Category Archives: Judgement

at home with the Lord

The Second Reading from today’s Mass on the Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time:

2 Corinthians 5:6-10

So we are always of good courage; we know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. We are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body.

Courtesy: EWTN Daily Readings

“At home with the Lord.” This is where we should all hope to be. And St. Paul necessarily reminds us that one day we will “all appear before the judgment seat of Christ,” and receive our just judgment. Many people rarely, if ever, think of this. Or people presume that “all go to Heaven,” for if you go to enough funerals you’ll find that the dead are practically canonized then and there.

With the moral relativism rampant today in the West, and moral objectivity reorienting on to a morally subjective perspective in which society replicates the sin of Adam and Eve (they were promised by Satan that they will be like gods and will determine what is good and what is evil), we need more reminders that there is a Judge, and we aren’t Him.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Visits to the Cemetery

Portions of this post are reblogged from last year; this is an annual post on a fruitful pious devotion for November:

Catholic Culture has an excellent article regarding a very beneficial pious activity that can aid in your own spiritual progression. It also is a good reminder of where we’ll end up someday. (A grave. Morbid, true, but you wouldn’t be here unless you’re more aware than most people that you will die someday.)

Praying for the Dead and Gaining Indulgences During November is something I blog about here annually. It is about the act of visiting a cemetery during the first 8 days of November. Half of the “Graves and Cemeteries” category are reblogs of it and this will probably be the last time I’ll post on it (at least on its own). The article is now a standalone link in the “Afterlife Links” section.

To summarize from the “Catholic Culture” site:Indulgenced Acts for the Poor Souls: A partial indulgence can be obtained by devoutly visiting a cemetery and praying for the departed, even if the prayer is only mental. One can gain a plenary indulgence visiting a cemetery each day between November 1 and November 8. These indulgences are applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory.

A plenary indulgence, again applicable only the Souls in Purgatory, is also granted when the faithful piously visit a church or a public oratory on November 2. In visiting the church or oratory, it is required, that one Our Father and the Creed be recited.

A partial indulgence, applicable only to the Souls in Purgatory, can be obtained when the Eternal Rest  is prayed. This is a good prayer to recite especially during the month of November:

 ‘Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.'”

The article explains the differences between plenary and partial indulgences.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Miracle of the Sun at Fatima

Reblogged from Sober Catholic:

On October 13, 1917 the final Marian Apparition at Fatima, Portugal took place.

I know I’m a few weeks late with this, but upon reflection, I decided to push back writing this until today, the Feast of All Hallow’s Eve (a/k/a “Halloween”). I’ll explain at the end.

Seventy thousand people attended the event, which was supposed to have a miracle promised by the Virgin Mary so that all may believe.

Amongst those present were representatives of the Portuguese media, all socialist and all anti-clerical (theophobes who despised the Catholic Church, professed atheism, and who cooperated in what they hoped would be the eventual destruction of the Church in Portugal. The country had undergone a revolution in 1910 which deposed the Catholic monarch and imposed restrictions on the Church.)

Our Lady appeared as promised, but not alone. St. Joseph also appeared, holding the Christ Child.

Oh, yes: the sun also danced in the sky. Witnessed by all those in attendance, and by more hundreds of miles away, the sun whirled about in the sky, terrifying the witnesses.

It also appeared to hurtle towards the Earth, convincing people that the World was ending (and this part of the Apparition is why I decided to take advantage of my posting tardiness and write this today.)

One note on the sun dancing: for anyone who may be skeptical, one evidence that “something” happened lays in the fact that it had been raining heavily all day long, so much so that the ground throughout the area was drenched. Saturated with water, and combined with the foot traffic of 70,000 attendees, it was a horrific muddy mess.

Until the sun dried it. Nearly instantly. According to all those present, after the Apparition was over and the sun returned to its normal state, the ground was hardened as though it had not seen rain for weeks.

And another note for skeptics: this was all duly reported by the anti-clerical media. The reporters had gone there hoping (or rather assuming) that the whole event would be a non-happening; that the seers would be shamed,the Church embarrassed and once and for all the foolish belivers would have their religious superstitions exposed for what they are – nonsense.

But no, they couldn’t deny the event, their skepticism and non-belief didn’t prevent them from witnessing the Miracle of the Sun, nor acknowledging the effects on the physical environment.

So much for that.

Now, as to why I “reframed the situation” and took advantage of my lateness in posting this.

As the sun plunged to the Earth the believers were understandably freaked out. They thought the world was ending.

The liturgical calendar for the Catholic Church has tomorrow as the Solemnity of All Saints, and after that the Memorial of All Souls. All Saints is for all those in Heaven, officially canonized by the Church or not; and All Souls is for the Faithful Departed who are undergoing purification in Purgatory.

These two days are there (amongst other reasons) to remind us of our ultimate end. Someday we will all die. There is no escaping that.

Maybe this is something for you to consider, before God decides to hurl the Sun at you.

Note: I have been writing on the Marian Apparitions at Fatima, Portugal over on the Sober Catholic blog. See the link above for access to all the posts. (Basically, see the “Fatima” Category of posts on Sober Catholic.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

A Vision of the Judgment Seat of God

In her diary, ‘Divine Mercy in my Soul,” St. Maria Faustina Kowalska writes of when she was given the gift of appearing before the judgement seat of God:

36 Once I was summoned to the judgment [seat] of God. I stood alone before the Lord. Jesus
appeared such as we know Him during His Passion. After a moment, His wounds
disappeared except for five, those in His hands, His feet and His side. Suddenly I saw the
complete condition of my soul as God sees it. I could clearly see all that is displeasing to
God. I did not know that even the smallest transgressions will have to be accounted for.
What a moment! Who can describe it? To stand before the Thrice-Holy God! Jesus asked
me, Who are you? I answered, “I am Your servant, Lord.” You are guilty of one day of
fire in purgatory.
I wanted to throw myself immediately into the flames of
purgatory, but Jesus stopped me and said, Which do you prefer, suffer now for one
day in purgatory or for a short while on earth?
I replied, “Jesus, I want to suffer in
purgatory, and I want to suffer also the greatest pains on earth, even if it were until the end
of the world.” Jesus said, One [of the two] is enough; you will go back to earth, and
there you will suffer much, but not for long; you will accomplish My will and My
desires, and a faithful servant of Mine will help you to do this. Now, rest your head
on My bosom, on My heart, and draw from it strength and power for these
sufferings, because you will find neither relief nor help nor comfort anywhere else.
Know that you will have much, much to suffer, but don’t let this frighten you; I am
with you.

What a gift! To be given this opportunity before one dies to see yourself as God see you. Fully transparent, everything exposed in the light of God’s Justice. An opportunity to see ALL of your sins, flaws, faults, and “character defects,” and still have the time to do something about them.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

St. Faustina’s Vision of Purgatory Part 1

In Paragraph 20 of St. Maria Faustina Kowalska’s diary: “Divine Mercy in My Soul,” the Saint writes of a vision of Purgatory that the Lord permitted her to see:

20…I saw my Guardian Angel, who ordered me to follow him. In a moment I
was in a misty place full of fire in which there was a great crowd of suffering souls. They
were praying fervently, but to no avail, for themselves; only we can come to their aid. The
flames which were burning them did not touch me at all. My Guardian Angel did not leave
me for an instant. I asked these souls what their greatest suffering was. They answered me
in one voice that their greatest torment was longing for God. I saw Our Lady visiting the
souls in Purgatory. The souls call her “The Star of the Sea.” She brings them refreshment. I
wanted to talk with them some more, but my Guardian Angel beckoned me to leave. We
went out of that prison of suffering.[I heard and interior voice] which said, My mercy does
not want this, but justice demands it. Since that time, I am in closer communion with
the suffering souls.

A “longing for God” was their greatest torment. They know Him, as they had already perceived Him when they endured their own individual Particular Judgment. And they can, according to some Catholic concepts of Purgatory, see a glimpse of Him off in their future. However, they are separated from Him by their sins, and the pain of that torments them. They long for Him, they desire Him, but cannot as yet be united to Him in the beautiful vision of Heaven. The pain burns.

Eventually the pain burns the stain of their sins away from their soul, and their longing for God purges them from any remaining attachment to their Earthly desires.

They will eventually be Home.

For more information on St. Faustina, click here:

The Divine Mercy Message from the Marians of the Immaculate Conception

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Remember you are dust…

Today Lent begins, the season of penance leading up to Good Friday, Holy Saturday and Easter.

If you received ashes during Ash Wednesday Mass today, the priest or Deacon had the option of saying the traditional, “Remember thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return.”

This is to remind you of your mortality. You will not be alive for ever, some day you will die. This annual reminder of that may be the only one of your own mortality, apart from the death of a loved one. I think this is important, as it is the only reminder of mortality that you have that isn’t distracted by grief and other emotions. You can meditate on it. Consider that.

Repent, and believe in the Gospel. (That was the other option to be said at the dispensation of ashes.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

Dying, One Day at a Time

Quite often you read or hear about how we Christians are supposed to keep our “eyes on the prize.” In other words, be mindful of death. (In Latin, that is “Memento Mori.” That was to be the name of this blog way back in one of its early incarnations, but the domain name was unavailable)

We should try to keep our minds on our ultimate goal, Heaven, and remember that we will be judged upon our death. Doing this may help us become focused and get our act together concerning whatever it is that God placed us here for.

We all probably fall into the trap of thinking that death is far off. And so the urgency to “become focused and get our act together” may not always be there. There is a way, however, to keep it in mind every day. Borrow a powerful tool from the Twelve Step movements and combine it with the realization that death may come at a moment’s notice.

Any day may be our last. Today, even.

So, taking the “powerful tool from the Twelve Step movements,” which is the philosophy of “One Day at a Time” and merging it with the possibility that each day may be our last, may help us to realize that sense of urgency. We each have a specific mission that God placed us here for, a mission that we are each uniquely qualified to do. We do not have all the time in the world to do it. “One day at a time” helps us cope with that falsely satisfying feeling that we have years ahead of us. We may only have today. This sort of turns around the 12 Step basis of “one day at a time,” which is intended to help people in recovery with the idea that they have to be clean and sober for the rest of their lives, which may be for a long time. That may be hard to fathom, but just focusing on today is do-able. “Just for today, I can stay away from the drinking or the drugging.” So, “Just for today,” is all that I may have left. What can I do?”

So, each day when we wake up, we should think, “Today may be my last day alive. What must I do today in case that were to become true? What can I do to mitigate any accounting I may have to make before the Lord?”

And then we should, to borrow a phrase from Pope Blessed John Paul II, “Arise, and let us be on our way,” and set out to achieve something.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

We should have a daily familiarity with death, a daily desire for death

An excerpt from the Second Reading from the Divine Office for the Feast of All Souls:

by St Ambrose, a book on the death of his brother Satyrus
“Let us die with Christ, to live with Christ”

“We should have a daily familiarity with death, a daily desire for death. By this kind of detachment our soul must learn to free itself from the desires of the body. It must soar above earthly lusts to a place where they cannot come near, to hold it fast. It must take on the likeness of death, to avoid the punishment of death. The law of our fallen nature is at war with the law of our reason and subjects the law of reason to the law of error. What is the remedy? Who will set me free from this body of death? The grace of God, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.”

(Via Universalis

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The King of Judgment

Today is the Solemnity of Christ the King, the last Sunday of the Church year.

An excerpt from the Gospel from today’s Mass reminds us that we will be held accountable for our actions after our death, that it is not so much for us to have received the Lord’s graces, but what have we done with them? Were we merely satisfied to have been counted amongst the Lord’s chosen, or have we gone out and done things in response to receiving His grace?

Matthew 25: 34-40: “Then the king will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.’

Then the righteous will answer him and say, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?

When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?

When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?’

And the king will say to them in reply, ‘Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.’”

(Via USCCB.)

What have you done for the least of the Lord’s brothers (and sisters)?

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"

The Rosary for the Suffering Souls in Purgatory: Agony in the Garden

The meditation of the First Decade of the Rosary, in honor of the Suffering Souls in Purgatory, The Agony in the Garden (For on how to say the Rosary, please scroll down to the bottom.):

A person has died. The soul stands before God and has been judged. It is found wanting, unfit for entry into Heaven, but has not committed offenses against the Lord which condemn it for all eternity.

It joins other souls who have have entered into a “Garden of Gethsemane” within the afterlife. They begin their suffering in Purgatory, but their wills are still too connected to earthly desires. They are fearful of the journey ahead, and it is long and painful as they are separated from God because of their attachment to the World.

They desire God and His will, but their fear hinders their progress towards Him. They resist the journey and wish that it needn’t be made. Agony permeates their being. It is like a fire that burn through to the core of their selves. They try and pray to relieve their suffering, but cannot. Any wish or desire directed to themselves is impossible, their selfish desires were left back on Earth and any self will here in this burning Garden is for nought.

But their love for God spurs them on. Painful as it is, their desire for the Lord begins to burn away the stains of their earthly sins on their souls. The spiritual rags they wear, clothes not fit for the wedding feast of the Lamb, begin to loosen.

They discover that while they cannot pray or desire anything for themselves, they can do so for others. Herein lies their knowledge that their existence now reaches out to God, and to people left behind in the World.

They begin to pray for others, those still on Earth. In this charity, they grow closer to the Lord. Their journey forward continues.

How to Pray the Rosary

(Via Rosary Center.)

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! (Thank you!!)

"The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts"

and "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics"