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“Catechism On Salvation” by St. Jean Marie Vianney

November 17, 2011

“THERE ARE many Christians who do not even know why they are in the world.  “Oh my God, why hast Thou sent me into the world?”  “To save your soul.” “And why dost Thou wish me to be saved?” “Because I love you.”  The good God has created us and sent us into the world because He loves us; He wishes to save us because He loves us. . . .To be saved, we must know, love and serve God.  Oh, what a beautiful life!

How good, how great a thing it is to know, to love and serve God!  We have nothing else to do in this world.  All that we do besides is lost time.  We must act only for God, and put our works into His hands. . . .We should say on awakening, “I desire to do everything today for Thee, O my God!  I will submit to all that Thou shalt send me, as coming from Thee.  I offer myself as a sacrifice to Thee.  But, O God, I can do nothing without Thee.  Do Thou help me!”

Oh, how bitterly shall we regret at the hour of death the time we have given to pleasures, to useless conversations, to repose, instead of having employed it in mortification, in prayer, in good works, in thinking of our poor misery, in weeping over our poor sins; then we shall see that we have done nothing for Heaven.  Oh, my children, how sad it is!  Three-quarters of those who are Christians labor for nothing but to satisfy this body, which will soon be buried and corrupted, while they do not give a thought to their poor soul, which must be happy or miserable for all eternity.  They have neither their sense nor reason: it makes one tremble.

Look at that man, who is so active and restless, who makes a noise in the world, who wants to govern everybody, who thinks himself of consequence, who seems as if he would like to say to the sun, “Go away, and let me enlighten the world instead of you.”  Someday this proud man will be reduced at the utmost to a little handful of dust, which will be swept away from river to river, from Saone to Saone, and at last into the sea.

See my children, I often think that we are like those little heaps of sand that the wind raises on the road, which whirl round for a moment, and are scattered directly. . . .We have brothers and sisters who say, it is too difficult to save one’s soul.  Yet nothing is easier.  To observe the Commandments of God and of the Church, and avoid the seven capital sins; that is all; or if you like to put it so, to do good and avoid evil: that is all.  Good Christians, who labor to save their souls and to work out their salvation, are always happy and contented; they enjoy beforehand the happiness of Heaven: they will be happy for all eternity. 

While bad Christians, who lose their souls, are always to be pitied; they murmur, they are sad, they are as miserable as stones; and they will be so for all eternity.  See what a difference!

This is a good rule of conduct, to do nothing but what we can offer to the good God.  Now, we cannot offer to Him slanders, calumnies, injustice, anger, blasphemy, impurity, theatres, dancing; yet that is all that people do in the world.  Speaking of dances, St. Francis de Sales used to say that “they were like mushrooms, the best were good for nothing.”

Mothers are apt to say indeed, “Oh, I watch over my daughters.”  They watch over their attire, but they cannot watch over their hearts.  Those who have dances in their houses load themselves with a terrible responsibility before God; they are answerable for all the evil that is done-for the bad thoughts, the slanders, the jealousies, the hatred, the revenge. . . .Ah, if they well understood this responsibility they would never have any dances. 

Just like those who make bad pictures and statues, or write bad books, they will have to answer for all the harm that these things will do during all the time they last. . . .Oh, that makes one tremble!

See, my children, we must reflect that we have a soul to save, and an eternity that awaits us.  The world, its riches, pleasures, and honors will pass away.  Let us take care, then.  The Saints did not all begin well; but they all ended well.  We have begun badly; let us end well, and we shall go one day and meet them in Heaven.”


2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 17, 2011 9:52 pm

    I knew there was a reason why I didn’t want to go to any of the dances at school and then I felt weird when I went to my senior dances; because I was doing something that couldn’t be offered to God; as the Great Cure teaches. That is why I will not dance anymore and just go for the wedding feast but not the dances.

  2. November 18, 2011 12:14 am

    I agree with St. John, but in this day and age it is so hard to do what God wants us to do because of all the distractions..I try everyday to do my best to know, love & serve God..The devil is very deceptive these days, a wolf in sheeps clothing..As hard as we might try sometimes we can’t always obey every capital sin or commandment..We are human and we fall..But the most awesome thing about our faith is that we can get back up, dust ourselves off and try again..

    As far as the dances..I went to my prom, and a few other dances..They weren’t the best..My kids don’t go to dances since we homeschool..A very devout Catholic family has family square dances in there barn..We have attended one, but we’re not the dancing type..

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