Help me to grow in holiness by saturating my soul with grace and eradicating every sin and imperfection within it. I wish to be with you for all eternity.
My Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power. I love you. Thank you for loving me first.
+ Amen +
Then I saw a great white throne and him who sat upon it; from his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them.
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, by what they had done.
And the sea gave up the dead in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead in them, and all were judged by what they had done.
Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire; and if any one’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.
– Luke 2:22-24
As a child of Dear Mom, being Christians who now are dedicated to the Mass, the Rosary and lives of prayer, we begin to defeat sin and the world and become ready to face our death’s with courage.
Death, Judgement, Heaven and Hell
All numbers in parenthesis represent the paragraph number of the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
Grace is help from the Holy Spirit to become holy (1987). It is our lifeline to God and we receive it at baptism. While we live, Christ gives us a chance to embrace Him and be filled with His grace.
When we die, the time to accept Christ ends. We are taken to our judgement where Christ determines if we loved Him or not by seeing if we are in a state of grace (1021-1022). As a result:
If we have loved Him (are in the state of grace) with all our heart and if our soul is perfectly pure, we are taken immediately to Heaven (1023).
If we have loved Him (are in the state of grace), but our soul is not perfectly pure, we go to purgatory where the fires will burn away our attachments to sin and the world (1030).
If we have rejected God by sinning and refusing to repent right to our deaths (are not in the state of grace), we go into the fires of Hell forever (1033-1037).
Simply put, if we die in the state of grace, we will go to Heaven (or at least purgatory). If die without grace, we will go to Hell.
Further, if we say we love Christ and Mom, give everything to Mom during our life, and if we have truly pursued holiness, then Mom will come with us to our judgement. She will not abandon us, her children, but will come and speak for us to her Son. And Christ will see us as His own sibling under the mantle of His mother.
With Dear Mom as our advocate, and Our Lord as our brother, we are assured of salvation!
But, if we say we love Christ and Mom, yet persist in a life of sin, our words are false and we are damned forever.
State of Grace
Our hearts were meant to be pure because they were created by a good God. In the beginning, we were His friends, we enjoyed true peace with all, and we were destined for Heaven (374-376).
But our first parents listened to the devil, lost their trust in God and disobeyed Him. This was the first sin and it had three effects:
Loss of Holiness and Justice
The friendship they had with God and the peace they enjoyed was all destroyed (399 – 400).
Inheritance of Original Sin
We, their children, were supposed to inherit their holiness and peace at birth, but now, we only inherit the injury of their sin, the loss of holiness and peace. This injury is called Original Sin (CCC 402).
Suffering enters the world
Because of this, we became inclined to sin and to hurting one another and the world; and all the source of our suffering – sorrow, illness, pain, disaster and death – became part of our story (399-408).
We were meant to be born with pure hearts, but instead, our hearts are now stained and blackened by Original Sin.
God could have left us in this state to live our lives as we wanted to, hurting each other, dying in our sin and then going to Hell. But, God so loved us that He chose to save us from this end by sending Jesus Christ, His Son, into the world to die for our sins.
By His death, He gave us the means to be restored to grace: Baptism. When we are baptized, we are cleansed of Original Sin, forgiven of all our sins and enter into a state of grace.
But, there is one thing that severs this lifeline with God: Sin.
Sin is anything we purposely think, say or act that is against God. It is a disease of the soul that is born when we lose our trust in God and His goodness (397).
Sin is like a disease in that the more time we spend around it, the more likely we are to sin; and if we do sin, the more it spreads, the stronger it gets and the more it spreads to others.
The price of sin is eternal punishment in Hell and if we persist in sin, that is our end.
Not every one who says to me, “Lord, Lord,” shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.
On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?”
And then will I declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.”
– Matthew 7:21-23
But, worse than what sin does to us is what it does to Christ and Dear Mom.
Sin scourges the Sacred Heart
The Sacred Heart of Christ, which suffered so greatly for us, is so tormented by our sins that we essentially re-crucify Him by our own hands.
For it is impossible to restore again to repentance those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they then commit apostasy, since they crucify the Son of God on their own account and hold him up to contempt.
– Hebrews 6:4-6
Sin scourges the Immaculate Heart
And the Immaculate Heart of Dear Mom, which endured the greatest darkness of human sorrow when her Son was first crucified, suffers again when we sin because she sees us drive nails into her Son again and again every time we sin.
“Look my daughter, at my Heart, surrounded with thorns with which ungrateful men pierce me at every moment by their blasphemies and ingratitude. You at least try to console me…”
– Dear Mom to Sr. Lucia at Fatima
Where Sin takes Us
Sin breaks us off from God. And for what gain? More material pleasures? They all vanish at death, but our soul lasts forever.
For one short lifetime of pleasure, we end up grieving Christ and Dear Mom and throwing our souls into eternal fire where we must endure eternal suffering, sorrow and pain. This is such a tragic price for a short lived life of pleasure.
Yet, for one short lifetime of prayer and sacrifice, we end up being with God and Dear Mom in eternal paradise where we will no longer endure suffering, sorrow or pain. What a glorious gift from God for those who wish to be with Him!
The only result of sin for us purgatory or hell.
The only result of purity is Heaven.
At all costs, starting today, avoid sin and become pure.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
– Matthew 5:8
Types of Sin
If any one sees his brother committing what is not a mortal sin, he will ask, and God will give him life for those whose sin is not mortal. There is sin which is mortal; I do not say that one is to pray for that. All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin which is not mortal.
– 1 John 5:16-17
There are two types of sin: mortal sin and venial sin.
A mortal sin is any sin that is truly evil (a violation against God, our neighbor or His commandments), that we know is evil and that we choose to do anyway.
If we die in this state, we go to Hell. But, we can resolve mortal sins through the Sacrament of Confession.
A venial sin is any sin that is not mortal and can be easily pardoned.1 However, venial sins can add up to a mortal sin.
These sins can be resolved through prayer, fasting, and acts of charity, or in the next life through purgatory.
Life without Sin
Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the Lord God, and not rather that he should turn from his way and live?
– Ezekial 18:23
God does not want anyone to be damned, but to be saved. That is why the Church has two practices to help us live a life without sin: the Sacrament of Confession and Spiritual Direction.
Sacrament of Confession
This is the sacrament by which we receive God’s forgiveness for our sins, especially mortal. As long as we are truly sorry and commit to changing, God will forgive us.
Spiritual Direction is the practice of meeting with a priest or a member of a religious order to receive spiritual mentoring and counseling; and receive help in growing in holiness, resolving sinful habits and avoiding sin.
We will be adopting both monthly confession and spiritual direction in The Little Marian Way.
The Sacrament of Confession
All these things my hand has made, and so all these things are mine, says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look, he that is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.
– Isaiah 66:2
Before any confession, there are two requirements: examination of conscience and contrition.
Examination of Conscience
The examination of conscience is a short exercise we use to identify our sins. Every night, we simply look back through our day and see where we did not honor God. Then we commit to confessing our sins and to changing our ways.
Contrition is the act of recognizing our sins, being truly sorry for them and committing to change.1 We must be contrite for us to be forgiven by God. Without it, we are not forgiven.
When we are sorry for our sins because they have offended God, this is Perfect Contrition.
When we are sorry for our sins because we are scared of Hell or of losing Heaven, this is Imperfect Contrition.
When we have completed our examination of conscience and are contrite, we can ask a priest if he can hear our confession.
During Confession, we confess our sins to God through the priest, and ask for God’s forgiveness. The priest then gives us advice about how to manage the situation that led to us sinning, assigns us penance and absolves us from our sins.
The penance can include prayers or acts of charity. It is meant to address the destruction we caused by our sin. The penance may not undo the destruction we caused. In fact, we may have to address it through sacrifice and more work in this life; or in purgatory.
After Confession, as long as we are still contrite, committed to changing and have completed our penance, God has forgiven us.
Please reflect on this. God has forgiven us. He has blotted out our sins, thrown them into the ocean, and no longer holds it against us.
Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance? He does not retain his anger for ever because he delights in steadfast love.
He will again have compassion upon us, he will tread our iniquities under foot. Thou wilt cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
– Micah 7:18-19
Our duty thereafter is to live as holy Christians and avoid sinning. This is difficult and will take a lifetime of work, which is why it is important to attend Confession once a month.
Death without Sin
When Christ was crucified, He was crucified with two sinners beside him. Read this conversation.
One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingly power.” And He said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
– Luke 23:39-43
God wants to save everyone. He takes no pleasure in losing any of us. Until the last second, He will give us the chance to choose Him. We may need to go to Purgatory, but we will always have a chance until the last moment to avoid Hell and embrace Heaven.
As you read above, when Christ was dying on the Cross, one of the criminals (tradition calls him St. Dismas) asked Christ to simply remember him. And Christ, out of love for St. Dismas and recognizing St. Dismas’ love for Him, declared that St. Dismas would be with Him in Heaven.
Recall dear reader, that you have said this same prayer five times now on this retreat at the beginning of each reading. Just as St. Dismas had perfect contrition, sought Christ’s forgiveness, and received Christ’s promise, so the same will happen for you if you have perfect contrition and seek God’s forgiveness at death.
The only requirement to avoiding Hell is perfect contrition and seeking God’s forgiveness at death. Even if we have lived a life of incredible sin, are dying and have no access to confession, if we are perfectly contrite and seek His forgiveness, God will forgive us. God will save us.
The Terrible Sins at Death
This doesn’t, however, gives us permission to sin until the end. There are four things to fear if we think we can sin until death:
This is a sin where we think we can live in sin because we will be saved. Like all sins, it will lead to worse sins.
Imperfect Contrition at Death
If we live a life of sin until the end, the fear of death and eternal hell may scare us into imperfect contrition. It will be too late to experience perfect contrition and it will be too late for salvation; we will be damned.
If we live a life of sin until the end, our guilt may cause us to think that God will never forgive us. We will not be contrite at death and we will be damned.
If we are dying in a state of mortal sin, we may refuse to ask God for forgiveness, hate God or think Hell is better. We will reject God and we will be damned.
The Greatest Grace
However, if we live a life of holiness by following The Little Marian Way, we are assured of “Final Perseverance”.
This is an incredible gift from God where despite our fears, we will love and trust God first, have perfect contrition, and be assured of salvation.
We are assured of Final Perseverance because we are committing to rid ourselves of our imperfections with the help of Dear Mother and because of the devotions we practice. By this, we will be with God because our lives will prove that we loved God first. Again:
Dear Mom has promised to save those who abide by The Brown Scapular.
Dear Mom has promised to save those who say the Rosary daily (Promise 5).
Three Hail Mary Devotion
Dear Mom has promised to visit those at death who practice this devotion daily.
St. Mary of Egypt
In closing to this incredibly important topic, I wish to share with you an example of God’s mercy and penance: the story of St. Mary of Egypt (344 AD to 421 AD).1
In her youth, Mary had lived a life of deep sin and impurity that had corrupted many people.
At age 29, curious about the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, she attempted to enter the church but was repeatedly repelled by an invisible force.
Retreating to a small corner and turning to a statue of Dear Mom, she realized the weight of her sins and repented. With great confidence, she asked Mom that if she were allowed to venerate the Cross, she would change her life and listen to her.
With confidence, she successfully entered the church. She venerated the Cross, received her instructions from Dear Mom, went to the Jordan, received Holy Communion and crossed over into the desert.
For 47 years, she remained alone in the desert. During Lent, a priest named Zosimus entered the desert. He found her and learned of her story. He came back to her again a year later, gave her communion on Holy Thursday and she passed away that night.
The desert was both her penance and spiritual direction. By ridding herself of all her bodily desires, she was able to atone for the destruction she caused. Today, she is a saint in Heaven.
Recite the Minim
Say the Minim daily and ask Dear Mom for help when saying the Rosary.
The Brown Scapular
Continue the process of enrolling yourself into the confraternity of the brown scapular, by following these steps, and do not give up until it is done.
Monthly Confession & Spiritual Direction
Proceed with arranging for yourself monthly confession and spiritual direction by following these steps.