The Torments of Hell

Summon up before the eye of your mind, therefore, a horrible and swirling chaos, or a lightless and sinister subterranean cavern, fuming with every kind of unspeakable foulness and swarming with hideous phantasms, or a burning and bottomless pit, completely suffused with scorching, acrid, and inextinguishable fires. Alternatively, you may imagine a great and immense…

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The Joys of Heaven

Consider, my friend, the infinite and unutterable joy which shall arise from the pure and direct perception of the most Holy Trinity! This is the mystic and unfathomable wonder referred to as the “beatific vision.” For this Holy Trinity, mysterious and beyond all conception, is the perfect archetype and ultimate epitome of all that is…

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Consideration of One’s Own Death

My friend, it is most useful for you to call to mind frequently and assiduously the reality of your own death. This, indeed, is the one universal reality of our human condition—for in this life, some are rich while others are poor, some are masters while others are servants, some learned while others are simple,…

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On Interior Conversation

Meditation: Prepare thy heart for this thy Spouse, that he may…dwell in thee. The kingdom of God is within you – LUKE XVII. 21, saith the Lord. Convert thyself with thy whole heart to the Lord – JOEL II. 12, and quit this miserable world, and thy soul shall find rest. Learn to despise exterior…

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Familiar Friendship with Jesus

When Jesus is present all things go well, and nothing seems difficult; but when Jesus is absent everything is hard. When Jesus speaks not within, our comfort is worthless; but if Jesus speak but one word, we feel great consolation. Did not Mary Magdalen immediately arise from the place where she wept when Martha said…

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Resting in God Above All Goods and Gifts

Above all things, and in all things, do thou, my soul, rest always in the Lord, for He is the eternal rest of the saints. Give me, O most sweet and loving Jesus, to repose in Thee above all things created; above all health and beauty, above all glory and honor, above all power and…

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The Elevation of the Mind to God

“Be still and know that I am God.” I seek you, my God, but not through any of the senses of my body or through any perceptible images. Rather, I turn within myself, to the interior chamber of my thoughts and feelings, and the realm which lies beyond all thoughts and feelings. For there, O…

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It is Sweet to Serve God

Disciple: Now will I speak, O Lord, and will not be silent; I will say in the hearing of my God, my Lord and my King Who is on high: Oh, how sweet is the multitude of Thy sweetness, O Lord, which Thou hast hidden for them that fear Thee (Ps. 20:20). But what art…

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Freedom of Heart According to My Imitation of Christ

A Pure and Entire Resignation of Ourselves for Obtaining Freedom of Heart Christ: Son, leave thyself and thou shalt find Me. Stand without choice or any self-seeking, and thou shalt always gain. For greater grace shall always be added to thee irrevocably once thou has given up thyself. Disciple: Lord, how often shall I resign…

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From the Imitation of Christ: Amendment of Life

The Fervent Amendment of Our Whole Life Be vigilant and diligent in God’s service, and often consider to what end thou camest hither, and why thou didst leave the world: Was it not that thou mightst live for God and become a spiritual man? Be fervent, therefore, in thy spiritual progress, for thou shalt shortly…

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Lenten Meditation on the Cross

To many this seems a hard saying: “Deny thyself, take up thy cross, and follow Jesus” (Matt. 16:24). But it will be much harder to hear that last word: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire” (Matt. 25:41). For they who now willingly hear and follow the word of the cross shall not then…

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Humility As the Foundation of All Virtues

“Learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart,” says the Lord (Matthew 11:29). Our highest teacher and lawgiver, Jesus Christ, urged us to learn the virtue of humility. For whoever cultivates this marvelous virtue will quickly arrive at spiritual perfection. But without humility, no amount of study of Sacred Scripture or theology,…

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Humility: A Hidden Source of Strength

Humility is the virtue which is perhaps more easily misunderstood and underappreciated than any other. Our culture values personal confidence, self-belief and resolution, and rightly so. And we are acutely aware of the psychological dangers of low-self-esteem, with which so many people struggle today, especially the young. Yet true humility is not in opposition to…

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