Saturday, March 4, 2017

THE END OF THE PRESENT WORLD

I am reading this book at present, and am so impressed with it that I decided to quote a little bit from it.
St Therese said of this book:"Reading this was one of the greatest graces of my life. I read it at the window of my study, and the impression I received from it is too intimate and too sweet for me to express...   All the great truths of religion, the mysteries of eternity, plunged my soul into a happiness not of this earth....

The author, Father Charles Arminjon, was a highly esteemed preacher in France. His book consists of nine conferences that he preached at the Chambery Cathedral and then published in 1881 under the title Fin du Monde Present et Mysteries de la Vie Future. He delivered these conferences with the express purpose of combating " the fatal error and great plague of our century", which he described as " the absence of the sense of the supernatural, and the profound neglect of the great truths of the future life".
On June 4 and 5 in the year 1887, St Therese copied out an extract from Father Arminjon's seventh conference, on "Eternal Beatitude and the Supernatural Vision of God".
As no mother loved her dearest son, so the Lord loves His predestinate. He is jealous of His dignity and could not permit Himself to be outdone by His creature on the score of fidelity and generosity. Oh! The Lord cannot forget that the saints, when they once lived on earth, paid homage to Him by the total donation of their repose, their happiness and their whole being; that they would have liked to have had an inexhaustible flow of blood in their veins, in order to shed it as a living and imperishable pledge of their faith; that they would have desired a thousand hearts in their breasts, so as to consume them in the unquenchable fires of their love; and to possess a thousand bodies, in order that they might deliver them to martyrdom, like victims unceasingly renewed. And the grateful God cries out: Now my turn!  The saints have given me the gift of themselves: can I respond other than by giving myself, without restriction and without measure? If I place in their hands the scepter of creation, if I surround them with the torrents of my light, that is a great deal; it is going beyond their highest hopes and aspirations, but it is not the utmost endeavor of my Heart.  I owe them more than Paradise, more than the treasures of my knowledge; I owe them my life, my nature, my eternal and infinite substance. If I bring my servants and friends into my house, if I console them and make them thrill with joy by enfolding them in the embrace of my charity, this satisfies their thirst and their desires super-abundantly, and is more than the perfect repose of their hearts requires; but it is not enough for the gratification of my divine Heart, for the repletion and perfect satisfaction of my Love. I must be the soul of their souls, I must penetrate and imbue them with my divinity, as fire penetrates iron; by showing myself to their spirits, undisguised, unveiled, without the intervention of the senses, I must unite myself to them in an eternal face-to-face, so that my glory illuminates them, exudes and radiates through all the pores of their being, so that, "knowing me as I know them they may become Gods themselves"

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