by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
In this Day's Gospel we read that, Wishing to give His Disciples a glimpse-of the
Glory of Paradise, in order to 'Animate' them to Labor-for the
Divine Honor, the Redeemer was Transfigured,
and allowed them to Behold the Splendor of His Countenance. Ravished with Joy and
Delight, Saint Peter exclaimed: "Lord it is Good for us to be here". Lord, let us
Remain here; let us never-more Depart-from this Place; for the Sight-of Thy Beauty Consoles us, more-than all the Delights-of
the Earth. Brethren, let us Labor during the Remainder-of our Lives, to-Gain Heaven.
Heaven is so-Great a Good, that to-Purchase it for us, Jesus
Christ has Sacrificed His Life on the Cross.
Be Assured, that the Greatest-of all the Torments of the Damned in
Hell, Arise-from the Thought-of having Lost Heaven through their own
Fault. The Blessings, the Delights, the
Joys, the Sweetness of Paradise may be 'Acquired';
but they can be 'Described' and 'Understood', only by those Blessed Souls that enjoy them. But let us, with the
Aid-of the Holy Scripture, explain the 'Little' that can be said of them, here below.
External Senses -
According to the Apostle, no Man on this Earth can Comprehend the Infinite
(∞) Blessings which God has
Prepared-for the Souls that Love Him. "Eye hath not Seen,
nor ear Heard, neither hath it entered into the Heart of Man, what things God hath Prepared for them that Love Him" - 1Corinthians 2:9. In this
Life, we cannot have an Idea-of any other Pleasures, than those which we Enjoy, by-means-of the Senses. Perhaps we
Imagine that the Beauty of Heaven, resembles that of a Wide Extended 'Plain',
covered-with the Verdure-of Spring, interposed-with Trees in full-Bloom, and abounding-in Birds Fluttering-about and Singing on every side; or, that
it is like the Beauty-of a 'Garden' full-of Fruits and Flowers, and surrounded-by Fountains in continual-play. Oh! what a
Paradise, to Behold such a 'Plain', or such a 'Garden'! But, oh! how much Greater are the Beauties of
Heaven! Speaking of Paradise, Saint Bernard says: O Man, if you Wish-to Understand
the Blessings of Heaven, know that in that Happy
Country, there is Nothing which can be Disagreeable, and Everything that you can Desire.
"Nihil est quod nolis, totum est quod velis". Although there are some things here-below, which are Agreeable-to the
Senses, how many more are there which only Torment us? If the Light-of-Day is
Pleasant, the Darkness-of-Night is Disagreeable; if the Spring and Autumn are
Cheering; the Cold-of-Winter and the Heat-of-Summer are Painful. In addition, we
have to-Endure the Pains of Sickness, the Persecution of Men, and the
Inconvenience of Poverty; we must submit-to Interior Troubles, to
Fears, to Temptations of the Devil,
Doubts of Conscience, and to the Uncertainty
of Eternal (∞) Salvation.
But, after entering-into Paradise, the Blessed shall have no-more
Sorrows. "God will Wipe-away all Tears from their Eyes". The
Lord shall Dry-up the Tears which they have Shed-in this Life.
"And Death shall be no more, nor Mourning, nor Crying, nor Sorrow shall be any more, for the Former Things are Passed Away. And
He that sat on the Throne, said: Behold, I make all things New". - Revelation 21:4-5. In Paradise,
Death and the Fear of Death are no-more; in that Place of
Bliss, there are no Sorrows, no Infirmities, no
Poverty, no Inconveniences, no
Vicissitudes of Day or Night, of Cold or of Heat. In that Kingdom, there is a Continual-Day, always Serene,
a Continuous-Spring, always Blooming. In Paradise there are no Persecutions,
no Envy; for all Love each other with Tenderness, and each Rejoices at the
Happiness of the others, as if it were their Own. There is no-more Fear of
Eternal (∞) Perdition; for the
Soul, Confirmed-in Grace, can neither Sin
nor Lose God.
"Totum est quod velis". In Heaven, you have all you can Desire.
"Behold, I make all things New". There, everything is 'New'; new Beauties, new
Delights, new Joys. There, all our Desires shall be Satisfied. The
Sight shall be Satiated-with Beholding the Beauty of that City. How Delightful to
Behold a City, in which the Streets should be of-Crystal, the Houses of-Silver, the Windows of-Gold, and all Adorned-with the most Beautiful Flowers.
But oh! how much more Beautiful shall be the City-of Paradise; the
Beauty of the place shall be Heightened-by the Beauty-of in Inhabitants, who are
all clothed-in Royal Robes; for according-to Saint Augustine, they are all Kings. "Quot cives, tot reges". How Delightful-to
Behold Mary, the Queen of Heaven,
who shall appear more Beautiful than all the other Citizens-of Paradise!
But, what it must be to Behold the Beauty of Jesus Christ! Saint Teresa once saw
One of the Hands of Jesus Christ, and was Struck with Astonishment, at the Sight-of such
Beauty. The Smell shall be Satiated-with Odors, but with the Odors of
Paradise. The Hearing shall be Satiated-with the Harmony-of the Celestial Choirs. Saint Francis once heard
for a Moment, an Angel playing on a Violin, and he almost Died through Joy. How
Delightful must it be to hear the Saints and Angels, singing the Divine Praises! "They shall
Praise Thee for ever and ever" - Psalm 83:5. What must it be to hear Mary praising
God! Saint Francis de Sales says, that as the Singing-of the Nightingale in the Wood, surpasses that of all other Birds, so the Voice-of
Mary is far-Superior to that of all the other Saints. In a word, there are in Paradise,
all the Delights which Man can Desire.
But the Delights of which we have spoken, are the least-of the Blessings of
Paradise. The Glory of Heaven consists in Seeing and
Loving God, Face-to-face. "Totum quod expectamus", says Saint Augustine, "duae
syllabae sunt, Deus". The Reward which God Promises to us, does not
Consist-altogether in the Beauty, the Harmony, and other Advantages-of the City-of Paradise.
God Himself, Whom the Saints are allowed-to Behold, is, according to the Promise made to Abraham, the
Principal Reward of the Just in Heaven.
"I am thy Reward, Exceeding Great" - Genesis 15:1. Saint Augustine asserts that were God
to show His Face to the Damned, "Hell would be Instantly
Changed into a Paradise of Delights". And he adds that, were a Departed Soul, allowed the Choice-of Seeing
God, and Suffering the Pains of
Hell, or of being Freed-from these Pains, and
Deprived-of the Sight of God, "She would Prefer to See God, and to Endure these
The Delights-of the Soul, Infinitely
(∞) Surpass all the Pleasures-of the Senses. Even in this Life,
Divine Love Infuses such Sweetness into the Soul,
when God Communicates Himself to Her, that the
Body is Raised-from the Earth. Saint Peter of Alcantara once fell into such an Ecstasy of
Love, that taking hold of a Tree, he drew it up from the Roots, and Raised it with him on-High. So Great is the
Sweetness of Divine Love, that the Holy
Martyrs in the Midst-of their Torments, felt no Pain, but
were, on the contrary, filled-with Joy. Hence Saint Augustine says, that when Saint Lawrence was Laid-on a
Red-hot Gridiron, the Fervor-of Divine Love made him
Insensible to the Burning Heat of the Fire. "Hoc
igne incensus non sentit incendium". Even on Sinners who Weep for their
Sins, God Bestows Consolations which exceed all
Earthly Pleasures. Hence Saint Bernard says: "If it be so Sweet, to Weep for Thee, what must it be to Rejoice in Thee!"
How Great is the Sweetness which the Soul experiences when, in the Time-of
Prayer, God, by-way-of His Own Light, shows to
Her, His Goodness and His Mercies towards
Her, and particularly the Love which Jesus Christ has borne-to
Her in His Passion!
She feels Her Heart 'Melting', and as it were Dissolved-through Love.
But in this Life, we do not see God as He Really is; we see
Him, as-it-were, in the 'Dark'. "We see now through a Glass, in a Dark Manner; but then Face
to face" - 1Corinthians 13:12. Here below, God is Hidden-from our View; we can see
Him only with the Eyes of Faith; how Great shall be our Happiness, when the Veil shall be Raised,
and we shall be permitted-to Behold God, Face-to-face! We shall then see His Beauty,
His Greatness, His Perfection, His Amiableness, and
His Immense Love for our Souls.
"Man knoweth not whether he be Worthy of Love, or Hatred" - Ecclesiastes 9:1. The
Fear of not Loving God, and of not being Loved by
Him, is the Greatest Affliction which Souls
that Love God, endure-on this Earth; but, in Heaven, the
Soul is Certain that She Loves God, and that He Loves Her;
She sees that the Lord embraces Her with
Infinite (∞) Love, and that this
Love shall not be Dissolved, for all Eternity
(∞). The Knowledge of the Love which
Jesus Christ has shown Her in offering Himself in
Sacrifice for Her, on the Cross, and in making Himself
Her Food in the Sacrament of the Altar, shall Increase the Ardor-of Her Love.
She shall also see Clearly, all the Graces which God
has Bestowed-upon Her, all the Helps which He
has given Her, to Preserve Her from Falling into Sin
and to Draw Her to His Love. She sees that all
the Tribulations, the Poverty, Infirmities, and
Persecutions which She regards as Misfortunes,
have all Proceeded-from Love, and have been the Means employed-by Divine Providence
to bring Her to Glory. She shall see all the
Lights, Loving Calls, and Mercies which
God had Granted-to Her, after She had
Insulted Him by Her
Sins. From the Blessed Mountain of Paradise, She shall see so many
Souls Damned-for Fewer Sins than
She had Committed, and shall see that She Herself is
Saved and Secured against the Possibility-of ever Losing
The Goods of this Earth do not Satisfy our Desires; at First (1st), they Satisfy the
Senses; but when we become Accustomed-to them, they Cease-to Delight. But the
Joys of Paradise constantly Satiate and Content the Heart.
"I shall be Satisfied when thy Glory shall appear" - Psalm 16:15. And though they Satiate, they always appear to be
as-new-as the First (1st) Time they were experienced; they are always Enjoyed and always Desired, always
Desired and always Possessed. "Satiety", says Saint Gregory, "accompanies Desire".
Thus the Desires-of the Saints in Paradise do not Beget Pain, because they
are always Satisfied; and Satiety does not produce Disgust, because it is always accompanied-with Desire. Hence
the Soul shall be always Satiated and always Thirsty; She shall be
Forever (∞) Thirsty, and always Satiated with
Delights. The Damned are, according-to the Apostle, Vessels full-of Wrath
and of Torments, "Vessels of Wrath, fitted for Destruction" - Romans 9:22. But
the Just are Vessels full-of Mercy and of Joy,
so that they have Nothing-to Desire. "They shall be Inebriated with the Plenty of Thy House" - Psalm 35:9. In Beholding the
Beauty of God, the Soul shall be Inflamed and so Inebriated-with the
Divine Love, that She shall remain Happily-Lost in God;
for She shall Entirely-forget Herself, and for all all Eternity
(∞) shall think only of Loving and
Praising the Immense Good which She shall Possess Forever
(∞), without the Fear of having it in
HerPower, ever to Lose it. In this Life, Holy Souls Love God; but they
cannot Love Him with all their Strength, nor can they always Actually Love Him.
Saint Thomas teaches, that this Perfect Love is only given to the Citizens-of Heaven,
Who Love God with their Whole Heart, and never cease-to
Love Him Actually. "Ut totum cor hominis semper actualiter in Deum feratur, ista est perfectio patriae".
Justly then, has Saint Augustine said, that to Gain the Eternal (∞)
Glory of Paradise, we should Cheerfully Embrace Eternal
(∞) Labor. "Pro aeterna requie aeternus
labor subeundus esset". "For 'Nothing' ", says David, "shalt Thou Save them" -
Psalm 55:8. The Saints have done but 'Little' to-acquire Heaven. So many Kings, who have Abdicated their Thrones and
Shut themselves up in a Cloister; so many Holy Anchorets who have Confined themselves in a Cave; so many Martyrs, who
have Cheerfully submitted-to Torments - to the Rack and to
Red-hot Plates - have done but Little. "The Sufferings of this Time are not Worthy to be compared with the Glory to
Come" - Romans 8:18. To gain Heaven, it would be but 'Little', to Endure all the
Pains of this Life.
Let us then, Brethren, Courageously Resolve-to 'Bear' Patiently with all the Sufferings
which shall come upon us during the remaining Days-of our Lives; to Secure Heaven, they are all 'Little' and 'Nothing'.
Rejoice then; for all these Pains, Sorrows, and
Persecutions shall, if we are Saved, be to us a Source-of never-ending Joys and Delights.
"Your Sorrow shall be turned into Joy" - John 16:20. When then, the Crosses of this
Life, Afflict us, let us Raise our Eyes to Heaven, and Console ourselves with the
Hope of Paradise. At the End of her Life, Saint Mary of Egypt was asked by the
Abbot S. Zozimus, how she had been able to Live for Forty Seven (47) Years in the Desert, where he found her
Dying. She answered: With the Hope of Paradise. If we be Animated-with the same
Hope, we shall not feel the Tribulations of this Life. Have Courage! Let us
Love God and Labor for Heaven. There the Saints
expect us, Mary expects us, Jesus Christ expects us; He
holds in His Hand a Crown to make each of us a King, in that Eternal
- 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 . . .