title : Nov. 22th, 2015 Sun. Mass Sermon by Fr Picot
name : silviadate : 2015-12-03 09:58:51hits : 954

Last Sunday after Pentecost(November 22th, 2015)

Dear Faithful,
Today I must talk an issue which I believe very important for you, here in Korea. As far as I can know you live a fairly good Catholic life; you are devoted; you really want to go to Heaven and take action for that goal. But for such souls there are specific dangers in which they could fall and be in once again on the way to Hell.

First I will list quickly the main dangers, then I will give some guidelines to escape them. Keep in mind that all these is to help you improving your union with Christ, the center of your thoughts, the love of your life, the strength of your actions.

So, first let’s see the dangers which threaten the souls who live always in state of grace. The enemy is not happy to see your souls escaping his grips. So he counter-attacks on four fronts.

First counter-attack from Satan: a subtle come-back of pride. The shameful sins of impurity are far in the past. The soul masters better its passions so it starts taking some complacency(= to look happily) at their good works. Some of those souls make many spiritual projects and... carry out scarcely any. Others hold themselves in too high esteem.

The fruit of this subtle pride is envy and with envy comes quarrels and ill-speeches. It has been often noticed that devoted souls, priests and nuns can be very envious of the spiritual goods of others. They are saddened at hearing other people’s virtues praised. When the occasion comes, they do not fail to speak ill of them.

Second counter-attack of Satan: the devil pushes them to crave excessively for consolations. It is a sort of gluttony for spiritual sweetness. The devil whose goal is to take the soul away form God, encourages it to be attached more to the sweetness from God than to God himself.

When a devoted man is under such an attack, He feels the need at the time of communion to do much effort to give to himself the feeling of consolation. Often the efforts remain useless and then discouragement comes in...

Together with spiritual gluttony, the devil can tempt the soul with seeking sentimental friendship. It is a subtle come-back of lust. The devil adds as well temptations of spiritual laziness by which the soul is weary of spiritual exercises.

Third counter-attack of Satan: the devoted souls can be tempted with spiritual greed. They feel a great need to possess many, many spiritual books and spend much time reading them. But they spend very little time putting into practice what they read. In addition they filled their houses with a mountain of holy pictures and images. This is clearly against the spirit of poverty and it shows that the soul attached itself more to holy things than to the grace received by them.

If the soul does not resist the subtle come-back of pride, the craving for consolations and for sentimental friendship, the spiritual laziness and the spiritual avarice, soon, the devil will launch the fourth counter-attack which is a most dangerous spiritual disease.

Lukewarmness is a spiritual malady that may attack devoted and even prefect souls. In fact it is a disease of the soul by which one allows itself to lose the fervor he had before and he becomes lax.

Lukewarmness is a kind of spiritual apathy which saps the energies of the will. It gives the horror of efforts. It is a kind of sluggishness which leads slowly to spiritual death through a process of weakening our moral forces. But the process is very slow. One may compare it to a slow-working disease, like consumption, which little by little destroy a vital organ.

The lukewarm man performed his spiritual exercises with negligence, with voluntary distractions, without efforts to react against routine or laziness. Therefore the soul is deprived from many graces. It is starving from spiritual food and consequently becomes weak and unable of practicing virtues, even in face of little difficulties.

Just a little remark: Lukewarmness is not dryness of soul. When a fervent soul goes through spiritual dryness, it experiences a lot of distractions but instead of welcoming them, the fervent soul earnestly seeks to repel them. The lukewarm man, on the contrary, pet himself be carried along by useless thoughts and takes pleasure in being distracted.

Since he profits now very little from prayers he begins to shorten them and at time omits them completely. He omits his examination of conscience. He is no longer aware of his faults. He no longer strives to grow in virtue.

This slow-working disease opens the way to destructive germs. The three deadly spiritual germs of sensuality, pride of life and greed of money enter again the soul and produce very violent temptations.

Unfortunate lukewarm man! From the door of Heaven he fell back to Hell’s gate. If he does not react he is lost. If God does not give him very special graces, he is lost.

So, what are the remedies to lukewarmness?

First one must never despair. Jesus is ever ready to give again His friendship, if we be converted.

Then, the first remedy is to understand the gravity of lukewarmness. As long as the lukewarm soul is not convinced that lukewarmness causes damnation, it can not react. So the first remedy is to beg of God the grace of seeing us as we are: “My Lord, make me see” said the poor lukewarm blind men. When the blind sees he goes to Hell, he easy finds means to react.

The second remedy is to seek God’s presence. In the psalm 104 we pray this prayer: “Seek the Lord and you shall be strengthen. Seek the Lord’s Face always.” We must look for God for He alone can cure our sicknesses. We must look for Him even in the dark. When our soul is empty, cold, powerless, it is the time to seek God’s Face. When the world’s voice is so sweet at our ears it is the time to seek the Lord’s voice.

When seeking the Lord’s presence, you might hear the devil’s voice saying: “How dare you looking for the Holy One with such a sinful heart?” or he might say: “You’re powerless. You can’t make it. The search for God is above your strength.”

You, then, shall pray like this: “Lord, I seek you because I am a poor sinner, so ungrateful, so unfaithful. I seek you because you alone can make me faithful and pure.” Or you shall pray like that: “Lord, I am a cripple man. I can not go out looking for you. Please come in my sinful home to cure my weakness.”

Finally, the third remedy is to practice the virtues as soon as you have regained a little fervor. Remember that Jesus desires to be the center of all our actions. That happens bit by bit when the devoted soul strives to acquire the Christian virtues, such as: justice, perfect honesty, gentleness, sobriety in food and drinking, courage in the fight for God, patience and even joy in trials, love of silence and discretion, and so on...

So, remember the four counter-attacks that the devil might launch against you: subtle pride, re-awakening of sensuality, spiritual avarice and above all lukewarmness. Remember that Satan as a roaring lion, goes about seeking how he may devour you. Resist him strong in the faith.

Remember the three remedies: first of all: meditate to understand how dangerous are those venial sins: pride, spiritual laziness, lukewarmness. Ask the grace to see, to know what you are.
Second, seek tirelessly the Lord’s Face. Then practice virtues as much as you can.
May Our Lady keep in you the fire of divine love, making it ever more burning. Amen.

+ Fr. Picot


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