Antidote To Pride, Lust And Purgatory Is Found In Real Power Of The Eucharist
By Michael H. Brown
(adapted from Michael H. Brown's Secrets of the Eucharist available in the bookstore)
Lives lived without Mass and love for God are atoned for by intense sufferings in purgatory. Some say a moment there can be more difficult than the hardest life. Minutes are like years. There are flames there, too, we are told, and they make the hottest flame on earth seem like a cool breeze by comparison.
This is not to frighten, but to inform. While fearfulness is wrong, so is an attitude that is Pollyanna and "feelgood" -- that makes it seem like anything goes, that we don't have to worry about sin, that there is only the bright side of eternity.
Let's be truthful: There can be suffering in the hereafter, and that includes the in-between state called purgatory. Many souls find themselves there due to pride and lust. The sin of pride is the root of many other sins. Pride is self-centered and therefore the opposite of love. Pride is seeking power and attention. Pride is believing what we do is superior to the work of another. Pride is believing we are always right. Pride is conceit, a puffed-up sense of self worth, haughtiness, and self-satisfaction.
This is very dangerous because when we're arrogant -- when we think we're better than others -- we're doing spiritual violence to those we feel superior to. It is pride that inspires the miser. It's pride that inspires the tyrant. It's ethnic pride that starts so many wars. Pride leads to materialism and other offenses -- offenses that send people to a purgation that is most painful.
We can't get directly to heaven unless, during life, we are humble and demonstrate a tireless desire to be in heaven with the Lord.
And one of the most effective ways of doing that is to spend time in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. Those with insights into purgatory have told us that we should practice perpetual Adoration in our hearts and that we should prepare for Communion by meditating beforehand. We must carefully set forth an abode for Christ -- praying to Him before Mass -- and also invite Him to remain with us by our love for Him. We must throw ourselves entirely into His divine arms, into His Sacred Heart, and then there is no reason to fear anything in the hereafter. If every morning we say a prayer to Our Lord and adore Him to make up for the Adoration that is lacking in so many churches -- if we pray as if in abandoned chapels, making up for the emptiness in so many churches -- how much we relieve Him and cause Him to want to make a special effort on our behalf when we need Him during our final hours!
Only if we adopt God's Will as our own -- only if we rid our actions of self will and instead do everything for God -- do we head toward the kind of perfection necessary to enter heaven.
To do something through self-will and self-love is self-defeating. If there is a motive that involves self will instead of God's Will, we are not living the Eucharist -- whereas if we live the Mass we are walking with Jesus to Calvary and thus to our own resurrection.
We best live God's Will through reception of the Eucharist. When we receive Communion or pray before the Blessed Sacrament, the Lord lends insights into who we are, what we need to do, and what we need to purge. We need only to pray with our hearts as we worship -- as we plead for mercy, as we adore. That's when Jesus communicates. That's when we get our bearings. And that's when we get an idea of what we need to do as our purgation -- the cleansing that leads to heaven -- here on earth.
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