Why are the saint warning us that...
"VERY FEW CHRISTIANS ARE SAVED?"
Did you know that the saints, from the beginning of Christianity until this present age, have been warning us that “very few Christians are saved?” Oh, there is much more involved to obtaining salvation than we have been deceived into believing.
Yes, God’s most blessed saints, who have far greater wisdom than we do, want us to know that despite God’s unfathomable love and mercy for us, most of humanity–whether Christian or not–are REJECTING THEIR SAVIOR.
The saints are telling us that having just some faith in Jesus is not enough to save us, and for the majority of God’s children, our faith has not grown into “mature manhood [a saving faith]” (Ephesians 4:13), for “such faith has no power to save” (James 2:14). Now, most are going to our “eternal ruin” (2 Thessalonians 1:9) after we die. This is horrible!
The saints are warning us that the deceiver has tricked so greatly that “scarcely anyone is saved” (St. Alphonsus, Letter to Brethren/Christians). Yes, scarcely anyone.
Shouldn’t we be concerned… very concerned for our family, our friends, ourselves… everyone? ETERNITY IS FOREVER!
“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)
The Saints Want Us Saved
The saints are telling us that we are perishing, because they want to save our souls. They want us to wake up from our sleep in sin… for our sins are killing us. “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead [of sin]” (Ephesians 5:14).
“I have determined… to arouse him from sleep [in sin]… to summon him to grace [to help save him].”
–St. Bernard of Clarivox (Letter to Eustace)
Truly, we can’t just commit any sins we want and think we are going to be saved… that our sins are going to be forgiven. That isn’t what God’s mercy is all about.
Many of us might not think we are even doing much wrong, but the saints want us to know that the deceiver is blinding us, and we are actually riddled with sins, even many idols, that we can’t see or understand, which are killing us.
Therefore, so we can be spared from eternal suffering, God’s saints want us, with all urgency, to learn what we need to change and seek Our Savior for help to live the faith that saves. The saints want us in Heaven.
“If you do not wake up [and change], I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you [and you will lose it all]” (Revelations 3:3).
The Devil Wants Us Damned
But the devil, he wants us damned. And He has kept us asleep. He wants us to think since God’s mercy is so great everyone or at least all the “good” people go to Heaven after we die. But that simply is not true. NONE of the saints teach that.
The saints teach that obtaining salvation is very hard–“How difficult it… [is] to obtain salvation.” (St. John Vianney, Homily, 23 Sunday after Pentecost). Yes, it is so difficult that “the majority of men will not [see God]” as St. Justin tells us in his dialogue with Trypho, (Ch. 4).
But the devil, he wants us to continue to presume we are saved–despite the warnings of the saints–so we will remain blind and dumb… never learning what we are doing wrong. Then we will continue to walk blindly to our doom.
So, let’s take the saints warnings very seriously, for “very few now ascend [to Heaven], because all things are defiled [by the devil but we don’t know it]” as St. Robert Bellarmine teaches in his sermon on the Gospel of Luke. Please don’t be deceived.
We Are Rejecting God for Our Sins
“The majority having been taken away captive [by their sins] and perished, and some few [are] only being saved.”
–St. John Chrysostom (Homily on Romans 9:1)
Yes, the majority are REJECTING God’s free gift of saving forgiving mercy because we want our sins instead of Him.
Shockingly, even among God’s faithful most are NOT obtaining Eternal Life.
“The greater number of the faithful are damned.”
–St. Leonard of Port Maurice (Sermon, The Little Number of Those Who Are Saved)
Yes, the faithful, who think they are living the faith correctly, are greatly deceived too.
The saints want us to know these truths. They have been warning and warning us, so we can seek to learn the truth of how we are rejecting Mercy, so we can change.
But the deceiver has done such a powerful successful job in and outside of God’s Church, with deceiving souls, stripping us of knowledge; WE ARE MUTE. These life saving warnings and The Way to Heaven simply aren’t being preached.
“They are all without knowledge; they are all silent dogs that cannot bark [and warn of danger]” (Isaiah 56:10).
We Are NOT Seeking God to Save Us
Horribly, since the deceiver has dimmed our understanding, we, those who are wanting to be faithful and those who aren’t even trying, have been tricked into thinking we are all saved, so we never seek God correctly to help save us: to give us a SAVING FAITH.
“For by grace you have been saved through faith [a saving faith]” (Ephesians 2:8).
From God’s unfathomable mercy, Jesus suffered and died so His children, as sinful as we are, could spend eternity with Him in Paradise, but WE ARE REJECTING HIM and choosing to spend eternity in pain and anguish…. “[in] the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth” (Matthew 13:42), without Our Lord forever.
Yet, from being so greatly confused, we don’t even know this is occurring. We actually think we will receive a reward when we die. When we are going to “eternal punishment” (Matthew 25:46). It is absolutely tragic! I can’t imagine anything more horrible than this!
But, the Saints want to save us; so please hear their warnings, listen to their teachings, learn The Way and CHANGE. Remember, eternity is forever!
“Why should there not be a warning of eternal fire to waken those who are drifting in the sleep of sin… [who] will find themselves burning in the eternal flames of Hell [if they don’t change]?”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret (Auto Biography, Ch. 2)
Obtaining Salvation is Not Easy
Please know, to obtain a saving faith, the saints and The Word tell us the way we must walk (the life we must live to be saved) is not an easy path–of just “saying” we believe in Jesus–like most have been deceived into thinking.
We also can’t just become baptized, like many of us believe is all that is necessary for salvation. Nor can we simply confess our sins, and then bam… we are saved.
None of those things are enough to save, unless of course we have not become of age to be able to sin… then baptism is enough.
However, for everyone else, there is much more involved in obtaining salvation–and accepting God’s saving Mercy–than just doing those few easy things.
God and the saints clearly tell us it is HARD to obtain a saving faith.
“The road is HARD that leads to life” (Matthew 7:14).
Obtaining salvation isn’t hard because God has made it that way. No. Our Lord has given us endless means to obtain a saving faith. God has made it easy.
Again, it is hard because we simply don’t want to let go of our sins. WE DON’T WANT OUR LORD, who’s “yoke [command] is easy, and my burden [crosses] light” (Matthew 11:30). We want our sins, our will or any various things of this world and NOT GOD. And we can’t embrace God and His saving forgiving mercy if we don’t sincerely want Him.
Sadly, since we love our sins and not God’s command, leaving them is hard. Since, we love to please ourselves and not God, the cross of denying ourselves of our will (rejecting self love, the world and what we want, as we embrace what God allows, His will) is heavy to bear. So, God’s yoke/command is hard to follow and our burdens/crosses are difficult to bear, since we don’t really want God and His will.
But if we want the easy life with Christ, of wanting nothing but Him and His will–the Way to a Saving Faith–we need to take the hard road to get there.
Truly, it takes much grace and effort (our free will) to let go of (detach from) all that is keeping us from accepting God’s saving forgiving mercy, not only so we can be saved but also so we can live the life of unfathomable peace (the easy life) God has waiting for those who grow in faith to TRULY love/desire Him and His will.
To do this, God must transform us (remove our desire for our will/self-love) and give us a “new heart and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 18:31). Then we can embrace His free gift of Life, but again, that is so very HARD to do. Please don’t be deceived!
“If you are established as I said in the humility of true discretion [correct thinking] and learn with sorrow of heart how HARD and DIFFICULT a thing it is for each of us to save his soul, [then there is true hope for Life].”
–St. John Cassian (The Rational Part of Our Souls is Corrupt)
We Are in the Time of Great Darkness
And again, the reason we don’t understand how hard it is to become saved nor how to save our souls, is because we have been greatly deceived. We have been so greatly deceived, since today we are living in the time of great darkness, when God’s wrath–blindness–has fallen upon man because of our sins.
“I will bring such distress upon people that they shall WALK LIKE THE BLIND [not knowing The Way to Heaven]; because they have sinned against the Lord…
Neither their silver nor their gold [their idols] will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath [when they receive the consequences of their sins]; in the fire of his passion the whole earth shall be consumed [in blindness]; for a full, a terrible end [Hell] he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth [who don’t change]” (Zephaniah 1:17-18).
Yes, this blindness is a consequence of our sins, since God no longer enlightens us and has left us to our passions: to all our self-loving desires, since our desires weren’t for Him. And if we don’t truly want Him, we won’t have Him.
“God handed them over to impurity through the lusts of their hearts [desire for sin, our will, worldly pleasure (idols)]” (Romans 1:24). Yes, our desires are far from purely seeking God and His will alone alone… we are running after endless other things.
Oh, we might think we are being correctly enlightened by God, but sadly, that is our own deceived mind convincing us of that. For the world is in darkness, since “the whole world followed after the beast” (Revelation 13:3).
Please know, God never forces His grace upon us and even though we might “say” we want Him, our hearts are saying something quite different. Our words have been meaningless since we really want our sins and endless pleasures of the world (idols) and have ignored His Word and His messengers, as we can see by our countless habitual sins and worldly pleasures we continue in looking for some kind of happiness.
“The god of this age [love of the our sins and the world–our idols–as the way to happiness] has blinded the minds of [us, who don’t have true belief in Jesus alone as The Way to Happiness]… so that they may not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ [may not see the True Way to Happiness], who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).
Therefore, when we pray, God sends His grace, but from our deceived insincere hearts, which still want our sins and the world, we either reject His grace all together or we hear so little and distort His guidance/wisdom into false truths remaining lost… not even knowing we need a saving faith.
Truly, God won’t make us understand or hear Him correctly. Our free will must wholly want and accept His grace, by sincerely wanting Him.
Now, from the deceiver tainting our hearts, God has left us, or should I say, we have left Him to chase after what we really desire and are suffering from the consequences of not having Him (blindness).
Even though Hell is the destination for the blind, God doesn’t allow this blindness to damn us (even though those who don’t repent and change will be damned). He punishes us so we or another generation–whoever can gain ears that can hear–can learn what happens when we desire sin or the world and not Our Savior.
Yes, the time, which has been prophesied in The Word and by the saints, when nobody knows how to obtain a saving faith has arrived.
“Prepare to live three days [a short period of time] in total darkness. These three days [when nobody knows The Way] are very close…
–St. Padrie Pio (Letter to Superior 1959)
Yes, we are living in the times of total darkness.
But because we are suffering from the effects of this blindness, we haven’t been able to recognize that we are blind nor how dreadfully blind we really are. Sure we might be able to see the world imploding upon itself and others great deceptions (or what we think are deceptions), but from our pride, we can’t see our own demise.
“Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom [not knowing The Way to Heaven].” (Joel 2:2)
Oh, darkness and gloom is upon us. Truly, the “belief” in Jesus that the saints say we need to accept God’s saving forgiving mercy is so much more than we, in this time of “darkness” (Revelation 16:10), understand or possess.
Of course, we do need to believe Jesus is Lord (Acts 16:31), be baptized (1 Peter 3:21), and confess our sins (1 John 1:19), which are the common things we understand as needing to be saved, but again, there is much more than that.
We Have Been Fooled
Sadly, despite God’s unfathomable love and mercy for us (help waiting to change us), we, the religious and the non-religious, the people who believe we are walking on the right path to Life and those who aren’t even trying, have been greatly deceived–fooled by the evil one–and we are now REJECTING God’s free gift of saving grace, since we are not walking in the correct way to obtain Eternal Life.
“‘The number of fools is infinite’ [Eccles 1:15] and FEW are they that walk in the way of salvation.”
–St. Thomas Aquinas (Summa Theologica, Second Article II-II, Q. 72, Art. 2, Reply Object 2)
Yes, most of us have been fooled by the devil and have fallen into his trap. Words can’t even express the incredible destruction of the faith that has occurred without us even knowing it.
Tragically, in this time of darkness, we can even look like and think we are the most faithful person in the world. Everyone can love and revere us as so knowledgeable and holy in the faith, but since we and they are so deceived, in reality, which God knows, we won’t even possess the very first step towards obtaining a saving faith (as discussed later).
Horribly, the saints are telling us that the religious, who really want to love God, are even suffering from a far greater “eternal punishment” (Matthew 5:46) in Hell than the non-religious who are damned. It is all so incredibly tragic. But both, the faithful and the non-faithful, are equally in trouble and perishing.
Yes, despite whatever amount of faith in Jesus we have, despite having hearts that desire to do good and love God, no matter how many great things we are doing in this life, we are doing so much wrong. We greatly need God to enlighten us to the correct way to Eternal Life, because we aren’t obtaining it.
“The majority of mankind… [is] shut out from eternal light, and consigned to darkness, for not having followed the light of reason… such ignorance arising from the fact, [that] sin caused ‘man to be compared to senseless beasts [without understanding], and made like them [to respond only to the desires of their hearts (their will) and not to what is truly good/the light of reason].’”
–St. Robert Bellarmine, (Commentary on the Book of Psalms, Psalm 48)
Are You Part of the “Few”?
But, of course, we can assume we are already one of the “few” who are saved and think that The Word and the saints are speaking about someone else.
Perhaps, we are assuming we are saved, since we believe we are such a good person, who do so many wonderful things for others.
But please know, we aren’t saved by what we do.
“He saved us… not according to our works” (2 Timothy 1:9).
Truly, not all “good” people or “Christians” are saved. Please don’t be deceived.
Frankly, it doesn’t matter how many wonderful “good” things we, sinful souls, do. That doesn’t save us.
Not that we don’t want to do good for others; of course we do, especially since “faith without works is dead [it’s a faith that isn’t alive]” (James 2:26). But our works don’t save us.
Please know, plenty of people, who do many great things for others, are dead too. We see this clearly with the bounds of non-faithful people who do fantastic acts of charity for others. Again, they are lost because we are not saved by our works. We are saved by TRUE faith in Jesus (a saving faith in Christ). Without this we can’t embrace God’s saving forgiving mercy.
But not only are the non-faithful, who do wonderfully good things for others not obtaining Eternal Life, but plenty of faithful people, who are doing great works of charity, aren’t saved either, since they still don’t have a saving faith.
“I know your works, that you have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead” (Revelation 3:1).
Yes, not only are many of the faithful, whom everyone assumes are surely saved because of their great works, not saved, but if we aren’t doing our good works truly for the love of God, for His honor and glory, for the salvation of souls–like Jesus did–then all of the “good” we do really isn’t truly good anyway.
Therefore, our works don’t prove we are alive. Our lack of works just proves how we aren’t saved (that we are dead).
“Thus the kingdom of heaven is not a reward for works, but a gift of grace prepared by the Master for his [truly] faithful servants.”
–St. Mark the Ascetic (On Those Who Think They are Made Righteous by works)
I know we may think we are the “faithful servants” that are going to receive God’s free gift of eternal life, but the saints are telling us, practically all of us are being deceived. We need to correctly learn how to become a truly faithful servant of God.
“It is a great thing to discover God’s lordship, although everyone may believe that they know it [correctly know the faith], do not doubt that MOST are deceived.”
–St. Symeon (Divine Eros)
Therefore, let’s humble ourselves so to not stay deceived, and let’s learn the correct Way to Heaven.
God Loves Everyone
Also, please don’t assume since we see God blessing us, using us to do His mighty deeds, or since we feel we have changed and have a great relationship with Him that we are surely saved, particularly since, God loves everyone.
Yes, Our Lord has a relationship with the saved and most certainly with the lost too.
Sure we all have different callings, talents and blessings, making us more or less accountable to Our Lord for our gifts, since the more we have the more is expected (Luke 12:48). But all of our gifts/blessings surely don’t prove we are righteous, since God calls, blesses, uses, and helps us whether we are righteous or not.
For the most part, He does all of this to help make us righteous… not because we already are. It is our pride that just goes wild if God gives us anything special. We think it is because of us, because of our great “faith”, when it isn’t.
Oh, we must humble ourselves or we will never learn The Way.
“He makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45).
Truly, God wants all of us saved and is seeking and seeking us, trying and trying to help us grow in grace, despite our sinfulness, so we can obtain a SAVING FAITH.
We simply aren’t allowing Him to transform us all the way into a faith that can accept His forgiveness of our sins.
Truly, the Saints Know More Than You
We can even be so proud to think that the saints, who have been given fantastic wisdom from God, are wrong and that we or some other non-sanctified person has more wisdom than them.
But surely that would be a very foolish thing to do, since the saint’s wisdom is far beyond ours, and they have proven to correctly understand the truths of the faith. They actually obtained Heaven. So who would know better?
Also, unlike the people in the world today, who all preach a different truth, the saints throughout the entire 2000 years since Pentecost all preach the same ONE WAY to Salvation–how to correctly follow Christ.
“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through [correctly following] me” (John 14:6).
Yes, there is only One Way to Life. “Whoever wishes to come after me MUST deny himself [of his will/desire to love himself with the world], take up his cross [don’t complain about suffering/trust], and follow me [do as I have done]” (Matthew 16:24) and the saints know how to correctly do this.
If we think the saints aren’t preaching the same truth (how to obtain salvation), that is us being deceived and don’t really understanding what they are saying… for they have to speak the same truth: there is only ONE WAY.
“Without purity of spirit [humility] and without a life imitating sanctity, it is impossible to understand the saying of the saints [our pride and sins makes us dumb]… so it is fitting for one who desires to know the saints to first wash and cleanse his soul.”
–St. John of Avila (Incline You Ear, Ch. 48)
If the saints did preach a different truth (a lie), they wouldn’t have obtained sanctity by living the wrong way. “Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach [to you] a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed!” (1 Galations 1:8).
Now, of course, the saints didn’t have the perfect wisdom of Christ (nobody does), and they were always expanding in their knowledge and wisdom. One saint might have less knowledge and wisdom than another and not understand a truth as well as another, especially since the understanding of The Truth is always growing.
But the saints wisdom, knowing how to correctly follow Christ (how to obtain a saving faith)–how to perfectly fulfill the Law (how to perfectly love Jesus), is so far beyond any soul who doesn’t have the wisdom of the saints. There is simply no comparison.
“The wisdom of the saints… [is understanding] the perfect fulfilment of His law and His holy counsels [according to ones need/ability].”
–St. John of the Cross (Spiritual Maximus, Faith #36)
Compared to the wisdom of the saints everyone else, even if we think we are fantastically knowledgeable and even a theologian, is staggeringly blind, especially since we are in the time of great darkness. This is true.
“Many people are deceived by the devil and do not know that they have been deceived… [And] the one who is deceived does not sense the things that are to his detriment, but strives after and loves those things that are vices [things that are or lead to sin] as if they were virtues [things that lead to Life].”
–St. Isidore of Seville (De Ecclesiasticis Officiis, Bk. 2)
Therefore, let’s not allow our pride to deceive us all the way to our doom. Let’s listen and learn, change and obey the ones we know for sure obtained Eternal Life… God’s saints.
With something this important, why would we follow anyone else?
“Let us carefully review the lives of these men [the saints], and let us emulate their faith and love and hope and zeal and way of life, and endurance of sufferings and patience even to blood, in order that we may be sharers with them in their crowns of glory [in order for us to also go to Heaven].”
–St. John of Damascus (Book 4, Ch. 15)
We Need to Grow into a Mature Faith
Most of us, after a life time of being a Christian, from being so deceived, still don’t even know we need to be growing in faith to become “mature in Christ” (Colossians 1:28) to be saved. Most live and die not even beginning to grow out of being an “infant” (1 Corinthians 3:1) in the faith. Sadly, this is true.
“[The saved have] GROWN into union with him through a death like his [dying to sin/following Him by way of the cross]” (Romans 6:5).
Please know, we aren’t born with a “mature [saving faith]” (Hebrews 5:14) in Jesus… a faith that can accept God’s forgiving saving mercy.
Of course, we know how to accept God’s free gift of Life (forgiveness and atonement) that we received at our baptism; we just have to be baptized. But we don’t know how to KEEP or REGAIN that atonement or saving grace (forgiveness) after we sin, and reject His love. This is the problem.
“So few preserve the grace of baptism [so few keep God’s saving forgiving grace He died to give us].”
— St. Theophan the Recluse (The Path to Salvation, Ch. 4)
After we are born again by “water and Spirit [are baptized]” (John 3:5) into the faith and then can recognize that “Jesus is the Son of God” (1 John 4:15) and “Our Savior” (1 Timothy 2:3), we must “seek God” (Acts 15:27), with the devotion of one who really believes in Him to be able to change us… to save us… to give us a saving faith. Then, if we embrace His grace, He can give us a heart that is truly attached to Our Savior… that can accept His forgiveness of our sins.
Yes, we need to seek Jesus–His grace–to give a saving faith… He is the one who saves us. Then we can keep and regain His saving mercy when we sin and reject it.
“Train yourself in devotion… Devotion is valuable in every respect, since it holds a promise of life both for the present [a happy life on earth with God, not the world] and for the future [a happy eternity/salvation with God too]…
For this we toil and struggle [to live the true faith], because we have set our hope on the living God [His Way], who is the savior of all [who come to true belief/true love by following Him]” (1 Timothy 4:7-10).
Yes, once our understanding grows enough to recognize Jesus as Lord and the one to save us, we must become “like newborn infants, [who] long for pure spiritual milk [God’s helping grace] so that through it you may grow into salvation, [grow into a mature saving faith]” (1 Peter 2:2). But tragically we aren’t doing this. The devil has tricked us.
I know some of us might be trying to become faithful and that is good. But sadly, from the deceiver getting to us, not only do we not correctly understand The Way to become truly faithful, we aren’t seeking to do this for the right reasons.
Tell me, who is striving to grow in faith so to “grow into salvation” (1 Peter 2:2)… a faith that can save? Is there anyone in this time of darkness who actually thinks they aren’t saved and needs their Savior to save them? No. We all presume we are saved… we at least think are going to Purgatory after we die (that we are saved). But most of humanity is actually heading for Hell, since we haven’t sought Our Savior to save us.
Horribly, we have all become presumptuous lukewarm Christians… Christians who think we are saved by our own power by just wishing it, who aren’t seeking Christ to give us a saving faith. It is awful!
We Should Be Spending Our Lives Seeking Salvation
Since growing in our faith into a saving faith is so difficult, we should be spending our lives seeking Our Savior to help us mature into a faith that can save: TRUE love for God and TRUE repentance for our sin… a soul that is attached to God alone.
But we are lucky if we even have some concern about our salvation even upon our death and for most, it is far to little, far too late, and we lose it all. Horrible!
“How miserable is the Christian who before his death has not spent a good part of his life bewailing his sins [seeking sorrow for his sins]!… [Can he] be converted at his death and obtain salvation [can he gain a saving faith]; but the mind [is still] obscured [from knowing himself or sin], the heart hardened [not humbled], the bad habits formed [love of sin present], the passions predominant [has many idols], render it morally impossible for him to die happily [for no one with true sorrow/saving faith still suffers from those ailments].
[Only a miracle can save him and remove all that rejects Mercy, that a truly contrite heart doesn’t possess] but does God reserve such a grace to bestow it upon one who has continued ungrateful to him even until the moment of death?
[Never presume on such a thing or all will be lost]… I will not wait until death to repent of my sins [to seek Mercy to help me truly hate my sins: detach and sincerely want to never sin again] and to love Thee.”
–St. Alphonsus (Meditation Suitable for All Times of the Year, Med. 22)
Yes, to obtain a saving faith is hard. Oh, the conviction, the grace (the help) and the changes we need to make in our lives to become saved! They are tremendous. Yes, we should be “work[ing] out your salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Please don’t be deceived.
We Live Our Own Way
Because we are living in the time of great darkness (Matthew 24:29), we have been tricked into following the “world [which] is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19), and we do what we want or what some poor deceived soul lead us into believing is the right way.
Instead of following the saints, on the way to salvation, we are mis-interpreting The Word into what we, poor deceived souls, think it means, which is far from The True Way to Heaven. Then we all live and preach a different “truth”… a different way to Life.
“For the time will come [which is now] when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires… and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths” (2 Timothy 4:3-4).
I know nobody wants to think we are doing this, but sadly, we are. But of course, The Word and the saints aren’t saying we are translating and living the entire Bible incorrectly. I’m sure we are getting some of it right, but it isn’t what we are getting right that will kill us. It is all we are doing wrong that will.
For it is by correctly following Christ–properly living The Bible, which is “The Word Made Flesh [Jesus]” (John 1:14)–that obtains for us a saving faith.
“Sacred scriptures… are capable of giving you wisdom for salvation [guidance for how to obtain a faith that can save]” (2 Timothy 3:15).
But sadly, from living our deceived way, we are actually rejecting God–the grace He wants to give us to help save us–so that we can live and walk on our own path (following our own will), which causes us to never obtain Eternal Life with Christ. It is so sad.
But since we don’t correctly know The Way, we live absolutely clueless that we aren’t even true Christians (that we aren’t correctly living the faith). Then we never seek Mercy to help us change, as we blindly walk to our doom. It is tragic!
“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 (Sermon, The Word of God)
We Don’t Know We Need Jesus to Save Us
Tragically, we are not seeking God to help us obtain a faith that can save, because we don’t even know we need such a faith. Yes, the most important thing in our lives that we need in order to embrace God’s saving forgiving mercy, so we won’t be banished into Hell for all eternity because of our sins, we don’t even know we need.
This is what we have allowed the devil to do to our faith. Not only do we not know what a saving faith is, we aren’t even seeking to obtain it, which is why we are dying.
Even after living our entire lives as Christians, we still don’t even know we need to learn how to obtain salvation. Please know, we aren’t born with such knowledge. We need to seek Mercy to teach us. But we aren’t.
“Men must be saved by learning the truth [The Way] through Christ.”
–St. Clemet of Alexandra (The Stromata, Ch. 13)
I mean sure we could learn The Way on our own, for it is written in everyone’s heart–“the demands of the law [The Way] are written in their hearts” (Romans 2:15)–but from having such a great desire/inclination to sin, correct understanding is blocked from our minds and now we must learn how to truly love God and be trained to hate what we love (sin).
We Need to Train in the Faith
After we correctly learn The Way, we need to train ourselves to LIVE IT. We aren’t instantly going to have the grace to live the faith that saves. We need training.
The “training in faith which God requires” (1 Timmy 1:2), should be our daily effort so we may become saved through it.
But, from being so deceived, instead of spending our time seeking salvation, we spend our time doing endless senseless things, to try to find success and pleasure in this world, that don’t help us to obtain a faith that can save.
The way to a saving faith, the holiness that we need to mature into, so we can embrace God’s saving mercy, is something we have to strive for with all of our heart or we won’t obtain it.
“Strive for… the holiness [that saves] without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).
But we aren’t working hard for this goal.
We Seek God for the Wrong Reasons
There are a few of us who have been touched by God and have felt His call and love.
Some of us do seek to please God and do His will, but we are still so deceived by the evil one, we don’t really understand the vast ways we aren’t doing this… and from being in the very beginning of our faith (even if it has been for years) and we haven’t even come to know we need to do these things so God can save us.
We do seek knowledge of the faith and holiness, and that is good. But, again, from the deceiver getting to us, we aren’t doing this so we can obtain a saving faith, so we can learn how to correctly live the faith (love God), so He can transform our hard hearts and save us.
No; we seek God for many other reasons… but not to obtain salvation.
Many seek God since we enjoy feeling God’s love for us. We seek Him since we are attached to His consolations and affection He gives to us. ” ” ( ). But we don’t seek Him for grace to help us learn how to correctly LOVE HIM… to obtain a saving faith.
Where as others seek God–knowledge of the faith–for the sake of pride… for we want to be knowledgeable, since it feels good to be the “smart” and “holy” one. Truly, we don’t seek God to learn, so we can see what we (ourselves) are doing wrong, so we can change and come to correctly LOVE GOD and grow into a saving faith.
No; we just want to be the “knowledgeable” one, the “gifted” one, the “religious” one, who can seemingly help others. When we are the ones in great need of help… and our knowledge, even though it might seem greater than others, since we sought it though our pride and not humility, is all tainted, and we live deceived not being able to correctly help anyone, not even ourselves.
Others, if we do pray or seek God, we are wanting to obtain His help just to have a better life on earth. How many of us only seek God for assistance with things of this world: our finances, relationships, health, our worries, etc. But we don’t seek Him to help save us.
Yes, we go to church, do good works, and pray all so we can have a better earthly life for ourselves and others. The devil has totally deceived us away from what we should be most concerned about.
Sadly, needing help to obtain salvation isn’t a thought in our minds. We are not like the Psalmist, who knew he needed Mercy, who through out most of the Psalms sought God with his whole heart to save him… “[to] preserve my life from the dread enemy [the devil and all who lead me to sin/death]” (Psalm 64:1).
“Lord, teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth, and teach me [so I may obtain a saving faith]: for you are God my savior… He [Our Lord] guides the humble [those who know they are great sinners and need of help] in the right path; he teaches his way to the poor [in spirit/the humble]… His ways are faithfulness and love for those who keep his covenant and law. Lord, for the sake of your name forgive my guilt; for it is great.”(Psalm 25)
Sadly, we don’t pray like the St. David did. No. We are blinded from really understanding the Psalms or The Word, which has resulted in us not working hard towards “achieving faith’s goal, your salvation [a saving faith] “ (1 Peter 1:9)… neither for ourselves or others.
Which, again has occurred, since we don’t even know we need such a faith, and we live just PRESUMING WE ARE SAVED, when we aren’t. We have concern about everything else in life, except what really matters… ETERNITY. And for many, it will begin real soon, and we won’t have enough faith to accept Jesus’ saving forgiving mercy He died to give us. It is horrible!
I tell you, we are not saved by our own power… by just wishing it. No. We need Jesus to save us… we NEED Him, HIS GRACE, to give us a burning desire to seek a saving faith and to change our “hardened hearts” (Mark 8:17), so we can embrace His saving forgiving mercy for the salvation of our souls.
Our Problem is Great
“For that among many called few only are chosen (Matt. Xx16). We are assured [of this] by the word of the Truth Himself…
No man can know that he is already one of the few elect [that he is saved, since he can’t read his soul]… [Therefore] one should look steadily forward and anxiously ask himself, whether he is walking as well as those of whos election no one doubts [the saints and change his life to see he emulates theirs].”
–St. Anslem (Letters of Spiritual Counsel #2)
Hopefully, we now know we aren’t seeking Our Lord to help us progress forward towards obtaining a saving faith like the saints have acquired, because of our desire for our sins and the world has blinded us.
I know we may still not realize how we are doing this, but by the time we finish reading this article, God willing, we should be vastly enlightened so we can begin seeking Jesus correctly to save us.
“Lovers of this temporal life [those who make the pleasures of the world as our source of happiness/our idols]… [are] so sluggish… so lukewarm about obtaining eternal Life.”
–St. Augustine (Treatise on the Merits and Forgiveness of Sins, Ch. 11)
St. Augustine explains how lovers of this temporal life–lovers of all the pleasures of this life–are lukewarm with seeking their salvation, which means they aren’t really seeking it with their whole heart.
But we need to fully know, since the deceiver has gotten to us so greatly in this time of darkness, we are not lukewarm with seeking salvation, we have become completely blinded by our great love for sin and the world and are not striving at all to obtain it. So, this love of the world–our idols/attachment–that we need to see within ourselves, so we can learn how to reject and detach from them, is not a slight problem, but a great one.
However, if we honestly just look a little within ourselves, we can see quite a bit of our longing for the world. We are obviously lovers of this temporal life (have many idols/attachments), since we run to much of the world to make us happy and not God.
We seek out food, family, friends, entertainment, money, success, among countless other things–being deceived into thinking, since those bring us some sense of pleasure, they must be the way to a happy life. Now instead of our minds being focused on seeking God and His will (our real God), most of our life, if not all of our life, is spent seeking everything but God. So sad.
“Put to death [remove], then, the parts of you that are earthly…that is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).
Oh, we must change and follow the saints. God wants us to change. The “day of destruction and desolation [of the faith]… [the] day of darkness and gloom [not knowing The Way]” (Zephaniah 1:15) is ready to come to an end. But it begins with YOU.
We must hear God, learn and change. This has to become the most important endeavor of our lives… Eternity is forever!
We have lost understanding of The Way to Heaven, since we have blindly followed the passions of our hearts (our will) and now love the world (have many idols).
Most of us think we love and belong to God. And sure we might have some kind of love for God. But we have been so greatly deceived because we actually LOVE and are ATTACHED TO MUCH of THE WORLD.
But since we are living in the time of darkness, we don’t even perceive this, because from our sins, we can’t see the light of truth.
Yes, from seeking the world–the people, the power and the possessions (pleasures) and even sin–and not Our Creator for peace and happiness, we have become blind to The Way. Oh, there is “such great blindness in pleasures” as St. Teresa of Avila teaches (Autobiography, Ch 20).
Truly, from craving them the world, we stopped sincerely craving God (but not knowing it) and have lost our understanding of The Way to Heaven.
We Must Sacrifice The Word for Jesus
“You think you belong to God, but you are deceived. [You belong to the world/you seek much of it for happiness and have many idols/attachments].
Do not let us deceive ourselves… [If you don’t change] You will soon be in hell… We must sacrifice the world for Jesus [or from our desire for the world we will reject God for it at our death].”
–St. John Vianney (Homily, 23 Sunday after Pentecost)
Yes, we need beg God to show us the truth about ourselves, so we can correctly seek Mercy for help to truly reject the world–to reject/truly hate all of our sins and everything of the world that we seek for happiness that isn’t God or His will (our idols), since God must to be our source of happiness (our only God)–in order to obtain Heaven.
“‘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)
We have endless sins that we continue in thinking something good is going to come out of repeating them, making them a source of happiness. And the people, the power and the possessions (pleasures) we seek, thinking they will make us happy, are practically endless.
Yes, we are attached to much of the world, and sadly, we don’t even know we are supposed to be spending our lives seeking Our Savior to help us detach from all of our idols, so we can attach to Jesus and be saved by Him.
Really, we are living our lives all wrong. It is NOTHING like how the saints say we need to live to be saved.
We don’t even know how to seek a saving faith, because we don’t know what it is or that we need it.
“[There are] very few who attain to the knowledge of this saving faith.”
–St. Hilary of Pointiers (On the Trinity, #11)
Oh, we are so confused. Frankly, a saving faith is even more than what has been mentioned (as explained later).
But we are so confused, we actually think the pleasures of the world are there to help make our lives better… but “this world’s pleasures are disgusting” (St. Teresa of Avila, Autobiography, Ch 19), since they pull our hearts towards seeking the created/something of the world for peace and happiness and not Our Creator–the source of true happiness–which causes us to lose sight of The Way.
Now, from being in love with the world, not only do we not have a life of fantastic peace in ALL circumstances (the good and the bad) like true Christians possess, we aren’t even obtaining Eternal Life.
Happiness in Found in LOVING GOD, by Way of the Cross
Once a soul decides it doesn’t want to live for it’s self and it wants to live for God, then it no longer wants all of those things it sought for happiness.
It is hard for us to understand the burning longing for God–by way of the cross (suffering)–that fills the heart of someone who truly loves God and hates the world, if we have never experienced it.
Sadly, we seek endless things for happiness so we won’t have crosses. We hate to suffer. If we have to give up something we want, we are far from happy and can’t wait for it to return. If we don’t have some pleasure we want, we spend our time seeking and/or desiring it. And if we lost something we needed for happiness, we live in distress.
Therefore, of course it seems absurd that one can be TRULY happy with out all of those pleasures we seek… imagine your life without your coffee or internet. You would be miserable and board, right? Yes, because we have made them our source of happiness (our idols).
It isn’t that coffee or the internet are sinful. On we can have a cup of coffee or do something on the internet and it be done to help us know, love and serve God. But if we have consumed the coffee since we are attached to it (addicted to it… need it for happiness), then our coffee keeps our hearts off of desiring God alone. Since coffee is addicting, why would anyone risk partaking in something that could lead our heart into desiring it?
It seems utter foolishness that choosing the cross (going without/suffering) for the LOVE OF GOD could satisfy our souls. But when we grow in faith correctly, day by day, more and more grace is sent to us and a greater and greater love for God will develop, which causes us to want to suffer anything for the love of God, and brings greater happiness than any worldly please could possibly provide. Believe!
“The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are PERISHING” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
Yes, we are perishing, since we have spent our lives living for ourselves and our desires and not to LOVE GOD. Because we are so consumed in ourselves and not God, finding love in the cross (suffering) seems utterly impossible… like one would need to be a massocist to enjoy.
But just because we haven’t experienced something doesn’t mean it is impossible and not waiting for us.
Suffering for the love of another is how we love. ” ” ( ).
God, who bore the example of what love is, for the love of us, left everything. He left paradise in Heaven as God, descended down to earth and humbled Himself becoming His own creation (man), allowing Himself to be mistreated, misunderstood, despised and rejected by most of the people, whom He sought to save.
He chose to leave every pleasure in paradise and struggle on earth–which is under the power of evil–to show us The Way to Heaven and died an agonizing death, so we could learn what love is through His display of love for us.
Doing what Jesus did…follow Christ, by way of the cross, is the only way to Heaven (to lose our desire/will for sin) so we can truly love God and hate evil (truly repent). Then God–His grace, not something of the world–fills us with unspeakable joy.
Please know a heart that finds its happiness in Loving God and truly hates the world, doesn’t look for another sports game or entertainment to make them happy. They spend their time seeking God and His will. Nor do they seek another great meal or desert, nor more socializing or love from our family/friends, nor another accomplishment or reward, nor to get our way or what we want, nor a drug or a drink, nor a complement or to be esteemed, nor to be convenienced or in comfort, nor another material thing or financial gain, nor vanity or sexual gratification, nor anything of the world at all as their source of happiness. They want the cross of Christ (according to His will) for the salvation of souls.
Yes, all the things we want for happiness, whatever they are for us, we need to learn how to detach from them.
Truly, if we want Eternal Life, we need to grow in faith to where we obtain this heart of love for God, who only wants Him and His will, by one at a time rejecting each thing that is keeping our heart from desiring God alone.
Then the unfathomable happiness we seek on earth–the 100 fold God promises to those who leave everything to love/follow Him, we be ours.
Not that those who truly love God, look for selfish rewards from God as our motive to Love Him… but most people in the beginning of their faith, since we lack grace, we are moved by the hopes of help, or unfathomable peace and happiness God offers to those who truly love Him. So, seeking to leave it all so we can have Eternal Life is a fine motive in the beginning, as long as it advances into leaving all to love God.
“If anyone loves the world [any part of the world], the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15).
Now, of course, plenty of people “say” we don’t love the world–that we aren’t attached to the people, the power or the possessions (pleasures) of this world and really seek Jesus to refresh our soul–but obviously, since Our Lord has such a “little flock” (Luke 12:33) and we are far from loving the cross, we are deceiving ourselves.
Frankly, since we are in the time of darkness, our idols/love of the world is incredibly great.
Who doesn’t like indulging in the world’s pleasures, and if we don’t have a pleasure, we sure wish we did. We, in this time of darkness, love worldly pleasures. We even praise God for them like they are something good for us, as we seek their increase.
But the truth is “the one who is self-indulgent [or even wants to be self-indulgent] is DEAD” (1 Timothy 5:6). Yes, dead. We are greatly deceived and dead (without true living faith), since we love the world and seek that instead of God and His will alone.
Oh, it will take much effort and grace to detach from our idols and save our souls, since we are clinging so strongly to them and not Our Savior. We will have to greatly seek God for “the grace to despise the world and to follow Him by the way of the cross, for Heaven will be the reward” as St. John of Avila wrote to a Jesuit.
Yes, we have to learn how to hate the world–the people, the power and the possessions (pleasures) we seek to bring us peace and happiness–and receive much grace (help) from God to actually reject it if we are to not reject God for the world upon our death.
“The doctrine of Christ which He came into the world to teach, is contempt [hate] of all things [of the world], that we may thereby have power to receive the reward of the Spirit of God [have our hearts detached from the world and able to welcome saving grace into us].”
–St. John of the Cross (Ascent of Mont Carmel, Ch. 5)
But that isn’t all. Actually, there is still much more we need to be saved.
God Wants the Few to Become Many
Since salvation has always been so hard to obtain, even before this time of great darkness, the saints have been warning us that the amount of people, who are actually saved, are so few.
Of course, the fewness of the saved has not only been told to us by the saints. The Word clearly tells us about it too. It says how “the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction [hell], and those who enter through it are many. [But] How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few” (Matthew 7:13-14). Shouldn’t we be concerned?
“Many are invited [into Christianity], but few are chosen [for the Kingdom of Heaven]” (Matthew 22:14).
Yet, from being blinded by the evil one, since we are suffering from the effects of being in darkness, we just never took God or His saints words seriously.
“Few good Christians [are] left…
They [the lost Christians] do perform some works of piety [they do religious things], still they do not give up their selfishness and sin [they never truly love God or repent].
They want to have God but without giving up the world [without leaving their all they seek of happiness/their idols] or enduring any wants or hardship [to lose their desire for sin].
[If they don’t repent and CHANGE] they will suffer eternal hunger [never having God] in return for their selfish love and desires.“
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweden (Revelations Book 2, Ch. 19)
Please know, Jesus told this to St. Bridget in the 1300’s. Therefore, how many saved Christians do we really think are left today after over 700 years of the light (understanding) of the true faith (the stars) falling away (Revelation 3), and the faith degrading into almost nothing but a mere resemblance of what was once lived by the true disciples and the saints?
But now, this blindness and suffering–the consequences of our sins–that we, God’s children (His Church/us), received for ignoring His commands, The Way (Revelations 2-3) because God’s anger, His justice has fallen upon us, from God’s mercy is time to come to come to an end… yes, “the wrath of God is [ready to be] ended” (Revelation 15:1).
“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth [so it can come to an end]… they claimed to be wise [in God], [but] they became fools… [since they] exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images [idols/the world]” (Romans 1:18&22).
Now, from God’s mercy, through His grace, He is enlightening us, who are invited to the “marriage supper of the Lamb” (Revelation 19:9), who have ears that can hear, so we can finally hear this truth clearly before us. But what we do with this knowledge–if we ” will means the difference between our Eternal Life or eternal death.
Therefore, don’t you think we should, with all seriousness, look into finding out exactly why The Word and the saints are making such a terrifying claim (this website is here to help). Then we can learn from the saints the way of salvation–how to conquer the beast–instead of being deceived by him to our doom.
From there, we can allow God to change us and become part of the few who are saved… and then, if we lead others correctly, the “few” will be turned into many.
“[I saw] how it is necessary to lead a soul into the way of salvation [since they don’t have the desire or know The Way to Heaven themselves].”
–St. Catherine Emmerich (Life and Revelations, Nov. 13)
Therefore, let’s learn how to obtain salvation and then teach it to others. For what do any of our goals in life matter if when we die, which could happen at any moment, our eternity is spent “suffering [in] torment” (Luke 16:24).
Please turn to God for help. God wants you in Heaven.
If we want to obtain a saving faith we need to obey God. There is a real reason why we need to work hard to never offend God again… to “stop sinning” (1 Corinthians 15:34), and it isn’t because we are saved by what we do.
I tell you, we don’t have to understand why The Word and the saints say we need to do something to obtain Eternal Life. We just need to humbly obey and follow them… but we aren’t.
“Prepare yourselves for the struggle [to obtain a saving faith], serve the Lord in fear and truth… He who raised him from the dead will raise us too IF we do his will and keep his commandments.”
–St. Polycarp (Letter to the Philippians)
Please know, Our Lord’s commands aren’t just some rules; they are our guides to a saving faith. God doesn’t just give us a bunch of commands just to tell us what to do. No; all God cares about is our salvation. God wants us in Heaven. Everything He asks of us is to lead us to a faith that can save.
Therefore, every time we don’t do what God says, we are rejecting The Way to salvation.
God gives us a direct command over and over in The Bible to help save us. He says to “keep my commandments” (John 14:5)… “from now on do not sin again” (John 8:11) and instead of putting forth our best effort to obey and actually leave our sins–one at a time– we, deceived souls say, “That isn’t even possible… nobody’s perfect.”
Oh, the devil has us. How can we advance towards any goal–perfect obedience–if we don’t even think it is obtainable? We say “just be the best you can be” like the rest of our sins are okay. No; they aren’t. The best we can be is “perfect.” Let’s not be deceived.
Some of us will even say we are wanting to become perfect, all along deceived into believing it isn’t even possible to obtain. Oh, that deceiver tricks us in many ways so we will really be lukewarm souls, for no soul can strive with all his heart for what he doesn’t even believe is possible to obtain.
“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 [as if you can’t do what God asks]! What lying!”
–St. Anthony Mary Claret (The Golden Key to Heaven, Med. 1, First Point)
Please know, some saints grew in enough of God’s grace to literally “sin no more.” And they didn’t do that by thinking any of their sins were no big deal or that it was impossible for God’s grace to accomplish this.
The saints obtained a horror for sin and some of them advanced in faith so much they accepted the fullness of God’s grace to where they couldn’t sin again. They grew into perfect love of God , perfect hated of sin (self-love)… as explained later.
Sure, they still made mistakes but they never chose a single sin again. God’s grace, which can help us leave one sin, can also become great enough to where we can actually leave all of our sins.
“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, God has the power to do this for us. Believe! Sure there is an even greater level of perfection that can’t be achieved in this life (as addressed in this web-site), but we most certainly can “stop sinning” and obey (perfectly love) God. Please don’t be misguided.
Yet, from being so deceived, we just want to try to convince ourselves, that despite how we chose to live–opposed to the faith, opposed to The Way Jesus and the saints lived (that of perfection and the cross)–that God’s mercy will save us. But that isn’t what any of the saints teach.
“All… who desire to live well and to die well [to go to Heaven], must be careful to preserve to the very best of their power the white garment [to not sin–to perfectly live the faith/to really follow Christ].”
–St. Robert Bellarmine (The Art of Dying Well, Ch. 10)
But, we aren’t really striving to preserve our white garment. How many commands do we flat out ignore? Do we even go to Church? Today, having sexual relations outside of marriage is a perfectly acceptable offence against God. The media is riddled with hatred and immorality, and we think nothing of it. Our eyes and minds are polluted with sin, and we don’t even see it.
Frankly, we don’t even know what sins are anymore… even if we wanted to stop sinning. And even the few of us who are actually trying to stop sinning, sadly, the devil has deceived us from knowing what is really sinful and what isn’t as well. It is very tragic! Truly, we have a lot to learn if we want to Live.
Yes, deceiver has tricked us so greatly, we have lost our sense of sin as Pope St. John Paul II has told us in his Apostolic Exhortation on Reconciliation and Penance, which is discussed later.
But regardless of whether we know what is sinful or what isn’t, we live how we wish… not how God’s commands, not doing what will truly love Him, not according to what He says will save us.
Some of us do read The Bible or go to Bible studies, which are good, but we aren’t looking into ourselves to see how we need to change so we can live what it says. It is as if The Bible is just some interesting story we want to learn about. We are “hearers of the word and not doers” (James 1:23) or we are only interested in manipulating The Word into trying to justify our lifestyle. Our desire simply isn’t to stop sinning.
Many believe we are good enough or that our sins are only venial and no big deal, which causes us to not even try to amend our actual sins. Or perhaps, we are only interested in not committing some sins, but then we ignore all of the others, never actually striving to become a perfect saint. Maybe we confess some of our sins, but then we continue in them just the same.
Some of us read The Bible and do say, “Yes, I’m supposed to stop sinning and obey God” but we hardly try, never moving towards succeeding (far from advancing towards becoming a perfect self-sacrificing saint), because of our great love for our sins.
Many don’t loose our sins, since we aren’t willing to suffer to let go of our desire for them. We don’t make or keep resolutions to remove what is causing us to sin and just continue in them. Where others don’t know how to obtain grace (God’s help) and remain too weak, as explained later. And still others after realizing how much we love and are attached to our sins–since we are miserable trying to leave them–decide it is best to stay with them and come up with some excuse as to why it is ok, so to not live riddled in guilt.
But the bottom line is, no matter what we are doing or why we are doing it, we aren’t following the saints on the correct path to Heaven by sincerely striving to not sin. If we were truly living the Christian faith, especially after years of supposedly following Christ, we would be becoming like Jesus (saints), but honestly, we aren’t.
“Turn and be converted from all your crimes [sins], that they may be no cause of guilt for you. Cast away from you all the crimes [sins] you have committed, and make for yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. Why should you die [go to Hell]…? For I have no pleasure in the death [eternal loss] of anyone who dies, says the Lord God. Return and live!” (Ezekiel 18:30-32).
Oh, “the world is on the road to perdition [Hell]” as St. Padre Pio warned us (1962).
Even the “faithful” who think we are living the faith correctly aren’t… and are living in sin. How sad is that?
“I have come to warn the FAITHFUL to amend their lives and ask pardon for their sins. They must not continue to offend Our Lord.”
–The Mother of God (Fatima)
But through our pride, the faithful think the Blessed Mother is speaking about someone else. The thought of us faithful having some horrid sins we need to repent and change isn’t what we want to think. So we stay blind.
We faithful are constantly looking at others as the ones who are really needing to change, which has made us blind to ourselves and from living in our sins (not changing), now, we are blind to The Way to Heaven.
And sure we ALL need to change, but there is a real reason why God’s faithful are dying and suffering more greatly in Hell than the rest (as we will learn later). Let’s not be deceived.
“[Oh] the great number of souls who are bringing damnation upon themselves… [seeing this] inspired me with fervent impulses for the good of souls: for I really believe that, to deliver a single one of them from such dreadful tortures, I would willingly die many deaths [I would suffer anything to help save even one of them].”
–St. Teresa of Avila (Autobiography, Ch. 32)
We Are Rejecting God for Our Sins
Yes, the reason we are perishing is because we are REJECTING GOD–His saving forgiving mercy–FOR OUR SINS.
Of course Jesus, through His unfathomable mercy, wants to forgive us. He suffered and died to forgive the most wretched of sinner, since He loves us so greatly and wants us in Heaven.
“I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners” (Luke 5:32).
But we aren’t repenting… not truly repenting.
Please know, it isn’t that we aren’t seeking Christ to forgive us, which is why we are dying. Sure, some of us don’t even do that. But plenty Christians do ask God for forgiveness and try to repent, yet we are still perishing.
The cause of our rejection of Heaven for Hell is because we don’t really want to leave our sins for God. We “say” we are sorry, but we don’t really mean it. Who can be truly sorry for any sin, if we had to do it all over again we would still commit the sin… if we don’t sincerely want to leave the sin and just continue in it without restraint? Our “sorrow” isn’t sincere.
“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)
Sadly, we aren’t repenting. We have a billion sins we just continue in without concern. We are clinging to our sins instead of Our Lord for we don’t TRULY hate our offences against Him, and we can’t truly repent of what we don’t truly hate.
Oh, we might think we truly hate our sins, but the devil wants us to continue to lie to ourselves, so we will die full of unrepentant guilt. Please believe the saints, who are trying to tell us, we are in much darkness and deceived and don’t have a hatred for sin that can save.
“They are blind and mad [want what harms them], and do not perceive it, because they have lost the light of faith.”
–God the Father to St. Catherine of Sienna (Treatise of Discretion)
From lacking a sincere “fear of the Lord [which] is the hatred of evil [sin]” (Proverbs 8:13), we have become complacent with our sinfulness, blind to many of our sins and are rejecting God for them, since we have lost the light of faith.
For some of us, this lack of hatred for our sins has come about because we have been tricked by the antichrist into believing “fear of the Lord” means having an awe of God. But I tell you no saint has said that… just us poor deceived souls.
“Fear of the Lord is a gift which makes us respect God and FEAR TO OFFEND His Divine Majesty, and which detaches us from evil [sin] while inciting us to [do] good.”
–Pope St. Pius X (Gifts of the Holy Ghost)
Yes, fear of the Lord helps us to detach from all of the sins we seek thinking something good will come from something evil, so we can be attached to Our Savior instead.
But we have been taught that fear is bad. We believe we don’t have faith in Jesus if we have fear. And sure some fears are quite bad and must be avoided. But not fearing to sin. We can’t live without fearing to offend God.
But from being deceived, we haven’t been detaching from our sins from fearing them. We have become complacent with our sins thinking there is really nothing wrong with them. When they are killing us.
“A fearful thing is sin, fearful and the ruin of the soul.”
–St. John Christomson (Homily, Gospel of John 5:14)
Fear–a fear of sinning against God–is what every soul, who has grown into true love for God (a saving faith), possesses. But we don’t. Tragic!
Oh, we have been greatly deceived. Please know, “every spirit that does not confess Jesus [The Truth] is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist” (1 John 4:3), who has tricked us all with his lies. Let’s not spread them any more.
“If your right hand [friend, internet, etc.], causes you to sin , cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to lose one of your members than for your whole body to go into hell.” (Matthew 5:30).
Yes, in this time of darkness, we all have been tricked, and we don’t even understand fear of the Lord is having a fear of offending God, because we hate sin and what it does to ourselves, others and God, whom we should be loving (not offending).
Now, we have little to no fear at all for our sins and think Mercy will save us, when we are rejecting God for sin. Oh, what the deceiver has done!
No Forgiveness, No Salvation
If we want to be saved from being “cast into Hell” (Luke 12:5) because of our sinfulness, Jesus must forgive us of our sins.
“[God want’s them] to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of [their] sins and a place [in Heaven] among those who are sanctified by faith in me” (Acts 26:18).
Yes, God wants us to hear and change so we can be forgiven and be with Him in Heaven for ever.
Understanding that we need to be forgiven to be saved is the foundation of our faith. It might not be in the forefront of our conscience (we might not really be thinking about it), but most of us do believe in this truth, even in this time of darkness. It is the understanding of how we accept and keep God’s forgiveness that the devil has distorted.
But as we now know having this forgiveness which saves in our souls when we die is not as easy as we might have been deceived into believing, since most of God’s children are dying without their sins being forgiven.
“Why are so many unredeemed left to be slain by the enemy?”
–St. Ambrose (Duties of the Clergy, Ch.28)
Not that the saints can read anyone’s soul, but they know what kind of faith (belief in Jesus) can accept God’s forgiveness and what faith can’t. They know what kind of lives we have to lead to have true faith in Jesus, and they can clearly see that we aren’t living it.
Help Detach Us From Our Idols
If we want Jesus to save us, our lives should be spent, like the saints, seeking God for grace and more grace to help us to not offend Him (to love Him… to do His will)… to help us to hate and detach from our idols: everything we are attached to that we desire for happiness that isn’t God. Then we can desire God alone as our source of true happiness and be attached to Our Savior.
“Our hearts must be detached from everything… You will NEVER be united with Him [Our Savior] unless you are detached from all things.”
–St. Francis De Sales (The Interior Life, Ch. 5)
This is a tall order. We have so many desires. Are you willing to leave EVERYTHING you are attached to… all of your sins… your pride… everything you seek for happiness, so loving God can be your only source of happiness… what your heart really desires? Do you really want to leave your idols and give your life to God, so He can become your everything–Your Savior?
For most the answer is no. Oh, we might “say” yes. But in reality, we want to try to love God while still keeping attached to–desiring–all the things we love that fill us with such joy that aren’t God. But that isn’t possible. We will reject God for the world.
“You hypocrites. You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of… self-indulgence” (Matthew 23:25).
To try to justify our great acts of idolatry–our great passions for the world–so many have been deceived into thinking that God gave us the world to make us happy, so we convince ourselves that spending our time and money indulging in the world is fine as we thank Him for all of these “blessings” we have, now thinking we are good. But that is a trick of the deceived.
God didn’t give us the world so we will indulge in it to make us happy. Truly, the world isn’t supposed to keep our hearts from seeking to love God at all moments… from finding our happiness in loving God. No.
God gave us the world for us to use (when needed) to help us know, love and serve Him. But we use the world to love and serve ourselves, not God… and now we don’t know Him.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven… Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name?… Then I will declare to them solemnly, ‘I NEVER KNEW YOU [since you gave your heart to idols instead]. Depart from me, you evildoers.’” (Matthew 7:21-23).
We must look at all the world has to offer and realize if our heart yearns towards anything in it, our hearts are being filled with something of the world, taking away our ability to fill it with God… we are literally rejecting God’s love for the world.
I know it is hard to want to surrender what we know brings us happiness for what we haven’t really experienced yet (true happiness from God), but if we want Eternal Life, which is found by rejecting everything that is keeping us from loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, then God can help us remove/detach from our idols:
- our sins,
- ourselves (our pride/our will) and
- the world’s pleasures.
He can save us. “From all your idols I will cleanse you” (Ezekiel 36:25). But we must allow Him to do this..
If we allow God to change our hearts, then our hearts won’t desire the endless things we seek for happiness… just God. We will long for Him and be filled with unfathomable joy. He will be our true God and not anything or any one.
Of course, this is so hard to do, since we are greatly attached to our sins, ourselves and endless things in the world. But if we don’t detach from everything to stop committing idolatry, we won’t grow into truly love of Him, and we will suffer eternal loss, not having anything in the world that we clung to nor God.
We must come to desire God alone, not sin, our will or anything. He must be our only God. For idolatry is most certainly a mortal “deadly sin” (1 John 5:16).
“No… idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ” (Ephesians 5:5).
Boy do we need Our Savior help us. We are swarming in idolatry.
We run to endless sinful things trying to satisfy ourselves… thinking they are the way to happiness. From there, to try to find continuing happiness, the building up of our pride, the seeking of our will, is a constant pursuit (and the hardest to rid)…. and I can’t even name the plethora of worldly pleasures we run to as we make them our source of happiness as well.
I tell you, if we don’t come to detach from them all, we will reject the true God for an idol.
“They honor and worship an idol: for they love the world… since their heart yearns towards it and not to me. Therefore… these people… shall [reject Me and] live in damnation without end.
–Jesus to St. Bridget of Sweeden (Book 1, Ch. 53)
Oh, no wonder so few are saved. We haven’t been seeking Christ to help us remove/detach from all that captivates our hearts and minds that isn’t Him.
Horribly, most don’t even know we have idols… so instead of seeking God for help to remove them from our lives, we do nothing… living in them like there is nothing wrong with our lives… blindly rejecting God for idolatry.
Yes, we are not truly devoted to God–we don’t have true faith in Him–our hearts are divided. We have been deceived. We want God at one moment and think we are faithful and doing great, but then we want our sins, our pride and the world the very next. We don’t know the way to true happiness.
“The condition of true and solid Christian piety [devotion] appears rather nonexistent… [they] have fallen into deadly sickness of idols… made shipwreck concerning the faith (1 Tim. 1:10)… In this crisis, therefore, see how great is the obligation lay upon us… the doctors of souls.. [we must show them] the danger the children are in.
–St. Charles Borromeo (Oration at the second provincial council)
Yes, we certainly aren’t doing any better today. For not only have we fallen into vast idolatry and are attached to many things, we are so far from following the saints, that we haven’t grown to love the cross (to love of our suffering) like the saint, nor do we do all to love God, for His honor and glory, for the salvation of souls. Sadly, our faith simply isn’t that of a true Christian… nor are we striving to become true Christians, since we don’t know The Way.
But the saints proved they knew The Way through their actions, as we saw them truly live like Christ–being willing to die rather than sin, give up the world’s pleasures to love God, willing to suffer so to send grace to help others to grow into a saving faith, just like Jesus did for us.
Yet, we, who are not doing those things or even trying to do those things, who have endless idols, think we are saved: walking on the correct path to Life. We have been greatly deceived.
“Guard well you soul, since that is your immortal part. Let it not be able by any temptation to be torn away from [Our Lord]… What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?… Unhappy, unspeakable unhappy, are they who spend all their lives in the enjoyment of their good things, so as to fall in an instant into the depths of hell.”
–St. Bernard of Clarivox (Letter to Cardinal Circa A.D. 1147))
Yes, the way we really die is through idolatry. We idolize created things, our pride and sin, making them our source of happiness, rejecting the true happiness that comes from God. But the reason we do this is because we are really idolizing ourselves.
Yes, we live to please ourselves and not God with things that are sinful and with plenty of things which aren’t. Truly, we aren’t really living for God; we live for ourselves. We are attached to our self-love.
All day long we may “think” we live for God, but again, that is because we are lying to ourselves. Sadly, most of our life, if not all of our life, is just for ourselves, since from the fall of Adam and Eve, we have become creatures of self-love.
Perhaps, we give our hearts to God a little, finding some joy in God, but the rest we give to sin… or perhaps something less obviously wrong: like the world (the people, power and pleasure it holds for us).
Frankly, for those of little grace, it is so hard to see how we live for the power, the complements and the “high” we get when we do good (since our pride feels so good when we do something of value), that unless someone else points out these defects in us, most will remain blind to our attachment to them.
But reality is, there are endless things we seek for happiness (that we are attached to) whether we can see them or not, but they all fall into one of two categories:
- Sinful things: our constant habitual sins
- Non-sinful things: our constant seeking of pleasure with the world
Even though the “non-sinful” things that we desire for happiness are idols and therefore “sins”, I separated them into two categories so we can more easily understand the differences.
Really, everything we do that isn’t to love God, like seeking our will or desiring anything of the world for happiness are sins, things we do that aren’t to love God. I only separate them into different categories for reasons of helping us to learn how to leave them, but they are all one in the same: SINS.
Both of these types of idolatry–the sinful and non-sinful things our heart desires for happiness–reject God’s grace and rob us of God’s true joy and happiness, which is ONLY found through the giving up of those things to love God.
Getting to this True Happiness–God’s unfathomable peace and joy on earth and for eternity–is very hard, since we love the world (sin and its pleasures) so much. Frankly, until we die “Perfect happiness” can never be obtained on earth, since until we are with The One We Love, we won’t be perfectly happy… but having our hearts at rest and in great peace and happiness, content with God in all circumstances is most certainly possible on earth.
But it is hard to obtain, since we are constantly being pulled to the world, indulging in sin and it’s pleasures, which directly robs our desires for God and replaces them with desiring the world: sinful and non-sinful things to bring ourselves happiness.
“He [us who seek things of the world for happiness] will dwell in perpetual darkness, fiercely blaming self-indulgence and its deceit, by which he was robbed of the opportunity for salvation…
So then, let us flee [self-indulgence] as quickly as possible, lest we voluntarily choke ourselves to death [with the pleasures of the world].”
–St. Basil the Great (Homily on Detachment from worldly things)
The Way to a saving faith is by detaching ourselves from all that pull our hearts off of living for God alone. Our hearts simply can’t crave both God and the world; we will hate the one to love the other.
Oh, we might think we love God, and we might with some kind of love, but as long a we seek any sin or any pleasure with the world to bring ourselves happiness, our love isn’t with a saving/true love –the love we need to truly hate our sins and embrace His saving forgiveness… for the world is still our idol. And again, idolatry is always deadly.
Tragically, we are constantly rejecting Our Savior to make ourselves happy with the world. This is why we are so blind and lost.
Since we live in the time of darkness, we aren’t even seeking to remove our self-indulgences so to have God’s joy and peace and salvation can be ours. We are trying to “have God but without giving up the world” as Jesus told St. Bridget of Sweden, and we are dying.
Sadly, we don’t live to love God nor use the world to help us know, love and serve Him… knowing that is where true happiness lies (in loving God). No. We use the world to make ourselves happy to idolize ourselves (living to please ourselves/not God) thinking our hearts should be focused on loving ourselves, when it should be focused on LOVING GOD (saving souls). Our hearts are torn.
Blind Until Death
Souls, even until death, no matter how many times Mercy has called out to them to change, no matter how much grace God had waiting to help them, will still stay utterly blind. They will think they are ready to die, seemingly detached from the world.
But tragically, they are clueless of the life they were supposed to be living… clueless that they haven’t been living like the saints… clueless that they are still attached to many sins, themselves and the world, from having so little knowledge of their sinfulness: little to no humility… from having little to no understanding of the true faith.
Not that they couldn’t have known about their sinfulness. All they needed to do was honestly look. But being honest with ourselves is one of the greatest hurdles we have with obtaining a saving faith, since the “father of lies” (John 8:44) has tricked us into living a life habitually lying to ourselves. Yet, most have never sought Christ to help us to stop lying to ourselves… to help us achieve “true self-knowledge” as God the Father told St. Catherine of Sienna (Treatise on Discretion), so we remain blind until death.
Tragically, so many die being deceived into believing they are going to somewhere great when they leave this world. When all they are going to is the most frightening “judgement seat of Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:10), who knows all, to where nothing is hidden, whom they have grievously wounded and rejected for sin.
We see this same condition with people of no or the wrong faith too. We even see people willing to sacrifice their lives for what they “think” they will receive as a reward for serving their god.
Therefore, it isn’t what we “believe” and how strongly we can convince ourselves of it that makes it come true, for most of us believe a lie. What really matters is what is in our hearts–the real truth (that God knows)–and if we are truly attached to God and united with Our Savior upon our death. ” “( ).
But for most of us, we are attached to everything but Our Creator. It is so terrible. We must help save souls.
“O poor sinners, on the day of judgment how will you face the Jesus whom you are now torturing so cruelly: [I saw] His blood flowed to the ground, and in some places His flesh started to fall off. I saw a few bare bones on His back. The meek Jesus moaned softly and sighed [from your injuries because of your unrepented/unchanged sin– constant idolatry].”
–St. Faustina (Diary #88)
Oh, we are wounding God most greviously, lost and getting worse. We don’t know the true faith anymore nor do we understand how to save our souls. We need Our Savior to save us.
We Need a TRUE Hatred For Sin
To embrace God’s saving grace, we must seek God to give us a faith that has a great concern, a fantastic fear for ALL SIN that causes us to truly hate sin and run from our idols (our attachments).
“Their guilt was cancelled at death, when they were found HATING THEIR SINS and penitent [truly sorry] for having offended the Divine Goodness.”
–St. Catherine of Genoa (Life and Doctrine, Ch. 4)
Yes, to embrace God’s saving forgiving mercy, we must really hate sin… by rejecting Satan, and all of his works and all of his empty promises (of happiness coming from sin, ourselves or the world), not just in our thoughts but most importantly in our actions (which is our proof our hatred is true). Then we can truly love and believe in God as the way to happiness/Heaven and have a saving faith.
Even though this doesn’t seem like much of a requirement to be saved, this isn’t easy to do, since we have spent a life time attaching ourselves to our sins, ourselves and endless pleasures of the world (idols: our source of happiness). We are far from hating them.
Some of us don’t even the hate one time sins we have committed but if we want eternal Life, we must come to Hate them all.
Tragically, from not seeking Our Savior to help us grow into true hatred for our sins, the majority of God’s children greatly desire what is killing us, as we clearly see with our constant unrestrained habitual sins, never ending building up of our pride and endless pleasures we seek that we are so attached to. We simply don’t hate sin (everything that keeps us from loving God).
“I now realize my loneliness, and I bewail myself that I have no brother, no friend, no relative, no servant… I find my single self to be… [alone in] the whole city, in which there is so great scarcity of men who hate wickedness.”
–St. Basil the Great (Letter to a woman in distress)
Yes, the world is full of people who love sin (which includes us). Let’s not lie to ourselves anymore. I know we all do many wonderful things for others, and that is great, but that isn’t what is going to kill us. All of our sins that we don’t hate will.
Honestly, we know we aren’t saints. We know we aren’t following Christ like they have done. Yet, a sin is everything we do that doesn’t love God… it is everything that a saint wouldn’t do or anything we don’t do that a saint would.
But we don’t really hate that we aren’t living like Christ… like the saints? No. For if we did we would leave our sins, our pride and the world, sincerely striving to become a perfect self-sacrificing saint. But we aren’t. Honestly, what are you spending your time seeking? Is it to become a saint since you hate your sins? No. We aren’t really doing this.
We know we have bounds of habitual sins that we don’t sincerely work towards amending. We know we are far from hating sinful selves–our pride–for we spend most of our time trying to build up our pride. We know we have so many worldly pleasures that we constantly run to for happiness (our idols) that we aren’t seeking God for grace to detach from.
Yes, we know we have many many sins we don’t truly hate. Yet, all it takes is just ONE, and we reject God for sin and lose our Eternal Life. Please don’t be deceived.
“The Devil, seeks at EVERY MOMENT to ensnare our souls; trying how he can to wound us by some sin, by some passion; how he can implant some sinful habit or passion more firmly within us, so as to make the salvation of our souls [coming to truly hate the sin] as difficult as possible.
–St. John of Kronstandt (My Life in Christ)
No Sorrow = No Forgiveness
The way we prove we don’t hate our sins nor have a saving faith is when we lack true sorrow for committing our offences against God.
A saving faith is a faith that has true love for God–true hatred for sin–which comes from having true sorrow for all of our offences against Our Lord… for we can’t be truly sorry for committing a sin, if we don’t truly hate it, and we can’t truly hate any sin, if we aren’t truly contrite for offending God with it.
So, until we grow in faith to become TRULY sorry for every sin we have committed, we can’t repent and God can’t forgive us.
“Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins” (Acts 2:38).
I tell you, nobody who truly believes in God as Our Savior (the Way to Heaven) and loves Him is without true hatred and true contrition for their offences against Him. Therefore, we must “repent” and then we will be saved. This is the only way.
“Your exhortation on repentance [preaching on repentance], show[s] the legitimate way of salvation.”
–St. Cyprian of Carthage (Epistle 29)
But obviously, we aren’t doing this, since so few are saved. Now, I’m sure we have some kind of sorrow for sinning… at least for the sins we are willing to see.
Most people feel badly when we do wrong… even people of no faith feel this. But the reason we are dying is because, for one, we have justified plenty of our sins as not even being sinful and we can’t repent what we refuse to even admit, and the sins we do choose to see and confess, our sorrow for them simply isn’t true contrition.
“They are pure [forgiven] from sins, because they have in this life abhorred [hated] them and confessed them with TRUE CONTRITION, and for this reason God remits their guilt.”
–St. Catherine of Genova (Life and Doctrine, Ch. 5)
Growing enough in our faith to where we become truly sorry for EVERY sin is much harder than we have been led to believe. For this sorrow that saves comes not from our mouths but from our hearts, and it is our hearts that need to be greatly transformed by God’s mercy if we want to have a sorrow that can accept His saving sanctifying grace.
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord [the One to save them… the One they should seek, not sin or the world]. They shall be my people and I will be their God [they shall have no idols], for they shall return [from their love of sin] to me with their whole heart” (Jeremiah 24:7).
This transformation of our hearts from “death to Life” (1 John 3:14) begins when we gain fear of the Lord (fear of sinning against God), which is why “fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10). No. Our faith doesn’t begin on the path to Life when we come to know and love God. Truly, our transformation from death to Life begins when we fear Him.
“The beginning” of our [growth towards] salvation [a saving faith] and the safeguard of it is, as I said, “the fear of the Lord.” For through this those who are trained in the way of perfection [learn to live like Christ] can gain a start in conversion as well as purification from vices [through this fear]…
And when this [fear] has gained an entrance into a man’s heart [God transforms the heart] it produces contempt of all things… and an horror of the world itself… [then] humility is gained [which leads to true contrition].”
–St. John Cassian (Institute of the Renunciants, Ch 37)
Of course having excessive fear or having fear without understanding God’s desire to help (His mercy) is not what we want, but we must have a great fear of the Lord if we wish to advance towards Life.
Before one possesses fear of the Lord (fear of sin), we might be growing in prayers and knowledge and even be doing many works, trying to live the faith, but we are actually still dead (not growing towards a saving faith), which is sadly how most Christians live and die.
No, we aren’t dead, meaning we don’t have faith at all, but we are dead, meaning we are not growing towards Life. To grow from infancy in our faith towards maturity (true hatred for sin/true contrition/to become alive), again, the first step starts when we hear God calling us to change from fear we will perish into Hell because of our sins, which is the beginning of growing towards imperfect contrition/servile fear.
This fear should cause us to humbly turn to God for help. Without God’s help (His grace), we won’t have a sincere desire to amend our sins, and we will remain attached to them. With every sin we leave, we will grow in faith (towards true love for God).
Please also know, it is our lack of HUMILITY that prevents us from accepting God’s mercy (help), which is why most of us stay stagnant or become stagnant when we want to change… so as we turn from evil, we must seek great humility and desire to amend.
But, if we do continue to grow in faith, our sorrow for our sins will grow into a sorrow for not loving God, since every sin is an act of hatred towards God. ” ” ( ). But until grace enlightens us to this and really moves our heart, we won’t really care about all the injury our sins cause Jesus. To gain a heart that truly hates sins because of how we aren’t loving God (offending Him), takes much grace.
Sadly, even those who have a fear of perishing into Hell, “servile fear [which] is a gift of the Holy Ghost” (St. Thomas Aquainus, Suma Theological Sixth Article [II-II, Q. 19, Art. 6]), since the world is in such darkness, the world does all it can to strip us of this gift from God. It tries to remove our gift of fear.
Then we never grow in faith from that gift into obtaining a sincere concern for injuring God by our sins some filial fear (which is the fear we need to be saved). Tragic! We just live trying to take mercy from God (hoping for forgiveness) without actually repenting.
However, when we do accept God’s grace, from fear of the Lord, we will eventually grow into a sorrow for causing Our Lord’s pains at His crucifixion, which He suffered from because of our sins and a sorrow for wounding Our Lord’s Sacred Heart of Love in Heaven, whom we should be loving and serving… not injuring, which is a growth towards perfect contrition/finial fear.
From there, if we proceed to increase in grace/faith towards true love of God (true hatred for sin), we will gain such a horror for sin–a horror for causing injury to Our Beloved Lord–that we would willingly suffer anything, even torture rather than offend God… not only because we greatly fear Hell (imperfect contrition) but mostly because we can’t bear to offend God whom we seek to perfectly love (perfect/true contrition)… and from there we can grow into perfect sanctity. But without this sorrow, we will NEVER have Eternal Life.
This is the sorrow that saves… this is the sorrow–love for God above our sins–we should be spending our life time seeking Our Savior to give us, so we can have true hope to be moved into a saving faith at least at the moment of our death. For we will never obtain it by just wishful thinking.
Have We Been Forgiven for Even One Sin?
Please know, if we have yet to experience all of these changes of heart, listed in the chapter above, for any of our sins, then we have yet to be forgiven for even one of our trespasses. Yes, this is true. Please don’t be deceived.
With that said, of course if we haven’t had this kind of sorrow in our heart for ALL of our offences against God, then we have never advanced into a saving faith (a state of grace) after our first unrepentant sin rejected God’s saving love we received at our baptism.
Truly, without that great sorrow, we can’t embrace His saving forgiving mercy He died to give us. And if this sorrow isn’t gained and maintained, at least at the moment of our death, then we lose it all.
“Within the repentant person there is first fear [of perishing into Hell], then the lightness of hope [that Jesus wants to save us]; sorrow [for offending God], then comfort [from Our Lord who understands our weakness]; terror to the point of despair [at what we have done to God], then the breath of the consolation of mercy [seeing how God still loves us and wants to save us despite all our injuries to Him]…
It is something painful, but it saves. It is therefore inevitable that whoever has not experienced such a painful break [from their sin] has not yet begun to live through repentance.
It is IMPOSSIBLE for a person to begin to cleans himself of everything [to begin to live as a true Christian] without having gone through this crucible.”
–St. Theophan the Recluse (The Path to Salvation, Part 2, Ch. 1)
As we can see the devil has done his finest to remove how we actually repent of our sins. He has even removed the very first step toward Life: fear of the Lord (servile fear), making it impossible for us to advance to the other degrees of sorrow.
If we don’t have a fear of offending God (at least some servile fear), then please know, any sorrow we feel is “worldly sorrow [which] produces death [not life]” (2 Corinthians 7:10)… it is a sorrow derived only from our pride.
“Many a time we see a repentance… which in the end is found unfruitful, and without any true amendment, because it does not proceed from the true motives of the virtue of penance, but from self-love (from pride, not true love of God).”
–St. Francis de Sales (Consoling Thoughts on the Interior Life, Good Sorrow and Bad Sorrow)
Please know, without having a fear of sinning against God–like most of the world is suffering from today–the sorrow we have when we do wrong can be nothing but worldly sorrow. Truly, it can’t be anything else, no matter how many times we confess our sins. For our sorrow to be moved by some grace, we must be moved by fear of the Lord (some servile or filial fear). Please don’t be deceived.
Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
Some people have been deceived into believing if we have a fear of perishing in Hell then we don’t have faith in Jesus. Oh, how opposed to the truth is that! Please know, for all of our fear to be removed (fear of Hell or fear of not loving God) one must have advanced so greatly in our faith into perfect love of God, for “perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18).
Perfect love of God is when we have so much grace of God in us that we can no longer choose to sin–no longer choose to not love God (sin)–like St. Theresa of Lisieux acquired.
Because if we don’t sin, we, others and God can’t suffer from the consequences of them anymore. Therefore, we will have nothing to fear.
But for the rest of us, who don’t have that kind of grace in us, who still choose to sin, we most certainly have something to fear… one sin greatly wounds Our Beloved Lord and one unrepentant sin casts us into Hell. I hope we fear that.
Growing into perfect love for God is quite simply. Yes, simple. I know I said obtaining a saving faith is hard and it is but really the entire process is simply. All we need to do is come to a saving faith is to come to truly hate our self-love (pride) and to grow into becoming a perfect saint all we need to do is to grow into perfectly hating our self-love (pride). Then we will perfectly love God. How simply is that?
Since pride is the root of every sin, every moment we choose our will and not God’s, every moment we don’t live for God and the salvation of souls and live for ourselves, is coming from pride. Yes, perfectly die to ourselves/our pride (kill sin) and grow into perfect unity with God. Amaizing!
We can do this. This is how St. Theresa of Lisieux and St. Steven (the first martyr) and all of the saints achieved perfection. No doing this is what is hard, since we love ourselves so greatly. Learning how to hate ourselves (our sinfulness) and becoming nothing so God can be everything… is what we must toil to obtain to grow into a saving faith and especially perfect love of God.
Reading St Theresa’s book doesn’t help us much in the beginning stages of faith growth (as far as what to do) for us, who are still learning how to obtain a true hatred/a true desire to leave our sins, since she seemed to have this quality from a very young age, which I’m sure was from her great up bring.
But after we obtain a desire to leave our sins so we can spend our life loving God and not offending Him, then her book can greatly help us advance into sanctity and perfection too.
I know in this time of great darkness, there are some people are who are trying to become saints by striving to stop our sins, and we are working to grow in our prayers, knowledge and works, but are doing this without even seeking to grow in our contrition, because we have no fear. Oh, what toil… and all in vain. How horrible is that!
Please know, we don’t accept God’s forgiveness by our prayers, knowledge or works. Forgiving mercy is embraced or rejected by the amount of contrition we have in our hearts for our sins. And that contrition will be shown in our life of penance (love of the cross). Yes, we welcome God’s forgiving saving mercy into our hearts ONLY through having God transform our hearts into being truly humble and contrite. There is no other way.
Our prayers, knowledge and works are supposed to help us gain the contrition we need to be saved (send us helping grace to transform our hearts). But we gain nothing if we pray and do them with proud hearts… hearts that presume we are saved (hearts that don’t know we need God’s mercy to save us).
I know we might whole heartedly think we are sorry for sinning, but I tell you the devil is out like a lion looking for Christians to devour. He wants us proud and blind. Beware! Most of the world is dying, we can’t afford to stay deceived or we will die too.
Sure, we might “say” we are sorry, but in all honesty, which God knows, we aren’t TRULY sorry… not for ALL of our sins. We greatly need Jesus to save us.
Why We Lack True Sorrow
Yes, we lack true sorrow because we don’t truly hate our sins, but there is much more involved to why we don’t truly hate them. The reason we lack true sorrow for our offences against God is because we:
- Lack self-knowledge: we don’t know our true sinfulness (lack humility). We can’t hate or repent (have sorrow) for what we won’t even acknowledge. Truly, many of our sins we refuse to even see.
- Lack a desire to amend or not sin: we don’t put a whole hearted effort into seeing we don’t sin. We aren’t turning from our sins and still habitually choose many of them, since we have such little fear of them. And for some sins, if we had to do it all over again, we would still commit the sin again, since we are happy with the results of our sin.
We might not see how we suffer from these issues, but hopefully after reading this, we will gain a greater understanding.
God willing, we will come to see how we greatly lack humility, truly knowing that we hardly know anything of our sinfulness, and also come to know how we greatly lack hatred for our sins, truly knowing that our desire to leave our sins and not commit them again (willingness to suffer rather than sin), so to love God, is so very small.
As we see our misery, we will also see a glimpse of the infinite love and mercy of God too… as we see how patient He is with us, how we see how tolerant He is of us, who really deserve the greatest torments in Hell.
We will see how even after we have lied ourselves and others, how we have killed souls and re-crucified Our Lord over and over again with our false living, false preaching and indifference to our sinfulness, that He still burns to save us. What love!
“Let us then recall before our eyes the evil deeds we have done, let us consider with how much goodness God puts up with us, let us bear in mind the depth of his love. He is not only lenient towards our sins, be he even promises the heavenly kingdom to those who [truly] repent after sinning.”
–St. Gregory the Great (Homily, Matthew 20:2-16)
Then we can humbly–knowing we are very broken, needing a Savior–seek Mercy to change us… to save us: to give us the humility and contrition we need to embrace His forgiveness that saves.
“A contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn” (Psalm 51:19).
We Can’t Hate What We Won’t Stop
“O foolish people!… you choose to not restrain yourself, but to sin feely… [you continue in your] habitual sins… if you don’t repent, Hell will justly receive you.”
–Jesus to St. Hildegard of Bingen (Vision 10)
We have many ways that we lack contrition. But if we want to easily see where we lack true sorrow for our sins and are rejecting God’s forgiveness, it isn’t too hard to see. Just HONESTLY look at the sins we aren’t really resolved to leave… the ones we continue over and over again. For most, it is all of them. Those are the obvious ones we don’t truly hate.
“It is well known that one of the greatest obstacles which hinders a man from attaining his supreme happiness [Heaven] is the evil inclination of the heart [desire for sin] and the difficulty and disinclination [lack of desire] experienced in doing what is right. Were it not for this, it would be very easy thing to run in the path of virtue and to attain the end for which he was created [Heaven].”
–St. Peter of Alcantara (Treatise on Prayer and Meditation, Ch. 1)
Oh, how hard it is to hate any sin we have spent a life time habitually committing (desire)… oh, how hard! What toil, what grace, what help we need!
Oh, it takes much grace to become truly sorry for every sin… especially our habitual sins. It is only by surrendering our will, so to correctly follow Christ, that we will be able to grow enough in faith into a saving faith of true contrition for every one of our offences against God.
Please know, all it takes is just one sin that we lack true sorrow for, and we reject God’s saving mercy for that sin.
Yes, since one sin is of infinite offence against Our Infinitely Perfect Lord, it is an ABOMINATION OF LOVE to not be sorry for offending Perfect Goodness with any sin. Yes, a lack of contrition is a mortal sin. Please don’t be deceived.
But sadly, since we are living in the time of darkness, what used to be “obviously” needed to do to obtain Salvation–that of trying to remove our evil inclinations (stop our habitual sins and desire for sin) so we can do good (live virtuous), so we could obtain a saving faith (true contrition/true hatred for our sins)– isn’t what is even sought after.
“For one, who does again that of which he has repented… ought to fear, as one no longer washed to the forgiveness of sins… [for] the righteousness of the innocent [those forgiven] will make his way right [not continue in his sins]…
Repenting [is true] by not giving away to the same faults… frequent repentance [without change] is the practice of sin…
The frequent asking of forgiveness, then for the things in which we often transgress, is… not repentance.”
–St. Clemet of Alexandria (Book 2, Ch. 13)
This is what the devil has done, he has removed our understanding of how to obtain a saving faith. Yes, not only do we no longer understand we need a faith that can save, we are clueless on how to obtain it.
Sadly, the evil one has prided us into thinking we have already obtained “the crown of life” (James 1:12), without us even working to win the race. Or we think we will be saved if we just pray some prayers or have some devotion or receive some sacrament. Then bam… we escape our just punishment, as we live still loving our sins and are far from having a heart that can accept God’s forgiveness.
But that simply isn’t true. That is a lie from the devil to keep us lukewarm and not sincerely seeking a saving faith during our lives.
Those prayers, devotions, and sacraments are meant to HELP us grow in faith, they don’t force us to have a saving faith. And without toiling like the saints, with humility, to obtain a faith that can save, they won’t do anything for our proud hard hearts.
Because only a heart that has grown to truly love God/truly hates all of their sins can accept His saving mercy, not someone who loves their sins so much they don’t even want to strive to leave them. We just want to spend our lives begging God for mercy as we make little to no efforts to leave our sins to love God.
Oh, how many of us hope on God’s mercy to save us through some prayer, devotion or sacrament while still contently remaining in our sins. Tragic!
“It must be FEARED GREATLY that we do not continue to sin because of the hope of forgiveness that God promises. [What a lack of hatred for sin! What a lack of love for God! What a lack of faith!]”
-St. Isidore of Seville (De Ecclesiasticis Officiis Bk. 2)
The beginning of striving to be a True Christian is when, from “fear the Lord… [we] turn away from evil” (Proverbs 3:7)... But striving to “sin no more” (John 5:14)–to perfectly obey God and His will–so we can turn from evil and one day perfectly love God, isn’t even the focus of Christianity any more.
Christians just want to be “kind.” We think that is what a Christian is but that is so far from the fullness of Christ is (what we are supposed to be doing). We have a lot to learn. But that is only one problem.
The greater problem is that most aren’t striving to stop our sins, since we have no concept of the injury just one slight sin has against Perfect Goodness. Contemplating the horror of sin is lost. Understanding the malice one sin has against Perfect Goodness have been stripped from our lives sins, we have no fear of the Lord (no fear of sinning against Him).
We simply find sinning against God as not a problem… as the coldness of our hard hearts says, “His mercy will forgive us anyway” proving we simply don’t care about God.
“O my only love! How indebted I am to You [for giving me true contrition]… [You] impressed such a horror of sin upon my heart, that the slightest stain caused me unbearable torment [for I couldn’t bear to offend You–the One I love].”
–St. Margreat Mary Alacoque (Visions, Ch. 1)
Sadly, we don’t understand or care how our sins have “grieved Him [God] to his heart” (Genesis 6:6) nor how they are damning us. We greatly need God to transform our hearts.
“Work out your salvation with fear and trembling ” (Philippians 2:12). We don’t do that, like in times of old. No. We just presume we are saved and sin as we wish, making little to no attempt to live so many commands of God. We live so deceived.
“The net with which the devil drags to hell almost all Christians who are damned, is the delusion by which he leads them into sin with the hope of pardon. Sin freely, he says to them; for, after all your iniquities, you will be saved.
But God curses the man that sins with the hope of mercy. The hope of sinners after sin [which] is pleasing to God, [is] when it is accompanied with repentance [true sorrow]; but the hope of the obstinate [who don’t seek to stop sinning] is an abomination to the Lord.”
–St. Alphonsus Liguori (Preparation for Death, Ch. 16)
Yes, we have been an abomination to our Lord. But God in His infinite love for us still wants us saved. Despite our horrific sinfulness, God has pleaded with us to change, to “turn away from evil” (Matthew 18:22) and follow Him, but we refuse.
“Return, all of you, from your evil way; reform your ways and your deeds. [But we won’t obey] we will follow our own devices; each one of us will behave according to the stubbornness of our evil hearts [and now the apostacy (not knowing the faith) has fallen upon us, and we are perishing]!” (Jeremiah 18:11-12).
From the stubbornness of our hearts, remaining in our sins, grace has left us and we don’t understand the faith anymore.
We think all we need to do to be forgiven is to just “say” we are sorry and whether we are actually sorry or not and we are forgiven, which couldn’t be more wrong. That is a lie of the devil to keep us lukewarm and not striving to live the faith (to sin no more).
Tell me, how can we be truly sorry for committing any sin if we aren’t even working hard (resolved) to leave it? We can’t. Oh, how many sins do we put little to no effort at all into leaving?
Yet, how many of us think we are sorry for all of our sins, but when we have proven clearly we aren’t, since we continue in so many of them.
“How can your determination not to offend God any more be considered sincere if, after your confession, you lead the same kind of life that you have led before.”
–St. John Vianney (Sermon, Easter Confession)
Honestly, how hard are we working to stop our sins? What are we doing? Are we actually leaving them? Or, is our desire to leave so little, we just continue day after day just the same?
“The soul cannot have a true sorrow for sin without a sincere purpose never more to offend God…
The frequentation of the sacraments of penance and Eucharist would be in one respect the best means [of stopping our sins]…
[On top of that] when you rise in the morning you must renew the resolution of not yielding to sin all that day; and you must pray for help, not only in the morning, but also several times during the day before the Most Holy Sacrament, or before the Crucifix; and must beg of the Most Holy Mary to obtain for you grace not to relapse…
[Plus] avoid all familiarity [anything that leads you to sin]… and [if necessary] you must remove the occasion [what causes you to sin] or you will certainly go to hell [if you never obtain true contrition by your death and how can you if you won’t take the means to stop sinning].”
–St. Alphonosus (Instructions on the Holy Sacraments, Ch. 5)
“It is now the hour for you to wake from sleep… Let us cast of deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light… Let us live honorably as in daylight [for even if we are living in the time of darkness, we don’t have to perish]” (Romans 13:11-13).
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).
We Love God By Not Offending Him
Many of us think we love God. And sure we might have some kind of love for God. But sadly in this time of darkness, it is far from a true love. We mostly love God for how He makes us feel.. for all He does for us. In return for experiencing His love, some of us even want to give our live to serving Him. But we don’t want to love Him.
How do we love God? By not offending Him. ” ” ( ). But sadly, we are so self-absorbed all we care about is how God is loving us… we have little to no concern with how we are loving Him.
Oh, we “say” we love Him in our words, but we don’t want to truly love Him in our actions. How can we honestly claim we truly love someone, if we don’t have a big problem with hurting them (with offending them)? We can’t.
True Christians, who really love God, work hard, day and night, all throughout their day to not offend God… to obey Him… to do what He commands. They don’t do this like the Pharisees have done, to build up their pride… so they can feel like they are “holy” and above others. No, those who really love God, work hard to never offend God, because they seek to perfectly love Him.. because their heart cares about God and all of the offences which are committed against Him.
Perfectly loving God–never offending Him again–is true Christian’s life’s goal: to perfectly follow Him, to perfectly obey Him and to perfectly do what He wills… to do nothing He wouldn’t like. Is the dream of the True Christian. Striving for this is what brings them true happiness.
True Christians live to please God… to give all glory to Him. This is their joy… and this is what saves: destroys our desire for sin and gives us a true desire to love God, as we cling to Him and not our transgressions.
“Faith has been given to us so that we might believe what God commands us to believe [is The Way to Heaven], and 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. 44)
Yes, it is by learning how to love God–how to not offend Him–that our hearts are transformed into a saving faith.
Where as many deceived Christians just “say” we are Christians, not really concerning ourselves with our sins… perhaps confessing some of of them. But really only caring about God’s mercy which we think we are getting, as our pride ignores the means of obtaining grace/help from God to grow into a true Christian… to gain a heart that sincerely detests to offend God.
There is another deceived Christian, who might even want to stop sinning, or pray many prayers to grow in holiness, or read many books to gain knowledge, or do many works to live the faith, but we receive no grace that can help save from all that we do, since we do all of the above for reasons driven mostly by pride…. like the Pharisees, who did what seemed to be rightious to feel good about themselves (not to love God).
If we honestly look into why we do what we do, we will see much, if not all of what we do, is to boost our ego… just like the Pharisees. It takes much grace from God to remove our horrid self-love from our intentions.
From this concupience (desire to sin) within us, we want to be someone great, when in reality only God is great. We are nothing but a miserable sinner and it is only God’s grace working through us that could make anything we do actually “good.” So all glory should go to God, not ourselves.
“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself” (Galacians 6:3).
But we like to think of ourselves as great, since we thrive off our pride and like to feel good about ourselves. We don’t want to think of ourselves as sinners. Therefore, we seek to do good things so glory can go to us.
“It may be that in praying, fasting and giving alms [donating money] I offend God by my bad intentions or by the way I act more than I glorify Him. Perhaps my acts of penance merit punishment rather than cancel it.”
–St. Claude De La Colomriere (Spiritual Direction, The Mass)
Sadly, most, if not all of what we do, is to make ourselves feel like we are good or special or to get what we want, etc… This is sadly part of our sinful nature we inherited.
Like was said, until much grace moves us, our intentions are from self-love. It takes a great humble desire of will to even begin to see how we do this and then much grace to kill our self-loving intentions.
But until we start to do this, all of our prayers, works and knowledge won’t profit us towards eternal life (they won’t move us towards a saving faith). They will keep us from committing other sins and give us good habits, which is good, but they won’t move us into transforming our hearts into truly humble contrite hearts for all of our sins. Those pious acts only advance us towards a saving faith, when we do them from some kind of humility driving us, so they can help destroy our pride.
Sadly, unless we know about this horrible pride, self-love we seek, that the devil likes to kill us with, we won’t look for how it is corrupting our thoughts, words and deeds… nor will we seek Mercy for help to us remove it. Then we live blind to our deadly pride as we live as false Christians, doing many seemingly “good” things, but God who reads our hearts, knows they are really driven from our great pride… like the Pharisees.
Therefore, those who truly love God, do everything for the one goal–to no longer offend God/to Love Him.. so all glory can go to Him, whom we seek to perfectly love.
True Christians work hard to stop their sins–to become a real self-sacrificing saint– to sacrifice their lives to help save the souls of their neighbor–and this isn’t a burden upon them . It is a joy, because when we truly love someone… we love doing good for them.
All true Christians, who have advanced enough in their hatred for sin, are able to do this, since they have received enough of grace from God to truly hate what they used to love–their sins–and have grown into truly loving God (gained a saving faith). So, stopping their injuries upon Perfect Goodness.–their Beloved Lord– The One they really love is what they want to do
Of course, since one sin is of infinite offence against Perfect Goodness, those who have grown in faith to truly love God strive to stop all offences against The One They Love… even their venial (seeming non-deadly) sins. They care about every injury inflicted on God… not just the “big ones.”
“[When we don’t truly hate to offend God] venial sins are regarded as slight evils; but how can that be called a slight evil which is an offence against God [Infinite Goodness]!
He who commits venial sins without restraint says: I may do this and still be saved. But I say: by continuing such a course, you will not be saved.”
–St. Alphonsus (Abuse of Divine Mercy)
This is how we LOVE GOD. ” ( ).
Those who truly love God don’t just keep on sinning, not caring about Our Lord and how we are offending Him, and just seek to take His mercy–to get what we want from Him–assuming if we “believe” in Him we are saved. What kind of love is that?
No; those who truly love God, who truly hate their sins, work with all of their heart to love Him and are constantly leaving their sins–one at a time–so to one day literally offend Him no more.
Blind to Our Sinfulness
One of the biggest reasons why we aren’t obtaining a saving faith, outside of not seeking it, is that we just don’t see our sins as being sins. How can we come to hate what we won’t even acknowledge? How can we work hard to stop what we don’t even know to be sinful? We can’t.
Therefore, coming to see what we have hidden in the dark is imperative. The main reason we are blind to ourselves is because of our pride. We want to think of ourselves as right and good with our thinking and actions, so anything or anyone conflicting that becomes what we seek to block out.
Since we are made in God’s image and likeness, our nature desires to be good. Sure it is the other part of our nature, which (from Adam and Eve’s fall) desires sin that is the real problem. But it is our desire for sin intermingled with our desire to be good that makes us so very confused and unable to see our sins.
From being creatures from Love, we all have some degree of desire to do good. Most of us want to do good well above wanting to do evil (at least what is cognizant in our minds) and think we are doing what is right. But from being so greatly deceived, much of what we think, say and do is actually very very wrong.
If we are to make any honest claim to God that we hate to offend Him, then we must work hard to see how we are offending Him and remove the blinders we have created from our great love for so many sins, so we can at least gain true self-knowledge. This is the self-knowledge–Humility–we need in order to grow into a saving faith.
Please know, it really isn’t that hard to see how we are so greatly we are failing. All we need to do is honestly ask ourselves if what we are thinking, saying or doing, at any moment, is what a true self-sacrificing saint would be doing. Now, if we can HONESTLY ask that question, knowing what a saint would actually do, then we will begin to see a lot.
Of course, not knowing what a saint would really do is a problem. But on top of that, not paying attention to our thoughts, words and actions is another problem.
But we can start with what we know and are willing to see and God will help teach us, if we seek Him, the rest as we grow in our faith towards Life.
Truly, we know we aren’t saints. Now we just need to ask ourselves why. And it is the answer to that why, which is what we need to seek Mercy to help us correct, as we seek to learn how to obtain a saving faith (what Jesus would actually do).
Of course we should begin to change into becoming a true Christian with removing our most grievous sins first and then work towards greater perfection with every step we make, while seeking to never sin again.
Even though we will be “focused” on removing one habitual sin at a time, our entire mind set will be to never sin again. That means all of the other non habitual sins we could choose during our day, we simply won’t choose to commit them. Or do our very best to not choose them.
Please know, for most of us, every facet of our life will need to change, since all of it isn’t not what a saint or Jesus would do. So, even if we can’t “see” what we are doing wrong, know little by little God will enlighten us to The Way so we can eventually see what is killing us.
Coming to see our sins is so hard because we are really clueless as to what humility (Christ) would think, say or do to respond to life’s challenges.
So, instead of seeking Mercy for help so we can correctly respond with grace or recognizing our failures to love (sin), we respond with our sinful impulses instead, since we don’t even recognize we needed help or were failing. But we I tell you, we need a lot of help. We are far from thinking and acting like a humble, self-sacrificing saint. We have made life about ourselves and our happiness and don’t even regonize it.
Therefore, until we learn right from wrong (what a true saint would do), gain self-control and begin to reject our self-loving desires or at least pause our desires to be able to make a prayerful discernment of God’s will (to see what selflessness would do), to see we don’t follow self-love, then we will continue to live doing what our sinful reflexes desire. We will have to practice restraint, by acquiring skills through displine by fasting and abstance so we can learn how to stop our natural impulses. Then we can learn how to pray unceasingly, so we can rely on Our Savior to guide and strengthen us to truly do what is good working towards a saving faith.
As we now know, presuming we are saved is a serious error. But it isn’t only an error, it is a sin. And it isn’t just a simple sin that is easily removed from our lives. No. It is a sin that even after we are told of our guilt, and seem to understand we have been greatly deceived, simply doesn’t want to leave, not wholy. Since we can’t bear to think of ourselves as the sinner we really are, to gain the humility one needs to sincerely repent of that sin.
This is especially hard for people who have left the secular world, who are seen as “good”, for their religious commitment towards God. To acquire the humility to truly repent of that crime is very challenging, since we won’t allow our pride to become truly crushed from our great love of ourselves.. our love for being seen as “good” and not a miserable sinner.
Therefore, no matter how much we have changed, nor how much “good” we do, nor how much others think we are “holy”, we must focus on our misery and Christ, who we are seeking to save us, as we work and work hard towards perfect love of God–never offending Him again, through rejoicing in the carrying of bountiful crosses out of love for God and the salvation of His children—for many sins we thought were nothing are so deadly and terribly hard to leave (to not love).
“Sins against The Holy Spirit [such as]… [the] presumption that one will obtain eternal salvation… [it] must be understood [that this sin of presumption is] very difficult to forgive because it is rare and laborious for those guilty of these sins to [do what is necessary to receive enough grace to] obtain true contrition.”
–St. Robert Bellarmine (Catechism Ch. 20)
Shockingly, many of the actions we think aren’t sin are grave sins or very hard to hate. We have been greatly deceived. We truly have a lot to learn.
To help us learn what is sinful, we need to learn about the saints to see how they lived and what they did so we can seek Mercy to help us emulate them.
Please know, it is very easy to misunderstand the saints and see what they are doing as what we are doing, since we don’t really want to leave our sins. We can easily read looking to justify our sins as acceptable. Beware! The mind set that what we love is acceptable, is only proof of a love for sin. If we love it, get rid of it for the sake of Life. Don’t die blind clinging to anything but Our Lord.
Our Burning Pride
Our rejection of God’s saving mercy, which is from our lack of humility and contrition, exist because of our pride. Our pride wants us to live for ourselves and not God, Our Savior.
We are born with hearts that know how to love God and live for Him. “You yourselves have been taught by God how to love” (1 Thessalonians 4:9). But from the consequences of Adam and Eve’s sin that knowledge is now distorted within us, for we now have a greater desire that burns within us. The desire to love ourselves.
This self-love, pride, hardens our hearts ruining all of what we do, causing us not to please God or merit anything from our thoughts words or deeds, until God saves us: softens our hearts into natural hearts that desire to love God above all.
By nature we are born with the desire to seek happiness, for our soul is at rest when we are happy. But instead of seeking happiness through loving God: the source of true happiness, from the same consequence of Adam and Eve offence, we seek happiness with earthly things that temporarily satisfy our fleshly desires.
Therefore, if we want our heart to truly love God and hate our sins (our self-love), we must spend our lives seeking Jesus… following Jesus… calling out to Jesus to “make my heart like unto Thine” (St. Dominic). For without a heart like His we will reject Him to love ourselves.
Until grace move us, the heavenly things that bring us to true happiness that we should desire are set aside for the pleasures of the world. But after we are touched by grace, we can begin to seek God and grow in love with Him (let go of all we love to love God).
If we have an experience with God’s grace and we now want to know, love and serve Him, we try to grow in faith, but from having such little grace in us and still being so very deceived, we go about doing this very wrong.
Many never grow out of the infancy of our faith, even if we have seemingly given our lives to God with becoming a religious. We do this because we don’t know how to grow in love with God towards a saving mature faith.
Sadly, we wind up only growing in selfish love (mercenary love/loving God for what He does for us) and not true sacrifical love… the love God shown us.
Now, in the beginning of our faith, God will tolerate our selfish love. He knows we are sin and can’t do any better without much of His grace. So He tries to lead us to Him through this kind of “experiences” with God. But if we never grow out of this longing for help and condolences for reasons of self-love, we will never obtain a faith that can save.
If we don’t know we must seek to leave the world and all of the pleasures we seek for happiness, even our “experiences” with God, which our hearts desire, so our hearts can become set upon loving God (not having God love us), we will wind up seeking God and the world at the same time, which leads to great confusion and death. For we can’t love two masters… the world (our sinful selves) and God.
Our entire conversion from death (love of self) to Life (love of God), comes from God’s grace moving us little by little from loving ourselves with the world into loving God with obedience to Him.
What are we really doing to remove the bounds of distractions we have that keep our hearts from being totally focused/set on loving God at every second. Are we actually doing anything?
“The transcendent power of God’s grace [to change us/to save us], dearly beloved, is indeed daily effecting in Christian hearts the transference of our every desire from earthly [wants] to heavenly things.”
–St. Leo the Great (Sermon On the Fast of the tenth month)
Our Pride Doesn’t Want to Be Transformed
Sadly, from finding happiness through our pride, seeking self-glory (not the glory of God), we don’t really want to be transformed into a humble contrite heart that hates the world to love God. We prefer to live lying to ourselves thinking we are good and faithful people when we are SO FAR from truly following Christ or even trying, since the devil has so greatly confused us, we don’t know what we should be doing.
“Holiness means overcoming ourselves [our desire for self-love/pride]. It means having perfect victory over all our passions [for sin, our will and the world]. It means truly and constantly disregarding ourselves [our will] and despising the things of this world [that we use to comfort and build up ourselves/our pride] to the point of preferring poverty to riches, humiliation to glory, and pain to pleasure [loving the cross of Christ]…”
–St. Padre Pio (Letter, Dec. 30 1915)
We are so confused, we don’t really know what a Christian is. Sure we should know how to live since Jesus and all of His saints have given us the most perfect example of what we should be doing. But in this time of darkness, we have fallen away from practically all of the true practices of Christianity. We have much to change.
Instead of growing into a humble sacrificing servant for the salvation of souls that Our Lord showed us, our pride wants to cling on to what has always brought it happiness (our idols), so instead of sacrificing what we want to grow into His image–by way of the cross–for the salvation of our souls, we seek love, approval, complements, accomplishments, and endless pleasure for ourselves, etc.
But from our pride, we refuse to acknowledge we actually do this. We don’t think of what we do and why we are doing it. Being honest with ourselves is something we greatly lack.
Acknowledging that we actually seek bounds of things for self-love within our thoughts, words and actions is one of the most challenging parts of humbling ourselves. Sadly, most can never be this honest with who we are.
So, the world (our idols) remains our joy… and we continue to live a lie, thinking we are without great pride and without hope for eternal Life, for we can’t leave (repent) for what we refuse to admit we are addicted to.
“Pride is the daughter of ignorance of self, in as much as our thought, deceived itself and deceiving us, makes us believe ourselves to be better than we really are. Now this is pride, this ‘the beginning of all sin,’ to appear greater in one’s own eyes than one is in truth…
— St. Bernard of Clairvaox (Sermon, The Knowledge and Ignorance of God and of Self)
But please know, our pride desires a big ego and a comfortable life. We will say, “I don’t love the world” when in reality, which God clearly sees, we are enveloped with so many horrific idols… being blind to them all. Not wanting to leave them.
Our hearts are so sick with self-love, but we will whole heartedly swear we will die for God, for we think our faith is great. But because our illness is so great, we don’t see the grossly hidden cancer (pride) that consumes our bodies and is killing us, so we can’t humbly seek Our Savior to save us, since we lack self-knowledge.
“Oh, I will do anything for you Lord”, we cry… but we won’t give up eating what we like (choose a cross, like Christ and the saints have done for the salvation of souls)… or even leave our closet full of clothes… or our nice house and car to live like Our Lord.
Did Christ ride on a stallion? No. A mule. Who are we following? Did Christ have a wardrobe full of clothes. No. He wore the tunic on His back. Did Christ live in a nice house? No. He was a nomad and lived in a tent. He only had what He NEEDED so to live The Father’s will for the salvation of souls… he didn’t seek to have all of the finest things, so to live a “good” life on earth. That is the opposite of what Christ did. Please don’t be deceived.
How many saints left all their nice things to conform themselves so to follow the suffering sacrificing Christ… all of them. If they were not allowed to leave them physically, they left them mentally? For if they had to live in wealth, they hated what they had and used it for the good of others. They didn’t go around acquiring another hand bag or pair of shoes. They didn’t seek out more fine wine or great dining. Those with a saving faith live for the cross. THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO LIFE.
But we want to say we are Christians without ever denying ourselves and choosing a cross. If we happen to be given a cross, we are an emotional mess crying and crying to God to remove it. We hate the cross.
Sadly, we are without truly follow Christ in countless measures of our lives. We prefer to live justifying all of our endless pleasures as things we “need” or we claim that we don’t “love them” pretending there is nothing wrong with them. When The Word clearly tells us. Yet, we live indulging in endless things, thinking we are saved…. living far from being true followers of Christ… far from a saving faith, for we have many idols.
And even if we aren’t self-indulgent since we don’t have the financial means to have anything but the basics, we wish we were and live in jelously wanting what we don’t have (coveting) instead of rejoicing and loving the blessed cross we do have.
Oh, we must stop living a lie or our lack of humility (not knowing our true sinfulness) will kill us.
“The greatest [means of obtaining] salvation for him [the proud man], both in remedy for his illness and the road back to his origional state, is humility.”
–St. Basil the Great (Homily on Humility)
We must come to know who we really are. Oh, if we only honestly looked into what we have and do, we would clearly see most of it has nothing to do with knowing, loving, or serving God (they are sins)…. clearly they don’t help conform us to Our Suffering Sacrificing Savior…. like the saints have done. These sins we MUST learn how to come to true hatred for them by working hard to leave them.
But we want to follow our own way, pretending it is The Way of Christ.
If we aren’t dying from the desire of “things” and entertainment, etc. to make us happy, we are dying from the desire to boost our self-image with our ego. We can clearly see this when our pride doesn’t get what it wants or fails at something it endeavors towards or sins; it lives in denial, anger or self-pity… as we strive to restore what we lost. We don’t want to be humbled.
Please know, our pride doesn’t want to accept ourselves for who we really are which is nothing… nothing but sin. No, our pride wants to think of ourselves as wonderful good people. But we are sin. Yes, sin.
“To [fully] understand that you are evil [to really know that without God’s grace you are full of self-love/pride/burning with the will to sin]… to discover your great wickedness and unworthiness [to become truly humble is a blessing that will lead to your salvation/true contrition]…
Present this thought [desire to know our sinfulness] before God, asking Him to establish it [an understanding of our misery] in the depths of your heart. From then on, esteem yourself simply and truly as a very wicked person deserving all contempt and torment, even that of hell.
Be prepared to suffer patiently any difficulty or contempt that is offered to you [which is meant to help you come to greater humility and to truly hate your sins and then to help make up for them/cover them].”
–St. John of Avila (“See”, Ch.61)
Yes, without God’s grace moving our thoughts, words and deeds, since original sin has inclined us towards sin, we are nothing but a soul that desires to love its self and not God. We are a slave to sin.
We need God to help us stop desiring to be something or someone, when we are nothing And start truly living for God, who wants to save us.
This is a HUGE problem we are blind to. And it will only take a soul that has been humbled to want to see if we are ever going to be able to see how far we are from imitating Christ to even begin to change.
We must learn how to see how we desire to build up our pride and work to rid it from our lives, so God and His grace can move us.
Please know, without God’s grace moving us, nothing we do is really good. We can’t even love God. Sure, we have an innate desire to love God (with some amount of love) within all of us, but that gift can be rejected too.
Some of the reasoning for why we do what we do might be driving by a little grace, but until God crushes our pride… nothing we do (even if it seems like the greatest act of love) will be truly good (driven solely from grace), which means nothing we do until we obtain a saving faith will merit us any reward during our death.
“When Scripture says ‘He will reward every man according to his works’ (Mt 16:27), do not imagine that works in themselves merit either hell or the kingdom.
On the contrary, Christ rewards each man according to whether his works are done with [a saving] faith or without [a saving] faith in Himself… without [saving] grace [moving us] it cannot contribute to our sanctification [the true reward].”
–St. Mark the Ascetic (On Those who Think They Are Made Righteous by Works)
Sadly, most die spending their life doing “good works” but since our pride was never surrendered and still riddled our works, we go before God at judgement with no return for all of the gifts He has given us. Nothing…. all the good we did was really not good at all. Tragic!
“[God allowed me to see] over all the habitable points of the globe… [I] saw nothing but sin… I saw nothing good… [just] darkness… the malice, blindness, pride, deceit, envy, avarice [greed], discord [quarreling], murders, luxury, snares, passions, the horrible wickedness of men—all plunging them into greater misery, deeper darkness.
–St. Catherine Emmerich (Life and Revelations, Nov. 13)
But we, our pride, can’t bear to think of ourselves as nothing (who we really are), as committing these sins and many others, so our pride can start to become crushed. We want glory. We strive and strive for accomplishments just to be something, to get something, do something to build ourselves up… to feel loved, important, successful, valued.
Our hearts aren’t focused on doing all to love God; it is really focused on doing all to love ourselves. We have just failed to HONESTLY examine why we do what we do.
Oh, “I’m the ‘good’ one” we say. “I’m the one who is smart”… “the one who is loving”… “the one with talent”…”the one who did the job well”… I could go on forever.
If we don’t feel good about ourselves, we live depressed and in misery. Proving our happiness isn’t found in God, but ourselves… from our great blinding pride.
“For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he is deluding himself” (Galacians 6:3).
Love is Everything
We all know love is what our faith consists of. God is love, so if we are to follow Christ to Heaven, we need to love.
We know the difference between being kind and mean, being good and bad, well at least in a general sense. We know being mean is unloving and hopefully, we now more fully understand that when we sin, we are being unloving and offending God.
But from the deceiver getting a hold of us, we don’t know how to love like Christ, which is what makes any “kind” or seemingly “good” act something truly loving (something truly pleasing to God).
We see a lot of people do acts of kindness towards others, and that is good (to a certain sense). But if we want that act of “love” to be something TRULY loving–loving how Christ loves–then we have to change our hearts.
For most of us, we do good since we want to be a good person or because it is the “right thing to do”… since we enjoy being kind… but that doesn’t make our acts of love truly good.
If we want any good thought, word or deed to be truly good, then it MUST be done for the love of God, for His honor and glory. Without having our conscience thought desire to speak and act for the love of God our “good” deeds aren’t any better than an athiest… they aren’t really good and deserving of reward.
Sadly today, the desire to do ALL so we can to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5) is not what is driving our thoughts, words or deeds. We have become prideful, success driven people instead, who have become attached to the happiness we have with doing good and our accomplishments, and that is what moves us. So sad.
But if we never grow out of that mind frame, we will never actually do anything truly good, which is why most have never done a single act of love, which is TRULY LOVING in the eyes of God. Yes, this is the sad truth.
For example: Let’s say, there is a man, who is so nice. He doesn’t seem to have a bad bone in his body. He is always helping his neighbors. He picks up the mail and paper for his one of his elderly neighbors. He brings extra food to another poorer family down his street. At work, he is always helping to do extra work to help his colleagues with theirs. On his days off and weekends he helps at a soup kitchen. He is a great friend who is always willing to listen and help in their need. He seems to have the patience of Job and is never quick tempered or offended at others rudeness. He is known as being a great generious guy, whom everyone loves to be around, since he is so patient, positive, uplifting and caring.
But sadly, this really great guy has actually never done a single TRULY loving act in his life. Even though he goes to church, tries to obey God… even tries to help others to know God better.
But sadly, he only knows how to be “kind”–how to love–like the world knows how to love. His concern for others is only for their earthly needs. He has no concern with the salvation of all of the people he desires to help. He has never loved anyone like Christ loves us, who does all for the one goal… to help save our souls.
This is what the deceiver has done. He has taken us, who have hearts of love like God and want to love, but has confused us so greatly as to what love is, even if we really want to love, we aren’t REALLY doing it.
If we asked this guy if he is doing what he does to love God, he says yes of course since he is deceived. After God touched his life and he wanted to do God’s will, he went off searching for what that was. Now thinks he is doing it. And perhaps, God does want him to do all of those things and that is good. But sadly, from being deceived, he never grew correctly in his faith and never really learned what the fullness of God’s will is.
But God doesn’t want us to be kind to others just for the sake of being kind… since it is the right thing to do. Athiests do that too. There are plenty of “kind” loving athiests.
EVERYTHING, God or any true saint did was to help save the souls of the person they were loving/helping.
God’s will for each of us is the same (well at least His main goal for us). God desires to use us to help save His children from doom. It doesn’t matter what different task God has us doing in our lives, if we are truly doing it to love God–to love how Christ loved us–then al we do MUST be done to love God for the salvation of souls. This is what Jesus did.
We can even say that we see Jesus in those we are serving and are loving Christ who lives in them. And that is wonderful, but if we aren’t loving/serving them with the desire to save their souls (for God to send grace to help move them into a saving faith), then we still aren’t loving how Christ loves.
We can sweep our floors for the love of God… which is doing them to our best for God, but if we want it to truly love God, we need to do them so God can use our act of love to send grace for the salvation of souls. God doesn’t need our love. He needs nothing. We are the ones who need our love (God’s help)… so grace can come from us imitating Christ and His saints for the salvation of souls.
Sadly, this really great guy doesn’t even know Christians are supposed to spend their lives trying to save souls with all they do, which is how we love God.
Live To Save Souls
True Christians live to love God, not themselves…. and toil to help save His children from death. They don’t stuff themselves with indulgences, they sacrifice them to help send grace to another.
“Want a donut?” someone asks. Well, the Christian has an option to reject that indulgence and send grace to love God and help save the life of their neighbor or to satisfy themselves?
The selfish, self-centered, person seeks to satisfy their fleshly desires and says, “thank you” for the donut… and maybe even, tries to justify how indulging in worldly pleasures is good, saying “thank you God for this nice donut.”
However, for the true Christian the answer is clear, “no thank you” as they quietly, happily offer up satisfying that self-loving desire and deny themselves of what they want to love God, for the salvation of their neighbor. This is their joy.
“Zeal for the salvation of souls should burn in our hearts. O my God, how sweet it is to suffer for You, suffer in the most secret recesses of the heart, in the greatest hiddenness, to burn like a sacrifice noticed by no one, pure as crystal, with no consolation or compassion. My spirit burns in active love. I waste no time in dreaming. I take every moment singly as it comes, for this is within my power. The past does not belong to me; the future is not mine; with all my soul I try to make use of the present moment.”
–St. Faustina (Diary #350-351)
You see, true Christians have actually found great joy in following Christ, by rejecting the world (all pleasure that adore themselves), through living the correct examples His saints have lived. They have sought God’s will by way to the cross, the path Jesus chose and trusted in all He allows (the good and the bad) as leading to their ultimate good (happiness on earth and for eternity).
This surrendering to God’s will by way to the cross has resulted in them not only growing to truly hate their sins, so they no longer habitually commit them (desire them no more), but they also allowed God to us them to help save the souls of His children through their prayers, works, sufferings and sacrifices (giving up what they want/choosing a cross), so God can have His beloved children with Him in Heaven.
But we don’t do this. Just look at lives. Are we really living a sacrificial life for the salvation of souls? Not at all. We have justified satsifying our wants as perfectly fine… how living a good life in the world as what Jesus would do. But what a lie that is… it is a lie that if we continue to believe it will cause us our eternal lives.
Please ask yourself, is anything we own worth our salvation. We must change a really FOLLOW CHRIST… losing our idols, like the saints have correctly taught us how to do.
Sadly, if we are blessed with not being cursed with the bound of pleasures of the world, and we happen to live a life of less, we aren’t praising God for it. We are wanting what we don’t have… living a life of jelously. Our life is so far from that of being a true Christian, we are really clueless as to what it really is. Really, it is practically all sin.
Today, seeking to save souls–to help others grow in faith so they can obtain a saving faith/true contrition for their sins–is lost.
We indulge in endless things that have nothing to do with knowing, loving or serving God. You know, the finer things in life: our nice clothes, car, house… oh, our endless possessions, good food, entertainment, vacations, pampering, oh, the list is endless. Really, there are bounds of endless gratifications that we partake in that satisfy and glorifying ourselves.
If you knew your neighbor was dying and you could help save them, but you just sat home doing nothing, what kind of love for your neighbor would you have… not a true love. But, since we are living in darkness, this is what we do. Yes, we have lost care about our eternal lives and practically all of God’s beloved children are dying, and we are doing NOTHING about it.
But I tell you, nobody who truly loves God lives a life opposed to the cross, loving and serving themselves with worldly pleasures… living a life of self-indulgences. They live to save souls.
We need to follow the saints who reject the world’s pleasures not only because they don’t want to become attached to them, and because they know they don’t deserve them, since they are so sinful and want to live a life of penance, but they most certainly reject what they (their self-love) desire, because they truly want to love God and their neighbor (everyone) so to send grace through the cross to help SAVE THE SOULS of His children.
For the saints fully believe the cross is the way to Christ, and find GREAT JOY in carrying it for the love of God. And if we are truly following Christ, we need to seek Mercy for the strength to do the same too.
“Do not… judge of it [what you want to do if it is good] yourself/ but apply it… [to] the rules that are given to Christians in the Holy Scriptures, and in the lives of the saints, whom you can imitate.”
–St. Vincent Ferver (Treatise on Spiritual Life, Ch. 13)
Run From the Pleasures of the World
We have all heard it said that there is noting wrong with the pleasures of the world: accomplishment and success, money and things, food and wine, comfort and travel, entertainment and technology, sports and hobbies, family, friendship and love… oh, I could go on and on. But that isn’t what the saints say.
The saints tell us to run from the world’s pleasures like they are the greatest of all poisons.
Why would the saints say that? Are we supposed to be unsuccessful, poor, hungry, board, lonely and loveless people? No, not at all. The reason they make such a wild claim is because those are the things that are killing us.
Oh, the devil tricks us into saying having all of those things is fine so we can stay blind to our great idolatry… justifying our sins as good… living in blinding deadly sin. But the saints are telling us something VERY DIFFERENT. The saints say that we must hate the world and what it has done to our relationship with God and run from it (detach from it).
I tell you the pleasures of the world are poison. Instead of having our hearts and minds focused on God and how we can know, love and serve Him better, our hearts and minds are focused on how we can obtain more pleasure for ourselves from them.
The world’s pleasures pull our hearts and minds off of God and place them on all those things we seek for happiness (making them our idols). Then we spend our time sinning (not loving God)… fill ourselves with our selfish desires as we push away Our Savior, who should be our everything (our source of happiness).
When one is still engrossed in the world, we will have many many idols: hobbies, interests, and worldly pursuits, that we are looking to partake in as we seek to satisfy our desires for happiness (which is only found in God).
Before God captured my heart, I sought so many things for happiness. I enjoyed time with my family, vacations, ice skating, photography, computer graphics, pets, physical fitness, fashion, celebrating all of the holidays, among so many other things.
Actually, when God first captured my heart, after I had to suffer greatly to even want to amend my sins–after I was greatly punished for not repenting and I saw how God was loving me like any good father would–I still found enjoyment with those things.
But as I was working on leaving my obvious known sins to obey God, growing in prayers and works, God didn’t give up on calling me towards a saving faith (to leave all my idols, even though I didn’t fully understand what that was at the time).
God wanted me to give my entire heart to Him (the way to a saving faith). He wanted me to lose my life in this world (to leave all I loved), to love and have Him.
“Whoever wishes to save his life [keep all he loves] will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it” (Luke 9:24).
But that was something I had a very hard time surrendering. To help me along, God showed me one act of love after another, so I would want to love Him in return and let go of seeking all of those things for happiness, so I could strive to love Him with my whole heart, and be filled with His happiness that is beyond all telling.
To win me over, God showed me fantastic love and then I finally decided I would surrender all that I was clinging to for happiness and give my entire life to Him.
Progressively, I quit my job of being a photographer, which I not only sought for happiness but it wasn’t God’s will (what He really called me to do). Also it was driven by my pride (wanting success to build up myself) and was full of immorality. I also stopped ice skating, which I loved and spent most of my free time doing and was a source of endless sins too. I gave away my nice clothes and progressively went to plain modest clothing. I stopped practicing many forms of vanity. I lost interest in buying stuff for myself, family time, celebrating the holidays like the world does (which is really about family and worldly fun), not God and I left many other things I used to spend my time seeking to satisfy my desire for happiness.
As a result of me changing so much and now wanting to save souls, I lost my parents friendship, since they thought I had lost my mind and become some proud self-righteous person.
But my immediate family (husband and children) apparently accepted God’s grace and were able to understand I love them, but I only want to know, love and serve God now (God is now my only source of happiness). Sure, they sometimes complain how I don’t want to do what I used to do, since they still love the world. But they understand me (at least a little) and haven’t rejected me. Yet even if they would have, I would be more than happy to lose their love too.
After God became my everything (not that I have perfectly surrendered my life for Him… I’m still seeking that), but once He became most of my everything, all I once thought made life “fun” and “great” I no longer had any interest in, which according to the world makes me mentally ill. But all I’m suffering from is being in love…. love with God.
I didn’t fall in love with God instantly once I stopped those things. No. At first those sacrifices were just done as an act of love in return for all the love God has given to me… not from being in love but from being loved by Him.
We see this kind of love in people all of the time, as we can’t help but to want to do good for someone who has done something good for us. But just because we make a big sacrifice for someone or do what they want us to do (in return for their love) that doesn’t mean we are in love with them. It just means we want to love them. There is a difference.
Of course there is another reason why someone would make a sacrifice for God and that is with the hopes that God will do something good for us… to experience God’s love. So we do what God wants hoping for what we want.
I did this in the beginning of my conversion. I was punished greatly by God and to end the punishment, I decided I would stop sinning. I didn’t even comprehend at the time that my sins were killing me. I just wanted the unbearable suffering to end.
Many people promise God incredible sacrifices of love and obedience so He will heal us or give them what we need (not to love God but to get love from God). But please know, that is even further away from true love of God.
When we are immature in our faith, most of our ordinary daily prayers are even with this selfish intention… I pray the prayer and God gives me what I want or lets me feel His love. Yikes! Sadly most never advance out of this style of prayer and die thinking they love God when they are far from it. Tragic!
But with the help of God’s grace, even this selfish, mercenary love as God the Father speaks about to St. Catherine of Sienna, can be moved into true love.
Anyway, everything my heart was captivated by, which I left to love God was moved by some grace of course, but also from my cooperative free will, which was moved from my determination and self-discipline, not a burning passion for the love of God… that came later.
But with each thing I surrendered to love God (in return for the love He had shown me), I opened up my heart to receive God into it (since I made room), and combined with humble prayer (knowing my great sinfulness and need for Mercy), and striving to leave every sin, since we can never love God or be in love with God if we are still okay with offending Him, then I began to really know Him and fall in love with Him, for every attachment to sin and the world causes us to reject Him.
But I do have to say, even though I have left all of those things and strive hard to live a life of sanctity (to sin no more and choose the cross for the salvation of souls), I’m still not free of the bondage of sin, myself (my pride) and the world. I’m still trying to truly detach from it all so to obtain a saving faith/true love of God, for it is so very hard to reject sin once we become greatly attached to it.
I was progressing nicely towards God’s Sacred Side, enveloped in much love for God and then one day I allowed a worldly pleasure, which was actually a sin of pride, go unnoticed that I was partaking in/desiring and before I knew it, I desired it as my source of happiness. The devil got me.
I clearly see the danger in even the smallest worldly pleasures as they have called out to my self-loving being many a time to desire them instead of to love God. So I can’t caution you enough away from all the delights this world has to offer. They keep our hearts and minds far from God and saving souls.
After my fall backwards, much grace was rejected and much progress and love was lost. Now I’m still struggling years later to climb back to Our Lord and regain what I lost (even though I am gaining along the journey many virtues I never had before). But I hope and trust, if I do continue to seek Mercy, He won’t abandon me and will give me a sincere desire to LEAVE IT ALL for Him. Then I won’t reject God for my sins, myself or the world. Praise God!
Why the Faithful Are Dying
The number one reason why the faithful are dying is because we presume we are saved. Our pride has us thinking because of the sacrifices and changes we have already made, we are surely saved.
The reason the faithful feel this way is because we GREATLY lack self-knowledge (lack knowledge of our sinfulness) and what are the requirements of salvation.
When someone is a great sinner and they are breaking all of God’s commands and they come to realize their misery, they don’t feel too good about themselves and know they are a miserable sinner in need of Mercy… like the tax collector who couldn’t look up to Heaven.
But when one changes their life and tries to give it to God and do good, they tend to become more blind than the great sinner, like the Pharisee. since the desire for self-glory takes over.
We are people who love to build ourselves up and increase our egos.
Knowing we MUST be humble to embrace God’s saving mercy isn’t even understood by most, so we aren’t even seeking to know and keep pour great sinfulness in front of us.
For us to do good and still keep our head low (humble), like the tax collector, takes much grace. That is why the saint say to run from complements, rejoice in being falsely accused, chastised and ridiculed. Do all we can to keep others from seeing the “good” we are doing… if we aren’t looking back and gloating at what we have done, others are trying to increase our pride too.
Oh, only those enveloped in MUCH grace will have the armor of God to stand their ground against the devil’s schemes and not become self-conceited through success. For the devil works double time to kill us–who try to do good–by our pride, as mentioned earlier.
This pride grows and festers and becomes so great, it stops us from living for God and our neighbor, and then we live for ourselves and our glory. Yet, from being blind to our condition, we won’t know we are doing this.
The reason the faithful, who read this and understand what is being said are still not being saved (are still dead) is because we think gaining some knowledge of the truth (The Way) or agreeing with these truths proves we are on or are now on the right path. But no. Gaining knowledge through fear of the Lord is just the VERY BEGINNING of ones conversion (if one can move).
Gaining humility–a kind of humility that can crush our pride and move a soul–a far greater task is still a head… and then living the faith, an even greater task is still waiting before one can have any true wisdom to help save. Let’s not deceive ourselves.
And I don’t even want to say what a humble person would do, for I feel I would give a way the answer to what the heart needs to learn on its own. Or one’s pride will trick ourselves into having words and actions that will be only to impress, and not out of truth of the heart. So, if we have ears that can hear… Humility is what we need.
We Lack Empathy
When our pride seeks what it wants and we sin, we either brush it off as no big deal since we don’t really care (lack empathy) that we have done wrong. Or we think to be strong (from our pride) we need to be happy and confident all of the time, even when we sin.
If we are sad after we sin, sadly isn’t because we can’t bear that we offended God, who we desire to love with all of our heart (have true contrition).
No. Concern for Perfect Goodness isn’t a thought we have after we do wrong.
If we happen to be sad, perhaps we are sad since we did less than our pride desires or that we hurt another (which is good) or maybe that we are going to hell (which is also good).
But we totally neglect to have contrition–great concern/sadness–for offending God. Proving we lack true contrition. To have true contrition we MUST be grief stricken that we have offended Perfect Goodness.
“Your sorrow, after your falls… is it real sorrow or is it that frustration of seeing yourself so small and weak? How far you are from Jesus if you are not humble.”
–St. Josemaria Escriva (The Way #200)
So instead of focusing on our nothingness, like the saints have done to become humble. We focus on our greatness… trying to over look or justify our sins and imperfections, as no big deal, so we can pretend like we are great and remove our guilt… saying God forgives us, it doesn’t matter that we offend Him.
When in reality from our lack of hatred for offending Him, we are rejecting His forgiveness.
Accepting ourselves for who we are, imperfect sinners, so God can be everything, is the way to true happiness and being in horror over our sinfulenss is the way to true contrition.
But we prefer to live thinking we are someone we aren’t which directly causes us to not be able to repent of our sins, since we won’t even honestly acknowledge our sins (we prefer to hide most of them) nor honestly acknowledge that we are a most grievous sinner.
And we prefer to commit endless sins, since we think something “good” is going to come from them for us, not being concerned about how we are actually offending God with each sin we choose… all to satisfy our sinful desires.
Then from our lack of empathy for offending God (from our pride, really caring about ourselves more), we don’t regret sinning against Him and continue in our sins, which comes from our still present desire/will to sin (wanting our will and not God’s)… then we reject God’s forgiveness for our sins.
Forgive, Atone and Teach
Please know, the whole reason Jesus became man, why He became His own creation, was to forgive and atone for our sins, and to teach and show us The Way to Heaven.
“All scripture [The Word Made Flesh/Jesus]… is useful for teaching, for refutation, for correction, and for training in righteousness [training in how to obtain a saving faith]” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Jesus did all of this from His great love for us, so we can have His saving/purifying gifts within us upon our death. Then, through His mercy, we can be spared from eternal death and be with Him together in Heaven for eternity.
Please know, after Adam and Eve committed the first sin, the gates of Heaven were closed, since there was no way for sinful man to pay the price for His offence against his Creator that Divine Justice–our all fair and just God (our God of love)–demanded.
For according to Love (Mercy and Justice), all good is rewarded and all evil is punished. Truly, every sin–every offence against God–has a consequence.
Therefore, since one sin is of infinite injury against our infinitely perfect Lord, there was nothing–no sacrifice, no suffering, no punishment–we imperfect souls could bear that could possibly make up for such a horrific injury against Perfect Goodness.
This is why Jesus–the Perfect One (the spotless unblemished Lamb)– descended from Heaven and took the form of His own creation (became man) and sacrificed His life for us. He took our punishment for our sins to redeem us/men–for only someone (a man) of infinite goodness could atone for something of infinite evil that man committed.
“In Him and through His blood, we have been redeemed [our debt has been paid], and our sins forgiven” (Ephesians 1:7).
It was that great act of love which atoned for and forgave us (all men/humanity) of all of our sins. Now, IF we receive that great act of love (become baptized) and have God’s forgiveness within us upon our death (don’t reject it from wanting sin), we will not die. Mercy will save us.
But to allow God to forgive us, we need to grow in faith so our free will can choose His forgiveness over our sins, which is what is hard to do… since we are so inclined to evil.
Only Mercy Can Change Our Heart
If we want a truly humble and contrite heart, a heart that can truly hate what we love–our sins–so we can wholeheartedly love God and be saved by Him, we need to spend our lives seeking Mercy–especially though the sacraments–to give us this kind of saving faith.
But we don’t, and “for this reason” as St. Charles Borromeo warns us, “hell extends itself, opens its mouth wide, swallows and devours so many every day” (Homily, Sunday after Pentecost). Truly, we aren’t seeking Mercy correctly to help save us.
“Some were sick [with much deadly pride] on account of their sins and afflicted [suffering] on account of their guilt. They had a loathing for every food [didn’t want the spiritual food to help them live and rejected seeking the ways of obtaining grace/help from God]; they came close to the gates of death.
[Wonderfully, they heard God calling for them] then they cried to the Lord in their need and he rescued them from their distress [from their impending doom]. He sent forth his word [the directions they need to follow] to heal them and saved their life from the grave [Hell]” (Psalm 107)
Hopefully, we can hear God calling for us, so we can run to Him for help to guide us onto the path of Life.
But many don’t know of our need to hear God. We think we are hearing Him correctly. Tragically, many of us think we are properly walking with Christ to Life and receiving His helping grace, when we actually aren’t.
Oh, we pray, do good works, and partake in the sacraments, all of which should help our souls live (grow towards a saving faith), but horribly, we do them with proud hearts that are clueless to our TRUE sinfulness and many live presuming we are saved. Then we wind up rejecting God’s grace (His help), since we don’t even know of our great need for mercy (we are clueless to our need for Christ to save us: to change our hard self-loving hearts who desire sin and not Him.
Sadly, most approach God only for help in their earthly lives, so we can have less burdens/less crosses (crosses that are meant to help save them). And God helps us, since we can’t do any better… hoping that will lead us truly to Him.
But from not understanding The Way, not having faith in Jesus, in all He allows as leading to our good, we only seek and beg God for mercy to remove our hardships so to give us, sinners, a better life on earth.
We simply have no understanding of our great need for Mercy to change our hard/self-loving hearts, by way of the cross, so to move us into a saving faith. Tragic!
“Oh, if sinners knew My mercy, they would not perish in such great numbers. Tell sinful souls not to be afraid to approach Me; speak to them of My great mercy… The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina (Diary # 1396, 1397)
Oh, God desperately wants us saved. Yet, without MUCH of God’s grace (helping grace), we won’t obtain a faith that can save and will surely die. Please seek Mercy so we can Live. He is waiting for you.
We Don’t Want the Saving Cross of Christ
If we don’t know about and happily walk on the hard road–the way of the cross–that of sacrificing and suffering–which we must walk on with Christ, by following Him and His saints, then we won’t ever come to truly hate our sins.
If we think we are going to come to hate our sins and loose our attachments (idols) without the cross, then we are fools. Truly, the world is dying and we need to suffer to loose what we love. God sends us cross after cross to help us leave what is killing us, but we don’t want the cross. We want to do all we can to rid them from our lives.
Frankly, the ways the cross (our suffering) helps to save us are fantastic. The cross encourages us to hate our sins by:
- showing us what we are doing wrong. For example: Let’s say, our boss demotes us for not having enough patience with the customers. We might be devastated but that cross is showing us where we are failing to love.
- teaching us how to choose good (how to become more like Christ). For example: To help teach us to be patient, God will send us various crosses in our day that we would need to exhibit patience to pass over them well, like poor traffic, mistakes on the job, running late, people not doing what we want, etc. Please know, we don’t learn to be patient by having everything go our way. To learn any virtue, we will be bombarded with its opposite, so we can over come it with the virtue we seek.
- encouraging us to seek His help. For example: to over come our crosses happily or for those who are weak in faith, to even get through them, God wants us to turn to Him for strength improve and to trust in Him to make them into some thing good. And if we are simply trying to learn patience or to leave any sin, God wants us to learn how to turn to Him for help during each moment we feel lacking in grace to respond like Jesus.
- increasing our faith/trust in Him. For example: when we are suffering greatly, and our hearts turn to God, our faith and trust in Him will increase… so the cross helps us grow into holiness, and if we understand we need to be saved, that cross can help us to grow into a saving faith. If not then it can help us to learn that we need to be saved.
- punishing us so we won’t want to commit our sin again and can detach from it. For example: when we are suffering because of our sins, that is a punishment from God. What child’s desire to sin isn’t altered from being punished because of them. Sure, we might forget the sting of the punishment in time and return to the sin, but the punishment is supposed to put an everlasting reminder of how bad only reaps bad.
- strengthening us and others to turn from sin. For example: most have heard of redemptive suffering. That is choosing to pick up our crosses, not to complain about them, and to suffering according to God’s will so we can follow Christ and God can use our suffering to send grace to others to help them to amend their ways and grow into a saving faith.
- humbling us so our pride won’t kill us. Many of us can’t see our sins unless we suffer because of them. So enlightening us to our sinfulness and our need to suffer to even be able to see them, should be greatly humbling (help us grow in self-knowledge).
- helping us to see God’s love for us. when we see how frail and non-tolerating we are of a simple cross that we deserved, our love for God should grow as we understand more fully of the great crosses He, who deserved nothing, endured to help save us.
- moving us into greater contrition for our sins. All of this is meant to move us towards greater hatred/contrition for our sins.
Now some of us never see the benefits of the cross. Instead of learning from them and changing, many blame others for our crosses or wallow in self-pity or ignore them, never learning anything. So sad.
Some think our suffering is happening for no reason… that they are just random circumstance in life, or that God is punishing us… just for the sake of punishing us. But everything God allows if for the good of our soul, if we trust in Him. That is, if we look for what He is trying to teach us so we can learn His blessed ways, accept His grace and grow in faith.
Every cross has a reason, some of the time we won’t see it, but we know at the very least, it is to help us grow into a greater image of Him (suffering for the salvation of others)… so we can offer up our suffering, so to send grace to ourselves and others to help strengthen us to grow into a saving faith.
But on top of that when we come to truly hate our sins and even start on the path of true hatred for our sins, we won’t want the pleasure, we will want the cross.
Let’s look at your house. Let’s see your furnishings, your car, your clothes, your food, your place of rest. How does it look?… Do you live a life of discomfort, with less, like someone guilty of great sins, who needs to suffer to make amends for them. Or does your life look like someone without guilt, who has done no wrong, who deserves reward? What kind of contrition do you really have?
Yes, not only does the cross of Christ help us to hate what we love and help to save others souls, it is also a display of our contrition for our sins. What kind of contrition do we display?
One clear way to see that we are being deceived is to look at what are the fruits produced by what we are doing. I’m not talking about fruits like how many “conversions” we have or how many “good works” are we doing. Those can be very misleading.
What I’m speaking about are what kind of qualities of Christ (fruits of the Spirit) have we acquired? Are we choosing the cross?
If what we are doing is TRULY being driven by God’s grace, and not our pride, and is truly “good” then we will be becoming like Christ and His saints, by way of the Cross.
Every day that grace moves us in our works and not pride, we will be personally growing in grace too. We will be becoming more and more like Jesus: wanting to indulge less, and sacrifice more, wanting to talk less and pray to more, wanting less comfort and more discomfort.
We will be wanting the cross of Christ more and more. The proof our conversion is true (not corrupted in self-love).
For many can grow in knowledge and works, and in smiles and smooth words, but will be actually dead in our faith. Please don’t be deceived.
“Flee, therefore, those evil offshoots [of Satan], which produce death-bearing fruit… For if they [our fruits] were [truly good/of God] they would appear as branches of the cross… [not] lovers of pleasure… enemies of the cross of Christ… who killed the Lord of glory [with self-love].”
–St. Ignatius of Antioch (Epistles, Ch. 11)
If what we are doing isn’t producing us into becoming like The Thorn Crowned Lord (the one we are supposed to be following), then we are doing something very wrong. Our pride is moving us… not God’s grace.
If we are still looking to socialize, party, or to find our happiness with entertainment, things, food, comfort and pleasures of the world, and not the cross, then we are NOT at all living the faith correctly like the saints, who loved the cross for the salvation of souls. If we don’t change, we will never lose our self-love (self-glory) and will die loving ourselves over God.
The saints left the world for the cross of Christ, so they could love God and their neighvor above themselves. And if we want to reject sin (anything Christ or a saint wouldn’t do), we need to do the same.
Therefore, if we don’t “rejoice in my[our] suffering” (Colossians 1:24), trusting in Our Lord and His plan (His will) to change us–to change our hard/self-loving hearts–through the cross, so we can become able to accept God’s saving forgiving mercy, that is great proof we have been horribly misguided.
“There is no way to heaven except the way of the cross.”
–Jesus to St. Faustina (Diary # 1487)
Please, don’t allow the devil to lead you all the way to your eternal doom. Remember, eternity is forever!
Want to See Some Attachments?
Just ask someone what they do for happiness… and you will receive a list of their idols. Yes, their idols. Not their hobbies or their past times… but those things are really their idols (their source of happiness).
Tell me, who says at all free moments they seek God’s will and if permitted, they run to church to pray, since they can’t bear not being with God in great prayer? Anyone? Who says they look for crosses so they can help send grace to others for the salvation of their soul (so they can be moved into true contrition for their sins). Nobody says these things… since our happiness in found in pleasing ourselves. We are self-absorbed (idolizing ourselves).
Oh, I shop, someone will say. I read. I eat ice-cream. I watch social media. I talk with my friends. I play video games. I could go on forever. Are any of those things what a saint or Jesus would do with His spare time… probably not, unless it helped them to know, love and serve God.
All Jesus and His saints did was to love God… to do His will… and to help save souls. This is where their joy lied. When we have God’s grace within us, serving God becomes a greater joy than any worldly pleasure could possibly deliver.
But WE DON’T UNDERSTAND since our joy is found in the world. We are enveloped with so great a love for the world (have many idols).
We can’t wait for another idol conversation, to go out to another meal with friends or on another vacation. Denying ourselves of those indulgences, to be silent with God in prayer for the salvation of our neighbor, what is that? We don’t know. Since we love the world.
“I have seen many souls in the depths of hell for not having kept their silence… what an agony it is to think that not only might they have been in heaven, but they might even have become saints [but their love of self-glory killed them]!”
–St. Faustina (Diary #118)
But that isn’t how life is meant to be… that isn’t how we attach to God so we can really fall in love with Him (only want to be with Him and do what He wants), which is how He can save us (change our hard hearts that love sin into hearts that love God/hate sin). We are so confused.
Oh, how many say, “family is everything.” No; it isn’t. God is everything. Please don’t be deceived. Our family and friends are one of the most common and difficult attachments to leave… Oh, how many souls bainsh themselves into Hell because they won’t pull their hearts off some person, since they made them god (what they seek for happiness). Tragic!
“Observing that some of the girls were very devoted to one or other… I tried to imitate them, but I never succeeded in winning special favour. O happy failure, from how many evils have you saved me!
I am most thankful to Our Lord that He let me find only bitterness in earthly friendships.
With a heart like mine, I should have been taken captive [by friendships] and had my wings clipped [wouldn’t be able to fly to God]… How can a heart given up to human affections be closely united to God? It seems to me that it is impossible.”
–St. Therese of Lisieux (Story of a Soul, Ch. 4)
God is Everything
I tell you, GOD IS EVERYTHING… not our family, nor our work, nor anything thing else our minds are captivated with… that pull our hearts and minds off of God and His will (The Way to true happiness).
Everyone will say God is everything but if we look honestly into our lives and what we spend our time thinking of, we will see our minds, for the most part, are fixed on everything but God, proving clearly God really isn’t everything.
We need to start pulling away from the world and seeking out God or we will die with many unforgiven idols we have clung to instead of God.
Yes, it will be hard at first… for the more greatly we love something the harder it will be to leave, since that is what we love. But not to worry, our efforts and suffering to surrender what we love, God will reward and send His grace–His joy/love–so we will know the experience the rewards of leaving what we love to love Him is truly The Way.
“[For] there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more [joy] now in this present age [from God through the sacrificing of our attachment to our]: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with [blessed] persecutions [to help purify us], and eternal life in the age to come” (Mark 10:29-30).
Now, please don’t get me wrong, God wants us to have things and friends but ONLY if they sincerely help us to know, love and serve Him… but really how many things and friends do have that actually help us to live loving the cross, to stop our sins and self-love so we can become nothing (help remove our pride) so we can one day give our everything to loving God and gain eternal Life? Honestly, is there anything or anyone?
Please know, we can’t go to Heaven if we keep our friends that are leading us to Hell. We don’t need a friend that leads us to do sinful things, and we don’t need a friend whom we spend our time self-indulging or in idol chatter. We also don’t need a friend who thinks they are loving us by building up our pride with complements.
We need a friend who can support and encourage us with honesty and truth along this hard path to Life, and today, sadly they’re aren’t people who understand The Way, who can be a true friend. If there is someone, they are one in a billion.
I know we all have family and we can’t leave them completely like we can with friends. But please know, we don’t have our family so being with them is our source of happiness nor for us to make ourselves their source of happiness. God wants us to love and take care of our family according to His will so we can with their earthly needs (if needed), and sometimes that help is being silent and in prayer and sacrifice for them so we can help with what is most importantly to help lead them to Life… but not so we can be their life (their idol).
Plus, sometimes God wants us to relax our bodies with the world, not so we can live a life of self-indulgence nor so we can become attached to it, but so we can use the world to help us rest so we can better serve Him.
But beware the smallest pleasure we partake in can easily lead to a great attachment that will keep us from God… so choose carefully what we do. ” ” ( ).
If we HONESTLY look into why we have what we have, why we do what we do, why we say what we say, we will clearly see that sadly, most of it, if not all of it, is to love ourselves (to make our selves happy).
Oh, how many words have we uttered that we for nothing but idol chatter… just to entertain ourselves with the world (seeking pleasure in our words)… since we think being in silence talking with God is boring. We don’t know what true happiness is… so we seek the world for it instead. Tragic!
Yes, how easy it is to have our hearts seek something or someone for happiness, which greatly keeps us from God, Our Savior. Idolatry kills. This raging idolatry with sin and the world is what has occurred today during this time of darkness. They are killing us.
Attachments Are Everywhere
Now, instead of seeking God and His will, because loving Him is how we are satsified, we seek to partake in pleasure, to indulge to make ourselves happy… another yummy meal please… another great time out with friends… another fun show to watch… more social media please… etc. This is how we find our happiness, as we try to convince ourselves all of this is something good.
But I tell you, it isn’t. We just can’t see what is virtuous (good) and what isn’t, since we live deceived because of the darkness we are living in.
Frankly, there is so much involved with our attachments that this tiny article can’t even tap on the subject. The books by the saints and the rest of this web-site can help enlighten us so we can have greater understanding of The Way.
But please don’t take this lightly. We have bounds of attachments (idols), whether we can see them or not. We must learn how to see them so we can leave them, then we can love Our Lord with “our whole heart, soul, mind and strength” ( ), not part of it, for the part that loves the world will reject God for that attachment and lose Eternal Life. Don’t allow this to happen.
I tell you, if we never obtain true contrition for our idolatry before our death, we will perish since we have rejected God to love ourselves (since we have made ourselves god). And we can’t obtain true sorrow for any sin if we aren’t whole heartedly striving to leave it. Therefore, we have to work hard to leave endless attachments to sin and the world so we can live for Jesus, so He can save us. It is time to start living the real faith that saves.
Salvation is Only By the Surrendering of Our Will
If we want to lose our idolatry, our great love for ourselves, in which we seek to please ourselves with sin and the world’s pleasures and not God (who is supposed to be everything), that is only done by surrender what we want (our desires) for God’s. There is no other way to Life.
Yes, we reject sin (ourselves/our will) and embrace God and His forgiveness when we stop making ourselves God, when we stop seeking our will. Oh, we must stop seeking to please ourselves with sin and the world’s pleasure’s–and start seeking to love God.
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but ONLY the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (Matthew 7:21)
We must learn how to stop doing what we want, since we are moved by pride/self-love, and start surrendering all we want to do, so we can only do what God wants, because all He allows and desires is to help move us into a saving faith and then make us saints that are welcomed into Heaven. Everything Our Lord desires of us and allow to occur in our lives is meant to work towards our good (helping to save us) IF we TRUT IN HIM: trust in all He allows as meant to teach and strength us to follow Him more perfectly, so we can grow into a saving faith.
Where as, everything we want works towards our death. Yes, this is true. All we want, unless God’s grace is moving us, is to love ourselves–to make ourselves God–and leads to our doom.
Therefore, the one path to Heaven walked on by conforming our will to God’s. This is what those how have the wisdom of the saint do… they learn how to perfectly relent their will for God’s to perfectly follow His Law and desires.
We must learn how to not do what our selfish self-serving desires want and to only do what God wants too. We must learn how to stop following our impulses and fleshly desires and seek Mercy, with our conscience thoughts, to move us. Not just with the “big” things we want to do in our life, but through literally every moment–every second-of our existence, which is done by learning how to pray without ceasing (constantly). Since no moments of our life should be willing given to sin (our will).
God must become Our Savior… not ourselves, as we follow our will and do what we desire. We must come to fully realize that without God’s grace moving us, our every thought, word and action–everything–yes, everything (whether we can see it or not) is moved by sin (ourselves). So to obtain Life we must die to sin (die to ourselves). There is no other way.
Therefore, our contrition must be full of sorrow for all of the “visible” sins we have but we must also be emerced in sorrow for us following our will and not God’s. And when we have a contrition so great, that would would rather suffer any pain rather than offend God with any sin, idol (including following our will, idolizing ourselves… thinking our will (what we want) is The Way), we will truly hate to do what we want and whole heartedly seek to abolish not only our typical sins as we know them, with a hatred so great we would rather suffering anything than offend God, but we must also have a like hatred for
False Hope or Real Hope
Now, we can be like the Hippocrates and hope in Jesus to save us all day long, and it will all be in vain. Unless we grow in faith to believe so greatly in Our Lord that we sincerely choose to work with all of our heart to live the real faith that saves… the faith the saints lived, or all our hope will be for nothing.
Yes, if our hope isn’t going to be pointless, we must love God enough to be willing to leave (detach from) our sins and the world: all the people, power and pleasures we crave for happiness/our idols… especially ourselves/our will, so we can desire God above all (truly love God).
Yes, we must be sincerely resolve to give it all up to LOVE GOD and working hard to do it (prove our contrition/desire to love God is true) if our hope isn’t to be all for not. Or we prove we lack true hatred for our sins, and we will reject God’s forgiveness for our sins.
But when we do choose to live and practice the true saving faith, following God and obeying Him and His will, not only will we have a wonderful life of peace and joy with Jesus, we will rest assured that Jesus will be Our Savior: that He will give us a saving faith/true contrition for our sins at least at the moment of our death. This is what we hope and believe. This is the real faith… Believe!
Atonement — Penance
Please know, all of the above was mentioned just so we can learn the basics about how to save our souls, so when we die we won’t descend into Hell for eternity.
However, even if our sins are forgiven, but we die without accepting God’s atonement for our sins (the perfection of our forgiveness), we will descend into purgatory until we atone for every one of our sins committed after our baptism.
Yes, purgatory is where our forgiven sins are truly forgiven, and we are made perfect, like we where when we were baptized, that is if we didn’t allow God’s mercy to perfect us while during our time on earth.
Now, we don’t have to believe in purgatory. We can think if our sins are forgiven, we just go to Heaven after we die. We can believe we or someone else, who perhaps created their own faith a couple hundred years ago, has greater wisdom than ALL of the saints who have been preaching about the realities of purgatory from the beginning of the faith.
Truly, from the beginning of Christianity until the present day the saints have been teaching there most certainly is a purgatory in which we receive our due penalty, to purify us, for our sins committed after baptism, if we didn’t atone for them while we lived on earth.
“While we are in this world, we should try by penitence and its fruits to pay, according to the power which we have by the blood of the Redeemer, the penalty to which our sins have subjected us, since, if we wait till death, we shall not have such good terms in Purgatory, when we shall be treated with severity of justice.
–St. Francis de Sales (Article on Purgatory, Ch. 6)
Just like when we rejected God’s perfect forgiveness that our baptism delivered us after we sinned and lacked true contrition for our first sin, we also, rejected God’s perfect atonement- for “He is expiation for our sins” ( )–the first time we sinned after our baptism too.
Yes, every sin we commit after we received God’s baptisimal gifts (the welcoming into the faith) receives its just punishment and needs to be atoned (made perfect) for before we can enter into Heaven. This is what makes us saints. Please know, only souls who have been purified enough to become saints are in Heaven.
And this atonement we need to obtain Life is one by fire (suffering) which brings our heart into an atoning love for God and an even greater hatred for our sins, so to sanctify our souls.
Please also know, we also can’t atone for a single sin until we grow in faith into a saving faith. Prior to that all of our crosses help to save us, not atone for our sins.
Also, a proof that our contrition is true is when we seek penance… when we want to suffer so to make salinification for our sins, which are so grievous against Perfect Goodness.
Truly, “God is not mocked, we will reap what we sow” ( ). There are consequences on earth, in Hell and in purgatory for every sin we choose to commit. Please don’t be deceived.
We Have One Life, One Death, and One Eternity
I know many of us have had different experiences in life that have led us to believe we all go right to Heaven after we die. Now, I’m sure the experiences we had are real, but perhaps it is our interpretation of them which are wrong. The saints are telling us what we have been assuming simply isn’t true, and we must change. Believing our interpretation of reality isn’t wise and could end in our eternal ruin.
But for our loved ones, whom have already died, all isn’t lost for them. If we pray, fast and sacrifice for them, since God’s isn’t of time and space, the grace from our acts of love will go back in time to help move them into a saving faith at the moment of their death. The more rightious we become and more we do for their salvation the more assistance they will receive.
Oh, there so much involved to living the real faith–correctly following Christ and saving souls–that we don’t know and/or don’t actually live. This is only a slight introduction. Like was said, we have A LOT TO LEARN and CHANGE, if we truly want our faith to be no longer dead but alive: growing towards a saving faith and then sanctity, which is the kind of faith we need to go to Heaven after we die. Because to ascend into Heaven, we must grow enough in faith to become true self-sacrificing saint. As was mentioned before Heaven is only filled with saints. Now is the time to strive to become one. Eternity is forever!
Truly, we have only one life, one death and one eternity. What are we doing with our life? It is time to change and seek to live the real faith that saves and to grow into such great love with God that He sanctifies our soul.
We simply must learn what the saints say is needed to embrace God’s saving forgiving mercy and to atone for our sins, so we can prepare for our death or we will receive our just punishment for our sins and choose a horrific eternity where we “will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Revelations 20:10), since we never allowed God to forgive us of our sins–because our belief in Christ never grew into a saving faith. We can’t let this happen.
“If one puts off learning about it [learning how to die well] until then [until ones end], one is ill-prepared…. this [neglect to care for our soul] is the reason for the increase in deaths that are unprepared… which the towns and monasteries are now so full…
[Are you scared?] Take heart! This fear is a beginning of all wisdom and a path to all happiness. Or have you forgotten, as all of scripture cries out, what great wisdom there is in fear and the constant contemplation of death…
[Therefore] put your whole life in such order that, when death comes, you are ready and depart joyfully.”
–Jesus to St. Henry Suso (Little Book of Eternal Wisdom, Ch. 21)
Truly, we don’t know when our life on earth will end and our eternity in Heaven or in Hell will begin. This life is supposed to be spent preparing for our real life (eternity).
We have to seek Jesus to save us as we “work out your salvation with fear and trembling” ( ) to obtain it.
Yes, our “whole life [should be] a preparation for death.” (St. Gregory Nazianzen, a.d. 368). But what have we been actually doing to obtain it? Nothing! Well it is time to change.
Please know, this isn’t our home. “For here we have no lasting city [no lasting home], but we seek the city [our home] which is to come.” (Hebrews 13:14). We must change and begin to seek our true home. We have no time to waste.
We need to stop spending all our time on senseless indulgences or preparing/planning for this life. Oh, the hours we have sought God and endless things in the world only to help us for this present day, which is quickly ending.
If we don’t stop doing this, where will our eternity be, if we have neglected to prepare for it? We must trust in God to take care of today and tomorrow, and focus on the real goal in Life: salvation. “[If we] seek first his kingdom [Heaven] and his righteousness [a saving faith], and all these things [in the world that concern us] shall be yours [taken care of] as well.” (Matthew 6:33).
Oh, how hard it is to leave all that keeps us from clinging to Our Savior. We must begin today! We have to leave it all.
“What will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their [eternal] life?” (Mark 8:36).
Truly, where will our eternal home be? Let’s make it Heaven by sincerely leaving our sins and the world and seeking Jesus to save us.
Do You Want to Seek Salvation?
If you hear God calling you and want to truly come on the hard road to Life, to strive with all of your heart to truly follow Christ, like His saints have correctly demonstrated for us, so you can grow properly in your faith to sincerely hate your wickedness, that is great. The saints and this web-site are here to help you obtain the goal.
But reality is most will hear this warning and want to change, but quickly become distracted by the allurements of the world and forget about this call or degrade our efforts into just a mere illusion of faith. Others will run to the Sacraments out of fear of Hell but from still being so attached to sin, won’t make a real plan or resolution to change our entire life.
But if we are in this for real… and are willing to change everything–one thing at a time–then please know, you will be alone on your journey towards Life, like St. Basil.
You won’t be alone since you are the only one who hates sin, like St. Basil was, for you still love sin. But you will be alone because you will be the only one out of countless souls, who is actually willing to humble themselves and CHANGE (not just in your thoughts and words but in your actions) and sincerely strive to become a true perfect saint. This is true.
This message will be preached and among families, colleagues, and friends, and one will hear and another won’t. Until the eyes of the blind and ears of the deaf begin to see and hear, the world will stay blind to their love of sin: that we are rejecting Heaven for Hell, and will continue to presume we are saved and won’t seek our Savior to save us.
So, get ready to join me and a few souls on our journey towards Life, but don’t plan on anyone understanding or being there to support, encourage or help you. Truly, plan on being alone on our journey towards a saving faith in this horrible time of darkness. Yes, all alone… for the world is more dead now than ever before.
For me being alone is one of the harder crosses of to bear. To have nobody but God to share with. To have nobody to run to and tell about all the wonders God is doing. To have nobody to seek for guidance when confused or questioning something. Yes, it is hard to be silent and alone. But this is The Way and it is good. We might not have support, but it keeps us from becoming attached to friendships.. and helps us even more greatly put all our trust in God.
Not having sheperds of course makes obtaining the goal that much harder too, since having an earthly coach is the best means of obtaining the goal. Yes, obeying a spiritual director, who knows The Way and has traveled on it himself towards sanctity is the easiest path to Life as we have seen with bounds of saints.
But sadly, the reason we are so lost is because the priests of today have become greatly deceive and even though “anyone ordained a priest undertakes the task of preaching, so that with a loud cry he may go on ahead of the terrible judge who follows” (St. Gregory the Great, Pastoral Guide) to warn them of the need to repent and change and so to obtain a saving faith, the coaches of today are not doing this, since they have been tricked by the evil one and are dead.
“Gird yourselves and weep [over your sins], O priests! wail, O ministers of the altar! Come, spend the night in sackcloth [do great penance for your crimes], O ministers of my God!
The house of your God is deprived of offering and libation [there are no faithful ministers to make an acceptable sacrifice during the Mass]. [To save your souls] proclaim a fast, call an assembly; Gather the elders, all who dwell in the land, Into the house of the LORD, your God, and cry to the LORD [for mercy]!…
Yes, it is near, a day of darkness and of gloom [has arrived]” (Joel 1&2)
And this has all been prophesied not only through The Word but the saints as well “A large number of demons, will be unloosed from hell; they will put an end to faith little by little, even in those dedicated to God [will lost sight of The Way].“ as Our Lady of La Salette has warned us which has occurred today.
“[God speaks about] those evil times to come and saying: “I have no one to whom I can entrust my sheep.”
–St. Augustine (Sermon On Pastors)
Yes, those evil times God and St. Augustine spoke about are here. Sadly, our shepherds don’t know The Way to Heaven anymore. They preach a truth one moment and then a lie the next… their lack of humility, love of idols and rejection of the cross along with their unrepented sins have blinded them.
They haven’t been teaching us how to correctly live the faith by their word or example, which has of course resulted in us not being able to follow Christ to Heaven.
Truly, the lies they are teaching us are killing us. We have no shepherds to guide us to The Way. “My sheep were scattered, because there was no shepherd: and they became the prey of all the beasts of the field, and were scattered” (Ezekiel 34:5).
“Wicked sheperds… [from their] neglect [to preach and live the truth]. The defects of the sheep are widespread. There are very few healthy sound sheep, few that are solidly sustained by the food of truth…
[Horribly] they even… try to kill the strong and healthy [sheep]… ‘How do they kill them?’ you ask. By their wicked lives and by giving bad example [not correctly following Christ]…’If my pastor lives like that [a comfortable life enjoying the world, not a life of penance], why should I not live like him? [the deceived say]… [Yes] the wicked shepherds kill the strong sheep. [now there are practically none left].”
–St. Augustine (Sermon 46, Divine Office 24 Week in Ordinary Time, Pg. 271)
Now, I’m not saying they aren’t just like us, who are deceived and are also deceiving others, since we have lead people to their death, not life, by our poor words and example too. And of course the deceived sheperds mean well, like we have meant well when we have preached and lived lies too, but if we go to them (the blind) for help or follow their example, from their great illness, they will continue to lead us to our doom and all will be lost.
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the flock of my pasture… Therefore, thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds [in the hopes you will change]” (Jeremiah 23:1-3).
Horribly, there is not a single priest, who is alive today, who correctly knows The Way or is striving to live like Christ as the saints taught and lived. I see many who want to be truly faithful, but none who really are. Tragic!
Truly, the time when all the sheperds have been deceived and are lost has come. ” ” ( ). Therefore, plan on nobody being there to help us. The world needs to change first. The darkness we are in is staggering.
But, of course, we must do what God’s chosen ones–His priests–say. We must obey them. I’m not talking about obeying their false teaching but whatever commands they give, as God will save us through obedience to them. And always run to them for the power (the grace) God has given them, despite their misery, that comes forth from their hands in the sacraments, to help move us to Life. God will always use His sheperds to save us through the sacraments even in this darkest of times. But we must not follow their wrong examples or guidance to our doom.
“Should a secular mistake The Way [to Heaven], he alone is lost; when a priest errs, he shall cause the perdition [damnation] of many.”
–St. Alponosus (Dignity and Duty of the Priest)
Frankly, our humble prayers, fasts and sacrifices, and living and preaching The Way can greatly help God’s sheperds to convert. If we don’t become greatly involved in their salvation, they will go before the Eternal Judge guilty of vast crimes of murder.
Their pride is just too great to change without our blood being poured for them (much grace from our sacrifices for the love of them). We must help to save their souls… or they will die an eternal death and the Church will never be restored.
To help save God’s guides, whom He loves, God wants us to become His few faithful servants that can surrender our lives to Him, so He can use to help change the world.
“I will let a few of them escape the sword [death], starvation [not knowing The Truth], and plague [deadly pride], so that they may recount all their [the Church’s] abominations among the nations to which they go. Thus they may know that I am the Lord [so they may reject their idols and come to truly love God for the salvation of their souls” (Ezekiel 12: 16).
But not to worry if we don’t have assistance. Our Lord won’t allow us to go without what we need, if we seek Him. He, Himself, will make up for what is lacking in those He has called to be our guides but are too confused and lost in their sins themselves to be of any correct guidance.
“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have banished them and bring them back to their folds; there they shall be fruitful and multiply” (Jeremiah 23:4).
Yes, after we learn The Way, become humbled and change and then teach another (allow God to use us to save souls)… He will bring His scattered sheep back into the fold (into the true faith).
But beware, many will hear and realize some of our errors but think we now know The Way and are able to correctly guide, when we are still quite blind and ill (maybe even dead… not growing in faith at all towards Life), especially since we must leave many sins and grow into true humility (the gift we must have to not lead others astray), which takes so much grace acquire to be able to correctly help another.
Please know, anyone, even an athiest, can learn The Way to Heaven, but who can really show us The Way to Life correctly, when it is so hard to find and challenging to walk on, at any turn we can be lead astray, if they can’t even find and walk on it themselves? Therefore, only someone who has changed in actions (their life)… not words (how they preach), is one who can be of true assistance.
But, with every one soul that is humbled–admits we need Our Savior to save us (knows of our great need to change)… admits our need for God–His grace–to help us remove our love of sin, to help us remove our love of ourselves (our pride) and to help us remove our love of our idols, then we can grow in faith into true love for Him and make Him alone our God–then the world will come alive again.
Eventually, with our help, faithful shepards will be born and one day Our Lord will lock the devil away for a thousand years and many soul’s who truly love God and hate evil will come about.
“He seized the dragon, the ancient serpent, which is the Devil or Satan, and tied it up for a thousand years and threw it into the abyss, which he locked over it and sealed, so that it could no longer lead the nations astray until the thousand years are completed” (Revelations 20:2-3).
But after the thousand years pass the evil one will be released and the challenge will begin again, but only for a short while until Our Lord permanently defeats the devil. Then all will come to perfectly love God, as God has promised.
“Nothing accursed [sinful] will be found there anymore… Night [darkness from sin] will be no more, nor will they need light from lamp or sun [a teacher or helping grace to see], for the Lord God shall give them light [their sins won’t darken them ever again… sanctifying grace will guide them], and they shall reign forever and ever [in Heaven].” (Revelations 22:3-5).
Yes, Our Lord will stamp out all evil, and we will all perfectly hate sin and perfectly love God, living in blissful peace.
But sadly, this won’t happen in our life time, for we live in the time of great darkness.
“Its kingdom [the earth] was plunged into darkness… [because] they did not repent of their [sinful] works” (Revelations 16:10).
Therefore, if we want the darkness to leave, we must repent… truly repent. Yes, you… don’t look at the other guy, focus on yourself. But plan on a tough lonely journey ahead to true repentance. We have greatly lost The Way. Yet, this is The Only Way to Life for those living in the time of great darkness. But again, it won’t be for too long.
For, once the world learns of this destruction of the true faith… the “apostasy [that has to] come first [before change can happen]” (2 Thessalonians 2:3) and desires to learn The Way and seeks a saving faith, we will begin to be with like company, living for the same reason.
Eventually, the billion different “Christian” religions rebelling and fighting against each other will leave and there will again be a united “One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church” of course correctly guided by a Holy Spirit guided pope.
“Never again shall they [the Churches] be divided… no long shall they defile themselves with their idols, their abominations, and all their transgressions. I will deliver them from all of their sins of apostasy [falsities of the faith], and cleanse them so they may be my people and I may be their God” (Ezekiel 37:21-23).
Those of us, who have found the path to Life and are correctly walking on The Way to Heaven, will be able to help Our Lord to achieve this goal. But until Our Lord transforms someone, don’t trust anyone–the blind can’t lead the blind– just trust the saints and God alone.
Many will come to understand a truth and think they/we now know The Way, but that again is the deceiver tricking us/them. Until we are LIVING the faith and God’s is transforming us into saints, we don’t The Way… not well enough to correctly help anyone. There is so much more we simply don’t know, but need to. Please humbly accept this reality.
Therefore, to obtain the kind of hatred for our sins (love for God) that detaches us from our sins, ourselves and the world so we can attach to Our Savior, after a life time of sinning–a life time of thinking something good is going to come from something bad–will take much toil and much helping (actual) grace from God. We have no time to waste. We don’t know when our hour will come. Let’s get started today.
God wants you in Heaven.
“This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies [free from all who tempt us to sin], free to worship him without fear [of offending Him or perishing into Hell from our sins], holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life…
In the tender compassion of our God the dawn from on high [God’s enlightenment] shall break upon us, to shine on those [us] who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace [to guide us to the path of Life].” (Luke 1:68-69)
The Easiest Way to Heaven
There is an easy way to Heaven and a hard way. Both follow the same path to Life, but it is getting to this path that varies from person to person.
By far the easiest way to a saving faith is by becoming a religious. Yes, their responsibility is great and they incur the greatest suffering in Hell if they fail, since they were given so many fantastic blessings and gifts to obtain perfect sanctity and are accountable for them all. But without a doubt the easiest way to Life is through becoming a religious.
By a religious, I mean a person who leaves the world and dedicates their life to God: a priest, a nun, a brother, a sister, etc. Now, not all religious orders are the same but the one’s that are the most strict, who have left the world the greatest and are of great discipline and obedience are the easiest of the easy paths to take (if we can follow it).
Because the entire world is in darkness, all orders except the Carmelites in Portugal have fallen into the deception of the evil one. “In Portugal [the Carmelites], the dogma of the faith will always be preserved” (Sr. Lucia of Fatima).
So, if God calls us into one of the others orders, we need to make sure we follow the rules that the true saints established (not by disobedience to the current rule, but by increasing our own personal devotion) if we are going to be led to Life, and then pray and work to help the order go back to its true roots.
However, we all can’t quit what we are doing and become a religious. First, God doesn’t want everyone to become a religious. Then there would be no procreation. He has a different calling for each of us and for some of us it isn’t becoming a religious.
Second, if we went against God’s will and we already chose to become married, when He called us to the religious life, we can’t leave our family, while our spouse is alive and/or children who are young, to become a religious. That would be a grievous sin, and it isn’t allowed anyway.
Third, we might not have the discipline or a great enough desire to do what is needed to become a true member–correctly following the rules of the order.. not the changed watered down rules, but the ones established by the true saints who established the order– and have to go to a less strict order or even to the secular or married life… taking smaller baby steps, hoping to obtain Life that way, which is far from ideal. But if that is all we can do, it is better than nothing at all, which would be certain death.
But the path of the married person is the most challenging of them all… not only because we are engrossed in the world, with all of its distractions and allurements, and that part of our heart–our servitude–needs to go to our spouse… but another great reason is because having sexual relations can’t be done for reasons of self-love/personal satisfaction (self-indulgence), but ONLY for the love of God. Remember anything we do that isn’t for the love of God–to please Him–is a sin.
Oh, we might say we can have relations with our spouse and be without sin if it is an act of love towards him/her, and that is true…. IF we are doing that to love God.
Yes, any act of “love” or kindness or anything at all we do, for it to be truly good must be done for the love of God, not for the love of self or even the love of another… EVERYTHING we do must be for the love of God for His honor and glory or it isn’t truly good. There are no exceptions to this rule.
But honestly, is our response to our sexual drive driven by love or lust? Love, you say. Really? Sure there might be some love, but what kind of love is it? In reality the majority of our reasons why we do everything is for self-satisfaction… since it makes us feel good.
We even run to church to pray to feel God’s love… we are self-satsifying (self-loving/prideful) creatures. That is why God leaves some of us without feeling His presence. He does this so we can learn how to love Him not for “feeling” His love (to serve ourselves/get something for ourselves) but to love God just because He deserves all of our love… not because we, sinners, deserve to be loved. We deserve Hell.
God’s love is a free gift, not based on what we do… for without Him we can’t do anything thing truly good. He loves us just because we are His children… nothing more. And as He tries to save us, it is us who reject that love from our pride.
But regardless lying to ourselves about our intentions for why we do what we do doesn’t save our souls. Truly, are we groping our spouse because we love God? Or is it to satisfy the impurity in our hearts? We need to change.
Tell me, who isn’t using our spouse to satisfy our fleshly cravings we have and is living married but abstaining, “having wives [but] act[ing] as not having them” (1 Corinthians 7:29), and is only using our sexual desire to love God: to avoid a greater sin and grow in holiness or to pro-create so to raise children to love Our Lord?
Is there anyone, in this time of darkness, who is abstaining from having relations with their spouse to avoid sinning? I don’t think so.
“I [Jesus] do not reject the chaste coupling of legitimate marriage, which was set up by divine counsel… But it is to be done for the true desire of children and not for the false pleasure of the flesh… I require… [for you] to restrain yourself when you feel drawn toward sin and burn in it to the point of suffocation [to be willing to suffer greatly so to not offend God]. Behold, I am watching you; what will you do?”
–Jesus to St. Hildegard of Bingen (Book 3, Admonition to the Married)
To avoid such challenges of having a spouse right before you and to not touch or think of them impurely, so to not sin, it is best to become a religious or to not marry as St. Paul said. “Now to the unmarried and to widows I say: it is a good thing for them to remain as they are, as I do” (1 Corinthians 7:8).
But of course, to avoid committing adultery in our thoughts or actions with another–a far greater sin–because of our burning uncontrolled passions that are within us (from our lack of grace), since we “cannot exercise self-control”, it is acceptable to marry and have relations with our spouse (to calm our passion).
But only, until we grow in our faith–and can wean ourselves off of our sins of the flesh or at least lose our attachment to satisfying ourselves through them (gain true contrition for them), which is done through our efforts to hate self-love (by seeking a saving faith), so we can obtain the desire and strength to truly want to abstain from all that loves ourselves and not God, in which we need to obtain a saving faith.
“It is a good thing for a man not to touch a woman, but because of cases of immorality [that is occurring with some of those who abstain from women] every [weak] man should have his own wife, and every [weak] woman her own husband. The husband should fulfill his duty toward his wife, and likewise the wife toward her husband [so neither will become overly weak and fall into grievous sin]” (1 Corinthians 7:1-3).
Please know, to obtain a saving faith we must detach fully from our longing for sexual gratification. Every passion we have in life must leave and our hearts must desire God alone as our source of happiness. Yes, this is hard to do, but do not be deceived.
If we have enough self-control to not fall into chronic immorality with others, it is best to enter into the chase religious life. The temptations are far less and one is able to move more easily and rapidly towards a saving faith, if the faith is lived correctly… not that it can’t other ways… it is just harder.
There are so many marvels–help from God to save our souls–that come with becoming a religious–not a bad religious, who leads souls to their doom of course, but a good religious, who sincerely strives to follow Christ into sanctity, by the way of perfection and the cross, and truly helps to save souls from the fires of Hell. It is amazing!
“The [humble] priest who has labored [correctly] for the salvation of souls can hardly die a bad death… If you have spent your life in assisting a soul in need, and have consoled her in her afflictions, in the darkness of your temporal death, the Lord shall fill you with light [so you may sincerely repent], and shall deliver you from eternal death.”
–St. Alphonsus (Dignity and Duties of the Priest)
Therefore, if you can leave it all to follow Christ by becoming a religious, and it is His will for your life, then by all means do that. If not, if that isn’t God’s will, or if that isn’t the path we have chosen, and the harder path is the path we must take, then not to worry. God has a plan for how we are to obtain the goal no matter where we are. He will do His best to help save us. But we need to do ours, if we want Salvation.
We only live for just a few years and we can’t take anything with us. Let’s live for Eternal Life. God wants you in Heaven.
We Can’t Get This Wrong
There is no time to waste. There are no second chances after we die to do this all over again. God’s help–His mercy–is waiting for us today. Please don’t throw it away. Judgement is final.
We can’t put this off or mistakenly follow someone’s wrong advice or instruction, someone, who sounds like he knows what he is talking about, but unknowingly misunderstands The Word, and lose it all.
For the “gospel is veiled [hard to understand], it is veiled to those who are perishing” (2 Corinthians 4:3), causing endless souls to think they know The Way and wrongly preach it to others, when they don’t.
Truly, we need to humble ourselves and stop doing what we feel is best and follow those we know for sure obtained Eternal Life… God’s saints.