Monthly Archives: October 2014

The Saints on the Holy Catholic Church

“The Church has ever proved indestructible. Her persecutors have failed to destroy her; in fact, it was during times of persecution that the Church grew more and more; while the persecutors themselves, and those whom the Church would destroy, are the very ones who came to nothing… Again, errors have assailed her; but in fact, the greater number of errors that have arisen, the more has the truth been made manifest… Nor has the Church failed before the assaults of demons: for she is like a tower of refuge to all who fight against the devil.”  ~St. Thomas Aquinas

“But stranger still, alarming and saddening at the same time, are the audacity and frivolity of men who call themselves Catholics and dream of re-shaping society under such conditions, and of establishing on earth, over and beyond the pale of the Catholic Church, ‘the reign of love and justice’ with workers coming from everywhere, of all religions and of no religion, with or without beliefs, so long as they forego what might divide them – their religious and philosophical convictions; and so long as they share what unites them – a ‘generous idealism and moral forces, drawn from whence they can’. When we consider the forces, knowledge, and supernatural virtues which were necessary to establish the Christian City, and the sufferings of millions of martyrs, and the light given by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, and the self-sacrifice of all the heroes of charity, and a powerful hierarchy ordained in heaven, and the streams of Divine Grace – the whole having been built up, bound together, and impregnated by the life and spirit of Jesus Christ, the Wisdom of God, the Word made Man – when we think, I say, of all this, it is frightening to behold new apostles eagerly attempting to do better by a common interchange of vague idealism and civic virtues. What are they going to produce? What is to come out of this collaboration? A mere verbal and chimerical construction in which we see, glowing in a jumble, and in seductive confusion, the words Liberty, Justice, Fraternity, Love, Equality, and human exultation, all resting upon an ill-understood human dignity. It will be a tumultuous agitation, sterile for the end proposed, but which will benefit the less Utopian exploiters of the people.” ~Pope St. Pius X, “Notre Charge Apostolique”, 1910 A.D.

“Therefore, heresy is so called from the Greek word meaning ‘choice,’ by which each chooses according to his own will what he pleases to teach or believe. But we are not permitted to believe whatever we choose, nor to choose whatever someone else has believed. We have the apostles of God as authorities, who did not themselves of their own will choose what they would believe, but faithfully transmitted to the nations the teaching received from Christ. So, even if an angel from heaven should preach otherwise, he shall be called anathema.”  ~St. Isidore, 7th century A.D.

“He has not God for father who refuses to have the Church as mother.”   ~St. Augustine

“Where Peter is, there is the Church.”   ~St. Ambrose

“He founded a single chair, and He established by His own authority a source and an intrinsic reason for that unity. Indeed, the others were that also which Peter was; but a primacy is given to Peter, whereby it is made clear that there is but one Church and one chair… If someone does not hold fast to this unity of Peter, can he imagine that he still holds the faith? If he desert the chair of Peter upon whom the Church was built, can he still be confident that he is in the Church?”   ~St. Cyprian of Carthage, c. 251 A.D.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, so established the worship of divine religion, which He wanted to shine out by God’s grace unto all nations and peoples, that the truth, previously contained in the proclamation of the Law and the Prophets, might go forth through the apostolic trumpet to the salvation of all, as it is written: ‘Their sound has gone forth to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the earth.’ But the Lord desired that the sacrament of this gift should pertain to all the Apostles in such a way that it might be found principally in the most blessed Peter, the highest of all the Apostles. And He wanted His gifts to flow into the entire body from Peter himself, as it from the head, in such a way that anyone who had dared to separate himself from the solidarity of Peter would realize that he has himself no longer a sharer in the divine mystery.”   ~Pope St. Leo I the Great, Doctor of the Church, c. 445 A.D

“She [the Catholic Church] is the entrance to life; all the others are thieves and robbers.”   ~St. Irenaeus of Lyons

“It is a fact that the Church is called Catholic because it truly embraces the whole of that truth.”   ~St. Augustine

“Separate a ray of the sun from its source of light, and its unity will not allow such a division of light. Break a branch from a tree; when broken, it will not be able to bud. Cut off the stream from its spring, and the stream will dry up. Thus also with the Church.”   ~St. Cyprian of Carthage

“It is clear that this Church [of Rome] is to all churches throughout the world as the head is to the members, and that whoever separates himself from it becomes an exile from the Christian religion.” ~Pope St. Boniface I, 422 A.D.

“‘Guard.’ [St. Paul] says, ‘what has been committed’ (1 Tm. 6:20). What does it mean, ‘what has been committed’? It is what has been faithfully entrusted to you, not what has been discovered by you; what you have received, not what you have thought up; a matter not of ingenuity, but of doctrine; not of private acquisition, but of public Tradition; a matter brought to you, not put forth by you, in which you must not be the author but the guardian, not the founder but the sharer, not the leader, but the follower. ‘Guard,’ he says, ‘what has been committed.’ Keep the talent (cf. Mt. 25:14-30) of the Catholic Faith inviolate and unimpaired. What has been faithfully entrusted, let it remain in your possession, let it be handed on by you. You have received gold, so give gold. For my part, I do not want you to substitute on thing for another; I do not want you imprudently to put lead in place of gold, or fraudulently, brass. I do not want the appearance of gold, but the real thing. O Timothy, O priest, O interpreter, O teacher, if a divine gift has made you suitable in genius, in experience, in doctrine to be the Bezalel [i.e. “master craftsman”] of the spiritual tabernacle, cut out the precious gems of divine dogma, shape them faithfully, ornament them wisely, add splendor, grace and beauty to them! By your expounding it, may that now be understood more clearly which formerly was believed even in its obscurity. May posterity, be means of you, rejoice in understanding what in times past was venerated without understanding. Nevertheless, teach the same that you have learned, so that if you say something anew, it is not something new that you say.”   ~St. Vincent of Lerins, c. 434 A.D.

“He cannot be accounted a Catholic who does not agree with the Roman Church.”   ~Pope St. Gregory VII, 11th century A.D.

“Every baptized person should consider that it is in the womb of the Church where he is transformed from a child of Adam to a child of God.”   ~St. Vincent Ferrer

“The Catholic Church is infallible, and hence those who reject her definitions lose the faith and become heretics.”   ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X

“The Church is of God, for He Himself built it with His blood.”  ~St. Thomas Aquinas

“Supernatural force has never during the flight of ages been found wanting in the Church, nor have Christ’s promises failed.”  ~Pope St. Pius X

“Just as God’s creature, the sun, is one and the same the world over, so also does the Church’s preaching shine everywhere to enlighten all men who want to come to the knowledge of truth.”  ~St. Irenaeus of Lyons

“I will go peaceably and firmly to the Catholic Church: for if Faith is so important to our salvation, I will seek it where true Faith first began, seek it among those who received it from God Himself.”   ~St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

“He who is a member of the Catholic Church and does not put her teaching into practice is a dead member, and hence will not be saved; for towards the salvation of an adult not only Baptism and faith are required, but, furthermore, works in keeping with faith.”   ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X

“The Catholic Church is the Union or Congregation of all the baptized who, still living on earth, profess the same Faith and the same Law of Jesus Christ, participate in the same Sacraments, and obey their lawful Pastors, particularly the Roman Pontiff.”  ~Catechism of Pope St. Pius X

“It is the peculiar property of the Church that when she is buffeted, she is triumphant; when she is assaulted with argument she proves herself in the right; when she is deserted by her supporters, she holds the field.”  ~St. Hilary of Poitiers

“There is one God, and Christ is one, and there is one Church, and one chair founded upon Peter by the word of the Lord. Another altar cannot be constituted nor a new priesthood except the one altar and the one priesthood.”  ~St. Cyprian

“The Church is the ensemble of men united by the profession of the same Christian Faith and the communion of the same sacraments, under the government of the legitimate pastors and principally the one Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff.”   ~St. Robert Bellarmine

“And so that it might walk more confidently to truth, the Truth itself, God, the Son of God, having taken up humanity without destroying His divinity, established and founded this same faith, so that there might be a path for man to man’s God through the God-man.”   ~St. Augustine

“Let us love our Lord God, let us love His Church: Him as a Father, her as a Mother; Him as a Master, her as His Handmaid; for we are the children of the Handmaid herself. But this marriage is held together by a great love; no one offends the one and gains favor with the other.”  ~St. Augustine

“Inquire not simply where the Lord’s house is, for the sects of the profane also make an attempt to call their own dens the houses of the Lord; nor inquire merely where the ‘church’ is, but where the Catholic Church is. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Body, the mother of all, which is the Spouse of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”  ~St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“Christian is my name, and Catholic my surname. The former qualifies me, the latter manifests me for what I am. The later demonstrates what the former signifies. And, if I finally must explain the word ‘Catholic’ and translate it from the Greek into the Roman idiom, Catholic means ‘one everywhere’ or, as the more learned think, ‘obedience to all the commandments of God.”   ~St. Pacian of Barcelona, 4th century A.D.

“And since the Church is founded on faith and the sacraments, the ministers of the Church have no power to publish new articles of faith, or to do away with those which are already published, or to institute new sacraments, or to abolish those that are instituted, for this belongs to the power of excellence, which belongs to Christ alone, Who is the foundation of the Church.”   ~St. Thomas Aquinas

“Now the way to reach Christ is not hard to find: it is the Church. Rightly does Chrysostom inculcate: ‘The Church is thy hope, the Church is thy salvation, the Church is thy refuge.’ (Hom. de capto Euthropio, n. 6.) It was for this that Christ founded it, gaining it at the price of His blood, and made it the depositary of His doctrine and His laws, bestowing upon it at the same time an inexhaustible treasury of graces for the sanctification and salvation of men.”   ~Pope St. Pius X, “E Supremi”, 1903 A.D.

“There are many other things which rightly keep me in the bosom of the Catholic Church. The unanimity of peoples and nations keeps me, her authority keeps me, inaugurated by miracles, nourished in hope, augmented by love, and confirmed by her age. The succession of priests keeps me, from the very chair of the apostle Peter, to whom the Lord after His resurrection gave charge to feed His sheep, down to the present episcopate, keeps me here.”   ~St. Augustine

“There was a wedding feast, and the mother of Jesus was there (Jn. 2:1). Mystically the wedding feast means the Church: this is a great sacrament, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:32). That marriage began in the Virgin’s womb, where the Father espoused the Son to human nature in unity of person… It was solemnized when the Church was joined to Him by faith… It will be consummated when the bride, that is, the Church, shall be brought into the bridal chamber of heavenly glory.”   ~St. Thomas Aquinas

By pointing out the tradition which that very great, oldest, and well-known Church – founded and established at Rome by those two most glorious apostles, Peter and Paul – received from the apostles, I can put to shame all of those who in any way, either through wicked self-conceit, or thorough vainglory, or through blind and evil opinion, gather together in a way they should not. For every Church must be in harmony with this Church because of its outstanding pre-eminence, that is, the faithful from everywhere, since the apostolic tradition is preserved in it by those from everywhere.”   ~St. Irenaeus of Lyons

“It is called Catholic then because it extends over all the world, from one end of the earth to the other; and because it teaches universally and completely one end and all the doctrines which ought to come to men’s knowledge, concerning things both invisible and invisible, heavenly and earthly; and because it brings into subjection to godliness the whole race of mankind, governors and governed, learned and unlearned; and because it universally treats and heals the whole class of sins, which are committed by soul and body, and possesses in itself every form of virtue which is named, both in deeds and words, and in every kind of spiritual gifts.”   ~St. Cyril of Jerusalem

“You must all follow the bishop as Jesus Christ follows the Father, and the presbytery as you would the Apostles. Reverence the deacons as you would the command of God. Let no one do anything of concern to the Church without the bishop. Let that be considered a valid Eucharist which is celebrated by the bishop, or by one whom he appoints. Wherever the bishop appears, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.”   ~St. Ignatius of Antioch

“Nor has [the Church] any desire for violent persecution. She knows what persecution is, for she has suffered it in all times and in all places. Centuries passed in bloodshed give her the right to say with a holy boldness that she does not fear it, and that as often as may be necessary she will be able to meet it. But persecution is in itself an evil, for it is injustice and prevents man from worshipping God in freedom. The Church then cannot desire it, even with a view to the good which Providence in its infinite wisdom ever draws out of it. Besides, persecution is not only evil, it is also suffering, and there we have a fresh reason why the Church, who is the best of mothers, will never seek it.”   ~Pope St. Pius X, “Une Fois Encore”, 1907 A.D.

“This is the work of Divine Providence, achieved through the prophecies of the prophets, through the humanity and teaching of Christ, through the journeys of the apostles, through the suffering, the crosses, the blood and the death of the martyrs, through the admirable lives of the saints, and in all these, at opportune times, through miracles worthy of such great deeds and virtues. When, then, we see so much help on God’s part, so much progress and such fruit, shall we hesitate to bury ourselves in the bosom of the Church? For starting from the apostolic chair down through successions of bishops, even unto the open confession of all mankind, it has possessed the crown of authority.”   ~St. Augustine

A Blessed All Hallows Eve to all!

Quotes from the Saints

With the Feast of All Saints approaching, we would do well to meditate on some of the powerful sayings from the Saints of the Holy Catholic Church.

“The honor and glory of the saints surpass all eloquence, for God himself would praise all the saints with the whole world, all men and angels as an audience, and he will crown them like victors, and they will be seated on the throne of Christ as participants in his kingdom, something that surpasses every dignity.”   ~St. Robert Bellarmine, Doctor of the Church

“The sermons of the saints are their examples.”   ~St. John Vianney

“Those who seek to perfect themselves in every aspect of virtue should look to the lives of the saints, which are like living and breathing works of art, and thus by imitation try to reproduce their virtues in their own life.” ~St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church

“You cannot be half a saint. You must be a whole saint or no saint at all.”   ~St. Therese of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church

“Those in the Catholic Church, whom some rebuke for praying to saints and going on pilgrimages, do not seek any saint as their savior. Instead, they seek saints as those whom their Savior loves, and whose intercession and prayer for the seeker He will be content to hear. For his own sake, He would have those He loves honored. And when they are thus honored for His sake, then the honor that is given them for His sake overflows especially to Himself.”   ~St. Thomas More

“Humility has been regarded by the saints as the basis and guardian of all virtues.”   ~St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church

“…humility repulses Satan and preserves us in the gifts and graces of the Holy Spirit. For this reason all the saints, and especially the King of Saints and His Mother, ever honored and cherished this virtue above all others.”   ~St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church

“I would give my life a thousand times that God might not be offended.”   ~St. Gerard Majella

“Jesus, Mary, The Cross: I want no other friends but these.”   ~St. Bernadette Soubirous

“They who praise me, truly reproach and confound me.”   ~St. Bernard

“Thank God I am deemed worthy to be hated by the world.”   ~St. Jerome

Too late have I loved Thee, O beauty so ancient, yet so new! Too late have I loved Thee!”   ~St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church

“Had I a thousand bodies, O my God, a thousand loves and a thousand lives, I would immolate them all to your service.”   ~St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

“Majestic and Heavenly Maid, Lady, Queen, protect and keep me under your wing lest Satan the sower of destruction glory over me, lest my wicked foe be victorious against me.”   ~St. Ephrem, Doctor of the Church

“All the ends of the earth, all the kingdoms of the world would be of no profit to me; so far as I am concerned, to die in Jesus Christ is better than to be monarch of earth’s widest bounds. He who died for us is all that I seek; He who rose again for us is my whole desire.”   ~St. Ignatius of Antioch

“The interests of God shall be Our interest, and for these We are resolved to spend all Our strength and Our very life. Hence, should anyone ask Us for a symbol as the expression of Our will, We will give this and no other: ‘To renew all things in Christ.”   ~Pope St. Pius X, “E Supremi”, 1903 A.D.

“I often speak with my Teacher, Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, because I can learn from Him. Jesus is the Teacher of the science of holiness. I go to Him because I would like to learn from Him how to become a saint. Of what use to me is all knowledge and education, if I do not become holy?”  ~St. Francis de Sales

“Follow the saints, because those who follow them will become saints.”   ~Pope St. Clement

“You say you see no reason why we should pray to the saints since God can hear us and help us just as well, and will do so gladly, as any saint in heaven. Well, then, what need, I ask, do you have to ask any physician to help your fever, or to ask and pay any surgeon to heal your sore leg? For God can both hear you and help you as well as the best of doctors, He loves you more than they do, and He can help you sooner.”   ~St. Thomas More

“But if the Apostles and martyrs while still in the body can pray for others, at a time when they ought still be solicitous about themselves, how much more will they do so after their crowns, victories, and triumphs?”    ~St. Jerome

“If Saint Paul exhorts us to pray for one another, and we gladly think it right to ask every poor man to pray for us, should we think it evil to ask the holy saints in heaven to do the same?”   ~St. Thomas More

“I protest to everyone that I die for God willingly, if only you do not hinder me. I implore you, do not proffer me an unseasonable kindness. Let the wild beasts have me, for through them my way to God lies open. I am God’s wheat, and I am ground by the teeth of wild beasts that I may be found pure bread of Christ. Rather, entice the wild animals that they may become my tomb, and leave nothing at all of my body. Thus when I sleep in death I shall burden no one. Then shall I be truly a disciple of Jesus Christ when the world cannot see even my body. Beseech the Lord on my behalf, that through these instruments I may be found a sacrifice to God… May the beasts prepared for me by my joy! And I pray that they will make short work of me. I will coax them with flattery to devour me without delay, and not treat me as some others whom they have been afraid to touch. But if they should be reluctant and unwilling, I will compel them by force.”   ~St. Ignatius of Antioch

“The saints were filled with the love of God… When you love a person, you show him more or less affection, according as the ardor of your love for him is more or less great.”   ~St. John Vianney

“The saints were so completely dead to themselves that they cared very little whether others agreed with them or not.”   ~St. John Vianney

“The saints had no hatred, no bitterness; they forgive everything and think they deserve much more for their offenses against God.”   ~St. John Vianney

“All those who have become saints have frequented the Sacraments and have raised their souls to God by prayer.”   ~St. John Vianney

“All the angels and saints are engaged in trying to prevent us from committing sins.”   ~St. John Vianney

“O Jesus, watch over me always, especially today, or I shall betray you like Judas.”   ~St. Philip Neri

St. Leonard of Port Maurice’s Sermon on the little number of those saved

http://olrl.org/snt_docs/fewness.shtml

The following is St. Leonard of Port Maurice’s famous powerful sermon on the little number of those who are saved:

“Thanks be to God, the number of the Redeemer’s disciples is not so small that the wickedness of the Scribes and Pharisees is able to triumph over them. Although they strove to calumniate innocence and to deceive the crowd with their treacherous sophistries by discrediting the doctrine and character of Our Lord, finding spots even in the sun, many still recognized Him as the true Messiah, and, unafraid of either chastisements or threats, openly joined His cause. Did all those who followed Christ follow Him even unto glory? Oh, this is where I revere the profound mystery and silently adore the abysses of the divine decrees, rather than rashly deciding on such a great point! The subject I will be treating today is a very grave one; it has caused even the pillars of the Church to tremble, filled the greatest Saints with terror and populated the deserts with anchorites. The point of this instruction is to decide whether the number of Christians who are saved is greater or less than the number of Christians who are damned; it will, I hope, produce in you a salutary fear of the judgments of God.

Brothers, because of the love I have for you, I wish I were able to reassure you with the prospect of eternal happiness by saying to each of you: You are certain to go to paradise; the greater number of Christians is saved, so you also will be saved. But how can I give you this sweet assurance if you revolt against God’s decrees as though you were your own worst enemies? I observe in God a sincere desire to save you, but I find in you a decided inclination to be damned. So what will I be doing today if I speak clearly? I will be displeasing to you. But if I do not speak, I will be displeasing to God.

Therefore, I will divide this subject into two points. In the first one, to fill you with dread, I will let the theologians and Fathers of the Church decide on the matter and declare that the greater number of Christian adults are damned; and, in silent adoration of that terrible mystery, I will keep my own sentiments to myself. In the second point I will attempt to defend the goodness of God versus the godless, by proving to you that those who are damned are damned by their own malice, because they wanted to be damned. So then, here are two very important truths. If the first truth frightens you, do not hold it against me, as though I wanted to make the road of heaven narrower for you, for I want to be neutral in this matter; rather, hold it against the theologians and Fathers of the Church who will engrave this truth in your heart by the force of reason. If you are disillusioned by the second truth, give thanks to God over it, for He wants only one thing: that you give your hearts totally to Him. Finally, if you oblige me to tell you clearly what I think, I will do so for your consolation.

The Teaching of the Fathers of the Church

It is not vain curiosity but salutary precaution to proclaim from the height of the pulpit certain truths which serve wonderfully to contain the indolence of libertines, who are always talking about the mercy of God and about how easy it is to convert, who live plunged in all sorts of sins and are soundly sleeping on the road to hell. To disillusion them and waken them from their torpor, today let us examine this great question: Is the number of Christians who are saved greater than the number of Christians who are damned?

Pious souls, you may leave; this sermon is not for you. Its sole purpose is to contain the pride of libertines who cast the holy fear of God out of their heart and join forces with the devil who, according to the sentiment of Eusebius, damns souls by reassuring them. To resolve this doubt, let us put the Fathers of the Church, both Greek and Latin, on one side; on the other, the most learned theologians and erudite historians; and let us put the Bible in the middle for all to see. Now listen not to what I will say to you – for I have already told you that I do not want to speak for myself or decide on the matter – but listen to what these great minds have to tell you, they who are beacons in the Church of God to give light to others so that they will not miss the road to heaven. In this manner, guided by the triple light of faith, authority and reason, we will be able to resolve this grave matter with certainty.

Note well that there is no question here of the human race taken as a whole, nor of all Catholics taken without distinction, but only of Catholic adults, who have free choice and are thus capable of cooperating in the great matter of their salvation. First let us consult the theologians recognized as examining things most carefully and as not exaggerating in their teaching: let us listen to two learned cardinals, Cajetan and Bellarmine. They teach that the greater number of Christian adults are damned, and if I had the time to point out the reasons upon which they base themselves, you would be convinced of it yourselves. But I will limit myself here to quoting Suarez. After consulting all the theologians and making a diligent study of the matter, he wrote, “The most common sentiment which is held is that, among Christians, there are more damned souls than predestined souls.”

Add the authority of the Greek and Latin Fathers to that of the theologians, and you will find that almost all of them say the same thing. This is the sentiment of Saint Theodore, Saint Basil, Saint Ephrem, and Saint John Chrysostom. What is more, according to Baronius it was a common opinion among the Greek Fathers that this truth was expressly revealed to Saint Simeon Stylites and that after this revelation, it was to secure his salvation that he decided to live standing on top of a pillar for forty years, exposed to the weather, a model of penance and holiness for everyone. Now let us consult the Latin Fathers. You will hear Saint Gregory saying clearly, “Many attain to faith, but few to the heavenly kingdom.” Saint Anselm declares, “There are few who are saved.” Saint Augustine states even more clearly, “Therefore, few are saved in comparison to those who are damned.” The most terrifying, however, is Saint Jerome. At the end of his life, in the presence of his disciples, he spoke these dreadful words: “Out of one hundred thousand people whose lives have always been bad, you will find barely one who is worthy of indulgence.”

The Words of Holy Scripture

But why seek out the opinions of the Fathers and theologians, when Holy Scripture settles the question so clearly? Look in to the Old and New Testaments, and you will find a multitude of figures, symbols and words that clearly point out this truth: very few are saved. In the time of Noah, the entire human race was submerged by the Deluge, and only eight people were saved in the Ark. Saint Peter says, “This ark was the figure of the Church,” while Saint Augustine adds, “And these eight people who were saved signify that very few Christians are saved, because there are very few who sincerely renounce the world, and those who renounce it only in words do not belong to the mystery represented by that ark.” The Bible also tells us that only two Hebrews out of two million entered the Promised Land after going out of Egypt, and that only four escaped the fire of Sodom and the other burning cities that perished with it. All of this means that the number of the damned who will be cast into fire like straw is far greater than that of the saved, whom the heavenly Father will one day gather into His barns like precious wheat.

I would not finish if I had to point out all the figures by which Holy Scripture confirms this truth; let us content ourselves with listening to the living oracle of Incarnate Wisdom. What did Our Lord answer the curious man in the Gospel who asked Him, “Lord, is it only a few to be saved?” Did He keep silence? Did He answer haltingly? Did He conceal His thought for fear of frightening the crowd? No. Questioned by only one, He addresses all of those present. He says to them: “You ask Me if there are only few who are saved?” Here is My answer: “Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” Who is speaking here? It is the Son of God, Eternal Truth, who on another occasion says even more clearly, “Many are called, but few are chosen.” He does not say that all are called and that out of all men, few are chosen, but that many are called; which means, as Saint Gregory explains, that out of all men, many are called to the True Faith, but out of them few are saved. Brothers, these are the words of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Are they clear? They are true. Tell me now if it is possible for you to have faith in your heart and not tremble.

Salvation in the Various States of Life

But oh, I see that by speaking in this manner of all in general, I am missing my point. So let us apply this truth to various states, and you will understand that you must either throw away reason, experience and the common sense of the faithful, or confess that the greater number of Catholics is damned. Is there any state in the world more favorable to innocence in which salvation seems easier and of which people have a higher idea than that of priests, the lieutenants of God? At first glance, who would not think that most of them are not only good but even perfect; yet I am horror-struck when I hear Saint Jerome declaring that although the world is full of priests, barely one in a hundred is living in a manner in conformity with state; when I hear a servant of God attesting that he has learned by revelation that the number of priests who fall into hell each day is so great that it seemed impossible to him that there be any left on earth; when I hear Saint Chrysostom exclaiming with tears in his eyes, “I do not believe that many priests are saved; I believe the contrary, that the number of those who are damned is greater.”

Look higher still, and see the prelates of the Holy Church, pastors who have the charge of souls. Is the number of those who are saved among them greater than the number of those who are damned? Listen to Cantimpre; he will relate an event to you, and you may draw the conclusions. There was a synod being held in Paris, and a great number of prelates and pastors who had the charge of souls were in attendance; the king and princes also came to add luster to that assembly by their presence. A famous preacher was invited to preach. While he was preparing his sermon, a horrible demon appeared to him and said, “Lay your books aside. If you want to give a sermon that will be useful to these princes and prelates, content yourself with telling them on our part, ‘We the princes of darkness thank you, princes, prelates, and pastors of souls, that due to your negligence, the greater number of the faithful are damned; also, we are saving a reward for you for this favor, when you shall be with us in Hell.'”

Woe to you who command others! If so many are damned by your fault, what will happen to you? If few out of those who are first in the Church of God are saved, what will happen to you? Take all states, both sexes, every condition: husbands, wives, widows, young women, young men, soldiers, merchants, craftsmen, rich and poor, noble and plebian. What are we to say about all these people who are living so badly? The following narrative from Saint Vincent Ferrer will show you what you may think about it. He relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, “Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell.”

Our chronicles relate an even more dreadful happening. One of our brothers, well-known for his doctrine and holiness, was preaching in Germany. He represented the ugliness of the sin of impurity so forceful that a woman fell dead of sorrow in front of everyone. Then, coming back to life, she said, “When I was presented before the Tribunal of God, sixty thousand people arrived at the same time from all parts of the world; out of that number, three were saved by going to Purgatory, and all the rest were damned.”

O abyss of the judgments of God! Out of thirty thousand, only five were saved! And out of sixty thousand, only three went to heaven! You sinners who are listening to me, in what category will you be numbered?… What do you say?… What do you think?…

I see almost all of you lowering your heads, filled with astonishment and horror. But let us lay our stupor aside, and instead of flattering ourselves, let us try to draw some profit from our fear. Is it not true that there are two roads which lead to heaven: innocence and repentance? Now, if I show you that very few take either one of these two roads, as rational people you will conclude that very few are saved. And to mention proofs: in what age, employment or condition will you find that the number of the wicked is not a hundred times greater than that of the good, and about which one might say, “The good are so rare and the wicked are so great in number“? We could say of our times what Salvianus said of his: it is easier to find a countless multitude of sinners immersed in all sorts of iniquities than a few innocent men. How many servants are totally honest and faithful in their duties? How many merchants are fair and equitable in their commerce; how many craftsmen exact and truthful; how many salesmen disinterested and sincere? How many men of law do not forsake equity? How many soldiers do not tread upon innocence; how many masters do not unjustly withhold the salary of those who serve them, or do not seek to dominate their inferiors? Everywhere, the good are rare and the wicked great in number. Who does not know that today there is so much libertinage among mature men, liberty among young girls, vanity among women, licentiousness in the nobility, corruption in the middle class, dissolution in the people, impudence among the poor, that one could say what David said of his times: “All alike have gone astray… there is not even one who does good, not even one.”

Go into street and square, into palace and house, into city and countryside, into tribunal and court of law, and even into the temple of God. Where will you find virtue? “Alas!” cries Salvianus, “except for a very little number who flee evil, what is the assembly of Christians if not a sink of vice?” All that we can find everywhere is selfishness, ambition, gluttony, and luxury. Is not the greater portion of men defiled by the vice of impurity, and is not Saint John right in saying, “The whole world – if something so foul may be called – “is seated in wickedness?” I am not the one who is telling you; reason obliges you to believe that out of those who are living so badly, very few are saved.

But you will say: Can penance not profitably repair the loss of innocence? That is true, I admit. But I also know that penance is so difficult in practice, we have lost the habit so completely, and it is so badly abused by sinners, that this alone should suffice to convince you that very few are saved by that path. Oh, how steep, narrow, thorny, horrible to behold and hard to climb it is! Everywhere we look, we see traces of blood and things that recall sad memories. Many weaken at the very sight of it. Many retreat at the very start. Many fall from weariness in the middle, and many give up wretchedly at the end. And how few are they who persevere in it till death! Saint Ambrose says it is easier to find men who have kept their innocence than to find any who have done fitting penance.

If you consider the sacrament of penance, there are so many distorted confessions, so many studied excuses, so many deceitful repentances, so many false promises, so many ineffective resolutions, so many invalid absolutions! Would you regard as valid the confession of someone who accuses himself of sins of impurity and still holds to the occasion of them? Or someone who accuses himself of obvious injustices with no intention of making any reparation whatsoever for them? Or someone who falls again into the same iniquities right after going to confession? Oh, horrible abuses of such a great sacrament! One confesses to avoid excommunication, another to make a reputation as a penitent. One rids himself of his sins to calm his remorse, another conceals them out of shame. One accuses them imperfectly out of malice, another discloses them out of habit. One does not have the true end of the sacrament in mind, another is lacking the necessary sorrow, and still another firm purpose. Poor confessors, what efforts you make to bring the greater number of penitents to these resolutions and acts, without which confession is a sacrilege, absolution a condemnation and penance an illusion?

Where are they now, those who believe that the number of the saved among Christians is greater than that of the damned and who, to authorize their opinion, reason thus: the greater portion of Catholic adults die in their beds armed with the sacraments of the Church, therefore most adult Catholics are saved? Oh, what fine reasoning! You must say exactly the opposite. Most Catholic adults confess badly at death, therefore most of them are damned. I say “all the more certain,” because a dying person who has not confessed well when he was in good health will have an even harder time doing so when he is in bed with a heavy heart, an unsteady head, a muddled mind; when he is opposed in many ways by still-living objects, by still-fresh occasions, by adopted habits, and above all by devils who are seeking every means to cast him into hell. Now, if you add to all these false penitents all the other sinners who die unexpectedly in sin, due to the doctors’ ignorance or by their relatives’ fault, who die from poisoning or from being buried in earthquakes, or from a stroke, or from a fall, or on the battlefield, in a fight, caught in a trap, struck by lightning, burned or drowned, are you not obliged to conclude that most Christian adults are damned? That is the reasoning of Saint Chrysostom. This Saint says that most Christians are walking on the road to hell throughout their life. Why, then, are you so surprised that the greater number goes to hell? To come to a door, you must take the road that leads there. What have you to answer such a powerful reason?

The answer, you will tell me, is that the mercy of God is great. Yes, for those who fear Him, says the Prophet; but great is His justice for the one who does not fear Him, and it condemns all obstinate sinners.

So you will say to me: Well then, who is Paradise for, if not for Christians? It is for Christians, of course, but for those who do not dishonor their character and who live as Christians. Moreover, if to the number of Christian adults who die in the grace of God, you add the countless host of children who die after baptism and before reaching the age of reason, you will not be surprised that Saint John the Apostle, speaking of those who are saved, says, “I saw a great multitude which no man could number.

And this is what deceives those who pretend that the number of the saved among Catholics is greater than that of the damned… If to that number, you add the adults who have kept the robe of innocence, or who after having defiled it, have washed it in the tears of penance, it is certain that the greater number is saved; and that explains the words of Saint John, “I saw a great multitude,” and these other words of Our Lord, “Many will come from the east and from the west, and will feast with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven,” and the other figures usually cited in favor of that opinion. But if you are talking about Christian adults, experience, reason, authority, propriety and Scripture all agree in proving that the greater number is damned. Do not believe that because of this, paradise is empty; on the contrary, it is a very populous kingdom. And if the damned are “as numerous as the sand in the sea,” the saved are “as numerous at the stars of heaven,” that is, both the one and the other are countless, although in very different proportions.

One day Saint John Chrysostom, preaching in the cathedral in Constantinople and considering these proportions, could not help but shudder in horror and ask, “Out of this great number of people, how many do you think will be saved?” And, not waiting for an answer, he added, “Among so many thousands of people, we would not find a hundred who are saved, and I even doubt for the one hundred.” What a dreadful thing! The great Saint believed that out of so many people, barely one hundred would be saved; and even then, he was not sure of that number. What will happen to you who are listening to me? Great God, I cannot think of it without shuddering! Brothers, the problem of salvation is a very difficult thing; for according to the maxims of the theologians, when an end demands great efforts, few only attain it.

That is why Saint Thomas, the Angelic Doctor, after weighing all the reasons pro and con in his immense erudition, finally concludes that the greater number of Catholic adults are damned. He says, “Because eternal beatitude surpasses the natural state, especially since it has been deprived of original grace, it is the little number that are saved.”

So then, remove the blindfold from your eyes that is blinding you with self-love, that is keeping you from believing such an obvious truth by giving you very false ideas concerning the justice of God, “Just Father, the world has not known Thee,” said Our Lord Jesus Christ. He does not say “Almighty Father, most good and merciful Father.” He says “just Father,” so we may understand that out of all the attributes of God, none is less known than His justice, because men refuse to believe what they are afraid to undergo. Therefore, remove the blindfold that is covering your eyes and say tearfully: Alas! The greater number of Catholics, the greater number of those who live here, perhaps even those who are in this assembly, will be damned! What subject could be more deserving of your tears?

King Xerxes, standing on a hill looking at his army of one hundred thousand soldiers in battle array, and considering that out of all of them there would be not one man alive in a hundred years, was unable to hold back his tears. Have we not more reason to weep upon thinking that out of so many Catholics, the greater number will be damned? Should this thought not make our eyes pour forth rivers of tears, or at least produce in our heart the sentiment of compassion felt by an Augustinian Brother, Ven. Marcellus of St. Dominic? One day as he was meditating on the eternal pains, the Lord showed him how many souls were going to hell at that moment and had him see a very broad road on which twenty-two thousand reprobates were running toward the abyss, colliding into one another. The servant of God was stupefied at the sight and exclaimed, “Oh, what a number! What a number! And still more are coming. O Jesus! O Jesus! What madness!” Let me repeat with Jeremiah, “Who will give water to my head, and a fountain of tears to my eyes? And I will weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people.

Poor souls! How can you run so hastily toward hell? For mercy’s sake, stop and listen to me for a moment! Either you understand what it means to be saved and to be damned for all eternity, or you do not. If you understand and in spite of that, you do not decide to change your life today, make a good confession and trample upon the world, in a word, make your every effort to be counted among the littler number of those who are saved, I say that you do not have the faith. You are more excusable if you do not understand it, for then one must say that you are out of your mind. To be saved for all eternity, to be damned for all eternity, and to not make your every effort to avoid the one and make sure of the other, is something inconceivable.

The Goodness of God

Perhaps you do not yet believe the terrible truths I have just taught you. But it is the most highly-considered theologians, the most illustrious Fathers who have spoken to you through me. So then, how can you resist reasons supported by so many examples and words of Scripture? If you still hesitate in spite of that, and if your mind is inclined to the opposite opinion, does that very consideration not suffice to make you tremble? Oh, it shows that you do not care very much for your salvation! In this important matter, a sensible man is struck more strongly by the slightest doubt of the risk he runs than by the evidence of total ruin in other affairs in which the soul is not involved. One of our brothers, Blessed Giles, was in the habit of saying that if only one man were going to be damned, he would do all he could to make sure he was not that man.

So what must we do, we who know that the greater number is going to be damned, and not only out of all Catholics? What must we do? Take the resolution to belong to the little number of those who are saved. You say: If Christ wanted to damn me, then why did He create me? Silence, rash tongue! God did not create anyone to damn him; but whoever is damned, is damned because he wants to be. Therefore, I will now strive to defend the goodness of my God and acquit it of all blame: that will be the subject of the second point.

Before going on, let us gather on one side all the books and all the heresies of Luther and Calvin, and on the other side the books and heresies of the Pelagians and Semi-Pelagians, and let us burn them. Some destroy grace, others freedom, and all are filled with errors; so let us cast them into the fire. All the damned bear upon their brow the oracle of the Prophet Osee, “Thy damnation comes from thee,” so that they may understand that whoever is damned, is damned by his own malice and because he wants to be damned.

First let us take these two undeniable truths as a basis: “God wants all men to be saved,” “All are in need of the grace of God.” Now, if I show you that God wants to save all men, and that for this purpose He gives all of them His grace and all the other necessary means of obtaining that sublime end, you will be obliged to agree that whoever is damned must impute it to his own malice, and that if the greater number of Christians are damned, it is because they want to be. “Thy damnation comes from thee; thy help is only in Me.”

God Desires All Men to be Saved

In a hundred places in Holy Scripture, God tells us that it is truly His desire to save all men. “Is it My will that a sinner should die, and not that he should be converted from his ways and live?… I live, saith the Lord God. I desire not the death of the sinner. Be converted and live.” When someone wants something very much, it is said that he is dying with desire; it is a hyperbole. But God has wanted and still wants our salvation so much that He died of desire, and He suffered death to give us life. This will to save all men is therefore not an affected, superficial and apparent will in God; it is a real, effective, and beneficial will; for He provides us with all the means most proper for us to be saved. He does not give them to us so they will not obtain it; He gives them to us with a sincere will, with the intention that they may obtain their effect. And if they do not obtain it, He shows Himself afflicted and offended over it. He commands even the damned to use them in order to be saved; He exhorts them to it; He obliges them to it; and if they do not do it, they sin. Therefore, they may do it and thus be saved.

Far more, because God sees that we could not even make use of His grace without His help, He gives us other aids; and if they sometimes remain ineffective, it is our fault; for with these same aids, one may abuse them and be damned with them, and another may do right and be saved; he might even be saved with less powerful aids. Yes, it can happen that we abuse a greater grace and are damned, whereas another cooperates with a lesser grace and is saved.

Saint Augustine exclaims, “If, therefore, someone turns aside from justice, he is carried by his free will, led by his concupiscence, deceived by his own persuasion.” But for those who do not understand theology, here is what I have to say to them: God is so good that when He sees a sinner running to his ruin, He runs after him, calls him, entreats and accompanies him even to the gates of hell; what will He not do to convert him? He sends him good inspirations and holy thoughts, and if he does not profit from them, He becomes angry and indignant, He pursues him. Will He strike him? No. He beats at the air and forgives him. But the sinner is not converted yet. God sends him a mortal illness. It is certainly all over for him. No, brothers, God heals him; the sinner becomes obstinate in evil, and God in His mercy looks for another way; He gives him another year, and when that year is over, He grants him yet another.

But if the sinner still wants to cast himself into hell in spite of all that, what does God do? Does He abandon him? No. He takes him by the hand; and while he has one foot in hell and the other outside, He still preaches to him, He implores him not to abuse His graces. Now I ask you, if that man is damned, is it not true that he is damned against the Will of God and because he wants to be damned? Come and ask me now: If God wanted to damn me, then why did He create me?

Ungrateful sinner, learn today that if you are damned, it is not God who is to blame, but you and your self-will. To persuade yourself of this, go down even to the depths of the abyss, and there I will bring you one of those wretched damned souls burning in hell, so that he may explain this truth to you. Here is one now: “Tell me, who are you?” “I am a poor idolater, born in an unknown land; I never heard of heaven or hell, nor of what I am suffering now.” “Poor wretch! Go away, you are not the one I am looking for.” Another one is coming; there he is. “Who are you?” “I am a schismatic from the ends of Tartary; I always lived in an uncivilized state, barely knowing that there is a God.” “You are not the one I want; return to hell.” Here is another. “And who are you?” “I am a poor heretic from the North. I was born under the Pole and never saw either the light of the sun or the light of faith.” “It is not you that I am looking for either, return to Hell.” Brothers, my heart is broken upon seeing these wretches who never even knew the True Faith among the damned. Even so, know that the sentence of condemnation was pronounced against them and they were told, “Thy damnation comes from thee.” They were damned because they wanted to be. They received so many aids from God to be saved! We do not know what they were, but they know them well, and now they cry out, “O Lord, Thou art just… and Thy judgments are equitable.”

Brothers, you must know that the most ancient belief is the Law of God, and that we all bear it written in our hearts; that it can be learned without any teacher, and that it suffices to have the light of reason in order to know all the precepts of that Law. That is why even the barbarians hid when they committed sin, because they knew they were doing wrong; and they are damned for not having observed the natural law written in their heart: for had they observed it, God would have made a miracle rather than let them be damned; He would have sent them someone to teach them and would have given them other aids, of which they made themselves unworthy by not living in conformity with the inspirations of their own conscience, which never failed to warn them of the good they should do and the evil they should avoid. So it is their conscience that accused them at the Tribunal of God, and it tells them constantly in hell, “Thy damnation comes from thee.” They do not know what to answer and are obliged to confess that they are deserving of their fate. Now if these infidels have no excuse, will there be any for a Catholic who had so many sacraments, so many sermons, so many aids at his disposal? How will he dare to say, “If God was going to damn me, then why did He create me?” How will he dare to speak in this manner, when God gives him so many aids to be saved? So let us finish confounding him.

You who are suffering in the abyss, answer me! Are there any Catholics among you? “There certainly are!” How many? Let one of them come here! “That is impossible, they are too far down, and to have them come up would turn all of hell upside down; it would be easier to stop one of them as he is falling in.” So then, I am speaking to you who live in the habit of mortal sin, in hatred, in the mire of the vice of impurity, and who are getting closer to hell each day. Stop, and turn around; it is Jesus who calls you and who, with His wounds, as with so many eloquent voices, cries to you, “My son, if you are damned, you have only yourself to blame: ‘Thy damnation comes from thee.’ Lift up your eyes and see all the graces with which I have enriched you to insure your eternal salvation. I could have had you born in a forest in Barbary; that is what I did to many others, but I had you born in the Catholic Faith; I had you raised by such a good father, such an excellent mother, with the purest instructions and teachings. If you are damned in spite of that, whose fault will it be? Your own, My son, your own: ‘Thy damnation comes from thee.’

“I could have cast you into hell after the first mortal sin you committed, without waiting for the second: I did it to so many others, but I was patient with you, I waited for you for many long years. I am still waiting for you today in penance. If you are damned in spite of all that, whose fault is it? Your own, My son, your own: “Thy damnation comes from thee.” You know how many have died before your very eyes and were damned: that was a warning for you. You know how many others I set back on the right path to give you the good example. Do you remember what that excellent confessor told you? I am the one who had him say it. Did he not enjoin you to change your life, to make a good confession? I am the One who inspired him. Remember that sermon that touched your heart? I am the One who led you there. And what has happened between you and Me in the secret of your heart, …that you can never forget.

Those interior inspirations, that clear knowledge, that constant remorse of conscience, would you dare to deny them? All of these were so many aids of My grace, because I wanted to save you. I refused to give them to many others, and I gave them to you because I loved you tenderly. My son, My son, if I spoke to them as tenderly as I am speaking to you today, how many others souls return to the right path! And you… you turn your back on Me. Listen to what I am going to tell you, for these are My last words: You have cost Me My blood; if you want to be damned in spite of the blood I shed for you, do not blame Me, you have only yourself to accuse; and throughout all eternity, do not forget that if you are damned in spite of Me, you are damned because you want to be damned: ‘Thy damnation comes from thee.’ “

O my good Jesus, the very stones would split on hearing such sweet words, such tender expressions. Is there anyone here who wants to be damned, with so many graces and aids? If there is one, let him listen to me, and then let him resist if he can.

Baronius relates that after Julian the Apostate’s infamous apostasy, he conceived such great hatred against Holy Baptism that day and night, he sought a way in which he might erase his own. To that purpose he had a bath of goat’s blood prepared and placed himself in it, wanting this impure blood of a victim consecrated to Venus to erase the sacred character of Baptism from his soul. Such behavior seems abominable to you, but if Julian’s plan had been able to succeed, it is certain that he would be suffering much less in hell.

Sinners, the advice I want to give you will no doubt seem strange to you; but if you understand it well, it is, on the contrary, inspired by tender compassion toward you. I implore you on my knees, by the blood of Christ and by the Heart of Mary, change your life, come back to the road that leads to heaven, and do all you can to belong to the little number of those who are saved. If, instead of this, you want to continue walking on the road that leads to hell, at least find a way to erase your baptism. Woe to you if you take the Holy Name of Jesus Christ and the sacred character of the Christian engraved upon your soul into hell! Your chastisement will be all the greater. So do what I advise you to do: if you do not want to convert, go this very day and ask your pastor to erase your name from the baptismal register, so that there may not remain any remembrance of your ever having been a Christian; implore your Guardian Angel to erase from his book of graces the inspirations and aids he has given you on orders from God, for woe to you if he recalls them! Tell Our Lord to take back His faith, His baptism, His sacraments.

You are horror-struck at such a thought? Well then, cast yourself at the feet of Jesus Christ and say to Him, with tearful eyes and contrite heart: “Lord, I confess that up till now I have not lived as a Christian. I am not worthy to be numbered among Your elect. I recognize that I deserve to be damned; but Your mercy is great and, full of confidence in Your grace, I say to You that I want to save my soul, even if I have to sacrifice my fortune, my honor, my very life, as long as I am saved. If I have been unfaithful up to now, I repent, I deplore, I detest my infidelity, I ask You humbly to forgive me for it. Forgive me, good Jesus, and strengthen me also, that I may be saved. I ask You not for wealth, honor or prosperity; I ask you for one thing only, to save my soul.”

And You, O Jesus! What do You say? O Good Shepherd, see the stray sheep who returns to You; embrace this repentant sinner, bless his sighs and tears, or rather bless these people who are so well disposed and who want nothing but their salvation. Brothers, at the feet of Our Lord, let us protest that we want to save our soul, cost what it may. Let us all say to Him with tearful eyes, “Good Jesus, I want to save my soul,” O blessed tears, O blessed sighs!

Conclusion

Brothers, I want to send all of you away comforted today. So if you ask me my sentiment on the number of those who are saved, here it is: Whether there are many or few that are saved, I say that whoever wants to be saved, will be saved; and that no one can be damned if he does not want to be. And if it is true that few are saved, it is because there are few who live well. As for the rest, compare these two opinions: the first one states that the greater number of Catholics are condemned; the second one, on the contrary, pretends that the greater number of Catholics are saved. Imagine an Angel sent by God to confirm the first opinion, coming to tell you that not only are most Catholics damned, but that of all this assembly present here, one alone will be saved. If you obey the Commandments of God, if you detest the corruption of this world, if you embrace the Cross of Jesus Christ in a spirit of penance, you will be that one alone who is saved.

Now imagine the same Angel returning to you and confirming the second opinion. He tells you that not only are the greater portion of Catholics saved, but that out of all this gathering, one alone will be damned and all the others saved. If after that, you continue your usuries, your vengeances, your criminal deeds, your impurities, then you will be that one alone who is damned.

What is the use of knowing whether few or many are saved? Saint Peter says to us, “Strive by good works to make your election sure.” When Saint Thomas Aquinas’s sister asked him what she must do to go to heaven, he said, “You will be saved if you want to be.” I say the same thing to you, and here is proof of my declaration. No one is damned unless he commits mortal sin: that is of faith. And no one commits mortal sin unless he wants to: that is an undeniable theological proposition. Therefore, no one goes to hell unless he wants to; the consequence is obvious. Does that not suffice to comfort you? Weep over past sins, make a good confession, sin no more in the future, and you will all be saved. Why torment yourself so? For it is certain that you have to commit mortal sin to go to hell, and that to commit mortal sin you must want to, and that consequently no one goes to hell unless he wants to. That is not just an opinion, it is an undeniable and very comforting truth; may God give you to understand it, and may He bless you. Amen.

Visions of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

All visions are take from the book “The Life and Revelations of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmeirch” by Carl E. Schmoger.

An amazing vision about relics and the state of the Church:

“I again visited innumerable places where lie relics under buildings buried and forgotten.  I went through cellars in mud and dust, into old church crypts, sacristies, tombs, and I venerated the holy things lying there, scattered and unknown.  I saw how they once shone with light, how they shed around like benediction, but their veneration ceased with the decline of the Church.  The churches erected over them are dark and desolate, the Saints under them are no longer honored.  I saw that their veneration and that of their relics had decreased in the same measure as the adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and then I was shone how evil a thing it is to receive the Holy Eucharist through mere habit.  Grievous sufferings were imposed upon me for this contempt.  In the spiritual Church I saw the value and efficacy of the holy relics now so little regarded on earth.  

I saw an octangular church arising like a lily from a stalk and surrounded by a vine.  It had no altar; but in the center, on a many-branched candlestick, reposed the richest treasures of the Church like bunches of opening flowers.  I saw the holy things collected and honorably placed by the Saints on this candlestick, this ornamental stand, which seemed constantly to increase in size.  While thus engaged, the Saints very often saw their own relics brought in by those who lived after them.  I saw the disciples of St. John bringing in his head and other relics of him and the Blessed Virgin with little crystal phials of the Blood of Jesus.  In one of them the blood was still clear and shiny.  All were in the costly reliquaries in which the Church preserves them.  I saw saintly men and women of Mary’s time depositing in precious vases, holy things that once belonged to her; they were given the place of honor on the right.  There was a crystal vase in which there was pieces of her clothing, and another vase with some of her hair.  I saw a tree before the church, and I was shown how it had fallen and been fashioned into the Saviour’s Cross.  I saw it now in the form in which I always see it, brought in by a woman wearing a crown.  It hovered in the air over Mary’s relics.  The three nails were stuck in it, the little foot ledge was in its place, as also the inscription, and, skillfully arranged around, were the instruments of the Passion; the ladder, the lance, the sponge, the rods, the whips, the crowbars, the pillar, the cords, the hammers, etc., while the Crown of Thorns hung from the center.  As the sacred objects were brought in and arranged, I had successive visions of the places in which these relics of the Passion were found, and I felt certain that of all I saw some particles are still preserved and honored.  There must be many relics of the Crown of Thorns in different places.  I discovered that my particle of the lance is from the haft.

 I saw in all directions on altars, in chambers, churches, vaults, in walls, in rubbish, under the earth and on the earth, portions of the relics and bones which were brought into the church.  Many consecrated Hosts in chalices and ciboriums were brought thither by Bishops, and corporals stained with the Precious Blood.  They were placed on high over the cross.  Then came the relics of the Apostles and the early martyrs followed by those of whole bands of martyrs, Popes, priests, confessors, hermits, virgins, religious, etc.  They were deposited at the foot of the cross, in costly vases, ornamented caskets, towers, and shrines wonderfully wrought in precious metal.  A mountain of treasures arose under the cross which gradually ascended as the mound increased and, finally, rested upon what might be termed a transfigured Calvary.  The relics were brought by those who had themselves honored them and exposed them to the veneration of the faithful; they were, for the most part, holy personages whose own relics are now held in benediction.  All the Saints whose relics were present ranged in choirs, according to their rank and profession; the church became more and more crowded; the heavens opened and the splendor of glory gleamed around.  It was like the Heavenly Jerusalem!  The relics were surrounded by the aureolas of the Saints to whom they belonged, while the Saints themselves sent forth rays of the same colors, thus establishing a visible and marvelous connection between them and their remains.  

After this I saw multitudes of well-dressed people thronging around the church with marks of deep veneration.  They wore the various costumes of their times; of the present day, I saw but a few. They were people who honored the Saints and the relics as they ought to be honored, as members of the Body of Jesus Christ, as holy vessels of divine grace through Jesus, in Jesus.  On them I saw falling like a celestial dew the beneficent influence of those saints; prosperity crowned all their undertakings.  I rejoiced to see here and there, in these our days, some good souls (some of whom I
know) still honoring relics in all simplicity.  They belong chiefly to the peasantry.  They salute simply and earnestly the relics in the church as they enter.  To my great joy, I saw my brother among them.  As he enters the church, he devoutly invokes the holy relics it contains, and I see that the Saints give fertility to the fields.  The veneration paid the Saints and their relics in the present day, I saw symbolized by a ruined church in which they lay scattered, neglected, covered with dust, yes, even thrown among filth and dirt; and yet they still shed light around, still draw down a blessing.  The church itself was in as pitiable a state as the relics.  The faithful still frequented it, but they looked like grim shadows; only occasionally was a simple, devout soul to be seen who was clear and luminous.  The worst of all was the priests themselves who seemed to be buried in mist, unable to take one step forward.  They would not have been able to find the church door were it not that, in spite of their neglect, a few fine rays from the forgotten relics still reached them through the mist.  Then I had distinct visions of the origin of the veneration of relics.  I saw altars erected over the remains of the Saints which, by the blessing of God, afterward became chapels and churches, but which were now in ruins owing to the neglect of their sacred treasures.  I saw in the time in which all was misty and dark, the beautiful reliquaries broken up to make money and their contents scattered around, which later desecration gave rise to greater evils than did even the selling of the caskets. The churches in which these sacrilege happened have fallen to decay, and many have wholly disappeared.  I have been to Rome, Cologne, and Aix-la-Chapelle, where I saw treasures of relics to which certain honors are paid.”  
~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – Feast of Holy Relics – 1820

Her vision of St. Longinus:

I saw the Lord dead on the cross.  I saw all the people standing around in just the same position as on Good Friday.  It was at the instant in which the legs of the crucified were to be broken. Longinus rode a horse or mule, but it was not like our horses; it had a thick neck.  He dismounted outside the circle of soldiers, and went in on foot, his lance in his hand.  He stepped upon the little mound at the foot of the Cross, and drove the lance into the right side of Our Lord.  When he saw the stream of blood and water, he was most powerfully affected.  He hastily descended the mountain, rode quickly to the city, and went to tell Pilate that he looked upon Jesus as the Son of God, and that he resigned his appointment in the army.  He laid down his lance at Pilate’s feet and left him.  I think it was Nicodemus whom he next met and to him he made the same declaration, after which he joined the other disciples.  Pilate esteemed the lance dishonored, inasmuch as it had been used as an instrument of punishment, and I think he gave it to Nicodemus.”  ~ Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – July 1820

Her vision on the current Passion of the Church and priests’ sacrilegious Masses:

I see priests in mortal sin saying Mass; the Hosts like a little live child on the altar before them. They cut It and gashed It horribly with the patena!  Their sacrifice was murder.  I saw in many places at the present day numbers of good people oppressed, tormented, persecuted – It is to Jesus Christ Himself such injuries are offered.  This is an evil age.  I see no refuge anywhere.  A dense cloud of sin hangs over the whole world, tepidity and indifference everywhere!  Even in Rome, I see wicked priests murdering the Child Jesus in their Mass.  ~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – January 1, 1821

The last Prophecy has simply been the reality in the Church for the past century.  Unfaithful clergy are everywhere, even in Rome.  Very few have the True Faith anymore.  Sacrilege is everywhere and Rome even wants it to be sanctioned by permitting those in mortal sin to receive the Blessed Sacrament.

Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich must be rolling in her grave seeing the reality of her visions coming to pass right now.  Kyrie Eleison!

~Damsel of the Faith

The SSPX’s Pilgrimage to Lourdes

The following are the videos about the SSPX’s recent pilgrimage to Lourdes, one of the greatest Marian Shrines in the world.

http://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/sights-and-sounds-lourdes-pilgrimage-5324

Fr. Rostand, the former SSPX US District Superior on the Pilgrimage:

Pilgrims speak on the Pilgrimage:

A Pontifical Mass was offered by Bishop Alfonse de Galerreta, in the presence of Bishop Bernard Fellay and Bishop Tissier de Mallerias at the St. Pius X Basilica in Lourdes. Glorious day! This is the Church, in action!

The SSPX’s Marian Procession in Lourdes.  How beautiful! :

The blessing of the sick.  Bishop Bernard Fellay blesses the sick with the Most Blessed Sacrament:

Bishop Bernard Fellay carries Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, joined by Bishop Tissier de Mallerias and Bishop Alfonso de Galarreta:

The SSPX recites the Rosary in Latin at the Grotto where Our Lady appeared:

A compilation of photos of the Mass offered by Bishop Tissier de Mallerias:

Full video of Bishop Bernard Fellay’s Solemn Pontifical Mass:

Long live the SSPX, custodians and defenders of the True Unchangeable Catholic Mass!

~Damsel of the Faith

                                                                  

Continuation of the Prophecies of Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich

Prophecies are taken from “The Life and Revelations of Anne Catherine Emmerich” by Carl E. Schmoger.

I have had an indescribable visions on the state of the Church both in general and particular.  I saw the Church Militant under the symbol of a city like the Heavenly Jerusalem, though it was still on earth.  In it were streets, palaces, and gardens through which I wandered and saw processions composed entirely of Bishops.  I recognized the interior state of each.  I saw their thoughts issuing from their mouths under the form of pictures.  Their religious transgressions were represented by external deformity: for instance, there were some whose head seemed to be only a misty cloud; others had a head, but a heart, a body of dark vapor; others were lame and paralytic; others sleeping or reeling.  Once I saw a mitre floating in the air and a hand out of a dark cloud trying repeatedly, but vainly, to seize it.  Under the mitre I beheld many persons not unknown to me, bearing on their shoulders amid tears and lamentations, crosses of all kinds – among them walked myself.  I think I saw almost all the Bishops in the world, but only a few were perfectly sound.  I saw the Holy Father very prayerful and God-fearing, his figure perfect, through worn out by old age and manifold sufferings, his head sunk on his breast as if in sleep.  I often saw him supported by apparitions during his prayer, and then his head was upright.  When it sank upon his breast, then were the minds of many turned quickly here and there; that is, viewing things in a worldly light.  Protestantism was in the ascendancy and religion was falling to utter decay.”  ~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – June 1, 1821

I see in the future religion falling so low that it will be practiced only here and there in farmhouses and in families protected by God during the horrors of war.”  ~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – June 1, 1821

“I see so many ecclesiastics under the ban of excommunication!  But they seem quite at their ease, almost unconscious of their state; and yet, all join associations, take part in enterprises, or adhere to opinions condemned by the Church, are really excommunicated by that fact itself.  I see such men, hemmed in, as it were, by a wall of fog.  By this we may clearly see what account God makes of the decrees, orders, and prohibitions of the Head of the Church and how rigorously He exacts their observance, while men coolly mock and scoff at them.”   ~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – March 22, 1820

On the Angelic Pope and the restoration:

I saw a new, very resolute Pope, and the black abyss gradually closing until the opening was so small that a water pail could cover it.  Lastly, I saw three troops or parishes uniting in the light under holy, enlightened men, and entering into the Church.  The waters again gushed forth; all was renewed, all was living and flourishing, churches and convents were rebuilt.”  ~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – April 12, 1820

I think it’s possible that the following Prophecy refers not only to the Synod, but to the tyrannical dismantling of the Franciscans of the Immaculate.

I have had another vision on the great tribulation everywhere reigning.  It seemed as if something were enacted from the clergy, something that could not be granted.  I see many aged priests, some of them Franciscans, and one, in particular a very old man, weeping bitterly and mingling their tears with those of others younger than themselves.  I saw others, tepid souls, willingly acceding to conditions hurtful to religion.  The old faithful in their distress submitted to the interdict and closed their churches.  Numbers of their parishioners joined them; and so, the two parties were formed, a good and a bad one.”

The following is a Prophecy about the coronation of the Angelic Pope.

There has been a thanksgiving feast in the spiritual church.  It was filled with glory, and a magnificent throne stood in the middle of it.  Paul, Augustine, and other converted Saints figured conspicuously.  It was a feast in the Church Triumphant, a thanksgiving for a great, though still future grace, something like a future consecration.  It referred to the conversion of a man whom I saw of slight figure and tolerably young, who was one day to be Pope.  I see him below in the church among other pious men… I saw many Christians returning to the bosom of the Church, entering through the walls.  That Pope will be strict, he will remove from him lukewarm, tepid Bishops – but it will be a long time before this happens.  All whose prayers have been instrumental in obtaining this grace were present in the church.  I saw also those men eminent in prayer whom I so often see.  The young man was already in Orders and it seemed as if he were receiving some new dignity.  He is not Roman, though an Italian from a place not far from Rome.  I think he is of a pious noble family.  He travels sometimes.  But before his time there will be many struggles.  It was an indescribably beautiful and joyous festival, and I was so happy!”

The following is an astonishing Prophecy about the attacks of Freemasonry on the Church and the Passion the Church has been undergoing for the past 50+ years.

I have seen that the Church’s distress springs from treason, omissions, and negligences; and, though great is the misery here among us, it is still greater in other places.  I saw priests in taverns, in bad company, and their parishioners dying without the Sacraments; and again I had a vision of how the secret sect cunningly attacks the Church of Peter on all sides.  They used all sorts of tools and ran here and there with the broken stones; but they had to leave the altar standing, they could not carry it off.  I saw them profane and rob a statue of Mary.  I complained to the Pope of his tolerating so many priests among the destroyers, and I saw why the Church was founded in Rome. It was because Rome was at that time the center of the world, the metropolis of nations.  It will stand like an island, like a rock in the sea, when all around it goes to ruin.  Jesus gave this power to Peter and set him over all His Church, because of his fidelity and uprightness.  When Jesus said to him ‘Follow Me’, Peter understood that he, too, would be crucified. As I watched the destroyers, I marveled at their great skill.  They had all kinds of machinery; they did everything according to a given plan.  They made no noise, they noticed everything, profited by everything, had recourse to all kinds of artifice, and the building seemed to disappear under their touch, though nothing crumbled of itself.  Some among them were engaged in reconstructing.  They destroyed the holy and the great, and they built up the empty, the hollow, the superfluous! From some of the altar stones, they made steps at the entrance.   ~Bl. Anne Catherine Emmerich – May 1823

This extraordinary mystic saw the current state of the Church in our time.  She prayed and suffered for us because she realized the great loss of souls that would result from the Great Apostasy that would reach the very top of the Church, as we are witnessing today.

St. Michael the Archangel, destroy Freemasonry!

~Damsel of the Faith

Christ the King

CHRIST THE KING WITH APOSTLES

With tomorrow being the solemn Feast of Christ the King, we would do well to reflect on this great Feast of Holy Church and the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ.

Christ’s Kingship is repeatedly confirmed in Sacred Scripture.

“Pilate therefore went into the hall again, and called Jesus, and said to him: Art thou the king of the Jews? Jesus answered: Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or have others told it thee of me? Pilate answered: Am I a Jew? Thy own nation, and the chief priests, have delivered thee up to me: what hast thou done? Jesus answered: My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would certainly strive that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now my kingdom is not from hence. Pilate therefore said to him: Art thou a king then? Jesus answered: Thou sayest that I am a king. For this was I born, and for this came I into the world; that I should give testimony to the truth. Every one that is of the truth, heareth my voice.”  ~John 18: 33-37

“For the kingdom is the Lord’s; and he shall have dominion over the nations.”  ~Psalms 22:28

“I will extol thee, O God my king: and I will bless thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever. Every day I will bless thee: and I will praise thy name for ever; yea, for ever and ever.  Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: and of his greatness there is no end. Generation and generation shall praise thy works: and they shall declare thy power.  They shall speak of the magnificence of the glory of thy holiness: and shall tell thy wondrous works.”  ~Psalms 144: 1-5

There is one most high Creator Almighty, and a powerful king, and greatly to be feared, who sitteth upon his throne, and is the God of dominion.”  ~Ecclesiasticus 1: 8

And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and his name shall be one.”  ~Zechariah 14:9

“For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king: he will save us.”  ~Isaiah 33: 22

“But the Lord is the true God: he is the living God, and the everlasting king, at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his threatening.”  ~Jeremiah 10: 10

Christ is King not only of society, but of His Kingdom, the Holy Catholic Church.  Because He is God, His reign extends not only to individual persons, but to whole nations.  All men must obey Christ the King and He must be recognized as King by society.  The laws of His Kingdom, the Ten Commandments and the Teachings of the Catholic Church, must be obeyed by all.  Until this is done, the world will not have peace.  Until all things are restored in Christ the King, the world cannot have peace.

Pope Pius XI in his Encyclical Letter “Quas Primas”, established the Feast of Christ the King for the Universal Church.

http://www.catholictradition.org/Encyclicals/primas.htm

From Quas Primas:

When once men recognize, both in private and in public life, that Christ is King, society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony. Our Lord’s regal office invests the human authority of princes and rulers with a religious significance; it ennobles the citizen’s duty of obedience. It is for this reason that St. Paul, while bidding wives revere Christ in their husbands, and slaves respect Christ in their masters, warns them to give obedience to them not as men, but as the vicegerents of Christ; for it is not meet that men redeemed by Christ should serve their fellow-men. “You are bought with a price; be not made the bond-slaves of men.”  If princes and magistrates duly elected are filled with the persuasion that they rule, not by their own right, but by the mandate and in the place of the Divine King, they will exercise their authority piously and wisely, and they will make laws and administer them, having in view the common good and also the human dignity of their subjects. The result will be a stable peace and tranquillity, for there will be no longer any cause of discontent. Men will see in their king or in their rulers men like themselves, perhaps unworthy or open to criticism, but they will not on that account refuse obedience if they see reflected in them the authority of Christ God and Man. Peace and harmony, too, will result; for with the spread and the universal extent of the kingdom of Christ men will become more and more conscious of the link that binds them together, and thus many conflicts will be either prevented entirely or at least their bitterness will be diminished.

Today, Society no longer honors Christ as King.  Rather, the civil governments mock him by enacting iniquitous laws that mock the laws of God.  Murder of the unborn and every other kind of abomination is sanctioned and tolerated, without giving any thought to the laws of God.  The State should be upholding the laws of God and the truth of the Catholic Church.  Instead, Christ the King has been de-throned in Society and even in the Church, as the great Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre stated.

How has Christ been de-throned in the Church?  Precisely through the heresy of religious liberty.

When we pay honor to the princely dignity of Christ, men will doubtless be reminded that the Church, founded by Christ as a perfect society, has a natural and inalienable right to perfect freedom and immunity from the power of the state; and that in fulfilling the task committed to her by God of teaching, ruling, and guiding to eternal bliss those who belong to the kingdom of Christ, she cannot be subject to any external power. The State is bound to extend similar freedom to the orders and communities of religious of either sex, who give most valuable help to the Bishops of the Church by laboring for the extension and the establishment of the kingdom of Christ. By their sacred vows they fight against the threefold concupiscence of the world; by making profession of a more perfect life they render the holiness which her divine Founder willed should be a mark and characteristic of his Church more striking and more conspicuous in the eyes of all.

Nations will be reminded by the annual celebration of this feast that not only private individuals but also rulers and princes are bound to give public honor and obedience to Christ. It will call to their minds the thought of the last judgment, wherein Christ, Who has been cast out of public life, despised, neglected and ignored, will most severely avenge these insults; for His kingly dignity demands that the State should take account of the commandments of God and of Christian principles, both in making laws and in administering justice, and also in providing for the young a sound moral education.”

Vatican II de-throned Christ the King.

“I do not hesitate to affirm that the Council brought to reality the conversion of the Church to the world.  I leave it to you to reflect who the moving spirit of this spirituality was: it is enough for you to remember the one whom Our Lord Jesus Christ calls the Prince of this World.”  ~Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, “They Have Uncrowned Him”

Pope Pius X wanted all things restored in Christ.  The restoration of all things in Christ is the Social Kingship of Jesus Christ.

I conclude with the words of Pope Leo XIII on the Kingship of Christ:

“His empire does not extend exclusively over Catholic nations, nor only over baptized Christians, who belong by right to the Church, even if they have strayed far away from Her because of their erroneous opinions or are separated from Her by schism ; it includes also all men without exception, even those who are foreign to the Christian faith, so that the empire of Jesus Christ is, in all truth, the whole human race.”  ~Pope Leo XIII, “Annum sacrum”

It is time society and the Church once again recognizes Christ as King and His Church as the True Church.

Viva Christo Rey!

~ Damsel of the Faith