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All who love Christ, and trust in His love as they pray before Him Who is Present in the tabernacle, receive many graces. He is our Divine Saviour, Sacramentally Present; and He cannot be out-done in generosity. If we show reverence and love towards Him, how can He fail to reward us?
We are told by some critics that we use an old-fashioned phrase if we say we hope to save souls, by the grace of Christ. But that is what we do indeed achieve, by His grace, if we follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and guide people away from sinful ways of living that are like a cul-de-sac ending in the Abyss.
Some good souls cannot go straight to Heaven. It is common to hear people say, with a smile, that they will have to go to Purgatory, that they know they are not saints. Yet it is a tragedy, in their eyes, when they arrive, to be held captive there, as they see at last what lack of love for God, or laziness, kept them from achieving real holiness. What remorse they feel there, when they see that they could have become worthy to leap straight from earthly life into the embrace of their Saviour, Jesus.
It pleases Christ when we examine our conscience, daily, recognise our faults, confess them and to try to change, by His grace. Whoever confesses sins should do so with confidence in Christ's love, and in His power to help and save.
She is only human; however, Our Lady can bring down Divine grace upon us. When the Blessed Virgin Mary reaches up in prayer to her son, to ask Him to help us, He hears her; and when her son turns to His Heavenly Father, in Heaven, the Father hears Him; so we can be confident that it is worthwhile, in every situation, to seek the help of our dear mother, the Blessed Virgin, Mother of God.
A Christian in a state of grace is intimately united with the Triune God. By Baptism, all sin is washed away from the soul, the person is made a member of the Church; Baptism brings the life of God to shine within the soul through the presence there of the Blessed Trinity: called the Divine Indwelling. No longer need people go to a special Temple in order to pray - though we have churches for our public worship as the Body of Christ: consecrated places where Christ is Really Present, in the tabernacle, in the Blessed Sacrament.
The person who is Baptised is able to receive Confirmation too, and the Holy Eucharist; and so, being fully initiated into the Church, and remaining in a state of grace - it is to be hoped - that person is on a sure road to Heaven as he or she fulfils everyday duties and tries to discern God's plan for his or her life.
Christ wants us all to know that nothing matters more than this: to do good, in union with Christ, and to go to Heaven, by the grace of Christ, when our work on earth is done, and God calls us Home.
If we treat our fellow-creatures with contempt or hard-heartedness, we cannot draw down graces from Heaven by our special devotions to Our Blessed Lady, no matter what efforts we put into our devotions. We cannot please Our Mother whilst blithely disobeying the advice, and the Commandments, of her beloved Son.
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.
What counts above all, in our lives, is love: love for God, and for our neighbour for God's sake. As God the Father looks down from Heaven, it's as if He sees a light shining wherever a person lives to do the Will of God, which means to believe in Him and His Son, Jesus Christ, and to follow His Way. Whatever such a person does is pleasing to God, if it is not sinful; so, although that person is called to do one task not another, he should not be anxious as he tries to discern precisely what to do next. He gives joy to God by living in a state of grace.
A wise person is aware of real intentions. We are not wrong to pray to God when we are comfortable, enjoying mood music and a hot drink. But the pleasant feelings developed are sense-pleasures, not indications of the presence of God. He is most reverently approached, for prayer, by those who kneel or stand, or otherwise indicate humility before Him, and who, during prayer, shun pleasure, in order to make room, so to speak, for whatever gifts and graces God might choose to give them.
Christ sees dark clouds of evil across much of the globe, clouds which hide the many cruelties and evils practiced against people of other races, religions, or another gender: all sorts of enslavement and torture, by people who want to retain their power. Black clouds over western Europe represent the evils occurring in abortion clinics.
We are right to be concerned, as Catholics, about the teachings and influence of many non-Catholic Christians, especially of those who unfortunately teach that contraception and even abortion is not wrong. There are children playing today who would not have been born, had their parents not been faithful Catholics who treasure God's gift of life.
Christ said: 'You can do nothing without me'; so we need to turn to Him in prayer, for help, so that He can do what we cannot do. He can open the door to let grace into our lives, or to deliver us from sadness, or to show us the Way to Heaven - or to work some other good thing to help us to achieve sanctity.
We are foolish if we joke about 'a few years in Purgatory'. Those of the faithful who die in grace but are unworthy to enter Heaven go to Purgatory, as if along a dim corridor. Each realises that he is safe, but groans with sorrow and regret at how lukewarm had been his love for God, and how foolish and disobedient he has been.
From the life of Christ on earth, and from His death and Resurrection, has come a surging river of grace, which is the Church with her Sacraments. If we swim in that river, we can be carried to Heaven; but if we separate ourselves from her by our dissent and disbelief it's as if we climb out of that river - to sit on the banks, and then complain.
God understands the sacrifice of celibate men who serve Him. When priests have lived well, they have been Christ amongst others, and have drawn down grace in torrents upon a darkened world. These men, when they die, are greeted by Christ and Our Lady at the edge of Heaven; then they make their way to the Father, in the heights, Who sees in them the image of His Son.
If we try to live without God, we live in spiritual darkness; yet as soon as we turn to Him in prayer, we can become hopeful of receiving His gifts and graces; and we shall be helped to open our hearts and lives to His influence, even if the 'light' of prayer seems to hurt or even blind us, at first.
A person who tries to lead a life worthy of Heaven is guaranteed the help of Heaven, even if not seeing exactly how the graces of God are poured out from Heaven, or for what specific purposes. Faith is necessary; yet faith is never confounded, since God is faithful.
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