Many Different Quotes on Salvation~Explanation of Suffering~Way to achieve Happiness
The purpose of writing on this subject, for me, was to Help prove that belief in Jesus Christ is essential to salvation and also very important for those with suffering in their lives, and to get through the rough times. Just like the poem "Footprints", God carries us when we are in our darkest, dreariest moments. I know, because I've experienced this- a closeness to God during those times. The original title of this was "Listen up World! I want you to Know!" This belief in Hell- a place for sinners who lost their way, this place amidst fire and misery, really puts things into perspective....so read on......for the child in me who wrote this wants no one to suffer eternal punishment!I
In the Bible. In Psalm 36 verse 28:
For the Lord loveth judgement and will not forsake His saints; they shall be preserved forever. The unjust shall be punished, and the seed of the wicked shall perish. (Verse 34:) Expect the Lord and keep His way and He will exalt thee to inherit the land when the sinners shall perish thou shalt see.
In the "Imitation of Christ", Chapter 23 titled "Thoughts of Death":
Oh the dullness and hardness of man's heart, which only thinks of what is present, and looks not forward to things to come. Thou oughtest in every action and thought so to order thyself as if thou were to die at any moment.
In the Complete Spiritual Doctrine of St. Therese of Lisieux (She was called Doctor of the Church after living only 24 years, 9 of them in a cloister convent) p.215:
Finally she believed that suffering, that all trials whatever their nature or origin, were willed by God, were a part of His plan for her soul.
This is to say that God allows, or delights even in giving us an opportunity to grow spiritually (not to mention acquire patience and maturity etc) and forces us to reach to Him for help.
p. 83 Things that are most possible become easy where love is at work.
All of St. There's life is about love if you read her autobiography, Story of a Soul, (one of the best books I ever read.) She was brought up in an intimate and loving family and she carried this into Carmel the convent (She actually begged the bishop to let her in at age 15!) , and promises before she dies that she will spend her Heaven in doing good upon earth, (by answering petitions and showering roses in answer to novenas to her) and soon after her death, all kinds of miracles are said to have happened for people asking her intercession.
I'll share with you, I actually prayed to St. Therese years ago for a certain intention, and I asked for a specific color rose, and later I (didn't get a real rose) but many roses of that color came to me in the mail on stationery from pen pals for a long time........
In Revelations of St. Bridget, Chapter 17 p. 48, St. Bridget had visions of Jesus who revealed to her the details of His Passion to help make known to the world. When the Passion of my Son drew nigh, His eyes were filled with tears, and His body with sweat, throught fear of the Passion, and He was soon torn from my sight; nor did I see HIm more, til He was brought out to be scourged. Then He was dragged to the ground and dashed forward so cruelly that as His head struck, His teeth were dashed together, and He was so violently beaten on the nect and cheek that the sound of the blows reached my ears."
Thinking about the Passion of Jesus Christ inspires sorrow and sympathy in me, and helps me to realize what God (Jesus) did, the ultimate sacrifice- for me.
Check out this beautiful page that sells posters of Jesus
The Spiritual Combat
You may be surprised by this statement, but the devil does have the "permission" to tempt us as we were given free will by God. Read the following:
In The Spiritual Combat by Dom Lerenzo Scupoli, Chapter 31, it discusses the tools employed by the devil to make us forsake the virtuous life:
For example, let's say a sick person bears his illness with such resignation that the devil fears he (the sick person) will acquire habitual patience, and thru temptation the devil suggests to the ill person the many creditable work he may do if he were in a state of good health. The ill person gets persuaded that his would be a service to God, humanity, and to his own soul if he were physically well and soon the devil continues to make him desirous of health and uneasy under his burden. At length, patience gives way to impatience under a burden that is viewed as hindering the accomplishment of works most acceptable to God. (When God really values patience and longsuffering, and us bearing our cross with patience, like Jesus did and with the submission to that suffering, God provide great peace and joy to the person. Just think, if you had no choice but to do dishes for you Mom everyday after school, wouldn't it help you if you - instead of hating it and constantly complaining and saying "Boo hoo" you actually decided to love your Mom and honor her and take patience in it, you might actually enjoy pleasing her ....
As Christians, we are told again and again, Man cannot question the ways of God. If we knew God personally up in Heaven, and He told us everything we would be Gods too. So that is why many things are a mystery to us.
One more exerpt from The Way of Salvation and of Perfection by St. Alphonsus De Liguori:
Those who pray will be saved, and those who do not pray will be condemned.
In The Story of a Soul p.60, St. Therese writes:
I am sorry for people who lost their souls; it is so easy to miss your way when the paths of the world seem so attractive. Of course, enlightened souls find the pleasure which the world offers mixed with bitterness, while the immense void of their desires cannot be filled by a moment's flattery, but as I said before, if my heart had not been drawn toward God from its first awakening and if the world had smiled on me from the very moment I entered it, anything might have happened to me.
What joy the saints had! This is a beautiful insight as the entire book reall is, to let us realize how important our souls are! We are born with intellect (mind), body, and a soul. Not everyone believes in Heaven or Hell or Purgatory even. But how could we just cease to exist after death?
In Conclusion, If you build a strong faith and communication with God, when times are tough you'll know to Him to turn to- someone who will never fail us, someone we can always talk to.
We don't understand God's ways. He allows the devil to corrupt and destroy to allow us to choose between evil and good. He loves us...wants us to choose Him. He will love us and ask us to come to Him until the very day we die- and then our decision to be be with Him or (the devil) will be fixed and final.
I hope this helps you to discern whether you need to pray more or not, be saved or not, and gives you the comfort you need, especially if you are bearing a heavy cross or burden--know that this burden is God's way of saying "I love you and I am asking more of you. You are special to me......come to Me.