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It is a work of mercy to pray and preach so that people who are cruel and thoughtless towards others will repent before they die. Those who have no respect for fellow human beings, or no respect for the poor and the weak, are as if an inch away from Hell, should death suddenly arrive before they can repent and avoid eternal punishment.
A good preparation for Mass consists of prayer, with reflection on the Company of Heaven with whom we pray, and on the Eternal Father, Source of all Love, wisdom and life, to Whom we shall offer Christ's sacrificial praise, in the Holy Eucharist.
Those souls who live as Catholics but who never use the Sacraments of Penance are like people who never wash or clean their teeth but who imagine that they are pleasant to be with. Souls not properly purified stink before Heaven.
If we persevere in fervent love of God and of our neighbour we can arrive at the top of the mountain of holiness, and enter Heaven as soon as we die. Those friends of Christ who grow luke-warm or careless are collected, at death, and taken to Purgatory, to be made fully-alive and joyful, ready for Heaven. People who have walked down the mountain, of their own free will, are heading towards the Abyss, and doom.
Unless a seminarian becomes a man of prayer, with a deep love for Christ, a belief in the Spirit's power, and the Father's providential care, he will not be a good priest, nor will he be able to persevere in the Priesthood.
As the Son of God looked down from Heaven towards the filth and darkness which He would enter, far below, when He came into our sinful world, He saw the Blessed Virgin Mary, who had been prepared, at her consent, as a safe place for Him who is all purity and goodness. She was like an 'ark', to hold and protect Him for a while.
Catholics, more than other people, have so many opportunities for prayer, yet many cannot be bothered to praise Christ for Creation, or for His Incarnation, or for His Church, or when receiving Him in Holy Communion, or when near the tabernacle, or during each day as He sustains our lives, or at death when we shall meet Him and find out what we have done with our lives and whether we are ready for Heaven.
Christ is pleased to be honoured by preparation for His visit in Holy Communion to the housebound. Jesus stood in my room, as I waited to receive Him in Holy Communion. He showed me how joyful He was to be here. He gazed around Him, looking at the crucifix and the candles put out in His honour, and at the pictures of His Mother, and other Saints, nearby. He said: "IT IS GOOD TO BE HERE, WHERE I AM HONOURED". He meant, in a place where He is plainly held in high esteem as our God and Saviour: our joy and strength.
The Lord showed me how brief is earthly life, compared with Eternity. He asked me to tell everyone: This glory is what you are called to. What will you do to attain it? - In other words, are we sincerely preparing to receive the free gift of Eternal Life, and are we worthy to enter Heaven?
Prayer and penance, faith and love, are essential. A person who hopes to reach the highest stages of the spiritual life, and Heaven, whilst ill-prepared and ill-disciplined, and self-centered in his opinions and plans is like a man who declares that he will climb Mount Everest by his own methods, and who sets out ill-equipped, and wearing flip-flops on his feet.
A person who is determined to make preparation, to be worthy to receive the gift of contemplation, is like a man willing to go to the station, and travel on a train through dark tunnels, in order to reach the heights of the Himalayas. Someone who will not get out of bed to pray is like a man who wants to travel on high, but who sits waiting for a sedan chair to be sent down to fetch him. It will not come.
A person who wishes to enjoy perfect union with God in Heaven must achieve - by God's Grace - towering heights of holiness. No penance done, nor great works accomplished, nor lengthy prayers prayed, can prepare any Catholic for Heaven who has refused to give up his serious sins. Indeed, no-one in serious sin can enter.
A disobedient man will one day learn the truth. Thousands of souls who persist in mortal sin fall into Hell, at death; yet even people guilty of lesser sins must suffer after death, if they are not fully purified and ready for Heaven. For example: Bishops, priests and theologians who have failed to teach the Faith in its fullness or who have led others astray by their support of heretical ideas.
A sure proof of devotion to God and the Saints is the keeping of a calendar or diary of the Church's year, when a Catholic looks up the feasts and seasons, prepares for them, and prays sincere and appropriate prayers.
Christ died, to conquer sin and death; yet He would have done so, to save a single person from going to Hell. Millions, however, are in danger of condemning themselves to Hell because they lead hard-hearted and sinful lives. Each of us needs to repent, by the grace of Christ, before we die.
A last-minute repentance, before death, is highly unusual. Although the Good Thief was saved, we should not put off the moment when we decide to give up our sins and do God's Will.
It is sensible to prepare and plan before Sunday arrives. Christ asks us to remember that Sunday is a day of rest. We should remember that it is the Lord's Day: the Christian Sabbath. Praise and thanks should be foremost in our minds, but we are wise to have some leisure, refreshment, celebration, and rest, to show out our gratitude and to fulfil God's plans for our lives. He wants us to enjoy good things, as well as to be conscientious at work during the week.
Christ wants people to reflect on my Last Judgement painting, and to ponder how they will feel when they come at last into the presence of God the Father, whose glory I have seen in prayer, and who is awesome in His holiness and beauty. Christ wants everyone to repent of their sins, while there is still time.
The Mass is a solemn and sacred representation of the once-for-all Sacrifice of Jesus Christ: God-made-man. Yet there are people who come to Mass and Holy Communion who are still in their sins: their grave sins. It is not fitting to receive Christ, unless a person has been purified by contrition, Reconciliation, and acts of penance.
Jesus told His friends a parable to encourage them to pray and not lose heart. But then He asked, about the future: "When the Son of man comes, will he find faith on earth?" Today, He is asking us: Can He find faith in our homes? Are Catholic families following the teachings of the Church Christ founded, and teaching them to their children?
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