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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.
Christ wants us to know that He speaks to us about sin and Hell because of His great love for us. Just as a householder acts with kindness if he warns a new neighbour that there is an old well in that person's garden, where anyone could be lost, so Christ acts with kindness when He explains in various ways that certain types of behaviour can destroy the life of grace within our souls, extinguishing the light of the Holy Spirit within us - unless we repent and change.
People can picture the gifts and graces given by God as being bargains from a wonderful stall-holder. Yet all the gifts He gives are free; and if we could see the invisible One high above us we would see how much He delights in giving gifts, to make us joyful and holy.
We are foolish if we endanger our state of grace, and our eternal destiny. To have been given the gift of life in Christ is a great privilege. It is to share the very life of God through the indwelling Trinity, and so to fulfill the Father's plan that each of us begins to resemble Christ and to be transformed by the action of the Holy Spirit. It's as if we are held in His embrace, being prepared for life in Heaven.
When it is proposed, by organisers of what are called 'inter-faith' prayers, is that everyone pray together without mentioning names, and if a Catholic agrees not to pray 'through Christ our Lord', it's as if that Catholic denies Christ, steps out of the life of grace which was a privileged gift, and leaves Christ behind in order to please others. They would be more impressed, and he would please Christ, if he acted with integrity, and prayed as a Christian or not at all.
When it is proposed, by organisers of what are called 'inter-faith' prayers, that everyone pray together without mentioning names, and a Catholic agrees not to pray 'through Christ our Lord', it's as if that Catholic denies Christ, steps out of the life of grace which was a privileged gift, and leaves Christ behind in order to please others. They would be more impressed, and he would please Christ, if he acted with integrity, and prayed as a Christian or not at all.
If we lead a life free from sin, by co-operation with God's grace, and we avoid deliberate distractions in our prayer, it's as if we stand and pray before Heaven in a tunnel of light. Divine grace pours upon us, increasing both our desire for wisdom and understanding and our ability to do God's Will in every circumstance.
Faith is a gift from God, but it comes when people who have heard the story of God's action proclaimed, accept the grace to believe it. That story or proclamation is about God's plan of Salvation. It includes His gradual Revelation of Himself to Abraham, Moses, and others, and His Revelation in His Son, Jesus Christ, who is God-made-man, and who lived on earth, and died, and rose from the dead, to conquer sin and death, to save sinners.
When we feel nearly overcome by the troubles of the world, or temptations from Satan, we can turn to Our Lady, Who loves to help us by her prayers. It's as if she raises her hand to God, who sends down grace that causes a pathway to appear amidst the tangle of coils in which we feel trapped. With such help we can be freed from anxiety and helped to endure our pains.
Whoever wants to be at peace with Christ need only take a few simple steps to emerge from misery and isolation. We need only make a gentle confession, regretting our sins, but determined to stop sinning, and wanting to be freed by the graces of the sacrament. Then we can go to Mass and Holy Communion, knowing we have been made worthy to take part!
Through our union with Christ, we have access to the Father. When we receive Christ in Holy Communion, and are in a state of grace, it is as though we can enter, from within our own soul, a great glorious chamber which represents the Godhead, or rather, the inner life of God. What a privilege! And how often taken for granted!
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.
The soul of a fervent person in a state of grace is not like the cold, half-dead soul of someone whose love for God has grown cold. It is like a Cathedral, in that it is a beautiful soul, a worthy place in which to welcome Christ in every Communion: a place in which the Holy Spirit can move freely, inspiring that person to offer sincere prayers, and to do good works.
A joyful soul, in a state of grace, is like a brightly-lit, warm cottage in the middle of a frozen landscape. It is attractive to those who long for joy and warmth in their own lives, but not to cynics with little or no faith, who are suspicious about the source of such joy, and call such souls 'naive' or 'foolish'.
Except in special circumstances, we can find that, if we open our hearts to God, even in difficulties which seem insufferable, we allow God to act in our lives and our souls, whether by unexpected changes, or simply by pouring upon us His comforting graces. As Jesus said: 'Come to Me if you are burdened, ...and I will give you rest'.
As we try to love God more and more, in a state of grace, we should be alert, and attentive, eager to please Him and serve Him well; yet we must not be made despondent by our tiny faults. In His sight, they are like tiny specks of dust on a polished table: insignificant, almost inevitable, and quite unable to diminish His love for us, in our loving union with Him.
God is pleased to see people welcome children, to see the love for life in the hearts of many people on earth; He is also pleased to see that some of the faithful even have a 'love for death', in the sense that they have banished their fears, by His grace, and even long to go through death, as through a doorway, in order to meet the Lord, when He calls them 'home'.
A couple who enter marriage while planning to disobey the moral laws, for example, by the use of contraceptives, or having agreed to divorce if they don't feel happy, are in great spiritual danger. It's as if they enter a meadow to begin the dancing after their wedding, yet do so near an old well, unfenced, nearby. It is very likely that someone will fall in and be lost.
Really to love God is to prefer His Will to our ambitions. The Lord is glad to see a non-Catholic Christian come into full Communion with the Catholic Church. Yet from that 'spot' on the road there is a lengthy journey to be made, towards Heaven, and much to learn. Growth in faith, hope and love should be achieved, by God's grace, through prayer, spiritual reading, self-mastery, and acts of kindness, in humility, patience and trust.
The evil one wants to destroy the Church. So marvellous is the work and life of a priest, that every priest and Bishop is targeted by the evil one. He tempts them, trying to drag them away from Christ, by subtle and determined methods - yet he can not succeed, when men are resolute in prayer, relying on Divine Grace. Satan is like a giant spider who tries to catch weak people and holy people in his web.
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