Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pray for Your Loved Ones

I don't think I've ever posted a "Vortex" episode here before, but I do watch this show daily (along with "The Download"). 

This Vortex is a little's not about the evils and failings of our leaders, per se, but rather about the importance of praying for the souls of those we see "slouching into hell". It's about the importance of being willing to make a sacrifice for the salvation of souls. What I really like is MV's point that we don't get to the point of being able to sincerely and selflessly make that kind of sacrifice without a lot of spiritual work and God's grace.

Here's the episode. Pray for your loved ones. [I've updated to include the transcript, below.]

Many of you, many of us, have family and loved ones who — let's face it — are on their way to Hell. Despite the load of garbage spewing out of the Church of Nice that we have a reasonable hope that all men are saved, we know deep down that there isn't a ring of truth to that.

We know that people do not go to Heaven who are indifferent or lukewarm toward the Faith. Our Blessed Lord Himself tells us He will vomit the lukewarm from His mouth. Same is true of those hostile to the Faith; live in opposition to the Holy Catholic Faith, and a person dies forever in opposition to God. And this is true even if we love the person. Our love for them does not cancel out their indifference toward God.

The reality for many people is that their loved ones are not directly hostile toward God. They don't walk around actively cursing Him and carrying on with great drama. They simply live lives of great indifference to God. It could be termed that they are slouching into Hell. They are lazily, slothfully, strolling along, walking down a long and winding path — with emphasis on "down."

Many of you have spoken to your loved ones — children, siblings, grandchildren — and no matter what you say, nothing seems to get through. Not only is it frightening on a supernatural level, it's almost maddening on just a natural level. Why are they so unconcerned? Why won't they listen to you?

The bottom line is because they have rejected the grace of the call to conversion. They more than likely care on some level, but not enough to have remorse and then repent. And next to nothing you will say will engender a change — nothing you will say. But something you do might engender a change.

You must pray for something to crash into their lives and awaken them to the supernatural peril into which they placed their souls. This isn't to say that you need to pray for a calamity to strike; but you should pray that whatever needs to happen does happen — even if it does have the outward appearance of being "bad."

However "bad" it may be, it will be nowhere near as bad as their being damned. And this kind of prayer requires enormous strength on your part; it requires a sacrifice of great proportion.

In my own case, my mother, Anne, prayed for my brother Marshall and me: "Jesus, I don't care what you do to me. Do whatever you have to do, but spare the eternal lives of my two sons."

As many of you know, doctors discovered the very earliest stages of cancer in her stomach after she prayed that prayer. But it takes a spiritual Hercules to utter a prayer like that and mean it. The back story on that prayer was all the preceding years of prayer my mother made to get to a point, to arrive at a spiritual point of strength, where she could make that final prayer.

For many years my mother prayed for her two sons. She grew frustrated at Our Lord's seeming indifference; she even scolded Him from time to time for not listening to her. Irish mom, you know; not much in the way of patience there.

The point is: Even the one offering the sacrifice and prayers must themselves be prepared to offer an even more efficacious sacrifice. All those years, and what I'm certain was thousands of rosaries, were storing up in my mom a warehouse of graces, even though she had no "feeling" of it.  

She knew on some intellectual level that God would answer her prayers, but she seldom felt that way — which is another reason Catholics do not move on our emotions, but on our intellectual certitude.

And then one day ,moved by grace, she just lost it and prayed the perfect sacrificial prayer: I don't care about myself; use me to save them.

She has crossed the spiritual Rubicon, and now her great sacrifice was ready, prepared by all those years of suffering in frustration and grumbling and irritation — and love. My mother was indeed a St. Monica, and this is what we must all pray to become on behalf of souls.
It is not enough to pray for someone's salvation; we must pray that we can stand in their place and bear some of the cost of their sins. What is a sacrifice, after all, other than an exchange, where one thing is traded for another. Our Blessed Lord Himself showed us the way — literally.

This kind of heroism is not usually available by just the simple asking. In my mother's case, she had to be prepared to come to this point of truly sacrificial prayer. We must pray to be brought to this point as well. We must not just comprehend the power of sacrifice, we must desire to be sacrificed for the love of souls.

Never give up on your children's salvation. Never lose your hope. But do ask, pray to become a living sacrifice for souls — your loved ones, and others.

While the Church was built on the blood of the martyrs, it is sustained through the sacrifices of each generation of martyrs — red martyrs and white martyrs.

The Cross is the key — as it has always been.

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