The Last Hope of Salvation?

 

THE second Sunday of Easter is Divine Mercy Sunday. It is a day that Jesus promised to pour out immeasurable graces to the degree that, for some, it is “the last hope of salvation.” Still, many Catholics have no idea what this feast is or never hear about it from the pulpit. As you’ll see, this is no ordinary day…

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The Last Judgments

 


 

I believe that the vast majority of the Book of Revelation refers, not to the end of the world, but to the end of this era. Only the last few chapters really look at the very end of the world while everything else before mostly describes a “final confrontation” between the “woman” and the “dragon”, and all the terrible effects in nature and society of a general rebellion that accompanies it. What divides that final confrontation from the end of the world is a judgment of the nations—what we are primarily hearing in this week’s Mass readings as we approach the first week of Advent, the preparation for Christ’s coming.

For the past two weeks I keep hearing the words in my heart, “Like a thief in the night.” It is the sense that events are coming upon the world that are going to take many of us by surprise, if not many of us home. We need to be in a “state of grace,” but not a state of fear, for anyone of us could be called home at any moment. With that, I feel compelled to republish this timely writing from December 7th, 2010…

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Recollection

 

IF you read Custody of the Heart, then you know by now how often we fail to keep it! How easily we are distracted by the smallest thing, pulled away from peace, and derailed from our holy desires. Again, with St. Paul we cry out:

I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate…! (Rom 7:14)

But we need to hear again the words of St. James:

Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.  (James 1:2-4)

Grace is not cheap, handed over like fast-food or at the click of a mouse. We have to fight for it! Recollection, which is taking custody again of the heart, is often a struggle between the desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit. And so, we have to learn to follow the ways of the Spirit…

 

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