St. Faustina’s Vision of Purgatory Part 2

In Paragraph 21 of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska’s diary: “Divine Mercy in My Soul,” the Saint writes of when she was visited by a suffering soul :

21 …My superiors [probably Mother Leonard and Mother
Jane] sent me to the novitiate in Cracow. An inconceivable joy reigned in my soul. When
we arrived at the novitiate, Sister [Henry] was dying. A few days later she came to me
[in spirit, after her death] and bid me to go to the Mother Directress of Novices [Sister
Margaret] and tell her to ask her confessor, Father Rospond, to offer one Mass for
her and three ejaculatory prayers. At first I agreed, but the next day I decided I would not
go to Mother Directress, because I was not sure whether this had happened in a dream or in
reality. And so I did not go.

The following night the same thing was repeated more clearly; I had no more doubt. Still,
in the morning I decided not to tell the Directress about it unless I saw her [Sister Henry]
during the day. At once I ran into her in the corridor. She reproached me for not having
gone immediately, and a great uneasiness filled my soul. So I went immediately to Mother
Directress and told her everything that had happened to me. Mother responded that she
would take care of the matter. At once peace reigned in my soul, and on the third day this
sister came to me and said, “May God repay you.”

This serves as a useful reminder to always pray for the faithful departed, regardless of your thoughts as to the reasons. Never “rationalize” away a reason to pray. Yes, they might be in Heaven already, or the inspiration may be a strange thought. Prays for the dead are always a great act of charity.

For more information on St. Faustina, click here:

The Divine Mercy Message from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Walk onwards home

This morning’s Office of Readings for Saturday, 34th Week on Ordinary Time has a sermon by Saint Augustine which I take the following excerpt: “Let us sing Alleluia to God, who is good and frees us from evil”: “O! what a happy alleluia there, how carefree, how safe from all opposition, where nobody will be an enemy, where no-one will ever cease to be a friend! God’s praises sung there, sung here – here, by the anxious; there, by the carefree – here, by those who will die; there, by those who will live for ever – here, in hope; there, in reality – here, on our journey; there, in our homeland.

So now, my brethren, let us sing, not to delight our leisure, but to ease our toil. In the way that travellers are in the habit of singing, sing, but keep on walking. What does it mean, ‘keep on walking’? Go onward always – but go onward in goodness, for there are, according to the Apostle, some people who go ever onward from bad to worse. If you are going onward, you are walking; but always go onward in goodness, onward in the right faith, onward in good habits and behaviour. Sing, and walk onwards. “

(Via Universalis.)

The first few paragraphs deal with the toil of living on Earth and the necessity of tolerating the fears and anxieties that fill our lives. We cannot avoid them, in fact we pray daily the “Our Father” to help us cope with them. But St. Augustine exhorts us to put up with this life, for there is a better one to come. And then came the section I excerpted above.

Lovely words which should give us the strength and fortitude needed to keep us going, to keep us on the right path, so that eventually we will arrive home, the place where there is no sorrow or suffering, where we are never parted from our loved ones.

Think about that. This desire for Heaven is an excellent manner to rid ourselves of our tendency to sin. While we still will sin, we at least will have a better purpose of amending our lives to increase its holiness. The desire for Heaven can cause us to be detached from this Earth and its “pleasures.” The delayed gratification and satisfaction of Heaven may cause us to not seek the immediate gratification of our sinful (and addictive) actions.

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are very slowly being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

St. Faustina’s Vision of Purgatory Part 1

In Paragraph 20 of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska’s diary: “Divine Mercy in My Soul,” the Saint writes of a vision of Purgatory that the Lord permitted her to see:

20…I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I
was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They
were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The
flames which were burning them did not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave
me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me
in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God. I saw Our Lady visiting the
souls in Purgatory. The souls call her “The Star of the Sea.” She brings them refreshment. I
wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave. We
went out of that prison of suffering.[I heard and interior voice] which said, My mercy does
not want this, but justice demands it. Since that time, I am in closer communion with
the suffering souls.

A “longing for God” was their greatest torment. They know Him, as they had already perceived Him when they endured their own individual Particular Judgment. And they can, according to some Catholic concepts of Purgatory, see a glimpse of Him off in their future. However, they are separated from Him by their sins, and the pain of that torments them. They long for Him, they desire Him, but cannot as yet be united to Him in the beautiful vision of Heaven. The pain burns.

Eventually the pain burns the stain of their sins away from their soul, and their longing for God purges them from any remaining attachment to their Earthly desires.

They will eventually be Home.

For more information on St. Faustina, click here:

The Divine Mercy Message from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Shutting out the fear of Death

An excerpt from “The treatise of St Cyprian on mortality, ‘Let us shut out the fear of death and meditate upon immortality'” contained in the Office of Readings for Friday, 34th Week of Ordinary Time: has encouraging words for those who long for Heaven: “We ought never to forget, beloved, that we have renounced the world. We are living here now as aliens and only for a time. When the day of our homecoming puts an end to our exile, frees us from the bonds of the world, and restores us to paradise and to a kingdom, we should welcome it. What man, stationed in a foreign land, would not want to return to his own country as soon as possible? Well, we look upon paradise as our country, and a great crowd of our loved ones awaits us there, a countless throng of parents, brothers and children longs for us to join them. Assured though they are of their own salvation, they are still concerned about ours. What joy both for them and for us to see one another and embrace! O the delight of that heavenly kingdom where there is no fear of death! O the supreme and endless bliss of everlasting life!

There, is the glorious band of apostles, there the exultant assembly of prophets, there the innumerable host of martyrs, crowned for their glorious victory in combat and in death. There in triumph are the virgins who subdued their passions by the strength of continence. There the merciful are rewarded, those who fulfilled the demands of justice by providing for the poor. In obedience to the Lord’s command, they turned their earthly patrimony into heavenly treasure. My dear brothers, let all our longing be to join them as soon as we may. May God see our desire, may Christ see this resolve that springs from faith, for he will give the rewards of his love more abundantly to those who have longed for him more fervently.”

(Via Universalis.)

These are excellent words to meditate upon, for we should not have a fear of death. After all, it is just a passage through which we leave our Earthly exile and go home.

If desire for God and holiness can be turned into a prayer, then we can make one out of some of St. Cyprian’s words:

Oh, Heavenly Father, we beseech You with the groanings of our heart the longing we have for our true home with You. May Christ our Mediator see our resolve to finish the journey and “increase our faith.”(Luke 17:5) so that we may enter into your eternal Kingdom and see You and all the Saints in Heaven, together with our loved ones who have gone before us.

We ask you this in the Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Bringing to Light all Things Hidden

In the Office of Readings for Tuesday, 34th Week of Ordinary Time we read an excerpt from “A treatise of St Augustine on St John’s gospel – You will come to the spring and see light itself”: “When, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ comes and, as the apostle Paul says, brings to light things hidden in darkness and makes plain the secrets of the heart, so that everyone may receive his commendation from God, then lamps will no longer be needed. When that day is at hand, the prophet will not be read to us, the book of the Apostle will not be opened, we shall not require the testimony of John, we shall have no need of the Gospel itself. Therefore all Scriptures will be taken away from us, those Scriptures which in the night of this world burned like lamps so that we might not remain in darkness. When all these things are removed as no longer necessary for our illumination, and when the men of God by whom they were ministered to us shall themselves together with us behold the true and dear light without such aids, what shall we see? With what shall our minds be nourished? What will give joy to our gaze? Where will that gladness come from, which eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, which has not even been conceived by the heart of man? What shall we see? I implore you to love with me and, by believing, to run with me; let us long for our heavenly country, let us sigh for our heavenly home, let us truly feel that here we are strangers.”

(Via Universalis.)

We realize that once we arrive at our true home, Heaven, we will no longer have any need for aids to know God and any for intermediary means to discern His will. We will be with Him, in our true selves (minus our human frailties and flaws, for nothing imperfect can enter into Heaven) and see Him as He is. The One who is “I Am Who Am” will be present in us and around us.

Take heart from the exhortation near the end of the passage, about how we should yearn for our heavenly home and how we are strangers here on Earth.

In this time just before Advent, we prepare for Christ’s Coming. We should also prepare for our homeward journey. Being in one-on-one intimacy with the Lord of All Creation should be incentive enough to do whatever it takes to get there.

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are very slowly being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Litany for a Good Death

There is a prayer that you should add to your inventory of prayers, especially during November. This one is courtesy of Joseph Karl Publishing’s Blog and is entitled Litany For A Good Death.

Litany For A Good Death

O Lord Jesus, God of goodness and Father of mercies,
I draw nigh to Thee with a contrite and humble heart;
to Thee I recommend the last hour of my life,
and that judgment which awaits me afterwards,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my feet, benumbed with death,
shall admonish me that my course in this life is drawing to an end,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my hands, cold and trembling,
shall no longer be able to clasp the Crucifix,
and shall let it fall against my will on my bed of suffering,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my eyes, dim with trouble at the approach of death,
shall fix themselves on Thee, my last and only support,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my lips, cold and trembling,
shall pronounce for the last time Thy adorable Name,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my face, pale and livid,
shall inspire the beholders with pity and dismay;
when my hair, bathed in the sweat of death,
and stiffening on my head,
shall forebode my approaching end,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my ears, soon to be for ever shut to the discourse of men,
shall be open to the irrevocable decree which is to fix my doom for all eternity,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my imagination, agitated by dreadful specters,
shall be sunk in an abyss of anguish; when my soul,
affrighted with the sight of my iniquities and the terrors of Thy judgment,
shall have to fight against the Angel of darkness,
who will endeavor to conceal from my eyes Thy mercies,
and to plunge me into despair,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my poor heart, oppressed with suffering
and exhausted by its continual struggles with the enemies of its salvation,
shall feel the pangs of death,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When the last tear, the forerunner of my dissolution,
shall drop from my eyes, receive it as a sacrifice of expiation for my sins;
grant that I may expire the victim of penance;
and then in that dreadful moment,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my friends and relations, encircling my bed,
shall be moved with compassion for me,
and invoke Thy clemency in my behalf,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When I shall have lost the use of my senses;
when the world shall have vanished from my sight;
when my agonizing soul shall feel the sorrows of death,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When my soul, trembling on my lips,
shall bid adieu to the world, and leave my body lifeless, pale and cold,
receive this separation as a homage in that last moment of my mortal life,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

When at length my soul, admitted to Thy presence,
shall first behold the splendor of Thy Majesty,
reject it not, but receive me into Thy bosom,
where I may for ever sing Thy praises,

Merciful Jesus, have mercy on me.

Let us Pray.

O God, Who hast doomed all men to die,
but hast concealed from all the hour of their death,
grant that I may pass my days in the practice of holiness and justice,
and that I may be made worthy to quit this world,
in the embrace of Thy love.
Through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who liveth and reigneth with Thee
in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Trinity Sober Homes

I recently received an email from Tim Murray, of Trinity Sober Homes. They are “America’s first and only Catholic sober-living residences. Our mission is to provide quality housing and Catholic faith-based support to recovering alcoholics of all faiths” and are located in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Please check out the link in the above paragraph, as well as listen to an Interview with Tim Murray on Soundlcoud. 

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

About Me Page update and email address change

Hi. Just some minor bookeeping: I updated the About Me Page and noticed that I had incorrect email addresses and like the idiot I am sometimes forgot to update it. I had changed to Yahoo, but have since gone back to using Gmail (temporarily until I finally, after all these years, activate my domain name email.) I just went through my Yahoo inbox and have flagged a few important emails I need to reply to. (Most are spam or subscriptions.) 

Also, on that Page I updated some places where you can find me online. 

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Are You Prepared to Die?

Someday you will die. Me, too. No one is exempt. It will happen, guaranteed. If you have been recently exposed to death because a loved one has passed away, the possibility was brought to your attention. Most everyone is uncomfortable with it and will routinely brush it off. 

An article from long ago asks us this: Are You Prepared to Die? Quote: “The Scripture often emphasizes the suddenness of death and judgment.”

(Via Archdiocese of Washington Blog.)

Well, are you? The reality of death is something many people avoid until it confronts them full on. And even then, some people attempt to shun it.

The inconvenient truth is that we are better prepared to face death when we do not wait to prepare ourselves for it when we are facing it.

The article gives some sobering consideration on preparing for death. November is an opportune time to contemplate it. 

I posted this because yesterday was the anniversary of my Mother’s death in 2005. I was subjected to some serious psychological abuse from members of my family. One in particular, the rest were guilty of ‘sins of omission,’ as in their failure to come to my aid given my vulnerable position. A few did, and for those I am grateful. Nevertheless, the consequences of the antagonist’s actions lead me to contemplate suicide. So, I approached death. I have since been keeping in mind preparations for it (frequent confession, and meditating on if ‘I am ready’ for when it’s time.

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are very slowly being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

 

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)

Dying, One Day at a Time

Quite often you read or hear about how we Christians are supposed to keep our “eyes on the prize.” In other words, be mindful of death. (In Latin, that is “Memento Mori.”)

We should try to keep our minds on our ultimate goal, Heaven, and remember that we will be judged upon our death. Doing this may help us become focused and get our act together concerning whatever it is that God placed us here for. This month of November, dedicated by the Church to the dead, is an opportune time to contemplate this.

Any day may be our last. Today, even. But we all probably fall into the trap of thinking that death is far off. And so the urgency to “become focused and get our act together” may not always be there. There is a way, however, to keep it in mind every day. Borrow a powerful tool from the Twelve Step movements and combine it with the realization that death may come at a moment’s notice.

So, taking that “powerful tool from the Twelve Step movements,” which is the philosophy of “One Day at a Time” and merging it with the possibility that each day may be our last, may help us to realize that sense of urgency. We each have a specific mission that God placed us here for, a mission that we are each uniquely qualified to do. We do not have all the time in the world to do it. “One day at a time” helps us cope with that falsely satisfying feeling that we have years ahead of us. We may only have today. This sort of turns around the 12 Step basis of “one day at a time,” which is intended to help people in recovery with the idea that they have to be clean and sober for the rest of their lives, which may be for a long time. That may be hard to fathom, but just focusing on today is do-able. “Just for today, I can stay away from the drinking or the drugging.” So, “Just for today,” is all that I may have left. What can I do?”

So, each day when we wake up, we should think, “Today may be my last day alive. What must I do today in case that were to become true? What can I do to mitigate any accounting I may have to make before the Lord?”

And then we should, to borrow a phrase from Pope Saint John Paul II, “Arise, and let us be on our way,” and set out to achieve something.

NOTE: This is a “retropost,” a post from an old blog I wrote on “The Four Last Things: Death, Judgment, Heaven (& Purgatory) and Hell” that I shuttered a few years ago. Individual posts are very slowly being transferred to either In Exile or Sober Catholic, whichever seems appropriate. Some are backdated, others postdated, in case you’re confused as to why you never saw a particular post if you’re a diligent reader. The process should be completed by early 2022.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)