Today's contemplation

Admin

Administrator
30th July

1564408195634.png


On the enternatinment of Hell


Consider first, what kind of entertainments are prepared in a miserable eternity, to succeed the banquets, and revellings, and other extravagances of a voluptuous life, in which worldlings pass the short time of their mortality. Oh. how strangely shall the scene be altered, when immediately after death they shall find their souls buried in hell! Ah! what kind of feasting shall they meet with there! What ravenous hunger and thirst, without being ever able to obtain so much as one drop of water! ‘Their wine is the gall of dragons, and the venom of asps, which is incurable,’ Deut. xxxii. 33. ‘Their cups are full of the wine of the wrath of God,’ Rev. xiv. Cups of liquid fire, and fetid sulphur. Their gardens of pleasure are turned into a pool of fire and brimstone. Their carnal embraces into the eternal gnawings of infernal serpents, ever preying upon their bosoms.

Consider 2ndly, the music with which these wretches shall be for ever entertained in hell: eternal howlings and yellings; eternal shrieks and groans; eternal curses and blasphemies; the insulting voices of the tormentors, scoffing at their sufferings; the lashes of their scourges, &c. Ah! unhappy sinners, how will you like such entertainments as these? Surely if there were nothing else in hell, but the being condemned to an everlasting night, in the midst of all this horror and confusion of so many frightful noises, dismal groans, and horrid blasphemies, any reasonable man would choose the worst of temporal evils rather than to be condemned for eternity to such a melancholy entertainment.

Consider, 3rdly, that the sense of smelling in the damned will also have its share in this infernal feast; where it will be for ever regaled with the loathsome exhalations of those filthy dungeons below, and with the intolerable stench of those half putrefied carcasses that are broiling there. And what shall come in to complete the misery of their entertainment, will be the abominable company which thy must have with them for endless ages, of so many hideous spirits; so many merciless devils; and what will be worse to them than devils, the unhappy partners of their sins. O what bitter hatred, what hellish rage and fury, will their former love be now turned into? O how will they now curse, how will they tear and torment one another; being eternally chained together, in those black fiery links, which by their dark passions and lusts they have in their lifetime made for themselves. O worldlings, break then your bonds asunder now, whilst you have time; withdraw yourselves now from all the objects of your criminal passions, and all disorderly affections; lest if you carry them with you out of this world, they serve for nothing else but to add so many fiery links to your everlasting chains, and to bind you down to as many devils.

Conclude to fly for the future from a voluptuous life, and all the sinful entertainments of the children of this world; ‘who have their consolation here; and who laugh now, but shall mourn and weep hereafter;’ St. Luke vi., and for thy part to lament henceforward the shall thou hast had with them, whilst thou hast walked on with them in the broad road of a worldly life; and by these penitential tears, joined with a new life, thou wilt escape having a share with them in the entertainments of hell.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
31st July






On the Fire of Hell


Consider first, that in hell every vice shall meet with its peculiar torment. There the proud shall be debased and confounded, and trodden under foot by insulting devils. There the covetous, and the lovers of the mammon of this world shall groan under the extremity of want and misery. There the lascivious shall exchange their dark and filthy pleasures for fetid sulphur and black flames. There gluttons and drunkards shall be oppressed with an insupportable hunger and thirst, and so of the rest. But the general punishment of all the damned, and that which is most frequently inculcated in holy writ, is that they shall burn in everlasting fire. O who can endure the thought of this eternal burning in that dreadful pool of fire and brimstone? Christians, what are you doing? Do you believe this eternal fire; and do you dare to sin? If you believe it not, you are not Christians; and if you believe it, and still persist in going on in such sins as you know are the high road to this everlasting burning, you must be worse than madmen.

Consider 2ndly, that of all bodily torments which we can suffer in this world there is none more terrible than to burn alive. But alas! there is no comparison between burning here and burning in hell. All our fires upon earth are but painted flames if compared to the fire of hell. The fire of this world was made to serve us and to be our comfort; that of hell to be an instrument of God’s vengeance upon sinners. The fire of this world cannot subsist without being nourished by some combustible matter, which it quickly dispatches and consumes; the fire of hell, kindled by the breath of an angry God, requires no other fuel than sin, and on this it feeds without ever decaying or consuming. The fire of this world can only reach the body, but the fire of hell not only pierces the body through and through in all its members, and penetrates into all the inward parts with most exquisite tortures, but also reaches the soul herself in her very inmost recesses with its searching flames. Ah! who could endure such a fire as this even for one moment? How much less for an endless eternity?

Consider 3rdly, that there is no man upon earth that has not quite lost his senses who would be willing, even for the empire of the world, to be broiled like Laurence on a gridiron, or roasted for half an hour by a slow fire, though he was sure to come off with his life. Nay, where is the man that would even venture to hold his finger in the flame of a candle for a quarter of an hour for any reward this world can give? Where is then the judgment of the greater part of Christians who pretend to believe hell-fire and yet live on with so little apprehension and concern, and that oftentimes for years together, in guilt of mortal sin, in danger every moment of falling into this dreadful and everlasting fire: having no more all this while than a hair’s-breath – that is, the thin thread of an uncertain life between their souls and a miserable eternity? Good God, deliver us from this wretched blindness, from this desperate folly and madness.

Conclude never to expose thyself to the danger of this everlasting fire by mortal sin, nor to endure any such guilt, though it were even for one moment, lest in that very moment God should break the thread of thy life and let thee drop into that fire that will never be quenched. O what mercy it is of thy God that it has not been thy case long ago!

..
 

Admin

Administrator
1st Aug.

1564574644412.png


On the pain of loss in Hell


Consider first, that though the fire of hell, with all the rest of the exterior torments which the damned must for ever endure in that woful place be terrible beyond all that an be expressed or conceived, yet it is no ways comparable, in the judgment of divines, to the interior pangs and agonies of the soul, caused by the paena damni, or the eternal loss of God and of all that is good, and the perpetual sense they shall ever have of the greatness of this their loss and all its dreadful consequences. Alas! eternally they have lost their God for ever. They are divorced eternally from him; they are stripped of all his gifts and all his graces; no light is left in their soul; no glimpse of hope; no sense of good, no power of love either for God or their neighbours. Ah! unhappy wretches that cannot love! They are excommunicated from God; they are sent into an eternal banishment far from him; far from his glorious kingdom and the happy society of his children; far from their true country and all its blissful joys, which were once purchased for them by the blood of the Son of God. They are eternally separated from the ocean of all good.

Consider 2ndly, how much the damned will regret this most dreadful of all evils – this eternal separation from God. Alas! poor sinners, here, while they lie grovelling in the mire of the earth, diverted from the thought of God by a thousand impertinences, and yet continually partaking many ways of his sweetness and goodness in some or other of his creatures, have little or no idea of what it is absolutely to lose God for evermore. But the damned, by their own woful experience, will be fully convinced, when it is too late, that none of all the rest of the torments of hell can be compared to this loss. God is an infinite good in himself; and he is the inexhaustible source of all our good, and of everything that is any ways good in his creatures: he is our universal good. In losing him, then the damned have lost an infinite good – form their first beginning and their last end, by whom and for whom they were created: they have lost their sovereign good, their universal good, their immense eternal good, the overflowing fountain, the very ocean of all good, their true and only happiness. They have lost him totally; they have lost him irrevocable; they have lost him eternally; they have lost him in himself; they have lost him in themselves; they have lost him in all his creatures. There is an immense gulf between him and them, never, never to be passed.

Consider 3rdly, still further, how dreadfully the damned will be tormented with the perpetual thinking on this most rueful of all losses. Ah! their lively sense of this most dismal and irreparable loss, and of all the sad consequences of it, will continually rack their despairing souls; they will not be able so much as to turn away their thought one moment from it. For whichever way they shall turn to seek any one jot of ease or comfort in him, or from him, they shall meet with none: all things shall seem to conspire against them – all things shall tell them they have lost their God. They shall always find themselves bound down fast in eternal chains, which will keep them in a state of violence far away from him; and all the efforts of their vehement longing after him will only serve to redouble their misery. Hence there flow a thousand other evils that make their whole soul a hell to itself. Hence black despair, sadness, rage, hatred, and blasphemy.

Conclude never to turn away from God in this life nor to lose him by wilful sin, and then thou shalt effectually prevent this last and worst of all evils, of being eternally separated from him.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
2nd Aug.


1564665954982.png


On the worm in Hell

Consider first, that as we are assured by the word of God that the fire of hell shall never be quenched, so are we also assured by the same unerring word that the worm of the damned shall never die, (St. Mark ix.) this never-dying worm of a wicked conscience, like a black poisonous serpent, will for ever fasten itself upon their breast: it will continually gnaw them; it will eat its way in their hearts; it will perpetually prey upon their very souls. O who can conceive the greatness of this torment? this eternal remorse; this most bitter but fruitless repentance; this dismal melancholy; this extremity of anguish, accompanied with everlasting horror, confusion, and despair! O how hateful, how abominable will all their former crimes now appear in the eyes of the damned! O how will they now be convinced when ‘tis too late of the enormity of them! O how will they now detest them!

Consider 2ndly, that what eternally feeds this never dying worm is the enormous guilt of mortal sin with which the souls of the damned are eternally stained, infected, and corrupted. This dreadful guilt is ever written on their foreheads: it penetrates them on all sides; renders them more ugly and filthy than the very dungeons of hell; eternally odious in the eyes of their creator; and most intolerable and insupportable to themselves – the very devils are not more hateful to them than their own souls are as long as they see them thus strangely tainted and corrupted, and eternally possessed by this hellish monster – or rather by as many hellish monsters as they have committed mortal sins. Ah! Christians, see by this what the guilt of mortal sin is. See what the dreadful consequences of it are for eternity! And learn from hence to detest it above all evils. O be assured that hell itself can produce nothing worse!

Consider 3rdly, what a racking torture it will be to the damned to all eternity to be revolving, without ceasing, in their memory their past folly, stupidity, and madness in forfeiting the eternal joys of heaven, which they might have obtained at so easy a rate, and selling both their God and their souls for an empty toy – for a filthy satisfaction, that lasted but one moment, and left nothing behind it but guilt and remorse; or for some punctilio of honour or petty interest, by which thy were then robbed of all their true treasures and of all their true honour, and for which they are now reduced to the extremity of all kinds of misery. Oh! what will their judgment be of this cheating world, and of all its short-lived fooleries and vanities, when, after having been millions of years in hell, looking back and scarce being able to find in that immense duration the small point of their mortal life, they shall, with most bitter regret, be continually comparing together time and eternity, past enjoyments and present punishments, virtue and vice, heaven and hell.

Conclude to keep off from the guilt of wilful sin, and the worm of hell shall never come near thee: it can prey upon nothing but mortal sin.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
3rd Aug.
1564751699679.png



On a miserable Eternity


Consider first, that what above all other things makes hell intolerable is the eternity of its torments. It is this eternity that is an infinite aggravation to all and every one of them. It is this bitter ingredient which makes every drop of that cup of the divine vengeance, of which all the damned are forced to drink, so unsupportable. Were there so much as the least glimpse of hope that the miseries of the damned should one day have an end, though it were after millions of ages, hell would be no longer hell; because it would admit of some comfort. But, for all these inexpressible torments to continue for ever, as long as God shall be God, without the least hope of ever seeing an end of them – oh, this it is that is the greatest rack of the damned! O eternity, eternity, how little do worldlings apprehend thee now! How unwilling are they to believe thee (notwithstanding the express declaration of God’s unerring word) for fear thou shouldst put a restraint upon their vicious inclinations! O how terrible wilt thou be to them hereafter when they shall find themselves ingulfed in the bottomless abyss.

Consider 2ndly, if one short night seems so long and tedious to a poor sick man in a burning fever; if he tosses and turns, and nowhere finds rest; if he counts ever hour, and with so much impatience longs for the morning, which yet will bring him but little relief or comfort; what must this dreadful night of eternity be in the midst of all the pains of hell? No man in his senses would purchase a kingdom at the rate of lying for ten year confined to a soft bed without once coming off. Ah! what a misery, then, must it be to be chained down to a bed of fire, and such a fire as that of hell is, with all the rest of its torments – not for ten years only, not for ten thousand times ten years – but for as many hundred thousand million of ages as there are drops of water in the ocean or atoms in the air; in a word, for a never-ending eternity!

Consider 3rdly, in order to frame a better idea of this miserable eternity, what an immense space of time would be required for any one of the damned, if he were to shed but one tear in a thousand years, to shed tears enough to fill the sea. The world has not yet lasted six thousand years, so that the first of all the damned would not have shed six tears. And yet, O dreadful eternity! the time will most certainly come when any one of these wretches shall be able with truth to say, that at the rate of one tear for a thousand years, he might have shed tears enough not only to make a sea, but to drown the whole world, and to fill up the vast space between heaven and earth. And yet alas! after these millions of millions of ages he shall be as far off from the end of his misery as he was the first day he came into that place of woe. Compute after this, if thou pleasest, as many hundred thousand millions of years as thy thoughts can reach to; suppose if thou wilt the whole surface of the earth to be covered with numeral figures; cast up, if thou canst, this prodigious sum of years, and then multiply if by itself; and multiply again a second time the product by itself; and then at the foot of this immense sum write down here begins eternity. O terrible eternity! Is it possible that they who believe should not fear thee? Is it possible that they who fear thee should dare to sin?

Conclude ever to fly with all thy power, for the time to come, all such sins as lead to this miserable eternity. And as to thy past guilt, to take the best care thou art able to wash away now all the stains of thy soul in the blood of the Lamb, by the means of a hearty repentance, and sincere confession. Penitential tears are capable of effacing those stains at present, which everlasting flames shall never be able to burn away hereafter.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
4th Aug.
1564838769608.png



On the happiness of Heaven


Consider first, and ponder well those words of the apostle, 1 Cor. ii. 9, that ‘eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man, what things God hath prepared for them that love him.’ O! what then must this happiness of heaven, what must this eternal glory be, which so far exceeds all our thoughts and conceptions! God is infinite in all his attributes, in his majesty, power, wisdom, justice, &c., but his goodness and mercy, his liberality, bounty, and magnificence in his gifts and rewards overflow as it were the banks, and show themselves in a most extraordinary manner above all his works, Ps. cxliv. If then his justice be so terrible as we have seen, with regard to his enemies, how much more shall his mercy, his goodness, and his bounty declare themselves in favour of his friends? O what then must this blessed kingdom of heaven be, which in his infinite goodness he has prepared for his beloved children? – which he has contrived by his infinite wisdom, and effected by his infinite power, for the manifestation of his glory and for the entertaining them all with an eternal banquet worthy of himself?

Consider 2ndly, that if by the cost and price of a thing we may guess at its worth, we cannot make too advantageous a judgment of the happiness of heaven, the purchasing of which has cost the precious blood and life of the Son of God himself, which is indeed an infinite price; and which, notwithstanding his purchase, is not to be obtained by us without much pains and labour without many crosses and sufferings, and without giving up our whole selves in exchange for it: and after all, though we were to labour ever so hard all our lifetime for the acquiring of it, and should give ourselves and all things else for it, yet our labours, and all and whatsoever we can give, bear so little proportion with the greatness of this happiness that we are said even so to receive this water of life at free cost. Apoc. xxii. 17. Nay, though we should even suffer a thousand deaths for the sake of this eternal life, we are still assured, Rom. viii. 18, that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared to this heavenly glory that is to come. So much does the bliss of heaven exceed all that we can say, think, or conceive.

Consider 3rdly, the definition divines give of beatitude, or eternal happiness, when they term it a state made perfect by assembling together, and comprising in itself all good things – Status omnium bonorum aggregatione perfectus – that is to say, a permanent and everlasting state, replenished with all that is good, without the least mixture of evil; a general and universal good, comprising at once and for ever all manner of good things, filing brimful the vast capacity of the affections and desires of the soul, and eternally securing her from all fear or danger of want or change. O my soul, see then thou turn all thy pursuits after this time and eternal felicity; all things else are but mere toys in comparison with this thy sovereign and universal good.

Conclude with most humble and hearty thanks to the infinite goodness of God, who before thou wast born hath prepared such an eternal happiness for thee, and provided all necessary means for thee to obtain it. But resolve at the same time to be diligent in the use of all these means of thy salvation. For he who ‘made thee without thy concurrence, will not save thee without thy concurrence.’ – St. Augustine.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
5th Aug.
1565013807437.png



On the good things of Our Lord in the Land of the Living


Consider first, that the things which are most apt to allure the children of this world, and to draw their affections after them, are honours, riches, and pleasures; but their error is that they seek these things where they are not to be found, and suffer themselves to be imposed upon by false appearances. True honours, true riches, and true pleasures are not to be found in the broad road of the world, nor in the ways of sin; but are to be met with together with all other good things in the land of the living. Here all the inhabitants are advanced to the highest dignity, even to a fellowship with the living God, and a partnership with Jesus Christ in his throne. Here all are most noble and most renowned, most wise and most holy. Here all are of blood-royal, children and heirs of the king of kings. All are kings and queens, crowned for ever with wreaths of immortal glory, and shining far more brightly than the sun. These are honours indeed, and truly worthy of the Christian’s ambition. And all these, O my soul, if thou pleasest, may be thine for ever.

Consider 2ndly, the riches that flow in this happy land of promise, where the inhabitants want nothing, cover nothing, and enjoy all things. This beatitude of the saints is called in Scripture a kingdom; and such a kingdom it is to all those happy souls, for in plenty of all things, wealth, power, greatness, and endless duration, it infinitely exceeds all the kingdoms of the world. It is likened to a treasure of immense value, which all the riches of the world are not worthy to purchase. For the riches of this kingdom are of a far superior kind to all earthly treasures: gold and precious stones are valued no more than dirt here, where the inhabitants have the stars under their feet. The great treasure of the blessed is the eternal possession of God himself with all his riches. And, O my soul, what more can be desired?

Consider 3rdly, that this heavenly land flows also for ever with the milk and honey of pure and immortal delights, pleasures, and joys. For here are all eternally inebriated, according to the Psalmist, ‘with the plenty of God’s house, and are made to drink of the torrent of his pleasures; for here with him is the fountain of life,’ &c., Ps. xxxv. Yea, the great river of the water of life, clear as crystal, which proceeds from the throne of God, and of the Lamb, to water all the streets of the heavenly Jerusalem, having the tree of life growing upon its banks, with all the variety of its excellent fruits, Apoc. xxii. and this same is that torrent of pleasure that eternally flows, (bringing with it all these delicious fruits,) into the souls of God’s servants, quite replenishing them and filling brimful all their powers, senses, and faculties with inconceivable delight. O who would not gladly part with all the satisfactions the world can afford for such immortal pleasures as these!

Conclude to be no longer a slave to worldly toys, vain honours, false riches, and fading pleasures; but to turn away, without loss of time, from this Egypt, that can afford thee nothing but muddy water, incapable to quench thy thirst, and to bend thy course towards thy true country, where thou shalt meet with all thou canst desire, and that for eternity.

..
 
Last edited:

Admin

Administrator
6th Aug.
1565012946749.png



On the Transfiguration of Our Lord
St. Matther XVII


Consider first, how our Lord, taking with him Peter, James, and John, brought them up into a high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; so that ‘his face did shine on the sun, and his garments became white as snow. And there appeared to them Moses and Elias, talking with him, (concerning his decease that he should accomplish in Jerusalem,’) Luke ix. 31. Now Peter being transported with the glory of this vision, cried out, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. And as he was yet speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and lo! a voice out of the cloud, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him,’ Matt. xviii. This transfiguration of our Lord, full of lessons and instructions for us, is honoured by the church in the festival of this day, with a particular view to the raising up the thoughts and hopes of her children, in the midst of the hardships and labours of their mortal pilgrimage, to the eternal repose and glory of their heavenly country, that blessed Jerusalem which the true Israelites must never forget; though constrained as yet by a miserable captivity to sit down and weep upon the banks of the rivers of Babylon, and lament their distance from the house of God in Sion.

Consider 2ndly, in this mystery of the transfiguration of our Lord, how wonderfully he was here pleased to confirm our faith, as well by the joint testimonies of the law and the prophets bearing witness to the gospel, represented by the glorious apparition of Moses and Elias with Christ; as by the testimony of God himself in all the three persons, by the voice of the father, by the glory of the Son, and by the manifestation of the Holy Ghost in the bright cloud. See how he was pleased by the same glory of this transfiguration to encourage all his followers to bear with patience the afflictions, labours, crosses, and persecutions of this life, in hopes of a share in that eternal glory of which he has given us as it were a sketch in this mystery, ever remembering that of the apostle, 2 Cor. iv. 17. ‘that our present tribulation, which is momentary and light, worketh for us above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.’ But O, let us take along with us that other lesson also, which we are taught by the voice of the heavenly father, in the transfiguration of our Lord, that the true way to a happy eternity, and to all good, is ever to hear and obey the Son of God.

Consider 3rdly, how St. Peter, being out of himself with the joy of this vision, was desirous to be always in the same happy situation, and always enjoying the like glory; and therefore he cried out, ‘Lord,it is good for us to be here;’ not knowing, saith St. Luke, what he said, ch. x. 33. Because though it was inconceivable delightful to see and enjoy (though for a short time) the least glimpse of heavenly light and glory, yet as this present life was not to be the time of enjoyment, but of labours and of sufferings; and the Son of God himself was to enter into his glory by labours and sufferings (Luke xxiv. 26,) it was inordinate to desire here for a continuance of that which was reserved for hereafter, and for such only as should be entitled to it by labours and sufferings. Learn from hence, O my soul, with regard to divine consolations, and such like favours, that though thou art to receive them, when given, with humility, gratitude, and love –admiring the goodness and bounty of God, who is pleased thus to look down upon thee the most unworthy of sinners – yet art thou not to set thy heart upon them, nor to be disturbed and discouraged when they are taken away; for merit and perfection consists not in them, but in working, suffering, and loving; and for the time of this mortal life, ordinarily speaking, it is far better for thee to be with the Lord upon Mount Calvary, than upon Mount Thabor.

Conclude, instead of being eager after these transitory consolations, which at the best are but as small drops of water that fall from the clouds of heaven to refresh us for a moment in this dry desert through which we are now travelling, to aspire continually after that great overflowing river above, which gives joy without end to the city of God; and which alone is capable of quenching thy thirst and satisfying thy soul.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
7th Aug




On the glory of the Heavenly Jerusalem


Consider first, how glorious and beautiful those mansions are that are prepared for the eternal abode of the servants of God in the heavenly Jerusalem. ‘How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts,’ cries out the royal prophet, Ps. lxxxiii. ‘My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.’ The beauty and glory of this city of God every way correspond with the riches, bounty, and magnificence of this almighty monarch, who has built it for the manifestation of his power, wisdom, and goodness, and to be the eternal habitation of his dearest friends and children. and what great things will he not do, when both his own glory and his love for us call upon him to exert himself? See, my soul, how noble a place he has given us here below, even in this place of our banishment; beautified with the sun, moon, and stars; accomplished and furnished with an almost infinite variety of minerals, plants, flowers, trees, and living creatures, in the earth, air, and waters, all subservient to man, and all wonderfully beautiful in their kinds, & c. If then he has so richly provided for us in this vale of tears, in this region of the shade of death, what must our eternal habitation be in the land of the living? If here he is so bountiful even to his enemies, in affording them so commodious and so noble a dwelling, what may not his friends and children expect in his external kingdom; where alone, according to the prophet, ‘our Lord is magnificent!’ Isaia xxxiii. 21.

Consider 2ndly, how the Scripture, to accommodate itself to our low way of thinking, describes the glory and beauty of this heavenly city by representing it unto us under the figures of such things as we must admire here below; when it tells us that the walls of this city of God are built with precious stones, and that its streets are watered with the bright crystal streams of the river of the water of life, flowing from the throne of God; and that on the banks of this river, on both sides, grows the tree of life; that there shall be no night, nor any want of sun or moon, but that God himself shall be its everlasting light, and that every one of the just shall shine like the sun, &c. ‘O how glorious are these things that are said of thee, O city of God!’ Ps. lxxxvi. But O how much more glorious are those great things that are veiled under these figures?

Consider 3rdly, that Jerusalem is interpreted the sight or vision of peace; and therefore this name is given to the city above, because there alone is the true seat of eternal peace. ‘There is the tabernacle of God with men, and he shall dwell with them; and he shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, and death shall be no more, nor mourning, nor crying, nor sorrow shall be any more, for the former things are passed away,’ Apoc. xxi. 3, 4. No heats, no colds, no rain, no storms, no diseases, no pains, no conflicts or adversities of any kind, have any access to this city, or can ever come near this blessed abode. But a most bright day, a most serene calm, an everlasting peace perpetually reigns there; ‘a solid peace, a peace never to be disturbed, but always secure, a peace both within and without, a peace every way firm’ – Kempis.

Conclude ever to aspire after this blessed Jerusalem, and to despise all earthly toys in comparison with this heavenly city. O how good is our God, who has prepared such lovely and everlasting mansions for us! O blessed for ever by all his creatures be his infinite goodness!

..
 

Admin

Administrator
8th Aug
1565195852352.png



On the happy society of the Heavenly Jerusalem


Consider first, the multitude, beauty, and glory of the inhabitants of this blessed Jerusalem; those millions of millions of bright heavenly spirits, that always surround the throne of God, as we learn from the vision of the prophet, Dan. vii., ‘Thousands of thousand minister to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stand before him’ – that immense number of Cherubim and Seraphim, all on fire with divine love; that infinite multitude of saints and martyrs and other servants of God, of both sexes gathered out of all nations, tribes, and tongues, and above them all the blessed virgin mother of God, the queen of saints and angels. The number of these heavenly citizens is innumerable. They are all ever beautiful, and ever young; they are all most bright and most glorious. They wear the name of God on their foreheads expressed by the unalterable serenity, joy, peace, and light that shines from their countenance. The very sight of any one of them, as we learn from the experience of some of the saints and servants of God, is enough to ravish the soul into an ecstasy, and to fill it with inexpressible delight; and what shall it be to see them all, and to enjoy their happy society for all eternity!

Consider 2ndly, that one of the most happy things that a good Christian could meet with or desire on this side of eternity would be to live quite separated from the company and conversation of the wicked, and of all the fools and the slaves of this world, and to converse only with the wise and with the holy, and to be joined with them in a perfect band of fraternal charity, friendship, and union. ‘O how good and how pleasant it is,’ said the Psalmist, ‘for brethren to dwell together in unity,’ Ps. cxxxii. But O what company, what conversation, what friendship here upon earth, how pure soever, can bear any comparison with that of the blessed in heaven? for there we shall meet with millions of millions of brethren and friends, all most loving, all most wise, all most holy; in a word, all full of God. Their communications one with another are most pure; their conversation most sublime and heavenly; the praises of God and his eternal truths are their perpetual theme; harmonious hymns of divine love are their constant entertainment.

Consider 3rdly, more in particular the inexpressible charity and love which the blessed have one for another, which is so great that they all have but one heart and one soul. This makes them take such an inconceivable delight in each other’s happiness, through the love they bear each other, as to look upon the happiness of their brethren as their own, and to rejoice in it as if it were their own. So that by means of this their heavenly charity, the joy and satisfaction of every individual is multiplied to as manifold a degree as there are angels and blessed souls in heaven. Oh how lovely is this heavenly friendship! O let us aspire after this happy society! Let us aim as much as human weakness will permit, at an imitation of this blessed charity, by rejoicing at every real good we discover in our neighbours as if it were our own; and by inviting all we can to join with us here in the love and praises of God, and in the practice of all other virtues; that so both we and they may hereafter be happily united together, associated for eternity, in singing to our Lord the immortal songs of Sion.

Conclude, if thou desirest to be eternally happy in the society of the saints in the heavenly Sion, to flee now from the midst of the Babylon of a wicked world, and to associate thyself as much as thou canst with the true servants of God. There is nothing will be of more service to thy soul during thy mortal pilgrimage.

..

..
 

Admin

Administrator
9th Aug.

1565270886491.png



On the eternal enjoyment of God


Consider first, that although the kingdom of heaven abounds with all that can be imagined good and delightful, yet there is but one sovereign good, in the enjoyment of which consists the essential beatitude of heaven, and that is God himself, whom the blessed ever see as he truly is, face to face; and see him in the very centre of their own souls; and by the eternal contemplation of his infinite beauty and truth, together with all his divine attributes and attractions, they are quite ravished and set on fire with seraphic flames of eternal love. By means of this contemplation and love they are closely united by a most pure and amiable union with this sovereign and infinite good, and they eternally enjoy him. He surrounds and penetrates them on all sides with inexpressible delights; he fills their whole souls with himself, the overflowing source of all good; he gives himself to them to be their joy, their treasure, their never-ending bliss; he transforms them in a manner to himself, as when brass or iron in the furnace is perfectly penetrated by the fire it loseth in a manner its own nature, and becomes all flame and fire. O happy creatures! what can be wanting to complete your joys, who have within and without you the immense ocean of endless felicity?

Consider 2ndly, that what makes God himself infinitely and eternally happy is the eternal knowledge, love, and enjoyment of himself. For God himself is his own happiness; nothing less than his own immense divinity could ever make them happy. See then, my soul, the infinite riches of the bounty and goodness of thy God, who giveth his servants, in reward of their loyalty, so great a good that nothing greater an be given: even God himself can give nothing greater; since he giveth himself to them to be their possession and eternal inheritance; and what can be given greater than himself? O shall that not suffice, my soul, to make thee happy which maketh God himself happy! Who than can be able to conceive the least part of the joy, peace, and pleasure which that soul must experience that sees herself thus full of God and enjoying him! O how happily does she here lose herself – downed in an ocean of delights – an immense ocean, where she can neither find surface nor bottom, nor any shore, because it is on every side incomprehensible and infinite.

Consider 3rdly, in what manner all the powers of these blessed souls, which are thus full of God, are eternally employed. Their understanding elevated by the light of glory, and in this light of God, seeing God, they ever contemplate with infinite delight this sovereign and universal truth, and in him see all truths, penetrate into the secrets of God and the sublimest mysteries, and are even let into the closet of his heart, to see there the immense treasure of his love for us, and all the wonders he works in time and eternity in consequence of this love. Their memory is continually occupied with the remembrance of all their God has ever done for them; his creating them out of his own pure goodness, for the eternal enjoyment of himself; his redeeming them with the blood of his divine Son; and through him opening to them an inexhaustible source of mercy, grace, and all good; his manifold preservations, by which he has so often delivered them both from a temporal and an eternal death; and his innumerable other benefits and distinguishing favours. Their will all set on fire with the sight of the infinite beauty and infinite goodness of their God, loves him without ceasing and without measure, and perfectly consumes herself in the flames of an eternal love; she lays fast hold on this her sovereign good; she embraces him, she eternally adheres to him, and by a thrice happy union she becomes in a manner the same thing with her divine lover.

Conclude to employ here all the powers of thy soul upon God, by the practice of mental prayer and recollection, and to accustom them now to that kind of exercise which thou hopest will be their eternal occupation. Thus mayest thou, by contemplation and love, in some measure anticipate here upon earth the joys of heaven.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
10th Aug.


1565358381457.png



On St. Laurence


Consider first, how St. Laurence, being archdeacon to the holy Pope Xystus, in the time of the persecution of the church under the heathen emperor Valerian, seeing his holy bishop led away to martyrdom, and himself left behind, addressed himself to him in these words: ‘Whither are thou going, O father, without thy son? Whither art thou hastening, O holy priest, without thy deacon? Thou wast never accustomed to offer sacrifice without me thy minister; try me then now, and make the experiment whether thou hast chosen a fit minister, to whom thou hast committed the dispensing the blood of our Lord.’ To whom the holy pope replied: ‘I am not going to leave thee, my son, nor to forsake thee, but only am going a little before thee: after three days thou shalt follow me. I am old, and therefore my conflict is more light and easy; but thou are young, and shalt sustain far greater conflicts for the love of Christ, and shalt triumph in a more glorious manner over the tyrant.’ See, my soul, what a spirit animated these blessed martyrs, what an ardour they had to suffer for the love of Christ, and let it be thy grief to find so very little in thyself of these holy dispositions.

Consider 2ndly, that what made St. Laurence so great a saint was his divine charity, that is to say, his ardent love for his God and for his neighbour. His charity or his neighbour was evinced as well by his diligent discharge of his office in the care and support of all the poor of the city, as by his distributing amongst them, in the time of the persecution, all the plate and treasures of the church committed to his charge. His fervent love of God was evinced by that invincible courage and fortitude with which he endured the worst of torments, even with cheerfulness and joy, because he was suffering for the sake of his beloved. His love was truly stronger than death; and the fire, with which he was outwardly broiled on the gridiron was by no ways to be compared with the flames of divine love which were enkindled within his soul, and which made him proof against all the efforts of his enemies, and victorious over all the powers of earth and hell. O! ‘tis divine charity that makes saints: ‘tis love, ‘tis an ardent love of God and our neighbours that carries souls to heaven. O let us but love as we ought, and as we are all strictly bound to love, and we shall all be saints; and he that loves the most shall be the greatest saint. O teach us, dear Lord, but this divine art of love, and in all things else do with us what thou wilt.

Consider 3rdly, the great lesson given us in the gospel of this festival (St. John xii. 24, & c.,) in which we are taught by our Lord, that the grain of corn must die before it can bring forth fruit; that he that loveth his life shall lose it, and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal; that the minister or servant of Christ must follow him, and that where he is there also his minister shall be; and that if any one shall duly minister to Christ he shall be honoured by his Father. See, my soul, thou study well these gospel lessons; see that thou learn to die to self-love, to thy own will, to thy disorderly passions and sensual inclinations, by the practice of daily self-denial and mortification; and then thou shalt bring forth much fruit. We must all be so far at least martyrs of Christ as to die to ourselves for the love of him. Thus we shall be his servants and ministers indeed: thus we shall follow him, and where he is we shall also be; thus we shall come to be eternally honoured by his heavenly Father.

Conclude to honour this glorious martyr St. Laurence by an imitation of his fervour, zeal, and constancy in the cause of God, and of his ardent love for God and his neighbour. and learn from the consideration of the grievous torments the martyrs have endured for Christ, to suffer with patience, at least, whatever share there shall be allotted to thee in the cross of Christ.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
11th Aug.

1565451167776.png



On the endowments of the glorified bodies in Heaven


Consider first, that as the body and soul are individual companions and partners in this life in the good or evil we do, so shall they be in the rewards or punishments of the next. Hence, besides the essential beatitude of the soul, consisting in the eternal sight and enjoyment of God and the happy exercise of all the powers of the soul employed eternally about him, the body also of the servant of God shall meet with its eternal reward in heaven, and so happy a reward as no human understanding can be able to conceive. These bodies of ours, at the resurrection, shall be most wonderfully changed. ‘This corruptible,’ says the apostle, 1 Cor. xv., ‘must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.’ And again – ‘It is sown in corruption, it shall rise in incorruption; it is sown in dishonour, it shall rise in glory; it is sown in weakness, it shall rise in power; it is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual body.’ Spiritual, not in its substance, (for it is still a body,, and not a spirit,) but in its qualities; like the body of Christ after his resurrection, penetrating through the doors that were shut and all other obstacles, clothed with perpetual health, strength, vigour, and youth – swift as thought, immortal and impassible.

Consider 2ndly, the glory and beauty of these heavenly bodies, far exceeding all earthly glory and beauty. ‘The just,’ saith our Lord, ‘shall shine like the sun in the kingdom of their father,’ Matt. xiii. 43. Yet the very least of God’s servants in that eternal kingdom shall be far more resplendent and beautiful than anything that can be seen by mortal eye here below or represented by man’s imagination. But O how happy then shall the eyes of the blessed be that shall be eternally entertained with the sight of all these heavenly beauties, every one of which is so charming and ravishing to behold! O how happy shall those eyes be which shall be eternally entertained with the sight of all these heavenly beauties, every one of which is so charming and ravishing to behold! O how happy shall those eyes be which shall be perpetually fed with the view at once of all that is delightful in the new heavens and the new earth! And what, again, is all this in comparison with the happiness of their eternal contemplation of the great king of beauty himself and king of glory, Jesus Christ, whom they shall always see in all his beauty and in all his glory?

Consider 3rdly, that the other bodily senses shall also have their reward in heaven, not by their enjoying there any of those gross or brutal pleasures which carnal and worldly-minded men are so fond of – which are so apt to defile the soul and can give her no true satisfaction – but the eternal experience of pleasures of quite another nature, pure and immortal, which shall affect all the senses and fill them with unspeakable delight, from the most delicious sweets of the heavenly paradise. And as for the hearing in particular, it shall be ever entertained with an unspeakable harmony, formed by the melodious concerts of all the celestial choirs, and the united voices of millions of millions of heavenly citizens, all sweetly singing together divine hymns of eternal praise and love to their ever glorious and ever loving king. O my soul, the hearing of any one of these heavenly voices, could it be allowed us here, would certainly be enough to ravish any mortal with inexpressible delight! And what must it be eternally to hear them all?

Conclude to admire and adore the infinite bounty and goodness of thy God, who, not content with giving the soul so great a reward as the eternal enjoyment of the sovereign good, which is himself, has been pleased to prepare such excellent gifts and endowments for the body, to make it also eternally happy. But then thou must remember, that if thou wouldst secure to thy body these heavenly endowments and all this happiness for endless ages, thou must keep it pure and holy during this mortal life, and ever mortify its disorderly appetites and carnal inclinations.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
12th Aug.

1565526270144.png


On a happy Eternity


Consider first, that what completes the happiness of the servants of God in his heavenly kingdom is the eternity and the absolute security of all their enjoyments in every branch of their bliss. Their joys are even linked with God’s eternity; and by the unalterable decrees of his divine love, they can no more cease to be happy than he can cease to be God. The honours, riches, and pleasures of this world are all, alas! short and momentary – could they even continue with us for the whole time of our life (which is seldom or never the case) they could be of no better condition than this our mortal life; which is ‘but a vapour which appeareth for a little while, and presently vanishes and is seen no more,’ St. James iv. 15. And though we would give the whole world to secure to ourselves but one day the enjoyment of them, we should not be able to purchase any such security. How long then, O ye children of men, will ye be in love with these empty vanities? How long will you suffer yourselves to be imposed upon with lies and deceits? Give but your hearts in earnest to God; give yourselves up to divine love, and, instead of these vain worldly toys, which at the best you can only enjoy for an uncertain moment, you shall secure to yourselves all good from your God for endless ages.

Consider 2ndly, Christian soul, and look forward into this immense eternity of the incomprehensible and never-ending felicity which is prepared for thee in heaven, to reward thy fidelity in the love and service of thy God, and to recompense the short labours and sufferings of thy mortal life. O what a pleasure it is to lose one’s self in the happy prospect of this boundless ocean of eternity! O what an unspeakable joy to think of being for ever plunged into the immense abyss of the divinity itself! What a delight to be counting up millions of millions of ages, crowned with all the honours, riches, and enjoyments of the heavenly paradise; and after all to find one’s self no nearer the end of this felicity than when one first set out. The thought of this blessed eternity inspired St. Teresa, when yet an infant, with a contempt of all those things that pass away with time, and with a desire of giving up her life for the love of Christ. She often repeated with great feeling those words: ‘For ever, for ever, for ever,’ and in the meditation on these eternal years a bright fire of devotion was enkindled in her soul. O let the like thought inspire us with the like affections.

Consider 3rdly, that in this eternal bliss there is not only an absolute security of their joys never having an end, but also an assurance that they shall never suffer the least decay or diminution, or any ways become tedious or less agreeable by the infinite length of the possession of them. For as the God whom the blessed perpetually enjoy is every way infinite and incomprehensible, being an immense ocean of all good, an inexhaustible treasure of all happiness; so the joy, pleasure, and delight of those that eternally enjoy him is ever fresh and ever new, and continually fills the whole capacity and fully satisfies the whole appetite of their souls. O! how ‘blessed then must they be that dwell in thy house, O Lord. for ever and ever thy shall praise thee,’ Ps lxxxiii. O! ‘how lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord.’ Yea, my soul thirsteth after this fountain of eternal life which is with her God, and which perpetually inebriates all his heavenly guests, flowing without ceasing into their happy breasts.

Conclude to despise henceforward all that is earthly and transitory, and from this hour to set out and to begin thy journey towards this glorious, heavenly, and eternal kingdom. There thou shalt find all that thy heart can desire – immortal honours, never-failing riches, pure and everlasting pleasures. There thou shalt meet with beauties that never fade, perpetual health, perpetual life, & c. O this alone is thy true home, the land o the living!

..
 

Admin

Administrator
13th Aug.


1565620385150.png



On the conformity with the will of God


Consider first, that a conformity of our will in all things with the holy will of God is the sovereign perfection of a Christian life, inasmuch as it is the very perfection of divine love and charity, which is the queen of virtues. For there can be no greater love than to have no other will than the will of our divine lover; so as ever to adore in all things his holy will, ever to embrace and love his holy will. This kind of love is perfect indeed – it resembles the love of the angels and saints of heaven. The most acceptable offering we can make to God out of our poor stock is that of our will; whatsoever else we give him, as long as we keep any part of our will from him, will never content him. He claims our whole will without reserve when he says: ‘My son, give me thy heart,’ Prov. xxxiii. Now this we give him when we conform our will in all things with his blessed will. but if we refuse to submit our will in anything to his holy will we refuse him our heart; or, at the best, we only offer him a divided heart, which he will never accept of. O my god, let my whole heart be ever thine! Let my whole soul be ever subject to thee. Let my will be ever a faithful servant and true lover of thy ever-blessed and holy will.

Consider 2ndly, the great advantages that come to our souls from a perfect conformity with the will of God. It gives a certain dignity and perfection to all, even the meanest of our actions, and to all our sufferings, by making the will of God the rule of them all. It purifies our intention in all things by continually directing the eye of the soul towards God. It brings with it a certain uprightness and simplicity of heart which is highly agreeable to God; it makes us even, as the Scripture says of David, ‘men according to God’s own heart.’ It places the soul in the hands of God, for him to dispose of her in all things according to his holy will and pleasure. It brings along with it a perfect peace and tranquility of mind in all events, as being all ordered and directed by him who is infinitely good and infinitely wise, and who orders all things for the good of them who cast their whole care upon him and seek to have no other will but his. O blessed conformity, how rich, how sweet and delicious to the soul are thy happy fruits! Thou makest us enjoy even a heaven upon earth.

Consider 3rdly, that this conformity of the soul with the will of God rids her of all her evils, and puts her in possession of all other virtues. ‘Tis the sovereign means to bring all our passions into order and subjection, and to mortify all our irregular inclinations. For that which makes them disorderly and irregular is their opposition to, or their resistance of, the will of God; whereas this blessed conformity obliges them all to stoop down and submit to his sacred will. It humbles the soul under the mighty hand of God; it teaches her to be meek under all injuries, affronts, and provocations, considering them all as coming from the just appointments of heaven; it makes her willing to take up her cross, and to bear it till death, with perfect patience and resignation: in a word, it teaches her to be obedient unto death. O grant us, dear Lord, this blessed conformity.

Conclude to set a great esteem upon this excellent virtue of conformity with the will of God: it is the greatest treasure thou canst enjoy in this mortal pilgrimage. But then it is not to be obtained without thy being in earnest in seeking it, fervent in praying for it, and ready to part with thy own will and humour for the purchasing of it.


1565620427454.png




The Litany of the Sacred Heart

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world,
Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit,
Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God,
Have mercy on us.

Heart of Jesus, Son of the Eternal Father,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Formed by the Holy Ghost in the womb of the Virgin Mother,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Substantially united to the Word of God,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Of Infinite Majesty,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Holy Temple of God,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Tabernacle of the Most High,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, House of God and Gate of Heaven,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Burning Furnace of charity,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Vessel of Justice and love,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Full of goodness and love,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Abyss of all virtues,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Most worthy of all praises,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, King and center of all hearts,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, In Whom are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, In Whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Divinity,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, in Whom the Father is well pleased,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Of Whose fullness we have all received,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Desire of the everlasting hills,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Patient and abounding in mercy,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Rich unto all who call upon Thee,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Fountain of life and holiness,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Atonement for our sins,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Filled with reproaches,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Bruised for our offenses,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Made obedient unto death,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Pierced with a lance,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Source of all consolation,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Our Life and Resurrection,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Our Peace and Reconciliation,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Victim for our sins,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Salvation of those who hope in Thee,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Hope of those who die in Thee,
Have mercy on us.
Heart of Jesus, Delight of all the Saints,
Have mercy on us.

Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.
Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
Make our hearts like unto Thine.

Let us pray.

Almighty and eternal God, look upon the Heart of Thine most-beloved Son, and upon the praises and satisfaction He offers Thee in the name of sinners; and appeased by worthy homage, pardon those who implore Thy mercy, in Thy Great Goodness in the name of the same Jesus Christ Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.
..
 
Last edited:

Admin

Administrator
14th Aug.

1565707799084.png



On the motives that oblige us to a perpetual
conformity with the will of God


Consider first, that all kinds of motives concur in recommending to a Christian this best of all devotions, which has for its object the holy will of God. ‘Tis our greatest honour and glory ever to follow God, to submit to him, to be servants of his divine will, to be servants of his divine love, to be so closely united to him as to have no other will but his. ‘Tis our greatest interest to conform ourselves in all things with his blessed will; it brings with it all kind of good to our souls, both for time and eternity; for by giving up our will without any reserve to God, we engage him to give himself without reserve to us. ‘Tis the source of the greatest, and indeed the only true and solid pleasures, to embrace the will of God in all things; forasmuch as it unites the soul with the fountain of all sweetness, which is God. The will of God is always right, always wise, always good, always beautiful. The will of God is God himself. What motives then have we not to conform ourselves continually with this ever right, ever wise, ever good, ever beautiful will of our ever-loving God; how wicked it is to rebel against this sovereign will! How mad it is for us to pretend to withdraw ourselves from the will of the Almighty!

Consider 2ndly, that the only business for which we come into this world is to do in all things the holy will of God. The Son of God himself had no other business during his mortal life than to do the will of his father. ‘I came down from heaven,’ says he, John vi. 38, ‘not to do my own will, but the will of him that sent me.’ And Ps. xxxix., ‘In the head of the book,’ says he, ‘it is written of me, that I should do thy will: O my God, I have desired it – in the midst of my heart.’ In this same good book of life it is written also of all the children of God, that they likewise should do the will of their heavenly Father; this is the test by which we are all to be examined; all they that, with Jesus Christ, desire in the midst of their hearts, and like him, embrace and love the holy will of God, and always conform themselves to it, shall be acknowledged for the true children of God, and the brethren of Jesus Christ; but as many as shall revolt and fall off from their allegiance to the blessed will of God, shall have their name blotted out of the book of life. See then, my soul, that the true way to heaven is to conform thyself with the divine will.

Consider 3rdly, that by all manner of titles God claims of us a conformity with his heavenly will. He claims it as our creator, because he made us to serve him, and gave us our will, with the rest of the powers of the soul, only to be employed in the service of his holy will. With what face then can we refuse him the sacrifice of that will which he made for himself? Or how can we pretend that his divine will should at any time stoop to our silly will, and not rather we give up at all times our whole will, by a perfect conformity to the will of our creator? The Son of God also claims our will as our redeemer, by the title of purchase; because he has ransomed our souls – enslaved before to Satan and sin – and bought them for himself and his father, at a great price, even with his own most precious blood. So that our will ought always to be at his disposal as his property; and therefore ought ever to conform itself with his blessed will. The Holy Ghost also claims our will by the title of sanctification; because our whole soul has been at our baptism dedicated, sanctified, and consecrated by the Spirit of God to be the eternal temple of God. And therefore our will, which is the principal power of the soul, and which commands the rest, is strictly bound to be ever obedient to the will of him who has chosen and sanctified it for himself.

Conclude to give always to God what upon so many titles belongs wholly to him, and never more to be a rebel to the will of God; or to give the preference to thy own will, or any other creature, before the will of God.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
15th Aug.

1565796242645.png



On the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin
Assumpta est Maria In Caelum, Gaudent Angeli, Laudantes Benedicunt Dominum.

Consider first,
in the festival of this day, and contemplate in spirit the glorious entry of the blessed virgin Mary, the mother of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ, into the everlasting kingdom of her Son. See, my soul, with what joy of the whole court of heaven, with what triumphs, with what heavenly hymns, she was escorted thither by legions of angels; see how all the citizens of heaven went forth to meet her: with what affectionate embraces she was welcomed by her divine Son, and presented by him to his eternal father: see how she was placed above all the angels and saints, above all the cherubim and seraphim on a most glorious throne, the highest in heaven next to that of her Son; and crowned by him with a diadem of such supereminent brightness and glory as is not to be expressed nor conceived. Rejoice, O my soul, in this glorious assumption of the mother of our Lord, who as he has been pleased to make us his brethren, has been pleased to make her also our mother. O what a happiness it is for us to have such a mother, (who has so great interest with the king of heaven, and who takes our welfare so much to heart,) so near the throne of all mercy and grace! O blessed Virgin, graciously look down upon us in this our banishment, and always show thyself a mother to us.

Consider 2ndly, what brought this ever-blessed Virgin to this supereminent glory, which we honour in this festival of her assumption? 1. It was her most profound humility – she was exalted above all because she was the most humble of all. For he that humbleth himself the most upon earth shall be the most exalted in heaven. 2. It was her perfect purity of soul and body, mind and heart, from all the defilements of sin. 3. It was principally her supereminent love of God; for the degree of the enjoyment of God in his eternal glory is ever proportioned to the degree of our love of God in this mortal life. If then we hope one day to follow this blessed Virgin to heaven, and to have a share in the glory of her assumption, we must endeavour to imitate her humility, her purity, and her love of God. No soul can ever ascent to heaven by any other way than that of humility, purity, and the love of God.

Consider 3rdly, that this imitation of the virtues of the blessed Virgin is an excellent way of honouring her, and of showing our real esteem, love, and devotion to her. For how can we better testify our affection and veneration for the saints of God than by honouring and loving in them that which made them saints; and that which God himself honours and loves in them, that is their virtues? Or how can we better express our esteem and love for their virtues than by studying to imitate them? This kind of devotion is most pleasing to the saints, and to the queen of the saints, and to the God of the saints; it is most honourable to them and most profitable to ourselves. This will bring us effectually to the eternal society of the saints; which without this no other devotion can secure to us.

Conclude so to rejoice in the exaltation of our blessed Lady, in this day of her glory, and to take up on this day a generous resolution of walking in her footsteps, by a diligent imitation of her life; but more especially by following the great example of her humility, purity, and love of God. This generous resolution of thine will be so agreeable to her as to add a new satisfaction and joy to the immense felicity she possessed before.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
16th Aug

1565883534380.png


On the Gospel read on the festival of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin, Luke X., &c.

Consider first, how our Lord, going into a certain town, a certain woman named Martha received him into her house; and she had a sister called Mary, who sat also at the Lord’s feet, and heard his word, & c. O how happy, my soul, were these holy sisters, who had it thus in their power to receive the Lord of glory into their house; to entertain him there, to hear his word, and to converse familiarly with him, and to minister to him! O how happy should we have been if we had lived at that time, and could have been favoured in the like manner! But stay, my soul, and see if this same Lord does not offer thee the like favours at present; and if it be not entirely thy own fault if thou art not a great saint in consequence of them. For does he not still abide amongst us in the blessed Sacrament? Does he not there come in person into our house? Does he not bring all his treasures of divine grace with him, to enrich our souls? May we not by a spiritual communion invite him to us whenever we please? May we not by a spirit of recollection and mental prayer entertain him, and converse with him as long as we please? Does he not often visit us with his grace? Does he not often stand at the door of the heart and knock? Have we not his heavenly word with us? May we not minister to him when we please, and serve him in the person of the poor, which service he declares he looks upon as done to himself? If so, what reason have we to regret our not having lived at the time of our Saviour, seeing he is always living with us?

Consider 2ndly, how very differently these two holy sisters were then employed; the one being busy about much serving, and full of care in providing for the entertainment of our Lord; the other sitting still at his feet, and quietly attending to his divine word. And yet they were both employed about him; they both dedicated themselves to his love and service. In this they represent to us two different kinds of lives of the servants of God, the active and contemplative; or, if you please, two different kinds of functions of the Christian life: the one consisting in action, the other in contemplation; the one in the variety of good works done with a good intention, for the service of Christ; the other in a more quiet retirement and recollection, and a more close attention to God by mental prayer. Both of these are good, both of them highly commendable; because both of them tend to the love and service of God: but the latter is preferred by the judgment of truth itself; because it makes that its occupation here, which is to be its eternal employment hereafter. Mary has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her. Learn thou, my soul, of Martha, ever to direct thy common actions with all the functions and labours of thy calling, by a pure intention to the service of Christ; learn to sanctify them all by calling in Mary, that is recollection and prayer, to thy assistance. But learn also of Mary to retire as often as thou canst from the noise and hurry of the world, to the feet of Christ; learn of her, as often as thou hasts thy choice, to choose that better part of contemplation and love, which is to be thy eternal occupation.

Consider 3rdly, that this gospel is applied by the church to the blessed Virgin and to her assumption, because she was the happy woman that received in an extraordinary manner Christ into her house; she perfectly fulfilled in her life both the functions of Martha and Mary; of Martha in the services she rendered to our Lord in his humanity, for all the thirty years he was under her roof; and of Mary, by the perpetual contemplation and love of his divinity; so that even in the midst of the duties of the active life, the eye of her heart was always upon her God; she ever attended to the one thing necessary; she ever made choice of the better part; and on this day of her exaltation she was put in the full possession of it for eternity – according to that, Mary has chosen the better part which shall not be taken from her.

Conclude, O my soul, to follow her great example in choosing always the better part, that thou mayest partake in her everlasting happiness.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
17th Aug.
1565966840666.png

St. Joseph Pignatelli, SJ



On the resignation to the will of God in all our sufferings


Consider first, that ‘tis a most certain truth that nothing happens in the world, excepting sin, which does not come directly from the hand of God, and which is not the effect of his holy will. So that all our sufferings, of what kind soever they may be, are all ordained by him, and all thus pass through his hands before they can reach us. Which is so true, that even those sufferings, which seem to be brought upon us immediately by the wickedness of men, are in effect , all of then sent by the ordinance of God; who, though he abhors whatsoever there is of malice and sin in the will or design of the men or devils, whom he suffers to afflict or persecute us; yet most certainly he not only permits, but absolutely wills, the afflictions, trials, or punishments which we suffer on these occasions. And ‘tis his intention and our duty that in all these sufferings we should not look so much at the visible hand of the unjust creature, as at the invisible hand of the just God; and that in all these cases we should in such manner detest the malice or wickedness of the men that afflict us, as ever to submit to, and even to embrace the chastisements of the Lord, as of a tender father, who often makes use of a rod for the correction of his children, which he afterwards casts into the fire. O how resigned should we be if we always remembered these truths!

Consider 2ndly, that all our sufferings not only come to us from the hand of God, but all are designed by him for our greater good. He is the best of fathers; his fatherly providence and his tender love for us exceeds all that we can express or conceive. The holy scriptures are full of repeated declarations of this truth; it cannot be called in question without contradicting both the divine word and the perpetual experience of the servants of God. So that we ought to be always fully assured, considering God’s infinite wisdom, goodness, and love for us, that all that he sends is for the best, and is indeed the best for us. See, my soul, that thou always remember this truth, in all thy pains, sicknesses, crosses, and afflictions; and in general in all things that happen to thee contrary to thy desire, expectation, or inclination. Upon all these occasions thou must consider Jesus Christ himself as offering thee this cup, or this cross, desiring thee to receive it for his sake; and assuring thee that it shall be the means to bring thee to heaven. O! how true it is, as we shall clearly see one day in the light of God, that these very things which we are apt to consider as evils, are indeed great and solid goods; and that through them, millions of souls shall be brought to eternal happiness, which without them might have been eternally miserable. O let us learn then to resign ourselves without reserve to all the appointments of a merciful and loving providence!

Consider 3rdly, the degrees by which we ought to endeavour to advance towards the perfection of this great virtue of the resignation of ourselves in all things to the divine will. The first and lowest is, to support at least with patience the evils that befall us; and this because they come from the hand of God; and humbly to submit to them as the just punishment of our sins, saying with the prophet: ‘I will bear the wrath of the Lord, because I have sinned against him,’ Mic. vii. 9, and with the psalmist, under afflictions, ‘I was dumb, and I opened not my mouth, because it is thy doing,’ Ps. xxxviii. 10. The second degree, which is much more perfect than the first, is when we not only endeavour to bear our sufferings with patience, so as not to murmur or repine on those occasions, or otherwise offend God; but also are ready and willing to suffer, because such is the will of God; so that the consideration of God’s holy will and pleasure makes the cross (which according to nature we dread and abhor,) agreeable to us, inasmuch as the will of God is thereby accomplished in us. The third and most perfect degree of resignation, which carries with it the perfection of divine love and charity, is when we do not only readily and willingly accept of the cross from the hand of God but even rejoice in suffering for the love of him; and take an unspeakable content in crosses, in adversities, in humiliation, in poverty, in being condemned by the world, & c., so that we would not even wish to be without them, out of the pure love of him who chose a suffering life for the love of us; and because the accomplishment of his will is the whole object of our desire, of our love, and of our joy, O! what a heaven should we find upon earth if we could once arrive at this third degree of divine resignation! For what can disturb that soul that always rejoices at the accomplishment of the will of God, and finds her pleasure and content in suffering?

Conclude to make it thy study to ascend by these steps of resignation to the holy will of God in all things, from virtue to virtue, till thou arrive at the top of the ladder where thou shalt find thy God, and be for ever inseparable united to him.

..
 

Admin

Administrator
18th Aug.

1566046071625.png

St. Joseph Calasantius


ON SELF-DENIAL


Consider first, that the capital enemy of the love of God and of all our good, especially of the resignation and conformity of our will to the will of God, is the vice of self-love, or a disorderly inclination to gratify and please ourselves; which is the unhappy consequence of the corruption of man by sin, and the fruitful parent of all our evils. All our vices and passions spring from this poisonous root; all the seven capital sins are but so many branches of this inordinate inclination to ourselves: take away self-love and you will shut up all the avenues of hell, and establish everywhere the reign of the love of God, and a most blessed heaven upon earth. Hence the virtue of self-denial, the business of which is to suppress and root out this dreadful evil of self-love, is one of the most necessary of all Christian virtues, and must ever go hand-in-hand with the great virtue of conformity to the will of God, which can never take root in our souls as long as we are unhappily attached to our own wills and fond of gratifying our own inclinations. Hence the very first condition the Son of God requires of all that would be his disciples is to deny themselves, Matt. xvi. 24. This self-denial is the great lesson he came down from heaven to teach. Happy we if by his grace we can but effectually learn it in practice.

Consider 2ndly, that this virtue of self-denial is usually called mortification, from a word signifying slaying or putting to death: inasmuch as by this continual fighting against ourselves and against our own corrupt inclinations and passions, we put to death, as it were, and crucify the old man of corruption, Rom. vi. 6, with his vices and sins, (according to that of the apostle, Gal. v. 24 that they that are of Christ have crucified their flesh with its vices and concupiscences,) and so die to ourselves, that we may put on the new man, Jesus Christ, and live in such manner to him as to be able to say with the same apostle, ‘I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in me,’ Gal. ii. 20. See, my soul, what this virtue of mortification means which is much talked of and but little understood, and less practiced, and yet no virtue is more necessary for our true welfare. We may even apply to it what St. Paul says of charity, 1 Cor. xiii., ‘That if we speak with the tongues of men and angels, and have the gift of prophecy, and all knowledge, and all faith, so that we could remove mountains, and are not mortified, we are nothing;’ and that whatsoever other qualifications we may have, or whatsoever good we may do, as long as our passions and corrupt inclinations remain unmortified, we shall still be nothing in the eyes of God.

Consider 3rdly, how this general mortification of our passions and our inordinate inclinations is everywhere strongly inculcated in the Word of God. We are even assured there that we must hate ourselves in this life if we hope to be either true disciples of Christ here, or to be eternally happy with him hereafter; (St. Luke xiv. 26, and St. John xii. 25); ‘that if we live according to the flesh we shall die, but if by the spirit we mortify the deeds of the flesh we shall live,’ Rom viii. 13. ‘And that they who are in the flesh,’ that is, they who are unmortified, ‘cannot please God,’ v. 8, besides many other texts which abundantly demonstrate that no one can be a good Christian without waging a perpetual war against his own sensual inclinations, and diligently taking up the cross of daily mortification. Hence the flesh with its passions and lusts is always reckoned by divines amongst the three great enemies of the soul, and is indeed of all the three by far the most dangerous enemy, because the world and the devil, with all their suggestions, would not easily draw us into sin and hell if our own flesh, that is, our corrupt inclinations and passions, did not pave the way and furnish them with the arms with which they fight against us. The world and the devil besiege us from without, but could never force their way into the soul, if our own evil inclinations did not hold a correspondence with them, and open the gates of the soul to let them in.

Conclude if thou desirest to overcome the world and the devil, to make it thy business to subdue the flesh and to bring it under subjection by wholesale self-denials and mortifications. Without this restraint upon the passions and inclination, there will be no soundness in thy soul – the whole head will be sick, and the whole heart sad, Isaia i. 5.

..
 
Top