Delusions of Sinners
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
The Devil brings Souls to Hell by Closing their
Eyes to the Dangers of Perdition. He
First (1st) Blinds them, and then leads them with himself to
Torments. If then, we wish to be Saved, we must continually
Pray to God in the Words of the Blind Man in the Gospel of this Day,
"Lord, that I may See". Give me Light; make me see the Way in which I must Walk
in-order-to Save my Soul, and to Escape the Deceits
of the Enemy-of Salvation. I shall, Brethren, this Day place-before your Eyes the
Delusions by which the Devil Tempts Men to Sin
and to Persevere-in Sin, that you may know how to Guard yourselves against his Deceitful
Present-Day Example, from the Great Catholic Epic, the Lord of the Rings
Aragon 'Ends Negotiations' with the 'Mouth-of-Sauron', by Cutting-off his Head. In Dealing with those Confirmed-in-Evil, such as Satan and his
Minions, there can be absolutely no Compromise at all. Aragon Rightly Believes nothing that comes from the 'Mouth-of-Sauron', the
Father-of-Lies, and does not lose Hope that the Providence of Ilúvatar (God) will Prevail.
(Resides in the Essence of the Soul)
(A Unity (1) of Body and Soul)
Natural Body -
Natural Soul -
Supernatural Grace/Infused Virtues and Gifts of the Holy Spirit
Man is born a Rational Creature, with Body and Soul,
into the Natural Order.
Satan can directly Attack the Passions, already weakened by
Original Sin. However, Satan can only indirectly Affect the
Intellect and Will through Natural, Physical, and Psychological causes.
To understand these Delusions better, let us Imagine the case of the Young Man who, seized by some
Passion, Lives in Sin, the Slave of
Satan, and never thinks of his Eternal (∞)
Salvation. My Son, I say to him, what sort of a Life do you Lead? If you continue to Live in this Manner, how will you be
able to Save your Soul? But Behold! the Devil,
on the other hand, says to him: Why should you be Afraid of being Lost? Indulge
your Passions for the Present; you will Afterwards Confess your
Sins, and thus all shall be Remedied. Behold the Net, by which the
Devil drags so many Souls to Hell.
Indulge your Passions; you will hereafter make a Good Confession. But, in reply, I say that in the mean-time,
you Lose your Soul. Tell me; if you had a Jewel worth a
Thousand Pounds, would you throw it into a River, with the Hope-of, Afterwards finding it again. What if all your efforts to find it, were Fruitless?
O God! you Hold in your Hand, the Invaluable Jewel of your Soul, which
Jesus Christ has Purchased-with, His Own Blood, and you Cast it into
Hell! Yes, you Cast it into Hell; because, according to the Present Order of
Providence, for every Mortal Sin you Commit, your Name is Written-among the
Number-of the Damned. But you say: I Hope to 'Recover' God's Grace by making a Good Confession.
And if you should not 'Recover' it, what shall be the Consequences? To make a Good
Confession, a True Sorrow for Sin is
'Necessary', and this Sorrow is a Gift of God; if He
does not give it, will you not be Lost Forever (∞)?
You Rejoin: I am Young; God Compassionates my Youth; I will Hereafter give myself to God. Behold another
Delusion! You are Young; but do you Know that God Counts not the
Years, but the Sins of each Individual? You are Young, but how many
Sins have you Committed? Perhaps there are many Persons of a very Advanced Age, who have not been
Guilty of the Fourth (4th) Part-of the Sins which you Committed.
And do you not Know, that God has 'Fixed' for each of us, the Number of Sins which
He will Pardon? "The Lord Patiently Expecteth, that when the
Day of Judgment shall come, He may Punish them in the Fullness of their Sins" - Machabees 6:14. God has
Patience, and Waits for awhile, but when the Measure of the Sins, which
He has determined-to Pardon, is Filled-up, He Pardons
no more, but Chastises the Sinner, by suddenly
Depriving him of Life, in the Miserable State of Sin, or by
Abandoning him in his Sin, and Executing the
Threat which He made by the Prophet Isaiah: "I will Take
Away the Hedge thereof, and it shall be Wasted" - Isaiah 5:5. If a Person has Cultivated Land for many Years,
has Encompassed it with a Hedge for its Protection, and Expended a Large Sum of Money on it, but finds that, after all, it Produces no
Fruit, what will he do with it? He will Pluck-up the Hedge, and Abandon it to all
Men and Beasts, that may Wish to enter. Tremble then, lest God shall Treat you in a
Similar Manner. If you do not give up Sin, your Remorse of
Conscience, and your Fear of Divine Chastisement,
shall Daily decrease. Behold the Hedge taken-away, and your Soul Abandoned
by God, a Punishment worse than Death itself.
You say: I cannot at Present, Resist this Passion. Behold the Third
(3rd) Delusion of the Devil, by which he makes you Believe
that at Present, you have not Strength to-overcome certain Temptations. But Saint Paul tells us that
God is Faithful, and that He never
Permits us to be Tempted above our Strength. "And God is Faithful, Who will not Suffer you to
be Tempted above that, which you are Able" - 1Corinthians 10:13. I ask, if you are not now able to Resist the
Temptation, how can you expect to Resist it Hereafter? If you Yield to it, the Devil will become Stronger,
and you shall become Weaker; and if you be not now able to Extinguish this Flame
of Passion, how can you Hope-to be able to Extinguish it, when it shall have Grown more Violent? You say:
God will give me His Aid. But this Aid, God
is Ready to Give at Present, if you Ask it. Why then do you not Implore His Assistance? Perhaps you expect that, without
now taking the Trouble of Invoking His Aid, you will Receive from
Him, increased Helps and Graces, after you shall have
Multiplied the Number of your Sins? Perhaps you
Doubt the Veracity of God, Who has Promised to
give whatever we ask of Him? "Ask", He says,
"and it shall be given you" - Matthew 7:7. God cannot Violate
His Promises. "God is not a Man, that He should Lie, nor is the Son of Man, that He should be Changed. Hath He said then,
and will He not do?" - Numbers 23:19. Have Recourse to Him, and He will
give you the Strength necessary to Resist the Temptation. God Commands you to Resist it,
and you say: I have not Strength. Does God then Command
Impossibilities? No; the Council-of-Trent has declared that: "God does not Command Impossibilities; but, by His Commands,
He Admonishes you to do what you Can, and to Ask what you cannot do; and He Assists, that you may be able to do it". When you see that you have
not Sufficient Strength to Resist Temptation, with the Ordinary Assistance-of God,
ask of Him the Additional Help which you Require, and
He will give it to you; and thus you shall be able to Conquer all Temptations , however Violent they may be.
But you will not Pray; and you say that at Present, you will Commit this
Sin, and will Afterwards Confess it. But I ask, how do you Know that God
will give you Time to Confess it? You say: I will go to
Confession, before the Lapse of a Week. And who has Promised you this Week? Well, then you say:
I will go to Confession Tomorrow. And who Promises you Tomorrow? "
Crastinum Deus non promisit", says Saint Augustine, "fortasse dabit, et fortasse non dabit".
God has not Promised you Tomorrow. 'Perhaps' He
will give it, and 'Perhaps' He will Refuse it to you, as He has to so many others.
How many have Gone-to Bed in Good Health, and have been found Dead in the Morning!
How many, in the very Act of Sin, has the Lord Struck
Dead, and Sent-to Hell! Should this happen to you, how will you Repair your Eternal
(∞) Ruin? Commit this Sin, and Confess it
Afterwards. Behold the Deceitful Artifice by which the Devil has brought
so many Thousands of Christians to Hell. We scarcely ever find a Christian, so Sunk-in
Despair, as to Intend-to Damn himself. All the Wicked
Sin, with the Hope-of Afterwards going-to Confession. But by this Illusion, how many have brought themselves to
Perdition! For them there is now no Time for
Confession, no Remedy for their Damnation.
But God is Merciful. Behold another Common Delusion, by which the
Devil encourages Sinners to Persevere-in a Life-of Sin!
A Certain Author has said that more Souls have been Sent-to Hell by the
Mercy of God, than by His Justice. This is
Indeed the Case; for Men are Induced-by the Deceits of the Devil to Persevere-in
Sin, through Confidence-in God's Mercy; and thus they are
Lost. God is Merciful. Who denies it? But Great is His Mercy, how many
does He every Day, Send-to Hell? God is
Merciful, but He is also Just, and is
therefore Obliged to Punish those who Offend Him.
"And His Mercy" says the Blessed Mother, "is from Generation
unto Generations, to them that Fear Him" - Luke 1:50. But with regard to those who Abuse
His Mercy, and Despise Him, He
exercises Justice. The Lord Pardons Sins;
but He cannot Pardon the Determination-to Commit
Sin. Saint Augustine says that he who Sins with the Intent-of Repenting
after his Sin, is not a Penitent but a
Scoffer. "Irrisor est non poenitens". But the Apostle tells us that God
will not be Mocked. "Be not Deceived, God is not Mocked" - Galatians 6:7.
It would be a Mockery of God, to Insult
Him as-Often and as-Much as you Pleased, and Afterwards to Expect Eternal
But, you say, as God has shown me so many Mercies hitherto, I Hope He will
continue to do so for the Future. Behold another Delusion! Then, because God,
has not as yet Chastised your Sins, He
will never Punish them. On the Contrary, the Greater have been His Mercies,
the more you should Tremble, lest if you Offend
Him again, He should Pardon you no more, and should take
Vengeance on your Sins. Behold the Advice-of the Holy
Ghost: "Say not: I have Sinned, and what Harm hath Befallen me? For the Most High is a Patient Rewarder" -
Ecclesiasticus 5:4. Do not say: I have Sinned and no Chastisement has Fallen upon me.
God 'Bears' for a Time, but not Forever (∞).
He Waits for a Certain Time; but, when that
Time arrives, He then Chastises the Sinner,
for All his Iniquities; and the Longer He has Waited-for
Repentance , the more Severe the Chastisement. "Quos
diutius expectat", says Saint Gregory, "durius damnat". Then my Brother, since you Know that you have Frequently
Offended God, and that He has not sent you to
Hell, you should Exclaim: "The Mercies of the Lord, that we are not Consumed".
Lord, I thank You for not having Sent me to Hell,
which I have so-often Deserved. And therefore, you ought to give yourself Entirely-to God, at least through Gratitude,
and should Consider that for Less Sins than you have Committed, many are now in the Pit of Fire,
without the Smallest Hope of being ever Released-from it. The Patience of God in Bearing-with you,
should Teach you not to Despise Him still more, but to
Love and Serve Him with Great Fervor, and to Atone-by
Penitential Austerities, and by other Holy Works, for the Insults you have Offered-to
Him. You know that He has shown Mercies to you, which
He has not shown to others. "He hath not done in Like Manner, to every Nation" -
Psalm 147:20. Hence you should Tremble, lest if you Commit a Single (1) additional
Mortal Sin, God should Abandon you and Cast you
Let us come to the Next Delusion. It is True that by this Sin, I Lose the Grace of God,
but even after Committing this Sin, I may be Saved. You may indeed be Saved; but it cannot be denied that if
after having Committed so many Sins, and after having Received so many Graces from
God, you again Offend Him, there is Great Reason
to Fear that you shall be Lost. Attend to the Words of the Sacred Scriptures:
"A Hard Heart shall Fear Evil at the Last" - Ecclesiasticus 3:27. The Obstinate Sinner shall
Die an Unhappy Death. "For Evildoers shall be Cut-off"
- Psalm 36:9. The Wicked shall be Cut-off by the Divine Justice. "For
what things a Man shall Sow, those also shall he Reap" - Galations 6:8. He that Sows in Sin, shall Reap
Eternal (∞) Torments. "Because
I Called, and you Refused: I stretched out My Hand, and there was none that regarded. You have Despised all My Counsel, and have Neglected My Reprehensions. I also will
Laugh in your Destruction, and will Mock when that shall come to you which you Feared" - Proverbs 1:24-26. I Called, says the
Lord, and you Mocked Me; but I will Mock
you at the Hour of Death. "Revenge is Mine, and I will Repay them in Due Time" -
Deuteronomy 32:35. The Chastisement of Sins belongs to
Me, and I will Execute Vengeance on them, when the Time of
Vengeance shall arrive. "The Man that with a Stiff Neck, Despiseth him that Reproveth him,
shall suddenly be Destroyed: and Health shall not follow him" - Proverbs 29:1. The Man who Obstinately Despises
those who Correct him, shall be Punished with a Sudden Death, and for him there shall be
no Hope of Salvation.
Now Brethren, what think you of these Divine Threats against
Sinners? Is it 'Easy' or is it not very 'Difficult' to Save your
Souls, if, after Divine Calls and after so many
Mercies, you continue-to Offend God? You say:
But after all, it may happen that I will Save my Soul. I answer: What Folly is it to Trust your
Salvation to a 'Perhaps'? How many with this Perhaps, I may be Saved, are now in
Hell? Do you Wish to be one of their Unhappy Companions?
Dearly Beloved Christians, Enter-into yourselves and Tremble, for this Sermon may be the
Last of God's Mercies to you.
- End of Liguori Sermon -
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.
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.
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
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
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.
Many Miracles have been attributed to this Daily Prayer.
Make this Prayer known everywhere . . .