Shorter Works of Saint Alphonsus: The Methods of Conversing Continually and Familiarily with God; Uniformity with God's Will and; What Hell Be Like
- ISBN-13: 9781511631556
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
- Release Date: Apr 08, 2015
- Pages: 60 pages
- Dimensions: 0.14 x 9.00 x 6.00 inches
The Methods of Conversing Continually and Familiarily with God commences When holy Job considered that God was so intent on promoting man's welfare that He desired nothing so much as to love man and to be loved by man, he wondered; and addressing himself to Him, exclaimed: "What is a man, that thou shouldst magnify him? or why dost thou set thy heart upon him?" (Job 7:17). From this it appears that it is wrong to suppose that to treat with God familiarly and with great confidence is to be wanting of that respect which is due to His Divine Majesty. You ought indeed, devout soul, to reverence Him with all humility, and to abase yourself before Him, particularly at the remembrance of your ingratitude, and the outrages which you have committed against Him; but this ought not to hinder you from treating with Him with the greatest possible love and confidence. He is Infinite Majesty; but, at the same time, He is Infinite Bounty and Infinite Love. You have in God the highest Lord; but you have in Him also the greatest lover. He does not look down upon you with disdain, but is pleased when you treat with Him with the same confidence, freedom, and love, as children treat with their mothers. Hear how He invites us to present ourselves at His feet, and the caresses which He promises us: "You shall be carried at the breasts; and upon the knees they shall caress you. As one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you." (Is. 66:12-13). As a mother delights in taking her child upon her knees, in caressing and feeding him, so does our dear Lord delight in treating with equal love and tenderness those souls who give themselves entirely to Him, and place all their hopes in His goodness and bounty. In Uniformity with God's Will we read: “A man has two servants. One works unremittingly all day long -- but according to his own devices; the other, conceivably, works less, but he does do what he is told. This latter of course is going to find favor in the eyes of his master; the other will not. Now, in applying this example, we may ask: Why should we perform actions for God’s glory if they are not going to be acceptable to him? God does not want sacrifices, the prophet Samuel told King Saul, but he does want obedience to his will: “Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims, and not rather that the voice of the Lord should be obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices; and to hearken, rather than to offer the fat of rams. Because it is like the sin of witchcraft to rebel; and like the crime of idolatry to refuse to obey.” (4) The man who follows his own will independently of God’s, is guilty of a kind of idolatry. Instead of adoring God’s will, he, in a certain sense, adores his own.” And in What Will Hell Be Like: “Let us now treat of the pains of Hell, and first of all, of that of sense. St. Thomas proves that the fire of Hell is a corporeal and material fire, though for the most part he does not write of the fire which torments the souls separated from their bodies, but of that which the damned are to endure after their corporeal resurrection. Many heretics have maintained that the fire of Hell is not material, but only metaphorical or imaginary fire. There are numerous texts in Sacred Scripture, however, which demonstrate that the fire of Hell is a true, material and corporeal fire. We read, for instance, in the book of Deuteronomy: "A fire is kindled in my wrath, and shall burn even to the lowest hell." (Deut. 32:22). And in the book of Job: "A fire that is not kindled shall devour him" (Job 20:26), revealing that this fire of Hell needs not to be nourished, but, once enkindled by God, burns eternally. There are a number of passages in the book of Isaias referring to this fire of Hell: "Which of you can dwell with devouring fire? which of you shall dwell with everlasting burnings?" (33:14); "Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched, and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh." (66:24).
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