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How to Live a Holy Catholic Life
Living a holy Catholic life means putting God first in all that we do. God must be the focus of our daily existence. From the time of our awakening in the morning until we fall asleep at night God’s will for our lives must take center stage.
Some of us go through our day like a pinball being bounced from one place to another, never coming to rest and accomplishing little or nothing for God. Many are like the tumbleweed, without direction, going where the wind blows. Others are so concerned about themselves that they can go through the entire day and never once think of God.
In addition, we are living in a time of great uncertainty. Fundamentalist Islamic terrorists are planning the destruction of our American way of life. Either convert to Islam or die is their motto. Behind this onslaught is the greatest terrorist of all – Satan himself. He is not only the enemy of peace in the world, but peace within individuals. We are also in the midst of a different, even more serious war, and many of us don’t even know it. Although the battle rages around us, we are oblivious. Daily choices have to be made for there is one who desires our soul almost as much as God does. The Evil One revels in the seduction and ultimate destruction of God’s children. His only motivation is one of hatred toward God and all of creation. Make no mistake, Satan is the hideous personification of evil and he is continually plotting our downfall. There is only One who can keep the evil at bay and that is the Triune God. Eternity beckons and we must make a conscious effort to prepare for it. Living a holy life takes conscious effort. It is easy to say that God loves us and we must love Him in return. Yet, far more is necessary, we must endeavor to develop an intimacy with God.
In Lewis Carroll's, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice comes to a crossroad and is confused; she sees the Cheshire cat up in a nearby tree and asks him which way she should go. The Cat asks, "Where do you want to get to?” Alice replies that it really didn't matter. Then the Cat says, "Well, if you don't know where you’re going, then any road will get you there." You've got to know where you want to go. All who walk along the right path are sure to arrive at the place of their destination, while of the contrary, they who wander from the right path may never arrive at their journey's end.
If asked, most people would say that they want to go to heaven when they die. When asked if they want to be living saints, they might demure and have to think about it. We don’t become saints when we get to heaven, we must be saints to gain entrance.
St. Paul refers to Christians as saints. While we are on earth we are imperfect saints striving for perfection. Heaven is the domain of perfected Saints.
The general rule is: "He who lives holy will die holy." The most dangerous thing in this world is to defer our conversion from sin to virtue.
Some of what I am going to share with you comes from the writings of St. Robert Bellarmine (1542-1621). Bellarmine was declared Venerable only six years after his death and was canonized in 1930 and declared a doctor of the Church in 1931. He taught that we must learn to die to this world. In order to get to heaven we must die to this world before we die in the body. All who live in the world are dead to God.
St. John the Evangelist, quoting Christ, said, "the ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over me." How could St. John say those words? Because he had Christ in his soul. The "ruler of this world" means the Devil, Satan who is the king of all the wicked; and "world" is understood as the company of all sinners who love the world and are loved by it.
St. John also adds in his first Epistle:" Do not love the world or the things in the world. If any one loves the world, love for the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides for ever" (1 John 2:15-17).
St. James speaks in his epistle chapter 4: "Unfaithful creatures! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you suppose it is in vain that the scripture says, "He yearns jealously over the spirit which he has made to dwell in us"? But he gives more grace; therefore it says, "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you" (4:4-7).
In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul says: "You must go out of this world"; and in another place in the same letter: " But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world."
Here we are clearly told that the whole world will be condemned on the last day. But by "the world" is not meant heaven and earth, or all those who live in it, but only those who love the world. The just and the holy are in the world but not of the world. The wicked are not only in the world but are of the world. The people are filled with the pride of the Evil One rather than the humility of Christ.
Our Lord when asked, "Are they few that are saved?" replied, "Strive to enter the narrow gate"; and more clearly in Matthews Gospel does he speak: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few" (Mt. 7:13-14).
To live in the world and to despise the pleasures of this world is very difficult. The good things in life, riches, honors, pleasures, are not entirely forbidden to Christians, but only the love of them.
We must persevere in faith, hope, and charity. Christ calls us to perfection. Matt. 5:48: “You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Can we be perfect? Most would say no. But, why would Christ set a goal for us that is unreachable? We must understand the definition of perfection as Jesus explained it in St. Luke’s Gospel: Luke 10:25-28 – “And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" He said to him, "What is written in the law? How do you read?" And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself." And he said to him, "You have answered right; do this, and you will live."
He who loves God fulfills the precepts, which relate to the first tablet of the law, the Ten Commandments; and he who loves his neighbor fulfills all the commandments which relate to the second. At the same time, He also wished to teach us what virtues are necessary to attain perfect justice. 1 Cor. 13:9-13: “For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect; but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
So what is the nature of true and perfect Charity toward God and neighbor? The essence of a good life is laid down by St. Paul in his letter to Timothy in these words: “Whereas the aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith” (1 Tim 1:5). Faith, Hope, and Love are the three virtues, which exist in the heart of a justified person. By justified, is meant someone who is right in the eyes of God.
Let us begin with faith. St. Paul had a reason for adding the word “sincere” to faith for faith begins justification, provided it is true and sincere, not dishonest or pretended.
The faith of bad Catholics, does not begin justification because it is not sincere, but a pretense. It is said to be a pretense in two ways: when either we do not really believe but only pretend to believe or when we do believe, but do not live as we should.
In both of these ways, it seems, the words of St. Paul in his letter to Titus must be understood: “They profess to know God, but they deny him by their deeds; they are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good deed” (Tit. 1:16).
Another virtue of a just person is Hope, or a good conscience as St. Paul taught us to call it. This virtue comes from faith, for a person cannot hope in God if he either does not know the true God or does not believe him to be powerful and merciful.
A good conscience is very necessary. For how can anyone approach God and ask favors from Him, when he is conscious of having committed sin and not rectified it by true repentance and restitution. When we sin, we break faith with God; we sever the connection. God remains on the end of the line and is there if and when we repair the connection through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.
Hear what the wise man thinks of the hope of the wicked in The Book of Wisdom 5:15: “Because the hope of the ungodly man is like dust carried by the wind, and like a light hoarfrost driven away by a storm; it is dispersed like smoke before the wind, and it passes like the remembrance of a guest who stays but a day.”
In other words, the hope of the wicked man is fleeting at best. The Book of Wisdom goes on to say: “But the righteous live for ever, and their reward is with the Lord; the Most High takes care of them. Therefore they will receive a glorious crown and a beautiful diadem from the hand of the Lord, because with his right hand he will cover them, and with his arm he will shield them” (Wis. 5:15-16).
The wise man knows that he must not dare to remain in sin, even for one moment, nor allow himself to be deceived by a vain confidence that he has many years to live, and that he will have time to repent. Such empty confidence has deceived many, and will deceive many more, unless we learn wisely, while we still have time. The devil says, "Confess tomorrow, there is always time." St. Augustine was said to have prayer, "Lord make me holy, but not today."
The third virtue is love. It is called the queen of virtues. With this virtue, no one can perish; without it no one can live, either in this life or the life to come. But only love, which springs from a pure heart is true love: it is “From God” (1 Jn 4:7).
If we delight in speaking of God, and even shed tears of repentance; even if we do many good works, give charitably, and fast often, yet allow impure love to remain in our hearts, or excessive pride, or hatred toward our neighbor, or any of the vices that make our hearts corrupt, then this is not true love, but only a shadow.
If he called you today, are you ready to meet Christ? Jesus gives us three warnings in sacred Scripture. The first is in St. Luke’s Gospel chapter 12: "Let your loins be girded and your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the marriage feast, so that they may open to him at once when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them” (Lk 12:35-37). This parable can be understood in two ways: preparation for the coming of our Lord on the last day, and preparation for His coming at the particular death of each of us. This latter explanation – which is that of St. Gregory on this Gospel – seems more adapted to our subject; for the explanation of the last day will chiefly concern those who are alive then.
Our Lord commands us to observe three things: First, that we must have “our loins girt”; second, that we must have “lamps burning in our hands”; and third that we must “watch” in expectation of the coming of our judge. Remember, it is said that He will come like a thief in the night. What do the words “Let your loins be girt mean?” The literal meaning is that we should be prepared to go out and meet the Lord when death will call us to our particular judgment. This comes from the custom of Eastern nations that wear long garments: when they are about to go out on a journey or walk, they gather up their garments and gird their loins, so that the garments would not get in the way or be soiled by the ground. St. Paul, in his letter to the Ephesians, says, “Stand therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness” (Eph. 6:14). We need to be clothed in righteousness when we meet our Lord.
Another duty of the diligent and faithful servant is to have “lamps burning in our hands.” It is not enough for the faithful servant to have his loins girt so that he may freely and easily meet his Lord; a burning lamp is also required to show him the way, because at night he should be expecting the Lord. In this place the lamp signifies the law of God, which points out the right path. David says, “Thy word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (Ps. 119:105). But this light cannot show us the way unless we hold it in our hands, so that it might show us the way.
The third and last duty of the faithful servant is to “watch,” for we will not know when the Lord shall come for us. Our Lord has designed life that there is nothing more uncertain than the hour of our death: some die in the womb, some just after birth, some at extreme old age, and some in the flower of their youth. Some languish a long time, die suddenly, or recover from a severe illness or an incurable disease. Our Lord alludes to this uncertainty in the Gospel of St. Luke when he says: “If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would have been awake and would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour" (Lk 12:38-40).
Some of us may not be alive next week, next month, or next year. It is human nature to look around us to see who might not be with us, but why look at others, we must think of ourselves.
There is nothing more useful than frequent and serious examination of conscience. Do you seriously examine your conscience daily? All Catholics examine their consciences before sacramental confession or when near death. But what of those who die suddenly? What of those who sin while dying, or die in sin, as those who die having an abortion, or are killed in the act of adultery?
It would be very prudent to examine our consciences twice every day, morning, and evening. If you find that you have committed a mortal sin, don’t delay the sacrament of Penance at the earliest opportunity. If we make a good examination of conscience every day, it is very doubtful that we will die in sin.
We must remain detached from worldly possessions. Whatever wealth you have attained in your life is not yours. You do not have the right to squander your money on pleasure, gambling, costly clothing, etc. Even though it may be lawful to spend your money any way you desire, it does not mean that it is right to do so in the eyes of God. We are not masters of our domains, but rather administrators or stewards. Psalm 24:1 states: The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein. And again in Psalm 50: 10-12, “For every beast of the forest is mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know all the birds of the air, and all that moves in the field is mine. "If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world and all that is in it is mine.” We must realize that all we possess, whether justly or unjustly acquired, belongs to the Lord, we are only stewards. If we are unjust stewards, there are many ways in which the Lord might remove our stewardship; by robberies, storms, floods, illnesses, etc.
There is a passage in Luke’s Gospel that may be considered as a commentary on the unjust steward: "There was a rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen and who feasted sumptuously every day. And at his gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, full of sores, who desired to be fed with what fell from the rich man's table; moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. The poor man died and was carried by the angels to Abraham's bosom. The rich man also died and was buried; and in purgatory, being in torment, he lifted up his eyes, and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus in his bosom” (Luke 16:19-22).
The rich man, Dives, was certainly one of those who supposed that he was the master of his own money, and not a steward under God; therefore he did not imagine that he had offended God when he clothed himself in purple and linen and feasted sumptuously every day. Perhaps, he said to himself, “I spend my own money; I do no injury to anyone; I do not violate the laws of God; I do not blaspheme or swear; I observe the Sabbath; I honor my parents; I do not kill, or commit adultery, or steal, or bear false witness; nor do I covet my neighbors wife, or anything else.” But if that was the case, why was he tormented in the abode of the dead?
We must acknowledge that all those who suppose that they are the absolute masters of their money are deceived; for if Dives had any other serious sins to atone for the Scriptures would have mentioned them. But since nothing more has been added, we are given to understand that the superfluous waste of money on costly clothing and banquets, while he had no compassion for the poor, was a sufficient cause for him to be condemned to torment. Therefore, we must seriously consider the account that we will one day have to render to God for all He has given us.
There are three other virtues, which help us to live holy lives. These are sobriety, justice, and piety, of which the apostle Paul speaks of in his letter to Titus: “For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world, awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Tit 2:11-13). The entire divine law can be summed up one short sentence in Psalm 37:27: “Depart from evil, and do good; so shall you abide for ever.”
We must deny all ungodliness and worldly desires. What is ungodliness? Ungodliness is any vice contrary to piety. What is piety? Piety is a virtue, or gift of the Holy Spirit, by which we look upon God and worship Him, and venerate Him as our Father. We must deny ALL ungodliness, that is, all kinds of impiety; not just the more serious acts, but also even the slightest. And I say this against those who do not hesitate to swear without necessity; who, in sacred places, wear in appropriate clothing, who talk during Mass, and commit other offences, as if they believed that God was not present. Exodus 20:5-6: “I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
The Son of God taught us by His own example: being meek and humble of heart, “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten” (1 Pet. 2:23). But when he saw in the Temple, those who “sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money,” being inflamed with great zeal, He made a scourge of little cords, and He scattered the money of the money changers and overturned their tables, saying, “My house is to be a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves.”
Now let up proceed to the second virtue, justice. Justice directs our actions towards our neighbors. Justice commands that we give each person his due. Give honor where honor is due, such as to parents or clergy. To the seller is due his just price, to the workman, his just wages. In other words, people should be treated fairly. “Do unto others as you would have them due unto you.”
The third virtue is sobriety. Sobriety is not simply a lack of drunkenness. It is also the virtue of temperance, or moderation in general. It seems that this virtue is rarely found. It is the desire for the necessities of this life and nothing more.
The apostle Paul was a wise man when he said, “There is great gain in godliness with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world; but if we have food and clothing, with these we shall be content” (1 Tim. 6:6:8). I have never seen a U-haul behind a hearse.
We must also pray fervently. Tobit 12:8 tells us that prayer is good when accompanied by fasting, almsgiving, and righteousness. A little with righteousness is better than much with wrongdoing. It is better to give charitably than to treasure up gold.
Much has been written about prayer so I will dwell on three points only: the necessity of prayer, the advantage of prayer, and the method of praying fruitfully.
The necessity of prayer is often insisted upon in Holy Scripture. Nothing is clearer. Even though the Almighty knows what we are in need of, He wishes us to ask Him for what we require, and by prayer, receive it. Hear our Lord in Luke’s Gospel: 18:1, He tells that, "we ought always to pray and not lose heart.” In 1 Thess. 5:17 Paul tells us to “Pray without ceasing.”
The fruits of praying are three: merit, satisfaction, and receiving what we pray for. Matt. 6:5-6, “"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by men. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” The words, “will reward you” signify the merit; for as he said of the Pharisee, “He has received his reward,” that is human praise. So we must understand that one who prays in the quiet of his heart, and who looks to God alone, will be given a reward by his Father, who “sees in secret.”
Praying makes satisfaction for past sins. Through pray we can obtain many gifts. St. John Chrysostom beautifully teaches this in his Two Books on Prayer “For as man is born naked and helpless, and in want of all things, and yet cannot complain of his Creator, because He has given him hands, which are the organ of organs, and by which he is enabled to provide for himself food, garments, a house, and so on; so also the spiritual man can do nothing without the divine assistance; but he possesses the power of prayer, the organ of all spiritual organs, whereby he can easily provide for himself all things. In addition prayer enlightens the mind, nourishes our souls, inflames our love, and increases our humility. Prayer helps us to gain a healthy contempt for all things temporal and helps us to focus on the eternal. Through prayer we begin to taste the sweetness of the Lord.
Praying well is chiefly the art of living well. The first condition is faith. In other words, we must believe that God can grant our petitions. Another condition is hope, or confidence. Confidence comes from faith. It is believing that our prayers will be answered. A third condition is charity or justice, by which we are delivered from our sins; for only friends of God can obtain the gifts of God. David spoke of this in Psalm 34:15, “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears toward their cry.” In Psalm 66:18 he tells us, “If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Don’t expect your prayers to be answered if you are in enmity with God.
A fourth condition is humility. “But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word” (Isa. 66:2).
A fifth condition is devotion, by which we pray, not negligently, but with attention, earnestness, diligence, and fervor. Our Lord severely criticizes those who pray with their lips only. In Isaiah 29:13, He said, "This people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me.” We must always understand that we are nothing and He is everything.
The final condition is perseverance. Keep praying as St. Paul tells us, “always and everywhere.”
Give generously of the gifts God has given you. No one has ever doubted that almsgiving is commanded by Holy Scripture. Matt. 25:431-45 makes it very clear: “’Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see thee hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to thee?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me.' And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life." From these words, we may conclude that those who have the means to do so are bound to give charity.
Tobit 4:7 - Give alms from your possessions to all who live uprightly, and do not let your eye begrudge the gift when you make it. Do not turn your face away from any poor man, and the face of God will not be turned away from you.
The fruits of charity are abundant. First, it frees the soul from eternal punishment. Scripture plainly teaches this doctrine. In the Book of Tobit we read: “For charity delivers from death and keeps you from entering the darkness; and for all who practice it charity is an excellent offering in the presence of the Most High” (Tobit 4:10-11). And in the same book the angel Raphael says, “For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin. Those who perform deeds of charity and of righteousness will have fullness of life” (Tobit 12:9).
Alms also, if given by a just person, and with true charity, are meritorious of eternal life. Again Scripture bears witness, in Matt. 25:34-35, 40, Then the King will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.'
Third, charitable giving is like baptism in that it does away with both sin and the punishment due to sin, according to the words of Sirach 3:30: “Water extinguishes a blazing fire: so almsgiving atones for sin.”
Fourth, charitable giving increases confidence in God.
Fifth, charitable giving brings good will and many who receive pray for their benefactors.
Sixth, charitable giving is a disposition for receiving justifying grace. When the Lord heard about the generosity of Zacchaeus, who said, "Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold." And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house” (Luke 19:8-9).
Lastly, charitable giving has a way of coming back to you manifold. Proverbs 19:17 tells us, “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed.”
Our Lord has taught us this by His own example, when he ordered His disciples, who possessed only the five loaves and two fish, to distribute them to the poor; in return, they received twelve baskets full of fragments, which served them for many days. Also in Sirach 35:11, “For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.” We must give our alms with the pure intention of pleasing God, and not of obtaining human praise. Our charity must be given promptly and willingly. In Genesis 18:2-5, Abraham implored the angels stay with him and he did not wait to be asked. We should give joyfully. Sirach 35:11 says, “With every gift show a cheerful face, and dedicate your tithe with gladness.” Our alms should be given with humility, so that a rich man may remember that he receives more than he gives. Finally, our alms should be given abundantly, in proportion to our means.
I would like to finish this with a few words on the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist.
As I mentioned above, Jesus tells us that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48). And that perfection is loving God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength and loving our neighbor as ourselves. This cannot be done without the efficacious grace of the sacraments. We must receive the Eucharist worthily. The Holy Eucharist is the greatest of all the sacraments: in it not only grace is received, but even the author of grace Himself is received.
There are two things necessary in regard to this sacrament. First, we must receive this sacred nourishment, as our Lord says, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you have no life in you; he who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day” (Jn 6:53-54).
Secondly, Jesus in the Eucharist must be received in a worthy manner as St. Paul tells us in 1 Cor. 11:29, “For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”
St. Cyprian, in his discourse on the Lord’s prayer, explains the words “Give us this day our daily bread” as relating to the Holy Eucharist; and he teaches us that this sacrament is to be received daily, unless there is some lawful reason that we should not.
With regard to the other question, concerning the preparation necessary for receiving so great a sacrament, so that we may receive it for our salvation and not for our judgment, it is first of all, vital that our souls be a fit dwelling place for the Lord. We must not be in a state of mortal sin. Go before the Lord and confess your sins with true contrition.
There are three things necessary for this sacrament: contrition of heart, confession, and satisfaction. It is not good enough just to say, “I am sorry for my sins,” we must have a deep and inward sorrow of heart. Many people approach this sacrament with little or no preparation and therefore they receive little or no benefit. There are many useful books on confession that will help to understand the nature of the sacrament. Once a thorough examination of conscience has been completed, you must then open that conscience before your confessor, beg absolution, and be ready to perform whatever penance may be imposed.
Finally, there is satisfaction. It must be remembered that satisfaction can be made more easily to God while we are on earth, than it can be in purgatory. It is not good enough that we are sorry for our sins, we must make things right.
A truly contrite and humble heart excites the compassion of God our Father; for so great is His goodness that He runs to meet the prodigal, to embrace him and kiss him, to give him His peace and to wipe away all his tears, and fill him with tears of joy.
Sacramental confession and the worthy reception of Holy Communion is all that is necessary for the indwelling of God. It is my sincere wish that you will think about what I have shared with you and do your utmost to live a holy life, for a holy life brings the peace that passes understanding.
It is that peace that will separate you from the masses that trudge through a daily existence. It is that peace that others will see in you and inquire as to what makes you so different, so joyful, so enthusiastic. Remember the root of the work enthusiasm is En Theos, God within. It is then that we can share His light to the world.
© 2004 – Victor R. Claveau
Part or all of this article may be reproduced without obtaining permission as long as the author is cited.
"Let the enemy rage at the gate, let him knock,
let him push, let him cry, let him howl, let him do worse;
we know that he cannot enter save by the door of our consent."
-St. Francis de Sales