29 June 2009
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver from evil. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with Thee. Blessed art Thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
Book 1 - Chapter 4
I am your Creator and Redeemer. Why did you fear and doubt my words? Why did you wonder whether they came from a good or an evil spirit? Tell me, what have you found in my words that your conscience did not tell you to do? Or have I ever commanded you anything against reason?
The bride answered: “No, all you told me was completely true and reasonable and I was badly mistaken.” The Bridegroom, Jesus, answered her: “I showed you three things from which you could recognize the good spirit: I invited you to honor your God, who made you and gave you all the good things that you have; your reason also tells you to honor him above all things. I further invited you to keep the true faith, that is, to believe that nothing has been created without God nor may be made without God. I also invited you to love reasonable work and continence in all things, for the world was created for man’s sake, in order that he may use it according to his reasonable needs, and not in excess.
In the same way, you may also recognize the unclean spirit, the devil, from three opposing things: He tempts and advises you to seek and desire your own praise, and to be proud of the things given you. He also tempts you into unbelief, and intemperance in all your limbs and in all things, and makes your heart inflamed by them. Sometimes he also deceives men under the guise of a good spirit. This is why I commanded you to always examine your conscience and reveal it to spiritual men of wisdom!
Therefore, do not doubt that the good spirit of God is with you when you desire nothing but God and are completely inflamed by him! Only I can do this, and it is impossible for the devil to come near you then. He also cannot come near to any evil man - unless I allow it, either because of his sins, or some secret judgment that is known only to me. For he is my creature like all other things - he was created good by me, but made himself evil by his own malice – therefore, I am Lord over him.
Therefore, those who accuse me do so falsely when they say that the ones who serve me, with great and godly devotion, are mad and possessed by the devil. They consider me to be like a man who gives his chaste and trusting wife over to adultery. Such a one should I be, if I allowed a righteous and God-loving man to be handed over to the devil! But because I am faithful, the devil will never rule over the soul of any man who devoutly serves me.
Although my friends sometimes seem to be mad or senseless, it is not because the devil is tormenting them, or because they serve me with fervent and godly devotion. Rather it is because of some defect or weakness in the brain or some other hidden reason - which serves to humble them. It may also happen, sometimes, that the devil receives power from me over the bodies of good men for the sake of their future reward, or that he darkens their consciences. But he can never rule the souls who have faith in and love me.
17 June 2009
There is yet another form of wrongdoing which is all the more deplorable in that it is more common, and that is licentious talk. There is nothing more abominable, my dear brethren, nothing more horrible than such talk. Indeed, my children, what could be more out of keeping with the holiness of our religion than impure language? It outrages God, it scandalises our neighbour. To put it even more clearly, loose talk releases all the passions. Very often it requires only one immodest or unseemly word to start a thousand evil thoughts, a thousand shameful desires, perhaps even to cause a fall into an infinite number of other sins and to bring to innocent souls evil of which they had been happily ignorant. Can the Christian really afford to occupy his mind with such horrible images, a Christian who is the temple of the Holy Ghost, a Christian who has been sanctified by contact with the most adorable Body and precious Blood of Jesus Christ? Oh, Lord, if we had but some small idea of what we do when we commit sin! If our Lord has taught us that we may judge the tree by its fruit, you may judge after listening to the talk of certain people what must be the corruption of their hearts; and yet such corruption is very commonly encountered. What sort of conversation do you hear among young people? Is there anything in their mouths but this kind of loose talk? Go -- I dare to say it with St. John Chrysostom -- go into these cabarets, into these haunts of impurity! What does the conversation turn upon, even among elderly people? Are they not trying to make a name for themselves by seeing who can be the most outrageous? Their mouths are like some sewer that Hell makes use of to spew its filth and its impurities over the earth and drag souls down to its depths. What are these bad Christians -- or rather these envoys from the nether regions -- doing? Instead of singing the praises of God, their songs are shameful and hideous; they are songs which ought to make a Christian die of horror. Oh, great God, who would not tremble at the thought of what God's judgment of all this will be! If, as Jesus Christ Himself tells us, not a single idle word will be unpunished, alas! What will be the punishment for these licentious conversations, these indecent topics, these shameful and horrible images, which make the hair stand on end? If you would imagine how blind these poor unhappy people are, just listen to them talking after this fashion: "I had no bad intention," they will tell you, "it was just for a laugh; these things are only trifles, little stupid things, that mean nothing at all." Is that so, my dear brethren? A sin so horrible in God's eyes that sacrilege alone surpasses it in evil! This is a trifle to you? No, it is your hearts which are destroyed and corrupted! No! No! No one can afford to laugh or joke about something from which we should fly in horror, as we would from some pursuing beast which wanted to devour us. Besides, my dear brethren, what a crime it is to like something which God wants us to detest with all our hearts! You may tell me that you had no bad intentions, but tell me this, too, miserable and wretched tool of Hell, what about those who are listening to you -- do they have less bad thoughts and criminal desires after they have heard you? Will your harmless intention stay the workings of their imaginations and their hearts? Be honest and tell me that you are, in fact, the cause of the loss and eternal damnation of their souls! How many souls are hurled into Hell because of this sin? The Holy Ghost tells us that this ugly sin of impurity has covered the whole surface of the earth. I will say no more now on this subject, my children. I will return to it in an instruction when I shall do my best to depict it for you again with even more horror.