[Adapted from What You Take To Heaven]
In religion, there can be a disconnection. When there is, it doesn't prepare us like it could for eternity. We go with less than we can.
We see this with those who suffer from a "spirit of religiosity," folks who are legalistic and follow the rules -- on the surface, a holy life -- but too often have been harsh on others, fixated on the parts, the mechanics, the codicil, the footnotes, instead of the spirit; not using the gifts of the Church to full effect and perhaps not at all. They genuflect correctly but have exhibited a wrong heart.
They can tell you the difference between blessed and chrism oils. They have the holy days memorized: all good things.
But if it doesn't lead to love (only to self-righteousness, even spiritual arrogance, which becomes judgmentalism), such people, in their zeal, and scrupulosity, are fooling themselves.
Rosary after rosary must be applied properly. They must lead us upward.
It is not a routine. If you pray by rote -- automatically, with no feeling -- reform your prayer. If you harbor ill will, correct this as soon as you can (by imploring the Holy Spirit).
At Kibeho, the Lord allegedly told a seer, when asked why religious misunderstandings and disunity occur, "It is because they believe without believing; they love without loving."
A prayer from the heart is almost inconceivably powerful when it is well-intended, unselfish, seeks to cleanse, and asks for what the soul needs (such as a virtue) instead of what the body and mentality and sensuality desire. Prayers for a virtue are virtually always answered.
A truly spiritual person has love and expresses love through humility, which can come from the Rosary, for was not Mary humble?
When there's haughtiness that is a blaring sign that says, "Arrogance. No Love." When there is superiority, it is loving oneself above those over whom we feel superior.
Again, this is peril. I must emphasize and re-emphasize it: An attitude of superiority has no place in Heaven. We don't know exactly where we stand with God until He shows us (which He will do gently, lovingly, but in a way of truth that's impossible to deny) our lives, from His perspective.
God evaluates right back to the very beginning of our ancestries. He knows what we were born with. He knows how we were raised. He knows our handicaps. He knows what we're supposed to do. He knows how we're supposed to progress. He knows what genetic or psychological or spiritual baggage a person has. He knows the angels and demons, the disembodied, that may be inhibiting us.
A haughty spirit indeed goes before a fall!
"There are souls in purgatory, even religious, who have very much to suffer because of their sham and feigned piety," said the 1931 revelation from Germany. "Men who have real, genuine piety are always discreet and understanding, because they are intimately united with the Holy Spirit and therefore harm no one. This is why there is correct judgment. The discreet are never harsh or bitter; they can understand everyone, even sinners.
"Each soul appears like a beautiful mosaic made by God with a marvelous Divine art and consisting of many little stones. All the graces which we possess God has worked into this masterpiece. If we destroy or lose these tiny mosaic stones, if we do not continually endeavor to beautify this mosaic in our souls, we cause such ugly gaps. In purgatory this picture must be completed; everything that had been lost must be restored so that nothing is wanting to the soul's original splendor. God Himself -- the wonderful God -- would be outraged if all were not restored. The souls which enter Heaven must lack for nothing.
"The sufferings and trials on earth are meritorious; do not lose one of them," said that nun in "Unpublished Manuscript." "But above all, love. Love wipes out many faults and makes one avoid them so as not to give pain to the One we love."
All our lives we must "pack our bags" with love for God.