09 October 2011

The Bottom Line

Lest we forget our purpose as Catholics:
Many souls go to hell because there is none to pray and sacrifice for them.--Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady showed a vision to the shepherd children, who watched as souls fell into hell "like snowflakes." This is what St. Teresa of Avila saw herself: I saw souls falling into hell like snowflakes.

Why the large number of condemned? Our Lady of Fatima said,
More souls go to Hell because of the sins of the flesh than for any other reason.
It is little wonder so many are condemned; does not the great majority of mankind give way to impurity, whether it be through sex outside of marriage, use of contraception within marriage, pornography, or lustful thoughts? Our Lord said, "But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, has already committed adultery with her in his heart." A hard teaching! But nonetheless true--and those who ignore it do so at their peril.

If our lives are not geared toward this one goal of saving souls--whether in work, prayer, or leisure--then we simply don't understand our purpose, nor do we understand its urgency. Many souls go to hell because there is none to pray and sacrifice for them.

Our time is not our own; our lives do not belong to us. "[Y]ou are not your own... For you are bought with a great price."--1 Cor. 6:19-20

This places a tremendous burden on us--on you, dear reader--because Our Lady makes very clear that it is for lack of people willing to pray and sacrifice for souls that they go to hell. Yes, salvation of souls very much depends on you--yes, you, sitting there at your computer, reading this post.

Mother Teresa said,
When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her. It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.
And what of souls starved of spiritual nourishment, who die cut off from God because you or I failed to act?

Yes, the salvation of other souls very much depends on you. Don't think for a moment we will not have to give an account of our time spent--either on self or on others--when we stand before God.

It's easy enough to dismiss the atheist, the feminist, or the heterodox priest with a smirk--I've seen plenty of my Catholic friends do it. But if we fail to pray for these lost souls, then we do Our Lord no favors, who "desires that none should perish but that all should have eternal life."

The gift of your Catholic faith--and what a profound gift it is--is not given to you to keep for yourself. There is a whole world out there wallowing in misery and sin that needs (whether it knows it or not, wants it or not) the truth that you are already blessed to have. The gift of your Catholic faith is not meant to be kept solely for your family, or for your little circle of friends--it is meant for everybody. Everybody.

And please let's not comfort ourselves with the false notion that the most people will go to heaven. That thought has become popular in the past 50 years, but it doesn't reflect the truth. The truth is quite the opposite, as said by Our Lord and echoed by the saints: very few will be saved.
Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able.--St. Luke 13:23-24

How narrow is the gate and how straight is the way that leads to life, and few there are that find it!--St. Matthew 7:13-14

A multitude of souls fall into the depths of Hell, and it is of the faith that all who die in mortal sin are condemned for ever and ever. According to statistics, approximately 80,000 persons die every day. How many of these will die in mortal sin, and how many will be condemned!--St. Anthony Mary Claret

Many are the grains of wheat, but compared with the chaff, the grains are few.--St. Augustine

[O]n the threshing floor few are the grains carried into the barns, but high are the piles of chaff burned with fire.--Pope St. Gregory the Great
There is no prayer or sacrifice--no matter how small or brief--that Our Lord will not take into account on behalf of a soul. St. Thérèse said that the mere act of picking up a pin--if done for love of God--can save a soul. Rather than feeling overwhelmed at what little you can do, consider the great good you can do to some soul--made known to you only once you are in heaven--by the least prayer or sacrificial act.