"God looks neither at long nor beautiful prayers, but at those that come from the heart."

The Cure D'Ars

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"Try to turn your heart from the love of things visible and bring yourself to things invisible. For they who follow their own evil passions stain their consciences and lose the grace of God. "

Thomas á Kempis

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"Many words do not satisfy the soul; but a good life eases the mind and a clean conscience inspires great trust in God."

Thomas á Kempis

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Blessed John of Rusybroeck   (1293-1381)

 

THE ADORNMENT OF THE SPIRITUAL MARRIAGE (cont)

 

by Blessed John of Rusybroeck

 

THE FIRST BOOK

7. Of the Blessed Sacraments

 
There is still another coming of Christ our Bridegroom, taking place every day, with growth of grace and renewal of gifts. That is, when a man receives some sacrament with a humble heart void of anything contrary thereto. In this way he receives new gifts and more ample grace, because of his humility and through the mysterious working of Christ in the sacraments. Those things which are contrary to the sacraments are unbelief in Baptism, a lack of repentance in Confession, and approaching the Sacrament of the Altar in the state of mortal sin or with an evil intention; and so on as regards the other sacraments. Those who act thus receive no new grace; rather does their sinfulness increase.

This is the other coming of Christ our Bridegroom, which is present with us every day. We should consider it with a desiring heart, lest it should not take place within us; for it is needful, if we are to remain steadfast and to go forward in eternal life.
 

8. Of the Third Coming of Christ

 
The third coming, which is yet to be, will take place at the Judgment, or in the hour of death. The wherefore of this coming is the fitting time, the due cause, and the righteousness of the Judge.

The time which is fitting for this coming is the hour of death, and the Last Judgment of all men. When God created the soul out of nothing and united it with the body, He set a fixed day and a fixed hour known only of Him, when it should have to give up temporal things and to appear in His presence.

The due cause: for the soul must then account for every word spoken and for every deed done, before the Eternal Truth.

The righteousness of the Judge, for it is to Christ that this Judgment and this Verdict belong; for He is the Son of Man and the Wisdom of the Father, and to this Wisdom all judgment is given, since all hearts, in heaven, and on earth, and in hell, are clear and open to It. And therefore these three points are the occasions of the general coming in the Day of Doom, and of the particular coming to each man in the hour of his death.
 

9. Showing what Christ will do in the Day of Doom

 
In this Judgment Christ, our Bridegroom and our Judge, will reward and punish, according to justice; for He will give every man that which he has earned. He will give to the good, for every good work done in God, a wage without measure, that is to say, God's very Self, Whom no creature of itself can earn. But when God works these works with and through the creature, then by His power the creature gains His very Self as wage. And with due justice He will give eternal woe and eternal sorrow to the damned; for these despised and rejected the Eternal Good for a good that cannot endure. And of their own free will they have turned away from God, and have set themselves against His glory and His will, and have sought after creatures; and so shall they be justly condemned.

Those who bear witness at the Judgment are the angels and the conscience of men. And the adversary is the hellish fiend; and the Judge is Christ, Whom none can deceive.