External Devotions are Useless
if we do not Cleanse our Souls from Sin


Jonah - by MICHELANGELO Buonarroti - from Cappella Sistina, Vatican

God allows the Youthful Jonah, the Seer-of-Nineveh, to-Challenge Him in his Bold Nakedness. Michelangelo 'Conceived' Jonah as an Old Testament Prometheus, Touched-by Grace, and Presents us with a Solution-to the Riddle-of Good and Evil. The Rebellious Prophet, whom God would not have otherwise, Looks-up Directly-at his self-Begetting and Affirming Maker. In his Expression, Scorn and Rebellion are Giving-place to Joy, Delight, Love and Filial Response, and the Ecstatic Contemplation-of God.

 

And now, do not Mock, lest your Bonds be Tied Strait - Isaiah 28:22.

 

External Devotions are Useless
if we do not Cleanse our Souls from Sin

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

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Take me up, and Cast me into the Sea - Jonah 1:12
 

God Commands Jonah to-Go, and Preach-to Nineveh. Jonah, instead-of Obeying God, 'Flies' by-Sea towards Tharsis, in Spain. But, Behold! a Great Tempest Threatens-to Sink the Ship; and Jonah, knowing-that the Tempest was 'Raised' in Punishment-of his Disobedience, Said-to the Crew-of the Vessel: "Take me up, and Cast me into the Sea, and the Sea shall be-Calm to you; for I Know that for my Sake, this Great Tempest is upon you" - Jonah 1:12. And they actually did 'Cast' him into the Sea, and the Tempest 'Ceased' thereupon. "And they took Jonah, and Cast him into the Sea, and the Sea Ceased from Raging" - Jonah 1:15. Then, if Jonah had not been Thrown-into the Sea, the Tempest should not have 'Ceased'. Consider well, my Brethren, what we are to-Learn from this. It is, that if we do not 'Cast' Sin out-of our Souls; the Tempest, that is, the Scourge-of God, will not 'Cease'. The Tempest is Excited-by our Sins; the Tempest which is-Hurrying us to-Destruction. "Our Iniquities, like the Wind, have-Taken us Away" - Isaiah 64:6. Behold, we have Penitential Exercises, Novenas, and Exposition-of the Blessed Sacrament; but to what Purpose are Those, if we be not Converted, if we do not 'Rid' our Souls of Sin? The Subject-of our Discourse is:

 

External Devotions are Useless
if we do not Cleanse our Souls from Sin

Because otherwise, we cannot 'Please' God.

Human Being/Person
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)

Body/Inferior Will/
Psychosomatic Powers
Passions/Emotions/
Sensory Appetite/
Memory/Imagination
(Subordinate-Partner)

Soul/Intellect/
Superior Will/
Reason/Grace/
Infused Knowledge/
Heart/Conscience
(Dominant Partner)

The Heart resides-in the Soul of a Person
Anger and the other Passions, Reside-in the Body.
God has no Body, and experiences no Passions.

It is said that the Pain is not Removed, before the Thorn has been Plucked-out. Saint Jerome writes that God is never Angered, since Anger is Passion, and Passion is Incompatible-with God. He is always Tranquil; and even in the Act-of Punishing, His Tranquillity is not in the least Disturbed. "But Thou, being Master-of-Power, Judgest with Tranquillity" - Wisdom 12:18. But, the Malice of Mortal Sin is so-Great, that if God were Capable-of Wrath and Affliction, it would Enrage and Afflict Him. It is this, that Sinners do, as-far-as in them lies, according-to that of Isaiah: "But they Provoked-to Wrath, and Afflicted the Spirit-of His Holy One" - Isaiah 63:10. Moses writes, that when God was about to-Send the Deluge, He declared Himself to be so-much Afflicted, by the Sins of-Men, as to be Obliged-to 'Exterminate' them from the Earth. "And being Touched Inwardly with Sorrow-of-Heart, He said, 'I will Destroy Man, whom I have Created, from the Face-of the Earth' ". - Genesis 6:6-7.

Saint-John-Chrysostom says that Sin is the only Cause-of all our Sufferings and Chastisements. Commenting-upon these Words in-Genesis, which the Lord Spoke-after the Deluge, "I will place My Bow, in the Clouds", - Genesis 9:13, Saint Ambrose remarks-that God does not Say I will 'Place' My Arrow, but My Bow, in the Clouds; giving us thereby to-Understand that it is always the Sinner, who 'Fixes' the Arrow, in the Bow-of God, by Provoking Him to-Chastisement.

If we Wish-to be Pleasing-to the Lord, we must 'Remove' the Cause-of His Anger, which is Sin. The Man, Sick-of the Palsy, 'Besought' Jesus Christ to-Restore the Health-of his Body; but, before 'Granting' his Request, our Lord First (1st) 'Restored' his Soul's Health, by giving him Sorrow-for his Sins, and then Saying-to him: "Be of Good Heart, Son; thy Sins are Forgiven thee" - Matthew 9:2. Saint Thomas says that the Redeemer, First (1st) Removed the Cause-of his Infirmity, namely, his Sins, and then, 'Freed' him from the Infirmity Itself. He asked for the Health-of the Body, and the Lord gave him the Health-of the Soul; because, like a Good Physician, He Wished-to take-away the Root-of the Evil - (in Matthew 9). Sin is the Root-of every Evil, as we find in Saint-Bernardine-of-Sienna. Hence the Lord, after having Healed him, Warned him against Sin, in these Words: "Behold thou art made Whole, Sin no-more, lest something worse, Befall thee" - John 5:14. Ecclesiasticus said the same, before our Lord: "My son, in thy Sickness . . . Cleanse thy Heart from Sin, . . . and then give Place-to the Physician" - Ecclesiasticus 38:9-11. You must First (1st) Apply-to the Physician-of the Soul, in-order-that He may 'Free' you from your Sins, and then to the Physician-of the Body, that He may Cure you of your Disease.

Aids Virus
Right-Hand-of-God

"There is no Creature", says Saint-John-Chrysostom, "which will not feel-Anger, when it sees its Lord in-Anger".
 

In a Word, the Cause-of All our Chastisements, is Sin; and still more than Sin, our Obstinacy in it, as Saint Basil says. We have Offended God, and are, notwithstanding, Unwilling to do Penance. When God Calls, by the Voice-of His Punishment, He Desires-that He should be-Heard; if He be not, He shall be Compelled-by Ourselves, to Curse us: "But if thou wilt not Hear the Voice of the Lord thy God . . . all these Curses shall Come-upon thee; . . . Cursed shalt thou be in the City, Cursed in the Field" - Deuteronomy 28:15-16. When we Offend God, we 'Provoke' all Creatures, to Punish us. Saint Anselm says that, in the same Manner-as a Servant, when he Offends his Master, draws-down upon him the Wrath, not only of his Master, but of the Whole Family; so we, when we Offend God, Excite-against us the Anger-of All Creatures. And Saint Gregory says, that we have more-especially Irritated-against us, those Creatures which we have made use-of, against our Creator. God's Mercy 'Holds'-in those Creatures, that they may not Afflict us, but when He sees that we make No Account-of His Threats, and Continue-to Live-on, in our Former Way, He will then make use of those Creatures, to take Vengeance-on us, for the Injuries we have done Him: "He will Arm the Creature, for the Revenge-of His Enemies . . . And the Whole World shall Fight with Him, against the Unwise" - Wisdom 5:18-21. "There is no Creature", says Saint-John-Chrysostom, "which will not feel-Anger, when it sees its Lord in-Anger".

If then, my Brethren, we do not 'Appease' God, by our Conversion, we never shall be Free-from Chastisement. What Folly, says Saint Gregory, could be more-Extreme, than to Imagine-that God should Cease-to Chastise, before we should have Ceased-to Offend? Many now Come-to the Church, and Hear the Sermon, but go-away without Confession, or Change-of Life. If we do not 'Remove', the Cause-of the Scourge, how can we Expect-to be Delivered-from the Scourge itself. Such is the Reflection-of Saint Jerome. We continue to-Irritate God, and then Wonder-that God should Continue-to Chastise us. "Impure as we are", says Salvian, "we wonder why we should be so-Miserable". Do we think that God is Appeased-by the mere Circumstance-of our 'Appearing' at-Church,

without Repenting-of our Sins,
without 'Restoring' the Property or Character of our Neighbor,
without 'Avoiding' those Occasions-of-Sin,

which keep us at a Distance-from God? Ah, let us not Mock the Lord! "And now do not Mock, lest your Bonds be Tied Strait"- Isaiah 28:22. Do not Mock God, says the Prophet, lest those Bonds which are-Securing you for-Hell be 'Tied Strait'. Cornelius-a-Lapide, in Commenting-on the above Passage-of Isaiah, says that when the Fox is Caught-in the Snare, its Efforts to-Disengage itself, only Serve to-Entangle it the more. "So also will it Happen-to Sinners who, while Mocking at God's Threats and Punishments, become more-and-more Involved-in them". My Brethren, let us have done; let us no-more Irritate God; the Chastisement is Near at-Hand: For I have Heard-of the Lord, the God-of-Hosts", Continues the Prophet, "a Consumption, and a Cutting-short upon all the Earth" - Isaiah 28:22. I am not the Prophet Isaiah, but I can say that I see the Scourge which is Hanging-over us, if we do not be Converted.

Hear how the Lord says to you: "Who Required these things at your Hands?" - Isaiah 1:12. Who 'Required' your Perpetual Exercises and your Visits-of-Devotion, to the Church? I will have Nothing-from you, unless you 'Abandon' Sin: "Offer Sacrifice, no more in-Vain" - Isaiah 1:13. Of what use are your Devotions, if you do not Amend your-Lives. "My Soul Hateth your New Moons, and your Solemnities" - Isaiah 1:4. Know, says the Lord, that your Homage and 'External' Devotions, are Hateful-to My Soul, whilst you Think by These to-Avert your Chastisement, without 'Removing' your Offences: "With Burnt Offerings, Thou wilt not be Delighted; . . . a Sacrifice-to God, is an Afflicted Spirit" - Psalm 50:18-19. No Devotions, or Alms, or Penitential Works, are Accepted-by God, from a Soul in the State-of-Sin, and without Repentance. God 'Accepts' the Acts-of him alone, who is Contrite-for his Sin, and Resolved-upon a Change-of-Life.

"Be not Deceived, God is not Mocked!" - Galations 6:7. I never Commanded you, He says, to-Perform those Devotions, and Acts-of Penance: "For I Spoke not to your Fathers . . . concerning the matter of Burnt Offering and Sacrifices, but this thing I Commanded them, saying: Hearken to My Voice, and I will be your God" - Jeremiah 7:22. What I Wish-of you, says God, is, that you 'Hear' My Voice and 'Change' your-Life, and make a Good Confession, with Real Sorrow, for you must Know yourselves, that your other Confessions, followed-by so-many Relapses, have been Worth Nothing. I Wish-that you should do Violence-to yourselves in Breaking-with that Connection, with that Company. I Wish-that you should Endeavor to-Restore that Property, to make-Good to your Neighbor, such a Loss. Hearken to My Voice, Obey My Command, and I will be your God. I Will then be to-you, the God-of-Mercy, such as you would have Me to be. Cardinal Hugo, in his Comment-upon these Words-of our Lord, in the Gospel according-to Saint Matthew: "He that hath Ears to-Hear, let him Hear" - Matthew 11:15, says: "Some have Ears, but Ears which do not Serve them, for Hearing". How many attend-Sermons and receive-Admonitions from the Confessor, in which they are told All that they must do in-order-to Please God; but they Leave the Church, only to-Live Worse-than before.

How can God be-Appeased by-Such? Or how can such be Delivered-from the Divine Chastisement? "Offer-up the Sacrifice-of Justice, and Trust-in the Lord" - Psalm 4:6, says David. Honor God, not in-Appearance, but by-Works. It is that which is meant-by "the Sacrifice-of Justice"; Honor Him by-Bewailing your Sins, by the Frequentation-of the Sacraments, by a Change-of -Life; and then Hope in the Lord; but to-Hope, while you 'Continue' the State-of-Sin, is not Hope - it is Rashness, it is a Deceit-of the Enemy, and 'Renders' you more-Odious in the Sight-of God, and more-Deserving of-Punishment.

None can Escape the Wrath-of-God

"Who hath Showed you to Flee from the
Wrath to-Come?
" - Matthew 3:7
 

My Brethren, you see that the Lord is in-Wrath, that He already has His Hand Lifted-to Strike, with the Scourge, which Threatens us; how do you think to-Escape? "Who hath Showed you to Flee from the Wrath to-Come?" - Matthew 3:7. Bring forth, therefore, Fruit, Worthy-of Penance, says Saint-John-the-Baptist, Preaching-to the Jews-of his Day. You must do Penance, but Penance Deserving-of His Pardon; that is, it must be 'True' and 'Resolute':

Your Anger must be Changed-into Meekness, by the Forgiveness-of those who Offend you;

your Intemperance must become Abstinence, by Observing the Fasts Commanded, at least, by the Church;

and by Abstaining-from the Immoderate Use-of Intoxicating Drinks, which 'Change' Man into a Beast; therefore you must 'Avoid' the Public House;

Impurity must Give-way in you to-Chastity, by not Returning-to that Filthy Vomit, by 'Resisting' Evil Thoughts, by not using Bad Words, by Fleeing-from Bad Companions and Dangerous Conversation.

You must Bring-forth Fruit, Worthy-of Penance, and the Bringing-forth of such Fruit, Implies-also that we Attend-to the Service-of God, and Endeavor-to Serve Him more-than we Offended Him; "For, as you have Yielded-to your Members, to-serve Uncleanness and Iniquity, . . . so now Yield your Members to-serve Justice, unto Sanctification" - Romans 6:19.

Thus have done a Saint-Mary-Magdalen, a Saint Augustine, a Saint-Mary-of-Egypt, a Saint-Margaret-of-Cortona, who by their Works-of Penance and Sanctification, 'Rendered' themselves more-Dear to-God, than others who had been less-Sinful, but more-Tepid. Saint Gregory says: "For the most-part, a Fervent Life after Sin, is the more-Pleasing to-God than a Life which, though Innocent, is Tepid". And thus does the Saint explain the following Passage-of the Gospel: "There shall be Joy in-Heaven, upon one Sinner that doth Penance, more than upon Ninety-nine Just, who need not Penance" - Luke 15:7. This is Understood-of the Sinner who, after having Arisen-from Sin, sets-about Serving God with more-Fervor, than others, who have Long-been Just.

This is to Bring-forth Fruit, Worthy-of Penance, not 'Content' one's self with 'Hearing' Sermons and 'Visiting' the Church, without Abandoning Sin, or Avoiding the Occasions-of it. To Act thus, is rather a Mockery-of God, and Calculated-to Excite Him to Greater Wrath. And think not, 'Pursues' Saint-John-the-Baptist, "Think not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham for our Father" - Matthew 3:9. It will not do to-say, we have the Mother-of God to-Assist us, we have our Patron Saint, to-Procure us Deliverance; because if we do not Abandon our Sins, the Saints cannot Help us. The Saints are the Friends-of God; hence they not only have no-Inclination, but they would even feel- Ashamed, to-Succor the Obstinate. Let us Tremble, because the Lord has already 'Published' the Sentence: "Every Tree that bringeth not forth Good Fruit, shall be Cut-down and Cast-into the Fire" - Matthew 7:19. Brother', how many Years have you been in the World? Tell me, what Fruit-of-Good Works have you hitherto 'Borne'; what Honor have you Rendered-to God, by your Life? Sin, Outrage, Contempt, such are the Fruit you have 'Borne', the Honor you have Rendered-to God. God now, in His Mercy, Gives you Time for-Penance, in-order-that you may Bewail the Injuries you have done Him, and Love Him the Remainder-of your Days. What do you Intend to-do? What have you Resolved-upon? Resolve at once to-Give yourself to-God. What do you Expect? Unless that if you do not at once Turn to-God, you shall be Cut-down and Cast-into the Fire-of Hell.

But let us now bring our Instruction, to a Conclusion; the Lord has Sent me to Preach here Today, and has Inspired you to-Come and Listen-to me, because He Wishes-to 'Spare' you the Punishment which Threatens you, if you do-Really Turn-to Him: "Leave not out one-Word, if so-be, they will Hearken and be Converted, every one from his Evil Way, that I may Repent Me of the Evil which I think to do, unto them" - Jeremiah 26:2-3. The Lord has Desired me to tell you on His Part, that He is Willing-to Relent, and Withdraw the Scourge which He meant-to Inflict-upon you: That I may Repent-of Me of the Evil which I Think-to do unto them, but on this Condition, if so-be, they will 'Harken' and be- Converted, every one, from his Evil Way, if they Truly Reform, otherwise He will put His Threat in-Execution. Tremble then, if you be not yet Resolved-to Change your-Life.

But, on the other-hand, be Joyful if you Mean-to Turn-in Good Earnest, to God. "Let the Heart of them Rejoice, that Seek the Lord" - Psalm 104:3, because God is all Tenderness and Love to those that 'Seek' Him. "The Lord is Good to them that Hope-in Him, to the Soul that Seeketh Him" - Lamentations 3:25. Neither does the Lord know how to-Reject a Heart, Humble and Contrite for its Offences. "A Contrite and Humbled Heart, O God, Thou wilt not Despise" - Psalm 50:19. Let us be Joyful, then, if we have the Good Intention of-Changing our-Lives, and if, on seeing ourselves Guilty-of so-many Sins before the Lord, we Stand very much in-Fear-of the Divine Judgments, let us have Recourse-to the Mother-of-Mercies, the most Holy Mary, who 'Defends' and 'Secures' from the Divine Vengeance, all those who take Refuge-under her Mantle. "I am the Citadel, of all those who Fly-to me"; thus is she made-to Speak-by Saint-John-Damascene.

 


Aftermath of Tropical Storm Sandy - Fall 2012. How few, Listen to-God, or have Recourse to-Mary

 

Prayer

O Jesus, my Redeemer, I Return Thee 'Thanks', for not-having Taken me out-of this Life, whilst I was Thy Enemy. How many Years have-Passed, since I Deserved-to be in-Hell! Had I Died-on such a Day, or on such a Night, what would have become of me for all Eternity? My God, I Return Thee 'Thanks'. I accept-of Death, as a Satisfaction-for my Sins, and I accept-of it the Manner, in-which it may Please Thee, to-send it to-me; but since Thou hast Waited-for me until now, oh, Wait-for me yet a little-Longer. Suffer me, therefore, that I may Lament my Sorrow a little. Give me Time to-Weep Over my Offences against Thee, before Thou comest to-Judge me.

I will no-longer 'Resist' Thy Calls. Who knows but these Words, which I have just-Read, are Thy Last Call to me? I Acknowledge that I do not Deserve Mercy: Thou hast Pardoned me so-often, and I have again, Ungratefully Offended Thee. A Contrite and Humble Heart, O God, Thou wilt not Despise. Ah, Lord, since Thou canst not Despise a Humble and Penitent Heart, behold the Traitor who, Humbled and Repentant, has Recourse-to Thee. Cast me not away-from Thy Face. Thou hast said, Him that Cometh-to Me, I will not Cast-out. It is True that I have Offended Thee more than others, because I have been Favored more than others, with Light and Grace; but the Blood Thou hast Shed-for me, gives me Courage, and Proffers Pardon to me, if I 'Repent'. Yes, O my Sovereign Good, I do Repent-with my whole Soul, for having Insulted Thee. Pardon me, and give me Grace to-Love Thee for the Future. I have long-enough Offended Thee. As for the remainder-of my Life, no, my Jesus, I will not spend it in-Offending Thee; I will spend it wholly in Weeping-over the Displeasure I have given Thee, and in Loving Thee with all my Heart, O God, Worthy-of Infinite Love.

O Mary, my Hope, Pray-to Jesus for me.

Amen

 

Ancient Miraculous Prayer to Saint Joseph
Patron of Departing Souls

This Prayer was found in the Fiftieth Year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles, when he was going into Battle. Whoever shall Read this Prayer, or Hear it, or Keep it about themselves, shall never Die a Sudden Death, or be Drowned, nor shall Poison take-effect on them; neither shall they Fall into the Hands of the Enemy, nor shall they be Burned in any Fire, nor shall they be Overpowered in Battle.

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O Saint Joseph, whose Protection is so Great, so Strong, so Prompt before the Throne of God, I Place in you, all my Interests and Desires.

O Saint Joseph, do Assist me by your Powerful Intercession, and Obtain for me from your Divine Son, all Spiritual Blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having Engaged here below your Heavenly Power, I may Offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never Weary Contemplating you and Jesus Asleep in your Arms; I dare not approach while He Reposes near your Heart. Press Him in my name and Kiss His Fine Head for me, and ask Him to Return the Kiss when I Draw my Dying Breath, Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, Pray for us.

Amen

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Many Miracles have been attributed to this Daily Prayer.
Make this Prayer known everywhere . . .

 

Consecration to God thru Mary