“The man who is not afraid to admit everything that he sees to be wrong with himself, and yet recognizes that he may be the object of God’s love precisely because of his shortcomings, can be sincere. His sincerity is based on confidence, not in his illusions about himself, but in the endless, unfailing mercy of God.”
“The real reason why so few men believe in God is that they have ceased to believe that even a God can love them.”
Now at the time of death, since she cannot get out of My hands, she begins to see, and therefore is gnawed with remorse, seeing that her own sin has brought her into so great evil. But if the soul have light to know and grieve for her fault, not on account of the pain of Hell that follows upon it, but on account of pain at her offense against Me, who am Supreme and Eternal Good, still she can find mercy. But if she pass the Bridge of death without light, and alone, with the worm of conscience, without the hope of the Blood, and bewailing herself more on account of her first condemnation than on account of My displeasure, she arrives at eternal damnation. And then she is reproved cruelly by My Justice of injustice and of false judgment, and not so much of general injustice and false judgment which she has practiced generally in all her works, but much more on account of the particular injustice and false judgment which she practices at the end, in judging her misery greater than My mercy. This is that sin which is neither pardoned here nor there, because the soul would not be pardoned, depreciating My mercy. Therefore is this last sin graver to Me than all the other sins that the soul has committed. Wherefore the despair of Judas displeased Me more, and was more grave to My Son than was his betrayal of Him. -ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA, Dialogue
“It is certain that we absolutely require the divine assistance, in order to overcome temptations. . . Whoever prays obtains this grace; but whoever prays not, obtains it not, and is lost. And this is more especially the case with regard to the grace of final perseverance, of dying in the grace of God, which is the grace absolutely necessary for our salvation, and without which we should be lost forever. St. Augustine says of this grace, that God only bestows it on those who pray. And this is the reason why so few are saved, because few indeed are mindful to beg of God this grace of perseverance.” – St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori, Doctor of the Church
How little is our trust in God’s love! We ask so feebly and anxiously as though God is neither loving nor powerful enough to grant them. Though it is true that we have not the slightest right to demand anything from Him, God has all the right to expect our utmost trust in Him. Is He not the Kind Father we have? Is He not the One who gave even His only begotten Son so He can save us? Let us resolve never to doubt His goodness and His mercy for His children.
How great is God’s love and mercy! He does not even need our merits to have us enter heaven, for all that is required is our love and our contrite heart. All the good that we do is for our own benefit, even for rewards that are eternal and beyond our comprehension now. What could we boast about? All that we can do is to be thankful for everything. And all that we ever need to fear is our own pride and stubbornness in accepting the mercy of God.
The more we discover our flaws, the more we fear not being loved by other people. With God however, the more we discover how miserable we really are, the more we learn and appreciate how great God’s love is. We can have all the sins of the world, but we can never exhaust the depths of God’s mercy and love.