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Revelations of St. Bridget

Revelations and Prophecies Imparted to St. Bridget


Book Three

Chapter Nineteen

         In this chapter we see St. Bridget's reply to Christ on how she is afflicted by various useless thoughts, and how she cannot get rid of them. Our Lord's reply to the bride about why God permits this, and about the usefulness of such thoughts and fears with respect to her reward, are encouraging though He places the caveat that this is provided she detests the thoughts and has a prudent fear of God, and how she - and we - should never make light of venial sin lest it lead to mortal sin. Our Lord also clarifies about the two bishops that have been referred to throughout the previous chapters.

    The Son speaks to the bride: "What are you worried and anxious about?"

    She answered: "I am afflicted by various useless thoughts that I cannot get rid of, and hearing about your terrible judgment upsets me."

    The Son answered: "This is truly just. Earlier you found pleasure in worldly desires against My will, but now different thoughts are allowed to come to you against your will. But have a prudent fear of God, and put great trust in Me, your God, knowing for certain that when your mind does not take pleasure in sinful thoughts but struggles against them by detesting them, then they become a purgation and a crown for the soul.

    But if you take pleasure in committing even a slight sin, which you know to be a sin, and you do so trusting to your own abstinence and presuming on grace, without doing penance and reparation for it, know that it can become a mortal sin.

    Accordingly, if some sinful pleasure of any kind comes into your mind, you should right away think about where it is heading and repent. After human nature was weakened, sin has frequently arisen out of human infirmity. There is no one who does not sin at least venially, but God has in His mercy given mankind the remedy of feeling sorrow for each sin as well as anxiety about not having made sufficient reparation for the sins for which one has made reparation.

    God hates nothing so much as when you know you have sinned but do not care, trusting to your other meritorious actions, as if, because of them, God would put up with your sin, as if He could not be glorified without you, or as if He would let you do something evil with His permission, seeing all the good deeds you have done, since, even if you did a hundred good deeds for each wicked one, you still would not be able to pay God back for His goodness and love.

    So, then, maintain a rational fear of God and, even if you cannot prevent these thoughts, then at least bear them patiently and use your will to struggle against them. You will not be condemned because of their entering your head, unless you take pleasure in them, since it is not within your power to prevent them.

    Again, maintain your fear of God in order not to fall through pride, even though you do not consent to the thoughts. Anyone who stands firm stands by the power of God alone.

    Thus fear of God is like the gateway into Heaven. Many there are who have fallen headlong to their deaths, because they cast off the fear of God and were then ashamed to make a confession before men, although they had not been ashamed to sin before God. Therefore, I shall refuse to absolve the sin of a person who has not cared enough to ask My pardon for a small sin. In this manner, sins are increased through habitual practice, and a venial sin that could have been pardoned through contrition becomes a serious one through a person's negligence and scorn, as you can deduce from the case of this soul who has already been condemned.

    After having committed a venial and pardonable sin, he augmented it through habitual practice, trusting to his other good works, without thinking that I might take lesser sins into account. Caught in a net of habitual and inordinate pleasure, his soul neither corrected nor curbed his sinful intention, until the time for his sentencing stood at the gates and his final moment was approaching. This is why, as the end approached, his conscience was suddenly agitated and painfully afflicted because he was soon to die and he was afraid to lose the little, temporary good he had loved. Up until a sinner's final moment God abides him, waiting to see if he is going to direct his free will away from his attachment to sin.

    However, if a soul's will is not corrected, that soul is then confined by an end without end. What happens is that the devil, knowing that each person will be judged according to his conscience and intention, labors mightily at the end of life to distract the soul and turn it away from rectitude of intention, and God allows it to happen, since the soul refused to remain vigilant when it ought to have.

    Furthermore, do not grow overconfident and presumptuous, if I call anyone My friend or servant as I once called this man. I also called Judas a friend and Nebuchadnezzar a servant. I Myself said: 'You are my friends if you carry out My commandments.' In the same way, I now say: 'The people who imitate Me are My friends; those who persecute Me by scorning My commandments are My enemies.'

    After it had been said that I had found a man after My own heart, did not David commit the sin of murder? Solomon, who received such wonderful gifts and promises, sinned against goodness and, due to his ingratitude, the promise was fulfilled not in him but in Me, the Son of God.

    Accordingly, just as when you dictate you add a closing formula at the end, I will also add this closing formula to My locution: If anyone does My will and gives up his own, he will receive the inheritance of eternal life. He who hears My will but does not persevere in doing it, will end up like the worthless and ungrateful servant. However, you should not lose hope, if I call anyone an enemy, since as soon as an enemy changes his will for the better he will be a friend of God. Was not Judas together with the twelve when I said: 'You, My friends, who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones.' At the time Judas was indeed following Me, but he will not sit with the twelve. In what way, then, have the words of God been fulfilled? I answer: God, Who sees people's hearts and wills, judges and rewards according as He sees.

    A human being judges according to what she or he sees on the surface. Therefore, in order that no good person should grow proud or any bad person should lose hope, God has called both good and bad to the apostolate, just as every day He calls both good and bad to higher rank so that everyone whose way of life accords with his office will be glorified in eternity. He who assumes the honor but not the burden is glorified in time and perishes in eternity. Because Judas did not follow Me with a perfect heart, the words 'you who have followed Me' did not apply to him, inasmuch as he did not persevere to the point of reward.

    However, the words did apply to those persons who were to persevere both then and in the time to come, for the Lord, for Whom all things are present, sometimes says things in present time that apply to the future, and sometimes speaks about things that are going to be accomplished as if they have already been accomplished. Sometimes, too, he mixes past and future and uses the past for the future, so that no one may presume to analyze the immutable purpose of the Trinity.

    Hear one thing more: 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' This man was called to the episcopate but he was not chosen, for he proved ungrateful to the grace of God. Hence, he is a bishop in name but is unworthy of his service and is numbered among those who go down but do not come up again."

    ADDENDUM

        The Son of God speaks: "Daughter, you are wondering why the one bishop died peacefully, but the other one died a horrible death when the wall fell and utterly crushed him, and he survived for a short while but with a great deal of pain. I answer you: Scripture says - no rather, I Myself have said it - that the righteous person, no matter what kind of death he dies, is in the hands of God, but worldly people consider a person righteous only if his departure is peaceful and without pain or shame. God, however, recognizes as righteous the one who has been proved by longstanding temperance or who suffered for the sake of righteousness. The friends of God suffer in this world in order to receive a lesser punishment in the future or to win a greater crown in Heaven.

        Peter and Paul died for the sake of righteousness, although Peter died a more painful death than Paul, for he loved the flesh more than Paul; he also had to be more conformed to Me through his painful death since he held the primacy of My church. Paul, however, inasmuch as he had a greater love of continence and because he had worked harder, died by the sword like a noble knight, for I arrange all things according to merit and measure. So, in God's judgment it is not how people end their lives or their horrible death that leads to their reward or condemnation, but their intention and will. The case is similar concerning these two bishops. One of them suffered more painfully and died a more terrible death. This reduced his punishment, although it did not gain him the reward of glory, because he did not suffer with a right intention. The other bishop died in glory, but this was due to My hidden justice and did not gain an eternal reward for him, because he did not rectify his intention while he was alive."






Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden - Book Three: Chapter Eighteen