“For greater things you were born.” (Ven. Mother Luisita)
WEDNESDAY, April 14th Jn. 3: 16-27 “God so loved the world that he gave his only-begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
- How often do we stop and consider how valuable is our immortal soul—destined to live forever and ever without end??? We propose two meditations/contemplations that will hopefully let this truth sink deeper into our consciousness! So that we may live for this reality in earnest and arrive at heaven bringing as many souls as possible with us!
Part 1: CALL TO HOLINESS… by St. Louis de Montfort
Part 2: YOUR SOUL IS WORTH SO MUCH! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
PART 1: CALL TO HOLINESS… by St. Louis de Montfort
Chosen soul, living image of God and redeemed by the precious Blood of Jesus Christ, God wants you to become holy like Him in this life, and glorious like Him in the next.
It is certain that growth in the holiness of God is your vocation. All your thoughts, words, actions, everything you suffer or undertake must lead you toward that end. Otherwise you are resisting God in not doing the work for which He created you and for which He is even now keeping you in being.
What a marvelous transformation is possible! Dust into light, uncleanness into purity, sinfulness into holiness, creature being taken up into Creator! A marvelous work, I repeat, so difficult in itself, and even impossible for a mere creature to bring about, for only God can accomplish it by giving His grace abundantly and in an extraordinary manner. The very creation of the universe is not as great an achievement as this.
Chosen soul, how will you bring this about? What steps will you take to reach the high level to which God is calling you? The means of holiness and salvation are known to everybody, since they are found in the Gospel; the masters of the spiritual life have explained them; the Saints have practiced them and shown how essential they are for those who wish to be saved and attain perfection. These means are: sincere humility, unceasing prayer, complete self-denial, abandonment to Divine Providence, and obedience to the will of God.
PART 2: YOUR SOUL IS WORTH SO MUCH! By Fr. Ed Broom, OMV
All the money, possessions, houses, mountains, oceans, animals, all of creation itself has much less value than your immortal soul. Your immortal soul has infinite value. No one in the world can fully plumb the depths of the value of just ONE immortal soul. How do we know this? Jesus articulates this with luminous clarity: “What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his life in the process? What can a man give in exchange for his immortal soul?” (Mk. 8:36)
St. Ignatius of Loyola launched that Biblical passage like a fiery arrow at the young, proud, and self-reliant Francis Xavier, challenging the future Patron of the Missions to make the Spiritual Exercises. When he finally made the Spiritual Exercises, they transformed his life.
However, it was that fiery and piercing arrow from the mouth and Sacred Heart of Jesus the Lord that broke down the resistance of Xavier—“What would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul in the process?”
The angelic Doctor, St. Thomas Aquinas, reiterates the same message. Aquinas affirms that everything in the created world cannot equal just one immortal soul!
For a moment, enter into a natural contemplation on the beauty of nature. The beautiful blue skies, the pure white clouds, the multi-colored leaves falling in autumn, the majestic snow-capped mountains, the brilliant and colorful rainbow–a beautiful arc spanning the heavens, the powerful and eternal waves crashing against the shore, the majestic eagle soaring into the heights, and the night sky painted with a multitude of stars sparkling to the eyes delight—all of these natural phenomena are a mere glimmer of the majestic beauty and greatness of one immortal soul. One immortal soul far transcends in greatness every natural beauty that our eyes can contemplate. For that reason, once Saint Catherine of Siena was granted a vision of one soul in the state of grace and she fell to her knees in ecstasy, stunned by its glorious beauty!
Another powerful proof to capture the infinite value of one immortal soul is the apostolic zeal that motivated the saints in their work, sacrifices, sufferings, and even their deaths! Following are a few examples of the saints and their insatiable hunger for the salvation of immortal souls!
Why did the Cure of Ars—St. John Marie Vianney spend from 13 to 18 hours in the confessional day and night, in the chilling cold of winter and the blistering humidity and heat of the summer, confessing sinners? Why? Why? Why?
For one simple reason: his love for God and love for what God loves most, the salvation of immortal souls! Why would he eat two or three potatoes a day, sleep three hours at night, battle constantly with the devil, scourge himself to the point of shedding blood, and weep copious tears? One simple reason—his love for God and love for immortal souls! This patron of Parish priests knew keenly the value of a soul reconciled to God through the Blood of Christ applied in every absolution!
Again, why would St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina willingly accept the stigmata in 1918 while absorbed in prayer, His hands and feet pierced through like his Beloved Crucified Lord and Savior? His side also pierced, like that of Jesus’ side pierced on Good Friday by the lance causing blood and water to come gushing forth. Jesus promised this modern saint that he would bear this stigmata for fifty long years and then at the end of his life it would disappear. Why did Padre Pio accept this excruciating pain of the stigmata? Once asked if it hurt, the saint responded dryly that it was not a decoration! Padre Pio suffered the stigmata in imitation of his beloved Savior, the Crucified Lord, but also to repair for sins and for the conversion of sinners. In other words, St. Padre Pio willingly bore this suffering for the salvation of immortal souls! He paid a dear price!
Still more, why did the three little shepherd children of Fatima—Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta willingly accept constant sacrifices that entailed great suffering, even though they were mere children? Why? Why? Why? The response is the same: first, their love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary; second, their love for what Jesus and Mary love most in this world—immortal souls. The list of the sacrifices that these children underwent at such tender young ages staggers the imagination and shows the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of generous souls.
Jacinta. Let us just take a few of the sacrifices of Jacinta Marto, the youngest of the three seers at Fatima. What radically transformed the three children, but especially Jacinta, was the graphic vision of Hell on July 13, 1917. Seeing souls being tossed about in the fire without any equilibrium, hearing their desperate cries never to be relieved, seeing hideous animals (the devils) trans-piercing these souls causing them eternal torment, provoked in little Jacinta a profound conversion of heart and life! Little Jacinta, small in stature but a giant in love for souls, was ready to offer all she had for the salvation of immortal souls.
Jacinta gave up her favorite sweet grapes that grew on the hillsides of Portugal and the innocent dancing that she loved. On one occasion, while tending sheep on a blistering summer day, all three of the children were dying of thirst, so Lucia fetched a pitcher of water from a neighboring farm house. But both Jacinta and Francisco implored Lucia to pour the water into the ground so that they could suffer thirst for souls! When Jacinta complained about a pounding headache, Francisco suggested she offer it up for souls – this she promptly did! All three children wore a rough rope around their waist that chaffed their skin, though Our Lady told then not to wear it at night so they could rest. Why? Once again, for the salvation of immortal souls. Due to her extraordinary generosity and love for souls, when Saint Pope John Paul II beatified Jacinta, he called her a “Little victim soul”.
St. Faustina. In the Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul, Jesus revealed to Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska His love for souls. However, Jesus pointed out that love for the salvation of souls is measured by our willingness to suffer for these souls! The more we love, the more we are willing to suffer!
The Blood of Jesus. Finally, the Word of God teaches us most poignantly the value of souls related to the Precious Blood Jesus shed for all of us, but for each one of us individually on Calvary that first Good Friday.
“Now if you invoke as Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that you were ransomed from your futile conduct handed on by your ancestors, not with perishable things like gold or silver, but with the precious blood of Christ as of a spotless unblemished lamb.” (1 Peter 1:17-19)
In sum, your soul was saved by the Precious Blood that Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shed for you on Calvary that first Good Friday. Indeed, if you were the only person created in the whole universe, Jesus would have shed every drop of His most Precious Blood for your immortal soul alone! How precious and valuable indeed, you and your immortal soul are in the eyes of Almighty God!
Copyright 2021 Oblates of the Virgin Mary St. Peter Chanel Church, Hawaiian Gardens, CA