"Knowest thou not that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?" Rom. 2:4
Unfortunate is he who allows the Time
of Mercy to pass by
It is related in the life of Father Louis La Nusa, that in
Palermo there two friends, who went one day to take a walk.
One of them, called Caesar, who was a comedian, seeing the other
oppressed with melancholy, said: How long is it since you were at
confession? Is it on account of your long absence from the Sacraments
that you are so much troubled? Listen to me: "Father La Nusa told me
one day that God gave me twelve years to live, and that if, within that
period, I did not amend, I should die an unhappy death. I have since
travelled through so many parts of the world; I have had many attacks
of sickness, one of which brought me to the brink of death; but, in
this month the twelve years will be completed. and I now feel better
than in any part of my past life." He then invited his friend to hear,
on Saturday, a new comedy, which he had composed. But what happened?
On Saturday, the 24th of November, 1688, as he was going on the stage,
he was seized with apoplexy, and died suddenly. He expired in the
arms of a female comedian, and thus the comedy ended. But let us make
the application to ourselves. Brother, when the devil tempts you
again to sin, if you wish to be lost, you have it in your power to
commit sin: but do not then say that you wish to be saved. As long as
you wish to sin, regard yourself as damned, and imagine that God writes
the sentence of your damnation, and that He says to you: What is
there that I ought to do more for My vineyard, that I have not done to
[Isa. 5:4] Ungrateful soul, what more ought I to do for you,
that I have
not done? But, since you wish to be lost, go into eternal fire; the
fault. is your own.
But you will say, Where then is the mercy of God? Ah, unhappy soul? Do
you not feel that God has shown you mercy in bearing with you for
so many years, after so many sins? You should remain forever prostrate
on the earth, thanking Him for His mercy, and saying: The mercies of
the Lord that we are not consumed.
[Lam. 3:22] By committing a
mortal sin, you have been guilty of a greater crime than if you had
trampled under foot the first monarch in the world. You have been
guilty of so many mortal sins, that if you had committed against your
brother the injuries which you have offered to God, he would not have
borne with you. God has not only waited for you, but He has so often
called you and invited you to pardon. What
is there that I ought to
have done more?
If God had stood in need of you, or if you had
conferred a great favor upon Him, could He show you greater mercy? If,
then, you offend Him again, you will change His mercy into wrath and
If, after the master had given it another year to produce fruit, the
fruitless fig tree still remained barren, who could expect that the
Lord would have allowed it more time, or would not have cut it down?
Listen, then, to the admonition of St. Augustine: "O fruitless tree!
the axe is deferred; be not secure: you will be cut down." Your
punishment, says the Saint, has been delayed, but not taken away; if
you abuse any longer the Divine mercy, you shall be cut down: in the
end vengeance will fall upon you. What do you wait for? Will you wait
till God sends you to Hell? But should He send you there, you already
know that your ruin is irreparable! The Lord is silent, but He is not
silent forever: when the time of vengeance arrives He no longer
holds His peace. These things hast
thou done and I was silent..
Thou thoughtest unjustly that I should be like to thee. I will reprove
thee, and set before thy face.
[Ps. 49:21] I will place before
your eyes the mercies I have shown you, and will make these very
mercies judge and
Affections and Prayers
Ah, my God! unhappy me, should I henceforth be unfaithful to Thee, and
betray Thee again after the light Thou now givest me. This light is a
sign that Thou wishest to pardon me. I repent, O Sovereign Good! of all
the injuries I have done Thee because they have offended Thee, Who art
infinite goodness. In Thy Blood I hope for pardon, and I hope for it
with certainty; but should I again turn my back upon Thee, I would
deserve a Hell created on purpose for myself. And what makes me
tremble, O God of my soul! is, that I may again lose Thy grace. I have
so often promised to be faithful to Thee, and have afterward rebelled
against Thee. Ah, Lord! do not permit it; do not ever abandon me to the
great misfortune of seeing myself again Thine enemy. Send me any
chastisement, but not this. Do not
permit me to be separated from
. Shouldst Thou see that I shall again offend Thee, strike
rather than permit so great an evil. I am content to suffer the most
cruel death, sooner than have to weep over the misery of being again
deprived of Thy grace. Do not permit
me to be separated from Thee.
repeat this prayer, O my God: grant that I may repeat it always. Do not permit me to be separated from Thee.
I love Thee, my dear
Redeemer! I do not wish to be separated from Thee. Through the merits
of Thy death, give me an ardent love, which will bind me so closely to
Thee, that I may never more be able to dissolve the union. O Mary, my
mother! I fear that if I again offend God, thou too wilt abandon me.
Assist me, then, by thy prayers; obtain for me holy perseverance and
the love of Jesus Christ.
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