Showing 221 - 231 of 231
Satan is tireless in his efforts to corrupt and endanger God's friends. There is a holy Way on which we can walk: a way of light and peace, on which we can walk in the knowledge and love of God, confident that by His grace and mercy we are making our way towards Heaven. Yet we must be vigilant until the moment of death, determined not to allow Satan's tricks, or our own weaknesses and sinful instincts, to draw us off that road.
Many people inhabit houses which were once a safe distance from the sea; but nearby cliffs have eroded, and the houses are in imminent danger of collapse. This plight mirrors the state of spiritual danger of Catholics who neglect the sacraments and rarely or never pray, and have not repented of their sins. God invites them to act, to find safety, to be freed from fear and danger. Unless they heed Him, they will fall, not into the sea but into the Abyss, for all Eternity.
Whenever we offer up, in prayer, in union with Christ our Saviour, whatever sufferings we currently try to endure with patience, we are helping souls in danger of spiritual disaster. It's as if we are calling out - by the power of Christ - to someone who is about to descend a flight of steps that lead down to Hell. It's as if we are calling out - 'Don't go down there; it's a dead end!' By the grace of Christ, and our prayer, we can help people to turn back to Christ.
It is because we have free will that God allows people to ignore Him. Those who choose to ignore the light of truth about God, which shines out from the Catholic Church, are as if walking away into darkness, on a self-chosen route towards Eternal Life without God, unless they repent before they die; and that loss-of-God, known as Hell, is what Christ wants us to avoid; but many do not listen to Him.
We might even risk our salvation if, on Sundays or holy days, we choose to miss Mass, in order to amuse ourselves, or for trivial reasons. Unless we are caring for the sick, for example, or are ourselves sick or without transport, it is to refuse to obey the First Commandment and the Church's command. It is to act as if we have no need of the graces that Christ offers, and no need of His prayer that we achieve Salvation.
If we are serious about wanting to avoid serious sin, we should act firmly, to avoid occasions of sin. Just as a sailor makes sure he keeps away from the currents that could draw him towards a whirlpool, where he would be sucked down and lost, so people attracted to evil images should avoid television and the internet, or be very careful, if they long to watch pornography, or love to watch violent films. Are we drawn towards Heaven or Hell by all we allow to influence us?
Just as powerful men of earlier times built a strong wall, to keep out strong enemies who hoped to conquer them, so those who follow Christ must beware of allowing spiritual enemies to 'invade' our minds and hearts with their false reasoning or mistaken beliefs - though we can always be willing to stroll on top of the wall together, so to speak, to engage in pleasant, charitable conversation.
Famous people need to act with special prudence and caution. One of the spiritual dangers that many people encounter is the danger of being swept through much of earthly life on a river of fame. Pop stars, royalty, comedians, politicians, influential lives, and sports stars and others, will risk the loss of grace, and even eternal life, if they forget the purpose of life, which is union with God, in His service, and not self-worship.
Until we are safely in Heaven, by God's grace and mercy, we must remain vigilant. Our enemy, the devil, prowls around like a hungry lion, seeking someone to devour, which means, he wants to draw us into Hell. We must pray and strive to avoid all evil, and to do only good, in union with Christ.
By our intercessions we grow in holiness and help the Church; however, we must not become despondent if we seem to see no results from our prayers for those in spiritual need: people who do not love God or who have chosen one of a thousand ways in which to dismiss God from their lives, or to ignore His Son, Jesus Christ, or to leave the one true Church. Everyone has free will. And those who refuse to repent before they die will fall into a pit, as if through the floor of a rotten building which they chose to inhabit and refused to repair.
Some souls have not heeded the warning that the evil one, like a lion, prowls around seeking those he can devour. They do their own will, not God's Will, until death; then are horrified to enter the 'lion's mouth', which is the evil one's 'embrace'.
Showing 221 - 231 of 231