How to conquer Sins of the flesh On Calvary, the enemy made the Jewish soldiers stripe Me naked. This shameful act combined with what I saw during the third fall multiplied My agony. In great agony and sorrow, I offered to My Father the poor sinners who will be lost due to the sins of the flesh using the prayer I taught youâ€Ś Son, see all I suffered for the sake of the poor sinners who will be lostâ€Ś Son, I hope I will not miss You? (14/12/01) We pray that you may join in the crusade against impurity.
Preface The passion of lust came as a consequence of the fall of man, and he got imprisoned by the desires of his senses (cf. Rom. 7:27-23). In the beginning, God created them free from passions (Sirach 15: 14). Hence, the Bible says: “their eyes were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Gen. 3: 7). St. Augustine teaches that this does not mean that they were formally blind, because, Adam was able to give name to all other creatures; rather, it refer to the original state of their hearts (Innocence), which was lost. So, the agony of hell is multiplied when this passion vanishes at the end life and you realize the vanity in the pleasures of the flesh. King Solomon with all his gifts abandoned his body to women, and became a slave of his senses (cf. Sirach 47:19); but when he realized himself, he revealed to us a truth we must hold firmly: “All is toil, vanity and chasing after wind” (Eccl.2). May the reader understand these truths and learn how to mortify and purify the flesh with the lessons of this book so as to attain perfection. Fraternity of Holy Tortures and Tears of Blood
About the Fraternity The Fraternity of Holy Tortures and Tears of Blood dedicates their efforts in consoling the agonising and sorrowful Hearts of Jesus and Mary, by enlightening souls to know the truth and embrace the love of God. If you enjoy this work of ours, make your next choice from any of these ones:
1. Devotion To Mary, a sign of predestination. 2. The Glorious Splendor Of The Souls In Sanctifying Grace. 3. Marylike Modesty Dress Codes (the Authentic Catholic Guidelines On Modest Dressing ) 4. A Guide To Your Third Friday Reparation And Seal Hour Meditation. 5. Holy Mass, The Sacrifice That Perpetuates The Everlasting Covenant. 6. Abortion, Contraception, Euthanasia, thou shall not kill!
Dedication We humbly dedicate this book to St. Maria Goretti, a Martyr of Chastity. And we pray that her feast day of July 6 will not pass unnoticed especially among the youths. May the legacy of chastity she left, and her prayers inspire our youths to embrace the true values of life., Amen
PRAYER AGAINST THE SINS OF THE FLESH Holy and merciful Father, Your only begotten Son is standing naked in the sight of all men, so that Your people will know and fear Your holy law. Accept My humble prayer for all Your people who are living under iniquity, fornication and adultery that, through all the shame and disgrace of Your only begotten Son, You will touch their lives for repentance and save them. May they, through the Precious Blood of Your Son, Jesus Christ, which I plead to fall on their hearts, get repentance and be saved and through His shame make them bold for repentance. Amen. Children, My adversary used this sin to claim all men to himself. I call you to work hard and save your peopleâ€Ś Many people will be lost due to the sins of the flesh. Work hard to save souls. Pray this prayer and teach it to the whole world (28/7/98). Imprimatur: + Ayo Maria Atoyebi (O.P) Bishop of Ilorin Diocese, Nigeria. 17/6/01.
IMPURITY SENDS MOST SOULS TO HELL “They spend their days in pleasure, and in a moment, they go down to hell” (Job 21:13); “Remember, the days of darkness will be so many, follow the prompting and desires of your heart and eye, but remember, God will call you to account for everything” (Eccl. 11:8-9); “Where their worms will never die, nor their fire be put out” (Mk. 9:48)
St. Augustine said: “impurity is a vice which makes war on all, and which few conquer. The fight is common; but the victory is rare”. The book of Proverbs (7:26) says: “she has done so many to death, and the strongest have all been her victims”. Indeed, the strongest (i.e. those who presume that they can stand by their power) have always been victims of the demons of impurity. Our Lady of Fatima said: Many souls go to hell because of the sins of the flesh than for any other reason. Listen to this heart touching appeal: “My agony is great when I see the millions of souls who depart daily and nearly all go to hell because of the sins of the flesh.
My son, I suffer more greatly for the flow of blood of unborn babies that increases everyday. Their blood disturbs Heaven more than the blood of Abel” . All of these reveal to us that a majority of the people that die these days perish in hell because of fornication and its related sins. This is as a result of humanity rejecting to follow the way, which the Saviour of the world has opened for us through His life and sacrificial death on the Cross, that is, the Calvary way. In the book of Matthew (11:12), Jesus said: “Since John the Baptist came, up to this present time, the Kingdom of Heaven has been subjected to violence and the violent are taking it by storm. Truly, violence must be done to the flesh in order to conquer it. To do this follow these steps.
Reflections On The Consequences of The Sins Of The Flesh The increase of immodesty, fornication,adultery and contraception gives birth to high rate of abortion / shading of innocent blood, thereby subjecting the world to Divine justice
RESOLUTION You must make a definite resolution to flee from the sins of the flesh before they dispatch you to hell. A sincere renunciation of both the pleasure and the deceitful benefits derived from fornication must be made. Many youths are in the habit of abusing God’s grace; that is, a situation where someone resolves to live in habitual sin and presume that later at a more convenient time he will reconcile with God, or by making deliberate plans and effort to commit sin with the hope of seeking for pardon afterwards – “Don’t deceive yourself; God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7).By this attitude, they expose their souls to the danger of perdition. True conversion is by God’s grace and does not come from human resolve alone- “for it is God who is at work in you, enabling you both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Therefore, work out your salvation with fear and trembling” (cf. Phil. 2:12-13).If the grace of sorrow for sins, holy fear for 3 God’s law, tender heartedness and the light to realize the malice of sin (cf. Ezk. 36:26-31) cease to come, true conversion cannot be possible. If the interior joy, love and desire for heaven with which God strengthens our hope cease to come, life of purity cannot be possible. Darkness will overshadow the heart, and it will be filled with the strong passion to satisfy the desires of the flesh as the only alternative source of joy. Many holy doctors of the Church left for us clear lessons about the danger of abusing God’s grace: St. Basil, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine and Holy Fathers teach that as God (according to the words of scripture – “ Thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number and weight Wis. 11:21) has fixed for each person the number of days of his life, and the degrees of health and talent which He will give him, so He has also determined for each the number of sins which He will pardon, and when this number is completed, He will pardon no more and abandon the sinner. St. AlphonsusLiguori added: And how does God abandon a sinner? He either sends him a sudden death and cuts him off in sin, or He deprives him of graces which would be necessary to bring him to true repentance: He leaves him with the sufficient graces with which he can live, but will not save his soul. The darkness of his understanding, the hardness of his heart and bad habits, which he has contracted, will render his conversion morally impossible. Thus, he shall not be absolutely, but morally abandoned- “So I gave them over to their stubbornness” (Ps. 81: 12 – 13) “He has mercy on whomever He chooses, and He hardens the heart of whomever He chooses” (Rom. 9: 18). Such may have been the fate of many despairing souls who see purity as an impossibility and abandon their lives to the sin of impurity. Brethren, we must tremble at the thought of abusing God’s mercy. What then do you understand by these texts:“God repudiated Israel and gave them up to the lust of their hearts”(cf. Isa 64:6); “Every branch in Me that bears no fruit, My Father cuts away” (Jn.15:2). “Since you are neither hot nor cold, but only lukewarm, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:16). St. Alphonsus says again, “sinners hear the call of God, but they forget them, and continue to offend Him. But God does not forget them. He numbers the graces, which He dispenses, as well as the sins, which we commit. Hence, when the time, which He has fixed arrives, God deprives us of His graces, and begins to inflict chastisement. The Bible says: “the master waits patiently
for them to attain the full measure of their sins before He punishes them” (II Mac. 6:15); “I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted” (Isa. 5:5) Abuse of Divine graces makes us unworthy of them. In summary, St. Alphonsus de Liguori said: “Miserable the man who abuses the mercy of God to offer new insults to His majesty. He who abuses God’s mercy to offend Him, is undeserving of mercy”. He said, “Mercy is promised, not to those who abuse it, but to those who fear God – and His mercy is from age to age to those that fear Him (Lk. 1:50).Furthermore, the Bible says: “Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to sin. And do not say, His compassion is great, He will forgive me my many sins; for with Him are both mercy and retribution, and His anger does not pass from sinners. Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord’s wrath will blaze out, on the day of punishment you will be utterly destroyed” (Sirach. 5:5-
AVOID THE OCCASIONS OF SIN, LAZINESS AND IDLENESS St. AlphonsusLiguori said: “miserable the man who rises from sin, yet, bound by any dangerous occasion. He will die again by losing the Divine grace. He who wishes to save his soul, must not only abandon sin, but also the occasion of sin: that is, he must renounce such an intimacy, such a house; he must renounce those wicked companions and all similar occasions that incite him to sin. Continuing, he said,“Now, when a dangerous occasion is present, it violently excites our corrupt desires, so that it is then very difficult to resist them; because, God withholds His efficacious help from those who voluntarily expose themselves to the occasion of sin- “A stubborn heart will come to a bad end, and whoever dallies with danger, will perish in it”(Sirach 3:26)Since it is only by the efficacious help that comes from God that we are able to conquer all mortal sins, if you voluntarily expose yourself to the occasion of sin with the presumption that you will control yourself: it means you are testing God and He will justly abandon you in it. Indeed, we must show our sincere repentance to God, and this will move Him to grant us the graces necessary to resist the passion of lust. Think of someone who spends his time watching these modern home videos with some seductive actions; all the lustful desires, which will arouse within him must weigh down the soul with sin. The Church teaches that a deliberate / uncontrolled lust is a mortal sin (cf. Holy Office, May 3, 1927). Those parents who allow such practices in their homes are responsible for the corruption of their children, and they will be answerable to God for their souls. while explaining the book of Genesis (3: 21), St. AlphonsusLiguori said: “all men are inclined to evil. The imagination and thought of men’s heart are prone to evil. But, above all, men are prone to the sin of impurity to which nature itself inclines them. The sin of Adam and Eve corrupted the hearts of all mankind. St. Augustine said that they gained knowledge where ignorant would have been better. The Blessed Virgin Mary gave more insight
on this: ”God created Adam and Eve and He placed them in paradise where they had all they needed. But they had to pass through a period of test, to see if they would obey the Lord. And Eve was seduced when the devil tempted her to eat of the tree they were told not to, precisely, the tree of the science of good and evil. These are graces and gifts, which the Lord had not yet given to them until they passed the test. It was a serious sin of pride and disobedience because she wanted to have what she had not been given, that is the wisdom to recognize good and evil: which the Lord would have given to them if they passed the test so that only the good will be introduced into the soul. But the moment she was seduced to eat of that tree, evil was introduced into her soul and to all humanity.Consequently, they died to grace, died to all those gifts they would have been given. That is why all human beings are born deprived of these graces, and are born subject to passion, subject to ignorance, subject to evil, because at that moment the soul was divided, there arose good and evil in the soul. These two powers are fighting in the soul and only he who has more good than evil in the soul will triumph”. Therefore, you must learn to satisfy the soul more than the flesh by eating spiritual food always in order to outdo the evil that is in the soul. Fight to prevent more evil knowledge from entering your heart by avoiding all occasions of sin. Most important is to avoid keeping a sinful relationship (boy friend or girl friend) which may lead to inter-visits and lonely discussions. The danger in this is that those visits, discussions and telephone conversations promote irresistible lustful passions in the heart, which will keep on re-occuring in your quiet moments. Our behaviour is highly influenced by what is stored up in the heart. If the greater percentage of your thoughts is dominated by lust, you must certainly fall- “Good people draw what is good from the store of goodness in their hearts; bad people draw what is bad from the store of badness in their hearts. For the words of the mouth flow out of what fills the heart” (Lk. 6:45). The more we free our hearts from all sources of lustful thoughts, the more we have chances and power to conquer the sins of the flesh. Furthermore, the love of the world is enemity with God (1Jn. 2:15 ); the more we give up the worldly pleasures, the more the love of God and His graces increase in our souls which help us to look with contempt those things we have given up, and supply’s all we need to survive righteously on this earth- “I shall save you from everything that defiles you, I shall summon the wheat and make it plentiful and impose no more famines on you” (Ezk.36:29, cf.Zec.2:12, Isa.43:2-4). Other sources of lustful thought include: night parties and social gatherings, bad friends, immoral jokes and conversation, immoral films and programmes on television or in video, do not stay with an opposite sex in a dark or hidden place nor visit and entertain each other in your private rooms (especially sinful partners). Avoid reading of immoral books or pictures etc.
SOME LESSONS OF THE SAINTS ON THIS TOPIC St. Bernard said that to preserve chastity and at the same time to expose one’s self to the proximate occasion of sin will be a greater miracle than to raise a dead man to life. St. Philip
Neri said that in the war against the vice of impurity, victory is gained by cowards, that is, by those who flee from the occasions of this sin. But the man who exposes himself to it, arms his flesh, and renders it so powerful that it will be morally impossible for him to resist its attacks. St. Cyprian said that it is impossible to stand in the midst of flames and not to burn. St. Thomas said that when we expose ourselves to danger, God abandons us in it.
PRAYER AND DEVOTIONS God knows all our weakness, which was caused by the original sin, and in the fullness of time He sent His Son to be a remedy for sin. By the merits of the Incarnation, life, suffering and death of the Redeemer, and by the coming of the Holy Ghost, all the graces and gifts we lost in Adam have been restored, but this time not on the pleasure of paradise, but by the rough way of Calvary. That means, you must fight for it. Fight to defeat that untiring desire for pleasure in your flesh with the tools of prayer and penance. Be mindful of the fact that your flesh is an enemy to your soul . St. AlphonsusLiguori said: ”to practise the virtue of chastity, it is necessary to recommend ourselves continually to God; we have no strength to preserve it, that strength must be the gift of God”. The great mountain of lust shall be level before you, but not by might and not by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of Host (Zec. 4:6-7). To make it clearer, see what happened in the book o f Genesis (20). Abraham being a foreigner at Gerar presented his wife (Sarah) to the people as a sisterto (13)himself in order to save his life. The King of GerarAbimelek, then took Sarah to be his wife, until one day God threatened to kill him in a dream, and he pleaded that he was innocent. Then God said: “Yes, I know that you did it with a clear conscience; so I kept you from sinning against Me and did not let you touch her. But now give the woman back to her husband”. Consider how they must have lived in a house for a long time and were preserved from sin by the power of Divine grace. With this we may understand how the Divine grace is capable of transforming those who ask, seek and knock to preserve the virtue of chastity. St. Augustine said: “except the first graces of vocation to the faith and to repentance, all other graces and particularly the grace of perseverance are granted to those only who ask for them”. The Bible says in the book of Romans (1:20-28): Those people have no excuse at all! they know God, but they do not give Him the honour that belongs to Him, nor do they thank Him; … instead of worshiping the immortal God, they worship images made to look like mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles. And so God has given those people over to do the filthy things their hearts desire, and they do shameful things with each other. They exchange the truth about God for a lie; they worship and serve what God has created, instead of the Creator Himself, who is to be praised forever! Amen. Because they do this, God has given them over to shameful passions. Even the women pervert the natural use of their sex by unnatural acts… Because those people refuse to keep in mind the true knowledge about God, He has given them over to corrupted minds”. Now, all the mysteries, prayers and devotions that God has revealed to us through His Church are meant for us to cherish with love and gratitude, and through them we pay Him the daily homage that He deserve. If you abandon God in all these mysteries and focus all your mind and time in the pursuit of worldly goods, pleasures and momentary enjoyments, that amounts to worshiping
creatures instead of the Creator, God will justly abandon you to the passions of the flesh. The more you empty yourself of God’s graces, the more you are influenced by the passion of lust. You must create time for daily devotions. You must learn to honour and adore the mysteries of our Redemption, for they are the sources of grace . The Blessed Virgin Mary re-emphasized at Fatima: “Say your Rosary (all the decades) daily, while meditating and honouring the mysteries; it is a powerful weapon against hell. It will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies (the third of the fifteen promises of the holy Rosary). The mystery of human redemption has some important hours and days, which are observed with special honour. During the hours of 6:00am, 12 noon and 6:00pm we honour the Incarnation with Angelus. At the hour of 3:00pm we honour the death of Our Saviour on the Cross. Jesus said: “At this hour, My mercy overflows, nothing will be refused to those who ask”. And that is with Divine Mercy prayers. These hours can be observed anywhere you are no matter how busy you are. You can say the prayers mentally (interiorly) or in short form just to honour that hour. Divine graces are flowing daily, but only the humble cares to gather them. Be wise so as to make use of the indulgenced prayers that honour the mysteries of our salvation. Furthermore, you must follow the Church in her feasts and seasons. There are feasts that pour down graces for some special needs. For example, when the militant Church on earth celebrates the memorial of a martyr of chastity, the triumphant Church in Heaven also rejoices with that Saint who will have a special privilege on that day to kneel before God and implore His graces for those on earth. For this, you will always attend the Mass regularly. The Council of Trent teaches, in the words of St. Augustine, that though man is not able, with the aid of the grace ordinarily given, to fulfill all the commandments, still he can, by prayer, obtain the additional helps necessary for their observance. Hence, God does not command impossibilities; but by His precepts, He admonishes you to do what you can and ask for what you cannot do; and He assists you, that you may be able to do it. In a more celebrated passage, St. Augustine declares; by our faith, which teaches that God does not command impossibilities, we are admonished what to do in things that are easy, and what to ask in things that are difficult. God expects us to present our weaknesses to Him in prayer, asking for His grace, but sometimes we only present material needs. Imagine where someone who lives in habitual mortal sin neglects to ask for the grace to conquer the sin, instead he keeps on pressing for material things. To such people, the Bible says: “the prayer of a sinner is an abomination unto God (Prov. 28:9). Set your heart first on the kingdom and justice of God and all these things will also be given to you (Mt. 6:33). You ask, you do not receive it, because your motives are bad, you ask things to use for your own pleasure (Jm. 4: 3). You will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it
(cf. Jn.15:7). St. AlphonsusLiguori said that by this He means spiritual favours, but material things He grants them according to His will (1Jn. 5:14). Because sometimes we ask what can be dangerous to our souls, which Jesus Christ bought at the price of His Blood. St. AlphonsusLiguori quoted a holy Doctor who put this question to God: â€œBut why does God, who knows our weakness, permit us to be assailed by enemies, which we are not able to resist? And God answered him that seeing the great advantages, which we derive from the necessity of prayer, He permits us to be attacked by enemies more powerful than we are, that we may ask His assistance. Hence, they who are conquered, cannot excuse themselves by saying that they had not strength to resist the assault of the enemy for had they asked aid from God, He would have given it, and had they prayed, they should have been victorious. Therefore, if they are defeated, God will punish them
THE GREAT CONFESSION There was a case in Switzerland of a woman possessed by many demons. After all effort by doctors, it proved to be a case of possession, the Bishop of the diocese gave official permission for exorcism to be done. During that exorcism which was conducted by six Catholic Priests, God sent the Blessed Virgin Mary to force the demons to confess many things which the modern Christians need to know. One of the demons that were forced to confess was a damned Catholic Priest(human demon) by name VERDI GARANDIEU who lived in 17 th century. He was mandated to confess about his life, how he started to fall and finally got lost. May we listen to him: Exorcist:-Tell the truth, Verdi only the truth in the Name of Jesus Christ, to the honour of God! Verdi: – As far as I was concerned, I used to remember that I was a priest and, at the beginning, I used to exercise my Priesthood responsibly. And then, as time went by, I found that monotonous and, forgetting prayer, I also forgot about celibacy. I cut prayer, first because I believed I was too busy, and then I used to take it up occasionally, and then finally, I abandoned it altogether. Alas; I do not want to speak any more!. Exorcist:–Tell the truth, Verdi, in the Name of Jesus Christ:, to the honour of God! Tell the truth about your life for the priest’s exhortation! Verdi: – I used to think that those long prayers in the breviary were tedious and useless and, in the end, I lost the thirst for prayer. When I cut out the breviary. I fell into the sin of impurity, and from that moment on, I had no more thirst for saying the Mass. This was a chain reaction. When I fell into impurity– I no longer said the Mass devoutly because I was no longer in the state of grace. In this condition, the reading of the Bible and of the Gospel in particular, and also the sight of God’s commandments, became a reproach to me… I resolved not to teach the children, as it should have been my duty to teach them. How could I have been able to teach them about God, if I myself was not practising it? Therefore I must say… I do not want to speak any more! Exorcist:- Tell the truth, only the truth! Verdi:– I have to say this: I must say to thousands and thousands of present day priests that women can become their downfall, and that this would not happen if they were to arm themselves with prayer. If the priests were to take up their breviary and to nourish themselves on the doctrine of the doctors of the Church, who, as a result of prayer, have such great knowledge of men, things would go differently for them; whereas, if they do not do this, they belong among those thousands and thousands of priests who today are living in mortal sin.
Exorcist: – Tell the truth Verdi, to the honour of God, in the name of…! Verdi:-Thousands of priests are living outside the state of grace, and they no longer say their breviary just as I myself used to act. If only, at the very last, I had called on my Guardian Angel to help me; but no, I rejected every means… N/B: The breviary is a liturgical book containing prayers which all the priests and religious are obliged to say daily. In the same way, as baptized Christians, aspiring for heaven, there are some prayers and devotions, which you are obliged to say daily. You must honour the mysteries of your salvation. 22
MORTIFICATION / PENANCE Mortification is the key to holiness. Let us pick some lessons from this poem on mortification: “Children of Zion, what are all these evil that fill your poor hearts? What are all these evil thoughts of yours all the time? Have you forgotten that your soul is the living tabernacle of the Most Holy God? The tabernacle of God must be holy. You are called to mortify your thoughts. Since the fall of man, the world has been filled with all the forces of hell. Only through mortification can one attain perfection. “My little friends, whenever the evil desire fills your hearts, chase it away, do not waste time. Do not allow it to have room in your heart. I say do not take pleasure in its bitter odour of hell. To guide you, my little friends, keep away from evil gathering. Learn to do this in the field of sight and in the field of hearing. Now, follow me to the field of sight, little children of Zion, you can see that the world is full of evil. You must learn to mortify your sight. Never, I say never look at evil twice. Put your eyes off the moment you see it. I say, resist the motive that moves you to look again… My little friends, put off your eyes from these worldly shows. Learn to look at holy things. As we are going into the field of hearing learn this: to please the spirit more than the flesh. Learn to abstain from those things you love much. Learn to take those things you hate, but are pleasing to heaven. Take more bitter things than sweet things. I say learn to eat what your appetite rejects at times than sweet things and refuse many at times what your appetite likes. In the end, learn to fast… “Now in the field of hearing, little children of Zion, never yearn to hear evil words, false accusation, evil music and empty praise of the world. To help you gather this rose, never miss the gathering of the children of God, itching to hear the message of life and speak of heaven always, so that you will hear of heaven always” (St. Bridget). There are five senses that lead us to sin: the senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste. Violence must be done to these senses. Jesus said in the Bible (Mt. 15:19): “from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts. These are the things that defile a man”. If you allow the senses to keep on transmitting every kind of evil knowledge into your heart, certainly, it will influence your behaviour – Gaze not upon a maiden; lest her beauty be a stumbling block to thee (Sirach 9:5). That is why television programmes must be strictly monitored. St. Aloysius was most outstanding in this virtue; he refrained from looking at the face of a woman directly, even his own mother. The teaching of the Catholic Church states in canon 1250, 1251 and C.C.C. article number 1438 that every Friday of the year, lent and other appointed days are the days of penance. We are expected to fast, abstain from meat and delicious food/meat products and give up some pleasures or luxurious life. Our Blessed Mother defined it very clearly at Medjugorje. She said: “fast on bread and water every Wednesday and Friday”. The Bible says: “Do not be carried away by
eating, drinking and cares of life, watch and pray (Lk. 21: 34); I punish my body and bring it under control, lest after preaching to others, I myself should be rejected – St. Paul (I Cor. 9:27). 25 By the pains of penance, says the venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich, must the evil love of self indulgence be rooted out of the flesh. The benefits of mortification are: first, it restrains the unnecessary desires of the flesh and allows the virtue of self-control to arise. Secondly, it removes the punishments that are due for our sins and we thereby have a better chance of obtaining God’s favour. Finally, it obtains for the soul multiple graces that are necessary to resist temptations. But many do not understand the need to acquire the Saving Grace of God, and cannot differentiate it from ordinary gifts and blessings of life. Fr. M.J. Scheeben wrote in his book, The Glories of Divine Grace: “it is still more wonderful that grace not only orders the flesh back into it’s natural position of subjection to the spirit, but it gives the spirit power to hate flesh, that is, to deny it many things which it could licitly desire, and to impose on it things that are not to its liking-yes, even to have it consumed as a holocaust for the honour of God”. But we must know that such graces cannot be obtained by those who are not willing to change, neither can it be obtained in an atmosphere of luxury, comfort and pleasure. That is why the modern world is sinking into sin. Because, we are sent to conquer the world, the flesh and the devil. But the irony is that we are swimming in the pleasures of the world, pampering our flesh, how then can we stand up to the devil? (1Pt.5:9) This has led many couples and communicants to resort to artificial family planning which is a mortal sin (cf. Gen. 38: 1-10).
The Gravity of the Sin of Impurity and the Consequential Abortion Whosoever shall shed man’s blood, his blood shall be shed:for man was made to the image of God. (Gen. 9:6)
AVOID IMMODEST DRESSING/SCANDALS St. AlphonsusLiguori asked; “But how can God have mercy on him who has no pity on the souls of his neighbours? Judgment without mercy to him that hath not done mercy” (Jm. 2:13).Our God is a just judge. He cannot preserve you in chastity with His graces, while you are leading many souls to perdition through your fashion and Reflections (2) Way of life. Remember, some among these souls you are destroying are the apples of God ’s eyes (Zec. 2: 8.). A Redemptorist Moral Theologian, Fr. HenlySatler said: “If one actually desires to stir up lust in another, his intention is evil and he commits a mortal sin, even if he does not succeed in that purpose”. Certainly, the fifth commandment that says, thou shall not kill, also forbids the killing of the soul by scandal. Moreover, the body you are degrading is the temple of the Holy Ghost (1 Cor. 6:19) St. John Chrysostom said that scandal is so abominable in the eyes of God, that though He overlooks very grievous sin, He cannot allow the sin of scandal to pass without condign punishment. It is clear to everyone that scandal is the only sin on which Christ pronounced a special punishment- “But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in Me would be better drowned in the depth of the sea with great millstone round his neck (Mt. 18:6). This means that even in hell your position or suffering will be worse. Murderers and assassins will certainly be judged less severe than a woman who dresses immodestly; because, they (murderers) have power to destroy only the flesh – “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; Fear him rather who can destroy both the body and the soul in hell” (Matt. 10:28 Jesus actually wants us to be more dreadful of those who can be harmful to our souls. Indeed, a woman who dresses immodestly has power to kill and cast into hell –“If a man looks at a woman lustfully, he has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matt. 5:28). “But woe to the person by whom the stumbling block comes!… If your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out” (Matt. 18:7-9) Brethren, run away from any fashion that exposes the shape or parts of the body, or fashioned in a way that it draws attention to any part of the body (eg. short skirt, sleeveless cloths, transparent cloths, tight dresses, women in trouser etc. Please, study the catholic standard on modesty approved by Pope Pius XI). On January 12, 1930, Pope Pius XI issued an instruction to the bishops of the world through which he inaugurated a crusade against indecent fashions. In his words , he said: “we recall that a dress cannot be called modest which is cut deeper than two finger’s breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and does not reach a bit (six inches) beyond the knees. Furthermore, dresses of transparent materials are improper”.
How can you offer yourself as an instrument of the woman of the Great Babylon (Rev. 17:5) to promote lust and wage war against purity, and at the same time you expect God to preserve you from its consequences. The Bible says that we must reap what we sow. Those who sow in the field of self-indulgence shall harvest from it corruption (cf. Gal 6:7-8). How can you deserve mercy from God, while many souls are weeping perpetually in hell and purgatory as a result of your scandalous life? “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy” ( Matt. 5:7). A seductive appearance of a woman excites lust in the hearts of men, and due to human weaknesses some of them end up committing mortal sins from it – “for many have perished by the beauty of a woman, and thereby lust is enkindled as a fire” The Historic Exorcism that produced the wonderful confession on page 20 (Sirach 9:8). Therefore, the Bible warns: whoever seduces the honest to evil ways will fall into his own pit” (Pro. 28:10); The Son of man will send out His Angels to gather up out of His kingdom, all those who cause people to sin and all others who do evil things and they will throw them into the fiery furnace, where they will cry and grind their teeth (Matt. 13:41). Some young ladies fear that if they refrain from immodest dressing, they may not look charming and attractive to easily get husbands. But the Bible reveals that such mis-haps, even if it happens, is also a way of discerning your real husband according to God’s plan. It happened to Sarah seven times, and when the appointed time came, Archangel Raphael reveals the secret behind it: “Be not afraid to give her to this man, for to him who feareth God is thy daughter due to be his wife; therefore, another could not have her” (Tobit 7:12). He also said that the devil has power to prevail over those marriages that are contracted in lust,
The Historic Exorcism that produced the wonderful confession on page 20
Virgin of virgins - After Her shall virgins be brought to the King (Ps 44:14); Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all (Pro. 31:29); Virgins without number, one is my dove, my perfect one is but one (songs 6:8)
St. Lucy - A Virgin Martyr, consecrated her virginity to the Lord and was put to the sword in defence of her chastity. Her feast day is December, 13th
St. Agnes - Dedicated herself body and soul to Jesus Christ and refused the hand of a Governor's son in marriage which led to her martyrdom at the age of 13. Her feast day is January, 21st.
without seeking for God’s consent according to his laws (Tobit 6:16-17, Douay Rheims only). The Prophet Jeremiah says: “Cursed be the man that trusted in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord” (Jer. 17:5). Notes: The Holy Roman Catholic Church expresses her abhorance of these worldly fashions very profoundly in her cry of reparation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, in these words: ”we arenow resolved to expiate each and every deplorable outrage committed against Thee; we are determined to make amends for the manifold offenses against Christian modesty in unbecoming dress and behaviour, for all the foul seductions laid to ensnare the feet of the innocent, for the frequent violation of Sundays and holidays, and the shocking blasphemies uttered against Thee and Thy Saints”. (Excerpt from the new Marian Daily Missal,1962 edition, P. 1399) * Pope Pius XII, said: “We have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbour to our bodily comforts. If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up. Oh Christian mothers, if you knew what a future of anxiety or peril, of ill- guarded shame you prepare for your sons and daughters, by imprudently giving them custom to live scantily dressed and making them lose their sense of modesty, you would be ashamed of yourself and you would dread the harm you are causing to yourselves and the harm you are causing these children whom Heaven has entrusted to you to be brought up as Christians. No matter how broad and changeable styles may be, there is always an absolute norm to be kept. Style must never be a proximate occasion of sin. Immodesty in fashion depends upon the cut of the garment. The garment must not be evaluated according to the estimation of a decadent or already corrupt society”. Decadent or already corrupt society”. How many young girls there are, who do not see any wrongdoing in following certian shame-less styles like so many sheep? They certainly would blush if they could guess the impression they make and the feeling they evoke in those who see them. Do they not see the harm resulting from excess in certain gymnastic exercises and sports not suitable for virtuous girls? What sins are committed or provoked by conversations which are too free, by immodest shows, by dangerous reading. How lax have consciences become, how pagan morals!(July 17th 1954). *Our Lady of Fatima said: “Certain fashions will be introduced, which will offend Our Divine Lord very much. Those who follow God ought not to follow these fashions. The Church has no fashions, Our Lord is always the same” (1917) *The Bible warned Christian women to adorn themselves with the interior beauty of the soul, consisting in purity and gentleness in life; and avoid exterior adornment of extravagant fashions and make ups (cf. 1 Pet. 3:2-4, 1Tim. 2:9-10). It says:”A woman must not dress like a man, nor a man like a woman; anyone who does this is detestable to God” (Deut. 22:5). * The sin of scandal includes: immodest speaking, parents who neglect their moral obligations to their children, keeping of immodest pictures and calendars for people to watch, showing immoral programmes and films on television, leaders or older ones who corrupt the little ones by their behaviour.
AVOID RELAPSE INTO SIN Many people relapse into fornication because they have hope for confession. This attitude is very dangerous to the soul, because you cannot recover instantly all the graces you have lost (see the story of Samson, Jugd. 16); some of these graces may be recovered after a long period of prayer, acts of true repentance and amendment of life. Moreover, it is an abuse of the Sacrament of Penance. St. Paul says; “we do exhort you that you receive not the grace of God in vain” (II Cor. 6:1). St. Augustine said: He who offends God
Do Not Wait till the Time of Mercy is Over.For the Lord Says They have murdered innocent people, and the blood they have spilt cries out to Me for vengeance; the souls of the righteous are constantly pleading for vengeance. Let there be no doubt, “says the Lord, I will hear the plea of the innocent people who have been murdered and I will take vengeance for what have been done to them. (II Esdras 15:7-9)
with the hope of pardon is a scoffer, not a penitent. Listen to this appeal: “Son, did I give you the Sacrament of Penance for you to become a swine of iniquity? This is the Sacrament of My love. It opens up the ocean of Divine Mercy, the Precious Blood and water, which gushed out to save and cleanse your iniquity, so that you will go and sin no more”. The doctrine of the Church states in canon 987, C.C.C. article Nos. 1430 & 1431 that there must be repentance before confession. A theologian of the early Church Tertullian teaches that where there is no amendment, repentance is not sincere. Secondly, relapse into sin renders the soul very weak to resist temptations. St Paul says; this is a sin that destroys the body (I Cor 6:18-20), that means; destroys the body defence system. The more you come closer to the sin of impurity, the more its pleasure permeate into the whole psychology of the body and becomes more difficult to conquer. St. AlphonsusLiguori said, while explaining the story of Samson, that after relapsing into sin, a Christian loses the strength necessary to resist temptations, because the Lord departs from him. He abandons him by withholding the efficacious aid necessary to overcome temptations. And the miserable man remains blind and abandoned in his sin.
He further said that, every sin though pardoned always leaves a wound on the soul. When to this wound a new one is added, the soul becomes so weak that without a special and extraordinary grace from God, it is impossible for her to conquer temptations. St. Bernard said that if a man recovers from a mortal disease, and afterwards falls back into it, he should have lost so much of his natural strength, that his recovery from the relapse would.be impossible. St. Anselm adds that the devil acquires a certain dominion over them, so that he makes them fall and fall again as he wishes. Hence, the miserable being becomes like birds with which a child amuses himself. He allows them, from time to time, to fly to a certain height, and then draws them back when he pleases.
But some People Ask At What Point Does life Start Ponder this:
Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; before you came to birth I Consecrated you and made you a Prophet unto the nations. (Jer. 1:5) Indeed, only God creates souls and send into every womb before conception can take place.
FREQUENT THE SACRAMENTS WITH REVERENCE We must always remember these words of Jesus: “Cut off from Me you can do nothing” (Jn.15: 5). “Except you eat the Flesh of the Son of man, and drink His Blood, you shall not have life in you” (Jn. 6: 54). To preserve purity, the Sacraments are necessary. Baptism and Penance as
sacraments, liberate you from the dominion of demons; Holy Mass and the Eucharist are the fountains (1sa. 12:3), which pour forth abundant graces for the life of the world. To neglect them is an act of ingratitude to God. On the other hand, the Sacraments when they are received with wrong disposition, bring instant death to grace and to the soul – Thou shall not give to dogs what is holy (Mt. 15: 26). Holy Communion must be received worthily and reverently. Both interior and exterior dispositions must reflect purity (avoid evil fashion and make-ups). Unworthy reception of Holy Communion gives demons power to posses a soul instantly (cf. Jn. 13: 27). Please, examine your conscience very well. And learn how to participate reverently and prayerfully at Mass.
THINK OF HEAVEN ALWAYS Now, keep your joy in the reward of Heaven and the glory of beholding the Saints. Aspire to receive the highest reward in Heaven; it will help you to hold contempt for the world. Study the lives of the Saints and martyrs of chastity like St. Maria Goretti, St Lucy, St. Agnes, St. Agatha, St. Cecilia, St. Susana etc. and ponder over the immense torture they endured before they shed their blood so as to keep their body pure for Christ. Desire to be with them one day
If you think that the Temporary Benefits you Derived by promoting Abortion and Impurity is of any Good to you. ponder this: Woe to him that builds a town with bloodshed, and prepares a city by iniquity. Is it not thanks to the Lord of Host that the people’s toil is fuel for the fire, and the nations abour came to nothing? (Hab. 2:12-13).
. Dispose yourself so as to grow daily in the knowledge of God. The Holy Ghost said in the book of Song of Songs (6:8): “Sixty queens, and
eighty concubines, virgins beyondnumber. In the book of Psalm (44:15) He said, after Her (i.e Virgin Mary) shall virgins be brought to the king. In the book of Revelation (14: 4), the Angel said: “These are they who were not defiled with women: for they are virgins.These follow the Lamb wherever He goes”. All these passages reveal to us that there are souls whom God anointed to be virgins for His own glory. In fact, the Book of Revelation said: “These were purchased from among men, the first fruits to God and to the Lamb”. Truly, it is among the
Most precious gift that a soul can receive from God. But in this age, how many souls have received that gift and carelessly lost or trampled upon it, because, the parents and older ones did not create a good environment for that rose to grow- “You are the salt for the earth. But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people’s feet” (Mt. 5: 13). Oh! how many souls are wandering today in confusion because they lost the glory that God desired to receive from them?
N/B: It will also be noted that there are another class of Virgins. That is those who repent with tears and spend the rest of their lives in Penance like Mary Magdalene.
Reconsider your ways! Ponder this: The road that lead to destruction is wide and spacious, and many take it: but it is a narrow gate and a hard road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matt. 7:14).
THE DANGER OF THE ABUSE OF GOD’S GRACE “Because sentence is not speedily pronounced against the evil, the children of men commit evils without any fear” (Eccles. 8:11); Today, if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 3:8)
St. Alphonsus de Liguori said: “it is certain, that of ourselves we have not sufficient strength to resist the temptations of the devil, of the flesh and of the world. It is God that prevents our enemies from assailing us with temptations by which we would be conquered. Hence Jesus Christ has taught us the following prayer: And lead us not into temptation. He teaches us to pray that God may deliver us from the temptations to which we would yield, and thus lose His grace. I say necessary, because the council of Trent anathematizes those who assert that we can persevere in grace without a special help from God… Thus with the ordinary assistance of God, we cannot avoid falling into some mortal sins; a special aid is necessary. But this special aid God will justly withhold from tepid souls who are regardless of committing, with full deliberation, many venial sins. Thus these unhappy souls shall not persevere in grace. They who are ungenerous to God, well deserve that God should not be liberal to them: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully” (IICor. 9:6).
Our God is a merciful and a gracious God, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, yet letting nothing go unchecked (cf. Exo. 34:6-7); “Do not be drawn to sin twice over, for you will not go unpunished even once” (Sirach 7:8). Abuse of God’s grace is to live in habitual sin with the knowledge of its malice and consequences and presume that at a more convenient time you will reconcile and give your life to God; or, the act of making deliberate effort and plans to commit a mortal sin while hoping to confess and seek for pardon afterwards-“ Do not be so sure of forgiveness that you add sin to
sin. And do not say, His compassion is great, He will forgive me my many sins; for with Him are both mercy and retribution, and His anger does not pass from sinners. Do not delay your return to the Lord, do not put it off day after day; for suddenly the Lord’s wrath will blaze out, on the day of punishment you will be utterly destroyed” (Sirach 5:5-7). St. Augustine said that he who offends God with the hope of pardon; is a scoffer, not a penitent – “God is not mocked” (Gal. 6:7). Indeed, God pardons sins; but He cannot pardon the determination to commit sin-He has sent Me to heal the broken hearted (Isa. 61:1); He that shall confess his sins and forsake them, shall obtain mercy (Prov. 28:13).The teaching of many of the doctors is that God pardons sins, but He does not pardon forever. For if He pardons forever, no one would have been in hell. The Ecclesiastical history has story of some souls like the good thief, who after living a bad life, received the grace of true contrition at the point of death and thus be saved; but, can God give such grace to everyone? Certainly no!
THE DIVINE ABANDONMENT St. Alphonsus de Liguori again said: “sinners hear the calls of God, but they forget them and continue to offend Him. But God does not forget them. He numbers the graces which He dispenses, as well as the sins which we commit. Hence, when the time which He has fixed graces and begins to inflict chastisement – “The Lord waits patiently for them to attain the full measure of their sins before He punishes them” (II Mac. 6:14). While quoting other doctors like St. Basil, St. Jerome, St. John Chrysostom, St. Augustine etc. He said: “God (according to the words of scripture, “Thou hast ordered all things in measure and number and weight”, Wis 11:21) has fixed for each person the number of the days of his life and the degrees of health and talent which He will give Him, so He has also determined for each the number of sins which He will pardon; and when this number is completed, He will pardon no more”. He will call against you the very time for justice, says St. Gregory – “He had called against me the time” (Lam. 1:15).
This is a matter of serious concern, for which the Lord gave us a lot of lessons in the Holy Bible. St. Paul says; you should work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you enabling you both to will and to work for His good pleasure (i.e. grace at work, Phil. 2:12). Already, Jesus Christ has warned that we cannot bear fruit unless we abide in His grace (cf. Jn. 15:4). Jesus Christ cursed a fig tree – “may no one ever eat fruit from you again” (Mk. 11:14). Theologians tell us that fig trees when their leaves are well grown is a sign that they have fruits. But this particular fig tree has leaves well grown without fruit; this can be seen as a confirmation of our Lord’s warning: “Every branch in Me that bears no fruit, My Father cuts away” (Jn. 15:2). The Lord wants us to be either hot or cold otherwise: “I will spit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:16); “Bear fruit worthy of repentance… even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire” (Matt. 3:8-10). When Jesus Christ on His last occasion came in sight of Jerusalem and her temple, He shed tears over it; behold, a symbol of the souls that have been
abandoned by God. He said: “if you too had onlyrecognized on this day, the way to peace! But in fact; it is hidden from your eyes” (Lk. 19:41). And what awaits thee? Divine Justice! Why? Because you did not recognize the moment of your visitation (Lk. 19:44).
The Lord stands at the door of your heart knocking (cf. Rev. 3:20). But, does He knock forever? Blessed indeed are those who are able to recognize the time, and seek the Lord while He may be found, or call upon Him while He is near (Isa. 55:6). St. Alphonsus de Liguori said: “God waits with patience until a certain number of sins is committed; but, when the measure of guilt is filled up, He waits no longer, but chastises the sinner” – “If one does not repent, God will whet His sword” (Ps. 7:12). Furthermore he said, do you not know that the Lord waits for you; and treats you with so much benignity, not that you may continue to sin, but that you may weep over the offences you have offered to Him? For if you persevere in sin and do not repent, your obstinacy and impenitence shall accumulate a treasure of wrath against the day of wrath – “Do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart, you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath” (Rom. 2:4-5). While commenting on the parable of the barren fig tree (Lk. 13:6-9), St. Augustine said: “O unfruitful tree”; the axe has been deferred, not remitted. Be not secure; you shall be cut down. Vengeance shall soon fall upon you. Be not secure; you shall be cut down. Vengeance shall soon fall upon you.He who abuses to excess the divine mercy, says St. Alphonsus de Liguori, is on the point of being abandoned by the mercy of God. On this issue, it is important to note that only God knows when it happens, and the measure He has for each person; the measure is not the same for all. But He has given us enough lessons to know that it happens. King Saul was abandoned despite all his tears, after his disobedience – “Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you” (ISam 15:23). Esau abused the Divine grace (Gen. 25:29-34) hoping that it is in his power to recover it, but when the time came, despite all his tears, he found no way of reversing the decision (Heb. 12:16-17). To show us the gravity of this sin of Esau and all those who will follow his footsteps, God said: I have loved Jacob, but I have hated Esau (Rom. 9:13). Esau and Jacob are figures of two sets of people (cf. Gen. 25:23). The Lord says: “for the three crimes of Damascus, and for four, I will not convert it” (Amos 1:3). Meanwhile, He restrained His vengeance on the Amorites until the number of their sins is completed: “For the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet complete” (Gen. 15:16). Is there injustice on God’s part? No! “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Rom. 9:14). We shall always praise His judgments: “O thedepth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways” (Rom. 11:33).
HOW DOES GOD ABANDON TEPID SOULS? A lesson from St. Alphonsus de Liguori: “To the hardness of the sinner shall succeed his abandonment by God, who will say of the soul that is obstinate in sin, what He said of Babylon; We would have cured Babylon, but she is not healed; let us forsake her… Because her judgment had reached even to the heaven (Jer. 51:9). And how does God abandon the sinner? He either sends him a sudden death, and cuts him off in sin or He deprives him of the graces which would be necessary to bring him to true repentance. He leaves him with the sufficient grace with which he can live, but will not save his soul. The darkness of his understanding, the hardness of his heart, and the bad habits which he has contracted, will render his conversion morally impossible. Thus, he shall not be absolutely, but morally abandoned – I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be wasted (Isa. 5:5). When the master of a vineyard destroys its hedges, does he not show that he abandons it? It is thus that God acts when He abandons a soul. He takes away the hedge of holy fear and remorse of conscience, and leaves the soul in darkness; and then vices crowd into the heart – Thou has appointed darkness and it is night; in it shall all the beast of the wood go about (Ps. 104:20). And the sinner, abandoned in an abyss of sins, will despise admonitions, excommunications, divine grace, chastisement, and Hell, he will make a jest of his own damnation – The wicked man, when he comes into the depth of sin, contementh” (Prov. 18:3).The Bible says: God shows mercy on whomever He chooses, and He hardens the heart of whomever He chooses (Rom. 9:18). Commenting on this, the Saint said that God shows mercy for a certain time, and then He hardens the heart of the sinner. And how does God harden the hearts of sinners? St. Augustine explained: The Lord does not directly harden the heart of habitual sinners; but in punishment of their ingratitude for His benefits, He withdraws from them His graces, and thus their hearts are hardened and become like a stone. God does not harden the heart by imparting malice, but by withholding mercy. God does not render sinners obdurate by infusing the malice of obstinacy, but by not giving them the efficacious graces by which they would be converted. St. Bernard teaches that hardness or obstinacy of heart does not take place suddenly; but by degrees, the soul becomes insensible to the divine threats; and more obstinate by Divine chastisements. The Divine Master says: “Take the talent from the lazy and wicked servant and give it to the one with ten talents. For to all those who have (i.e Love of God), more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away” (Matt. 25: 28-29). To bring more light to this truth, let us listen once again to St. Alphonsus de Liguori: “God has indeed promised to pardon all who repent of their sins; but He has not promised to anyone, the grace to repent of the faults which he has committed. Sorrow for
sin is a pure gift of God; if He withholds it, how will you repent? And without repentance, how can you obtain pardon?…To make a good confession a true sorrow for sin is necessary, and this sorrow is the gift of God; if He does not give it, will you not be lost forever”? In another place, the Saint said: The Mercy of God is different from the acts of His Mercy; the former is infinite, the latter is finite. God is merciful but He is also just.Contrition is one of the conditions necessary for a valid confession. The council of Trent defines contrition as grief and detestation of the soul for the sins committed, with the intention not to sin in future. And one of the properties of contrition as the dogma teaches is that it must be supernatural (i.e. from God), that means, when it occurs under the influence of actual grace and proceeds from a morally good motive directed towards reconciliation with God. It says: A mere natural sorrow has no salutary value. Indeed, contrition for sins which leads to true repentance is a pure gift of God – “A new heart I will give you and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”…”Then you shall remember your evil ways and your dealings that were not good; and you shall loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominable deeds” (Ezk. 36:26-31). “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and loyal spirit within me… A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” (Ps. 51:10,17). St. Alphonsus de Liguori said: “many repent, but are not converted. They feel a certain sorrow for the irregularities of their lives, but do not sincerely return to God”. Such people repent like Judas, who repented without true contrition, but out of natural motive, and ended up committing suicide – “When Judas his betrayer, saw that Jesus was condemned, he repented and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests….He said, I have sinned by betraying innocent blood…He departed and he went and hanged himself” (Matt. 27:3-6). Those who repent in this manner may end up not being inspired on the right thing to do, or lacking the necessary aid to liberate themselves and do the right thing.An abandoned soul must continue to sink in degrees into darkness – “God gave them a sluggish spirit, eyes that would not see, and ears that would not hear” (Rom. 11:8). St. Alphonsus again said: “The light of the sun cannot enter a vessel filled with clay; and a heart full of vices cannot admit the light of God. He said, the saints continually seek light from God; for they know that, should He withdraw His light, they may become the greatest of sinners”. After his encounter with Samuel and the Divine abandonment (1Sam. 28:17-18), Saul continued to sink into darkness and vices until he resorted to witches which he earlier fought to banish in Israel (cf. ISam. 28: 8- 15). St. Paul says; “those souls that have been enlightened and have tasted the heavenly gifts… and yet have fallen away, it is morally impossible to bring them again to repentance. For they are crucifying again the Son of God and are holding Him up to contempt” (cf. Heb. 6:4-6). St. Peter says that it is better for them not to have known the way of justice, than, after they had known it, to turn back (IIPeter 2:21). The Divine Redeemer says; no one who puts hand to the plough and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God (Lk. 9:62). The admonition of the Lord to lukewarm souls is; “sin no more, or something worse may happen to thee” (Jn. 5:14); “And the last state becomes worse than the first” (Lk. 11:26).
IMPENITENCE IS A SIN AGAINST THE HOLY GHOST, IT HINDERS GRACE AND KILL SPIRITUAL GROWTH
Impenitence is one of the six classes of arrogance that offends the Holy Ghost- “Truly I tell you, people will be forgiven for their sins and whatever blasphemies they utter; but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Ghost can never have forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mk. 3: 28-29). The Holy Ghost was promised to teach us everything and remind us all that we have been taught (Jn. 14: 26). “The Holy Ghost will convince the world of sin and of justice, and of judgment” (Jn. 16:8). In many diverse ways do the Holy Ghost accomplish this in our souls, and bring light to the darkness of our understanding. But when we are convinced about the truths of God and the malice of sin, and we harden our hearts in a particular sin, despising the call for true repentance and amendment of life, thus our stubbornness and pride hinder the work of the Holy Ghost for our conversion and spiritual growth. St. Alphonsus de Liguori said; “the more sins are multiplied by a bad habit, the greater the blindness they cause – their own malice makes them blind ” (Wis. 2:21).
Whoever wants to save his soul and to grow spiritually must resolve to amend his/her life or at least sincerely ask for the grace to change whenever you are convinced of sin or habit of sin; because pride or attachment to sin hinders Divine grace and light from penetrating our souls – “He has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts… He has filled the hungry with good things, and sent the rich away empty” (Lk. 1:51-53); “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (Jm. 4:6). The rich man who came to Jesus was very Pious in keeping all the commandments from his youth, but Jesus instructed him to detach himself from the world and posses virtues; he went home sad, and Jesus said: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich (i.e. attachment to the world-sin)to enter the kingdom of God” (Mk. 10:17-27).
SOME VISIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF DIVINE ABANDONMENT
There are two major resultant effects that are usually seen in this situation: (I) DENIAL OF CHRIST: Jesus Christ is the way, the Truth and the Life (Jn. 14:6); to fall away from any part of the teachings He deposited in His Church is to reject Him (cf. Jn. 12:48, Lk. 10:16). The mandate of His Church on earth is this: “Go therefore make disciples of all nations; and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you” (Matt. 28:19-20); “Standing firm and holding fast to the traditions that were received either by words of mouth or by letter” (II Thess 2:15). St. Paul warns that the gospel will save us if only we believe and hold on to the truth, if not, all our efforts is in vain (cf. I Cor. 15:2) – “Anyone who preaches to you a gospel other than the one you were first given is to be under God’s curse” (Gal. 1:9). St. John says: “Everyone who does not abide in the teaching of Christ, but goes beyond it, does not have God; whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son” (IIJn. vs 9). Pope Leo XIII quoted St. James in saying that whoever falls in one point is guilty of all (cf. Jm. 2:10). Imagine the countless souls who willfully separate themselves from the seven Sacraments, and have refused to adore the Lamb of God in the perpetual Sacrifice (Holy Mass) that renews the Everlasting Covenant (I Cor. 11:26). What can be responsible for such unfortunate loss? The Bible gives us the answer: “The coming of the wicked one will be marked by Satan being at work in all kinds of miracles, signs and wonders and every wicked deception aimed at those who are on the way to destruction, because they would not accept the love of the truth and so be saved. And therefore, God sends on them a power that deludes people so that they believe what is false, and so that those who do not believe the truth and take their pleasure in sin may all be condemned”
(II Thess. 2:9-12). The Bible is very emphatic here, God gave them the grace of true faith, but they did not cherish it by doing what it obliges them. Rather they took their pleasure in sin, when the appointed time came; God withholds His light and allow the power of deception to act upon them. Thus, they
joyfully accept and labour to promote what is false, and that is why Jesus Christ says that whosoever does not gather with Him in the true fold is scattering (cf. Lk. 11:23). And that great signs and wonders capable of deceiving, if possible, the elect will come (Matt. 24:24). The theologians said that demons of heresy are the wisest and most powerful demons; as a result of this, they always fill their victims with brilliant carnal arguments (IICor. 10:4). Jesus Christ is the Orient from on high, to enlighten those that sit in darkness and shadow of death and direct our feet into the way of peace (Lk.1:79). If this light ceases to shine on a soul, all hope is lost; as St. Alphonsus said: To them, the Lord hides Himself (cf. Jn. 8:59). (ii) FINAL OBSTINACY: There are confirmed stories of souls that refused the Sacrament of Penance at the point of death. What can be the cause? The prophet Isaiah says: “You have hidden Your face from us, and have delivered us into the hands of our iniquity” (Isa. 64:7); “Let us have pity on the wicked, but he will not learn justice; in the land of the saints he hath done wicked things, and he shall not see the glory of the Lord” (Isa. 26:12). Thus, to such souls, the Lord may still grant them some earthly consolations, but not the grace to live justly and to die in peace. Also on the same passage, St. Bernard said; this mercy I do not wish for, it is above all wrath. And what greater chastisement than to be abandoned into the hands of sin; so that, being permitted by God to fall from sin to sin, the sinner must in the end go to suffer as many hells as he has committed sins?
The psalmist says: “Add Thou iniquity upon their iniquity; and let them not come into Thy justice. Let them be blotted out of the book of the living; and with the just let them not be written” (Ps. 68 or 69 vs 28 – 29). On these words, Robert Bellarmine wrote: “There is no punishment greater than when sin is the punishment of sin”. Sometimes, God appears not to be enraged against such sinners, and allows them to have their heart desires-”But My people would not listen to Me, Israel would not obey Me. So I let them go their stubborn ways and do whatever they wanted” (Ps 80 or 81 vs11-12).In some cases, the person may be in the Church performing some good works, but hardened his heart in a particular sin, despising all corrections and admonitions until death. In some cases, the circumstances surrounding the person will make a life of holiness appear to be impossible, which imply that the “night” has come; the night of which Jesus Christ says that no one can do the work of God (cf. Jn 9:4). On these unfortunate souls, the words of the scripture is made manifest: “He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, so that they might not look with their eyes, and understand with their hearts and turn and I would heal them” (Jn. 12:40).
THE PRECIOUSNESS OF DIVINE GRACE If we know the value of Divine Grace and how greatly good it is to be in the grace of God; certainly, we cannot exchange it for a little pleasure on earth, “if thou will separate the precious from the vile, thou shalt be as My mouth” (Jer. 15:19).
St. Alphonsus de Liguori said: “whosoever, then, is in the state of grace is the friend of God. And He also becomes the son of God – “You are gods, and the sons of the Most High” (Ps. 81 or 82 Vs. 5). The saint continued; so great things Jesus Christ has merited for us by His passion; He has communicated to us the same splendor that He received from the Father – “And the glory which Thou has given to Me, I have given to them (Jn. 17:22). In fine, a soul in the state of grace is one thing with God – “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit” (I Cor. 6:17). Fr. M. J. Scheebem wrote: “Even if the intrinsic value of grace were not so great in itself. Yet that which was actually paid for it ought to give it an infinite value in our eyes. For we hold a thing in higher honour if we have obtained it with great labour and many sacrifices, its great cost increases its worth in our eyes…Must not the sacrifices which Christ has made for grace render it doubly precious to us? Yes, grace is as precious as its price, the Blood and life of Christ. He who despises grace, despises not only the eternal and infinite treasures contained in its bosom, but also the price with which Christ has purchased it….As often, then, as you exchange grace for sin, so often do you, in the most insolent and shameful manner, trifle with the life, the Blood and death of the great and terrible Lord and God”. Indeed, whoever that is in God’s grace has everything (cf: Matt. 6: 33); even if he suffers, the merit outweighs the pain (cf: II Cor. 4: 17).
Jesus Christ teaches us the preciousness of Divine grace in the parable of the Prodigal son – “He left for a distant country where he squandered his wealth on a life of debauchery” (Lk. 15: 13). Distant country is a land of sin, and the wealth refer to Divine grace and the gifts of the Holy Ghost-the wealth of Heaven. Let us also learn some lessons from the souls that God has given the vision of the souls clothed with Divine grace. St. Alphonsus said: so great is the beauty of a soul in the state of grace that God Himself extols it – How beautiful art thou! How beautiful art thou (Cant. 4:1). St. Bridget was one of those who were privileged with this vision, and she said that a man could not behold the beauty of a soul in the grace of God, without dying through joy. Also St. Catharine of Sienna, seeing the splendor of a soul in the state of grace, said that she would willingly have given her life to prevent that soul from losing such beauty. Hence, she kissed the ground on which priests walked, because through them souls recover the grace of God. St. Alphonsus de Liguori, citing the words of the scriptures which refers to Divine grace said: “She is an infinite treasure to men;which they that use become the friends of God” (Wis. 7:14). Therefore, whoever abuses Divine grace to excess will subject himself to our Lord’s warning: “But if salt loses its taste, what can make it salty again? It is good for nothing, and can only be thrown out to be trampled under people’s feet” (Matt. 5:13).
Most Painful is the Relapse of those who have been endowed with so much Graces Jesus Christ says: woe to the thee, Chorazin. Woe to thee, Bethsaida: for if the miracles done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon. They would had repented long ago in sackcloth and aches. But I tell you, on the day of judgment. It will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you Capernaum. Will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. For if the miracles done in you had been done in Sodom. It would have remained until this day. But I tell you that on the day of judgement. It will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom than you (Matt 11:21-24) Indeed woe to that soul who has been enlightened with so much graces and gifts. If he goes back to abuse Divine graces: for if the graces lavished on him have been given to many public sinners. They would have been soaring high in sanctity.
Reference Books I.
Sermons of St. AlphonsusLiguori
Preparation for Death-St. AlphonsusLiguori
The Glories of Divine Grace-Fr. M.J.Scheeben
A depraved Priest warns of hell
Douay Rheims Bible
(The Most Authentic English Translation)
APPENDIX Questions to those who terminate pregnancy
1. Can a child be conceived by accident? 2. Can a human being come into this world without God’s approval? iii. Does every conception has a soul sent by God? 1. Does the omniscience God know from the beginning how many souls He will send to this world, and how many He has assigned to each woman?
THE BIBLE OFFERS A CLUE ”For You formed my inwards parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb… My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance being yet unformed. And in Your book, they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet, there were none of them” (Ps. 139:13-16)
On Calvary, the enemy made the Jewish soldiers stripe Me naked.