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If we were able to look over a huge hedge that surrounds Heaven, we would see gleaming squares and bright fountains where people can stroll in perfect companionship, if they are not busy praising God. Heaven is beautiful, and goes on forever; but everyone who enters must have a beautiful, holy soul. Wise people try, by God's grace, to get ready in good time.
There are people all over the world who long to have some connection with God and Heaven. How marvellous it is, that through membership of the Catholic Church we can know that "we too rejoice with the Angels", in the praise of God, every day, even in a tiny church in a little village (in this case, Harpenden!) thousands of Angels pray with us, adoring the Blessed Trinity.
In having a 'clouded' understanding of the Mass, many Catholics feel themselves to be far from God. Many of these people are not content to develop a quiet interior life, in union with Jesus. They want drama, spiritual excitement, grand projects, and praise from others for their good works.
When we are praying the Gloria at Mass, or when the priest prays the Eucharistic prayer; it's as if the skies split open, to reveal the great company of Saints who also praise the Father. We are united with the whole Church, through Christ our Head.
There is nothing more important in our lives as Catholics than the Mass, where God praises God in God. In ancient times, God revealed Himself as fire, to His chosen people. In Christ, He has fully revealed Himself; and Christ, the Son of God, is truly, substantially Present on the altar, at every Mass.
When healthy people feel trapped in doubt, gloom or lack of hope, they might hide away in darkness, doing only the minimum of ordinary duties, and generally inactive and unsociable. The life of a Christian inevitably stagnates or decays if it is not regularly employed in the praise of God, and acts of love towards others.
Helped by our prayers, offered in the name of Christ, the Holy Souls make their way towards Heaven. All those who are about to be welcomed into Heaven are by now carefree, purified, and no longer remorseful or saddened by their sins. They see Heaven as an undeserved free gift, so their hearts and minds are full of thanks and praise - just like the Saints whose company they are about to enjoy.
The beauty and glory of Heaven is indescribable; yet we know that the blazing charity of the Saints, as they praise and thank the Blessed Trinity, is like a circle of flame around the awesome Godhead.
Christ knows that a person whose love for Him is sincere, who recognises the wonderful graces given to him, and realises his privileged state as a sharer in Divine life, is truly grateful; and such gratitude expresses itself in praise and thanks, offered to God with outward as well as inward expressions of reverence. A person who acts in this way opens his heart to receive an even greater number of graces.
Christ looks on with gladness when we keep His Commandments, out of love for Him; but it is a cause for sadness, in His sight, that many Catholics praise people who are fervent in obeying the second Great Commandment about love for neighbour, but are scornful about people who are fervent about the First Great Commandment, and who are concerned for the honour of God, the dignity of Catholic worship, and the faithful handing-on of revealed Truth. Those are even called fundamentalists!
As a healthy bush in a well-tended garden hides within itself little birds who joyfully sing all day, so the soul of someone who loves Christ hides within itself Christ, Who sings out His praise of the Father, all day; and that soul can join in!
Christ is thrilled whenever we turn to Him with thanks and praise, showing our delight in His care for us. He sees millions of people, sad to say, who sit in pubs and hostelries, bored and unhappy, not knowing the purpose of life; and, without the help that our prayers or witness can bring, millions might die whilst never having offered a word of praise to God for His love, nor a word of gratitude for His gifts.
It's as if each soul bears a flame of charity; and some fires are so great that they perpetually burn in praise in union with God and one another.
Holiness, by Elizabeth Wang
This text is the complete version of the pamphlet entitled 'SPEAK ABOUT HOLINESS'. It is based on a talk given by Elizabeth Wang. Preface. This little book contains the full version of the text I wrot...
What is Mary Like? by Elizabeth Wang
This text is the complete version of the pamphlet WHAT IS MARY LIKE? “Now having met together; they asked him, ‘Lord, has the time come? Are you going to restore the kingdom to Israel?’ He replied, ‘...
The Purpose of the Priesthood, by Elizabeth Wang
‘The Purpose of the Priesthood contains encouragement and advice for Catholic priests. It reminds them about the central meaning of the Priesthood, and about the need to teach the Catholic Faith in it...
How to Pray: Preparation, by Elizabeth Wang
This text is published as Chapter 1 of How to Pray (Part One: Foundations), entitled 'How to Prepare'. An introduction to the life of prayer with much practical advice about how to deepen your prayer...
How to Pray: Basics, by Elizabeth Wang
This text is published as Chapter 2 of How to Pray (Part One: Foundations), pages 9-18, entitled 'How to Pray'. An introduction to the life of prayer with much practical advice about how to deepen you...
How to Pray: Perseverance, by Elizabeth Wang
This text is published as Chapter 3 of How to Pray (Part One: Foundations), pages 19-30, entitled 'How to Persevere'. An introduction to the life of prayer with much practical advice about how to deep...
How to Pray: The Mass, by Elizabeth Wang
This text is published as Chapter 4 and 5 of How to Pray (Part One: Foundations), pages 31-38, entitled 'How to Pray the Mass'. An introduction to the life of prayer with much practical advice about h...
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