Monday, September 29, 2008

Save Us From the Fires of Hell V

More Meditations on Hell
(Source: Inferno: La Divina Commedia In The Middle Ages Volume I, pp.326-327)

"O Simon Magus! O disciples of his!
Miserable pimps and hucksters,
that have sold
The things of God,
troth-plight to the righteousness,
Into adultery for silver and gold;
For you the trump must sound now - you are come
To the bag: the third bowge (pit) has you in its hold..."

Think what it must be like for a lost soul to enter into eternal torment, eternal fire, suffering that will never, never end. The end of all hope.
We know that there really is fire in hell, "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew xxv: 41) The damned will burn eternally and with what intensity we cannot imagine - this is beyond human capacity to comprehend. Listen to this short excerpt from a book I recommend to all, it certainly changed my life and the way I look at everything:
"Now imagine that thou wert sentenced to be burned alive for thy sins and for the whole of the live long day thou didst stand amidst the flames, unable to die. How piteously thou wouldst weep and wail how loudly wouldst thou shriek and roar in thy agony....Now consider, O Christian, if the action of earthly fire causes such intolerable agony, what will be the torture of hellfire, the heat of which is incombarably more intense and more searching than that of any fire wherewith we are familiar....this fire is kindled by the breath of God. For the prophet Isaiah says: 'Behold, the wrath of the Lord burneth and is heavy to bear, His lips are filled with indignation, and His tongue as a devouring fire. His breath as a torrent overflowing even to the midst of the neck, to destroy the nations unto nothing.' "(The Four Last Things by TAN Books)
And also: "Hell is prepared from yesterday, deep and wide. The nourishment thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord as a torrent of brimstone kindling it." (Isaiah xxx 30, 33)
Let us not deceive ourselves, nor be deceived by others who would have us think hell is something to which a soul becomes accustomed. "It can't be that bad...." Oh but it is. Let us this Lent renew our faith, pray fervently for the help of the Mother of Sorrows, pray for the suffering souls in purgatory through her intercession. Think of Mary standing at the foot of the cross, shedding tears as her Divine Son dies in agony for your sins. Pray for all sinners, including yourself - that we can avoid the fires of hell.
O my Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen+

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Save Us From the Fires of Hell IV

Meditations on Hell
(Source: The Way of Divine Love by TAN Books)
Sr. Josefa Menendez, a Spanish Nun of the Society of the Sacred Heart, lived from 1890-1923. Sr. Josefa was a holy religious and was blessed with frequent mystical experiences. She was a visionary of Our Lord and Our Lady. One of the series of phenomena occured in the form of mystical transportations to Hell and Purgatory.
The Catholic Church in her doctrine and dogma is perfect and kept in line by the Holy Spirit who guides it. However in the confusion of our society since the revolution of the last 40 or so years, sermons and clear teaching on the reality of hell is sadly lacking. It behooves each of us to think often on the consequences of serious sin. The consequence is the loss for all eternity of your soul to unending torment in the fires of hell.
"SISTER Josepha wrote with great reticence on this subject [hell]. She did it only to conform to Our Blessed Lord's wishes, Our Lady having told her on the 25th October 1922 "Everything that Jesus allows you to see and to suffer of the torments of hell, is.... that you may make it known to your Mothers. So forget yourself entirely, and think only of the glory of the Heart of Jesus and the salvation of souls."
Some extracts of her notes... She repeatedly dwelt on the greatest torment of hell, namely, the soul's inability to love. One of these damned souls cried out. "This is my torture...that I want to love and cannot; there is nothing left me but hatred and despair. If one of us could so much as make a single act of love... this would no longer be hell... we live on hatred and malevolence..'' (23 March 1922)
Another of these unfortunates said: "The greatest of our torments here is that we are not able to love Him whom we are bound to hate. Oh! how we hunger for love, we are consumed with desire of it, but it is too late...... You too will feel this same devouring hunger, but you will only be able to hate, to abhor, and to long for the loss of souls.... nothing else do we care for now! (26th March 1922)
The following passage was written by obedience, though it was extremely repugnant to Josefa's humility, "Every day now, when I am dragged down to hell and the devil orders them to torture me, they answer: "We cannot, for her members have undergone torture for Him....." (then they blasphemously name Our Blessed Lord)... then he orders them to give me a draught of sulphur... and again the reply is: "she has voluntarily deprived herself of drink..." "Try to find some part of her body to which she has given satisfaction and pleasure." I have also noted that when they shackle me to take me down to hell, they never can bind me where I have worn instruments of penance. I write all this simply out of obedience" (1st April 1922)"
Let us think of how we pamper ourselves, both physically and mentally, perhaps even spiritually. How often do we say "I just don't have time, I have so many important things to do, there's no time to pray, to offer sacrifices, etc" We are all busy, but try to take but a second to raise your mind and soul to Our Lord and offer Him your business and work as a prayer. Ask Him to make you holy so you will not suffer the fires of hell. Let us all pick up our crosses and follow Him on the narrow road which leads to Heaven.
Mary, Mother of Sorrows, be for me and my family the narrow gate which leads Heaven. O Holy Mother of God be my salvation! Amen+

Friday, September 26, 2008

Save Us From the Fires of Hell VI

More Meditations on Hell

Why on earth is it a good idea to think about, let alone meditate on hell?? The answer is simple - in order to avoid it. If we open our minds to the reality of this horrible place, and that we are only one mortal sin away from hell, we are more highly motivated to avoid sin & practice virtue. In our little struggles and strivings toward God, He who is Holy and Immortal will kindly bend Himself to us and pour His gracious love into our souls and strengthen it against the powers of hell. He will grant us the ability to avoid hell if we seek Him. "Seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you."
If we were perfect, we would love God for His own sake - this is the ideal we strive for. BUT - fear of hell is a good start on the spiritual path, so let us attempt to instill in our hearts a holy and reverent fear of hell. Seek God who we pray will kindle in us great faith and a lively hatred of all sin.

One of my favorite books, The Four Last Things (Fr. Martin von Cochem, O.S.F.C. TAN Books) provides many excellent meditations on hell:

"According to St. Bridget 'The heat of hell-fire is so great that if the whole world were wrapped in flames, the heat of the conflagration would be as nothing in comparison with it.'...Remember this O sinner and lay it well to heart. When thou seest a fire, call to mind the fire of hell. And since thou couldst not endure to put thy hand for a single moment into that fire, think what the heat of hell-fire must be..if thou canst bear this, how will thou bear the other? The damned will one day be cast body and soul into the huge awful furnace of hell, into the immense lake of fire, where they will be surrounded by flames. There will be fire below them, fire above them, fire all around them. Every breath will be a scorching breath of a furnace. These infernal flames will penetrate every portion of the body, so that there will be no part or member, within or without, that is not steeped in fire.

How despairing will be the cries, how agonizing the shrieks that will ascend from this bed of torture! 'Woe to us miserable creatures! Woe to us a thousand times! We are tortured in this flame! The excruciating pain pervades every member of our body, the intolerable agony leaves us no rest! If only we could die, if only we could die so as to escape this horrible torture! Alas this wish is all in vain! Dead as far as the life of the soul is concerned, dead because we have forfieted grace, the mercy of God-we are condemned to live on, to live forever and ever!"

We must pray for God's mercy on that fateful last day of Judgement. We must pray and pray for the conversion of poor sinners whose fate lies in those awful flames. Have pity on your fellow man who knows not of the mercy and love of God - who is at such great risk of casting himself headlong into the flames of hell when he sees with the eyes of his soul how rotten with sin he is at his particular judgement. Invoke our Blessed Lady, entrust yourself to her - she saves more souls from hell than we can know is this life!


Hail O Resurrection of mankind; Hail o Downfall of the demons! Hail O you who crushed the error of deceit; Hail O you who exposed the fraud of idols! Hail O Bride, and Maiden ever pure! O Thou who are Immaculate, destined before all time to be the Holy Tabernacle of the New Covenant - Ora Pro Nobis Maria!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Save Us From the Fires of Hell III

Bl. Mary of Agreda was a visionary of the Blessed Virgin Mary who had a great devotion to Our Lady's Sorrows. Our Sorrowful Mother often requested of the Servant of God her prayers for the dying, telling her of what torments and perils souls undergo just prior to death. "There are sinners in their last agony who have but a few moments in which to save their souls from eternal perdition." Many souls fight their last battle, trying to keep hold of the graces obtained in a devout and holy life, others are in great danger of losing their final battle. The evil one comes upon them, ladening upon them his rage, beseiging the soul with untold of temptations, especially the temptation to despair in reminding them of thier past sins and unworthiness of forgiveness. These things united with the suffering of death burden the soul greatly.
The person who has in thier life carried a devotion to the Mother of God, especially to her sorrows, will not be left to fight alone at this time of peril. The Queen of Souls has rescued an uncountable number of souls at the very last moment. St. Alphonsus says that: "whoever dies while loving God and pronouncing the name of Mary cannot be lost."
Let us strive to deepen and strengthen our devotion to Mary. Invoke your Sorrowful Mother on behalf of the dying they she may move in skillfully to save them!
Be mindful, O Virgin Mother of God, when thou standest in the sight of the Lord, to speak good things for us, and to turn away His anger from us.
We offer unto Thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, prayers and sacrifices, humbly entreating that we, who recall with prayer the piercing of the most sweet soul of Blessed Mary, Thy Mother, may, by the multiplied and most loving intercession of her and the Saints, gathered together with her beneath the Cross, and through the merits of Thy death, share reward with the Blessed. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen+

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Save Us From the Fires of Hell II

St. Vincent Pallotti
(1798 - 1850)
Feast Day: 22 January

Born into Italian nobility and became a Priest, theological teacher and founder. He lived in constant danger working with the sick during a cholera epidemic. He was also a highly successful fund-raiser for charities for the poor. St. Vincent founded guilds for workers, agricultural schools, loan associations, orphanages and homes for the destitute. This saintly priest felt a strong calling to bring Christ to Muslims, and founded a program to incorporate lay people in the apostolate of priests. He founded the Pious Society of Missions (Pallottines) for urban mission work. He also started the special observance of the Octave of Epiphany for the reunion of the Eastern and Roman Churches, and the return of the Church in England. (Source: Catholic Forum Saints Index)
This great saint also had a great devotion to Our Lady's Sorrows. In the documentation for St. Vincent's beatification it is related: "The evil spirit once declared by the mouth of a possessed person that no one who had practiced devotion to Mary Sorrowful had yet been lost, and that evil spirits had been commanded by God not to assail with temptations in the hour of death those who had faithfully practiced this devotion." This servant of God was absolutely convinced of the truth of this message that he often spoke of it in order to honor Our Lady of Sorrows and to instruct the faithful. (Source Devotion to the Sorrowful Mother by TAN books)
We must all work earnestly to enkindle within our hearts a devotion to Our Mother's Sorrows, for it is we who cause them, and it is we who can compassionate them. In return, we are certain to recieve the Queen of Heaven's consolation at the hour of our death, the most important hour of our lives! Pray to be received into her arms and pressed to her Immaculate Heart as she did Our Lord's upon our deathbed!
Prayer to Our Lady for a Happy Death
O Mother of Sorrows, by the anguish and love with which thou didst stand by the Cross of Jesus, stand by me in my last agony. To thy maternal heart I commend the last three hours of my life. Offer these hours to the Eternal Father in union with the agony of our dearest Lord in atonement for my sins.
Offer to the Eternal Father the most Precious Blood of Jesus, mingled with thine tears on Calvary, that I may obtain the grace of receiving Holy Communion with the most perfect love and contrition before my death, and that I may breathe forth my soul in the adorable presence of Jesus.
Dearest Mother, when the moment of my death had at length come, present me as your child to Jesus. Ask Him to forgive me for having offended Him for I know not what I did.
Beg Him to receive me into His Kingdom of glory to be united with Him forever.

Save Us From the Fires of Hell...

Mother of the Dying
"He who is devoted to the Virgin Mother will certainly never be lost" ~St. Ignatius, Third Bishop of Antioch (50-107)
The bedroom of death is Our Lady's special arena, for all those who are in the throes of death are her beloved children. The Blessed Mother's special gift to the dying is perfect contrition for sin. This grace is granted particularly to those devoted to her during thier lifetime. Our sweet Mother does often comfort and assist the dying from the final struggle with the powers of darkness. Blessed is the soul assisted by the Queen of Heaven. This assistance is a specific promise made for those devoted to Mary's Seven Sorrows: "I will visibly help them at the moment of their death - they will see the face of their Mother."
Mary has rescured uncountable numbers of souls from Hell, unto the very last moment. How you have lived your life greatly influences the state of mind and soul at the time of death, but it is the moment of death - the disposition of the soul at that time that determines your "state" for all eternity. The moment of death is the most important moment of our lives. Let us all decide here and now to think frequently and kindly on our dear Mother's sorrows, for we need all the help of heaven to keep us from the flames of Hell.
The Offering of the Merits of the Blessed Virgin Mary to Appease Divine Justice
In order to appease Thy Divine Justice, we offer Thee, O Lord, the merits acquired by Mary, Thy Mother and ours, when she stood at the foot of the Cross.
If Thou, O Lord, wilt mark iniquities, Lord who can stand?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Great Article

Great article here by Susan Tassone who is a "purgatory warrior" I highly recommend reading it, printing it out and re-reading it often if this helps you to offer sufferages on behalf of the souls who suffer so very much. Anything you do in assistance for the members of the Church Suffering will result in an increase of merit for you.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

We must stand firm in hope.

"The waters have risen and severe storms are upon us, but we do not fear drowning, for we stand firmly upon a rock. Let the sea rage, it cannot break the rock. Let the waves rise, they cannot sink the boat of Jesus. What are we to fear? Death? Life to me means Christ, and death is gain. Exile? The earth and its fullness belong to the Lord. The confiscation of our goods? We brought nothing into this world, and we shall surely take nothing from it… I concentrate therefore on the present situation, and I urge you, my friends, to have confidence."

—St. John Chrysostom, Liturgy of the Hours, Vol IV, p. 1377

On attacks against priests

(Source: The Pieta Prayer Book, available here.)


"One should NEVER attack a priest, even when he's in error, rather one should pray and do penance that I'll grant him My grace again. He alone fully represents Me, even when he doesn't live after My example!" (source: page 29, Mutter Vogel's Worldwide Love, St. Grignion Publishing House, Altoting, South Germany (29. 6. 1929).

"When a Priest falls we should extend him a helping hand THROUGH PRAYER AND NOT THROUGH ATTACKS! I myself will be his judge, NO ONE BUT I!" "Whoever voices judgment over a priest has voiced it over Me; child, never let a Priest be attacked, take up his defense." (Feast of Christ the King 1937)

"Child, Never judge your confessor, rather pray much for him and offer every Thursday, through the hands of My blessed Mother, Holy Communion (for Him) (18.6. 1939)

"Never again accept an out-of-the-way word about a Priest, and speak no unkind word (about them) EVEN IF IT WERE TRUE! Every Priest is My Vicar and My heart will be sickened and insulted because of it! If you hear a judgment (against a Priest) pray a Hail Mary." (28. 6. 1939)

"If you see a Priest who celebrates the Holy Mass unworthily then say nothing about him, rather tell it to Me alone! I stand beside him on the altar!" "Oh pray much for My priests, that they'll love purity above all, that they'll celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass with pure hands and heart. Certainly the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when it is celebrated by an unworthy priest, but the graces called down upon the people is not the same!" (28. 2. 1938)

Keep them, I pray Thee, dearest Lord, Keep them, for they are Thine -
Thy priests whose lives burn out before Thy consecrated shrine.
Keep them, for they are in the world, Though from the world apart;
When earthly pleasures tempt, allure, - Shelter them in Thy heart.
Keep them, and comfort them in hours Of loneliness and pain,
When all their life of sacrifice For souls seems but in vain.
Keep them, and O remember, Lord, They have no one but Thee,
Yet they have only human hearts, With human frailty.
Keep them as spotless as the Host. That daily they caress;
Their every thought and word and deed, Deign, dearest Lord, to bless.
Imprimatur: +D. Card. Dougherty, Arch. of Philadelphia

Mary Queen of the Clergy, pray for priests.

A perfect prayer

"Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner"

I came across this prayer while reading through the comments at some website or another and it struck me - I think this may be in essence a perfect prayer, or as perfect as any sinner can come up with. I've heard this is various forms, but this in its entirety is simple and beautiful. The longer I pray and try to be a "good Catholic" the more I see what a wretched sinner I am. May this be my "cry from the heart" Amen+

Monday, September 15, 2008

Novena for Life

Please in your charity consider starting a novena today for an end to the culture of death - for the end to all forms of willful murder: abortion, child abuse, euthanasia, etc. We can do this simply by saying one Memorare for this intention for nine consecutive days from the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (today September 15) until September 23. Traditionally this novena is said from the Feast of our Lady's nativity, but if you missed it ( me) its never too late to start!

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection,
implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee,

O Virgin of virgins, my mother;
to thee do I come, before thee I stand,
sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer me.

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

On this your holy feast day Mary Most Sorrowful, Mother of God and our mother...I entrust my poor soul, my family and the whole world to your intercession. I pray for the end of abortion, for an end to blasphemy, apostacy and all irreverence. I pray for the conversion of poor sinners, and the salvation of souls. I offer myself and all my insignificant prayers in payment of the debts of the holy souls in purgatory, please offer them to your Son covered with the tears of sorrow you shed at the foot of His cross. Amen+

Monday, September 8, 2008

We Must Repent

Humankind must recognize the evil of abortion for what it is, a work of Satan. We cover this "procedure" with medical terminology to make it more palatable, so that we may hide from the horror of blood and dismemberment.

America in particular is faced with a clear choice. In this election, we have held before us the choice of life or death. The battle lines have been drawn. I doubt very much if the issue of the murder of our unborn children has ever been so clearly in the forefront of our nation's thoughts. Child sacrifice is clearly the dividing line between us, we must choose. I do not see any real difference between ancient times of child sacrifice and today - except today the numbers are much greater. Also our knowledge of prenatal life and development causes our culpability to increase.

"The kings of Judah have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. They have built high places for Baal to immolate their sons in fire as holocausts to Baal: such a thing as I neither commanded nor spoke of, nor did it ever enter my mind." ~Jer 19:4-5.

And what, praytell, was the judgment the Lord righteously pronounced upon the kings of Judah?

"For thus says the LORD: Indeed, I will deliver you to terror, you and all your friends. Your own eyes shall see them fall by the sword of their enemies. All Judah I will deliver to the king of Babylon, who shall take them captive to Babylon or slay them with the sword." ~Jeremiah 20:4

Are we not being delivered to terror? Does any nation who legally condones the willfull murder of the most innocent deserve to exist? Who shall be America's Babylon? And what of Canada and Europe? We who have for the most part forsaken our Christian roots and beliefs, O where has the faith of our father's gone?

We must as a nation repent, or we shall pass through the door of Christ's judgment.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Heroic Virtue IX - Final

Temperance, which restrains us when passions urge us to what is wrong, comprises becoming deportment, modesty, abstinence, chastity, sobriety, and others. Instances of heroic temperance: St. Joseph, St. John the Baptist.

Temperance is one of the four cardinal virtues. It may be defined as the righteous habit which makes a man govern his natural appetite for pleasures of the senses in accordance with the norm prescribed by reason. In one sense temperance may be regarded as a characteristic of all the moral virtues; the moderation it enjoins is central to each of them. It is also according to St. Thomas Aquinas a special virtue. Thus, it is the virtue which fights concupiscence or which controls the yearning for pleasures and delights which most powerfully attract the human heart. These fall mainly into three classes: some are associated with the preservation of the human individual; others with the perpetuation of the race, and others still with the well-being and comfort of human life.

Under this aspect temperance has for subordinate virtues, abstinence, chastity, and modesty. Abstinence prescribes the restraint to be employed in the partaking of foodand drink. Obviously the measure of this self-restraing is not constant and invariable. It is different for different persons as well as for different ends in view. The diet of an anchorite would not do for a farm labourer. Abstinence is opposed to the vices of gluttony and drunkenness. The disorder of these is that food and drink are made use of in such wise as to damage instead of benefit the bodily health. Hence gluttony and drunkenness are said to be intrinsically wrong. That does not mean, however, that they are always grievous sins. Gluttony is seldom such; drunkenness is so when it is complete, that is when it destroys the use of reason for the time being. Chastity as a part of temperance regulates the sensual satisfactions connected with the propagation of the human species. The contrary vice is lust. As these pleasures appeal with the special vehemence to human nature, it is the function of chastity to impose the norm of reason. Thus it will decide that they are altogether to be refrained from in obedience to a higher vocation or at any rate only availed of with reference to the purposes of marriage. Chastity is not fanaticism; much less is it insensibility. It is the carrying out of the mandate of temperance in a particular department where such a steadying power is acutely needed.

The virtue of modesty, as ranged under temperance, has as its task the holding in reasonable leash of the less violent human passions. It brings into service humility to set in order a man's interior. By transfusing his estimates with truth, and increasing his self-knowledge it guards him against the radical malice of pride. It is averse to pusillanimity, the product of low views and a mean-spirited will. In the government of the exterior of a man modesty aims to make it conform to the demands of decency and decorousness (honestas). In this way his whole outward tenor of conduct and method of life fall under its sway. Such things as his attire, manner of speech, habitual bearing, style of living, have to be made to square with its injunctions. To be sure the cannot always be settled by hard and fast rules. Convention will oftenhave a good deal to say in the case, but in turn will have its propriety determined by modesty. Other virtues are enumerated by St. Thomas as subordinate to temperance inasmuch as they imply moderation in the management of some passion. It ought to be noted, however, that in its primary and generally understood sense temperance is concerned with what is difficult for a man, not in so far as he is a rational being precisely, but rather in so far as he is an animal. The hardest duties for flesh and blood are self-restraint in the use of food and drink and of the venereal pleasures that go with the propagation of the race. That is why abstinence and chastity may be reckoned the chief and ordinary phases of this virtue. All that has been said receives additional force of we suppose that the self-control commanded by temperance is measured not only by the rule of reason but by the revealed law of God as well. It is called a cardinal virtue because the modration required for every righteous habit has in the practice of temperance a specially trying arena. The satisfactions upon which it imposes a check are at once supremely natural and necessary in the present order of human existence. It is not, however, the greatest of moral virtues. That rank is held by prudence; then come justice, fortitude, and finally temperance.