–the consequences of sin–is no longer being preached either.
The motivation we need to do what is necessary to change is not uttered. The devil has us. We are now being misguided right to our doom, because “the god of this age [our idols] has blinded [our minds] so that they [we] may not see [or preach] the light of the gospel” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Yes, we aren’t being taught how to save our souls nor are we being warned of what will happen if we don’t change, because we can’t see “the light of the gospel”, since our IDOLS (everything we seek for happiness that isn’t God) has caused us to go become blind, as we desire them and not God, as explained later. As a result, we don’t know we MUST grow in faith or we will all perish.
Because of our sinfulness and neglecting to save souls by not teaching them The Way, upon our deaths, the majority of God’s children wind up unknowingly rejecting God and choosing “Hades… being tormented [forever]” (Luke 16:23)… receiving the “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46) for their vast unrepentant sins. It is absolutely tragic!
“Whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death” (James 5:20).
But we must know, this–lack of understanding of our need for true contrition (a saving faith) for salvation–isn’t the only truth we have been darkened in understanding with. Tragically, we have been so greatly deceived, we practically have to re-learn the entire faith… since the devil–“the antichrist” (1 John 2:22)–has infiltrated it all, as explained later. Please don’t be deceived! God wants you in Heaven.
It is Time to Gain Some Humility
Without gaining humility there is no hope for us. Like was said, with in all of us, unless Christ has removed our desire for sin, there are many sins we don’t want to leave (the sins we love). Some of us are humble enough to admit this truth and others simply can’t.
Many of God’s faithful, suffer from this great pride. The devil wants to take God’s “faithful” and make them into proud and blind souls. ” “. This is what has happened to God’s Church, as explained later. It is full of proud blind people, who don’t know our true sinfulness and are far from a saving humility… which is why we have fallen into this time of great darkness. Our pride has deceived us.
“Pride goes before disaster” (Proverbs 16:18).
The pride of ours has such horrible consequences. It rejects grace… some or all of it and make us so confused to The Way. Yet, we must know, all of these Rosaries and prayers we pray, full of pride–presuming we are saved from having no fear of sin (no real contrition for our sins)–having no fear of the Lord–won’t help us at all. Please don’t be deceived. Proud prayers and works, no matter how many billions we have performed, only end in doom.
To obtain a saving faith, we need to be at least humble enough to know we are great sinners who need to repent… and know we need Our Savior to save us (to give us a saving faith). We can’t seek God to save us, if we think we are already saved. But horribly, some of us, have been deceived through our pride into thinking we are so “faithful”, because of our vast knowledge, prayers and/or works, that now we don’t even realize how sinful we really are.
Then we live our lives with self-righteous blinders on. And we, and probably everyone around us thinks we are holy and saved because of what we do. But please remember, we are “not [saved] because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy” (Titus 3:5). And this mercy, that saves, is embraced/accepted when we have true contrition in our hearts for every one of our sins. So, please don’t lie to ourselves and pretend like we are striving to stop all of our sins when we really aren’t… that lie will kill us.
But after we are humbled, come to see our great sinfulness and grow in understanding of the consequences of sin (gain fear of the Lord), then our sorrow for our sins should grow too. If we accept enough of God’s grace, we will gain a desire to change and work hard to avoid and amend some of our sins, and with each sin we amend, if we stay humble, we will grow in faith (hatred for our sins) until we eventually live all of the above facets of true contrition (live the acts of contrition) for all of our offences against God and obtain a saving faith.
But as we know, from being deceived, we aren’t doing this. We don’t hate our sins enough. Many say, “Just confess your sins… God is merciful. He will forgive you.” As if merely “saying” our sins is going to allow us to accept God’s forgiveness.
Of course, God wants us to confess our sins, like the Psalmist teaches us. “I have acknowledged my sins; my guilt I did not hide” (Psalm 32), since refusing to admit our guilt is obvious proof of our great pride. Because when we are more concerned with what another might think… when we don’t want to admit our wrongs so we can pretend like we are someone we aren’t that is great evidence of our lack of humility and lack of contrition.
“Pride keeps it [our soul] in darkness. The soul neither knows how, nor is it willing, to probe with precision the depths of its own misery [sinfulness]. It puts on a mask and avoids everything that might bring it recovery.”
–St. Faustina (Diary, #113)
Therefore, to accept God’s forgiving saving mercy, we must grow in faith to humbly confess our sins with true sorrow–which causes us to turn from our sins—or the wrath of God (the consequences of our sins) will still remain upon us.
“When God saw BY THEIR ACTIONS how they turned from their evil way, he repented of the evil [punishment] that he had threatened to do to them.” (Jonah 3:10)
How to See and Cure Our Gross Pride
The great pride we suffer from is so horrific, so blinding, so damning, we simply must come to recognize it’s ugliness within us or we will remain without hope. There are very specific thoughts, words and deeds we have when we are suffering from pride.
The following is a list of just some of the vast proofs we have when we are suffering from great pride. If we bear any one of the following behaviors, that is proof of our blinding/deadly pride.
Proofs of Pride:
Insulted, offended or embarrassed if someone says we have done something wrong: If someone points out an error, whether they are right or wrong, if we are anything other than grateful, yes, grateful, for the correction, since we want to see any error we might have so to fix it and not offend God, we have GREAT pride within us. Oh, we all do this, we might say. Yes, we all do this. My point is made. We are all suffering from great blinding pride. The saints weren’t lying when they said few are saved.
Truly there is no other reason for our poor reception of correction that us not wanting to be seen as a sinner.. not wanting to be humbled. We don’t want others to see and we don’t want to acknowledge it ourselves and fall into sinful disposition as a result.
Sure it is ok if we are embarrassed that we were a poor example of Christianity, but not embarrassed that our “image” of being without error was crushed. Being ashamed that we might have led someone astray, by our bad example, is how we should feel. But not embarrassed that we weren’t all that our pride wants us to be.
Yet, how many of us as are all bent out of shape if we are told we have done something wrong or if someone doesn’t think we are great. When our pride is injured and we don’t humble ourselves, we either flex our pride or we wallow in self-pity, as we wish were who we aren’t, not because we can’t bear to offend God, but because we can’t bear to be with errors (less than others). We don’t want to acknowledge and accept that we are a sinner in need of Mercy to help us remove our sins, we want to be or pretend to be someone we aren’t, which are great proofs of horrible pride.
There are many ways we flex our pride, as we try to build up what someone or something has crushed. Much of the time we do all our pride building in our minds. But sometime we have prideful actions and words to boost ourselves up.
Perhaps to flex our pride, we say in our thoughts or words, “How dare you correct me” as our pride blurts out or thinks poorly about the person beneath us, to put them down, declaring that person as having no right to say anything that would point out our imperfection, as the one doing wrong, without showing the respect that our pride demands.
These moments of anger/pride that we have when we are corrected or really if anything goes opposed to our will, that we respond poorly to, if we only payed attention to them, we would see half our sins/pride easily. But we don’t and live blind.
Won’t admit to our wrong’s: There are many ways we won’t admit our sins. The most common one is when we are caught doing something wrong, instead of admitting our failure, we try to pretend like we didn’t do it.
Let’s say, perhaps we treated another poorly and the person we mistreated told another of our behavior and now we are caught doing wrong. Instead of admitting to our sin, we lie and say the person making that claim is wrong… that we never did such a thing. When we see the person we wronged, we don’t humble ourselves and apologize for sinning against them. No, we cover our sin. Perhaps we make up some story as to how the situation really isn’t what they thought is was, so to try to trick/deceive them into believing they are mistaken.
The ways we lie to ourselves and others to pretend like we aren’t sinners is fantastic. And only if we really want to see the truth about ourselves will we even begin to see how we do this. Our pride just doesn’t want us to admit to who we are… SINNERS, and it surely doesn’t want to take the remedy for pride, humbly allowing others to see ourselves as sinners and apologizing to them and others for doing wrong.
We would rather confess our sins to God rather than humble ourselves and confess our sins before man, since we know God already knows we are sinners, but our pride wants to walk around with a facade on before others and pretend like we are who we aren’t, leaving us confused and blind, since we won’t humble ourselves.
If we want to Live and not stay blind because of our pride, we must not only confess to God but we must “confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16).
Finds Joy and Happiness when Complemented: Saints, are not delighted with complements but in horror over them. They don’t seek praise, but run from it. They know and fully understand the deadly effects of complements and how they lead us into all kinds of sins of pride.
If we find ourselves delighting in the kind words others say about us, we are inflating our pride. It takes quite an honest soul, to acknowledge that we are doing this. Most will be relishing in the praise of others or of ourselves as we boost ourselves up, as we think of all the “good” we have done, but refuse to see that we do this.
But this seeking self-glory is a HUGE problem that we are blind to. If we don’t know we do this, then we need to be enlightened, because unless we have greatly sought God to strip us of our insatiable desire for self-love, we do this… we just do this in vast assorted ways that most haven’t even begun to see.
If someone says a boastful word about us and we bow our head in shame (at least in our thoughts), saying to ourselves or others, that we are nothing… that nothing we have done is from anything good that we have done, being embarrassed that someone might think we have done something great, giving all glory to God and Him alone, who is the only One who does anything good, then we are rejecting the temptation to boast of ourselves, who are nothing but sin.
Another way we seek-self glory is when we look back at what we have done with some kind of delight in the works… we might be saying “praise God” in our words, but beware, the devil hides in our true intentions and thoughts and swells our pride as we complement ourselves for what we have done. But again, if it is anything actually good, we surely didn’t do it, since God and Him alone is truly good and only things truly good can come from Him.
Where is Our Concern for Salvation?
Today, the flock is so oblivious as to what awaits us if we don’t change, it is terrifying. Tragically, for most of us, we are so darkened to The Way, we are utterly clueless we are walking to our doom. Unless we become vastly enlightened to the truth and greatly change, we are still going to receive the horrific punishment that is due to us for our sins, since we are rejecting God’s healing mercy that was meant to take away our punishment for our sins.
Yes, unless we work hard to change and become one of the “few” who embrace God’s forgiving mercy for all of our sins, this punishment of being “tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelation 20:10) in Hell—will be our reality.
“It is certain that hell is a pit of fire, in which the miserable souls of the…[damned] will be tormented forever… [the damned] will be forever dying, and yet never, never die.”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, (The Way of Salvation and Perfection, Med. 26)
Truly, if we don’t wake up and repent and change, our eternal suffering will be great.
We simply must gain a concern for our salvation which drives us to work as hard as we can to leave all of our evil ways, so to love God. We must be “turning from the sins [we commit]” (Ezequel 18:21) or we won’t ever reach a saving faith (true hatred/true contrition).
This is why the world is a mess. We say we are Christians, but we think very little of our sins. We aren’t looking for our sins, nor are we sincerely working hard to leave them. We are neglecting bounds of laws of God. We think nothing of offending God with countless offences.
We think since Christ came into the world, it doesn’t matter if we sin… that His mercy will forgive us no matter what we do, contrition or not. Oh, we have been deceived. Most are concerned about everything else in life, but our sins. We have little to no real contrition for endless offences against God and are rejecting Mercy for sin… but think nothing of it.
Yes, the “Faithful” are Without a Saving Faith
Please know, even if we feel God’s love, even if He has changed our lives, even if He has given us purpose and meaning and now, we believe we live for Him and are hardly sinning, sadly, most still haven’t grown enough in our faith… not into a true SAVING FAITH and our unknown mortal sins are rejecting Him. This is the truth. Please don’t be deceived.
Truly, the saints aren’t lying. But I know this can be hard to believe, yet not only are those, who don’t even try to live the faith–who are committing what we see as grave sins–walking blindly to their doom, but horribly so many of us–who consider ourselves greatly faithful, who pray bounds of prayers and have great knowledge and gifts from God, who have even given their lives in a most beautiful way to serving Our Lord and others–have been greatly deceived into thinking we are saved… that we have a saving faith–TRUE belief in Christ/true contrition for our sin–when we still don’t, but we just can’t see it. We are blind.
“That person is blind [doesn’t know his sins nor how to obtain Heaven] who has knowledge… He seems to have his eyes on God but he does not, [he has been deceived] for his eyes are on the world and he has turned his back to God.”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden, (Revelations, Ch. 14)
Yes, our knowledge and faith might seem great, but for most of us it just isn’t true (much deception lives in us). Sadly, because of our pride, we don’t know how to look at ourselves with eyes of truth. So, please be open to what the saints are teaching our reality is or we will never see and die. Truly, we must become honest with ourselves or we will blindly/proudly reject God for sin like so many have suffered before us.
I know we want be good people and do the right thing. We “believe” in Jesus and think we are saved. But the saints are telling us that we have been greatly deceived, and the faith we think we have simply isn’t enough to be true. It won’t save us.
“The pride of your heart has deceived you.” –St. Ambrose, (Obadiah 1)
Therefore, after our entire lives of being a “Christian” with all of our Masses and confessions attended, with all of our prayers and sacrifices made, and all of our countless hours of reading The Word and serving others… after all of the bounds of blessings (grace sent) from God, do we have such little hatred for our sins, that we still have a sin or many sins we are continuing in, since we aren’t seeking Mercy correctly to change us?
Where is our hatred for sin? Oh, the devil has tricked us into thinking attending church, praying a lot and doing good for others makes us “holy” and saved but remember, we aren’t saved by what we do. Our works don’t save.
Sure, all of the aforementioned pious things we do should help us to become, at least, someone who doesn’t want to offend God and wants to love Him… But that only occurs if we perform those pious acts with HUMBLE HEARTS, knowing our great sinfulness and need for mercy (help to change). That is the ONLY way any thought, word or deed we do for God or neighbor will have any benefit for our eternal life.
Therefore, if we can now see we are perishing, it is the time to “leave behind the basic teaching about Christ and advance to maturity” (Hebrews 6:1). Yes, we need to stop trying to gain more prayers and works… like the rest of the lost world who wants to be “holy” and start striving to gain humility (knowledge of our sinfulness, our weakness… our need for Mercy) and learn how to stop sinning… to humbly follow God’s will perfectly, so He can guide us to Life.
“The reason why Christ died for sins once for all… was that he might lead you to God.” (1 Peter 1:18).
But of course, please know, when we grow in faith properly, we will grow in prayers and works… without them our faith is dead, but that won’t be our goal. Our goal will be to humbly, perfectly love God. To OFFEND HIM NO MORE! To follow Him and His will alone. And to do this, we must train like an athlete or it simply won’t happen.
Oh, but beware! Even if now we want to change, the devil will still work tirelessly to deceive us, to keep us from obtaining a saving faith in Christ, all with the purpose of preventing us from sincerely repenting, so we won’t embrace God’s saving forgiving mercy for the salvation of our souls. But not to worry, this web-site and the saints are here to help lead us correctly to Jesus.
Our Priorities Are All Wrong
Oh, the world is all concerned about possibly getting sick and dying from COVID, but we have little to absolutely no concern at all with our eternal lives… with the scores of people, practically the whole of humanity, during this time of darkness, dying–perishing into Hell–since we lack true sorrow for our sins.
Oh, what kind of terrifying judgment and eternity awaits us.
“Oh, Hell! Oh, Hell! Mother of God have pity on those who do not amend their lives. If men only know what awaits them in eternity, they would do everything in their power to change their lives.”
–St. Jacinta of Fatima
What kind of love do we really have for our neighbor? Horribly, we were never told outside of The Word or by the saints that we need Christ to save us, so we can amend our lives and GROW in faith to, at least, at the moment of our deaths, obtain true contrition/true hatred for our life time of offences against God, so we DON’T PERISH INTO HELL.
“People must renounce sin and not persist in it, as has been done until now. It is essential to repent greatly!”
–The Mother of God to St. Jacinta of Fatima
Truly, from being blinded by the devil, since we fell into his trap, we live for everything but salvation. We don’t even realize if we don’t change, we are choosing Hell for eternity. We don’t know this, because the devil has made us terrified to speak about the real eternal consequences of unrepentant sin. This occurred because in the past, damnation was preached about, but instead of it moving us to Life, it moved us to despair, because it was preached without teaching of God’s mercy who wants to change and save us.
Now, the devil moved us to swing completely in the other direction removing all fear of Hell, tricking us into thinking Mercy will save us, even though we are rejecting Him from our unrepentant sin. Now, horribly, The Truth is omitted from our preaching, teaching and lives so much that we don’t understand it anymore.
Yet, without coming to understand this reality, we will never have a true desire to seek Mercy to change. This servile fear (fear of suffering from our sins) is the fear that will begin to move us. Please listen to what God the Father said, “They have arisen with servile fear from the vomit of mortal sin” as St. Catherine of Siena wrote in her Treatise of Discretion. This fear MUST be included in our preaching or we are to remain blind and damned.
“Remember then what you received and heard [The Truth]; obey it, and repent [with true contrition when you fail]. If you do not wake up [and amend your ways], I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you [and you will not be ready, from your unrepentant sin]” (Revelations 3:3).
Oh, the saints of the past have preached this truth, but sadly not anyone today. Today, we live in a time of darkness. “Complete darkness is in store for his treasured ones” (Job 20:26), which, if we now have been enlightened, we can see is occurring today.
Tragically, we don’t really know how to be saved, what repentance is nor how to acquire it anymore… nor do we really understand what happens when we don’t obtain it. The devil has made us blind and dumb. Yes, we don’t know we are dying and need Christ to save us, and we are perishing!
Humbly, Happily Accepting the Truth
Coming to see how we don’t really understand The Truth and are guilty of committing so many horrible sins is hard for some of us to take.
If we do happen to see a moment of truth (our sinfulness), for some of us our pride becomes so hurt, we can’t stand who we are and begin hating ourselves… living depressed lives of self-pity. This is because our happiness is founded not on loving God (wanting to see our sins so we can stop) but on loving ourselves.
But for others, when we see our weakness, to find happiness, we simply make our sins nothing, ignore and/or cover them… making them no big deal… focusing on all the good we do to boost our pride… never concerning ourselves with the fact that our sins aren’t loving God. Therefore, our happiness isn’t founded on leaving a sin (obeying God, doing His will) so we can love God… no. It is in ourselves–ignoring our bad so we can pretend like we are good.
This is especially a problem for those of us whom God has changed, and now we thrive off our pride of wanting to be a good person. Many people who are religious and those with no faith want to be “good” and our prides are greatly upset when we fail. But please don’t allow this to become an issue about our pride: being less than who we want to be.
We must accept ourselves for who we are… sinners, and make this about HOW WE AREN’T LOVING GOD, and what we can do to change. Therefore, please know, seeing our weaknesses isn’t supposed to depress us. That only occurs when our pride doesn’t accept who we are… sinners. Even with our imperfections (non-sinful mistakes we make), our pride can struggle with accepting anything we do that is less than perfect or less than what others do… and then jealousy (wishing we were someone we aren’t) brings us down.
Knowledge of our sinfulness or even of our imperfections is supposed to humble us and then excite us into seeing how we can change–to give us an opportunity to improve–so we can better love our neighbor (others) and God.
So, please don’t run from seeing our weaknesses, nor allow them to depress us when we do see them. Humbly accept ourselves for who we are. And please don’t confess our sins… looking to remove our feeling of guilt: to remove our sorrow for what we have done. God’s mercy doesn’t remove the fact that we haven’t loved Him. We still committed the sin and didn’t love God. We should feel guilty/sorry for offending God; we did.
But let’s accept who we are and forgive ourselves like God accepts and our weakness and forgives us when we are truly sorry for our sins. Then let’s allow that feeling of guilt move us to Life, because God wants us in Heaven. Let our guilt–our sorrow for doing wrong–move us to seek God’s most merciful love (help/grace), so we can advance to a saving faith and then to never offend God again–to perfectly LOVE HIM.
Let’s change from being embarrassed/humiliated (having sorrow from our pride) that we are less than who we want to be (driven from self-love)–into having a great guilt/sorrow for offending God, whom we can’t bear that we haven’t perfectly loved (sorrow driven from love of God).
Then humbly allow ourselves to reject the temptation to live in self-pity bashing ourselves for our sins and ACCEPT WHO WE ARE… sinners in great need of Mercy. Then with great trust in Our Lord’s mercy, who wants to love, forgive and change us no matter what we have done wrong, embrace that grace and live in peace as we allow God’s magnificent grace to take away our sins and move us towards the salvation of our souls… so we may never not love God again. Remember all God wants for us is our salvation… for even though our “sin increased, grace [for those with real sorrow] overflowed all the more” (Romans 5:20) for the conversion of our souls. Praise God for His mercy!
“We must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead [didn’t have remorse for his sins] and has come to life again [wants to amend them]; he was lost [in darkness] and has been found [wants to seek the Light]” (Luke 15:32).
Therefore, seeing God’s love and forgiveness should cause us to want to love Him in return–to never want to offend Him again…. that is if our hearts aren’t focused on self-love: wanting His forgiveness to love ourselves, to make ourselves feel better, instead of seeking His mercy so we can work harder to love God.
So, if gaining a desire to lose our “practice of sinning” (1 John 3:9) isn’t the result of our confessions of guilt, if it doesn’t move us to do all we can to never sin again, and we just leave confession with our guilt removed (no longer feel badly for offending God/lost our sorrow for our sins)… then something is very wrong. We have allowed the devil to deceive us into loving ourselves and not God, which is more greatly explained later.
So, let’s come to know our sins, confess our sins and strive to leave our sins so to LOVE GOD… growing and growing in contrition for our sins, until it becomes perfect. Therefore, what ways do we show our hatred for good, by doing what is wrong, and even pretending it is right?
How about with our various acts of vanity? The makeup we wear, the hair we die, the tattoos we get, the exercising we do, the stylish clothes we wear, the “cool” car we drive, the diets we follow, etc.–to enhance our prideful appearance… Yes, all of those are done to love ourselves…. not God.
I’m speaking about all we do for vain glory (to feel better about ourselves)… perhaps we do things to appear younger, better looking, more successful, etc. Those are sins… sins that are leading us away from love of God into love of self.
“Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity [done to love ourselves and not God]” (Ecclesiastes 1:2).
“Oh, getting my nails painted isn’t sinful,” we tell ourselves, “God wants me happy.” Of course God wants us happy, but does He want us happy spending our time running to the world as our source of happiness (seeking idols, making them our happiness), living vain lives? Of course not. Remember, God wants Him to be our source of happiness. Isn’t He the only true source of happiness… not vanity? “Turn my eyes from looking at vanities [which are killing me]; give me life in your ways” (Psalm 119:37).
We are to follow Him… to become like Him “he had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him” (Isaiah 53:2).
Therefore, please know, it isn’t all those acts of vanity–doing/getting worldly things–which, in and of itself make them sinful, but it is why we do what we do. It is our seeking out those vain indulgences for happiness which is. Our minds must be set on loving and pleasing God… not ourselves (idolizing ourselves). All vanity and idols must be stripped from our lives. God alone is supposed to be all we desire for happiness? Wow… do we have a lot to change!
“‘You are my God. My happiness lies in you alone’ (v. 2)… the Psalmist radically rejects the temptation of idolatry [seeking happiness from the world].”
–Pope St. John Paul II, (General Audience, Wed., 28 July 2004)
Because of the deceiver confusing us as to what is sinful and what isn’t, most don’t even recognize these as sins. But even if we are enlightened to their malice against God, most don’t want to admit that we commit these common habitual sins… we want to remain in them.
Sadly, when many of us do come to see the truth, we prove we actually hate the truth (knowledge of our sinfulness), since we will come up with a million excuses as to why a sin isn’t sinful. It doesn’t matter what the sin is, if we love our pride or the sins and don’t want to admit or leave it, we will justify it as good. This is VERY common. Beware!
“Oh, I don’t get my nails painted because I seek it for happiness. I do it because I can’t work with ugly nails” like that is a valid excuse… or “I get my nails done,” we say “since my husband won’t like it if my nails aren’t maintained” as if we are doing it to obey him. I tell you, when we love our pride or any sin and refuse to see or leave it, we will search our minds for any justification we can find trying and trying to remove our guilt, so we can continue in the sin without remorse… since we love our pride or the sin so much more than admitting our guilt and leaving the sin to love God.
Yet, if we want to Live, we must become HONEST WITH OURSELVES and work hard to stop doing all the senseless worldly things we do to increase our pride (vanity/self-love)… I know, maybe, for some of us our appearance that we are concerned about, but our vanity is found in our love for the title we hold, the complements we receive, the success we have, or the friends we make? I tell you, how we build up ourselves–grow in greater pride–is found everywhere. We must beware.
“With humility have self-esteem [knowing and wanting to be nothing… so our self-value is founded on God who lives in and works through us]” (Ben Sira 10:28).
To obtain Life, we need to grow in humility and learn to be nothing… so God can be everything. Therefore, what are your acts of vanity? What do you do that isn’t to love God, but to build up yourself. For most of us, it isn’t just exterior vanities that we seek our for happiness… it is the interior vanities of power, priveledge, popularity, etc. that we crave too. But we just never knew we had them, since we never looked into WHY we like what we like. But whether we can see them or not, they are killing us.
We need to learn what our vanities are (how we build up our pride) so we can rid them from our lives so we can become humble (nothing but “dust”) as we “set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth” (Colossians 3:2), so we can truly make loving God as our source of happiness… not all of the pleasures of the world.
Don’t we know “the one who is self-indulgent… [is] dead” (1 Timothy 5:6)? Probably not, since we live in a time of darkness. The world has “lost its light… [and now delights in] idols made from gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood, which cannot see or hear or walk” (Revelations 8:12; 9:20).
Yes, The Truth is far from the forefront of our conscience. It has been cast out by darkness. Now, we spend our lives indulging in endless things to bring us pleasure that have nothing to do with knowing, loving or serving God… thinking nothing of them. Oh, we no longer understand what is sinful and what isn’t. We don’t know The Way.
Yet, just one sin we see as no big deal or justify as not sinful, makes us reject God for that sin and chooses “the penalty of eternal ruin, separated from the presence of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 1:9).
Yes, the devil has tricked us into believing many of our sins are not even sinful… so we will live guilt free, in denial, as we cover them, so we die without having true repentance. Therefore, we must seek Mercy to help us remove our passions for the world’s pleasures, so we can have a passion for loving Him.
“[Man is] blinded by passion [for things of the world/sin], which does not permit him to acknowledge his fault nor profit by the correction.”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, (Reflections useful for Bishops that then man govern well their churches; Ch. 2 #9)
We see this refusal to see our sins often when someone criticizes/corrects us. Instead of humbly looking into ourselves to see if we did wrong, apologizing and admitting our error, we become embarrassed, or angered or pretend like we didn’t really do it. Yikes! From our love of sin and pride we don’t want to admit or see our sins, which is damning our souls. We need to change this.
“Those who disregard discipline [ignore correction] hate themselves [from their pride, hate their weakness (who they really are) and don’t want to see their failures], but those who heed reproof [follow correction and want to know where they are going wrong] acquire understanding [accept themselves and others for who they/we are (sinners) and understand our need for Mercy… and have real hope for salvation].” (Proverbs 15:32).
So if we find ourselves becoming upset if someone points out what they think is a wrong doing of ours, then we know we still don’t really want to see. Our pride is still in control. Because when a soul really wants to see, they welcome criticism/correction, even if it is incorrect, hoping to see any wrong doing they have done since they truly want to stop all offences against God (especially what they can’t see).
Therefore, the truly humble see correction as an opportunity to hopefully see our wrongs doings we aren’t aware of, so we can repent and change. And others correction doesn’t anger, humiliate or depress then. They aren’t quick to run in to defend ourselves to prove they are right. And they don’t pretend like they did nothing wrong. No; the humble listen to see if God is speaking to them through another, so they can become enlightened and change, if that is God’s will.
“Do not reprove [correct] the arrogant, lest they hate you; reprove the wise [those who want to see their sins], and they will love you” (Proverbs 9:8).
So if we are mad at someone for correcting us, we know that is our pride, not grace, moving us.
However, for many of us, even if we want to see our sinfulness, our desire much of the time is only half-hearted, so we continue to remain blind, since we simply don’t want to see ourselves for who we really are. Our pride won’t allow us.
But for this to change, our pride must be crushed. Then we can grow in humility to come to see and admit our sins for the salvation of our souls! To learn more please read, “How Does Our Pride Kill Us.” If we don’t learn how to “bring to light what is hidden in darkness” (1 Corinthians 4:5), so we can truly repent, we will perish into Hell.
Therefore, if we ever want to come to see the sins we love, we must humbly seek Mercy to enlighten us to the offences we desire–to open our eyes so we may see all the sins we hide… that we don’t truly hate and lack true contrition for–so we can gain a real desire to follow Jesus to Heaven. Then one by one, if we keep on seeking God, He will enlighten us all the way to Life.
“’Lord, let our eyes be opened.’ Moved with pity, Jesus touched their eyes [physical and spiritual eyes]. Immediately they received their sight, and followed Him” (Matthew 20:33).
At first God will enlighten us, like through reading this article, well enough for us to have some sorrow for our sins. Then we will confess them and perform penance, to make right our wrongs.
“Contrition, confession, and satisfaction, are the first works of the Soul after it has been enlightened by God. By this means she is freed from her sins and imperfections, clothed with virtue, and remains thus until she has formed the habit of virtue”
–St. Catherine of Genoa (Life and Doctrine, Ch 3)
From there, we will begin to follow Him. Then little by little, according to our desire and God’s will, we will be enlightened to more and more of the vast sins we desire/commit (gaining self-knowledge), so we can grow in greater and greater humility. From there, with a humble heart, we can seek God for the strength to remove our misery–our liking for sin–from our souls, so we can die to sin.
Nonetheless, whether we want to see our sins or not, reality is, we habitually commit bounds of offences from having a great desire/liking for them. We greatly need Jesus to save us... to open our eyes and remove our will to sin, so we can desire God alone and be saved. To learn more please read, “How Can I See My Sins?”
“There is no attaining to God without self-knowledge [knowledge of our sinfulness]; for from such knowledge alone come humility and the fear of God, which is the beginning of salvation [the beginning of growing towards a saving faith].”
–St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church (His Last Work)
Can We HONESTLY Look at Ourselves?
Like was said, we don’t know how to honestly look at ourselves. Our lives have been so focused on ourselves… living selfish lives, and not focused on how we can love God… we have created ourselves into being a person so far from reality just to find happiness in the boosting of our self-esteem (self-love/pride). Now, we don’t know who we are, so we can’t seek Jesus with the humility needed to save us.
But if we want to obtain a saving faith, we can’t ignore what we are thinking, saying or doing… pretending like everything is good and pleasing to God. No, without much grace, most of our thoughts, words and actions are actually not pleasing to God and offend Him.
But not only are we not loving God with each sin we commit in our thoughts, words and actions, we are also accountable for every thought and action we make too and will be punished accordingly (as explained later) for our sins. “[I] will punish him severely [according to His deeds] and assign him a place with the hypocrites [in Hell], where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth” (Matthew 24:50). Therefore, to just ignore any sin would be a grave error. We must come to see our sins in our thoughts, words and actions, if we want to repent, love God and Live.
So in order come to truly love God, we need to first work hard to see our sins. Then we can gain some contrition for them, begin to amend them and hopefully, with the help of God’s grace, grow into true contrition for them.
Nonetheless, hopefully we saw some of the vanities that live within us. Then we can seek Mercy to help rid them. But, actually, one way easiest ways to see our misery/sin is to look at our obvious sinful responses to life’s challenges (our crosses):
when things don’t go as we desire or even might not go as we desire. Of course there are plenty of other sinful behaviors, but they can be harder to see. And for those of us, who were born with a more calm easy going personality, it will be much harder to begin to grow in humility (knowledge of our sinfulness) and amend our ways, but help for those people is discussed later. But if we struggle with any of these, more obvious sins, then now is the time to look into our thoughts and actions to recognize these sins, and then see WHY we chose them. So we can sincerely repent, seek Mercy, and make resolutions to start changing.
The Sin: I felt frustrated, which lead to impatience and complaining, when my child wasn’t doing as I desired and made me late to work, since I didn’t want what God allowed (a misbehaved child, nor to be late to work)–I wanted my will, because I didn’t want to bear those crosses of dealing with my misbehaved child and tardiness to work.
The Resolution: Pray for strength to carry any cross God allows. When my child doesn’t obey me and I begin to feel frustrated, I’m going to stop doing anything and seek God for help, so I can be patient with my child’s weakness (sinfulness) and content with whatever God wills… even if it harms me, knowing/trusting God intends to use that cross for my good.
This is the kind of examination and resolution we need to make with each sin we can see… so we can begin changing. Lifting Our Values has a book with examples of various sins and helpful resolutions we can read about to perhaps implement them in our lives to help guide us to Life.
But as we know, some of us can get so worked up over life not being the way we want that we are FAR from God’s peace. Some might not realize these behaviors are sins, but anything we exhibit that isn’t God’s peace, is driven by sin… from our lack of trust in what God allows, no matter how well intentioned we might be… it is us not accepting with trust what has occurred or might occur; it is us WANTING OUR WILL.
Now, there are a couple of exceptions to those behaviors with fear and anger, which make them not sinful. For example: fear is good when it help leads us away from evil. Fear is also good and a natural response to danger… like if we were to cross our path with a rattle snake. We should fear being bit. If we didn’t we would lack rational fear, but our fear shouldn’t drive us to extreme behaviors or anxieties, and if we do get bit even with our moderate/cautious behavior to avoid the snake, we would not fear what God has allowed as being bad, but we would be in peaceful trust knowing it is good: part of His plan for the salvation of our soul.
Also, I’m not saying we should never become angry at someone’s sin, for we should not be content with the sins of others, but justifiable anger isn’t derived from a lack of self-control, but from love for God and man to help guide the erroring to Life (if that is absolutely necessary)… but most of our anger is strictly from self-love, because we don’t want to tolerate or bear a cross: inconvenience, burden, suffer, having less, being less than another, being treated less than we want, etc.
Oh I tell you, everyone is all happy when everything goes our way, but when life tests us with crosses, we are a mess of sin. We don’t want what God allows, knowing it is meant for our good to help and teach us how to become like Jesus, so we can obtain a saving faith. No; we only want to do things our way. Don’t we know it is only by surrendering our will for God’s that we will obtain Life. We must learn how to TRUST IN HIM and everything He allows in our lives as truly leading to our good, IF we can learn and change from the cross.
“We know that all things work for good for those who love God [who want to stop sinning/can change]” (Romans 8:28).
Yet, even with authority, we won’t peacefully obey and surrender our will to do what is asked, unless we agree with it. If we think what is asked of us is wrong, we don’t obey. Our pride makes ourselves the leaders, the authority, the guides to Life.
We want our will and will even ignore the command, or fight the command or do it begrudgingly. Of course we don’t obey something that breaks God’s law of Love, or goes against His will, but with everything else, we simply must, even if (or I should say, especially if) we think we know a better way and they are wrong.
Now, if our arrogant defiance doesn’t change, how are we going to obey the parts of The Word we find challenging, or comply with God’s guidance in this article we don’t like or understand, or follow the saints hard path to Heaven. We must learn how to do what we don’t want or we will perish into Hell.
How far are we from acting like Christ, who “humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).?
Sometimes even with the smallest imperfections or inconveniences that God allows, we are now grumpy from that cross, which was meant to make us like Christ: patient, tolerant and understanding… wanting to suffer to send grace to purify our hearts of our love for our sins for the salvation of souls, as we “rejoice in my sufferings” (Colossians 1:24).
“[God] purges the souls in that he annihilates, empties, and consumes all her affections and imperfect habits…just as fire burns away rust and mold on metal. Since these are rooted deep within the substance of the soul, besides the natural and spiritual poverty and emptiness, she must usually suffer great afflictions, annihilation, and inner torments.”
–St. Edith Stein (The Science of the Cross, Vol. 6 #10)
Oh, but the last thing we want to do is suffer, especially from someone else’s error or from obeying someone else’s command… We hate the cross of Christ. Oh, the devil has us! Yet, those–refusals to suffer.. seeking our will–are the attitudes we need to be looking out for. Those are our sins… anything that Christ or a saint wouldn’t do… any moment we notice ourselves wanting our will living outside of peace, with any of those sinful personality traits, we should be seeking Mercy to help us leave those sins to grow in the likeness of Christ.
“Become holy [like Christ] yourselves in EVERY aspect of your conduct, after the LIKENESS of The Holy One who called you” (1 Peter1:15).
Oh, the ways we aren’t like Christ are endless… if we want to see them. How about our refusal to understand others, our lack of kindness towards certain people, and our intolerance of others errors and wrong doings (lack of forgiveness)? We don’t forgive them, make their error no problem (as we happily carry the cross), understanding their weakness and then sincerely love/help them in return, like Christ does for us great sinners daily.
No; we don’t “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:24). We hold grudges and live with resentment in our hearts; we want to hurt those who hurt us, telling ourselves we deserve better as we wallow in self-pity… sometimes even making ourselves sick… all from our sins.
Sadly, we live for ourselves, and not to love and help others. Perhaps, we “say” we forgive others, so we won’t see ourselves as sinners, but our thoughts and actions prove it is just a lie. Oh, the lack of peace we have because of our sinfulness is great!
Yes, our lack of discipline, jealousy, negativity, laziness, vanity, gluttony, lies, immorality and the bounds of arguing and/or selfish things we do just to try to get what we want that a true saint wouldn’t ever do are so horrible. Really, what are we doing to leave them? Do we even realize that the evil one has us trapped into loving and continuing in these sins… but they are killing us?
“Do not worry” (Matthew 6:35)… “Do not complain” (James 5:9)… “Surely impatience kills” (Job 5:2)… “All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. [And] be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you [who offend Him with countless sins of your own]” (Ephesians 4:31-32).
Oh, we all do different things. But the one thing we all have in common is that we aren’t working hard to leave so many of them. This is why we are dying in such great numbers. ” ” We love sin so much that we don’t sincerely want to do what is necessary to see our sins and change many of our sinful ways so we can love God (not offend Him). Yet, the refusal to amend just ONE rejects Heaven for Hell.
Therefore, to not live in the dark, please ask ourselves, are we truly striving to live all moments for Jesus, so to not give a second to sin, so to not offend God in the slightest way, because we want to LOVE HIM? Truly, is there anyone doing this? Is our focus on LOVING GOD (not offending Him) or on loving ourselves (getting what we want)? Oh, who wants to be a suffering servant (truly like Christ) for the salvation of souls? Horribly, who even thinks of our sins as not loving God? We are so deceived!
No wonder so few are saved. We still would rather sin than work hard to love Our Lord.
“Alas, daughter, how few there are who TRUEFULLY love me!”
–Jesus to St. Teresa of Avila, Doctor of the Church, (Autobiography, Ch. 40)
Oh, what good is our life if we can’t die and obtain Heaven! If we live believing a lie…. live so far from having true contrition for all of our sins… so far from a saving faith.
Tragically, from being deceived, we think we are justified because we are “Christians” or because we go to church or because we “say” we are sorry. But we are saved when we ACCEPT God’s forgiveness that He died to give us, which occurs when we grow in our faith to have TRUE LOVE FOR GOD, which is a direct result of having true contrition in our hearts for our life time of offences against Him. To learn more please read, “What Are the Requirements of Salvation?”
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [with a heart that truly loves Him] will be saved” (Romans 10:13).
This is why we live such hypocritical lives… we go to church and say we love God, but then we go off committing horrible sins, treating others so poorly and repeating so many sins right afterwards, making every excuse in the world why we commit them, deceiving ourselves into thinking they are acceptable… as we ignore those sins, not caring about God and how we aren’t loving Him. We prove clearly we don’t really hate our sins nor love God. We have been greatly deceived… and from our great self-love, we have lost our knowledge of how to love Our Lord. To learn more please read, “How to Perfectly Love God.” Now is the time to seek Mercy to teach us The Way and save us.
“The time of death will not be the time to prepare ourselves to die well; to die well and happily [so we may go to Heaven], we must prepare ourselves beforehand, There will not be time then to eradicate bad habits from the soul [that keep us attached sin, and not Our Savior].”
–St. Alphonsus (The Way of Salvation and Perfection, Med. 13)
We are the Epitome of Selfishness
To grow in even greater humility–knowledge of our great sinfulness–since we must have humility, so we can be open to receiving God’s grace, we must know, we have become so self-absorbed, not only are we not even considering GOD whom we are offending–not loving–when we commit each sin, we also desire to take advantage of God and hurt Him in return for His love.
“We are so blinded by the enormity of our sins that it is impossible to comprehend, as we should, the extremity of our misery, which is yet supremely necessary for us to know.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa (Life and Doctrine, Ch. 15)
Please know our selfishness is extreme. We want God’s love and we want God’s love. When we are feeling badly, we run to Him. When we need help, we seek Him. We hear His call and go off to serve Him–to do His will–all to experience His love. Yes, we focus on God’s unconditional love for us, so we can love ourselves: get His love. This is true.
There are countless books written on how to obtain His love and peace. We seek Him day and night, not so He can help us to stop offending Him–not so we can love Him–but so He can make our lives better… so we can love ourselves.
We say we love God, but we only love Him for all the things He does for us, which is far from true love, as we beg Him for all that we desire. But we don’t really love Him… we don’t want to suffer and give up the world’s pleasures to help save the souls of His children…. we don’t want to deny ourselves of the sins we love so to love Him (to not offend Him).
No; we ask God for help and accept His gifts; we pray prayers day and night all to get His love (what we want)… help for ourselves and even for others. We take and take and take from Him… and don’t get me wrong God wants to help us, but what do we do in return? We say “thank you for the love and help,” if we even do that, and then we BEAT God unreservedly, with our unrestrained sins, as gratitude for all He does for us. We don’t see His great love and then want to return love to Him by working hard to stop offending Him… No; we just take mercy from God and leave, not caring at all about Him.
Horribly, we are so deceived… so selfish, we constantly seek God for self-seeking reasons: to experience His love (feel His peace), to heal us, or to make our or others lives better, but we don’t seek God to help us grow in faith, so we can better LOVE HIM: so we and/or others can stop offending Him, whom we should be loving with all of our hearts. But to love ourselves.
Most sadly, we prove our love for God is a very broken selfish love. Not saving love or even a real love. Reality is, we are the epitome of selfishness. Without seeking Mercy to remove this great self-love we are plagued with, we will surely die.
Sure, some of us are moved by The Spirit and feel great love for God that causes us to perhaps want to know, love and serve Him, but we wind up running off to do just that, but we do it with deceived hearts, not knowing how to truly love Him. Then we learn about God, pray prayers and serve Him but it just winds up being for self-pleasure, not to truly love Him (to never offend Him again). As a result, we just grow in greater prayers, knowledge and/or works thinking that is proof we are growing in holiness… but it isn’t. Sure, the truly faithful will be doing those things, but if we aren’t leaving sin and becoming TRULY like Christ, we are still quite dead. Please don’t be deceived!
“A meditation without fruit [us changing and becoming like Christ] is an amusement of the mind and a very dangerous form of idleness [causes us to desire God for self-love]. We must not judge of meditation by the tender sentiments we have experienced [the feeling God’s love], but by the profit we have derived from it, or at least by the sincere desire we have to do good and to practice virtue. When you leave meditation, however dry it may have been, with the desire, the resolution, to correct our faults and to do God’s will, your time has not been lost…
The end of prayer is to CORRECT OUR FAULTS, we should consider that as the best prayer which inspires us with the greatest horror of sin and the greatest desire to avoid it.
–St. Francis De Sales, Doctor of the Church (The Secrets of Sanctity, Third Treatise, Prayer Ch 1, Sec. 4 & Ch 10)
Our Selfish Love for God!
There are many kinds of love for God we can have or feel. But reality is, most of us have not grown so much in our faith for our love to become even close to a true/saving love… sadly, most of us don’t even have enough grace to have real love for God (a love that can develop into true love)… mostly because we aren’t seeking it (we don’t know we need it). We are stuck living in a selfish love for God, not really loving God nor profiting towards salvation from anything we do no matter how “good” it is. Tragic! To learn more please read, “How to Perfectly Love God.”
Our minds are focused on getting love from God… not giving it. We are looking for God to make us happy, not for us to make Him happy. The devil has blinded us. This must change. We must gain a desire to seek Jesus for grace, so we can LEARN HOW TO TRULY LOVE HIM. Loving God must become our focus, which is done through the cross… following the example Christ and the saints have taught us. To learn more please read, “How to Perfectly Love God.”
Please know, the most agonizing day for God, where His Sacred Heart is tortured the greatest from our lack of love for Him, is “Divine Mercy Sunday.” This is the day God has given to His Church to send great grace to help His children and we either ignore this day and its preparations all together, or we only want to TAKE AND TAKE mercy from God. We care NOTHING for Him.
During the Divine Mercy celebration, we might pray and sing praise to God but sadly, it is from dead hearts. Our cold hearts are not focused on seeking His love/mercy, so we can learn how to perfectly love Him (to never offend Him again)… we just want to get out of jail for free–thinking we can some how steal God’s mercy and have our hearts, which are greatly lacking true sorrow for our vast offences against Him, forgiven and atoned for.
Yet, I promise you “God is not mocked, a person will only reap what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7). Oh, how deceived we are! If we sow in a life of pride, we will reap a death in sin. I tell you with such cold, deceived hearts, we will reject any grace that God has desired to send. Our love for Him is an utter abomination.
“I [Jesus] will allow convents and churches to be destroyed. I [St. Faustina] answered, ‘Jesus, but there are so many souls praising You in convents.’ The Lord answered, That praise wounds My Heart because love [the desire to not offend Me] has been banished from convents [and churches].
Souls without [true] love and without [true] devotion, souls full of egoism and self-love, souls full of pride and arrogance, souls full of deceit and hypocrisy, lukewarm souls [who have no fear of sin, who aren’t growing towards perfection] who have just enough warmth to keep them alive: My Heart cannot bear this. All the graces that I pour out upon them flow off them as off the face of a rock…
And if they DO NOT REPENT and become enkindled by their first love [God, not the world], I will deliver them over to the fate of this world. How can they sit on the promised throne of judgment to judge the world, when their guilt is greater than the guilt of the world?
There is neither PENANCE nor ATONEMENT… O heart especially chosen by Me [to do great works for God], were you chosen for this, give Me more pain? The great sins of the world are superficial wounds on My Heart, but the sins of a chosen soul pierce My Heart through and through.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina Diary (#1702)
We aren’t true disciples of Christ, who love Him…. we are just someone who follows Christ for all of the “perks” He gives us, but we don’t want to learn how to stop offending Him–TO LOVE HIM. We want God to love us.
And when God loves us, by allowing us to feel His love in a way we can understand, by giving us what we seek, even by using things of the world to show His love, which He does, not to promote more selfish prayers, but hoping we will want to truly love Him in return (which is how we are saved). We might “say” we love Him, since we obtained what we desired… but we prove our love is so far from true, since don’t even desire to LOVE HIM: we don’t even want to work hard to stop our constant offences against Him. What kind of love is that?
Sadly, we aren’t truly striving to become saints, someone who wants nothing but God’s will, loves our crosses and desires to never offend Him with the slightest offence…. which is our entire purpose of our lives. Yes, we are supposed to be striving to become SAINTS. Don’t we know, only saints are in Heaven. .””... which is addressed later. Oh, we been deceived.
Instead of seeking God for grace to help us sanctify our souls, we seek Him to love ourselves– to give us what our selfish desires want. Oh, we have a billion self-serving prayers we pray daily. Where is our love for God?
“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments” (1 John 5:3).
But even with our horrible lack of love for God, His love for us is without end. His mercy is unfathomable. He still wants to save us. And if we seek Him correctly… humbly, and allow Him to change us, He can.
“Though the mountains fall away and the hills be shaken, My love shall never fall away from you [He will still try to save us]” (Isaiah 54:10).
Mortal Sins Are Everywhere
Prior to reading this article, a lot of people won’t believe we are one of the damned, because we don’t think we commit any mortal sins–we think we have a saving faith/true contrition–which is understandable since most have lived our lives being so greatly deceived. Mortal sins are hard to understand. But, “the majority of men [whether we see our mortal sins or not] will not [see God]” as St. Justin speaks about in his dialogue with Trypho, (Ch. 4).
Yes, mortal sin–“deadly sin” (1 John 5:16)–sins that reject Heaven for Hell–are in the “majority of men” but most can’t see them. Again, this is because of our pride. We don’t really want to see; we don’t want to know we error… well, at least not that greatly, since we pride ourselves as being good.
Therefore, to not be deceived, so we may correctly/humbly seek Mercy to enlighten us, so we can stop our mortal sins, let’s please look with humility for where we are going wrong–knowing we are sinners, who are far from perfect and can greatly error.
The reason we are so deceived and don’t think we have “deadly sin” on our souls is because we don’t really understand what the deadly sins are nor what makes a sin deadly. To learn more please read, “What Are Mortal Sins?” Yet, dying with any unrepentant mortal sin on our souls damns us forever. It is a rejection of God for sin. We need to learn what these are.
“Mortal sin… results in the loss of charity and the privation [loss] of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God’s forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ’s kingdom and the eternal death of hell” (CCC # 1861).
To prevent us from dying with unrepentant mortal sins that we can’t see, even though we should know what they are since, like was said, “what the law requires is written on their hearts” (Romans 2:15), so please don’t think we are without guilt if we don’t “know” these sins, but to help us who have blocked much knowledge of the truth from our hearts, God clearly tells us what some of our deadly sins are:
“Be sure of this, that no fornicator [sexual relations outside of marriage] or impure person [thinking, watching, listening, wearing or doing anything impure], or one who is greedy [has more than we need], that is, an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).
“Do you not know that [unrepentant] wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters [those who desire or need anything of the world (the created, not the Creator) for happiness instead of God], adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites [homosexuals], thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers [those who argue], robbers—none of these will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9:10).
Hopefully we can clearly hear God’s warnings in those Bible verses. If we can see that we commit any of these sins, then we are blessed to have eyes that can see some of the places we are going wrong. But if we don’t, then it is much more challenging to know some of our great failures to love God (our mortal sins).
I do want to mention that some of our sins aren’t innately know–“written on their hearts”, since we are perhaps breaking people created laws, or even laws God has created which aren’t part of our natural understanding. To learn them, we must be taught by some outside source what they are or we are not guilty if we commit them (unless we neglected to learn what we should have)… Anyway, with these created laws that we break, we might not be guilty in God’s eyes, but they do bear there share of earthly negative consequences, so learning them leads to our benefit.
But most sins are known somewhere in our conscience, if we were to look to learn them, since they are derived from The Law of Love, which God gave all of us the understanding of them, in different degrees depending on our ability to learn, upon our creation. Therefore, we should know them.
Now, some people want to argue that some of those sins listed above in The Word are sometimes only venial (a lesser serious/non-deadly sin), and that is true. If we commit any sin and it isn’t a grave matter, then it is not a mortal sin. And if we hate it, have contrition alone God will forgive us of that sin.
But please don’t be deceived… like was said earlier, any venial that we ignore, think lightly of, don’t seek/desire to amend–don’t TRULY hate–no matter how slight it is, that sin is now mortal. It is a grave matter to not be truly sorry for offending God with any sin. Therefore, please understand, any sin we aren’t horrified that we commit, because we can’t bear the fact that we aren’t loving God, is a mortal sin. We must grow in faith to truly hate to offend God, even with the slightest sin, or we still desire/love sin (are attached to sin), instead of God.
With that said, as we can see, there are really two types of deadly sins:
We must learn how to recognize and leave them all, because both are deadly, or we will reject God and His saving mercy for sin.
Please know, all mortal sins vary in severity, but the one thing they all have in common is they are all deadly. All Mortal Sins have varying degrees of severity based on the type of sins which are committed and the “knowledge” we possess when we commit them.
For any sin to become mortal, we must possess “full knowledge” of it. But like was said, most sins are part of the Law of Love that God created and are written within our hearts, in which most [unless we mentally disabled from becoming aware of them] have the ability to understand right from wrong innately within us.
Therefore, if we want to learn about what isn’t loving God–rejects good for evil–all we have to do is sincerely seek it within ourselves. But if we become darkened to The Truth that is within us and it isn’t in the forefront of our conscience and we commit a sin but deceive ourselves into thinking it is “good”, then that is one of the lesser serious mortal sins, since we aren’t actively thinking about how it is wrong.
However, once we become enlightened to The Truth, and come to see some of our misery… our vast sins we have hidden in the dark–and the knowledge of the sin is moved to the forefront of our conscience and understanding–and we commit a sin, then the severity of that sin increases, since our “full knowledge” of right from wrong increased.
Now, the most grave kind of sin we can commit is when God enlightens us to The Way to Heaven and what is evil and now we know in the forefront of our conscience that what we want or are doing is wrong (not God’s will), and we actively think about how it is sinful, but we do it anyway. That is the worse kind of sin. If we do that with a venial sin, it isn’t an irregular mortal sins… no; it is a very grave mortal sin (regular mortal sin)…. and if we do that with a mortal sin, it is even more grave than the venial sin, which is mortal through our malice against God.
So when God sends His messengers: His prophets, His Son and His saints to guide us to Life, and we just don’t want to comply and we do what we want anyway, fully understanding and contemplating our refusal to obey, those sins are most grave. Therefore, the more we grow in knowledge of The Truth–learn The Way to Heaven–the greater chance we have of being saved (learning how to love God and hate evil), but the more grave our offences become against God and the greater punishment for eternity will fall upon us if we don’t come to true repentance. With that said, the more fear of the Lord we should possess and the more we should frequent confession especially until we receive the grace to rather die than sin…. have a contrition that would never knowingly choose any sin.
Probably for most of our sins, before reading this article, we committed the lesser serious mortal sins, which were still damning us, but now from having the light of Truth shine upon us, and now we know more clearly in the forefront of our conscience the seriousness and reality of sin, the consequences of our sin actually increases. For the more is given the more is required and the greater our consequences are when we fail to obey.
Holy Communion and Mortal Sin
Throughout the history of the faith, confession was offered and participated in before receiving Communion as a staple of the faith, so sinners could cleanse their hearts and prepare well, to receive Christ with defiled hearts.
“Those sinners who do not fear to approach the holy mysteries with polluted lips and heart, who, as the Apostle says, eat and drink the Lord’s body unworthily.”
–St. Pope St. Pius V (CCC Council of Trent)
If one’s heart wasn’t clean of all grave sin, one didn’t dare approach such a heavenly banquet. But today confession and purifying our souls is practically forgotten and most challenging to frequent, since it is hardly offered, making us most unworthy to receive Our Lord, causing us to stay in a perpetual state of darkness.
Sure a once a year confession and Communion are the minimum requirements of the faith, but if one wishes to receive more frequently, so God can advance us to Life and perfection, as God desires, we must receive prepared.
Most of us are aware that we can’t receive Holy Communion while being in the state of mortal sin. But most don’t know what the mortal sins are, but hopefully after reading this we will have a greater understanding of them.
On top of that most don’t know that there are certain mortal sins (irregular mortal sins) which Holy Communion is designed to eradicate and other mortal sins (regular mortal sins) which cause great harm to God and ourselves if we choose to receive Holy Communion without truly repenting and stopping them.
Please know Holy Communion can’t be received without receiving great punishment for ourselves and injury to God if we haven’t confessed and stopped all regular mortal sins. This is mostly common knowledge among the faithful.
But unknown to most, if we commit an irregular mortal sin–a venial sin we don’t truly hate–but we have at least a real resolve to sin no more–our resolution to leave the sins that isn’t a lie… meaning: we are willing to make resolutions and changes so we stop sinning, but we aren’t so resolved yet that we would rather die than offend God, then we can receive Holy Communion for the strength from God to move us towards doing just that so we can gain a true hatred for them (a saving faith) and then grow into a perfect saint.
But if we are not able to grow… to change… to gradually leave the sin… even though we are supposed to be receiving God’s strength from Communion, then we know, we are not really resolved to stop offending God and are rejecting His help. If that occurs, then our lack of sincere desire to amend is the regular mortal sins that prevents us from receiving Holy Communion until we obtain more grace for our desire to change to become a real/active desire.
We also need to know, just how there are different kinds and degrees of sorrow and full knowledge, there are also different kinds of resolves to amend–different intensities of desire to sin no more:
- true desire (a saving desire),
- real desire (a honest desire to amend that produces action and results),
- false desire (a desire in thought/word alone… just a lie).
In order to receive Holy Communion worthily, at the moment of receiving, we must have at least a heart that has no regular mortal sins unconfessed and not stopped, AND we must be with a heart that sincerely desires to love God/to never offend Him again–which has at least a real desire to amend… a desire that will leave Holy Communion and work hard to change (proving we accepted God’s grace from the Eucharist/didn’t reject it). Then we can grow towards perfect maturity, which is the purpose of Holy Communion.
“Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood [receive Holy Communion], you do not have life within you [for the grace needed to move you to a saving faith (life) has been omitted]” (John 6:53).
That means if we think we are sincere in our desire to change, we must leave the Sacrament of the Eucharist and actually do things to not sin… not just “say” we want to stop and really do nothing… staying the same or we prove our desire just isn’t sincere, and we have rejected the transforming grace from the Sacrament (Eucharist).
We must have proof our desire to amend is real, that we are accepting grace, by putting our contrition into action and changing. Now our desire to amend doesn’t need to be true, having a desire so great we would rather suffer anything even death rather than sin, as explained later, since The Eucharist is meant to move those, who can grow, into a true desire to amend–a saving faith. But to receive Communion and obtain grace, our desire can’t be a lie (just a desire in thought or word alone).
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood [accepts the transforming grace from the sacrament] has eternal life” (John 6:54).
Therefore, if we confess our sin but then at the next opportunity, we recommit the sin with no reservation, no improvement, we proved our desire to amend was just a lie. Or if we improve one day, but then we just stay the same with the following days… then again, we prove our desire is a lie. Now, if we fall once that isn’t the problem, unless it is with a grave sin, but if we fall and fall and fall doing the same venial sin with no improvement over and over again, we have proven our desire to amend if false.
To over come this, we must be looking into what is causing us to sin, making resolutions to avoid the sin and sticking to it or modifying it until it works, along with living a life of seeking God’s mercy (strength) from the sacraments, prayer, penance and fasting, so to be able to amend our sins (as explained later).
So, if we don’t have a desire to amend that leads to some actual change–a faith that can grow–we must abstain until we receive more grace. This is because a dead faith can’t receive grace… it can’t grow and will only receive “punishment” from receiving The Eucharist in vain.
“For anyone who eats and drinks [receives Holy Communion] without discerning the body [seeing, confessing, and amending one’s sins], eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are ill and infirm [suffering from our sins], and a considerable number are dying [going to Hell]” (1 Corinthians 11:29-30).
Ways we receive grace to gain a real desire to grow (a real desire to amend our sins):
- Sacrament of reconciliation,
- Contemplating our sinfulness,
- Contemplating the consequences of sin,
- Works of mercy,
- Acts of penance,
- Reading the lives of the saints,
- Prayer and,
- Fasting (to learn discipline).
Those are some of the ways, if we humbly perform them, we can gain a real desire to grow in faith–a real desire to do what is necessary to leave sin to love God.
Please don’t be deceived, it doesn’t matter how much we have grown (amended our sins/gained a hatred for sin), once we stop moving forward with any sin, we must take recourse to those means of obtaining grace to help rekindle a desire to amend all our sins again. Sure we can’t physically amend or even see every sin (everything outside of perfection) all at once, but when we have a faith that can grow, we will sincerely desire to not sin at all and know clearly (in our conscience) what sins we must be working on the greatest to leave, so to grow in faith to sin no more.
“I give this Blood [Communion] and use It for salvation [to bring souls to a saving faith] and perfection [to bring souls to become a perfect saint] in the case of that man who disposes himself properly to receive it [can grow in faith], for It gives life and adorns the soul with every grace, in proportion to the disposition and affection of him who receives It. Similarly It gives death to him who receives It unworthily, living in iniquity and in the darkness of mortal sin; to him, I say, It gives death and not life”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna (Dialogue, Treatise on Discretion)
Therefore, to receive The Blessed Sacrament, without punishment, our desire to amend ANY SIN can’t be a lie, or we reject all grace from The Holy Eucharist, which causes horrible consequences. To learn more please read, “How to Receive Holy Communion Worthily.”
Degrees of Mortal Sin
Below is a list of the different kinds of mortal sins from the least to the greatest, to help us understand what sin prevent us from receiving Holy Communion (regular mortal sins) and what sins need Holy Communion to help us rid (irregular mortal sins/venial sins that are made mortal)
Confession: The Marvel and The Folly
Confession is the main sacrament God has established to turn our cold hearts that love sin into hearts of true love for Him and true hatred for our sins. We might think The Eucharist is to do this, and it does, but the FIRST step towards obtaining true love for God is found through penance: the confessing and changing from our sins.
But the evil one has distracted us and has us partaking in The Eucharist frequently but not confession, as a result we are receiving God’s most precious Body and Blood riddled in unrepentant mortal sin. But I tell you, the Eucharist can help save us if our hearts are riddled in sin… sins we don’t truly want to leave.
And even if we do attend confession, sadly, most and I mean most of our confessions today are invalid, since we don’t know how to confess our sins with humility and contrition.
“Oh, my God, how many Christians there are who will discover at the hour of their death nothing but invalid confessions!”
–St. John Vianney (Sermons, Repentance)
Yes, sadly, most confessions aren’t causing us to obtain any grace from God…. never mind forgiveness of our sins, since we aren’t approaching God with humility and a true desire to amend so to love Him. This is utterly tragic. Actually, confession like any sacrament we partake in wrongly, increases our guilt, since it is a sacrilege to partake in any sacrament with a heart that doesn’t want to love God, which, despite our “words” or thoughts believe, this is actually what we are suffering from, which hopefully we have been humbled some to understand.
So, confession should not be a means of convincing the penitent into thinking all of his sins are instantly forgiven if he confesses (since the state of his heart can’t be read). For that gives him nothing but a false sense of salvation and lulls him back to sleep… it certainly doesn’t motivate him to progress towards becoming a perfect saint.
Please know, confession should be MORE readily available than The Eucharist, since partaking in the Eucharist without the purity of heart we need doesn’t do anything but damage our souls. Now, please don’t become confused. Partaking in the Mass (the greatest form of prayer) can and should be more frequented than confession, but The Eucharist–unless one’s heart is ready to receive–should be postponed until it is more purified through the sincere confession of our sins.
Confession is such a gift to us from God, St. Pope Pius V, describes it as the “easier means for the common salvation of men.” For obtaining a saving faith with out it “few reach; and hence, in this way, very few indeed could hope to obtain the pardon of their sins” without it (CCC Council of Trent).
Let me explain how this marvel of confession works through the power that comes forth through the priest’s hands. If you approach confession with a sincere desire to leave your sins, your humbly confessed, so to LOVE GOD, then grace is given to you. That grace is now moving you into a saving faith. You can receive so much grace you could actually be moved into having a heart that would rather suffer death than commit a single other sins again, and be completely forgiven of your sins.
Of course, that forgiveness wouldn’t last for long since most don’t have the ability to root that sanctifying grace into our souls, but at least it will strengthen us to obtain and keep it perhaps the next time we partake in the sacrament.
Yes, there is more… greater grace given through the confessing of our sins, in the sacrament of reconciliation, than through just confessing straight to God. Really, there is no comparrison. It is a FANTASTIC amount of grace and those with a sincere desire to hate and leave their sins so to offend God no more, will receive it based on the desire of their hearts (their ability to accept it).
But tragically, as was said, since our hearts are cold today, the grace that is sent, just hits us and for most, it instantly falls to the floor. Tragic!
Our Consequences from Sin
Please know, every sin we commit has such horrific consequences. It isn’t no big deal; it is a huge concern. Frankly, it is impossible to adequately describe the devastating effects just ONE sin causes. EVERY SIN effects us, others and God. Yes, every sin has a three fold repercussion attached to each sin. We might think we aren’t hurting anyone… oh, but we are very wrong, as explained through out this article. The consequences of a single sin are great!
All humanity deserves death from Adam and Eve’s one sin. That is how horrendous just one offence is against Perfect Goodness.
“For this single sin [prideful defiance of God’s command, not wanting to love God], Adam was left deprived of all [true] happiness… [and all his] descendants are condemned [needing a Savior]… For this single sin, a majority of adults are damned for all eternity [since they reject their Savior for sin]… [Yes], one who (mortally) sins once, deserves hell… O, sin how great is the evil hidden in you!”
— St. Anthony Mary Claret (The Golden Key to Heaven, Med. 4)
Yet, we live in a world that has done its best to strip us of all fear of sinning… so we can be blind and happy and dead. We have been convinced the way to happiness is to not concern ourselves with our sins… to “just focus on God’s mercy (forgiveness)”, we say, as if our sins have no consequences… as if our sins don’t offend God… as if we can accept His forgiveness… that “God doesn’t punish.”
Oh, we have been so deceived we think God doesn’t punish… that being punished isn’t loving… that our God would never do that. But that is the exact opposite of what The Word and the saints teach.
“If you are without discipline, in which all have shared, you are not sons but bastards” (Hebrews 12:8).
Surly, we are being punished… disciplined by God, even if we can’t recognize it. We are children of God; aren’t we? St. Augustine says “Whenever we suffer some affliction, we should regard it both as punishment and as correction” (Divine Office Vol. IV, pg 133), since it is a form of guidance and penance (a cross) to help lead us to Life.
Please know, God’s punishments (the consequences of our sins) are not meant to “hurt” us, but to help us, who can be helped, even though they will “hurt.” For without them, we would never change; we would have no hope for Life… and suffer an eternity of consequences, from Divine Justice, which is what God’s mercy doesn’t want to happen. Just remember God is Love and love is mercy and justice combined.
“So speak and so act as people who will be judged… For the judgment is merciless to one who has not shown mercy [who has lacked forgiveness of others]; [yet] mercy [if we can accept it] triumphs over judgment” (James 2:12-13).
Therefore, please don’t be deceived; God most certainly punishes: allows us to suffer from the direct or indirect consequences of our sins.
For example: a direct consequence would be like if we over eat (suffer from gluttony) and eat to satisfy our desire, not from discipline (grace and desire) to nourish our bodies appropriately; then we will get fat. Or, if we treat someone poorly from our lack of discipline (lack of grace and desire) to have understanding and patience with another; then they will hurt another and they will think poorly of us and perhaps even treat us poorly in return.
Where indirect consequences, for example, are like if we don’t attend Mass on Sunday or commit some other sin, but aren’t changing; then to show us of our need to change, God will allow a cross (something we don’t like) to happen to us, so we will want to turn Him for help or so we can see our sin and need to change. Or lets say, if we do wrong to another, God will allow someone else to do the same wrong to us, so we can come to see our sin (when we feel the sting of another) so we can repent. But if we keep on ignoring the consequences of our sins, sometimes even bigger sufferings will come, to awaken us to our great need to change… to sin no more…. before it is too late.
“Look, you are well [I healed you like you asked]; do not sin any more, so that nothing worse may happen to you [so a greater punishment may not occur]” (John 5:14).
Yes, God disciplines us like any loving father would. “For he wounds, but he binds up; he strikes, but his hands give healing.” (Job 5:18). That is what our suffering is… a punishment… a way to be healed by Christ.
But, if we don’t want any more punishments/sufferings because of our sins, then heed Christ’s Words, “do not sin any more.” But the punishment we do have is a way for us sinners to learn and grow so we can obtain a saving faith, and become like Christ, since He wants us in Heaven.
I know this is hard to understand when we suffer something horrific and perhaps even at the hand of another, especially if we don’t see how we “need” that suffering or if we don’t see our sins as “that bad” to warrant what we are going through. But I tell you, God doesn’t make mistakes. What we are suffering is allowed by God to help save us. He has a plan to use that suffering, no matter how great it is, to help move us–great sinners that we are–towards a saving faith and then towards becoming a saint, so we can be purified to enter into Heaven (since only saints go to Heaven). Therefore remember, we are far from perfect saints and need the cross to purify our souls.
“I am the wheat of God, and let me be ground by the teeth of the wild beasts [the lions that the emperor of Rome wishes for me to suffer from], that I may be found the PURE… From Syria to Rome I fight with beasts [suffer], by land and sea, by night and day… Yet in the school of this abuse I am more and more trained in [true] discipleship, although I am not therefore justified [I’m not yet saved]…
Now I begin to be a disciple. May nothing seen or unseen fascinate me [distract me], so that I may happily make my way to Jesus Christ! Let fire and the cross; let the crowds of wild beasts; let tearings, breakings, and dislocations of bones; mangling of limbs; crunching of the whole body; and let all the dreadful torments of the devil come upon me: only let me make my way to Jesus Christ [through the cross].”
–St. Ignatius of Antioch (Letter to the Romans)
Therefore, please know, the more greatly we suffer, the greater the opportunity we have to change (to purify our souls). So, the greater the suffering the greater blessings God wishes to bestow upon us. Therefore, never despair over our suffering, God is loving us… giving us a fantastic chance for conversion for the salvation and sanctity of our souls. Eternity is everything. The cross is The Way to Christ!
But tragically, most of us hate or ignore His love: our suffering… His fatherly punishments… His discipline… His guidance through the cross to Life. We just want our suffering to leave. Therefore, we don’t obtain the grace from the crosses God intended to give us… and we don’t grow in faith. We simply aren’t meriting from our suffering… not fully, if anything at all. Most suffer completely in vain. Tragic!
Sure, our sufferings are for all different reasons… some aren’t even an direct consequence of our sinfulness, but all are meant to be used as a penance. To learn more please read “Why Does God Allow Suffering and Punishment?” But please tell me, what father, who really loves their child, doesn’t give him rules he needs to follow (for his good) and then punishes his child when he continues to ignore his directions, to help motivate him to obey?
A parent who doesn’t really love, who just doesn’t want to be bothered, who just doesn’t care enough about the well being of their child, doesn’t punish… A parent, who likes to make their child “happy” all of the time, who has forgotten about his greater good–his eternal or even future earthly happiness–is the kind of parent that doesn’t punish.
God is not like that. He is a Father of Perfect Love. Therefore, He provides us with perfect punishments to help motivate and move us towards Life, that is, IF we recognize and love His discipline.
“The discipline of the Lord, my son, do not spurn; do not disdain his reproof; For whom the Lord loves he reproves” (Proverbs 3:11-12).
Tragically, from being deceived into thinking God doesn’t punish, God’s warnings and fatherly punishments (all of our suffering and hardships in life), that were meant to strengthen us to become like Christ, steer us in the right direction, enlighten us to our sins, and give us a reason to change have been ignored. And now we aren’t amending our ways, growing towards a saving faith and sanctity. We are dying.
Horribly, most don’t even think God punishes anymore, and we spread this deception to others which is leading us to our doom, giving us a great lack of motivation to change.
“Fear of punishment deters a man from sinning.”
–St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church (Shorter Summa #121)
We need a great fear of being punished to be willing to move from our fantastic habitual sins we have made an acceptable part of our lives. I tell you, We have been living without fear for so long, it is going to take a lot to move us to change.
Horribly, as a result of ignoring our sufferings–not looking for what God was wanting to teach/help us through them–we haven’t been learning, changing nor growing towards maturity (a saving faith).
But now, if God has touched us, and we want to love God and Live, we are going to need to learn how to see God’s love (His warnings, punishments, lessons, etc.), recognize our sins and learn how to change so we can no longer live by the impulses of our flesh, but live by The Spirit, so we can come to truly hate sin and truly love God… so one day we can “sin no more.”
Please know with EVERY SIN, even the slightest, from our first sin to the last sin at our death, that we willfully commit, we willfully choose its equal punishment (the consequences of our sins). For “every transgression and disobedience received its just penalty” (Hebrews 2:2), which can be received in Hell, and/or through temporal punishment… like in this life, like was said–“for these days are the time of punishment” (Luke 21:22) to learn right from wrong, as many of us are experiencing.
Yes, every sin has its consequence: eternal and/or temporal punishment. Yet, our eternal punishment in Hell will vary from soul to soul based on the severity of each and every unrepentant sin we have committed during our life time on earth… but for “Christians” the severity is greater than the pagan, since so much more was given to us and is now expected of us. To learn more please read, “Who Suffers the Most in Hell?”
Truly, this is terrifying! We should be “work[ing] out our salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). But from being deceived, we aren’t. We have been lulled to sleep with lies of the deceiver.
“The sinner who is to be renewed through repentance is often described in the Word of God as being submerged in a deep sleep… [they] are absolutely indifferent to the matter of their own salvation and are not aware of the danger they are in.”
–St. Theophan the Recluse (Turning the Heart to God, Ch. 2)
Do we carefully observe what we think, wear, watch and do to see to it we only do what Christ or a saint would do… to see we do “not indulge in [the slightest] immorality” (1 Corinthians 10:8)? How could anyone, who seeks to “keep yourself pure” (1 Timothy 5:22), so to not offend God, watch the shows that everyone watches, wear the clothes that every one wears, or even look at the social media that everyone one uses. We are constantly being bombarded with immorality through them? Yet, we do those things… we aren’t TRULY striving to live the law of Love. We love our worldly pleasures and ignore our sins.
Yet, these commands of God listed above, are just the smallest fraction of what God expects of us if we love/believe in Him. But are we even seeking Mercy for grace to help us live these very few commands? Or do we justify those occasions in which we commit those sin as no big deal… thinking we could be worse as we continue in them without concern. How far are we from truly repenting of them?
Oh, what kind of eternal torments are we choosing? Do we really understand what awaits us if we don’t gain a true hatred/true contrition for EVERY SIN? We simply must “wake up” (Isaiah 51:17) and gain concern for our eternal lives. Eternity is forever!
“The lost are plunged in their infernal abyss;—suffering indescribable torture in every sense and every member; and that [is] because having used their members and senses for sin, it is just that through them they should suffer now.”
–St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church (Introduction to the Devout Life, Ch.15)
But on top of that, if that isn’t horrifying enough, like God the Father told to St. Catherine, every single sin rejects some amount of God’s grace (His help on earth) depending upon the severity of the sin. The help we need to obtain a saving faith–true hatred for sinning… so we can sincerely lose our desire for any sin–so we can avoid such a horrid reality and to obtain a life of peace on earth, we are rejecting because of our sins. This is why we are far from being in true peace when things go wrong. We need God’s help, but sadly, we are rejecting it.
The great peace God promises to those who truly love Him, we simply don’t have, which is clear proof we are not correctly living the faith. “Great peace have those who love your law” (Psalm 119:165). Truly, there is such fantastic peace, especially when sufferings and problems arise (the cross comes into our lives), when we truly love God and His law, but we aren’t experiencing it.
Please know, when we have God’s grace and are living the faith correctly, we are not crushed by the cross no matter what it is; we are strengthened by it and grow closer to God because of it. God sends a peace that most certainly surpasses all understanding to those who love the cross of Christ, who love and trust in all God allows.
“The peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus [when we truly love/trust Him]” (Philippians 4:7).
Truly, when we love the cross, we don’t become more self-absorbed when we have troubles, wanting to care for ourselves and remove our crosses. No, we become more like Christ and carry our crosses happily according to God’s will, so grace can be sent for the salvation of souls through them.
But when we don’t sincerely trust in God, many of our crosses are simply devastating and crush us. We are far from being enveloped in God’s unsurpassable peace. Oh, we can “say” we trust in God, but we prove our words simply aren’t true by our lack of peace. Tragically, from our unrepentant/unchanged sins, we have rejected our life of peace…. as we clearly see whenever we have frustrations, worries, complaints or when we are with a poor mood/attitude when things don’t go the way we desire.
And if we don’t repent, or if we refuse to change, or if we pretend like any of our sins aren’t sins, or if we think little of any trespass, then those sins reject MUCH grace from God… since they are mortal, which makes us weaker and weaker and unable to live the rest of The Word correctly even if we were to try. Yes, every sin counts.
Even if we believe we only commit venial sins, the more we commit them, the more they weaken our souls (reject grace) into committing mortal sin and from being so deceived, we most likely won’t even recognize them. Yet, the slightest venial sin rejects enough grace to cause us to commit another venial sin and then it just spirals from there. And if we don’t even recognize our venial sins, repent of them and practice restraint, we will commit more and more. Then, before we know it, we are committing mortal sin (rejecting bounds of grace) and most of the time we are blind to it… going deeper and deeper into its trap: loving our sins more and more, making it harder and harder to leave.
“Venial sin weakens charity [love]; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods [creates idols]; it impedes the soul’s progress [towards a saving faith] in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin…
[If you] do not despise these sins which we call “light”: if you take them for light when you weigh them, [then you must] tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass.” (CCC #1863)
For example: Let’s say instead of living the faith correctly and waking up on time to pray for God to help us to avoid sinning and live for His will, we choose to sleep in. Then weakened (rejecting grace) from being a sloth, perhaps we fall into distractions in our morning after we do finally get up, which prevents us from praying before we begin our day, so we can have God’s grace move our thoughts, words and deeds.
Maybe, after we realize we are not living according to God’s priorities (sinning), we might try to fit in our prayers but now lacking time, we rush through them, praying them poorly (rejecting more grace), perhaps not even finishing some of them (rejecting even more grace). From there, if we don’t notice our error and/or repent, since we didn’t look for our sins, we will fail in many acts of love (sin) in our day (losing more and more grace), perhaps not even recognizing many of our trespasses, since our sins make us blind.
Then from being even more weakened (from rejecting grace) because of our sins, maybe we will make excuses as to why it is okay to miss more dedicated time for prayer later in our day and now from being greatly weak–since God is to be our strength–but from not seeking God for help correctly in our day and sinning, we will fall into perhaps immorality when tempted. Then maybe from our great weakness, a lesser immoral thought that we entertain, from not having the grace to restrain that desire, turns into deadly lust or wanting to be lusted over… or even worse.
“Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure… person… has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God” (Ephesians 5:5).
I hope we can see how every sin and our lack of “praying without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) counts. The strength we need to obtain Life, we are rejecting. We must change. But sadly, most think nothing of these sins, and/or can’t even recognize in our conscience that we are committing them, since from the devil’s great deception, we have a great “loss of the sense of sin” as Pope St. John Paul II has taught us in his “Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance.”
Nonetheless, can we see how each and every failure to do what Jesus or a saint would do, every act of self-love, renders us weaker and weaker, blinder and blinder, until we commit mortal sin and more mortal sin.
Yet, every deadly sin, whether it is our lack of hatred for our venial sins or any of the other grave sins we can commit, not only weakens us but it increases our blindness to The Way to Heaven causing us to become more and more lost. To learn more please read, “What Are Mortal Sins?”
“By mortal sin we forfeit the friendship of God… [it] deprives the soul of all merit [from works]… [and it] deprives us of our liberty [freedom from control and death by sin]… [it] robs us of peace of heart… [and it] destroys the soul [making it unable to] see… [or] hear… [and makes us] insensible… [and the spreader of] corruption.”
–St. Ignatius of Loyola (Spiritual Exercises, Fifth Exercise)
Yes horribly, from being deceived into thinking it doesn’t matter if we are offending God, we commit countless sins without restraint, proving we have no sorrow for our endless trespasses against Our Lord, that our love for God is so little, and that we are not living the faith correctly and dying.
“Sorrow for sin is a grief of the soul leading us to detest [hate] sins committed and to resolve not to commit them any more” as Pope St. Pius X taught in his catechism. Sadly, now, from not having true faith nor true sorrow for offending God, we are unknowingly rejecting God and Eternal Life, from our a great lack of love for Him (our great lack of hatred for sin).
No Fear – No Life
Therefore, since one sin is of infinite offence to our infinitely perfect Lord, we should greatly fear sin and it’s consequences. We should fear sin not only because if we don’t truly repent of any sin, we are damned, or because if we stay in our sins, we will suffer greatly on earth as a direct consequence or as a punishment (to awaken us to our need to change), but we should especially fear sin, since each sin increases Our Lord’s agony at His crucifixion, and wounds His Most Sacred Heart of Love in Heaven and seprates us from His love.
“He was pierced for our sins, crushed for our iniquity” (Isaiah 53:5).
Yes, as was said, our sins not only cause us suffering on earth and damn us, but they greatly injure Our Lord. “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth… and it grieved him to his heart”(Genesis 6:5-6). Do we want to grieve God to His heart? We must stop our sins.
Every one of our and others sins offends Our Lord, whom we are supposed to be loving, not causing such horrible anguish. St. Anthony Mary Claret teaches in his book “The Golden Key to Heaven” that, “a single sin arouses in Thee [God] a nausea, a horror and an infinite displeasure… And a venial sin… contains in itself so much malice that one should not commit it, not even if thereby he could save… all the inhabitants of the world.” This is how horrible a single sin is.
Now, tell me, how can we truly love God if we aren’t horrified that we are sinning against Him? We can’t.
“Love is NEVER without fear, but it is godly fear.”
–St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of The Church (On Loving God, Ch.14)
Yet, from the devils deception, because of our pride, we think we truly love God even though we find no real horror in sinning.
Satan wants us blind and dumb… going to church thinking we are “holy”… saved because of what we do, so we won’t know reality, so we won’t seek Our Savior to change us, and then we will die believing a lie and belong to the devil for eternity.
Tragically, we have such little fear of sinning, such little love for God, if we can be honest with ourselves, we will know we have spent our lives hardly caring at all about our sins… since we are so far from saints: someone who has truly left their life of sin to love God.
Yet, “a fearful thing is sin, fearful, and the ruin of the soul” as St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church tells us in his homily on The Gospel of John 5:14. Truly, who of us fears to sin and is really working
Oh, we live in a world so deceived, we simply aren’t with the mind set of never wanting to offending God again… so we can love Him. No. The world tries its best to strip us of any fear of sinning against God, as if fear is bad. We take the beautiful phrase from Pope St. John Paul II, “do not be afraid” in which the pope was simply trying to get us to TRUST in God, in all He allows as being from His divine providence, so we will stop complaining and worrying through our life. But the devil twists that truth and convinces us that if we fear at all that is someone without real faith… that servial fear is not a gift from the Holy Spirit, but it most certainly is.
“A soul’s motion in flight from them [sin] is called fear“ as St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, teaches “On Faith, Hope, and Love” (Ch 8. #24). Without fearing sin and its consequences against ourselves, others and God there is no life in us… no motivation to really do what is necessary to turn away from evil and do good, so God’s mercy can change our hearts and give us a saving faith of true love/true contrition for all of our sins.
“Who would not fear to offend a God who punishes so rigorously [for each sin is so serious]? ‘Who shall not fear Thee, O King of nations?’ (Jer. 10:7)”
–St. Ignatus of Lyolola (Spiritual Exercises, Ex. #3)
Only those who have fallen into the devil’s trap, who don’t understand sin and it’s consequences, have no fear of offending God… no fear of the Lord and His punishments. Fearing God and His punishments this is what the devil has removed from our minds and convinced us if we have this fear we are not faithful. Tragic! He has succeeded in lulling us to sleep causing us to have no fear, where we should GREATLY fear.
We need to seek Mercy–yes, Mercy, because it is only by His mercy that we are even alive today, since one sin is so offensive it makes us deserving of the greatest torments in Hell, which Mercy is giving us a chance to escape so to Live. Therefore, we need Mercy to teach and give us a great horror for sin, so we can one day truly love Him.
“I learned in the depths of my soul how horrible sin was, even the smallest sin, and how much it tormented the soul of Jesus. I would rather suffer a thousand hells than commit even the smallest venial sin. “
–St. Faustina, (Diary # 1016)
Yes, we need a heart like St. Faustina. But horribly, from being so deceived, we aren’t seeking this. It is unbelievable, what we “Christians” are doing to Our Beloved Lord. How we are doing so little, if anything, to help others or even ourselves to stop offending Him. Nobody is even telling us of the horrific consequences of sin, to warn us so we can change, since the world is in darkness from our great will/desire to sin.
“They [Christians] crucify me on the wood [the cross] through their WILL TO SIN.”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations, Ch. 30)
We need to become men of a good will… who have a true will to do good. Oh, but we want to sin so greatly, we have such a great will to sin, we put forth little, if any, effort into stopping. HORRIBLE!
Yes, we must become not only become truly resolved to never offend God again, we must loose our desire/our will to offend Him. Our heart must TRULY HATE SIN: loose its longing for each and every sin, and to do this we need much fear… much grace from God.
Sure, for some, when we first came to know God, we were excited and grew in faith. We might have left some of our sins, but now we are lukewarm (staying the same) complacent with our lessor sins. Or perhaps we are leaving some of our sins even today, but our hearts aren’t really striving to leave all of them. We are just leaving what we see as harming our lives. We are not leaving the ones we think little of, nor the ones we pretend like they aren’t even sins, nor the ones we greatly cling to… the ones that will damn us. To do what is necessary to come to truly hate them, we need great fear to move us!
But sadly, as a result of the world removing our life–our fear, our concern for salvation–we aren’t seeking Mercy for grace daily to help enlighten us to our sinfulness, so we can gain a true hatred for our offences and stop committing them. Tragically, we aren’t growing towards a saving faith, and we are dying from our love for sin.
Oh, we wound God so greatly, and we just don’t care! Where is our love for God? Oh, the devil has stolen it.
“Let us fear the Lord, let us anticipate Him [and the punishment for our unrepentant sins that will occur] with the confession of our sins, let us correct our backslidings and amend our faults. Why do you fear to confess your sins to our good Lord? “Set them forth,” He says, “that thou mayest be justified.” The rewards of justification are set before him who is still guilty of sin, for he is justified who voluntarily confesses his own sin; and lastly, “the just man is his own accuser in the beginning of his speaking.” The Lord knows all things, but He waits for your words, not that He may punish, but that He may pardon. It is not His will that the devil should triumph over you and accuse you when you conceal your sins.”
–St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church (Book 2, Ch. 7)
Again, please tell me, how can we sincerely hate any sin if won’t humble ourselves enough to confess it… if we aren’t working hard to amend it? We can’t. Therefore, if we aren’t striving to become “perfect, just as your Heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), truly striving to stop all of our sins, removing them one by one—seeking “perfect maturity” (Philippians 3:12), so we can never offend God again, then now is the time to change. This must be our goal. Because as we now know, having a lack of true love for God… a lack of true contrition–a lack of resolve to amend any sin–kills.
“[Those who] wish to be saved as imperfect souls, shall not be saved.”
–Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church, (Dignity and Duties of the Priest, St. Liguori, Injury Done to the Priest by Tepidity, II)
Yes, we must strive to stop ALL of our sins… to become “perfect.” That is why, St. Anthony Mary Claret was explaining to nuns in his autobiography (#714) about how they must “seek to be perfect [without sin] if they were going to be saved”… not to just read the Bible and study it… living some of it, thinking that lukewarm living is acceptable, but we must wholeheartedly seek Mercy for grace to perfectly live it… to become saints… just like Christ.
Truly, we aren’t saved if we become a priest or a nun. Remember, we aren’t saved by what we do. We must humble ourselves. It is our pride that tries to convince us otherwise. Becoming a priest or a nun only assists us in obtaining the goal, IF we are correctly living the faith.
Frankly, being consecrated to God is the easiest path to sanctity for us and others, since special graces are sent to assist such souls in the progression of faith towards sanctity. And if we sanctify our souls great grace flows from our prayers for the salvation of souls too. But being soul consecrated to Our Lord is also, the easiest path to the greatest pains in Hell for those who don’t live the calling correctly and fall onto the path of disaster, like has sadly happened to most today. Just horrible.
Truly, how many people–consecrated to Christ or not–do we see who are really striving to perfectly live the faith, who are flying from their sins, from their attachments (idols), living for the cross for suffering and sacrificing for the salvation of souls, towards becoming true self-sacrificing saints, since they have a great horror for their and others offences against God? Is there anyone?
And yet, we live lives as if everyone dies and goes to Heaven? This is just so horrible. We don’t know we are rejecting God for sin. We don’t know we are damning our souls. We don’t know we lack true sorrow for our sins.
Oh, Christians aren’t saving souls. We are deceived, and we are deceiving others. Yes, we are not saving souls; we are killing them. Where is the concern for our or our neighbor’s salvation? How are we warning them of what is to come if we don’t change? Where is our understanding of The Truth? We don’t have it. Again, the devil has stolen it.
“Nothing is more frigid than a Christian, who cares not for the salvation of others.”
–St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church (Homily 20, Acts of the Apostles)
Yes, the devil has deceived us so greatly, we only care about making others happy on earth. We have no concern with their eternal lives. Sure some might think we are doing things for the salvation of others, but we don’t even know what it takes to be saved. We think if they know Jesus loves them they are saved. Tragic! We aren’t seeking God to give others a saving faith of true contrition for their sins. We are not preaching nor living The Truth. We have been deceived.
We are wounding God in unsurmountable ways through our blatant disobedience. The children Jesus died to save, so we could spend eternity in Heaven with Him, are rejecting Him for sin and being lost forever. This is beyond tragic!
“They [Christians] are worse than those who crucified my Son, for the Jews did it for the sake of envy and because they did not know that he was God, but these [Christians] know him to be God, and yet, in their own malice and presumption [presuming they are saved] and greed [want of the world’s pleasures and sin], they crucify him spiritually more cruelly than the Jews did physically. For they themselves have been redeemed [baptized/forgiven], but the Jews had not yet been redeemed. Therefore, my bride, [don’t reject your redemption] obey my Son and FEAR HIM, for just as he is merciful, he is also JUST.”
–The Mother of God to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations Ch.37)
There is Endless Deception
The devil has embedded his poison so deep within us, we want to do the right thing, but we just don’t know what that is. From the devil being so successful, there are now endless deceptions all around us.
“If you live according to the flesh [desiring sin and the world], you will die [go to Hell]; but if by the Spirit [desiring what is holy] you put to death the deeds of the body [you will stop your unrestrained habitual sins and come to truly hate sin, then], you will live [go to Heaven]” (Romans 8:13).
We can clearly see that we aren’t really living by The Spirit “desiring what is holy” and are still living according to the flesh or we wouldn’t be committing all of these unrestrained habitual sins and suffering with such worries and complaints when things go wrong. We apparently don’t sincerely trust in God’s will: believing all God allows is meant to lead us to good IF we learn, grow and change through the cross… waiting and trusting for God’s blessing for us.
“Do not puzzle over events which happen or wonder why such and such things occur, but take them all thankfully from God’s hands, trusting firmly that He watches over you and all men, and will never permit anything to happen but for our greater good, however little we may understand it.”
–St. John of Avila (Letter 2, #33)
Oh, we might think we desire what is holy and trust in God, but our actions–our lack of becoming saints— is proving us to be liars.
Sure, we might desire some things that are holy, but that isn’t what is damning us; it is all we desire that isn’t holy that is. Remember, one sin (anything a saint wouldn’t do), one thing that we want that isn’t “holy” rejects God for sin and chooses Hell for eternity if we don’t truly repent of it. Please, really think about what I have just said… look at all you do and want and feel… all that isn’t holy–all that a true saint wouldn’t do–is killing you. Please don’t be deceived. Eternity is forever!
Of course, even if we can see a few things we do, want or feel that aren’t holy, we will still have to learn about what is really holy, because when we become darkened to The Truth like we have become, right from wrong, good from bad, humility from pride, are now blurred… but we just won’t know it. This is true. We will think we obviously know what is sinful and prideful, but I promise you, if we have been deceived and blinded as to what truly saves, we won’t know good from evil in many ways. We can’t know. We have pushed away the grace that provides us with such understanding.
“I pity you, because sin has blinded you, and does not allow you to see the danger in which you are of dying at any moment, and of going to burn in an abyss of fire for all eternity!”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church (The Exercise of the Missions, Ch 1)
I know this is VERY HARD for someone to understand, especially if we have vastly studied the faith and are considered its “faithful” or its “teachers”. Yet, trust me, even theologians, have to humbly learn what is truly good. We have been greatly blinded and deceived.
We are going to have to learn how to re-think everything, because everything we have been taught on how to find happiness and success (the worldly way of building up our self-esteem/confidence), we will need to leave. We are going to have to stop learning how to believe and trust in ourselves and lose our pride, so we can come to gain “self-hatred” as St. Catherine of Gennoa and all of the saints possessed.
Yes, a hatred our sinful self we need, so we can believe and trust in God alone… truly believing we are nothing… “nothing but sin” (St. Alphonsus, True Spouse of Jesus Christ, Holy Humility, Ch. 11 )… who needs God to do everything through us, looking for Our Lord to fill us with His grace, so He can teach, strengthen and guide us to Life. Trusting in Our Savior, not ourselves to do it. To learn more please read, “How to Stop Sinning?”
We will have to learn how to “distinguish between the different types of thoughts that come to us: those that are good, those sent by God… and those that are evil [inspired by our nature, our sinful impulses/desires, or satan himself]” as St. Diadochus of Photice taught on “Spiritual Perfection.” This will be hard at first, since we probably have never even looked into what or why we are thinking what we do. From only knowing how to live by our pride, this will be a complete change, as discussed later. But with God’s grace, knowing we need to change (having some humility), we can do this.
Frankly, the deception that lives in us branches out to every facet of the faith. This darkness we live in has, believe it or not, distorted the whole faith. This is the truth. The following are a just a few of the topics the devil has confused us with to keep us blind, which are discussed in this article.
Sadly, we no longer correctly understand:
- Fear of the Lord
- Giving Glory to God
- Love of the Cross
- Trust in God
- God’s Will
- How To Love Others as God loves Us
- and so much more…
Oh, we might think we understand these things correctly, but, just like I’m sure we thought we understood how to be saved correctly, we are truly being deceived with all of these too–yes, a deceiving power has come over us with ALL of the above to some degree and much more.
What the devil has done is truly terrifying. The anti-christ has infiltrated all of our lives and in every way to some degree and has destroyed our understanding of the true faith. To learn more please read, “What Does Evil Look Like?”
We must seek Mercy to stamp the anti-christ out so he no longer has control of us.
“The apostasy [the abandonment of the true faith] comes first [before the second coming of Christ] and the lawless one [the anti-christ] is revealed… claiming that he is a god [through all the world’s pleasures (the people, power, & possessions/our idols) we seek instead of the true God]…
And then the lawless one will be revealed [as is happening now through this article], whom the Lord will kill [at then end of time] with the breath of his mouth and render powerless by the manifestation of his coming [so we will never sin again and finally worship God without fear (of offending God or dying from our sins)]…
[But for us, who left The Truth for the anti-christ (don’t desire God but sin & the world’s pleasures),] God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may [continue to] believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12).
But, for us, we don’t need to remain in the dark, believing the lie, since the “gospel is veiled, it is veiled for those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 4:3), thinking sin is good anymore and be condemned. God, from His infinite mercy, is giving us a wonderful blessing of bringing His light–even a “seven times greater [light]” (Isaiah 30:26) than what was shown before to us–so we may see all of what the evil one has darkened. Yes, a great light of God will show us The Way, so we can join Him again. Therefore, let’s allow God to enlighten us, so He can save our souls.
“The Lord said: Since this people draws near with words only and honors me with their lips alone, though their hearts are far from me [since they really desire sin and the world: the anti-christ]. And fear of me has become mere precept of human teaching [yet they think they are faithful]. Therefore I will again deal with this people in surprising and wondrous fashion: The wisdom of the wise [the wisdom of the teachers… the “faithful”] shall perish…
Surely [however], in a very little while [after this great darkness], Lebanon [the Church] shall be changed into an orchard, and the orchard be considered a forest! On that day the deaf shall hear the words of a scroll [this article]; And out of gloom and darkness, the eyes of the blind shall see” (Isaiah 29:11-18).
Therefore, please hear God speaking to you. He wants to open your eyes… God wants you in Heaven.
We don’t need to continue to live this way of sin and be banished to where the “smoke of the fire that torments them will rise forever and ever, and there will be no relief day or night” (Revelations 14:11).
It is time to convert and then tell the world of our great error and of Our Savior who desires to save us: to change us… to give us true hatred for our sins so we can have real hope for Eternal Life.
“[After God’s children learn of how they have fallen into the trap of the anti-christ] go up on to a high mountain [speak to the whole world], Zion, [God’s children, I am a] herald of glad tidings; cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, [God’s chosen ones; I am a] herald of good news!… Here is your God!.. Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care [you will not be left alone to die; He will show you The Way–LOOK FOR HIM]” (Isaiah 40:9&11).
Our Lord is calling out for His children. He wants to save us. Let’s learn where we are going wrong–which is a lot–so we can allow God to change us, so we can be with the “few.” Eternity is forever! What is more important than this?
I know, perhaps we haven’t robbed any banks or killed anyone lately… but that doesn’t mean we are saved–forgiven of All of our wrong doings. Truly, sin and what is expected of us is so much more than we think. And obtaining forgiveness for ALL of our sins is much more challenging than we might understand too. We can’t continue to believe the “false teachers” (2 Peter 2:1). They are killing us.
The Devil Wants Us to Live Lukewarm Lives
You see, the devil doesn’t want us to know of our great need to change. He doesn’t want us to be concerned about our Eternal Life. He doesn’t want us to prepare for our time at judgment. He wants us to stay living lukewarm lives, remaining in our sins, rejecting the cross (our source of healing) for the pleasures of the world and die an eternal death away from God forever.
“Now every one will admit, that the “art of dying well” is the most important of all sciences; at least everyone who seriously reflects, how after death we shall have to give an account to God of everything we did, spoke, or thought of, during our whole life… [and] when unprepared… perhaps never once reflected [how can one be ready].
This is the reason why miserable mortals rush in crowds to Hell; and as St. Peter said, “If the just man shall scarcely be saved [oh, how hard it is to obtain salvation], what shall the ungodly and the sinner appear’ [when our souls die riddled in unrepentant and unatoned for sin]… it is a most dangerous thing to deter till death our conversion from sin to virtue… [as a general rule] a good death depends upon a good life [It is time to change today].”
–St. Robert Bellarmine, (The Art of Dying Well, Ch. 1)
Even with The Truth so clearly written, the evil one wants us not to believe that we accept God’s forgiveness by the contrition in our hearts for our sins.
The evil one wants us to only focus on God’s mercy, forgetting about His justice and the consequences of our sins. He uses our great pride to convince us that we are the ones with the wisdom and those with true wisdom are wrong. He wants us misinterpreting the saints and The Word so we create our own religion and believe we are saved by our words or any other misconception. He doesn’t want us to believe the teachings (Catechism) of Christ’s Church or the saints; he wants us to believe ourselves and our own created faith.
The last thing the devil wants is for us to humbly obey and believe what we don’t understand. He wants us to follow what we (deceived souls) think is right so to remain proud and blind doing things our way.
The devil will have us say, “Look at what The Word says” as we try to justify why we should have no concern about salvation, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Romans 11:26). “See”, we will declare, “I don’t have to do anything but call on God’s name and I’m saved.”
But please ask ourselves, what do our words mean if our hearts don’t truly want God… if we still habitually choose sin instead of Him? Please know, we can “call on the name of the Lord” but if our hearts still prefer any sin over loving Him… if we didn’t run to God during our lives to give us a “new heart and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26), our words will be meaningless. They certainly won’t save.
For hearts that are humble and sincerely want to stop offending God, who know we need Him to save us (to change us), who understand the true faith, we read The Word saying, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord [with hearts that truly love Him] will be saved.”(Romans 11:26). If our hearts still don’t truly love God, if we still desire any sin, no matter what we say with our words, our hearts will reject God for sin. This is the truth.
Yes, The Word–how to obtain Life–is veiled (hard to understand) for those who are perishing… but not for those whom God has truly humbled.
“Even though our gospel is veiled, it is veiled for those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 4:3).
For the humble know, our hearts must truly want God if we are going have Him in our souls, and that “want” can’t come from a deceived lie we have been tricked into believing and utter, but from the truth that really lives in our hearts, which is proven by our actions… for our words are meaningless if we still desire any sin (still lack true contrition for any one of them).
We can say with our mouths that we truly want God, but God, who reads the truth of our hearts, will clearly know if it is the truth or a lie. (Please know it takes much grace to obtain the gift of true humility, since by nature we are so very proud).
Sadly, there is a whole population of poor deceived souls, who think forgiveness is received when we simply “confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). And, of course, we could be forgiven and saved IF our confession of faith that we made were true. But simply confessing with our mouth that Jesus is Lord, when we don’t even live our lives like He is Lord, again proves our words to be lies. If we won’t even strive to obey, or to follow or to trust in Him-we prove our confessions of faith are only blasphemes, not a declaration of true faith.
Horribly, the whole of humanity right now doesn’t really believe Jesus is Lord; we believe ourselves to be Lord. We obey our own laws, we follow our own desires, and we trust in what we think is best. Yes, we have made ourselves God. But we can’t save ourselves, and will only wind up rejecting the true God for sin.
Oh, if we only really believed Jesus was Lord and sincerely obeyed, followed and trusted in Him, then from living our faith (our faith being alive), God would bring our hearts to true love for Him and true contrition for our sins. But sadly, our faith is far from a saving true faith… and even if we repent, it only winds up being lies.
“The Lord forgives all who repent — if, that is, their repentance brings them into God’s unity [if their repentance is true].”
–St. Ignatius of Antioch, (Letter to the to the Philadelphians #8)
I tell you, the evil one wants us praising God in our words, but being lukewarm in our actions–loving our will… proving we don’t really believe in Him… Satan doesn’t want us to stop offending God, to become like God nor to trust in Him. He wants us complacent with our sins… having no “fear of the Lord”… thinking we are saved by just “saying” we believe, even though our actions are far from living the faith we claim we believe in.
Oh, the evil one wants us to be deceived into thinking we have true belief in Christ, so we won’t really know of our need for Mercy: won’t know our great need for help to come to truly hate our sins, so we can grow into a saving faith. Perhaps the devil is convincing us, we are saved no matter what we do, since God loves us unconditionally and His mercy is so great… even though The Word says, “If you do not repent, you will all perish as they did!” (Luke 13:3).
Perhaps, the devil wants us to continue to believe that obtaining salvation is easy… just avoid a few sins and bam “we are saved”… even though The Word says “the road is HARD that leads to Life” (Matthew 7:14), so we will continue to live lukewarm lives, not truly repenting nor changing… not growing into self-sacrificing saints… even though The Word says, “we are called to be saints [true followers of Christ]” (1 Corinthians).
Yes, the evil one doesn’t want us to seek Our Savior to remove our great will/desire for sin (to save us), so we can all die (go to Hell)… even though The Word says, “if we willfully persist in sin [have unrestrained habitually sin] after having received the knowledge of the truth [come of the age to sin], there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins [since we reject His forgiveness and atonement from our desire for the sin/our lack of contrition], but a fearful prospect of judgment, and a fury of fire [hell] that will consume the adversaries [awaits us, if we don’t repent and change].” (Hebrews 10:26-27).
“See how great is the blindness of man… and the more they are enlightened by the Holy Scripture, the greater are their obligations and more INTOLLERABLE CONFUSION do they receive for not fulfilling them… Theirs is the fate of the false Christian, who is placed in Hell in greater torment than a pagan, because he had the light of faith and renounced it, while the pagan never had it.”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church (Treatise of Prayer)
Please don’t stay in the devil’s trap and continue to live as a false Christian thinking we are saved, from any number of justifications we have been deceived into believing, as to why it isn’t necessary to sincerely strive to live the faith–to obey The Word and to sanctify our souls. We must “make every effort to be found without stain or defilement” (2 Peter 3:14).
“Have you sought to deceive yourself by foolish reasonings on the justice of God and on His mercy? Have you not sought to persuade yourself that sin is not so great an evil–that God is too good to punish you?
–St. Ignatius of Loyola, (Spiritual Exercises, The Punishment of Sin)
Oh, we must, “act carefully, for with the Lord, our God, there is no injustice” (2 Chronicles 19:7). We must change today. Our judegment is rapidly approaching. “Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand” ( ).
“[Since The Father] judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear [of punishment] throughout the time of your exile [so you may not suffer as a result of your sins].” (1 Peter 1:17).
Truly, if we don’t come to hear, we will reject God’s saving love because we aren’t becoming saints (someone who truly never wants to offend God again).
Truly, “the righteous shall live by faith [obedience to Christ/living for His will]” (1 Peter 3:11) so they can one day love God “with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
This pretending like salvation is easy to obtain is killing us. This false teaching, of presuming everyone is saved, is preventing us from doing what is necessary for Christ to save our and our loved one’s souls.
Oh, it is hard to come to truly hate all of these sins we have spent our life time loving. Please don’t be deceived!
“[Tragically, we] almost entirely neglect our eternal salvation… the devil is most diligent in his endeavors to bring them [us] to eternal ruin… after this short life, another life awaits us, which will be either eternally happy or eternally miserable. [What are you working hard to obtain?]”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church, (The Way of Salvation and Perfection, Med. 31)
We simply must come to know that by Jesus’ sacrifice, we have been forgiven of our sins—“He is expiation for our sins” (1 John 2:2)—but this unmerited gift that welcomes us into Heaven, horribly, we are REJECTING. God is forlorn! We must change!
Yes, Our Lord came to “give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45), for all of us who became baptized into the faith, but what have we done with this gift? Horribly, we have refused it… since we have chosen sin instead.
Oh, we have been invited to the wedding banquet–Heaven–but most of us have made excuses, or have not even tried to attend. We have neglected to work hard and purify our garments (our souls). Sadly, we have chosen to spend our lives doing other things and have spurned Eternal Life, since we are stained with unrepentant sin.
Hopefully God is humbling you, and you are beginning to understand the true faith. Our and our neighbors’ souls are dying. We must do something about this; we must save our souls. So please humbly listen for God is speaking to you. Our eternity is everything! Don’t allow the devil to blind and kill you. God wants you in Heaven! Now is the time to change.
“That gate [to Life] is narrow. They who desire to enter in that way are FEW, while those who desire the joys that come by it [whom want Heaven] are many [they just never obtain it].”
–St. John of the Cross, Doctor of the Church, (A Spiritual Canticle, Stanza XXXVL)
Are You Striving to Become a Real Saint?
Is our goal to become a real self-sacrificing saint: someone who doesn’t want to be loved, but wants to love… someone who doesn’t want others to be kind to us, but seeks to be kind to others, especially to those who are unkind to us… someone who wants to carry the cross (suffer and sacrifice), so God can send grace from that love, for the salvation of others souls–to help move others towards a saving faith of true love for God/true contrition for our sins?
Reality is, we aren’t working hard to become saints–not real saints and as a result, we are dying. Yes, as said before, “we are called to be saints [true followers of Christ]” (1 Corinthians).
Please know, people who don’t want to sin and want to love God, will be becoming a real self-sacrificing saint, not just a “good” person. This is true.
How can we say we want to stop our sins and follow Christ–that we believe in Christ enough to do what He would do, knowing following Him is The Way to Heaven/a saving faith–if we don’t even strive to become a real saint: someone who has left the world and its pleasures to love and serve God and desires to never offend Him again? What kind of faith would we have?
“The soul that follows and imitates Him more and more becomes more and more like Him… In imitation of the Son of God, the God-Man, the children of God are to work away at their salvation [to lose their desire for sin so to gain a true love for God/a saving faith].”
–St. Maximilian Kolbe, (Will to Love, Christ Transforms Us)
Yes, if we want Eternal Life, we must conform our lives to that of Christ… that is how He transforms our hearts. “We MUST grow up in every way into him” (Ephesians 4:15).
“Be[ing] conformed to the image of his Son” (Romans 8:29), by way of the cross, is how we learn to lose our love for sin: our will, our pride, our self-love, and everything else that keeps us from being like Christ (all of those horrible habitual sins), which is how we gain true contrition for our offences and true love for God. Then, we won’t reject His saving grace He died to give us, but embrace it. Christ is the one we must follow. Jesus must be our God— Our Savior.
Therefore, what do we do that Christ wouldn’t? What sins won’t we leave so to become a real saint? What pleasures of the world won’t we give up–that aren’t God’s will… you know the vanity, the self-love and the self-indulgences that we partake in–that a true saint would never do? What is keeping us from becoming a real self-sacrificing saint who only seeks to serve God and help save souls… just like Christ did? Those are what are killing us. Please know, “the one who is self-indulgent is dead” (1 Timothy 5:6). Saints don’t indulge; they choose the cross… and love it. We need to seek this kind of faith too.
Sure some of us will “say” we are wanting to become a saint, but we only want to become one of those lukewarm saints, not a true saint… not one who seeks perfection: strives to “not sin any more” (John 14:15) and lives for the cross: joyful suffers and sacrifices pleasures, who “rejoice[s] in my sufferings” (Colossians 1:24), so God can send grace to others from our acts of love for the salvation of souls, like the real saints have done before us (as explained later).
“A Friend of the Cross is one who[s]… heart is raised above all that is transient and perishable [wants nothing of the world], and his homeland is in heaven… Those Christians you see everywhere, fashionably dressed, fastidious in manner, full of importance and dignity, are not real disciples, real members of Christ crucified.
To think they are would be an insult to our thorn-crowned Head and to the truth of the Gospel. How many so-called Christians imagine they are members of our Saviour when in reality they are his treacherous persecutors, for while they make the sign of the cross with their hand, in their hearts they are its enemies [loving the world and its pleasures]!
If you are guided by the same spirit [as Christ], if you live with the same life as Jesus, your thorn-crowned Head, you must expect only thorns, lashes and nails; that is, nothing but the cross [suffering and sacrificing]; for the disciple must be treated like the master…
If you are not willing to suffer gladly like Jesus [for the salvation of souls], or patiently like the penitent thief [knowing God is using the cross to change us], then you will have to suffer like the unrepentant thief.”
–St. Louis De Montfort (Letter to the Friends of the Cross, Part 1)
But we don’t really want to be like Christ nor like the penitent sinner. We don’t want to suffer, so Christ can save us through the cross.
We just want to be a saint who prays a lot and does many “good” works… but we are doing them with hearts that still don’t LOVE GOD…. with hearts that still don’t sincerely want to stop sinning nor want the cross, because we still love our sins and the world and all of its pleasures and don’t really believe the cross is the way to Christ.
Those who truly hate their sins and want to follow Christ, one by one leave their sins, reject the world’s pleasures they crave (their idols), grow in love with the cross (knowing it saves), and gain virtue and more virtue (qualities of Christ)… never stopping, from a complacency with any sin, until they grow into a perfect self-sacrificing saint.
But we don’t want to sacrifice and suffer–deny ourselves of what we want and take up our crosses– for the salvation of souls like Christ and the true saints have done, nor do we want to work hard to stop sinning… not to really stop offending God… not to really become like Him.
“Whoever wishes to come after me MUST deny himself [don’t follow his will of self-love], take up his cross [don’t complaint about suffering], and follow me [become like Christ]” (Matthew 16:24).
Sadly, we just want to continue doing “good” or what we think is “good” thinking that somehow makes up for our sins. But please know, it isn’t the good we do that is going to damn us, but, again, it is the bad we don’t truly repent of that will. Remember, we aren’t saved by what we do.
Tragically, despite how “good” we are, we still desire so much of the world (idols), hate endless healing crosses of Christ, and are still remaining in many of our sins. Now, instead of being filled with God and His love (His saving grace), we have filled our hearts with sin and the world.
“The soul that has denied and thrust away from itself the pleasures which come from all these things [delight from the sense of hearing, sight, smell, & food/taste] and has mortified its desire with respect to them [removed our want for them from self-discipline], may be said… [has] an emptiness within itself of all things [and can now receive God].”
–St. John of the Cross (Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Ch. 3 #2)
Sadly, we are far from being empty of the world’s delights; we have so many passions for things of this world and have filled ourselves/our hearts with the desire for the world and sin and as a result, we only have room for a small amount of God in our hearts, which has actually caused us to forgot what a true saint really is. This is true. Now, we don’t really know what we should be doing to be a real Christian (as explained later).
Our Obvious Failures To Love
Even though, from being so deceived, we can’t see many of our failures to love, we still should be able to see plenty of our more obvious failures to act like Christ. If we can be honest with ourselves, all we need to do is just look at our lives. Look at what we are doing with our time. Sure some of it perhaps we give to God, but what about the rest?
Do we think Christ gave only part of His life to do the Father’s will and the rest He gave to the pursuit of the world’s pleasures? No; He didn’t sin and gave ALL of His life for the salvation of souls, and did nothing for self-love. This must be our goal too.
We are called to live for Christ… not ourselves. The saints have done this and have lived lives of great peace and happiness… loving God. Yet, we think if we don’t have the world’s pleasures, we will be miserable, since we have made them our god (what we need for happiness). Surly, we know only God truly satisfies the longings of the heart, but do we really believe it. Not really, since so much of our lives is set on getting our will, the world, and even sin for happiness… so to love ourselves and not God?
“When [the] Antichrist has come [and confused us as to The Way to Heaven], the pursuit of unlawful pleasures shall be more eager among the transgressors… Not for this purpose did you receive [money], that you should spend it on luxury [nice food, clothes, cars, homes, things, entertainment, relaxation, etc.], but that you should lay it out on alms [giving to the needy].”
–St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church (Homily on Matthew 24:33-34)
Perhaps, we don’t have the money to obtain anything but the bare necessities or maybe we even lack that. Yet, please don’t think we are without suffering from this sin. If we wished we had nice meals, stylish clothes, a luxury car, a great home, nice things, thrilling entertainment and/or fine relaxing vacations, then we are just as guilty as those who are seeking out and partaking in those things.
If our hearts desire anything but God and His will, if we desire/long for anything that Christ or a saint wouldn’t partake in, even if we don’t actually partake in them, we are still guilty of idolatry (wanting the world for happiness). We must come to “hate our idols” and seek God and His will alone… not want what we don’t have (live in envy).
“People sin against me even now in the world in the same way [they did in Egypt]. First, they honor and worship an idol: for they love the world and all the things in it more than me, who am their Creator. Therefore, the world is their god, and not I. For I said in my gospel: “Where a man’s treasure is, there his heart is also.” So, mankind’s treasure is the world, since their HEARTS YEARNS TOWARDS IT AND NOT TO ME.
Therefore, just as the Jews fell in the desert… so too shall these people fall… and they shall live in damnation without end [since they rejected me for the world].”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations, Ch. 53)
What does ours heart yearn for? If we come home from work and we don’t crave to be with God in prayer, even if we are hungry and tired, but we crave perhaps a good dinner, a tv show and/or relaxation with something other than God… then something is really wrong with our faith.
Now I’m not saying we can’t ever partake in anything of pleasure in the world. Sure we can, that is, IF it is necessary and helps us to know, love and serve God (doesn’t lead us into sin), but if we desire/seek it instead of God and His will, like sadly we do with most everything, that makes it all idols.
But beware, when we love our idols greatly, once we find out there is a way we can continue in them (thinking it is needed), we will LIE to ourselves and convince ourselves we “need” to have or do some self-loving pleasure because we are deceiving ourselves into thinking it helps us to know, love and serve God. Oh, I have seen it time and time again. It is very hard for some of us to be honest with ourselves, and acknowledge our idols when we simply don’t want to leave them. Beware!
Therefore, what does our hearts really yearn towards? If there is any ONE thing that isn’t God and His will, then that is a deadly idol… that is what we are choosing over God and His saving love. Please don’t be deceived. Yes, we have a lot to change.
Nonetheless, outside of our idols/attachments… what about what comes out of our mouths? Are we like the saints and it is mostly silence, only speaking when necessary–since we are in prayer with God–and that of love for another… or is it foul, dirty, full of negativity, gossip, idol chatter or complaints (wanting our will)?
“Bear patiently all annoyances, contradictions, abuse and hard words sent you by God to try you: suffer them cheerfully and even desire them [for they can make you like Christ]; be resigned and do not let your soul rebel against them.”
–St. John of Avila (Letter 2, #8)
How about what we listen to or watch? Is it really pure, helping us to know, love and serve God… done according to His will (not ours)? Or does it leave us with impurity or distractions in our minds preventing us from being with God throughout our day in prayer and leading us into sin.
I tell you, any part of our lives that is not what a true saint would do, that isn’t necessary, that isn’t to love God, done for His honor and glory–is offending God… whom we should be loving. We must seek Mercy to help us hate and leave it all.
How about what we think about ourselves or what we wear? Do we think and look like a humble pure innocent saint? Or has vanity/sensuality consumed us? Oh, how many things do we do or think about that a real saint wouldn’t dare do… and yet, we have lived our lives not even concerned. How sad!
“Avoid immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body [and will be punished accordingly], but the immoral person sins against his own body [and will be punished within his own body]” (1 Corinthians 6:18).
From being so deceived, we have made offending God, with so many sins a perfectly acceptable part of our lives, since we:
- Habitually commit sin over and over again without restraint,
- Run to the world’s pleasures (our idols) for happiness,
- Hate our crosses (worry and complain over our suffering, since we want our will and don’t DON’T TRUST IN GOD to take bad and make it into good).
Yet, any ONE of them that we don’t gain a true hatred for… that we aren’t resolved/working hard to amend (leaving what causes us to sin–so we can lose our desire for them is mortal: causing us to choose everlasting punishment because we just won’t repent so to love God.
“When a penitent only hates sin through a weakly although real [but not yet true] contrition, he will resolve to avoid overt acts of sin; but when his contrition is strong and hearty, he will not merely abhor sin, but every affection, every link and tendency to sin.”
–St. Francis de Sales (Introduction to the Devout Life, Ch. 8)
So how much contrition do we have for our sins? What are we doing to leave and avoid them?
Honestly, what sins and idols are we not even striving to leave? What crosses are we rejecting and not even seeking Mercy to carry? Well, now is the time to change… so we can come to see our sins and learn from them and amend our ways. Truly, we must be striving to perfectly obey all of God’s Word, seeking to truly follow Him, not staying blind or ignoring any of Him, if we want to gain a true hatred/true contrition so to Live.
Perhaps we have been committing some of our sins our whole life long, complacently thinking these are just part of who we are. Honestly, we aren’t really striving, with our whole heart, to perfectly obey/love God… to become just like Him. Sadly, we don’t hate sin that much. It is time to seek Mercy to change us.
Yes, It Is Possible to Become Perfect
“My soul has known trials of many kinds. I have suffered much on this earth. In my childhood I suffered with sadness, but now [from God’s grace] I find sweetness in all things… “You have given me, O Lord, delight in all you do.” (cf. Psalms 92:4). For what joy can be greater than to suffer for Thy Love?”
–St. Thérèse of Lisieux (Story of a Soul, Ch. 9)
But, if we don’t believe God’s grace can give us a love of the cross and can prevent us from sinning, then how can we strive to perfectly love God/to stop all of our sins and become like Him, if we don’t even believe perfect obedience is possible? We can’t. Sure the perfection/purity we obtain after we die as we are transformed for our entrance into Heaven, if we die saved, is greater than anything we can achieve on earth (as explained later), but if we want to become saved–obtain true sorrow for our sins–we must strive to not offend God again… to become PERFECT. Frankly, deciding we are going to become a perfect saint (just like Christ), from having a fear of sinning against God, is the FIRST step, one needs to make towards obtaining a saving faith.
“[The proof of] he who [has] little desires to advance in divine love, instead of becoming more ardent in the way of perfection, ever becomes more and more lukewarm… And, on the other hand, whoever [truly] aspires with fervent desire after perfection, and strengthens himself daily [seeks Mercy/grace] to advance in its path, little by little, with time will attain it.”
–St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church (Pious Reflection, Part 2, Ch. 5)
Sure, some people will say, “God doesn’t want you perfect.” But don’t believe them. That is a lie from the deceiver to keep us lukewarm. God most certainly doesn’t want us to offend Him again. He wants us to LOVE HIM.
Of course, our lack of talents/abilities are not sinful and part of God’s wonderful plan for our lives. He doesn’t make mistakes with any qualities or lack of qualities we have. They should lead us to a wonderful life IF we can trust in Him and allow Him to do great things through us… short comings and all. And our imperfections and mistakes are fine too (as long as they aren’t from our neglect), but even with them, we should seek to learn and grow so to not fail with them; but our sins must end. God wants us to “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34).
Now, we don’t have to stop sinning to be saved, but we must come to truly HATE SIN–gain a TRUE desire to never want to offend God again, which gives us true contrition for our sins.… not repeatedly, without restraint, commit any of our sins over and over again. That isn’t how we love God.
Yet, we continue in so many sins, craving the world’s pleasures (our idols), and complaining about our crosses (not trusting in God, not looking to learn and change through them), not even seeking Mercy to amend these sins, thinking this is normal behavior. Well, this is only normal behavior for those living outside of God’s grace, for it clearly proves we are very much not truly sorry for our offences against God. Then upon our death, we wind up rejecting the very Savior we think is saving us. Oh, it is tragic!
“He who really loves God, and is anxious to save his soul, will employ every possible precaution to avoid the occasions of sin [everything that causes him to sin]. He will not only avoid the grievous faults, but he will also be very careful to avoid the very least of them. He considers everything that can displease God as a great evil.”
–St. John Vianney (Sermons for Sundays and Feast Days, How you can determine if you belong to the lukewarm.)
Honestly, do we really consider all sin to be a great evil that we are doing all we can to avoid every one of them so to love God? “Whoever wishes to ascend to God must FIRST avoid sin.” (St. Bonaventure, The Soul’s Journey into God, Ch. 1). If not, then we still desire sin over loving Our Lord. And we are damning our souls. Now is the time to change.
Without having a great zeal for following Christ towards the way of perfection, by the cross, we haven’t even begun to take the first step towards obtaining Eternal Life. Our real Christian life hasn’t even begun. And sadly, for many of us to even obtain a true desire to want to suffer and sacrifice and leave the world and its pleasures so to love God, takes much effort. But if we want to Live, we must work to obtain it.
“There is a moment, and a very noticeable moment… when a person begins to live in a Christian way… The testimony of this life that is visible or can be felt within us is the ardor of active zeal to please God… with total self-sacrifice and hatred of everything which is opposed to this. And so, when this ardor of zeal begins, [true] Christian life has its beginning. The person in whom this ardor is constantly active is one who is living in a Christian way… This is like fire because… once it is received, embraces and fills the whole being of a man.”
–St. Theophan the Recluse (The Path to Salvation, Ch. 1)
But most tragically, most simply don’t have a burning passion to run from everything that is opposed to pleasing/loving God and we are dying. We still want many of our sins and the world’s pleasures for happiness instead of finding our happiness in loving God. We are lukewarm.
“Lord, save us, we are perishing.” (Matthew 8:25). Truly, we can’t live a lukewarm life–just becoming a “good person” lacking true faith in Christ… not truly following Him towards perfection, or we will lose it all.
“[Please] escape from that lukewarmness which provokes God to reject you.”
–St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church (Letter #96, to Abbot of Fountains)
Please know, once we stop working for the goal–to “sin no more” (John 8:10)... to “follow me [Christ]” (Luke 9:23)–and think we are good enough by our prayers and works, we are lukewarm and dead… it doesn’t matter how far we have advanced in our faith we think we are; we are dead and don’t understand our need for mercy nor the consequence of just one sin.
“Whoever claims to abide in him ought to live [just] as he lived” (1 John 2:6).
When our hearts are truly contrite or when we are even growing towards becoming truly contrite, we will abandon all that is causing us to sin (occasions of sin) and make and keep resolutions to amend our ways. But on top of that, we will also desire to live a life of great penance— in “sackcloth and ashes” (Luke 10:13) in sorrow for our sins, wanting to make right our wrongs (as best we can) to God and neighbor.
“Go to confession, do penance, and cry over your sins as much as you want to, [however] God will never forgive you if you do not make restitution when you can. All your confessions and communions will be sacrileges which you heap one upon another. Return what does not belong to you or you must make up your mind to burn in hell.”
–St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church (St. John Vianney, Sermons for all the Sundays and Feasts of the Year)
What have we taken from another? Besides their money and material possessions… have we taken their peace (by putting them down or treating them poorly), their reputation (by spreading negativity or lies about them), their faith (being a horrible example to them)… Hum… What have we done? We have a lot of penances to perform. We need to correct the damage we have done… the slander and destructive words we have spoken.
Making a sacrifice and saying a prayer for someone we have hurt is good, but truly humbling ourselves and apologizing and correcting what we can is what the truly sorrowful do. We must not be self-absorbed and too proud to admit our errors, but focus on letting go of it all and doing good for the ones we have injured.
Those of us with true contrition, or with some even amount of real contrition (some hatred for not loving God) will feel so badly for our offences against Our Perfect Lord and neighbor, we won’t want to seek out what we like in life, but what we don’t like as a punishment for ourselves. We will know we don’t deserve what is good. Just like the Ninevites, who sought a penance for their sins to punish themselves… since by nature of true sorrow, we will want to punish ourselves for our trespasses committed against God, seek His forgiveness for our sins and work hard to stop our offences.
“When the people of Nineveh believed God [understood their sins were so great they were going to be destroyed]; they proclaimed a fast and all of them, great and small, put on sackcloth [as a penance for their sinfulness]” (Jonah 3:5).
Therefore, when we sincerely hate our sins, we will want to suffer and sacrifice, not only because we fear Hell (attrition) but we will want the cross because we want to love God (contrition) and send grace for the salvation of His children.
We will live the cross to become like Christ and to help make satisfaction for our sins and even for the sins of the whole world, as we “rejoice in my sufferings for your sake [to send you grace], and in my flesh I am filling up [with grace from my sufferings for the salvation of my soul too]” (Colossians 1:24).
Yet, of course accepting Christ’s perfect atonement is what purifies us for our entrance into Heaven (if we die saved, as explained later). But penance is most necessary for us to enter into Heaven, since Jesus’ atonement only atoned for our sins committed before our baptism. All of our sins committed after our baptism we must atone for, if we wish to accept His perfect atonement again, for our entrance into Heaven.
“Absolution takes away sin [if the sinner is truly contrite], but it does not remedy all the disorders sin has caused. Raised up from sin, the sinner MUST still recover his full spiritual health by doing something more to make amends for the sin: he must “make satisfaction for” or “expiate” his sins. This satisfaction is also called “penance.” (CCC # 1459)
Yes, when we hate our sins or even want to hate our sins, we will LOVE OUR CROSSES (all of our pains and challenges in life) knowing when we embrace them, we accept much help/grace from God, who desires to bless us and others by the carrying of our crosses. Then we will be truly working for the salvation of souls: helping others to obtain grace to move them towards true contrition/true love of God, following the TRUE example of Christ and the saints before us.
“The life of a Christian should be a continual exercise of penance… nothing is more necessary in order to establish in your soul the empire of grace and destroy that of nature [of wanting to sin (your self-love), so you can sincerely want to love God, for the salvation of your soul].”
–St. Francis de Sales, (The Secrets of Sanctity, Rule of Life VII)
But penance and atonement are completely lost in the world today too. Please know, true penance, is so much more than just saying a couple of prayers, which is addressed later.
“You could punish yourself [perform a penance (choose the cross) to deter yourselves and/or obtain grace] and flee from the illicit lusts you delight in, and so honor My martyrdom by fighting against your burning desires [for sin and the world] and bear My cross in your body… but you despise good and do evil… you choose not to restrain yourself, but to sin freely.”
–Jesus to St. Hildegard of Bingen (Vision 10, #2)
Oh, the devil has destroyed the true, saving faith. But now it is time to restore it. Despite our life of sin, God’s love for us still hasn’t subsided, and He wants to restore us and the faith to Life. “[Come Lord Jesus] the Restorer of ruined dwellings” (Isaiah 58:12).
Contrition That Saves
This saving faith, this contrition that saves, is quite dynamic. To obtain it, God’s grace needs to give us a faith that has the following qualities.
The qualities of a saving contrition produce a hatred for sin that moves the soul to:
- Want to become a perfect self-sacrificing saint (want to stop offending God with ALL of our sins because we fear to offend God, whom we desire to love with all of our hearts),
- Look for our sins–stop refusing to see our sins (honestly examine our conscience),
- Confess our sins,
- Repent of the sins (state true sorrow),
- Make resolutions to leave the sins,
- Choose and/or accept and perform penances for the sins,
- Seek Mercy for help to stop sinning,
- Be resolved/working hard to leave and never commit sin (truly seek God’s will),
- Produce results of faith/contrition and are reducing and leaving the sins,
- Desire to suffer anything, ever death, rather than offend God again.
Yes, we have true hatred for a sin when we are willing us admit/confess the sin and from understanding the gravity just one sin has against Perfect Goodness it causes us to sincerely never want to commit it again (have no will/desire for the sin), which produces a detest for the sin causing us to be willing to suffer rather than commit the sin again.
Those are the qualities of a saving/true contrition. But we can’t have it for just one sin, but all of them.
But I do want to make it clear that most people begin to change their ways and will do all of those things to the best of their ability from having a fear of perishing into Hell (servile fear) and that isn’t a saving contrition. But it is a good start.
“They have arisen with servile fear [fear of suffering]… the soul, having seen the punishment which follows her sin, climbs; and gathers together her memory to recollect her vice [learn her sins], her intellect to see the punishment which she expects to receive for her fault, and her will to move her to hate that fault. And let us consider this to be the FIRST STEP [towards a saving faith].”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna (A Treatise of Discretion)
Yes, after we recognize our need for Mercy–come to see our sinfulness, punishment we deserve and need for help and forgiveness–gain servile fear of the Lord, that is when most people begin to move towards amendment.
Therefore, hidden in the first quality of a saving contrition is a quality that hasn’t been addressed clearly in which we need to be saved. You see, we need to do all of those things because we can’t bear to offend God, whom we should be loving (filial fear)… not mostly because we fear rejecting God and perishing into Hell for eternity, but from love for God.
For a confession to be even considered valid, we must confess with some amount of hatred for sin from a fear of sinning against God (moved by faith) known as “godly grief.” For a confession to a priest to be valid, this fear can be because we fear punishment/Hell but for it to arise to true contrition (a saving faith), we must desire to suffer anything rather then offend God because we can’t bear to offend God, whom we seek to perfectly love. And to obtain this kind of love for God takes much grace.
“For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation [causes us to leave the sins we love and embrace Mercy] and brings no regret [brings us to a saving faith], but worldly grief [sorrow derived from self-pity/pride] produces death.
For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, what eagerness to clear yourselves [to stop the sins–truly repent]” (2 Corinthians 7:10-11).
Prior to having a hatred for sin driven from fear of the Lord–having a fear of sinning against God because we have become aware of its consequences against God and ourselves (some amount of servile or filial fear), believe it or not, we have only made false confessions.
Sadly, from the devil deceiving us, this is true. Most have only sought God for forgiveness because we possessed worldly grief, not godly grief. Sadly, we attend confession for reasons like wanting self-improvement or duty, thinking going to confession is what good Catholics do to be saved (but with no actual hatred for our sins), or to remove our feeling of guilt, etc..
But, if we want to receive any grace from confession, we must have some amount of fear of the Lord, to accept mercy–either helping mercy or forgiving mercy–through the blessed confession to a priest:
- Fear of suffering (servile fear/imperfect contrition/attrition),
- Fear of not loving God (filial fear/perfect contrition).
Sadly, most have never had either of those fears, since we live in a world that tries so hard to strip us of all fear of sinning against God. And if we do obtain grace and obtain them for a moment, there will be some poor deceived soul, through misguided love, to strip us of them as they perhaps say, “Don’t worry about your sins… trust in God’s mercy.” Tragic! As if we can accept God’s mercy, without having fear of the Lord.
Sure there is no sin, Mercy doesn’t greatly desire to forgive. He wants us in Heaven; it doesn’t matter what horrendous sins we have committed, but if we can’t obtain actual sorrow for them, we will reject Mercy for sin.
But if we live deceived, we approach and leave God after confession, thinking Mercy will forgive us, when we are rejecting Mercy since we are without even caring that we have offended Him… have no hatred for our sins. We think if we just confess with our mouth, we are forgiven, but that is a lie.
“[For only] if we confess our sins [with true sorrow], he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins” (1 John 1:9).
Please know, to accept actual (helping) grace from God through confession, to move us towards true contrition, all we need some amount of either of these fears, which hopefully from God’s grace after reading this, we now have, which gives us some amount of hatred/fear for our sins. Then the sacrament of reconciliation can really begin to help us.
But to accept forgiveness of a single sin, we must hate that sin enough to be willing to die rather than commit the sin again because of fear of the Lord–because we fear to not love God.
“It seemed impossible that sins should be forgiven through repentance, but Christ gave this power to His apostles, which has been transmitted to the priestly office. That, then, has become possible which was impossible.”
–St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, (Passage against heretics)
Sorrow for Offending Everyone — but God
Tragically, reality is, most of us attend confession seeking forgiveness from God without even considering that our sins are horribly offending God... not loving Him.
We are concerned about ourselves… perhaps we are wanting to avoid Hell, but we are not concerned with the fact that we are grieving God with every one of our sins.
“Do not grieve the holy Spirit of God” (Ephesians 4:30).
If we do happen to feel sorry for a sin and even work hard to leave it, it isn’t so we can stop offending God–to love Him. That is not the motive that drives our actions. It is so we can improve our or another’s lives. We care little if at all about God.
Perhaps we confess our sins, but it isn’t to apologize to God for doing wrong against Him or so we can receive His grace to help us to not offend Him again. No. It is because we feel obligated to do so in order to be a “good” Catholic or we do it since we are embarrassed for doing wrong and want to be “good” (from our pride) and know we will feel better if we think God has forgiven us.
Sadly, for most of us, as was said before, we never actually think that we are offending God–not loving Him–that He is the one we are mostly hurting with our sins. Tragic!
Truly, God isn’t some heartless deity who cares nothing about us and what we do…. He is offend beyond our comprehension by just ONE sin. We should be greatly sorry for offending God. But since the devil has stolen our grace, we aren’t. From living so deceived, we simply aren’t horrified and grief stricken that we have offend Our Most Beloved Lord. We don’t grieve over our sins.
Sure, we might cry over our sins, but for most it is driven from self-pity, perhaps because we messed up so badly and feel so guilty, but not because we are grief-stricken from offending Our Lord, whom we want to love perfectly (filial fear). But from our pride being injured.
“They grieve over everything but [offending/losing] me. They grieve for their own and their friends’ losses…They grieve over offending or hurting people more… but they do not grieve about offending or hurting me, who am the Creator of all things… I am utterly vile and despicable in their eyes [but they think they love me,]… [yet] they do not consider me worthy of any good [to stop offending Me… to humble themselves], even though I have given them all good things.”
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden, (Revelations, Ch. 46)
Yes, we are so far from loving God. Do we hear the cry of Our Lord? We must change! Our selfishness must end. We must come to hate our sins and grieve over offending GOD (not loving Him), whom we should be perfectly loving. We must learn how to fear sin.
For example: Let’s say, we committed an abortion and then we felt really badly for taking the life of our child. We want to be forgiven of our sin to find peace for ourselves. Then we go to confession seeking God’s forgiveness… but if we don’t realize that not only did we end the life of our child, which is of course very wrong, but even more important than that, we greatly OFFENDED GOD… showed much maliace towards Our Beloved Lord, then from not even caring or thinking that we have offended Our Creator, we confessed our sins, but we rejected God’s forgiveness, since we lacked sorrow for offending Him. This is true.
We can be sorry and should be sorry for any wrong we do, but even athiets are sorry for their wrongs. They just aren’t sorry for offending God (not loving Him). Our intentions for our sorrow must be greater than that of an athiest. We must be mostly sorry for OFFENDING PERFECT GOODNESS with any sin if we wish to be forgiven.
Please know, the act of confessing our sins, by nature, does help us find peace even if we haven’t been forgiven by God… and especially if we can, humble ourselves and forgive ourselves for our sins. But even athiests can find this release of anexity/peace from confessing his sins to someone… that isn’t proof of God’s forgiveness.
Yes sadly, even though God’s unfathomable mercy wants to forgive us of any and all of our sins, since He loves us regardless of our injuries to Him, but since we aren’t sorry for offending Him, we are rejecting His forgiveness He wishes to give us.
If we aren’t at least mostly sorry for not loving Our Lord (above being sorry for offending others), either because we fear His just punishments (servile fear/imperfect contrition/attrition) or because we can’t bear to offend Our God, who is all good and deserving of all of our love (finial fear/perfect/true contrition), of course being resolved to suffer death rather than commit that sin again, WE REJECT HIS FORGIVENESS in the sacrament of reconciliation.
But remember to be saved, when we aren’t confessing before a priest, like at the moment of our death (when no priest is around), our hearts must be raised from servile fear into filial fear of the Lord: perfect/true contrition for our sins or all is lost.
This is why the saints are trying to warn us that so few are being saved. We are not sorry for offending God. Few have grown from having just some “worldly grief”: sorry for offending others, sorry for being less than who what we want to be, sorry for getting caught, sorry for feeling guilty, etc., into “godly grief”: sorry for offending God (not loving God) based on some amount of fear of sinning which leads to change, so we can grow into having true sorrow: sorry to the point of wanting to suffer so to not offend God, whom we seek to perfectly love (all self-love is gone).
“Oh, how many live blind lives [not knowing the faith or themselves]… from day to day, from year to year, until we approach death, when we expect to find that we have done something to our credit, only to discover nothing but sacrileges [was truly done], which we have committed by our confessions and communions.”
–St. John Vianney, (Sermons of the Cure d’ Ars, Passion Sunday-“Repentance”)
Please know, we might have felt God’s grace in the sacrament of confession, but without at least having some amount of “fear of the Lord”, we couldn’t embrace the grace. Tragically, Our Lord’s transforming and/or forgiving grace hit the surface of our souls, never remained and just fell to the floor. To learn more please read, “How Bad Confession Damn Us?”
Please know, from God’s unfathomable mercy, there are many ways God has provided to help us grow into a truly contrite heart (as listed further in this article). We need to partake in them. He wants us in Heaven.
“Oh, if sinners knew My mercy [that wants to help them], they would not perish in such great numbers.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina, (Diary #1196)
We Are Not Born With a Saving Faith
I tell you, we aren’t born with this kind of faith… this great hatred for sin… this great love for God.
From the consequences of Adam and Eve’s first sin, our nature is now greatly inclined towards evil. We are born with a great will for sin. Like was said, “The flesh is hostility toward God [it desires sin]” (Romans 8:7). Our flesh by nature wants to love itself and not God. Even when we do good for others, without God’s grace moving us, we are actually do acts of charity for self love. Yes, without grace moving us, everything is for self love (pride), but we just can’t see it. Truly, “the evil of pride is difficult to recognize and therefore much to be feared [since that alone will kill us]” as St. John of Avila teaches in his book “Listen, O Daughter!”
This is why we are so blind, we follow the desires of our hearts, doing what we–prideful souls– “think” is good, but MOST of the time, our desires are driven by sin… not grace. Discerning the spirits is quite challenging but prayerfully discerning what God will is for us at all moments is the only way to live a life without following our sinful inclinations.
This is why God tells us NOT TO FOLLOW OUR WILL, since from the fall of Adam and Eve, our will is that of sin.
“Live for the rest of your earthly life no longer by human desires [which is that of sin] but by the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).
Only He knows what is truly good. Sure, we might have God’s grace moving part of our choices but we don’t only want part of what we do being “good” (driven by God) and the rest being that of sin (driven by our own will). No; if we want Eternal Life we need God to guide us all they way to a saving faith, which is only don’t by following His will.
We want our will to become one with God’s. To do that we need to seek Jesus, OUR SAVIOR, so He can change our nature (our hearts) and give us a “new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26), which hates our will (has a great hatred for our desire for sin/self-love)–so we can have a great desire to love Him (live for His will).
“A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will put my spirit within you, and make you follow my statutes and be careful to observe my ordinances”(Ezekiel 36:26-27).
St. John Henry Newman teaches a congregation how to obtain this kind of heart. He says, “Grace overcomes nature, and grace only overcomes it.” So, as was said before, GRACE–God’s transforming grace–we must seek and a lot of it, since our condition (our want for sin) is very great.
“You were dead through the trespasses and sins in which you once lived, following the course of this world [loving sin over God]… at work among those who are disobedient. All of us once lived among them in the passions of our flesh [before God’s transforming grace changed our hearts], following the desires of flesh and senses, and we were by nature children of wrath [who willed to sin], like everyone else.
But God, who is rich in mercy, out of the great love with which he loved us even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us [who seek Him to change our hearts] alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:1-7).
Please know, this grace that saves us and makes us into saints is a two part gift from God:
- “solid food” for the mature– those with a saving faith (1 Corinthians 3:2)
- “pure spiritual milk” for those growing towards maturity (1 Peter 2:2)
“[Those wanting to grow towards maturity] long for pure spiritual milk so that through it you may grow into salvation [grow into a saving faith]” (1 Peter 2:2).
This salvation we seek–sanctifying grace/perfect forgiveness–came from God’s suffering and death, in which we received at our baptisms. But when we became of the age to sin (had full knowledge of what we were doing) and our nature, which is hostile towards God, desired sin (lacked contrition for our first sin), we rejected God’s free gift of eternal life, since not hating to offend God with any sin makes those sins mortal. Now, because of our great desire for sin, we need to follow Christ and seek God’s helping/transforming grace to remove our want for disobedience, so we may obtain a new heart that wants to love God. Then we can comes to truly love God and become alive again with Christ.
Therefore, since “God delivered all to disobedience” and now we all desire to disobey, to grow into a saving faith (maturity in the faith), we must seek Christ for mercy (His transforming grace/pure spiritual milk) “until we all attain to the unity of faith and knowledge of the Son of God, [and grow in] to mature manhood [a saving faith]” (Ephesians 4:13).