On the Remorse of the Damned
by Saint Alphonsus Liguori
Definition of Conscience
||Conscience is a Judgment of Reason whereby the Human Person recognizes the
Moral Quality of a Concrete Act that he is going to perform, is in the process of
performing, or has already completed. Conscience is not
the Intellect, it is not a Virtue, it is a Practical Judgment of the Intellect; and Prudence is the Virtue (a Permanent Disposition of
the Soul) that Guides that Practical Judgment. It does not stem from Emotions or Feelings. We never Act on a 'Doubtful'
Conscience. If we do, we say to God, "This may Please or Offend You, but I don't
care. I will do it anyway".
In the Gospel of this Day, it is related that, "when Jesus Christ entered into Capernaum, there came to Him a Centurion beseeching
Him" to Cure his Servant, who lay Sick of the
Palsy. Jesus answered: "I will come and Heal him".
"No", replied the Centurion: "I am not Worthy, that Thou shouldst enter under my Roof; but
only say the Word, and my Servant shall be Healed" - Verse 8. Seeing the Centurion's Faith, the
Redeemer instantly-Consoled him by Restoring Health to his Servant; and, turning to
His Disciples, He said: "Many shall come from the East and
the West, and shall sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, in the Kingdom of Heaven. But the Children of the Kingdom shall be cast out into the Exterior
Darkness: there shall be Weeping and Gnashing of Teeth". By these words Our Lord Wished to-Signify, that many
Persons born-in Infidelity shall be Saved, and Enjoy
the Society of the Saints; and that many who are born-in the Bosom-of the Church,
shall be cast-into Hell, where the Worm of Conscience,
by its Gnawing, shall make them Weep Bitterly for all
Let us examine the Remorses of Conscience, which a
Damned Christian shall Suffer in Hell.
First (1st) Remorse, arising from the Thought-of the Little which
he was Required to-do, in order to Save his
Second (2nd) Remorse, arising from the Remembrance-of the 'Trifles',
for which he Lost his
Third (3rd) Remorse, arising from the Knowledge-of the Great
Good which he has Lost, through
his own Fault.
First (1st) Remorse of the Damned Christian,
Arising from the Thought of the Little which
he was Required to do, in order to Save his Soul
A Damned Soul once appeared to Saint Hubert, and said, that
Two (2) Remorses were Her most Cruel
Executioners in Hell - the Thought of the 'Little', which was Necessary-for Her
to have done in this Life, to Secure Her Salvation; and the Thought of the 'Trifles' for
which She brought Herself to Eternal
(∞) Misery. The same thing has been said by Saint Thomas. Speaking of the
Reprobate, he says "They shall be in Sorrow, Principally because they are Damned for Nothing, and
because they could most Easily have obtained Eternal Life". Let us Stop, to consider this First (1st)
Source of Remorse; that is, how Few and Transitory are the Pleasures for which all the Damned
are Lost. Each of the Reprobate will say for Eternity
If I Abstained-from such a Gratification;
If, in certain circumstances, I overcame Human Respect,
If I avoided such an Occasion of Sin - such a Companion, I should not now be
If I had frequented some Pious Sodality;
If I had gone to Confession every Week;
If, in Temptations, I had Recommended myself to God, I would not have
I have so often Proposed-to do these things, but I have not done them. I began-to Practice these Means-of
Salvation, but afterwards gave them up; and thus I am Lost.
'Time shall be no-Longer' - Revelation 10.6
MINIATURIST, English - Douce Apocalypse, circa 1270
Bodleian Library, Oxford
This Torment of the Damned, will be Increased-by the Remembrance-of the
Good Example given them by some Young Companions, who led a Chaste and
Pious Life, even in the Midst-of the World. It will be still more-increased-by the Recollection of all the
Gifts which the Lord had Bestowed-upon them, that by their Cooperation, they might
Acquire Eternal (∞) Salvation; the
Gifts of Nature, Health,
Riches, Respectability of Family, Talents; all
Gifts Granted-by God, not to be Employed-in the Indulgence-of Pleasures and in the Gratification-of
Vanity, but in the Sanctification of their Souls,
and in becoming Saints. So many Gifts of Grace, so many
Divine Lights, Holy Inspirations, Loving Calls, and so many
Years of Life to Repair Past Disorders. But they shall Forever
(∞) hear-from the Angel of the Lord, that for them, the
Time of Salvation is Passed. "The Angel whom I saw standing,
Swore by Him that Liveth Forever and Ever, that Time shall be no-Longer" - Revelation 10:6.
Alas! what Cruel Swords shall all these Blessings received-from
God be, to the Heart of a Poor
Damned Christian, when he shall see himself Shut-up in the Prison of Hell, and that there is no-more
Time to Repair his Eternal (∞)
Ruin. In Despair, he will say to his Wretched Companions:
"The Harvest is Passed; the Summer is Ended; and we are not Saved" - Jeremiah 7:20. The Time,
he will say, of Gathering Fruits of Eternal (∞)
Life is Past; the Summer, during which we could-have Saved our
Souls, is over, but we are not Saved: the Winter is come;
but it is an Eternal (∞) Winter,
in which we must Live-in Misery and Despair,
as-long-as God shall be God.
O Fool, he will say, that I have been! If I had Suffered for
God, the Pains to which I have submitted-for the Indulgence-of my Passions -
if the Labors which I have Endured-for my own Damnation, had been Borne-for my
Salvation, how Happy should I now be! And what now remains of all Past Pleasures,
but Remorse and Pain, which now Torture, and
shall Torture me for Eternity (∞)? Finally,
he will say, I might be Forever Happy, and now I must be Forever Miserable. Ah! this Thought will
Torture the Damned, more than the Fire and all the other
Torments of Hell.
Remorse of the Damned,
Arising from the Remembrance of the Trifles,
for which they Lost their Souls
Saul forbid the People, under Pain of Death, to Taste Food. His son Jonathan, who was then Young, being Hungry,
Tasted a little Honey. Having discovered that Jonathan had Violated the Command, the King declared that he should Die.
Seeing himself Condemned to Death, Jonathan said with Tears: "I did
but Taste a little Honey and behold I must Die". But the People, moved to Pity for Jonathan, Interposed-with his Father, and Delivered him from
Death. For the Unhappy Damned there is no
Compassion; there is no One to Intercede-with God to Deliver them from the Eternal
(∞) Death of Hell. On the contrary,
all Rejoice at the Just Punishment which they Suffer
for having Willfully Lost God and Paradise, for the
sake-of a Transitory Pleasure.
After having eaten the Pottage of Lentils, for which he sold his Right-of Primogeniture, Esau was Tortured with
Grief and Remorse for what he had Lost, and
"Roared out with a Great Cry" - Genesis 27:34. Oh! how Great shall be the Roaring
and Howling of the Damned, at the Thought of having
Lost, for a few Poisonous and Momentary Pleasures, the Everlasting (∞)
Kingdom of Paradise, and of being Condemned for Eternity
(∞), to a Continual Death!
The Unfortunate Reprobate shall be Continually-employed in Reflecting on the Unhappy Cause of their
Damnation. To us who Live-on Earth, our Past Life appears but a Moment - but a Dream. Alas! what will the
Fifty (50) or Sixty (60) Years which they may have spent in this World, appear to
the Damned, when they shall find themselves in the Abyss of Eternity
(∞), and when they shall have Passed a Hundred and a Thousand Millions (109)
of Years in Torments, and shall see that their Miserable
Eternity (∞) is only 'Beginning', and shall be Forever
(∞) in its Commencement? But, have the Fifty (50) Years spent on
this Earth been Full of Pleasures? Perhaps the Sinner, Living-in Enmity with
God, enjoyed Uninterrupted Happiness in his Sins? How long, do the Pleasures of
Sin Last? Only for a Few Moments: the Remaining-part of the Lives of those who Live at a Distance-from
God, is Full of Anguish and Pain. Oh! what will
these Moments of Pleasure appear to a Damned Soul, when
She shall find Herself, Buried-in a Pit of Fire?
"What hath Pride, Profited us? or what Advantage hath the Boasting-of Riches brought us. All those things have Passed Away like
a Shadow" - Wisdom 5:8. Unhappy me! each of the Damned shall say, I have
Lived on Earth according to my Corrupt Inclinations; I have Indulged my Pleasures; but what have they Profited me?
They have Lasted but for a Short Time; they have made me Lead a Life-of Bitterness and
Disquietude; and now I must Burn in this Furnace, Forever
(∞), in Despair, and Abandoned by all.
Remorse of the Damned,
Arising from the Knowledge of the Great Good
which they have Lost by their own Fault
A certain Queen, Blinded-by the Ambition of being a Sovereign, said one day:
"If the Lord gives me a Reign of Forty Years, I will renounce Paradise"! The Unhappy
Queen Reigned-for Forty (40) Years; but now that she is in another-World, she cannot but be
Grieved at having made such a Renunciation. Oh! how Great must be her Anguish, at the Thought-of having
Lost the Kingdom of Paradise, for the Sake-of a Reign-of
Forty (40) Years, full-of Troubles, of Crosses, and of
Fears. "Plus caelo torquetur, quam gehenna", says Saint Peter Chrysologus. To the
Damned, the 'Voluntary' Loss of Paradise is a Greater
Torment than the very Pains of Hell.
The Greatest Pain in Hell is the Loss of
God, that Sovereign Good, Who is the Source-of
all the Joys of Paradise. "Let Torments", says
Saint Bruno, "be added-to Torments, and let them not be Deprived of God". The Damned
would be Content to have a Thousand Hells, added to the
Hell which they Suffer, provided they are not Deprived-of God;
but their Hell shall consist in seeing themselves Deprived
Forever (∞), of God through their own
Fault. Saint Teresa used to say, that when a Person Loses, through his own Fault, a Trifle - a small Sum of Money, or a Ring of little Value -
the Thought of having Lost it through his own Neglect, Afflicts him, Disturbs
his Peace. What then must be the Anguish of the Damned,
in Reflecting that they have Lost God, a Good of
Infinite (∞) Value, and have
Lost Him, through their own Fault?
The Damned will see that God Wished them to be Saved,
and had given them the 'Choice' of Eternal (∞) Life, or
of Eternal (∞) Death. "Before
Man is Life and Death . . . that which he shall Choose, shall be given him" - Ecclesiastes. They shall see that, if they Wished, they might have acquired
Eternal (∞) Happiness, and that, by their own
'Choice', they are Damned. On the Day of Judgment,
they shall see many of their Companions among the Elect; but, because they would not put a stop to their
Career-of Sin, they have gone to End it, in Hell. "Therefore we
have Erred", they shall say to their Unhappy Associates in
Hell; "We have Erred in Losing Heaven and God, through our own Fault, and our Error is Irreparable".
They shall continually exclaim: "There is no Peace for my Bones, because of my Sins" - Psalm 38:4.
The Thought of having been the Cause-of their own Damnation, produces an Internal Pain,
which enters into the very Bones of the Damned, and prevents them from ever enjoying a Moments Repose. Hence, each of
them shall be to himself, an Object-of the Greatest Horror. Each shall Suffer the
Pain threatened-by the Lord: "I will set them before thy
face" - Psalm 50:21.
If, Beloved Brethren, you have hitherto been so Foolish as to Lose
God for a Miserable Pleasure, do not Persevere in your
Folly. Endeavor, now that you have it in your Power, to Repair your Past Error.
Tremble! Perhaps, if you do not now Resolve-to Change your Life, you shall be Abandoned by
God, and be Lost Forever
(∞). When the Devil Tempts you, remember
Hell; - and the Thought of Hell will Preserve you from the Land of Misery.
I say, remember Hell, and have Recourse-to Jesus Christ and to Most Holy
Mary, and They will deliver you from Sin, which is the
Gate of Hell.
- End of Liguori Sermon -
Prayer for the Graces Necessary for Salvation
Eternal Father, Your Son has Promised that You will Grant us all the Graces which we ask for in His Name. In the Name and
Merits of Jesus Christ, I ask the following Graces for myself and for all Mankind. Please give me a Lively Faith in all that the Church Teaches.
Enlighten me, that I may know the Vanity of the Goods of this World, and the Immensity of the Infinite Good that You are. Make me also see the
Deformity of the Sins I have Committed, that I may Humble myself and Detest them as I should.
Give me a Firm Confidence of Receiving Pardon for my Sins, Holy Perseverance, and the Glory of Heaven, through the Merits of
Jesus Christ, and the Intercession of Mary. Give me a Great Love for You, that will Detach me from the Love of this World, and of myself, so that I may
Love none other, but You.
I Beg of You a Perfect Resignation to Your Will. I Offer myself entirely to You, that You might do with me, and all that
belongs to me, as You Please.
I Beg of You a Great Sorrow for my Sins.
I ask You to give me the Spirit of True Humility and Meekness, that I may Accept with Peace, and even with Joy, all the
Contempt, Ingratitude and Ill-treatment I may receive. At the same time, I also ask You to give me Perfect Charity, which shall make me wish well to
those who have done Evil to me.
Give me Love for the Virtue of Mortification, by which I may Chastise my Rebellious Senses and oppose my Self-Love. Give me a
Great Confidence in the Passion of Jesus Christ and in the Intercession of Mary Immaculate. Give me a Great Love for the Blessed Sacrament, and a
Tender Devotion and Love to Your Holy Mother. Give me, above all, Holy Perseverance, and the Grace always to Pray for it, especially in Time-of
Temptation, and at the Hour-of Death.
Finally, I recommend to You the Holy Souls of Purgatory, my Relatives and Benefactors, and in a special manner I recommend to
You all those who Hate me or who have in any way Offended me; I Beg You to Render them Good, for the Evil they have done or may wish to do me. Grant
that, by Your Goodness, I may come One Day to sing Your Mercies in Heaven; for my Hope is in the Merits of Your Blood and in the Patronage of Mary.
Mary, Mother of God, 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 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.
Many Miracles have been attributed to this Daily Prayer.
Make this Prayer known everywhere . . .