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How can a man 'lose' God after death, by being in Hell, separated from God, when it is God Who holds everyone in existence? It is as if a man were living in a bright, beautiful home, but insisted on building concrete walls of sinfulness around Himself, which he refused to destroy. He would have 'lost' the company of His family and friends, while his suffering would be entirely due to his own actions.
Those who have freely turned away from Christ in earthly life, refusing His friendship and ignoring His laws, will suffer the 'loss of God' for all Eternity. They have condemned themselves, and will never look upon His lovely face, or know joy.
A faithful person who believes in God's promises, prays in Christ's name, and is confident that her prayers will be granted because she is Christ's friend. It is as though she approaches a great king - the Father - sure that Christ the Prince is beside her in the throne room, saying to His Father: "Please grant her requests".
God wants our children to learn the truth. Each received life from God, is loved by God; and life has a purpose; we should prepare for Heaven by a life of love and holiness, through the friendship of Jesus Christ and the teachings of the Church. The Christian principles, on which our country is founded must not be pushed aside by atheistic government persons.
God is loving, pure and wise; therefore God chooses, for intimate friendship, a person who loves Him and is reverent, prayerful, humble and obedient. That obedience includes loving his neighbour, and the Church. God cannot bring into close union with Himself those who hate fellow creatures, or believe Jesus was a liar, or hide away in sin, or despise the Church, or are self-important, or pray with little reverence, or despise popular devotions that lead people closer to Heaven, including honour to the Blessed Sacrament, and to the Virgin Mary and other Saints.
A person who is brought back to God's friendship, reconciled through a sacramental Confession, and brought closer through the Mass and Holy Communion, is like a man suddenly brought back to a main road, from a far away desert country, and who now drives straight towards Heaven, as long as he does not deviate from the route.
What matters is not how many people die, but in what state-of-soul each person died. Has this one died - or that - in friendship with God, to inherit Heaven, or alienated from God, as one who had allowed Satan to lead him?
It is important to treat the dead with respect. Yet, no matter what type of death people die, no matter in what way they will be mourned, what counts, when they die, is whether they did so in friendship with God - which means they are on their way to God - or alienated from Him, forever to be without His love and beauty and peace. We all ought to prepare to leave this life.
Through genuine friendships, we can have a good influence on others, witnessing to our Faith. Just as a person who admires the speed of a roller-skater wants to learn the skill, so a person amazed by the joy and perseverance of a practicing Catholic will want to learn about the source of such gifts.
Christ understands all our griefs and sorrows. When Christ prayed to His Father in Gethsemane, He was thinking not only of the horrors which lay ahead, but also about the wonderful joys of earthly life that He would soon be leaving behind. He was joyful about going home to Heaven, but His heart ached at the thought of leaving earthly friendships and earthly beauty.
When someone speaks about the entrance into full communion with the Church of Cardinal Newman, he should not describe this merely as a stage in his spiritual journey but as Newman's doing the Will of God, Who invites everyone to enter the Catholic Church. Catholic Clergy must not be held back, by ecumenical friendships, from rejoicing in the Truth.
A person who enjoys an intimate relationship with Christ, in the heights of the spiritual life, must not feel ashamed if she is not feeling as awe-struck and astonished as in the earlier years. If her heart has grown even more grateful to Christ, and even more glad about opportunities to share Good News, she can enjoy His blessed, quiet friendship in peace
There are no human rights, if the right to life is denied. It is an admirable thing, to substitute friendship for racism, housing for destitution, justice for lynch-law, education for child labour, and freedom, for slavery; yet what use are such human rights to someone whose very right to life, in its very eartly stages, had been denied, in the merciless act of direct abortion?
Christ wants us to realise that the worst thing for Him to endure, in the events leading up to His trial, was not the roar of the crowd, but the desertion of His friends, which wounded His heart.
People know that kindness is important, but many forget that chastity is essential, in a life of true friendship with Christ, and preparation for Heaven. Those who mock people leading chaste lives and avoiding immoral entertainments also mock past ages in the Church for the care taken on this matter; but it is better to be disciplined and resemble a cared-for garden than ignore the Commandments and have a soul that resembles a jungle.
Whoever has spent some time separated from Christ, as if in an underground cave, through his own sin or self-pity, can be certain that when he decides to respond to the promptings of the Holy Spirit and to turn back to Christ, Christ will be glad to welcome him into His friendship again, and to give Him a helping hand.
The truth about salvation is that no unrepentant sinner can reach Heaven. Those who have freely chosen to refuse God's friendship and to continue in their sins are lost. Entry into Heaven is an amazing privilege: a gift given to the pure, not a right. Those who insist on enjoying forbidden pleasures, and never repent, shall fall into the pit, when they die.
A Catholic who can not be bothered to practice the faith has a soul so dead, perhaps, as to be almost lifeless - like the frozen landscape pictured here. Where can he go when he dies, except into the Abyss, if he has refused to acknowledge, honour or serve God and enjoy His friendship - if he has refused the help of the Holy Spirit, Who carries towards Heaven, after death, all who die 'in Christ': as friends of God?
People who want to enter a foreign country are foolish if they routinely make fun of its ruler, mock its laws, and make few preparations, whilst blithely expecting to enter, and find a warm welcome, when they feel like entering there. Heaven is reserved for those who are true friends of the King. Having enjoyed His friendship, those friends continue it in Heaven, unlike those who made no preparations.
Christ delights in our friendship! And Christ welcomes our sincere prayers: the ones we offer 'outside' the Mass as well as during the Mass. Every brief prayer honours Him as we go about our work, or pause for a moment before meals, or in our leisure. Yet He is especially delighted by our willingness to make a spiritual Communion. It's as if we open wide our heart, to say, Lord, shall I speak to You or shall I listen? What is your Will?
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