DIVINE GRACE (in English)

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InHocSignoVinces
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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#121 Message par InHocSignoVinces » lun. 15 févr. 2021 16:43

The reward ofheaven for good works is so
great that we cannot form any idea of it.

St. Paul compares life to a race, and the
reward of heaven to the crown that is given
to the victor. We can imagine the joy and
the satisfaction of one who after long months
of training has come out victorious in a contest,
and receives the applause of the crowd.
His heart swells with joy and pride ; he forgets
entirely the fatigue and labor of the
preparation now that they are crowned with
success. In like manner, but in a much
higher degree, shall we feel happy when our
human labors are crowned in heaven; then,
indeed, shall we feel the truth of the words of
St. Paul, "The sufferings of this time are
not worthy to be compared with the glory
to come that shall be revealed in us."
1 That
glory, of which the apostles only saw a
glimpse on Mt. Thabor, which made St. Peter
wish to remain there forever, and exclaim,
" Lord, it is good for us to be here," 2 exceeds
all that man has ever seen or heard or
even been able to think. " 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."
3 St. Stephen,
whilst he was being stoned to death, saw
the heavens open and the Son of man
standing at the right hand of God. The
scene filled him with such happiness that
he did not feel the stones falling upon him.



To be continued...


1 Rom. 8. 18.
2 Matt. 17. 4
3 1 Cor. 2. 9

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#122 Message par InHocSignoVinces » sam. 27 févr. 2021 18:13

Many of the martyrs walked upon red-hot
coals, and the thought of the joys of heaven
made them seem to them to be sweet-smelling
roses. St. Paul was thrice rapt up
into heaven ; whether in the body or out
of the body he knew not,1 but what he saw
there he could never find words to express.
We are often delighted with a beautiful
scene, for instance, the sun rising on a
beautiful spring day. After the dreary winter
spring seems wonderfully lovely to us, as
it buds forth the first flowers, and the birds
that had deserted us during the winter season
are again heard in the fields; then we often
experience a feeling that we would wish it
always to be spring. The earth in all her
beauty is, after all, only the work of the
hand of God. " He commanded and they
were created."
2 How beautiful must be
God who made all these things of beauty!
How we love to be in the company of those
Whom we love, our parents, brothers, and
sisters, our companions at school, our play-
mates ; yet what are they all compared to God
who is most kind and loving ? Heaven which
we are to merit by good works, the fruit of
sanctifying grace, consists in seeing and
possessing God for all eternity. There will
be no tears, no sorrow, no separation, no fear,
no suffering of any kind, but only happiness
and joy and glory forever and ever. " I have
said, you are gods, and all of you the sons of
the Most High."
3 And this glory and happi-
ness we can earn through prayer, fasting, giving of alms,
in a word, through good works !


To be continued...


1 2 Cor. 12.
2 Psalm 32. 9
3 Psalm 81. 6.

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#123 Message par InHocSignoVinces » ven. 05 mars 2021 17:14

How is it that good works have so great a
value that by them we can merit the glory
of heaven and the possession of God Him-
self?
The value does not come from us.
Of ourselves we can do nothing ; the value
comes from the grace of God. " I am the
vine, you the branches. He that abideth
in Me and I in him, the same beareth much
fruit ; for without Me you can do nothing."
1
It is only they who are united to Jesus by
sanctifying grace who bear much fruit ; they
who are not branches of Him, the vine, can
do nothing to merit heaven; they do not
receive life from Him, and are dead. It is
through grace that we are united to Christ,
as the branch is united to the vine ; through
grace we become united to Jesus, as the
members are united to the body. Through
grace we are living branches and living
members of Christ. From Him life flows
into us, as the life-giving sap flows from the
vine into the branches. Jesus is true God
and His works have for this reason an infi-
nite value.
Since then by grace we partake
of His life and act by the strength that
comes from His grace, our works, too,
become most precious, so that by them we
may merit the eternal happiness of heaven.
When we are in the state of grace, we act
as the members of Jesus Christ, and this
gives value to our works, which of themselves
would have no power to merit a reward
in the supernatural order. From this
we see that our principal concern in this life
is to remain united with Jesus by sanctifying
grace, and hence to avoid everything that
might break this bond which unites us to
Him.



To be continued...


1. John 15. 5

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#124 Message par InHocSignoVinces » ven. 12 mars 2021 10:54

Christ Himself wishes nothing more
earnestly than that we remain in His grace.
He prayed before His Passion and death:
" Holy Father, keep them in Thy name,
whom Thou hast given Me ; that they may
be one as We also are. ... I pray not that
Thou shouldst take them out of the world, but
that Thou shouldst keep them from evil. . . .
Sanctify them in truth. . . . And not for
them only do I pray, but for them also who
through their word shall believe in Me ; that
they all may be one, as Thou, Father, in Me,
and I in Thee, that they also may be one
in Us."
1 Not our strength but the grace of
God, which we have and by which we are
united to God, gives value to our works.
"All things are yours" because "You are
Christ's."
2 It is from Christ that we receive
the grace which makes us able to do good
and salutary works. " For you know the
grace of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, that being
rich, He became poor for your sakes, that
through His poverty you might be rich." 3
" God is able to make all grace abound in
you; that ye always, having all sufficiency
in all things, may abound to every good
work."
4 Through Christ we have become
rich in grace, and if we remain in His grace,
we shall be rich in good works, and so
abound in merits for heaven. The first
requisite for the performance of good works,
meritorious of heaven, is, therefore, to be in
the state of grace.


To be continued...


1. John 17. 11-21.
2. 1 Cor. 3. 22.
3. 2 Cor. 8. 9.
4. 2 Cor. 9. 8.

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#125 Message par InHocSignoVinces » jeu. 18 mars 2021 11:16

Besides being in the state of grace, we
must perform our good works with a good
intention. We have seen that the value of
our good works comes from the merits of
Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and hence that we
must be united with Him through sanctify-
ing grace. However, even if we are in the
state of grace, we may perform works, good
in themselves, without any spiritual benefit
to ourselves, if we do not perform them with
the right intention. It is the intention
which God looks upon principally in our
good work.
It is true He also takes into
account the difficulty of the work, the pains
we have taken in performing it, the sacrifices
we have made, and so forth; but without
a good intention all these things are of no
value for heaven.



The Pharisees were ordinarily good people :
they fasted strictly, gave alms, and recited long prayers, but they had
not the right intention ; they did these things
that they might be seen and praised by men.
Did they receive no reward for the good
they did? Yes, they received the reward
they worked for, the praises of men ; but
as regards any further reward in heaven
Our Lord answers, " Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward."
1 They
received what they labored for, and hence
had nothing more to expect. God will
reward in eternity, only those that work for
Him; they that work for themselves or for
the world shall receive no reward in heaven.
They that work for Him are those who
are in the state of grace, and perform good
works, with the intention of pleasing God
and of earning heaven.



1. Matt. 6. 2.


To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#126 Message par InHocSignoVinces » jeu. 25 mars 2021 19:58

If a person performs a good work, be it
ever so great, as, for instance, building a
church, and he only does this to be honored
by men as a great benefactor, he will receive
no reward in heaven for it, because he did
not work for God but for his own reputation.
If, however, in building a church, his principal
intention is good, he wants to build it for
the glory of God and to help save souls, yet,
with this good intention, he also wants to
receive praise and recognition from men
for the good he has done, he will receive
his reward in heaven, but it will not be as
great as it would have been had his intention
been altogether pure and not mixed with
lower motives. That absolute purity of
intention, where we seek nothing but the
glory of God, is very rare among men. We
are human, and human motives will often
creep into our best actions. What we must
strive for is to keep our intentions as pure as
possible, to repress self-love in our actions as
much as we can. The less of the love of
self there is in our actions, the purer our
intention, the more meritorious shall be our
good works.
We see from this that a bad
intention may ruin the best work; an imper-
fect intention may destroy a great part of the
good in a work done for God ; but a good in-
tention may also give great value to a work in
itself insignificant. This we see in the exam-
ple of the widow of whom Our Lord speaks in
the gospel. She gave only a very small piece
of money, yet, because she was poor and gave
the little she had out of the love of God, Our
Lord said that she had given more than all
the others.


To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#127 Message par InHocSignoVinces » sam. 17 avr. 2021 16:50

Prayer, fasting, giving of alms, are in them-
selves good works, but a bad intention can
make them bad, a good intention can make
them better. Eating, drinking, walking, and
the like, are in themselves neither good nor
bad, but the intention can make them so. If
we have no other intention but to satisfy our
hunger or to walk for our health, we do
not merit a supernatural reward ; but if we
receive food and drink with a grateful heart,
say grace before and after meals, walk and
take exercise because God wants us to take
care of our health that we may be better able
to serve Him, then eating, drinking, walking,
etc., become meritorious of heaven because
these things are done for the glory of God.
" Whether you eat or drink or whatsoever
else you do, do all to the glory of God."
1
Things indifferent in themselves, i.e. neither
good nor bad, become good by a good in-
tention. We may thus serve God well even
in doing our daily actions. The story is
told of St. Aloysius that whilst playing some
game with his companions, one of them
asked the others what they would do if
they knew that they had to die within an
hour. Various ones answered that they
would go to the chapel and pray and so pre-
pare for death, but St. Aloysius said, "I would
keep right on playing as I am now."
He
could speak in this manner because he felt
himself to be in the state of grace, and knew
that in playing he was doing the will of God.
By playing at the right time, he was doing
what his superiors wanted him to do, and
hence he was doing what God wished him
to do ; this was serving God the best he
could at the time being. We see from this
that even such things as playing and taking
recreation can be made good works, when
done at the right time and with the right
intention; such things at their proper time
may be just as good as prayer, and at times
even better.


To be continued...


1. 1 Cor. 10. 31.

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#128 Message par InHocSignoVinces » ven. 30 avr. 2021 16:22

The good intention is a means of turning
the most indifferent things into valuable, good
acts. In the Middle Ages men were looking
for some means by which all metals could be
turned into gold ; this they called the philosopher's stone. The good intention is such
a philosopher's stone ; everything that we
touch with it turns into pure gold, yes, into
something more valuable than gold. Inas-
much as God puts into the soul of every
Christian the gift of sanctifying grace, He
gives each one a means by which he may
make his most simple and most insignificant
actions worthy of an eternal reward ; all that
we need to do is to perform them with
the good intention of serving God by them.
" Walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing,
being fruitful in every good work"
1


What is a good intention? The intention
we have in doing something, is described
best by saying that it is what we mean
by an action. Jonathan, the son of Saul,
advised David to hide himself from Saul for a
time because Saul wanted to kill David. He
meant it well with David in this advice ; his
intention was good. Joseph's brothers sold
him to the Ishmaelites in order to get him out
of the way. Did they have a good intention ?
No, their purpose, their intention, was bad.
We have a good intention, when we mean well,
when we have a good purpose. To have a
good intention in all that we do means that in
everything we wish to do the will of God, and
wish to serve Him ; that we wish to do these
things to give honor to God, to make Him
better known and loved by men, and to do
them out of the love of God. God created
all things ; the angels serve Him without ever
contradicting His will ; the sun, moon, and
stars " show forth the glory of God, and the
firmament declareth the work of His hands."
2


To be continued...


1. Col. 1. 10.
2. Psalm 18. 1.

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#129 Message par InHocSignoVinces » dim. 09 mai 2021 17:30

All that we have to do in order to act with a
good intention is to do as the rest of creation
does, to serve God and praise Him the best
we can. All that we have to do is to make
real that which we so often say," Glory be to
the Father and to the Son and to the Holy
Ghost."
We will have that good intention,
if we are satisfied with the position that God
has given us, and try to serve Him in it as
well as we can ; if we say, " I will take the
place in the general order of things, which
God has pointed out for me ; out of obedience
to Him I will fulfil the duties of my state in
life to the best of my powers ; I will bear
patiently all the sufferings that God may
send me."
One who has such intentions has
the good intentions that turn all actions into
pure gold.


To form a good intention we do not need
any long formula of prayer. A few sincere
words, or even a raising of our thoughts to
God, is sufficient. We might say, " O my
God, all for Thee,"
or use some similar words
to indicate that what we do we wish to do
to please God. This we should do especially
in the morning, so that by this good intention
we may sanctify the whole day. Since, how-
ever, we easily forget the good resolutions we
have made in the morning, and by sin often
revoke the good intention formed, it is well to
renew the good intention from time to time
during the day.


To be continued...

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Re: DIVINE GRACE (in English)

#130 Message par InHocSignoVinces » lun. 24 mai 2021 17:31

Grievous sin turns our soul
away from God, and converts it to creatures ;
hence the good intention formed to do all
for the love of God, is also destroyed. It is
therefore not sufficient to form a good inten-
tion once in our life, or at the beginning of
the year, since there is danger that we might
have annulled it by sin. It is advisable to
renew our good intention frequently, espe-
cially in the morning of each day, so that the
day may be sanctified to God. Our work be-
comes easier when we know that what we do
we are doing, not for the perishable goods of
this world, but for eternity ; to work for such
a reward makes work a pleasure. There is a
story told of a poor lay-brother of some order.
This poor old brother was very simple in his
life; he had little knowledge, and was occu-
pied nearly exclusively in mending the clothes
of the monks in the monastery. When he
came to die he was full of joy, and seemed to
have no fear of death whatsoever. He was
asked how it was that he seemed so joyful,
whether he had no fear of the judgment that
follows death. He answered, why should I
fear death? I know that I am going to
heaven, for I have the key of heaven right
here with me. With these words he pulled out
the needle with which he had worked for years,
and said, that at every stitch, he had made the
good intention of working only for the honor
and glory of God. " And is God to let me
go without a reward after I have worked for
Him for so many years ? " These were the
good brother's last words. His hope in the
reward of heaven was certainly well founded,
and no doubt was fulfilled. From this example we can learn that, no matter what our
work may be, we can turn the instruments of
our daily occupation into keys of heaven.


To be continued...

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