It’s not too late to take a tip on Christmas gift-giving from two Doctors of the Church: St. Alphonsus Liguori and St. Teresa of Avila. Help a soul in purgatory reach heaven on December 25. And — marking the eight days of the Octave of Christmas — keep giving, keep helping, through January 1.
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"God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made them. But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it.
But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them. They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; and their passing away was thought an affliction and their going forth from us, utter destruction. But they are in peace. For if before men, indeed, they be punished, yet is their hope full of immortality; Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed, because God tried them and found them worthy of himself. As gold in the furnace, he proved them, and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself. In the time of their visitation they shall shine, and shall dart about as sparks through stubble; They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, and the Lord shall be their King forever. Those who trust in him shall understand truth, and the faithful shall abide with him in love: Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, and his care is with his elect."
-1 Wisdom 2:23–3:9
One of the most hopeful passages in scripture: "But the souls of the just are in the hand of God, and no torment shall touch them."
No matter the trials and reversals you may be currently experiencing or that may lie ahead, know that you are in the hands of God and no torment shall touch you.
"Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Jesus Christ has conquered death. We, His followers, hold onto the hope that through our baptism and life of faith, we too will conquer death in the end.
"I beseech you, my child, to look at the heaven and the earth and see everything that is in them, and recognize that God did not make them out of things that existed. Thus also mankind comes into being."
-2 Maccabees 7:28
Look to heaven in temptation and trial and remember that God brought everything into being and keeps it so, including you.
"He will destroy death forever. The Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces."
Like any good father, Our Heavenly Father knows us implicitly. He is aware of our every sorrow and pain. He embraces us in our need and wipes aware all of our tears. Do you think of God as your tender, loving Father? If not, ask Him to show you today how much He cares for you.
"Hell is full of the talented, but Heaven of the energetic."
-Saint Jeanne de Chantal
What does this quote mean to you?
"A priest goes to Heaven or a priest goes to Hell with a thousand people behind."
-Saint John Vianney
A priest has numerous souls entrusted to his care. Let us pray for our priests today, that they may be holy men of God.
"You can’t go to Heaven hating somebody. Forgive now. Be compassionate now. Be patient now. Be grateful now. Love Jesus and Mary now. Accept God’s will now."
As we enter Thanksgiving week, with Advent soon thereafter, who do you need to forgive?
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