Month: June 2016

INCREDIBLE SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATIONS IN LIMPIAS, SPAIN

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

The Passion of Jesus Christ rules the history of the world says the great Father Faber, and as if to put an exclamation point on this statement Jesus allowed incredible manifestations of his salvific passion to occur in the Church of Saint Peter in Limpias, Spain from 1914 through 1921.

The six foot crucifix which hangs in the Church of Saint Peter in Limpias, Spain (see image above) is, according to Joann Carroll Cruz, “a meditation on the sufferings of Our Lord and is thought to portray [Jesus] Crucified in his final moments of his agony.” Cruz adds that the “face of Our Lord is of particular beauty, with its eyes of china looking toward Heaven….” More than 8000 people, according to Cruz, have witnessed – and testified to –  supernatural phenomena associated with the facial expressions and head movements of Jesus on this beautiful crucifix. In this note, I will highlight some of the compelling testimonies of some very prominent and reliable witnesses. Given the cumulative power of so many eye-witness testimonies concerning the miraculous nature of this crucifix it seems impossible to deny the credibility of these supernatural manifestations of Jesus’ Passion.

Here is a bird’s eye view of some of the very compelling testimonies:

August/1914: While fixing an electric light over the high altar in the church, Don Antonio Lopes, a monk of the Pauline Fathers, gazed at the crucifix and noticed “with astonishment that Our Lord’s eyes were gradually closing, and for five minutes I saw them quite closed” (this is the first of 8000 testimonies regarding witnessed movements of Jesus’ face and head on the Limpias crucifix).

April/2019: A group of nuns known as the Daughters of the Cross saw both the eyes and lips of the crucifix move.

May 5, 1919: Dr. Adolfo Arenaza publishes his testimony in the secular press stating that while looking through his field glasses he saw the movement of the eyes four times. He states: “Does Our Lord really move his eyes…I am of the opinion that he really does move them, for I have seen it myself.”

August 4, 1919: Rev. Valentin Incio of Gijon visits Limpias and and wrote the following pertaining to his observation of the miraculous crucifix:

“At first our Lord seemed to be alive; His head then preserved its customary position…but His eyes were full of life and looked about in different directions….Now came the most touching moment of all. Jesus looked at all of us, but so gently and kindly, so expressively, so lovingly and divinely, that we fell on our knees and wept and adored Christ.”

September 11, 1919: Father Antonio de Torrelavega, a Capuchin monk, “sees blood streaming from the left corner of Our Lord’s mouth.” The next day he

“observed anew, only still more frequently, the movement of the eyes and…blood flowing down from the corner of the mouth. Several times He looked at me. Many other people who were kneeling round me also observed this….Now I verify it; there is no doubt the Santo Christo [crucifix] moves his eyes.”

September 15, 1919: “The Coadjutor of St. Nicholas Church in Valencia, D. Paulino Girbes, relates in his statement…that he was in the company of two Bishops and 18 priests when they knelt before the crucifix.” He states:

“We all saw the face of the Santo Cristo become sadder, paler….The eyes gave a gentle glance now at the Bishops and then in the direction of the sacristy. The features at the same time took on the expression of a man who is in his death-struggle. This lasted a long time. I could not resrain my tears and began to weep….”

There are so many other compelling testimonies of highly credible and distinguished witnesses that I don’t have time to type them all into this note! Many more detailed accounts are in Joann Carroll Cruz’ book, Miraculous Images of Our Lord. Moreover, there is a 200 plus page book from 1923, The Wonderful Crucifix of Limpias, available online, which provides numerous accounts “of the extraordinary manifestations of the crucifix at Limpias.”

CONCLUSION: The credible evidence supporting the supernatural phenomena associated with the crucifix at Limpias is simply overwhelming. Of the 8000 signed testimonies regarding this amazing phenomenon, 2500 are accompanied with legal affidavits. But what is the message of Limpias? Is it not that God so loved us that He sent his only son to give his life for our salvation? But what if we fail to honor our Lord’s Passion, or even worse if we lack gratitude for His saving death? Limpias is a powerful reminder that the Lord’s Passion is real, tremendously real, and made present in every Mass said throughout the world each day! The miraculous manifestations at Limpias are pretty amazing, but the Mass of Calvary is simply of infinite value.

“The Passion rules the history of the world. Thus it is also the secret of all biographies of individual souls. All their ruin comes from their disloyalty to the Passion. All their holiness in time, and their glory in eternity, are the consequences of their loyalty to the Passion. Jesus Christ and Him Crucified – this is the object of our present contemplation. As we grow older we set a greater price on fidelity; and where is there such faithfulness [and such indisputable proof of God’s love for you] as in the Cross? Devotion to the Passion is at once the surest sign of Predestination, and the shortest road to heaven. Happy are they whom the cruelty and treachery of life have driven to the Cross” (F.W. Faber)

Thomas L. Mulcahy, J.D.

P.S. In the following link is a detailed video of the supernatural crucifix:

Santo Christo de Limpias – YouTube

References: My information for this note comes from Joann Carroll Cruz’ book, Miraculous Images of Our Lord (TAN).

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HOW TO MEDITATE AND DRAW CLOSER TO GOD

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“Knowing how much is at stake, the devil wants at all costs to keep us from being faithful to mental prayer.” (Father Jacques Philippe)

“Mary treasured all these things [about Jesus], pondering them in her heart.” (Luke 2:19)

The great Catholic spiritual writers agree that regular meditation is a crucial component of the spiritual life and of growth in holiness. Meditation is important because it helps us focus with intensity and depth on what is of utmost importance to our lives – the reign of Jesus Christ in our hearts. The focal point for our meditations should, in fact, be the life of Jesus Christ – he who came into the world to enlighten all men (see John 1:9 ). Admittedly, some of the books and manuals on meditation propose long and complex methods of meditation that may be more advisable for professional religious than busy lay men and women. Here is a very simple way to meditate which I am formulating from good books I have read.

Begin your meditation by placing yourself mentally – recollected – in the presence of God and ask the Blessed Virgin Mary to guide you through the meditation and make it profitable for you. The heart of the meditation will then be:

1. Read over slowly and carefully and with deep attention the written material (text) you have chosen to meditate on (for example: the Parable of the Prodigal Son or a few paragraphs from The Imitation of Christ or any suitable, doctrinally sound book).

2. When the meditation strikes at your heart, and you are moved, make acts of love, praise and thanksgiving to God. These “acts” are the beginning of prayer. The ultimate purpose of the meditation is to produce these acts of affection – to ignite the flame of love in our hearts for God and His truths, etc.

3. Full of love for God, enter into conversation with Him in a deeply personal manner. Converse with God. Talk to Him. Share your heart with Him. Listen. Rest in Him. Saint Teresa of Avila is very adamant that this conversing with the Lord through meditation is the fuel which propels the spiritual life to much greater growth! If helpful to your conversation, you can use your imagination to enter into a Bible scene to talk to Jesus or Mary (for example, kneeling before the Lord during his Agony in the Garden and talking to him and consoling him, and letting him console you).

When the meditation is over, you can then thank the Lord for the graces and love you have received through the meditation, and perhaps make a line or verse from the meditation into your “go-to” prayer for the day! Finally, to conclude the meditation, you might consider making a resolution. Thus, if your meditation was on the Holy Eucharist, you might make a resolution to spend more time in preparing to receive that sacrament, or, if your meditation was on the power of forgiveness, you might make a resolution to truly forgive someone who has hurt or offended you.

That’s it! The length of the meditation depends upon the amount of time you have and your preference. However, even a fifteen minute meditation can be quite profitable. With practice you will develop your own style and method of meditating which need only incorporate acts of worship towards God and personal conversation with Him. The point to remember is that the written text of the meditation (which constitutes a profound reflection on a matter pertaining to the faith)  serves as a means or as a platform to lift your heart to praise God and to enter into intimate conversation with Him.

PERSONAL NOTE: I normally meditate in my car. I get up early in the morning when the world is quiet, drive to a nearby bagel establishment, buy a raisin bagel and a large coffee, and then go to my special place in the parking lot. I then eat my bagel, grab my current book on the back seat, say a short preparatory prayer placing myself in the presence of God, and then begin reading my book slowly and with careful attention to what is being said. I occasionally reach for my coffee, and frankly the caffeine enhances concentration! When I get to the point where the written material stokes the fire in my heart (so to speak), I then go to God in affective praise and silent mental prayer. If I’m experiencing dryness in my meditation, I may turn on a Christian music CD to provide an emotional lift. Many of the books I reference in these notes have been the starting point for my meditations, and the notes which I write.

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Thomas L. Mulcahy, M.A.

P.S. Whatever the goal of other types of meditation may be, the goal of Christian meditation is to increase our closeness (union) to God through love.

References: I am relying completely on four excellent books by four priests. The key point from these books is that meditation should lead to acts of love and worship to our God, and also to deep and intimate conversation with Him (telling Him, as well, our needs and difficulties). Here are the books:

1. Conversation with Christ by Thomas Rohrbach
2. Time for God by Jacques Phillippe
3. Progress through Mental Prayer by Edward Leen
4. Difficulties in Mental Prayer by Eugene Boylan

Two books I recommend for meditation: The Creator and the Creature by F.W. Faber and Consoling the Heart of Jesus by Father Michael E. Gaitley (but that’s me and other solid Catholic authors may appeal to you).

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THE JESUS METHOD OF AFFIRMATION

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Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”  “No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11)

Jesus led an affirmed life. This is an important point: for to affirm others Jesus had to be affirmed himself. Thus we see that after Jesus’ baptism the Father in Heaven first calls Jesus “my beloved” and then adds my “son, in whom I am well pleased” (see Matt: 3:17). Jesus’ mission of affirming others came from the fact that he was first of all an affirmed person. Since Mary was a human being fully alive in the Holy Spirit it was impossible for Jesus not to be touched by her affirming presence.

We see throughout the Gospels the tremendous and extraordinary power Jesus possessed to affirm others! People in the presence of the most dire circumstances suddenly find their lives transformed by the dynamic, affirming presence of Jesus. Whether it be the woman at the well, Zacchaeus (the dishonest tax collector), the woman caught in adultery, the man who came to Jesus through an opening in the roof, or the immoral woman who dried Jesus’ feet with her hair, Jesus is authentically open to them, he makes time for them, he affirms and does not condemn them, and ultimately he liberates them from the tyranny of sin. Thus, as one example, he says to the woman caught in adultery: “Has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more” (John 8:10-11). And Zacchaeus comes away from his encounter with Jesus vowing to make restitution to all those he has defrauded (Luke 19:8).

We thus see that Jesus, who is the supreme exemplar of authentic Christian affirmation, had a remarkable way of being open to others and giving to them the gift of discovering their own inner goodness and of receiving themselves as children of God. Jesus’ method of affirming others involves a liberation from sin rather than an acceptance of sin. Jesus does not condone sin – rather he frees, he heals, he liberates. Authentic affirmation, therefore, does not, as Catholic psychiatrist C.W. Baars points out, consist in “lowering moral standards and precepts with a mistaken notion that this will help people to become happier….” Thus, to try to affirm someone by telling them that pornography is OK, or that illicit sexuality is OK, or that vulgar language is OK, contradicts the Jesus method of affirmation. Jesus never, ever compromises the moral law to affirm someone.

God the Father in Heaven affirmed Jesus once again during Jesus’ Transfiguration, saying, “This is my son, My Chosen one, listen to him” (Luke 9:35).  Jesus is our model. He shows us the authentic Christian method of affirmation. Let us listen to him!

Tom Mulcahy, M.A.

Ref. I am relying almost exclusively on a beautiful little book entitled, Born Only Once: The Miracle of Affirmation, by Dr. Conrad W. Baars. Everything in this note flows from Dr. Baars’ book, and I have merely presented some of his ideas in a condensed manner.

Image: Christ and the Adulterous Woman, 1881, by Rodolpho Bernardelli (Public Domain, U.S.A.)

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HEALING BAD MEMORIES

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                        “For we are saved by hope” (Romans 8:24)

Many people suffer ongoing emotional pain due to lingering bad memories that sometimes reach back even into childhood. We are looking here at the teaching of Saint John of the Cross regarding the purification of memory. Saint John of the Cross, a Doctor of the Church, is the Church’s greatest mystical theologian. Although he lived in the sixteenth century, this Saint is well known for his acute psychological insights into the human condition.

Saint John of the Cross tells us that harmful memories are gradually purified and healed by the theological virtue of hope (a virtue infused into our soul at baptism). It is to be kept in mind that the exercise of the God-directed theological virtues of faith, hope and love constitutes the highest expression of human mental activity because these three supernatural virtues focus our attention on the source of all goodness and healing: God. It is thus that the exercise of the theological virtue of hope will be of profound value in healing harmful memories that depreciate our lives, and can even cause severe emotional suffering.

Saint John of the Cross’ approach to the healing of memory involves the decision to let go of and forget the painful memory. Clearly by now you’ve replayed that harmful memory a thousand times in your head. Assuming the memory has not been repressed in a harmful manner, but rather that there has been time to bring the memory to the fore through productive therapy and dialogue, there comes a time then when we should allow the theological virtue of hope to gradually heal and replace (or greatly diminish) the memory. Consider a broken bone: there is a time for casting and physical therapy, but hopefully the bone will heal and the memory of the painful fracture will diminish. Saint John of the Cross suggests that the balm of grace-filled hope will accomplish this healing for your traumatic memory. As one Carmelite writer states: The psychotherapist, by relieving disturbing emotions attached to memories of earlier experiences, prepares the person indirectly to advance in prayer….” It is primarily through prayer that we exercise the virtue of hope in relation to the healing of memory.

This road to the “inner reformation” of memory begins with the stark realization that the constant re-living of painful memories is an obstacle to hope and happiness. Saint John of the Cross states that the application of the virtue of hope “liberates us from a lot of sorrow, affliction and sadness” which he calls an “exceptional blessing” (AMC, III, 4). It is useful to consider, in this regard, that in modern cognitive psychology, known as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), the identification and elimination of defective thinking patterns is considered essentially curative (see Muto, p.130).

A great scholar of Saint John of the Cross impresses upon us the following considerations regarding memory and hope:

“Proneness to forget God causes our memory to be as if immersed in time, whose relation to eternity, to the benefits and promises of God, it no longer sees. This defect inclines our memory to see all things horizontally on the line of time that flees, of which the present alone is real, between the past that is gone and the future that is not yet. Forgetfulness of God prevents us from seeing that the present moment is also on a vertical line which attaches it to the single instant of immobile eternity, and that there is a divine manner of living the present moment in order that by merit it may enter into eternity. Whereas forgetfulness of God leaves us in this banal and horizontal view of things on the line of time which passes, the contemplation of God is like a vertical view of things which pass and of their bond with God who does not pass. To be immersed in time, is to forget the value of time, that is to say, its relation to eternity. By what virtue must this great defect of forgetfulness of God be cured? St. John of the Cross (18) answers that the memory which forgets God must be healed by the hope of eternal beatitude….” (Father Garrigou-LaGrange, The Three Ages of the Interior Life)

Our learning to hope in God is what purifies and heals bad memories. The more we are able to focus our prayerful attention on God in hope, the more we will gradually diminish the painful memories which try to tyrannize our minds. The more we fill the mind with God in a purer form of prayer – devoid of memories and images – the more we advance the purification of the memory. Saint John of the Cross gives us this advice:

“What we have to do, then, in order to live in the simple and perfect hope of God, whenever these forms, knowledge, and distinct images occur [including harmful memories], is not to fix our minds upon them but to turn immediately to God, emptying the memory of all such matters, in loving affection, without regarding or considering them more than suffices to enable us to understand and perform our obligations, if they have any reference thereto.”
(The Ascent of Mount Carmel, Bk. III, chap. 14)

Father Garrigou-LaGrange adds:

“Here we have truly the active purification of the memory which is too preoccupied with useless or dangerous memories. We should put this teaching into practice that our memory may no longer be, so to speak, immersed in ephemeral things, that it may no longer see them only on the horizontal line of fleeting time, but on the vertical line which attaches them to the single instant of immobile eternity.Thus, little by little the soul rises often to the thought of God.”

A PRACTICAL METHOD TO IMPLEMENT THIS ADVICE UTILIZING EUCHARISTIC ADORATION:

1. You see that you are being plagued by a bad memory which is causing you emotional turmoil and depreciative living.

2. You are going to let go of this memory, and its hold on you, by placing yourself directly in the infallible presence of Jesus Christ in Eucharistic Adoration for one hour (this adoration is an eminent use of the theological virtues of faith, hope and love).

Jesus im Brotsakrament, über Ihm, der Überlieferung nach, ein Stück seines Kreuzes im Reliquiar.

3. It may be beneficial at the beginning of adoration to let your emotions run free for a few minutes through conversation with Jesus.

4. For the remainder of adoration you are going to place yourself in the presence of Jesus and simply let Him heal you. Thus, you will intentionally vacate your mind of the harmful memory and simply look lovingly in complete hope at Jesus. You are simply going to fix your mind and attention on Jesus, letting Him be present to you, sort of as if you were on the beach, forgetting yourself and everything else in the brilliant rays of the sun. You are simply going to let the healing rays of Jesus’ love fall gently upon you. At the end of adoration it would be appropriate to make a prayer of thanksgiving to Jesus for the graces received. 

5. Gradually, over time, as Eucharistic adoration becomes part of your life, Jesus will heal the harmful memory.

“I abandoned and forgot myself/ Laying my face on my Beloved”    (Saint John of the Cross)

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Thomas L. Mulcahy, M.A.

P.S. Nothing in this theological note is meant to be a substitute for good and necessary medical and professional care.

References: I am relying especially on Chapter 7 of Dr. Susan Muto’s book, John of the Cross for Today: The Ascent (Ave Maria Press), which is recommended for further detail regarding this topic of the purification of memory. Saint John of the Cross discusses in detail purification of memory in Book Three, Chapters 1 to 15 of The Ascent of Mt. Carmel (AMC). Dr. Ralph Martin has a CD on  Purification of the Memory. Keep in mind that St. John of  the Cross is talking about a complete purification – a complete overhaul – of memory, whereas in this note I have just addressed the specific area of harmful memories resulting from traumatic experiences. On the theological virtue of hope, see the Catechism of the Catholic Church, nos. 1817 – 1821. The closer we get to God, the more we walk by faith, hope and love. “How good it is,” says Pope Francis in The Joy of the Gospel, “to stand before a crucifix, or on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in his presence!”(#264).

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I SAW THE TREE WITH THE LIGHTS IN IT!

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“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3)

Have you seen the tree with the lights in it?

Father Irala laments that many of us fail to have “clear sensations” of the beauty of the external world. “Only rarely,” he says, “do we come out into the exterior world, beautiful and joyful as it was created by God.” We are preoccupied, worried, and caught up in our own subjective world. Some people even find it difficult to put down their cell phones as they walk along a beautiful nature trail.

The great Jewish philosopher Martin Buber tells this tale: “Rabbi Mendel once boasted to his teacher Rabbi Elimelekh that evenings he saw the angel who rolls away the light before the darkness, and mornings the angel who rolls away the darkness before the light. ‘Yes,’ said Rabbi Elimelekh, ‘in my youth I saw that too. Later on you don’t see these things anymore.'”

Annie Dillard in Pilgrim at Tinker Creek  states that “there is another kind of seeing that involves a letting go.” She says, “When I walk without a camera, my own shutter opens , and the moment’s light prints on my own silver gut. When I see this second way I am above all an unscrupulous observer.” Father Dubay adds: “The personal inability to perceive truth and beauty is related…to a lack of wonder….It is troubling that in a universe replete with mind-boggling fascinations masses of people live dull and drab lives.” 

Dillard relates in her book that “the secret of seeing is…the pearl of great price.” For “the newly sighted,” she says, vision is pure sensation unencumbered by meaning.” Dillard mentions a girl who, born blind, underwent surgery which restored her sight. “When her doctor took her bandages off and led her into the garden, the girl who was no longer blind saw ‘the tree with the lights in it.'” Dillard’s quest was to recover this pure sensation of sight so that she too could see the tree with the lights in it.

We can relearn to receive the true “sensations” of nature’s beauty. Here are instructions given by Father Irala to improve our receptive power in the areas of sight and sound.

Sight: “For your re-education you should apply your sense of sight for about ten or twenty seconds to a landscape, an object, a detail. Keep a tranquil or almost passive attention. Take your time. Consider the object before you and no other. Pay no attention to any other idea. Let the object enter within you as it is in itself, without any special effort. Look at it the way a young child does. [Remain] loose and relaxed.”

Hearing: “Apply your hearing to a near or distant noise. Let yourself be penetrated by the sounds, as above, naturally, without mental discussion of the fact or its cause. Be a mere receiver of sound and perceive it with pleasure and relaxation.”

Dillard learned how to see like the young girl who, through her doctor, received the gift of sight. Dillard relates the following: “One day I was walking along Tinker Creek thinking of nothing at all and I saw the tree with the lights in it. I saw the backyard cedar where the mourning doves roost charged and transfigured, each cell buzzing with flame. I stood on the grass with the lights in it, grass that was wholly fire, utterly focused and utterly dreamed. It was less like seeing than like being for the first time seen, knocked breathless by a powerful glance. The flood of fire abated, but I’m still spending the power.”

The great Catholic philosopher, Jacques Maritain, states: “The part played by the senses in the perception of beauty is even rendered enormous in us, and well nigh-indispensable…only sense knowledge possesses perfectly in man the intuitiveness required for the perception of the beautiful.” “At first,” says Father Irala, “it is not so easy to practice these fully conscious sensations with no attention at all paid to anything else. So, in your first attempts, you might find yourself thinking about the process itself, or the cause, effect, or some circumstances, instead of what you perceive. But in a few days, after a series of good tries, you will succeed in separating the pure sensation from accessory mental processes. And then you will find joy or rest in the sensation itself.”

Commenting on the healing power of nature, Saint Pope John Paul II made the following observation: “The aesthetic value of creation cannot be overlooked. Our very contact with nature has a deep restorative power; contemplation of its magnificence imparts peace and serenity. The Bible speaks again and again of the goodness and beauty of creation, which is called to glorify God.”  (John Paul II, 1990 World Day of Peace Message, no. 14.)

Have you seen the tree with the lights in it? Learning to slow down and gather in the beauty of nature with child-like simplicity will be of immense value to all of us.

Thomas L. Mulcahy, M.A.

Ref. Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard; Achieving Peace of Heart by Father N. Irala; and The Evidential Power of Beauty by Father Thomas Dubay.

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IN HEAVEN YOU WILL NOT BE FREE; YOU WILL BE SUPER-FREE

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” [In Heaven] our will will be invincibly ravished by the attraction of God seen face to face.

I remember walking along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, ravished by the beauty of its awe-inspiring scenery. Every few steps, looking out on the beauty of the landscape, I would say, “Unbelievable,” or “Amazing,” and then with a few more steps along the bend in the trail, with a new, beautiful view opening up, I would say, “even more amazing,” or words to that effect. This is what Heaven will be like – although infinitely more beautiful – as we will simply be ravished by God’s supernal Beauty and Goodness forevermore, with each gaze on His face seemingly more awesome and amazing than the previous one. But perhaps it would be best if someone with the genius, wisdom and mystical knowledge of  Saint Thomas Aquinas explained to us what Heaven will be like, although in the quote which follows I am actually relying on St. Thomas’ Dominican successor, Father Garrigou-LaGrange, who is in turn relying on Saint Thomas:

“St. Thomas admits also that in heaven our beatitude will consist essentially in the beatific vision, in the intellectual and immediate vision of the divine essence, for it is above all by this immediate vision that we shall take possession of God for eternity. We shall plunge the gaze of our intellect into the depths of His inner life seen directly. God will thus give Himself immediately to us, and we shall give ourselves to Him. We shall possess Him and He will possess us, because we shall know Him as He knows Himself and as He knows us. Beatific love will be in us a consequence of this immediate vision of the divine essence; it will even be a necessary consequence, for the beatific love of God will no longer be free, but superfree, above liberty. Our will will be invincibly ravished by the attraction of God seen face to face. We shall see His infinite goodness and beauty so clearly that we shall be unable not to love Him; we shall even be unable to find any pretext of momentarily interrupting this act of superfree love, which will no longer be measured by time, but by participated eternity, by the single instant of the immobile duration of God, the instant that never passes. In heaven the love of God and the joy of possessing Him will necessarily follow the beatific vision, which will thus be the essence of our beatitude.(31) All this is true. It is difficult to affirm more strongly than St. Thomas does the superiority of the intellect over the will in principle and in the perfect life of heaven.”

We need to see that the reward that awaits us in the life to come – in Heaven –  is well worth the trials and tribulations we may have to endure here on planet Earth for a few more decades (or perhaps only a few more years or even months). God has made us to share forever in His Infinite Blessedness! Amazing, but true! Our brother Jesus has paved a path for us to follow, leading to the Father, and it will be well worth it for us to stay the course! “Persevere, my friend, for the reward is Eternal Life.”

Tom Mulcahy

By: Quote by Father Garrigou-Lagrange, Ch 8: “The True Nature of Christian Perfection,” The Three Ages of the Interior Life, Volume I

P.S. Another amazing aspect of Heaven will be the “exulting” splendor of our glorified and risen bodies. On this topic, see The Creator and the Creature, pages 229-231, by F.W. Faber. Mark Mallett has a song with the lyric: “Persevere, my friend, for the reward is Eternal Life.”

Image: Grand Canyon.

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HELL IS THE ETERNAL COMPLETION OF AN ONGOING DECISION TO REJECT GOD

JESUS FORETOLD TWO JUDGMENTS AS HE SAT ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES OPPOSITE THE JERUSALEM TEMPLE

JESUS’ CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE FORETELLS ITS DOOM

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ONE SOUL FOR GOD

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“My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)

Imagine for a moment that you’re in Heaven – safely home in HIS infinite love. You’re in a meadow, the beauty of which is so intense that even your glorified senses seem overwhelmed by the torrents of delight streaming through them. Suddenly, you see walking towards you a person you hardly knew on earth.

As this person comes closer to you, you can see that he is shaking almost relentlessly in what can only be described as a veritable excess of holy joy and profound gratitude. He hugs you – never before have you been hugged like that! You feel as if this person will never let you go. Finally, when he does let go, he says, “Don’t you remember me. You gave me that CD on confession one day at work. I hadn’t been to confession in fifteen years, and I really had no desire to listen to the disk, but one day on the way home from work I listened to it – and my life was changed! I went to confession that same weekend, poured out my heart to the priest, and now I’m here in Heaven, saved, truly saved, forever! How can I ever thank you enough!”

You give this man a hug. Tears start to roll down your face. You can hardly even remember giving this guy the CD. You lift your heart to the Heavenly Father in gratitude and thank Him for the very small part he let you play in the salvation of one of God’s blessed and precious souls.

Who can fathom the value of helping to lead a soul to saving grace? Such an act will echo down the halls of eternity with the sound of sweet joy – a pleasant memory of a good deed that will ring true forever.

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Tom Mulcahy

Inspiration: The tone and content of this note relies heavily on F.W. Faber’s writings;  and James 5:20. Book recommendation: The Creator and the Creature by Fr. Faber.

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