In this reflection by St. Anthony Mary Claret about your salvation you are led to love Jesus Christ more. He teaches you how to grow spiritually and become more pleasing to God and make your salvation more secure. Read this passage of a great Saint's writing, pray upon it and reflect on it. Get others to do the same. It is beautiful and very helpful in leading you to heaven.
"O Immaculate Virgin and Mother of God, Queen and Mistress of grace: Deign out of charity to cast your glance upon this lost world. Consider how all have abandoned the way that your most holy Son deigned to teach them. His holy laws have been forgotten and so much has been perverted that one might well say: non est qui faciat bonum, non est usque ad unum. (There is not one who does good, not even one.) The virtue of faith has been extinguished in them, so that it can scarcely be found upon the earth. Ah, once this godly light goes out, all is dark and shadowy, and men cannot see where they are falling. And yet they rush with headlong strides along the path that leads them to eternal loss."
Imagine you see Jesus nailed on the Cross and that He says to you: See how much 1 have done and have suffered, in order to deliver you from hell and save you. And you - will you not do what you should for yourself?
O my Jesus! I do not want to be damned...I wish to be saved. . . no matter what it may cost. . . My Saviour, grant me the help and grace I need in order to gain my eternal salvation. Amen. We have now considered, my soul, the terrible calamities which a soul must suffer who loses its last End. But of what profit is this knowledge if souls do not set about their duty , using all means necessary to avoid falling into those calamities, and to make sure that they will gain their last End? I will explain to you here what one must do; and you, my soul, collect your thoughts and weigh my words with attention in the presence of Jesus Crucified.
The first fruit the soul should gain from all the preceding meditations is a sincere repentance and a perfect contrition of all the sins committed. . . Tell me, my soul, in what state is your conscience at present? If an angel came down from heaven at this moment and told you, "Prepare yourself; for you will die within an hour." What would your heart tell you? Would you feel peaceful about dying in the state you are in at present? Have your confessions been such that you can have good grounds for relying on them and you can confidently trust that your sins will prove to have been pardoned? Would you be content to die at this hour and in the state you are now in? Make an answer, but let your answer be before Jesus Crucified Who knows your heart. Realize, my soul, that the first step in going to God, the first rung for mounting to holiness, the first means for gaining interior peace, is that one's heart, by means of sincere repentance, become in such condition that it is ready to die at any moment, even by sudden death, and appear before the Divine judge. In order for the soul to enter into this very happy condition the two following resolves are necessary:
The second fruit the soul should gain from the preceding meditations, is to give God all the satisfaction possible for the sins you have committed. . .
Return, my soul, to the reflection on the prison of hell and ponder the following thoughts: Suppose that at this moment a ray of Divine Mercy penetrated that dark dwelling and a Divine Voice echoed there, which said, "Cain, come forth! Thou hast been here now six thousand years burning in these flames. I choose to make use of My Mercy with thee, but on condition that you are to suffer in silence all pains, all ailments, all contempt, all insults, all crosses and reverses, for love of Me, and in this way I will pardon thee thy sins and will save thee."
Oh, what a joyful voice that would be for the heart of Cain!
"Oh, Immense Mercy! I am glad to suffer cheerfully for a thousand years as much as a man could ever suffer, if I can in this way finally gain mercy and escape the eternal pains of hell and can come to behold Thee in Thy glory..."
Ah! Tell me, my soul, have you not deserved to be cast into hell as much as Cain? Now this grace which God has given you, of granting you a period for repentance - is it not equal to what God would have given you if He had drawn you out of hell?
Then why do you not apply yourself to doing genuine penance and making up to God for the wrongs done Him through your sins? Why do you not practise forbearance in your troubles?
The two following rules are for achieving this purpose:
The third fruit which the soul should adopt from these meditations is to avoid all venial sins, especially those which pave the way for grave sin. It is not enough, my soul, to have a firm resolve to suffer death rather than consent to any grave sin. It is necessary to have a like resolution to venial sin. He who does not find in himself this will, cannot have security. There is nothing which can give us such a certain security of eternal salvation as an uninterrupted cautiousness to avoid even the lightest venial sin, and a notable, all-extensive earnestness reaching to all practices of the spiritual life - earnestness in prayer, and in dealing with God; earnestness in mortification and self-denial; earnestness in being humble and in accepting contempt; earnestness in obeying and renouncing one's own self-will; earnest love of God and neighbor. He who wants to gain this earnestness and keep it, must necessarily have the resolve to always avoid especially the following venial sins:
(Note: This speaks of times when we might have worthy direction if we seek it, but we prefer to follow our own dim lights.)
My soul, if you do not resolve to quit these venial sins you will not draw the least fruit from these spiritual exercises, you will never set foot on even the lowest rung of perfection, you will never come to have any communing with God nor interior peace and quiet of heart, nor a condition wherein one can look forward to death without I fear. But if you do resolve to avoid these sins, then present your resolves in the following form, while on your knees with crucifix in hand:
"O my God, O my crucified Love, my Jesus! Thou hast enlightened me enough by Thy Infinite Mercy. Now I know what it is to possess Thee forever and what it means to lose Thee eternally. . . How blessed I am if I come to possess Thee! But woe to me if I come to lose Thee! I know quite well that I cannot expect to ever possess Thee and must always fear the prospect of losing Thee, as long as I do not entrust myself entirely into Thy Hands, avoiding all sins, even the smallest, and begin to serve Thee with care and earnestness. . .
Indeed I do resolve upon this, and with the deepest affection of my heart I love Thee and embrace Thee, O my Jesus! Thou art my Sovereign Good, worthy to be loved above all things, more than all angels and men, more than my soul and my life. Oh, blessed be Jesus Christ!"
Adapted from Your Personal Salvation,©Fatima Crusader, issue 41, 1992.
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"Who is like unto God?"
Created July 16, 1996.