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A person in a state of mortal sin, who is not concerned enough to repent or to try to change, is like a man running along, often stumbling, in a fog, not realising that the cloud hides a huge Abyss just in front of him. Unless he sees it, by a marvel, he will inevitably fall in and be lost.
A person in mortal sin who benefits from the prayers offered by those who live united to Christ is like a man who was running, in a fog, towards a huge Abyss. But by a marvel, the fog was blown away in time for him to see what a dangerous road he was on. If he is wise, he kneels and repents of his foolishness and pride.
Those Catholics who never frequent the sacraments, or never pray, or live trapped in mortal sin, are in great spiritual danger, with no sure hope of being carried across the Abyss to Heaven when they die. It's as if a man is walking surrounded by clouds thrown up through his own sinful ways, clouds which hide from him the sight of the Abyss in front of him, and the Heaven which lies at the other side. Unless he repents, and sees where he is heading, he will fall into the pit.
None of our unavoidable sufferings or humiliations need be wasted. By our intercessory prayers, and the patient 'offering-up' of our sufferings, in union with Christ, we cause an outpouring of His grace to fall upon someone in danger of falling into mortal sin, or falling into Hell. Christ gives us the privilege of joining in His saving work, even though we are imperfect, as long as we live in a state of grace.
For every little or large suffering we willingly bear in patience - even an experience of pain at the dental surgery - we can help to save souls, by that offering of penance in union with Christ. We can help someone in mortal sin who suddenly realises what a dangerous state he is in, or perhaps a dying person, who suddenly receives the grace to turn to God, in trust and hope.
We must pray with fervour, that everyone will see the truth: that from Christ, (and from His chosen Apostles) has come a river of redeemed humanity: each person forgiven and transformed by grace - except for those who now resemble dead fish floating in that river because they deserted Christ, whether through deliberate mortal sin or ceasing to believe in Him.
Terrible loss is risked by Catholics too proud to confess mortal sins. If it seems strange that forgiveness from Christ through His Church, in Confession, is like a 'door' to a state of grace, and the promise of Eternal Life if we remain faithful, we need only consider the fortunate few who enter a small gate in the great fence surrounding a great Palace. They have access to great riches, beautiful galleries and artefacts, and a close relationship with the Royal family, having consented to do as they were asked.
Saint Paul spoke wisely about bearing our sufferings. We are right to offer up our sufferings in union with Christ, and, with Him, to intercede for people trapped in mortal sin and in danger of being lost for ever. Someone in mortal sin is as if trapped on a small ledge, above the great Abyss; and by our prayers and the grace of Christ he or she can be rescued and made safe.
It is a marvel of grace, that the Blessed Trinity is present within the soul of a Baptised person. That person shares God's life, and power, and joy and peace. Yet God's presence is light as well as life. There is nothing worse than to extinguish that light, by deliberate mortal sin. If we die in such a state, we are doomed to an Eternity without God.
To approach death is akin to arriving at the edge of the Abyss, and seeing a notice which lists the mortal sins that can cause us to fall over the edge. How important it is to repent before we die! What are those sins? - The Church tells us. Her teachings are true, since Christ founded her, and said, "Whoever hears you, hears Me."
There are people who repeat the truth about mortal sin, insisting that it is only mortal if it was committed with full knowledge and content. But this is not to say that people are blameless for their ignorance about certain sins, for example. In unclear cases, it's as if people have been saved from spiritual death but are still in need of help if they are to lead holy lives, close to Christ. It's as if they hold onto tree-roots, above the Abyss.
The Gospel brings joy, to those who repent and change. There are Catholics who believe that niceness is enough, and that mortal sins are unimportant. Jesus spoke the truth about sin and salvation when He said: "It is a narrow gate, and a hard road, that lead to life; and few there are that find it." It is important that we shun all temptations, and all 'occasions of sin'.
It is true that everyone is to be made welcome, who wants to attend Mass; but this does not mean that people in mortal sin have a right to approach the sanctuary to receive Holy Communion. It is the constant teaching of the Church that, in such cases, people must first be reconciled and receive absolution; then each one can begin a new life of holiness and purity.
Christ saw dreadful sights as He suffered on the Cross. He saw the aborted babies whose lives would be cruelly ended; but even worse for Him was the sight of many 'dead' souls: diseased souls in mortal sin, souls now made foul and repulsive through their own thoughts and actions; so Christ's torment was spiritual and mental, as well as physical, in His Passion.
People in mortal sin are being swept towards damnation as if in the waters of a great river that tumbles towards a large hole in the ground. The plight of many of them is due to abortion or pornography; but whoever calls out to God, 'I am sorry, Lord', can be rescued from her sinful state and restored to a life of grace and obedience.
People who live in mortal sin can be seen as immersed in a great river of sin which is sweeping them along, towards a great pit, where the waters fall underground. These people will be lost forever, unless they repent before they die. The Lord is especially aware of the horror, in our age, of the grave sins of abortion and pornography.
A priest has been ordained in order to preach the Gospel and to offer sacrifice, in order to rescue souls from their sins and lead them towards Heaven. So a priest who leads a soul towards Hell by suggesting his mortal sins are not serious, and that, in fact, someone can continue in his sins without any pangs of conscience, is a monster, in God's sight, because he is doing Satan's work.
Some souls lead lives of such resolute self-will that, instead of being full of Divine warmth and glory they are like snowy waste-lands, where the snow is frozen on the trees, or even like those places in Siberia where the permafrost never melts. These souls will need a lengthy purification in Purgatory - if they die in a state of grace; not mortal sin. Their love for God has grown very cold.
It is a great grace for a lapsed Catholic to receive the Sacraments of the Church before death. This can change that person's eternal destiny, from being hopeless - if he or she was in a state of mortal sin - to being glorious. It's as if Christ carries that soul upwards, even if the soul must spend a while in Purgatory before reaching Heaven.
By our penances, and our loving hearts, we can do much good. Christ sees that there are people in desperate need of help. Trapped in mortal sin, as if being swept away in a fast-flowing river, they are helpless to help themselves. We can offer up our sufferings in union with Christ, to bring down grace upon sinners, and the hope of eternal life.
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