Eucatastrophe

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‘Eucatastrophe’: the sudden happy turn in a story which pierces you with a joy that brings tears… it produces its peculiar effect because it is a sudden glimpse of Truth, your whole nature chained in material cause and effect, the chain of death, feels a sudden relief as if a major limb out of joint had suddenly snapped back. It perceives… that this is indeed how things really do work in the Great World for which our nature is made. And I concluded by saying that the Resurrection was the greatest ‘eucatastrophe’ possible in the greatest Fairy Story – and produces that essential emotion: Christian joy which produces tears because it is qualitatively so like sorrow, because it comes from those places where Joy and Sorrow are at one, reconciled, as selfishness and altruism are lost in Love.” – Letter from J.R.R. Tolkien

The consolation of fairy-stories, the joy of the happy ending: or more correctly of the good catastrophe, the sudden joyous “turn”… is a sudden and miraculous grace: never to be counted on to recur. It does not deny the existence of… sorrow and failure: the possibility of these is necessary to the joy of deliverance; it denies (in the face of much evidence, if you will) universal final defeat and in so far is evangelium, giving a fleeting glimpse of Joy, Joy beyond the walls of the world, poignant as grief.

It is the mark of a good fairy-story, of the higher or more complete kind, that however wild its events, however fantastic or terrible the adventures, it can give to child or man that hears it, when the “turn” comes, a catch of the breath, a beat and lifting of the heart, near to (or indeed accompanied by) tears, as keen as that given by any form of literary art, and having a peculiar quality.”

In such stories when the sudden “turn” comes we get a piercing glimpse of joy, and heart’s desire, that for a moment passes outside the frame, rends indeed the very web of story, and lets a gleam come through.

The peculiar quality of the ”joy” in successful Fantasy can thus be explained as a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth. It is not only a “consolation” for the sorrow of this world, but a satisfaction, and an answer to that question, “Is it true?”

The Gospels contain a fairy- story, or a story of a larger kind which embraces all the essence of fairy-stories. They contain many marvels—peculiarly artistic, beautiful, and moving: “mythical” in their perfect, self- contained significance; and among the marvels is the greatest and most complete conceivable eucatastrophe. But this story has entered History and the primary world; the desire and aspiration of sub-creation has been raised to the fulfillment of Creation. The Birth of Christ is the eucatastrophe of Man’s history. The Resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the Incarnation. This story begins and ends in joy. It has pre-eminently the “inner consistency of reality.” There is no tale ever told that men would rather find was true, and none which so many sceptical men have accepted as true on its own merits. For the Art of it has the supremely convincing tone of Primary Art, that is, of Creation. To reject it leads either to sadness or to wrath.

The Christian joy, the Gloria, is of the same kind; but it is preeminently (infinitely, if our capacity were not finite) high and joyous. But this story is supreme; and it is true. Art has been verified. God is the Lord, of angels, and of men—and of elves. Legend and History have met and fused.

-On Fairy-Stories by J.R.R. Tolkien

God’s Love and Hell

God’s love and mercy are given even to those who go to hell. He respects our choice. He doesn’t send unjust punishment. He even limits the pain one receives.

God does not destroy the soul. For people, annihilation is kinder, but not to God. This is like people’s reasoning that a child should be aborted because he will have a defect and experience pain in life.

Utter evil has no substance, utter evil is nothingness. That is why even the damned are not annihilated. There is a trace of goodness in them that God will not allow to perish absolutely. There remains a purpose for their existence, some good that God desires to manifest and keep. Hell is the closest though as it could get to nothingness and separation from God. Maybe that is why it is also called as the abyss.

“For a damned soul is nearly nothing: it is shrunk, shut up in itself.” – C.S. Lewis

God shows how infinite His mercy and patience is. God awaits for eternity but none of the damned would repent. Amidst all the fire that shows the graveness of their sin, pain that reveals and screams of their error and the consequence of their separation from God, they would not turn back and would rather prefer it than accept God’s mercy. The damned keep on cursing Him and refusing Him yet God does not annihilate them nor show any injustice. God knows all these beforehand yet Jesus still suffered and died for all.

We may not understand it now but hell may yet be the kindest and most loving and just place for those who are damned. Here, their actions are limited. Here they hurt others no more. Here they don’t increase in sin and thereby increase their pain and darkness and separation from God. For even if God would allow all the damned to live on earth forever without the fires of hell, they would still suffer much because of their sins, sins that would only increase in malice and darkness. They would even hurt each other more and more and become more and more broken and dead in their soul.

GOD in His Justice and Mercy already gave us the gift of salvation when Jesus paid for our sins. All the we need is to accept His free gift. And if we do not, what more can God do?

God could never be unjust. If He merely tolerates sin, how could He be loving and merciful to those hurt by evil? Think of a good father who does not punish a child that hurt his brother and would not repent of his sins nor acknowledge the wrong he has done.

Hell is an eternal testimony to the defeat of evil, to justice, mercy and love. It helps those in heaven in humility, seeing what they deserved for their sins had they not been saved. It gives them gratitude for God’s salvation.

Questions:

1. How can those in heaven be happy knowing some suffer in hell?

Our happiness comes from God and God is everything that is good and beautiful and wise. If God deems this best for the damned, those in heaven will agree with God. They will hate evil and love what is good like God. Here on earth we do not see sin as it is but in heaven we will know how repugnant it really is, how it separates us from God.

2. How can any man choose hell and be apart from God’s love?

Maybe they chose pride over love. They refuse to recognize and accept the goodness of God. They have closed themselves from God’s love.

Excerpt from Maria Simma, Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory:

-What are the attitudes of heart which can lead us to losing our soul for good, I mean going to Hell?

-It is when the soul does not want to go towards God, when it actually says: “I do not want.”

Excerpt from St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul:

I received a deeper understanding of divine mercy. Only that soul who wants it will be damned, for God condemns no one.

Excerpt from St. Bridget, Revelations to St. Bridget:

Then the Lord answered: “If I am so merciful, then, that I do not refuse pardon to anyone asking for it, ask me humbly for mercy yourself, and I will give it to you.” The devil answered him: “That I shall do by no means! At the time of my fall, a punishment was established for every sin, for every worthless thought or word. Every spirit that has fallen will have his punishment. But rather than bend my knee before you, I would rather swallow all the punishments myself, as long as my mouth can open and shut in punishment and be forever renewed to be punished again.”

Excerpts from C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce:

The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words ‘Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven.’ There is always something they insist on keeping, even at the price of misery. There is always something they prefer to joy- that is, to reality. Ye see it easily enough in a spoiled child that would sooner miss its play and its supper than say it was sorry and be friends. Ye call it the Sulks. But in adult life it has a hundred fine names-Achilles ‘ wrath and Coriolanus’ grandeur, Revenge and Injured Merit and Self-Respect and Tragic Greatness and Proper Pride.

If ye put the question from within Time and are asking about possibilities, the answer is certain. The choice of ways is before you. Neither is closed. Any man may choose eternal death. Those who choose it will have it… Time is the very lens through which ye see-small and clear, as men see through the wrong end of a telescope -something that would otherwise be too big for ye to see at all. That thing is Freedom: the gift whereby ye most resemble your Maker and are yourselves parts of eternal reality.

3. If hell is not the answer, do we have a better alternative?

None.

4. What about those people who are not Christian?

Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen gentium 16:

Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related in various ways to the people of God. In the first place we must recall the people to whom the testament and the promises were given and from whom Christ was born according to the flesh.(Rm 9,4-5). “On account of their fathers” this people remains most dear to God, for “God does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues” (Rm 11,28-29). But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.

Nor is God far distant from those who in shadows and images seek the unknown God, for it is he who gives to all men life and breath and all things, (Acts 17, 25-28) and as Savior wills that all men be saved (1Tim 2,4). Those also can attain to salvation who through no fault of their own do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, yet sincerely seek God and moved by grace strive by their deeds to do his will as it is known to them through the dictates of conscience. Nor does Divine Providence deny the helps necessary for salvation to those who, without blame on their part, have not yet arrived at an explicit knowledge of God and with his grace strive to live a good life. Whatever good or truth is found amongst them is looked upon by the Church as a preparation for the Gospel. She knows that it is given by him who enlightens all men so that they may finally have life.

Revelations to St. Bridget:

Now, given that I am so merciful, you might ask why I am not merciful toward pagans and Jews, some of whom, if they were instructed in the true faith, would be ready to lay down their lives for God. My response is that I have mercy on everyone, on pagans as well as Jews, nor is any creature beyond my mercy.

With leniency and mercy I will judge both those people who, learning that their faith is not the true one, fervently long for the true faith, as well as those people who believe the faith they profess to be the best one, because no other faith has ever been preached to them, and who wholeheartedly do what they can. You see, there is a double judgment, namely the one for those to be condemned and the one for those to be saved. The sentence of condemnation for Christians will have no mercy in it [The phrase “no mercy” here could merely indicate the strictness of judgment, yet even for those in hell God shows mercy as discussed previously]. To them will belong eternal punishment and shadows and a will hardened against God. The sentence for those Christians to be saved will be the vision of God and glorification in God and goodwill toward God. Excluded from these rewards are pagans and Jews as well as bad and false Christians. Although they did not have the right faith, they did have conscience as their judge and believed that the one whom they worshipped and offended was God.

But the ones whose intention and actions were and are for justice and against sin will, along with the less bad Christians, share a punishment of mercy in the midst of sufferings due to their love of justice and their hatred of sin. However, they will not have consolation in the service of glory and of the vision of God. They will not behold him due to their lack of baptism, because some temporal circumstance or some hidden decision of God made them draw back from profitably seeking and obtaining salvation. If there was nothing that held them back from seeking the true God and being baptized, neither fear nor the effort required nor loss of goods or privileges, but only some impediment that overcame their human weakness, then I, who saw Cornelius and the centurion while they were still not baptized, know how to give them a higher and more perfect reward in accordance with their faith.

One thing is the ignorance of sinners, another that of those who are pious but impeded. Likewise, too, one thing is the baptism of water, another that of blood, another that of wholehearted desire. God, who knows the hearts of all people, knows how to take all of these circumstances into account. I am begotten without beginning, begotten eternally from the beginning. I was born in time at the end of times. From the commencement I have known how to give individual persons the rewards they deserve and I give to each according as he deserves. Not the least little good done for the glory of God will go without its reward. This is why you should give many thanks to God that you were born of Christian parents in the age of salvation, for many people have longed to obtain and see that which is offered to Christians and yet have not obtained it.”

Excerpt from Divine Mercy in My Soul:

Conversation of God with a Depressed Soul

Jesus: O soul steeped in darkness, do not despair. All is not yet lost. Come and confide in your God, who is love and mercy.

-But the soul, deaf even to this appeal, wraps itself in darkness.

Jesus calls out again: My child, listen to the voice of your merciful Father.

-In the soul arises this reply: “For me there is no mercy,” and it falls into greater darkness, a despair which is a foretaste of hell and makes it unable to draw near to God.

Jesus calls to the soul a third time, but the soul remains deaf and blind, hardened and despairing. Then the mercy of God begins to exert itself, and, without any co-operation from the soul, God grants it final grace. If this too is spurned, God will leave the soul in this self-chosen disposition for eternity. This grace emerges from the merciful Heart of Jesus and gives the soul a special light by means of which the soul begins to understand God’s effort; but conversion depends on its own will. The soul knows that this, for her, is final grace and, should it show even a flicker of good will, the mercy of God will accomplish the rest.

My omnipotent mercy is active here. Happy the soul that takes advantage of this grace.

In the end, we get what we desire, either our desire for good or for evil.

Let God’s goodness not be an excuse for us however to be reckless. For if we continue to choose evil over and over in our lifetime, how could we expect to choose otherwise in the end?

Knowing that the damned will share a fate similar to fallen angels, they must also carry a sin with similar weight. The living still lack much knowledge that is why we can still be forgiven because we do not know as much. But once we reach the boundary of the next life and after receiving final grace, our final choice would determine what awaits us for eternity.

“I believe it to be for our good that His Majesty should lead us by this way, so that we may perfectly understand how worthless we are; for the graces which He gives afterwards are of a dignity so great, that He will have us by experience know our wretchedness before He grants them, that it may not be with us as it was with Lucifer.” – St. Teresa of Avila

“That which is impossible to thee is not impossible to me: I shall save my word in all things and I shall make all things well.” Thus I was taught, by the grace of God, that I should steadfastly hold me in the Faith as I had aforehand understood… For this is the Great Deed that our Lord shall do, in which Deed He shall save His word and He shall make all well that is not well. – Julian of Norwich

Before the Day of Justice, I am sending the Day of Mercy. (Diary1588)

Write this: before I come as the just Judge, I am coming first as the King of Mercy. Before the day of justice arrives, there will be given to people a sign in the Heavens of this sort: All light in the heavens will be extinguished, and there will be great darkness over the whole earth. Then the sign of the Cross will be seen in the sky, and from the openings where the hands and the feet of the Saviour were nailed will come forth great lights which will light up the earth for a period of time. This will take place shortly before the last day. (Diary 83)

Love Is More Than a Decision

Love is more than a feeling. But love is also more than making a decision and a commitment.

Consider choosing a husband and taking taking care of one’s marriage. Certainly, there will be ups and downs. One will not always feel happy. But one also does not merely pick a random person from the crowd and then decide to marry him. One chooses with very important considerations. We decide because we see something good and beautiful and true that we want to keep forever even when there will be times of trial and suffering ahead.

Consider also the love of a mother for her child. Certainly, she will not always experience comfort and satisfaction. A baby even cries through the night and disturbs the sleep of the mother. But a mother loves the child, a love that is more than a decision to care for her child. It is indeed more than fleeting feelings and comforts. But present indeed is that fondness and delight in her child which never vanishes and beyond all suffering and pain.

Let us never reduce love into a mere addiction where we selfishly desire only feelings of elation even to the detriment of the person loved.

But let us never reduce love into a kind of slavery either where we boastfully say to the other that we have decided to commit to him and serve him even if we have no feelings whatsoever or appreciation of him.

“The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for…” – Catechism of the Catholic Church

“You see God created you and I to be happy in this life and the next… He cares for you. He watches your every move. There’s no one that loves you can do that.” – Mother Angelica

For this is the reason why our hearts and souls are not in perfect ease, because here we seek rest in this thing which is so little, in which there is no rest, and we do not know our God who is almighty, all wise and all good, for he is true rest. God wishes to be known, and it pleases him that we should rest in him; for everything which is beneath him is not sufficient for us. – Julian of Norwich

“Truth sees God, and wisdom contemplates God, and from these two comes a third, a holy and wonderful delight in God, who is love.” – Julian of Norwich, Revelations of Divine Love

Oh, that I could clearly explain to your Lordship the peace and quiet my soul has found! for it has so great a certainty of the fruition of God, that it seems to be as if already in possession, though the joy is withheld. I am as one to whom another has granted by deed a large revenue, into the enjoyment and use of which he is to come at a certain time, but until then has nothing but the right already given him to the revenue. In gratitude for this, my soul would abstain from the joy of it, because it has not deserved it; it wishes only to serve Him, even if in great suffering, and at times it thinks it would be very little if, till the end of the world, it had to serve Him who has given it this right; for, in truth, it is in some measure no longer subject, as before, to the miseries of this world; though it suffers more, it seems as if only the habit were struck, for my soul is, as it were, in a fortress with authority, and accordingly does not lose its peace. – St. Teresa of Avila, The Life of St. Teresa

To make rapid progress and to reach the mansions we wish to enter, it is not so essential to think much as to love much: therefore you must practise whatever most excites you to this. – St. Teresa of Avila, The Interior Castle

As soon as the soul has arrived thus far, it begins to lose the desire of earthly things, and no wonder; for it sees clearly that, even for a moment, this joy is not to be had on earth; that there are no riches, no dominion , no honours, no delights, that can for one instant, even for the twinkling of an eye, minister such a joy; for it is a true satisfaction , and the soul sees that it really does satisfy. Now, we who are on earth, as it seems to me, scarcely ever understand wherein our satisfaction lies, for it is always liable to disappointment; but in this, at that time, there is none. – St. Teresa of Avila, The Life of St. Teresa

“People are made for happiness. Rightly, then, you thirst for happiness. Christ has the answer to this desire of yours. But he asks you to trust him.” – Pope John Paul II

God has created all things for good; all things for their greatest good; everything for its own good. What is the good of one is not the good of another; what makes one man happy would make another unhappy. God has determined, unless I interfere with His plan, that I should reach that which will be my greatest happiness. He looks on me individually, He calls me by my name, He knows what I can do, what I can best be, what is my greatest happiness, and He means to give it me.”- John Henry Newman

Excerpts on Love form the Imitation of Christ by Thomas Kempis:

Love is a great thing, greatest of all goods, because it alone renders light every burden and bears equally all that is unequal. Because it carries a burden without feeling it, and renders sweet and pleasing every bitterness…

Nothing is sweeter than love, nothing stronger, nothing higher, nothing more sublime, nothing more expansive, nothing more joyful, nothing more abundant, nothing more pleasing in Heaven or on earth; because love is born of God, nor can it rest upon created things, but only in God.

The lover flies, runs and rejoices; he is free and nothing can restrain him. He gives all for all, and has all in all, because above all he rests in that one Sovereign Good from whom all good proceeds and flows. He does not regard the gifts, but he turns himself, above all goods, to the giver.

Love often knows no measure,

but burns beyond all measure.

Love feels no burden, values no labours,

would like to do more than it can do,

without excusing itself with impossibility,

because it believes that it may and can do all things.

In fact, it is ready to do anything, and it performs and effects many things, in which he who does not love faints and succumbs.

Love watches, and, sleeping, slumbers not. When fatigued, it does not become tired; when pressed it does not work through constraint; when threatened it is not disturbed; but like a lively flame and a burning torch, it mounts upwards, and securely overcomes all opposition. Whosoever loves knows well what this voice says. A loud cry in the ears of God is the ardent affection of that soul, which says: O my God, my Love, you are all mine and I am all yours.

There’s a love content in Christianity. And discounting all the irresponsible things people do, there is nevertheless a deep, healing, emotional content in the Christian life. That’s why the Bible calls the Church the Bride and Christ the Bridegroom. He means that His people should know His love and that we should feel it and sense it… What a mechanical business marriage would be if there was no love in it! – A.W. TOZER, The Attributes of God

Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister Mary, and Lazarus. ”Jesus, looking upon him, loved him” – loved him it seems with an emotion distinguished from that of the Divine Love that loves all things that It has made; loved him for the ideal which he in particular might yet accomplish, more than for the fact that he merely existed as did others of his kind —loved him as I love my own friend, and as he loves me. – Robert Hugh Benson, The Friendship of Christ

1 Corinthians 13:1-13, WEBBE

1 If I speak with the languages of men and of angels, but don’t have love, I have become sounding brass, or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but don’t have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burnt, but don’t have love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love is patient and is kind. Love doesn’t envy. Love doesn’t brag, is not proud, 5 doesn’t behave itself inappropriately, doesn’t seek its own way, is not provoked, takes no account of evil; 6 doesn’t rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. 8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will be done away with. Where there are various languages, they will cease. Where there is knowledge, it will be done away with. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when that which is complete has come, then that which is partial will be done away with. 11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I felt as a child, I thought as a child. Now that I have become a man, I have put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, even as I was also fully known. 13 But now faith, hope, and love remain—these three. The greatest of these is love.

If love is only sacrifice or faith, then it would have sufficed to sacrifice oneself or to decide to do the most noble actions. But here it seemed, that love is more than these things.

Consider also the following Bible verses:

17 The LORD, your God, is amongst you, a mighty one who will save. He will rejoice over you with joy. He will calm you in his love. He will rejoice over you with singing. – Zephaniah 3:17, WEBBE

For as a young man marries a virgin,

so your sons will marry you.

As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,

so your God will rejoice over you.

-Isaiah 62:5, WEBBE

Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37, WEBBE

Jacob served seven years for Rachel. They seemed to him but a few days, for the love he had for her. – Genesis 29:20, WEBBE

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth;

for your love is better than wine.

-Song of Solomon 1:2, WEBBE

3 As the apple tree amongst the trees of the wood,

so is my beloved amongst the sons.

I sat down under his shadow with great delight,

his fruit was sweet to my taste.

4 He brought me to the banquet hall.

His banner over me is love.

5 Strengthen me with raisins,

refresh me with apples;

for I am faint with love.

6 His left hand is under my head.

His right hand embraces me.

7 I adjure you, daughters of Jerusalem,

by the roes, or by the hinds of the field,

that you not stir up, nor awaken love,

until it so desires.

-Song of Solomon 2:3-7, WEBBE

10 My beloved spoke, and said to me,

“Rise up, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.

11 For behold, the winter is past.

The rain is over and gone.

12 The flowers appear on the earth.

The time of the singing has come,

and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

13 The fig tree ripens her green figs.

The vines are in blossom.

They give out their fragrance.

Arise, my love, my beautiful one,

and come away.”

-Song of Solomon 2:10-13, WEBBE

Listen, daughter, consider, and turn your ear.

Forget your own people, and also your father’s house.

So the king will desire your beauty,

honour him, for he is your lord.

-Psalm 45:10-11, WEBBE

“Therefore behold, I will allure her,

and bring her into the wilderness,

and speak tenderly to her.

I will give her vineyards from there,

and the valley of Achor for a door of hope;

and she will respond there,

as in the days of her youth,

and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

It will be in that day,” says the LORD,

“that you will call me ‘my husband,’…”

-Hosea 2:14-16, WEB-BE

How gently and lovingly

you wake in my heart,

where in secret you dwell alone;

and in your sweet breathing,

filled with good and glory,

how tenderly you swell my heart with love.

-St. John of the Cross

When I Say I Love You

(J. Soriano)

When I say I love you

it doesn’t mean that

I never experience hard times

because of you.

It doesn’t mean

that I always feel elated

and blissful and inspired.

It doesn’t mean

I never get tired.

But when I say I love you

it means

I could never find another

such as you.

I could never find another

so beautiful

so good

and so true,

someone who could ever

make my life more meaningful

and blessed and worth living for.

When I say I love you

it means

that every hard and difficult time

with you

is preferable

than all the merry and exciting days

with someone else.

It means that though I get tired at times,

I shall be refreshed with your love.

It means that life is life only

because of your love

and that given the choice

of dying for you and living for myself,

I’d rather die out of love for you,

because with you,

even death itself is life,

and even darkness is light.

With you my love,

even the deepest of sorrows

become joy,

and even the greatest pains

become bearable and sweet!

God Truly Loves Us!

There comes a time when we realize that God truly loves us. God loves us perfectly, endlessly, unconditionally and without fail. God loves us whether we are good or bad, whether we believe or we doubt, whether we are the prodigal son who wastes his inheritance or the elder son who fails to realize his father’s love. God has loved us even before we were born, He loves us now and He always will.

The father of the prodigal son never stopped loving him even when he was lost. If he had stopped loving, he would not have waited for him.

I wait for souls, and they are indifferent toward Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely, and they distrust Me. I want to lavish My graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat Me as a dead object, whereas My Heart is full of love and mercy. In order that you may know at least some of My pain, imagine the most tender of mothers who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in a position to console her. This is but a feeble image and likeness of My love. – Divine Mercy in My Soul 1447

This love does not mean however that we will never suffer because of our sins. The prodigal son suffered much, did he not? He suffered so badly for as long as he chose to be away from his father. But when he returned, he was welcomed with open arms and loved as though he never sinned at all.

“But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” – Luke 15:20, WEB

With My mercy, I pursue sinners along all their paths, and My Heart rejoices when they return to Me . I forget the bitterness with which they fed My Heart and rejoice at their return… Tell sinners that I am always waiting for them, that I listen intently to the beating of their heart… when will it beat for Me? Write, that I am speaking to them through their remorse of conscience, through their failures and sufferings, through thunderstorms, through the voice of the Church. – Divine Mercy in My Soul 1728

God not only waits. He pursues us!

When Jesus speaks in his parables of the shepherd who goes after the lost sheep, of the woman who looks for the lost coin, of the father who goes to meet and embrace his prodigal son, these are no mere words: they constitute an explanation of his very being and activity. His death on the Cross is the culmination of that turning of God against himself in which he gives himself in order to raise man up and save him. This is love in its most radical form. – Deus Caritas Est-Encyclical Letter, Benedict XVI

THE LOST SHEEP

He told them this parable. “Which of you men, if you had one hundred sheep, and lost one of them, wouldn’t leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one that was lost, until he found it? When he has found it, he carries it on his shoulders, rejoicing. When he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbours, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ I tell you that even so there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous people who need no repentance. – LUKE 15:3-7, WEB-BE

THE LOST COIN

Or what woman, if she had ten drachma coins, if she lost one drachma coin, wouldn’t light a lamp, sweep the house, and seek diligently until she found it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbours, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I had lost.’ Even so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner repenting.” – LUKE 15:8-10, WEB-BE

Therefore behold, I will allure her,

and bring her into the wilderness,

and speak tenderly to her.

I will give her vineyards from there,

and the valley of Achor for a door of hope;

and she will respond there,

as in the days of her youth,

and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

It will be in that day,” says the LORD,

that you will call me ‘my husband,’

and no longer call me ‘my master.’

-HOSEA 2:14-16, WEB-BE

It’s Jesus’ home and Jesus welcomes [all]. But not only does He welcome, He goes out to see people just as He went out to find this man. And if people are hurt, what does Jesus do? Scold them because they are hurt? No, He comes and He carries them on His shoulders. – Pope Francis

“We are all sinners. But God heals us with an abundance of grace, mercy and tenderness.” – Pope Francis

This does not mean also that God could never get angry. But anger doesn’t necessarily mean the absence of love. On the contrary, it could very well be the opposite as when a mother gets angry when a child does something that could harm him!

Tell them, As I live, says the Lord Yahweh, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn, turn from your evil ways; for why will you die, house of Israel? – Ezekiel 33:11, WEB

Because God made not death;

Neither delights he when the living perish:

For he created all things that they might have being:

And the generative powers of the world are healthsome,

And there is no poison of destruction in them:

Nor has Hades royal dominion upon earth,

For righteousness is immortal:

But ungodly men by their hands and their words called death to them:

Deeming him a friend they consumed away,

And they made a covenant with him,

Because they are worthy to be of his portion.

-WISDOM 1:13-16, WEB-BE

“For a small moment I have forsaken you;

but with great mercies will I gather you.

In overflowing wrath I hid my face from you for a moment;

but with everlasting loving kindness I will have mercy on you,” says the LORD your Redeemer.

“For this is like the waters of Noah to me;

for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah will no more go over the earth,

so I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

For the mountains may depart,

and the hills be removed;

but my loving kindness will not depart from you,

and my covenant of peace will not be removed,”

says the LORD who has mercy on you.

-ISAIAH 54:7-10, WEB-BE

He who doesn’t love doesn’t know God, for God is love. – 1 John 4:8

God IS Love. God will always be love and will never cease from being love!

“God loved us before he made us; and his love has never diminished and never shall.” – Julian of Norwich

God loves us… always. God loves us when we repent of our sins, but He loved us and died for us even while we were dead in our sins.

7For one will hardly die for a righteous man. Yet perhaps for a righteous person someone would even dare to die. 8But God commends his own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. – Romans 5:7-8, WEB

For God didn’t send his Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through him. – John 3:17, WEB

But God, being rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us to sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus… – Ephesians 2:4-7, WEB

God’s passionate love for his people—for humanity—is at the same time a forgiving love. It is so great that it turns God against himself, his love against his justice. Here Christians can see a dim prefigurement of the mystery of the Cross: so great is God’s love for man that by becoming man he follows him even into death, and so reconciles justice and love. – Deus Caritas Est-Encyclical Letter, Benedict XVI

God is perfect and His love is perfect even when we are not. He always does what is good, both towards the good and the bad.

38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. 41 Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. 42 Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you.

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 47 If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? 48 Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect. – Matthew 5:38-48, WEB

Again this is not to say that God will never render justice, for sin is sin and He never wants us to remain in sin and reap its consequences. But God is patient and gentle even to those who sin. He does everything to save sinners, that they may turn away from evil and return to the right path. Consider how Jesus treated the woman caught in adultery.

10 Jesus, standing up, saw her and said, “Woman, where are your accusers? Did no one condemn you?”

11 She said, “No one, Lord.”

Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you. Go your way. From now on, sin no more.”

-John 8:10-11, WEB

Let us … remember Peter: three times he denied Jesus, precisely when he should have been closest to him; and when he hits bottom he meets the gaze of Jesus who patiently, wordlessly, says to him: “Peter, don’t be afraid of your weakness, trust in Me.” Peter understands, he feels the loving gaze of Jesus and he weeps. How beautiful is this gaze of Jesus — how much tenderness is there! Brothers and sisters, let us never lose trust in the patience and mercy of God! – Pope Francis

“Some of us believe that God is almighty, and can do everything; and that he is all wise, and may do everything; but that he is all love, and will do everything— there we draw back.” – Julian of Norwich

It is not because I have been preserved from mortal sin that I lift up my heart to God in trust and love. I feel that even had I on my conscience every crime one could commit, I should lose nothing of my confidence: my heart broken with sorrow, I would throw myself into the Arms of my Saviour. I know that He loves the Prodigal Son, I have heard His words to St. Mary Magdalen, to the woman taken in adultery, and to the woman of Samaria. No one could frighten me, for I know what to believe concerning His Mercy and His Love. And I know that all that multitude of sins would disappear in an instant, even as a drop of water cast into a flaming furnace. – St. Therese of Lisieux

For the Lord is sweet, his mercy endureth for ever, and his truth to generation and generation. – Psalm 100:5, DRA

He hath not dealt with us according to our sins: nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For according to the height of the heaven above the earth: he hath strengthened his mercy towards them that fear him. – Psalm 103:10-11

But you are a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abundant in loving kindness, and didn’t forsake them. Yes, when they had made themselves a molten calf, and said, ‘This is your God who brought you up out of Egypt,’ and had committed awful blasphemies; yet you in your manifold mercies didn’t forsake them in the wilderness. The pillar of cloud didn’t depart from over them by day, to lead them in the way; neither did the pillar of fire by night, to show them light, and the way in which they should go. You gave also your good Spirit to instruct them, and didn’t withhold your manna from their mouth, and gave them water for their thirst.

“Yes, forty years you sustained them in the wilderness. They lacked nothing. Their clothes didn’t grow old, and their feet didn’t swell. Moreover you gave them kingdoms and peoples, which you allotted according to their portions. So they possessed the land of Sihon, even the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. You also multiplied their children as the stars of the sky, and brought them into the land concerning which you said to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it.

“So the children went in and possessed the land, and you subdued before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gave them into their hands, with their kings and the peoples of the land, that they might do with them as they pleased. They took fortified cities and a rich land, and possessed houses full of all good things, cisterns dug out, vineyards, and olive groves, and fruit trees in abundance. So they ate, were filled, became fat, and delighted themselves in your great goodness.”

-NEHEMIAH 9:17-25, WEB-BE

God said to Jonah, “Is it right for you to be angry about the vine?”

He said, “I am right to be angry, even to death.”

The LORD said, “You have been concerned for the vine, for which you have not laboured, neither made it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night. Shouldn’t I be concerned for Nineveh, that great city, in which are more than one hundred and twenty thousand persons who can’t discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much livestock?”

-JONAH 4:9-11, WEB-BE

It seems to me that if everyone were to receive such favours God would be feared by none, but loved to excess; that no one would ever commit the least wilful fault—and this through love, not fear. Yet all souls cannot be alike. It is necessary that they should differ from one another in order that each Divine Perfection may receive its special honour. To me, He has given His Infinite Mercy, and it is in this ineffable mirror that I contemplate his other attributes. Therein all appear to me radiant with Love. His Justice, even more perhaps than the rest, seems to me to be clothed with Love. What joy to think that Our Lord is just, that is to say, that He takes our weakness into account, that He knows perfectly the frailty of our nature! Of what, then, need I be afraid? Will not the God of Infinite Justice, Who deigns so lovingly to pardon the sins of the Prodigal Son, be also just to me “who am always with Him”? – St. Therese of Lisieux

“We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father’s love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son.” (Pope St. John Paul II, World Youth Day 2002, Closing Homily)

“Christ says: I know you through and through – I know everything about you. The very hairs of your head I have numbered. Nothing in your life is unimportant to me, I have followed you through the years, and I have always loved you – even in your wanderings.

I know every one of your problems. I know your need and your worries. And yes, I know all your sins. But I tell you again that I love you – not for what you have or haven’t done – I love you for you, for the beauty and dignity my Father gave you by creating you in his own image.”

― Mother Teresa, The Joy in Loving: A Guide to Daily Living

The Mother of fair love will rid your heart of all scruples and inordinate servile fear. She will open and enlarge it to obey the commandments of her Son with alacrity and with the holy freedom of the children of God. She will fill your heart with pure love of which she is the treasury. You will then cease to act as you did before, out of fear of the God who is love, but rather out of pure love. You will look upon him as a loving Father and endeavour to please him at all times. You will speak trustfully to him as a child does to its father. If you should have the misfortune to offend him you will abase yourself before him and humbly beg his pardon. You will offer your hand to him with simplicity and lovingly rise from your sin. Then, peaceful and relaxed and buoyed up with hope you will continue on your way to him. -St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary

You do not have enough trust. You have too much fear before the good God. I can assure you that He is grieved over this. You should not fear Purgatory because of the suffering there, but should instead ask that you not deserve to go there in order to please God, Who so reluctantly imposes this punishment. As soon as you try to please Him in everything and have an unshakable trust He purifies you every moment in His love and He lets no sin remain. And then you can be sure that you will not have to go to Purgatory. – St. Therese of Lisieux

…I received a deeper understanding of divine mercy. Only that soul who wants it will be damned, for God condemns no one. – St. Faustina (Diary, 1452)

Damnation is for the soul who wants to be damned; but for the one who desires salvation, there is the inexhaustible ocean of the Lord’s mercy to draw from. – St. Faustina (Diary, 631)

Love casts out fear. Since I came to love God with my whole being and with all the strength of my heart, fear has left me. Even if I were to hear the most terrifying things about God’s justice, I would not fear Him at all, because I have come to know Him well. God is love, and His Spirit is peace. I see now that my deeds which have flowed from love are more perfect than those which I have done out of fear. – St. Faustina (Diary, 589)

Write this for the benefit of distressed souls: when a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother. These souls have a right of priority to My compassionate Heart, they have first access to My mercy. Tell them that no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or brought to shame. I delight particularly in a soul which has placed its trust in My goodness. – Jesus (Diary, 1541)

My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness. – Jesus (Diary of Divine Mercy)

Do not lose heart in coming for pardon, for I am always ready to forgive you. As often as you beg for it, you glorify My mercy. – Jesus (Diary of Divine Mercy)

“God is everything that is good, she writes. All life’s pleasures and comforts are sacramental; they are God’s hands touching us.”- Julian of Norwich

The heart of Christ can be seen through the openings of his wounds. For what can prove to me so clearly as your wounds that you, O Lord Jesus, are sweet & mild & plenteous in mercy. – St. Bernard

But he was pierced for our transgressions. He was crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought our peace was on him; and by his wounds we are healed. – Isaiah 53:5, WEB

Love is the light—and in the end, the only light—that can always illuminate a world grown dim and give us the courage needed to keep living and working.

– Deus Caritas Est-Encyclical Letter, Benedict XVI

Holiness Is For All

Excerpts from Father Frassinetti, The Consolation of the Devout Soul:

“God wishes us all to be holy, because He on His part desires that we should all inherit Paradise; and we know well that none but saints can enter Heaven. God wishes all to be holy; but some He wishes to be holy for their own sakes, some He wills to be holy for their own sake and for the sake of others also.”

“St. Theresa assures us that in Heaven we shall find many exalted above those who during their lives on earth were privileged with extraordinary favours.”

“Consequently, if you imagine that in order to become a saint you must be rapt in ecstasies, pass entire nights in prayer, wear a hair-shirt, take a little rest on the bare ground, pass whole days without eating, and do other marvellous things, you greatly err.”

“Would it not be real pride not to content ourselves with that holiness which would make us good and holy in the eyes of His Divine Majesty, but to desire furthermore those admirable gifts and favours which would make us appear good and holy before the world ? Mark well that the desire to be very holy before God is the offspring of holy humility, but the desire to appear so before men is the daughter of accursed pride.”

“Hearken to St. Theresa {Mansions) : * Those who receive many supernatural graces and favours do not merit thereby a greater degree of glory; nay, they are under a greater obligation to serve God.”