Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

On the importance of continually advancing in the spiritual life

 

Here is the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church:

 

On the Road to God, not to advance is to fall back.

 

Lectures on St. John’s Gospel, ch.4, #690.

 

 

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

During this month of the Holy Rosary, it is very consoling to remember the following:

Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.

The Seventh Promise of the 15 Promises to those who pray the Rosary, From Saint Dominic and Blessed Alan De La Roche

Even though it seems that there are no uncompromising priests available to us in most places, we must remember that if we are faithful to the recitation of the Holy Rosary and don’t compromise in any way, Our Lady will take good care of us in this life and at our death.

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

The Our Father contains all the duties we owe to God, the acts of all the virtues, and the petitions for all our spiritual and corporal needs.  …

Saint Augustine says that whenever we say the Our Father devoutly, our venial sins are forgiven.

 The Secret of the Rosary, St. Louis De Montfort, 12th Rose.

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

Temptations, though troublesome and severe, are often useful to a man, for in them he is humbled, purified, and instructed.  The saints all passed through many temptations and trials to profit by them, whereas those who could not resist became reprobate and fell away.

My Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, Book 1, ch.13.                                                                      

 

Catholic Candle note: The quote below from Pope Gregory XVI is a good reminder that we must fight the pernicious error of religious liberty for error.  Here is an article showing that Vatican II’s teaching of religious liberty contradicted the continual and infallible teaching of the Catholic Church: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/faith/religious-liberty-vatican-ii.html

 

Here is an article about the SSPX’s weak and false position regarding religious liberty: https://catholiccandle.neocities.org/priests/fellay-pozzo-religious-liberty.html

 

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

Words of Pope Gregory XVI (1765-1846)

condemning the insanity of religious liberty

 

From this poisoned source of indifferentism springs that false and absurd maxim, better termed the insanity [deliramentum] that liberty of conscience must be obtained and guaranteed for everyone.  This is the most contagious of errors, which prepares the way for that absolute and totally unrestrained liberty of opinions which, for the ruin of Church and State, is spreading everywhere….  Here we must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor.  We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets and other writings….  Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth….  Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored and even drunk, because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again?

 

Pope Gregory XVI Encyclical Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832, ¶¶ 14-15.

 

 

Catholic Candle note: Catholic Candle normally examines particular issues thoroughly, at length, using the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas and the other Doctors of the Church.  By contrast, our feature CC in brief, gives an extremely short answer to a reader’s question.  We invite readers to submit their own questions.

 

CC in brief

 

The Existence of Time in the Afterlife

 

Q.        While sanctifying the Sunday at home, I read in a sermon recently that stated:

 

“Time is a blessing which we enjoy only in this life; it is not enjoyed in the next; it is not found in heaven nor in hell.”

 

Is this true that there is no time in heaven or in hell?

 

 

A.        There is time in heaven and in hell.

 

Anywhere that there are bodies which move, there is time.  In fact, time is the measure of the motion of a body.  When a body moves, there is a “before” and an “after” of time, with the movement continuing between this beginning and its ending.  By contrast, angels are not, properly speaking, in time because they do not have bodies.

In heaven

 

We hold that it will be possible for the blessed to move their bodies in heaven.  We hold that they will be able to smile, to sing, and to move from place-to-place.  In fact, they will have the gift of agility in their glorified bodies.  This will make their movement effortless and extremely fast.  We reject the idea that the bodies of the blessed will be frozen in perpetual immobility.  Because the blessed will move their bodies, there will a “before” and an “after” to these movements and there will be time in heaven.

 

Further, we hold that it will be possible, e.g., for Our Lord and the Blessed Mother to turn their heads and to smile upon the saints. 

 

Because of all such movements, there will certainly be time in heaven.

 


In limbo

The limbo of the babies is a part of hell (but is not a part of the hell of the damned).  We hold that limbo is a place of natural happiness.  We hold that the resurrection of the bodies at the end of the world will include the bodies of those in limbo.  We hold that those persons in limbo will be able to move their bodies. 

 

Perhaps those in limbo will stroll in beautiful surroundings.  Perhaps they will sing or talk together.  Any such activities (which are part of living in natural happiness) will involve their bodies and will require movement and, thus, time.

 

 

In the hell of the damned

 

It would seem that the damned in hell will not be able to do any activities which will give them relief or enjoyment.  So, in that regard, they might be fixed in immoveable pain and misery. 

 

However, there are some bodily activities that might occur in hell.  Perhaps the damned will torture each other, or scream at each other, or shout curses and words of hatred at each other. 

 

 

So, is there time in heaven and hell?

 

Thus, we hold that there is unending time in heaven, in the limbo of the babies, and in the hell of the damned. 

 

 

Where is there eternity?

 

In fact, one could ask whether there is any eternity in hell.  Loosely speaking, never-ending time is sometimes called eternity. Since the time in hell is literally unending, we could loosely call it “eternal” in this way. 

 

Further, we talk about an unpleasant experience being eternal.  For example, if the dentist was drilling my tooth for a long time, we might say, as a manner of expression, that “I sat in the dentist’s chair for an eternity.”

 

But strictly speaking, it seems that eternity belongs most properly only to heaven, and not to hell.  Whereas time is similar to a point moving along a line, and for which there is a “before” and an “after”, by contrast, eternity is an ever-present “now” which is like a point that does not move. 

 

Thus, properly speaking, God is in eternity.  He never moves in any way.  He thinks only one thought and has only one act of love without end.

 

The blessed in heaven are also, properly speaking, in eternity not as they smile at Our Lord (or whatever other acts they do which involve their bodies), but rather as they are immersed in the greatest happiness of heaven, which is the Beatific Vision. 

 

In this vision, their minds will see God in His essence, without any movement.  As the blessed see God, their minds will not go from “point to point” in the manner in which we think on this earth.  Their minds will see a single vision of God’s essence without movement or weariness, without end.

 

Thus, in summary, God, the angels, and the saints are in eternity, properly speaking in the Beatific Vision.  The blessed in heaven are also in unending time, along with all humans in limbo and in hell.

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

If you say that you cannot suffer much, how will you endure the fire of purgatory?  Of two evils, the lesser is always to be chosen.  Therefore, in order that you may escape the everlasting punishments to come, try to bear present evils patiently for the sake of God.

 

Imitation of Christ, Thomas à Kempis, Book 3, Chapter 12.

Let us Detach Ourselves from the World and Focus on our Eternal Goal

One key element of the work of salvation is to rid ourselves of a false notion of self-importance and instead to foster a true self-forgetfulness and a focus on the things of God.  Here is a poetic way in which Professor Smith observed the importance of this truth in a speech at the University of Chicago, in 1902:

We proud men pompously compete for nameless graves while some starveling of fate forgets his way into Immortality.

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

Let us be fearless in defending the truth!  Here is how St. Thomas Aquinas, greatest Doctor of the Catholic Church, explains this zeal we should have, quoting Alcuin, Father of the Church:

 

Zeal, in the good sense of the word, is a certain fervor of soul, by which we set aside all human fear, for the sake of defending the Truth.

 

Catena Aurea on St. John’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, quoting Alcuin, ch.2, §4.

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

There are no better means of distinguishing the chaff from the wheat in the Church of God than the suffering of contradictions, trials, and contempt.  He who stands firm through these is the grain.  He who recoils from them is the chaff.  The further he recoils, that is, the more upset and arrogant he becomes, the more worthless he is.

 

Words of St. Augustine taken from the Spiritual Diary, Daughters of St. Paul Press, Boston, © 1962, page 86.

 

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

In these apostate times, we need words such as the following to encourage us and remind us that God intends that the crosses He sends us will make us better:

 

Let us not revenge ourselves for these things which we suffer.  But esteeming these very punishments to be less than our sins deserve, let us believe that these scourges of the Lord, with which, like servants, we are chastised, have happened for our amendment, and not for our destruction.

 

Book of Judith, 8:26,27

 

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

Reminder during this month of the Holy Rosary

I know no surer way of discovering whether a person belongs to God than by finding out if he loves the Hail Mary and the Rosary.  …  When the Hail Mary is well said, that is, with attention, devotion and humility, it is, according to the saints, the enemy of Satan, putting him to flight; it is the hammer that crushes him, a source of holiness for souls, a joy to the angels and a sweet melody for the devout.  It is the Canticle of the New Testament, a delight for Mary and glory for the most Blessed Trinity.  

The Hail Mary is dew falling from heaven to make the soul fruitful.  It is a pure kiss of love we give to Mary.  It is a crimson rose, a precious pearl that we offer to her.  It is a cup of ambrosia, a divine nectar that we offer her.

Quoted from St. Louis de Montfort, True Devotion to Mary, ¶¶ 251 & 253.

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

St. Alphonsus de Liguori, Doctor of the Church:

He who advances most in meditation makes the greatest progress in perfection.  In mental prayer the soul is filled with holy thoughts, with holy affections, desires, and holy resolutions, and with love for God.  There man sacrifices his passions, his appetites, his earthly attachments, and all the interests of self-love.

The Great Means of Salvation and of Perfection, Part II, Section 1, #II, in a section called: Mental Prayer is Indispensable in Order to Attain Perfection.

 

 

 

Words to Live by – from Catholic Tradition

 

Let us rejoice in the sufferings of our present time,

in order that Christ will reign in us!

 

St. Augustine, the Great Doctor of Grace, gives us these words of comfort, that our tribulations are worthwhile:

 

Jesus reigns in us through the adversities we suffer.

 

Catena Aurea on St. Luke’s Gospel, St. Thomas Aquinas, quoting St. Augustine, Ch.23, §4.