Gueranger: Many people work much harder to earn hell than they would need to earn Heaven July 14, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, catachesis, General Catholic, Glory, Grace, Interior Life, Liturgical Year, reading, sanctity, Tradition, true leadership, Virtue.
I found the bit I excerpt below from Dom Prosper Gueranger’s The Liturgical Year vol. 11 pp. 177-8 illuminating. Many lost souls are striving after some perverse or evil goal. They positively wear themselves out and endure great suffering to attain it. But because that end is not Jesus Christ, because it is something evil, they are working for satan and working to insure their own damnation. Yes, the children of mammon often are wiser in their own generation than the children of light, but their end is always the same:
And shall we do less for justice than is being done in favor of our enemy, sin? Surely justice deserves that we should make greater efforts in her service than for that odious tyrant who requites his slaves with nothing but shame and death. And yet – oh admirable condescension of God to our weakness! – we have St. Paul telling us in today’s Epistle (7th Sunday After Pentecost – Romans VI), in the name of the Holy Ghost, that we shall be saints, we shall attain eternal life, if we will but serve justice with as much earnestness as we once served uncleanness and iniquity. [I pray I do. But do I have the same fervor I did yesterday?]
Let us humble ourselves at hearing such words; let us be honest, and we shall feel that they contain a reproach. Many of us might ask: What has become of that intense ardor wherewith we once used to follow after sin? To say that we have converted our ways would be no answer, for a conversion does not paralyze our faculties; it enlists our natural energy in God’s service, it even intensifies it by the very fact of its now being employed as originally intended. At all events, conversion does not lessen the activity which was in us before our conversion; it would be an insult to Grace to accuse if of diminishing in us the gifts of God! [Gueranger is speaking of the collective collapse of fervor that was afflicting the Church, primarily in France but surely much elsewhere, already in the mid-late 1800s. The crisis we see about us today has been a long time coming.]
What lessons, then, may we learn by seeing how eager in the pursuit of honor, interest, or pleasure, are the votaries of this world! What earnestness, what toil, what perseverance, what frequent sufferings, what abnegation at every turn, what misplaced heroism – and all for the purpose of satisfying the seven heads of the beast, and tasting a few drops of the poisoned cup of Babylon (APOC xvii:7). There are many souls in hell who have gone through more fatigue and pain to procure their damnation than even the martyrs endured for Christ; and even with all that, never attaining their object they sought to obtain in this world! So true is it that the fools who are the most subservient to satan’s wishes do not always succeed in enjoying, even for a single day, the vile rewards he promises his slaves. [so key to keep in mind, and so utterly forgotten by the today’s billions of worldlings!]
Justice, treats her followers in a very different way; she does not degrade, she does not deceive them that keep her. She blesses them with peace of mind at every step they take in duty-doing; she is ever enriching their treasure of merit; she leads them safely to the protection of love. The life of divine union then grows, almost spontaneously, on that high ground of justice; it rests on justice, as a flower does on a stem. “He that possesseth justice,” says the Scripture, “shall lay hold on wisdom” (Eccl xv:1-8): he shall find delights in that divine wisdom, which surpasses all that earth could procure.
Satan is a liar and a murderer from the beginning. He has successfully pulled the wool over the eyes of hundreds of millions of self-described and ex-Christians, getting them to work very hard for their own damnation. Fornication might bring fleeting fun but it also brings months or years of anguish after the fact. Drugs might provide a little high for a while but pretty soon you have to take them just to feel good. Chasing the “American Dream” by contracepting, putting Johnny and Jenny in high-dollar schools, always having the newest car, biggest house, boat, lavish vacations, etc., might make you feel good most of the time, but if you continue to serve Mammon primarily our Blessed Lord will not know you when you meet Him. And many find that the chase after that dream leaves them with no time to enjoy whatever parts of it they achieve.
Those who follow the path of righteousness, however, even if they meet with great worldly sufferings and difficulties, know true peace and contentment. They usually have the comfort of feeling God’s Grace at work in them. Unless they be one of those souls destined for great sanctity, and then they may be denied even this for a time, in their own dark night. But that is beyond what most people will probably experience.
That’s something that struck me as strange during the recent notable visit to South America. Worldly suffering was held up as a tremendous evil that must be eradicated, I never saw any exhortation to embrace that suffering in a joyful manner for the good of souls. Certainly the Church does work for the alleviation of the suffering of the poor, but our Lord has assured us the poor will always be with us. Thus it was unfortunate that no reminders of the great virtue of accepting the lot the Lord hand’s us with joy and gladness were made. Another opportunity missed.
I pray you found the above helpful! I think it very wise.