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The great Liguori on providing for our final end November 18, 2013

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Christendom, disaster, episcopate, Four Last Things, Glory, Grace, horror, Interior Life, religious, Saints, sanctity, secularism, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.

We shall all die.  Our culture does everything it can to deny that fact, to wish it away, to extend life, to make this short, illusory life the focus of our entire existence.  That is a strong indicator of how disconnected from its roots in the Catholic Church this culture has become.  Just as the culture was beginning its final repudiation of the Christianity that forms its very basis, that gave its structure and meaning, the great Moral Doctor of the Church. St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, exhorted souls to reject this world and its “pleasures” and delusions of grandeur, and keep our focus firmly on our eternal destiny.  That destiny shall either be eternal rapturous glory in Heaven, or unimaginable suffering in hell with satan and all the damned.

From Preparation for Death, Ascetical Works Vol.1 pp 205-207, as translated by Fr. Eugene Grimm CSsR:

He who acts according to the rules of prudence, looks to the future – that is, to what must happen at the end of life – to death and judgment, and after judgment, hell or Heaven. Oh how much wiser is that peasant who saves his soul, than the monarch who 0 Rbrings himself to hell. O God! would not all pronounce the man to be a fool, who, in order to gain a shilling, would risk his entire property? And will he not be considered foolish, who, for a momentary gratification, forfeits the Grace of God and exposes his soul to eternal perdition?  The care of present, and the total neglect of eternal goods and evils, is the ruin of the immense multitude of the damned. 

God has certainly not placed us in this world to become rich, or acquire honors, or to indulge our senses, but to gain eternal life. But the end is life everlasting (Rom 6:22). And nothing but the attainment of this end is of importance to us. One thing is necessary (Lk 10:42). But there is nothing that sinners despise more than this end: they think only of the present; they each day walk toward death, and approach the gate of eternity, but know not whither they are going……Such are the wise of the world, who know how to acquire wealth, to indulge in amusements, to gain posts of honor and emolument, but know not how to save their 500px-AlphonsusLiguorisouls……..How many miserable sinners now weep and cry out in hell: What hath pride profited us? Or what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All those things are passed away like a shadow. (Wis 5:8). Behold, they exclaim, for us all the goods of the world have passed away like a shadow, and nothing remains but eternal wailing and everlasting torments.

Before man is life and death, good and evil, and that which he shall chose shall be given him.  (Eccl 15:18) Beloved Christian, God places before you in this world, life and death – that is, the voluntary privation of forbidden pleasures, by which you will gain eternal life; or the indulgence of them, by which you merit everlasting death.  What do you say? What choice do you make? In making the choice, act like a man, and not like a senseless beast. Act like a Christian who believes in the Gospel and says: What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? (Mt 16:26)

———–End Quote———–

Our culture today wants to reduce people to senseless animals, rutting beasts, acting on nothing but sheer animal instinct and sensory pleasure.  The only reason the culture sees to deny oneself pleasure in one way – say, by dieting and exercising to have a 470px-Santalfonsobetter body – is to enhance pleasure in another area, the practical god of our culture, sex.  Or, perhaps, to prolong this life, which is the end of all, right?  And the very comfy, self-serving belief in universal salvation convinces even those who retain a semblance of the Christian Faith that going along with the culture is perfectly alright.  I mean, it’s not as if they’re murdering anyone, right?

I’m certain satan is quite pleased with all of this.  I wonder if even he is surprised at the empire he has built on our sexular pagan liberal “democratic” culture?



1. TG - November 18, 2013

Very good post. I love this saint. (I still need to order this book.) I saw this book in an Adoration Chapel in Georgetown and read a little bit. In the book he states that even people who are obviously dying don’t want to admit it. I saw this with my father. I pray that since I’m such a realist, I will submit myself to death when the times comes. I wish more bishops and priests would read this saint’s writings.

2. Lorra - November 18, 2013

St. Alphonsus is probably my favorite author. I think I will read this book again. Another wonderful book he wrote is “The Glories of Mary.”

3. Hannah - November 19, 2013

Thanks for these great gems, Tantum. I enjoy the writings of the Saints. What wisdom and knowledge.

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