Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On the Feast Day of St. John Chrysostom

Are you new to Catholicism, truly seeking the truth for the glory of the one true and Triune God and the salvation of your soul and those of your family and friends? Are you just learning about the antipopes of the 19th and 20th centuries? Facing a doctrinal challenge that is yet to be resolved in your understanding? In this confusing age, are you worried you might be holding to a falsehood or a heresy or a schism, that you might be a heretic or a schismatic, or worse yet are you doubting even the validity of the Catholic Church and the Christian religion, or finding yourself succumbing to all manner of mortally sinful habits?

Rather than get worked up and succumb to the temptation to despair, you must desire and earnestly strive to be truly sorry for all your offenses against God, even the ones that are hidden from you, resolve yourself to accept wisdom and grace from God so that you may know what the offenses may be and to amend your life, no matter how difficult it should prove, no matter how great the sacrifice, knowing this: if you put your interests and desires before the interest of truth, you will be kept blind by your own bad will. With the latter disposition, we can be confident of only death and hell, but with the former disposition, we can be confident that God will be pleased to give us the truth that we so earnestly desire. God's grace is not wanting. All you need is to ACCEPT IT.

St. John Chrysostom, Homily on 2 Corinthians: Then beginning the prayer, he says, "That the all-pitying and merciful God would listen to their prayers." For that you may not say, What shall we pray? They are aliens, not yet united [to the body]. Whereby can I constrain the regard of God? Whence can I prevail with Him to impart unto them mercy and forgiveness? That you may not be perplexed with such questions as these, see how he disentangles your perplexity, saying, "that the all-pitying and merciful God." Heardest thou? "All-pitying God." Be perplexed no more. For the All-pitying pities all, both sinners and friends. Say not then, "How shall I approach Him for them?" Himself will listen to their prayers. And the Catechumens' prayer, what can it be but that they may not remain Catechumens? Next, he suggests also the manner of the prayer. And what is this? "That He would open the ears of their hearts;" for they are as yet shut and stopped up. "Ears," he says, not these which be outward, but those of the understanding, "so as to hear 'the things which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man."" 1 Corinthians 2:9; Isaias 54:4

Louis de Montfort, The Secret of the Rosary: "If you say the Rosary faithfully until death, I do assure you that, in spite of the gravity of your sins "you shall receive a never fading crown of glory." Even if you are on the brink of damnation, even if you have one foot in Hell, even if you have sold your soul to the devil as sorcerers do who practise black magic, and even if you are a heretic as obstinate as a devil, sooner or later you will be converted and will amend your life and save your soul, if----and mark well what I say----if you say the Holy Rosary devoutly every day until death (all 15 decades) for the purpose of knowing the truth and obtaining contrition and pardon for your sins."

Note that Louis de Montfort is not talking about heretics who remain obstinate once they have already been presented the truth, and then have willfully rejected it.  He is referring to only those who are deceived and who are only stubborn in their error, not, because of pride, but because they have not yet been given the sound arguments that show their sect to be in error.  He is referring only to those who have the humility to admit that they may be wrong.  This is clear from the words "sooner or later you will be converted... if you say the Rosary... for the purpose of knowing the truth...".  It takes humility to pray the Rosary while asking for the truth, because in so doing, we admit that we might be wrong.  This is the humility that God wants from us, so that rather than follow our own intellect and will, we may strive instead to believe whatever He has revealed for us to believe, even if we are yet unable to see it clearly.

"Because every one that exalteth himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall be exalted."

LORD, God who created the heavens and the earth, if I do not know and love Thee and Thy Truth as I ought, at least I know that wherever the Truth is, there Thou art, and I, all loathsome and unworthy, being lower than the dirt, beg Thy Divine Majesty, in Thy sublime clemency, to enlighten my mind and my will by Thy grace that I may know and love Thee as I ought and to call me to Thyself that I may nevermore offend Thee. Amen.

O Jesus, give me grace to know in what ways I have offended Thee, and strengthen my will that I might be truly sorry for all my sins! Give me grace to to do penance, not so much from dread of eternal punishment, but from a love of justice, for the glory of Thy holy name and for the love of my friends and foes alike.

With the Blessed and Glorious Immaculate Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Queen of Heaven and Earth as your guide, you will gain the truth, salvation and the vision of God, provided you perseveringly and sincerely ask her to obtain it for you.

What Must You Do To Get to Heaven?

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