At the moment of your Baptism, you were transformed into the living temple of the Most Blessed Trinity. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit began to live within your very soul. God became your Father; Jesus became your elder Brother; the Holy Spirit, became your “Friend” and the “Sweet Guest of your soul” (Sequence prayer to the Holy Spirit for Pentecost).
Therefore, your dignity through Baptism, being so sublime, that your final destiny is the eternal Temple of God in Heaven. However, there is one condition, and this condition is of vital importance: do not lose the Presence of these 3 Divine Persons due to mortal sin; do not dirty that temple by hurting and expelling God by a serious sin; do not lose God for all eternity by dying in mortal sin.
The two worse calamities that can befall the human person are the following: committing a mortal sin, where God is expelled from the soul, but worse yet, dying in the state of mortal sin and losing God for all eternity. The Book of Revelation/Apocalypse calls this the second death. The first death is mortal sin; the second death is dying in mortal sin and being dead in eternal torment in hell for all eternity.
Ten short counsels to strive to enter in through the narrow gate so as to be with the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit for all eternity!
1. LIVE IN THE PRESENCE OF GOD. St. Teresa of Avila astutely noted a fact: we sin because forget about God’s loving-presence. Get in the habit of thinking more about God during the course of the day and remember the words of St. Paul: “In Him we live and move and have our being.” The secret of the sanctity of Brother Lawrence was precisely this: to always live in the “Presence of God”.
2. PRAY SHORT ASPIRATIONS/EJACULATIONS DURING THE COURSE OF THE DAY!
These short prayers are fiery arrows that pierce the Heart of God. Choose a few of your favorites and pray them as your lungs breathe air. Here are a few! “Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like unto thine.” “Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation…” “Jesus I trust in you…” Jesus, Son of the living God, have mercy on me…” And a very good one– short and to the point in time of trial: “Jesus save me!!!”
3. LIVE EACH DAY AS IF IT WERE YOUR LAST! This is the secret of the saints. In the famous Rule of St. Benedict, there is very wise advice on this point, namely, we should think about death at least twice a day!
4. ORA Y LABORA. This is also taken from St. Benedict and is his motto. It is Latin and the English translation is simply, “PRAY AND WORK!” Notice, the order, first it is prayer and then work follows; if not, we fall into “Activism” and relegate God to a secondary place. God deserves the first, the best and our hearts in their totality!
5. PRAY FOR THIS GRACE: THE GRACE OF ALL GRACES: PERSEVERANCE IN GRACE! St. Alphonsus insists on this very special grace that we persevere until the very end in grace. Track runners can be winning 99 % of the time, but can fall at the end. As athletes for Christ we have not won until we have crossed the finish line, meaning until dying in the state of grace!
6. PRINCIPLE AND FOUNDATION. Often call to mind why you are here, where you came from, where you are heading, and the means to attain your end! Our starting point is the loving hand of God that created you and formed you. You are a loving child of God. GRACE! Living in grace and strengthening grace in your soul, should be your daily program. HEAVEN! Yes, heaven awaits God’s faithful servant!
7. ACTIONS. The Cure of Ars once stated do not do anything that you cannot offer to God. We would never offer our friends “Junk”. Much less should we ever consider offering God junk! That is what sin is, “Moral junk!” Give the Lord your best! Avoid the “Cain-complex”; be like Abel!
8. THANKFULNESS! Never go through a day in your life in which you do not render gratitude to God for all that you have and all that you are. God rejoices in a grateful heart and is desirous to flood that soul with blessings. “Eucharist” means “thanksgiving”. May your motto in life be precisely that word: EUCHARIST! “Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His mercy endures forever.”
9. INSPIRATIONS! Living in grace, praying often and fervently, having received the Sacrament of Confirmation, cultivating interior recollection (meaning interior silence), all this is tantamount to being open to receiving frequent inspirations from the Holy Spirit. Be open, listen, obey, and trust! By saying “yes” to inspirations God has many more in store for you! Be generous and trust Him!
10. MARY THE STAR OF THE SEA! Mary has many beautiful titles and one of these is “Mary, Star of the Sea”. In the midst of the many storms of life, lift up your eyes and contemplate Mary, as star of the Sea. As sailors, with Jesus as Captain, Mary as star of the sea is always present to us to traverse the storms, to bail out the gushing waters, to brave the sea, and to sail swiftly into the Port of salvation— Heaven, out true refuge, haven and eternal resting place! Ave Stella Maris! Hail, Mary, star of the sea!!!