Author Topic: St. Alphonsus: The Great Gift of Final Perseverance and the Means to Obtain it.  (Read 188 times)

Offline Xavier

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The salvation of all Christians in the state of grace depends on obtaining the great grace of final perseverance. This grace is promised by the Saviour for various devotions, e.g. the 9 First Fridays, to those who embrace the Holy Face devotion, by Our Lady for those who devoutly wear Her Scapular, as well as for those who are constant in praying the daily Rosary, who make the Five Saturdays in reparation etc. It seems constant prayer is the best and most recommended means to obtain it. What other means can we make use of, and what can we learn by meditating on the necessity of this grace, and our continual dependence on God?

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Quote from: St.Alphonsus
"But some one will say: Since God can give and wishes to give me the grace of Perseverance, why does He not give it to me all at once, when I ask Him?

 The Holy Fathers assign many reasons. God does not grant it at once, but delays it:

 (1) That He may prove our confidence.

 (2) And, further, says St. Augustine, that we may long for it more vehemently. Great gifts, he says, should be greatly desired; for good things soon obtained are not held in the same estimation as those which have been long looked for: “God wills not to give quickly, that you may learn to have great desire for great things; for things long desired are all the more pleasant when obtained; but things soon given are cheapened.”

 (3) Again, the Lord does so that we may not forget Him; if we were already secure of persevering and of being saved, and if we had not the continual need of God’s help to preserve us in His grace and to save us, we should soon forget God. Want makes the poor keep resorting to the houses of the rich; so God, to draw us to Himself, as St. Chrysostom says, and to see us often at His feet, in order that He may thus be able to do us greater good, delays giving us the complete grace of salvation till the hour of our death: “It is not because He rejects our prayers that He delays, but by this contrivance He wishes to make us careful, and to draw us to Himself.” Again, He does so in order that we, by persevering in Prayer, may unite ourselves closer to Him with the sweet bonds of love: “Prayer,” says the same St. Chrysostom, “which accustoms us to converse with God, is no slight bond of love with Him.” This continual recourse to God in Prayer, and this confident expectation of the graces we desire–oh, what a great incentive to inflame us with love, and what a firm chain to bind us more closely to God!

But how long have we to pray? Always, says the same Saint, till we receive favourable sentence of eternal life: that is to say, till our death: “Do not leave off till you receive.” And he adds: “If you say, I will not give up till I have received, you will assuredly receive.” The Apostle writes that many run for the prize, but that he only receives it who runs till he wins: Know you not that they who run in the race, all run indeed, but one receiveth the prize? So run that you may obtain (1 Cor. ix. 24). It is not, then, enough for salvation to simply pray; but we must pray always, that we may at last receive the crown which God promises, but promises only to those who are constant in Prayer till the end.

 So that if we wish to be saved, we must do as David did, who always kept his eyes turned to God, to implore His aid against being overcome by his enemies: My eyes are ever towards the Lord, for he shall pluck my feet out of the snare (Ps. xxiv. 15). As the devil does not cease continually spreading snares to devour us, as St. Peter writes: Your adversary, the devil, as, a roaring lion, goeth about, seeking whom he may devour (1 Pet. v. 8 ); so ought we ever to stand with our arms in our hands to defend ourselves against such a foe, and to say, with the royal Prophet, I will pursue after my enemies; and I will not turn again till they are consumed (Ps. xvii. 38). I will never cease fighting till I see my enemies conquered. But how can we obtain this victory, so important for us and so difficult? “By most persevering prayers,” says St. Augustine–only by prayers, and those most persevering; and till when? As long as the fight shall last. “As the battle is never over,” says St. Bonaventure, “so let us never give over asking for Mercy.” As we must be always in the combat, so should we be always asking God for aid not to be overcome. Woe, says the Wise Man, to him who in this battle leaves off praying: Woe to them that have lost patience (Ecclus. 16). We may be saved, the Apostle tells us, but on this condition, if we hold fast the confidence and the glory of hope unto the end (Heb. iii. 6); if we are constant in praying with confidence until death.

 Let us, then, take courage from the Mercy of God, and His promises, and say with the same Apostle: Who, then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or danger, or persecution, or the sword? (Rom. viii. 35). Who shall succeed in estranging us from the love of Jesus Christ? Tribulation, perhaps or the danger of losing the goods of this world? The persecutions of devils or men? The torments inflicted by tyrants? In all these we overcome (it is St. Paul who encourages us), because of Him that hath loved us (Rom. viii. 37). No, he says, no tribulation, no misery, danger, persecution, or torture, shall ever be able to separate us from the love of Jesus Christ; because with God’s help we shall overcome all, if we fight for love of Him Who gave His life for us.

 Father Hippolitus Durazzo, the day when he resolved to relinquish his dignity of prelate at Rome, and to give himself entirely to God by entering the Society of Jesus (which he afterwards did), was so afraid of being faithless by reason of his weakness that he said to God: “Forsake me not, Lord, now that I have given myself wholly to Thee! For pity’s sake do not forsake me!” But he heard the whisper of God in his heart: “Rather should I say to thee: Do not thou forsake Me!” And so at last the servant of God, trusting in His goodness and help, concluded, “Then, O my God, Thou wilt not leave me, and I will not leave Thee.”

Finally, if we wish not to be forsaken by God, we ought never cease praying to Him not to leave us. If we do this, He will certainly always assist us, and will never allow us to perish, or be separated from His love. And to this end let us not only take care always to ask for final Perseverance, and the graces necessary to obtain it, but let us, at the same time, always by anticipation, ask God for grace to go on praying; for this is precisely that great gift which He promised to His Elect by the mouth of the Prophet: And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of prayers (Zach. xii. 10). Oh, what a great grace is the spirit of Prayer; that is, the grace which God confers on a soul to enable it to pray always! Let us, then, never neglect to beg God to give us this grace, and this spirit of continual Prayer; because if we pray always, we shall certainly obtain from God Perseverance and every other gift which we desire, since His promise of hearing whoever prays to Him cannot fail. For we are saved by hope (Rom. viii. 24). With this hope of always praying we may reckon ourselves saved. “Confidence,” says the Venerable Bede, “will give us a broad entrance into this City.” This hope will give us a safe passage into the City of Paradise.
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own! Let us Offer our Lives in Sacrifice to Jesus and Mary to Save All Souls everywhere.
 
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Offline Xavier

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There are several great means of perseverance specially recommended by the Holy Doctors: (1) Devotion to the Holy Eucharist: regularly assisting at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, and receiving Holy Communion fervently and frequently, even daily, with love and devotion. (2) To avoid occasions of sin. (3) To frequent the Sacrament of Penance. (4) To have a great devotion to the divine Mother, which is an almost infallible sign of obtaining perseverance and of predestination to glory. Finally, (5) Continual Mental Prayer to God in all our activities and Constant Invocation of the Sweet Names of Jesus and Mary, which almost certainly will ensure we do not lose grace and are saved. http://www.traditionalcatholicpriest.com/2017/06/17/final-perseverance-preparation-death-considerations-xxxi/

Quote
But it is not enough to resolve never more to lose God; it is moreover necessary to adopt the means by which you may be preserved from the danger of losing him. The first means is, to avoid the occasions of sin; of this we have already spoken. The second is, to frequent the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist. In the house which is often swept there is no uncleanness. By the sacrament of penance the soul is purified; by it it obtains not only the remission of sins, but also help to resist temptations. The Communion is called the bread of heaven; because as the body cannot live without earthly food, so the soul cannot live without this celestial bread. Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you (John, vi, 54).

But on the other hand, to those who frequently eat this bread, is promised eternal life. If any man eat of this bread he shall live forever (John, vi, 52). Hence the Council of Trent calls the Communion a medicine which delivers us from venial, and preserves us from mortal sins (Sess. 13, cap. 2). The third means is meditation, or mental prayer.

Remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin (Ecclus. vii, 40). He who keeps before his eyes the eternal truths— 92 death, judgment, eternity—will not fall into sin. God enlightens us in meditation. Come ye to Him, and be enlightened (Ps. xxxiii, 6). In meditation God speaks to us, and makes known to us what we are to avoid, and what we are to do. I will lead her into the wilderness, and I will speak to her heart (Osee, ii, 14).

Meditation is the blessed furnace in which divine love is lighted up. In my meditation a fire shall flame out (Ps. xxxviii, 4). To preserve the soul in the grace Of God, it is, as has been already said, absolutely necessary always to pray, and to ask for the graces we stand in need of. They who do not make mental prayer, will scarcely pray for God’s graces; and by neglecting to pray for them, they will certainly be lost. It is necessary then to adopt the means of salvation, and to lead a life of order and regularity.

It is necessary, after rising in the morning, to make the Christian acts of thanksgiving, love, oblation, and a purpose of avoiding sin, along with a prayer to Jesus and Mary that they may preserve you from sin during the day: you should afterward make your meditation, and hear Mass.

During the day you ought to make a spiritual reading, visit the Blessed Sacrament and an image of the divine Mother. In the evening, say the Rosary, and make an examination of conscience. Go to Communion several times in the week, according as your director may advise: you should ordinarily go to confession to the same confessor. It would also be very profitable to make the spiritual exercises in some religious house. It is likewise necessary to honor the Most Holy Mary by some special devotion—such as by fasting on Saturdays. She is called the Mother of perseverance, and she promises to obtain it for all who serve her. They that work by me shall not sin (Ecclus. xxiv, 30). Above all, it is necessary to ask of God holy perseverance, and especially in the time of temptation, invoking then more frequently the names of Jesus and Mary as long as the temptation continues. If you act in this manner, you will certainly be saved; if not, you will certainly be lost.

Affections and Prayers

My dear Redeemer! I thank Thee for the lights which Thou now givest me, and for the means of salvation which Thou makest known to me. I promise to endeavor to persevere in the practice of them. I see that Thou wishest for my salvation ; and I wish to be saved principally to please Thy heart, which so ardently desires my salvation.

O my God ! I will no longer resist the love which Thou entertainest for me. This love has made Thee bear me with so much patience when I offended Thee. Thou callest me to Thy love, and I desire only to love Thee. I love Thee, O infinite Goodness! I love Thee, O infinite Good ! Ah ! I entreat Thee, through the merits of Jesus Christ, not to permit me to be ever again ungrateful to Thee; either make me cease to be ungrateful to Thee, or make me cease to live.

Lord ! Thou hast already begun the work ; bring it to perfection, Confirm, O God! that which Thou hast wrought in me (Ps. lxvii, 29). Give me light, give me strength, give me love. O Mary! who art the treasurer of graces, assist me, accept me for thy servant, and pray to Jesus for me. Through the merits of Jesus Christ first, and then through thy prayers, I hope for salvation.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2019, 12:05:14 PM by Xavier »
Please listen to the frequent messages and take heed of the directions given from Our Living Lord and Our Loving Lady from around the world here: https://maryrefugeofholylove.com/ Great things are at stake. Please consecrate your life to the Blessed Mother so that the Kingdom of God may come, "Ad Sanctam Trinitatem per Mariam, Ut adveniat Regnum Deum, adveniat Regnum Mariae, ergo TOTUS TUUS ego sum, MARIA" See http://www.maria-domina-animarum.net/en/flowers/1-250

Mary, our Heavenly Mother, implores those who receive Holy Communion Daily, or at least Weekly, to Offer their Lives. TEXT OF THE LIFE OFFERING, adapted and pluralized: Dear Lord Jesus, before the Holy Trinity, Our Heavenly Mother, and the whole Heavenly Court, united with Your most Precious Blood and Your Sacrifice on Calvary, We hereby Offer our whole Lives to the Intention of Your Sacred Heart and to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Together with our life, we place at Your disposal all Holy Masses, all our Holy Communions, all Rosaries, all acts of consecration, all our good deeds, all our sacrifices, and the suffering of our entire life for the Adoration and Supplication of the Holy Trinity, for Unity in our Holy Mother Church, for the Holy Father, Pope Francis the First; and for His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. For all the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, for all Bishops of the Universal Church that they may be true Apostles and Shepherds; and for Priests, Nuns and Monks, for good Priestly and Religious Vocations, and for All Souls until the end of the world. O my Jesus, please accept our life Sacrifice and our offerings and give us Your grace that we may all persevere obediently until death. Amen." https://marianapostolate.com/life-offering/ It is recommended that you make this Life Offering as soon as you feel ready, and to renew it from time to time.

Please read the Blessed Mother's amazing promises in the link: A simple effective way for thousands of us to save millions of souls. The Doctors and Apostles say if we save even just one other soul through prayer and sacrifice, we also ensure the salvation of our own! Let us Offer our Lives in Sacrifice to Jesus and Mary to Save All Souls everywhere.