Sunday, February 15, 2015

THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS

The Via Crucis, is one of the more expressive forms, more solid and established devotions of Christianity on the Passion of Christ.
Stations of the Cross or Way of the Cross; in Latin, Via Crucis; also called the Via Dolorosa or Way of Sorrows, Path to the Cross, or simply The Way, refers to the depiction of the final hours (or Passion) of Jesus, and the devotion commemorating the Passion.
The Stations of the Cross originated in pilgrimages to Jerusalem. But the desire to reproduce the holy place by where the Lord took up his cross, in other lands seems to have known manifest all the pain that Jesus suffered.

Since the first centuries the pilgrims from Jerusalem venerated the holy places, especially the Gólgota and the Tomb. According to the revelations from God to Saint Brígida, after the death of Christ, the great consolation of his Mother was to travel the path of the cross sprinkled with the blood of her Son.

The inability to go to Jerusalem or the desire to frequently recollect at the same place the moments of the Passion, compelled Christianity to represent, in diverse forms, the most salient places, to be traveled in a spiritual pilgrimage.
At the monastery of Santo Stefano at Bologna a group of connected chapels was constructed as early as the 5th century, by St. Petronius, Bishop of Bologna, which was intended to represent the more important shrines of Jerusalem, and in consequence, this monastery became familiarly known as "Hierusalem.”

These may perhaps be regarded as the germ from which the Stations afterwards developed, though it is tolerably certain that nothing that we have before about the 15th century can strictly be called a Way of the Cross in the modern sense.

The devotion of the Via Dolorosa, for which there have been a number of variant routes in Jerusalem, was probably developed by the Franciscans after they were granted administration of the Christian holy places in Jerusalem in 1342.

The tradition as chapel devotion began with St. Francis of Assisi and extended throughout the Roman Catholic Church in the medieval period.
During the 15th and 16th centuries the Franciscans began to build a series of outdoor shrines in Europe to duplicate their counterparts in the Holy Land.
It is less often observed in the Anglican and Lutheran churches. It may be done at any time, but is most commonly done during the Season of Lent, especially on Good Friday and on Friday evenings during Lent.
The number of stations varied between eleven and thirty. At the same time the number was fixed at fourteen stations.

In 1731, Pope Clement XII extended to all churches the right to have the stations, provided that a Franciscan father erected them, with the consent of the local bishop.
In 1857, the bishops of England were allowed to erect the stations by themselves, without the intervention of a Franciscan priest, and in 1862 this right was extended to bishops throughout the church.

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death. It has become one of the most popular devotions for Roman Catholics, as well as featuring other Christian artifacts of the local area.

The object of the Stations is to help the faithful to make a spiritual pilgrimage of prayer, through meditating upon the chief scenes of Christ's sufferings and death. It has become one of the most popular devotions for Roman Catholics, as well as is observed by others christian religions.
In the Roman Catholic tradition, the meditation is often performed in a spirit of reparation for the sufferings and insults that Jesus endured during His Passion.

When the Via Crucis is done before legitimately erected stations, it carries a plenary indulgence. While customarily it is done by reading a text and saying certain prayers, it can be made meditating mentally what each station proposes.

St. Bernard says: "There is no more effective way to cure the sores of our conscience and to cleanse and perfect our soul as the frequent and continuous meditation of the holy sores of Christ and His Passion and Death".

Merciful Jesus said to him to Saint Faustina Kowalska: "Few souls contemplate My Passion with true feeling; to the souls that meditate My Passion very devotedly, I grant them greater number of graces"

METHOD TO RECITE THE STATIONS OF THE CROSS

To go over physically or mentally on the Stations of the Cross, meditating a little while in each one of them. If we wish, while we meditate at each station, we can say some prayer, for example an Our Father, a Hail Mary, and a Glory.

Via Crucis or The Stations of the Cross

“If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mt 16:24).

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

ANIMA CHRISTI

Soul of Christ, sanctify me.
Body of Christ, save me.
Blood of Christ, inebriate me.
Water from the side of Christ, wash me.
Passion of Christ, strengthen me.
O good Jesus, hear me.
Within Thy wounds, hide me.
Permit me not to be separated from thee.
From the malicious enemy defend me.
In the hour of death, call me.
And bid me come unto Thee,
That with Thy Saints and Angels I may praise Thee,
Forever and ever.

Amen.



FIRST STATION

Jesus is condemned to death


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


“Are you the King of the Jews?” (Jn 18:33).
“My Kingdom is not of this world; if my Kingdom were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my Kingdom is not from the world” (Jn 18:36).

Pilate is a good example of man living in sin. For him the most important thing is the emperor of Rome. Not care about anything the suffering of Jesus.
The cruel punishment of scourging inflicted upon the Accused is not enough. When the Procurator brings Jesus, scourged and crowned with thorns, before the crowd, that wanted the death of Jesus.
Thus was Jesus, the Son of the living God, the Redeemer of the world, condemned to death by crucifixion.
Over the centuries the denial of truth has spawned suffering and death.
This is why Christ prayed so fervently for his disciples in every age:
Father, “sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth” (Jn 17:17).

Stabat Mater:
At the Cross her station keeping stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


SECOND STATION

Jesus takes up his Cross


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


The cross. The instrument of a shameful death.
It was not lawful to condemn a Roman citizen to death by crucifixion: it was too humiliating. The moment that Jesus of Nazareth took up the Cross in order to carry it to Calvary marked a turning-point in the history of the cross.
The symbol of a shameful death, reserved for the lowest classes, the cross becomes a key. From now on, with the help of this key, man will open the door of the deepest mystery of God.

Through Christ’s acceptance of the Cross, the instrument of his own self-emptying, men will come to know that God is love.
Jesus chose the Cross as instrument of salvation.
The Father chose the Cross for his Son, and his Son shouldered it, carried it to Mount Calvary and on it offered his life.
“In the Cross there is suffering,
in the Cross there is salvation,
in the Cross there is a lesson of love.
The Cross is the sign of a love without limits!
“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3:16).

Stabat Mater:
Through her heart, his sorrow sharing, all his bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword had passed.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


THIRD STATION

Jesus falls the first time


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


“God laid on him the sins of us all” (cf. Is 53:6).
“All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all” (Is 53:6).

Jesus falls under the Cross. This will happen three times along the comparatively short stretch of the “via dolorosa”.
Exhaustion makes him fall. His body is stained with blood from the scourging, his head is crowned with thorns. All this causes his strength to fail.
So he falls, and the weight of the Cross crushes him to the ground.
We must go back to the words of the Prophet, who foresaw this fall centuries earlier. It is as though he were contemplating it with his own eyes: seeing the Servant of the Lord, on the ground under the weight of the Cross, he tells us the real cause of his fall. It is this:
“God laid on him the sins of us all”.

It was our sins that crushed the divine Condemned One to the ground.
It was our sins that determined the weight of the Cross that he carries on his shoulders.
It was our sins that made him fall.
With difficulty Christ gets up again to continue his journey.
The soldiers escorting him urge him on with shouts and blows.
After a moment the procession sets out again.
Jesus falls and gets up again.
“He himself bore our sins in his body on the wood of the cross, that we might no longer live for sin but for righteousness – by his wounds we have been healed” (cf. 1 Pt 2:24).

Stabat Mater:
Oh, how sad and sore distressed was that Mother highly blessed
of the sole begotten One!


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


FOURTH STATION

Jesus meets his Mother


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favour with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and his kingdom will have no end” (Lk 1:30-33).

Mary remembered these words. She often returned to them in the secret of her heart.
When she met her Son on the way of the Cross, perhaps these very words came to her mind. With particular force.
“He will reign... His kingdom will have no end”, the heavenly messenger had said.

Now, as she watches her Son, condemned to death, carrying the Cross on which he must die, she might ask herself, all too humanly:
So how can these words be fulfilled? In what way will he reign over the House of David? And how can it be that his kingdom will have no end?
Humanly speaking, these are reasonable questions.
But Mary remembered that, when she first heard the Angel’s message, she had replied:
“Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word” (Lk 1:38).
Now she sees that her word is being fulfilled as the word of the Cross. Because she is a mother, Mary suffers deeply. But she answers now as she had answered then, at the Annunciation: “May it be done to me according to your word”.
In this way, as a mother would, she embraces the cross together with the divine Condemned One.
On the way of the Cross Mary shows herself to be the Mother of the Redeemer of the world.
“All you who pass by the way, look and see whether there is any suffering like my suffering, which has been dealt me” (Lam 1:12).
It is the Sorrowful Mother who speaks,
the Handmaid who is obedient to God,
the Mother of the Redeemer of the world.

Stabat Mater:
Christ above in torment hangs, she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying, glorious Son.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


FIFTH STATION

Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry his Cross


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


They compelled Simon (cf. Mk 15:21).
The Roman soldiers did this because they feared that in his exhaustion the Condemned Man would not be able to carry the Cross as far as Golgotha. Then they would not be able to carry out the sentence of crucifixion.
They were looking for someone to help carry the Cross.
Their eyes fell on Simon. They compelled him to take the weight upon his shoulders. We can imagine that Simon did not want to do this and objected. Carrying the cross together with a convict could be considered an act offensive to the dignity of a free man.
Although unwilling, Simon took up the Cross to help Jesus.

In a Lenten hymn we hear the words: “Under the weight of the Cross Jesus welcomes the Cyrenean”. These words allow us to discern a total change of perspective: the divine Condemned One is someone who, in a certain sense, “makes a gift” of his Cross.
Was it not he who said: “He who does not take up his cross and follow me is not worthy of me” (Mt 10:38)?
Simon receives a gift.
He has become “worthy” of it.
What the crowd might see as an offence to his dignity has, from the perspective of redemption, given him a new dignity.
In a unique way, the Son of God has made him a sharer in his work of salvation.
Is Simon aware of this?
The evangelist Mark identifies Simon of Cyrene as the “father of Alexander and Rufus” (15:21).

If the sons of Simon of Cyrene were known to the first Christian community, it can be presumed that Simon too, while carrying the Cross, came to believe in Christ. From being forced, he freely accepted, as though deeply touched by the words: “Whoever does not carry his cross with me is not worthy of me.”
By his carrying of the Cross, Simon was brought to the knowledge of the gospel of the Cross.
Since then, this gospel has spoken to many, countless Cyreneans, called in the course of history to carry the cross with Jesus.

Stabat Mater:
Is there one who would not weep, whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ’s dear Mother to behold?


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


SIXTH STATION

Veronica wipes the face of Jesus


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


Veronica does not appear in the Gospels. Her name is not mentioned, even though the names of other women who accompanied Jesus do appear.
It is possible, therefore, that the name refers more to what the woman did. In fact, according to tradition, on the road to Calvary a woman pushed her way through the soldiers escorting Jesus and with a veil wiped the sweat and blood from the Lord’s face. That face remained imprinted on the veil, a faithful reflection, a “true icon”. This would be the reason for the name Veronica.
If this is so, the name which evokes the memory of what this woman did carries with it the deepest truth about her.

One day, Jesus drew the criticism of onlookers when he defended a sinful woman who had poured perfumed oil on his feet and dried them with her hair. To those who objected, he replied: “Why do you trouble this woman? For she has done a beautiful thing to me . . . In pouring this ointment on my body she has done it to prepare me for burial” (Mt 26:10, 12). These words could likewise be applied to Veronica.

Acts of love do not pass away. Every act of goodness, of understanding, of service leaves on people’s hearts an indelible imprint and makes us ever more like the One who “emptied himself, taking the form of a servant” (Phil 2:7).
This is what shapes our identity and gives us our true name.

Stabat Mater:
Can the human heart refrain from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother’s untold pain?


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


SEVENTH STATION

Jesus falls the second time


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.

“I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people” (Ps 22:6). These words of the Psalm come to mind as we see Jesus fall to the ground a second time under the Cross.
Here in the dust of the earth lies the Condemned One. Crushed by the weight of his Cross. His strength drains away from him more and more. But with great effort he gets up again to continue his march.
To us sinners, what does this second fall say? More than the first one, it seems to urge us to get up, to get up again on our way of the cross.

It tells us that every person here below meets Christ who carries the Cross and falls under its weight.
In his turn, Christ, on the way to Calvary, meets every man and woman and, falling under the weight of the Cross, does not cease to proclaim the good news.
For two thousand years the gospel of the Cross has spoken to man.
For twenty centuries Christ, getting up again from his fall, meets those who fall.
Throughout these two millennia many people have learned that falling does not mean the end of the road.

In meeting the Saviour they have heard his reassuring words:
“My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
Comforted, they have gotten up again and brought to the world the word of hope which comes from the Cross.
Today, having crossed the threshold of the new millennium, we are called to penetrate more deeply the meaning of this encounter.
Our generation must pass on to future centuries the good news that we are lifted up again in Christ.

Stabat Mater:
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled, she beheld her tender Child,
all with bloody scourges rent.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


EIGHTH STATION

Jesus speaks to the women of Jerusalem


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me,
but weep for yourselves and for your children.
For behold, the days are coming when they will say,
'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore,
and the breasts that never gave suck!'
Then they will begin to say to the mountains,
'Fall on us'; and to the hills, 'Cover us.'
For if they do this when the wood is green,
what will happen when it is dry?” (Lk 23:28-31).

These are the words of Jesus to the women of Jerusalem who were weeping with compassion for the Condemned One.
“Do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.” At the time it was certainly difficult to understand the meaning of these words. They contained a prophecy that would soon come to pass.
Shortly before, Jesus had wept over Jerusalem, foretelling the terrible fate that awaited the city.
Now he seems to be referring again to that fate: “Weep for your children . . .”
Weep, because these, your very children, will be witnesses and will share in the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jerusalem which “did not know the time of her visitation” (cf. Lk 19:44).
If, as we follow Christ on the way of the Cross, our hearts are moved with pity for his suffering, we cannot forget that admonition.

For our generation, which has just left a millennium behind, rather than weep for Christ crucified, it is now the time for us to recognize “the time of our visitation”. Already the dawn of the resurrection is shining forth.
“Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor 6:2).
To each of us Christ addresses these words of the book of Revelation: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne” (3:20- 21).

Stabat Mater:
Let me share with you his pain, who for all my sin was slain,
who for me in torments died.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


NINTH STATION

Jesus falls the third time


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


Once more Christ has fallen to the ground under the weight of the Cross. The crowd watches, wondering whether he will have the strength to rise again.

Saint Paul writes: “Though he was in the form of God, he did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself taking the form of a servant, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a Cross” (Phil 2:6-8).

The third fall seems to express just this:
the self-emptying, the kenosis of the Son of God,
his humiliation beneath the Cross.
Jesus had said to the disciples that he had come not to be served but to serve (cf. Mt 20:28).
In the Upper Room, bending low to the ground and washing their feet, he sought, as it were, to prepare them for this humiliation of his.
Falling to the ground for the third time on the way of the Cross, he cries out loudly to us once more the mystery of himself.

Let us listen to his voice!
This Condemned Man, crushed to the ground beneath the weight of the Cross, now very near the place of punishment, tells us:
“I am the way, and the truth and the life” (Jn 14:6).
“He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (Jn 8:12).
Let us not be dismayed by the sight of a condemned man, who falls to the ground exhausted under the cross.
Within this outward sign of the death which is approaching the light of life lies hidden.

Stabat Mater:
O you Mother, fount of love! Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with yours accord.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


TENTH STATION

Jesus is stripped of his clothes and offered gall and vinegar to drink


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


“When he tasted it, he would not drink it” (Mt 27:34).
He did not want a sedative, which would have dulled his consciousness during the agony.
He wanted to be fully aware as he suffered on the Cross, accomplishing the mission he had received from the Father.
That was not what the soldiers in charge of the execution were used to. Since they had to nail the condemned man to the Cross, they tried to dull his senses and his consciousness.
But with Christ this could not be. Jesus knows that his death on the Cross must be a sacrifice of expiation.

This is why he wants to remain alert to the very end.
Without consciousness, he could not, in complete freedom, accept the full measure of suffering.
Behold, he must mount the Cross, in order to offer the sacrifice of the New Covenant.
He is the Priest. By means of his own blood, he must enter the eternal dwelling-places, having accomplished the world’s redemption (cf. Heb 9:12).

Conscience and freedom: these are the essential elements of fully human action.
The world has so many ways of weakening the will and of darkening conscience.
They must be carefully defended from all violence.
Even the legitimate attempt to control pain must always be done with respect for human dignity.
If life and death are to retain their true value, the depths of Christ’s sacrifice must be understood, and we must unite ourselves to that sacrifice if we are to hold firm.

Stabat Mater:
Make me feel as you have felt; make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ our Lord.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


ELEVENTH STATION

Jesus is nailed to the Cross


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


“They tear holes in my hands and my feet; I can count every one of my bones” (Ps 21:17- 18).
The words of the Prophet are fulfilled.
The execution begins.
The torturers’ blows crush the hands and feet of the Condemned One against the wood of the Cross.

The nails are driven violently into his wrists. Those nails will hold the condemned man as he hangs in the midst of the inexpressible torments of his agony.
In his body and his supremely sensitive spirit, Christ suffers in a way beyond words.
With him there are crucified two real criminals, one on his right, the other on his left. The prophecy is fulfilled: “He was numbered among the transgressors” (Is 53:12).
Once the torturers raise the Cross, there will begin an agony that will last three hours. This word too must be fulfilled: “When I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all people to myself” (Jn 12:32).

What is it that “draws” us to the Condemned One in agony on the Cross?
Certainly the sight of such intense suffering stirs compassion. But compassion is not enough to lead us to bind our very life to the One who hangs on the Cross.
How is it that, generation after generation, this appalling sight has drawn countless hosts of people who have made the Cross the hallmark of their faith?

Hosts of men and women who for centuries have lived and given their lives looking to this sign?
From the Cross, Christ draws us by the power of love,
divine Love, which did not recoil from the total gift of self;
infinite Love, which on the tree of the Cross raised up from the earth the weight of Christ’s body, to counterbalance the weight of the first sin.

Boundless Love, which has utterly filled every absence of love and allowed humanity to find refuge once more in the arms of the merciful Father.
May Christ lifted high on the Cross draw us too, the men and women of the new millennium!
In the shadow of the Cross, let us “walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Eph 5:2).

Stabat Mater:
Holy Mother, pierce me through; in my heart each wound renew
of my Saviour crucified.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


TWELFTH STATION

Jesus dies on the Cross


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).
At the height of his Passion, Christ does not forget man, especially those who are directly responsible for his suffering. Jesus knows that more than anything else man needs love; he needs the mercy which at this moment is being poured out on the world.
“Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk 23:43).
This is how Jesus replies to the plea of the criminal hanging on his right: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk 23:42).

The promise of a new life. This is the first fruit of the Passion and imminent Death of Christ. A word of hope to man.
At the foot of the Cross stood Mary, and beside her the disciple, John the Evangelist. Jesus says: “Woman, behold your son!” and to the disciple: “Behold your mother!” (Jn 19:26-27).
“And from that moment the disciple took her to his own home” (Jn 19:27).
This is his bequest to those dearest to his heart.

His legacy to the Church.
The desire of Jesus as he dies is that the maternal love of Mary should embrace all those for whom he is giving his life, the whole of humanity.
Immediately after, Jesus cries out: “I am thirsty” (Jn 19:28). A word which describes the dreadful burning which consumes his whole body.
It is the one word which refers directly to his physical suffering.

Then Jesus adds: “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (Mt 27:46; cf. Ps 22:2). These words of the Psalm are his prayer. Despite their tone, these words reveal the depths of his union with the Father.

In the last moments of his life on earth, Jesus thinks of the Father. From this moment on, the dialogue will only be between the dying Son and the Father who accepts his sacrifice of love.
When the ninth hour comes, Jesus cries out: “It is accomplished!” (Jn 19:30).
Now the work of the redemption is complete.
The mission, for which he came on earth, has reached its goal.
The rest belongs to the Father:

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Lk 23:46).
And having said this, he breathed his last.
“The curtain of the temple was torn in two...” (Mt 27:51).
The “Holy of Holies” of the Jerusalem Temple is opened at the moment when it is entered by the Priest of the New and Eternal Covenant.

Stabat Mater:
She looked upon her sweet Son, saw him hang in desolation,
till his spirit forth he sent.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


THIRTEENTH STATION

Jesus is taken down from the Cross and given to his Mother


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy Cross you have redeemed the world.


In the arms of his Mother they have placed the lifeless body of the Son. The Gospels say nothing of what she felt at that moment.
It is as though by their silence the Evangelists wished to respect her sorrow, her feelings and her memories. Or that they simply felt incapable of expressing them.

It is only the devotion of the centuries that has preserved the figure of the “Pietà”, providing Christian memory with the most sorrowful image of the ineffable bond of love which blossomed in the Mother’s heart on the day of the Annunciation and ripened as she waited for the birth of her divine Son.

That love was revealed in the cave at Bethlehem
and was tested already during the Presentation in the Temple.
It grew deeper as Mary stored and pondered in her heart all that was happening (cf. Lk 2:51).
Now this intimate bond of love must be transformed into a union which transcends the boundary between life and death.

And thus it will be across the span of the centuries:
people pause at Michelangelo’s statue of the Pietà, they kneel before the image of the loving and sorrowful Mother (Smetna Dobrodziejka) in the Church of the Franciscans in Kraków,
before the Mother of the Seven Sorrows, Patroness of Slovakia,
they venerate Our Lady of Sorrows in countless shrines in every part of the world.
And so they learn the difficult love which does not flee from suffering, but surrenders trustingly to the tenderness of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Lk 1:37).

Stabat Mater:
Let me mingle tears with you, mourning him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live.


Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"


FOURTEENTH STATION

Jesus is laid in the tomb


We adore you, O Christ, and we bless you.
Because by your holy cross you have redeemed the world.


“He was crucified, died and was buried...”
The lifeless body of Christ has been laid in the tomb. But the stone of the tomb is not the final seal on his work.
The last word belongs not to falsehood, hatred and violence.
The last word will be spoken by Love, which is stronger than death.
“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (Jn 12:24).

The tomb is the last stage of Christ’s dying through the whole course of his earthly life; it is the sign of his supreme sacrifice for us and for our salvation.
Very soon this tomb will become the first proclamation of praise and exaltation of the Son of God in the glory of the Father.
“He was crucified, died and was buried,. . . on the third day he rose from the dead”.
Once the lifeless body of Jesus is laid in the tomb, at the foot of Golgotha, the Church begins the vigil of Holy Saturday.

In the depths of her heart, Mary stores and ponders the Passion of her Son;
the women agree to meet on the morning of the day after the Sabbath, in order to anoint Christ’s body with aromatic ointments;
the disciples gather in the seclusion of the Upper Room, waiting for the Sabbath to pass.
This vigil will end with the meeting at the tomb, the empty tomb of the Saviour.
Then the tomb, the silent witness of the Resurrection, will speak.
The stone rolled back, the inner chamber empty, the cloths on the ground,
this will be what John sees when he comes to the tomb with Peter:

“He saw and he believed” (Jn 20:8).
And with him the Church believed,
and from that moment she never grows weary of communicating to the world this fundamental truth of her faith:
“Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20).
The empty tomb is the sign of the definitive victory
of truth over falsehood,
of good over evil,
of mercy over sin,
of life over death.
The empty tomb is the sign of the hope which “does not deceive” (Rom 5:5).
“[Our] hope is full of immortality” (cf. Wis 3:4).

Stabat Mater:
While my body here decays, may my soul your goodness praise, safe in paradise with you. Amen.

Brief pause for reflexion in silence, or repeat three times:

"Eternal Father, I offer Thee the Wounds of our Lord Jesus Christ to heal the Wounds of our souls"

PROMISES FOR DEVOTEES OF THE VIA CRUSIS OR THE STATIONS THE CROSS

BROTHER ESTANISLAO (1903 - 1927)

At the age of 18 years, a young Spanish entered as a novice, "THE SCHOOL OF CHRISTIAN BROTHERS", in Bugedo.
In the religious life, this young man took the religious votes in fulfillment of the regulations; to advance in the Christian perfection; and to reach pure love.
In October 1926, this brother offered himself to Jesus through Most Holy Mary. Shortly after this heroic offering, the young monk became ill and was forced to rest. He died in sanctity in March, 1927.
According to the Master of novices, this religious was a chosen soul of God; who received messages from Heaven.

The confessors of this young man, as well as the theologians, recognized these supernatural facts like meaningful acts.
The young man was called Brother Estanislao. The spiritual director of Brother Estanislao had instructed him to write all the promises transmitted by OUR LORD. This would be for the spiritual benefits of those devoted to the VIA CRUSIS OR THE PATH OF THE CROSS.

The promises are the following ones:

1. I will grant all that is requested from Me with faith, during the Via Crusis or The Path to the Cross.

2. I promise eternal life to those that once in a while, recite the Via Crusis or The Path to the Cross.

3. All through their lives, I will accompany them everywhere, and will have My special assistance at the hour of death.

4. Even if they had more sins than the blades of grass that grow in the fields, and more than grains of sand in the ocean, all will be erased through this devotion to the Via Crusis or The Path of the Cross. (Note: This devotion does not eliminate the obligation to confess mortal sins. One is due to confess before receiving Holy Communion.)

5. Those that recite the Path of the Cross frequently, will enjoy an extraordinary glory in Heaven.

6. After death, if these devotees arrived at Purgatory, I will liberate them from that place of atonement, the first Tuesday or Friday after dying.

7. I will bless these souls whenever they recite the Path of the Cross; and my blessing will accompany them everywhere on Earth. After death, they will enjoy this blessing in Heaven, for all eternity.

8. At the time of death, I will not allow that they are subject to the temptation of the demon. To the malignant spirit I will strip to him of all power on these souls. Thus they will be able to rest peacefully in My Arms.

9. If they recite it with true love, it will be highly rewarded. That is to say, I will turn each one of these souls in a living Vessel, where I will be pleased to spill My Grace.

10. I will fix the glance of My Eyes on those souls that recite the Path of the Cross frequently and My Hands will be always open to protect them.

11. Just as I was nailed in the Cross, I will always be very united to those that honor Me, with the frequent recitation of the Path of the Cross.

12. The devotee of the Path of the Cross will never separate from Me because I will give them the grace of never incurring in mortal sin.

13. At the hour of death, I will console them with My presence, and we will go together to Heaven. Death will be sweet for all those that have honored Me during life with the recitation of the Path to the Cross.

14. For these devotees of the Path of the Cross, My Soul will be a protecting shield that always will render assistance to them when they resort to Me.

We conclude that it is very beneficial for us and our brothers, to recite the Path to the Cross not only during Easter but at any times.
This devotion can be offered: by sick, by priests, by Pope, by Holy Church, by our enemies, by souls in purgatory, by conversion of the whole world.

PRAYER BEFORE A CRUCIFIX. The Friday Indulgence

On any Friday during Lent a plenary indulgence is granted the Christian faithful who, after Communion, devoutly recite the above prayer before an image of Jesus Christ crucified. On other days of the year the indulgence is a partial one.
Handbook of Indulgences.

One can obtain a plenary indulgences for himself. However, we can offer that plenary indulgence for a soul in purgatory.
This is an act of charity and spiritual tithing to do during Lent.

A plenary indulgence is gained every Friday in Lent by saying the following prayer before a Crucifix after receiving Holy Communion.
The usual requirements for a plenary indulgence also apply.


“Behold, O kind and most sweet Jesus,
I cast myself upon my knees in Your sight,
and with the most fervent desire of my soul,
I pray and beseech You that You would impress upon my heart lively sentiments of Faith, Hope, and Charity,
with true repentance for my sins,
and a firm purpose of amendment,
while with deep affection and grief of soul I ponder within myself
and mentally contemplate Your five most precious Wounds;
having before my eyes the words which David in prophecy spoke concerning Yourself,
O good Jesus:
They have pierced my hands and feet; they have numbered all my bones.”


(S. Paen. App. Feb. 2, 1934).

The requirements for gaining a Plenary Indulgence are the performance of the indulgenced work and fulfillment of three conditions: Sacramental Confession, Eucharistic Communion, and the prayers for the Pope.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Eternity of God.

<---The Glories of Heaven


WHAT IS ETERNITY?

Eternity is something that cannot be traced in time, it is also that each minute past enters in eternity. Eternity is without beginning nor ends, without measure, and without limit. Therefore, in eternity, that is, in the infinity before of the time, God already existed.

God always has existed, there no way to know and nor find out how is that God exists for ever and ever. We only know with our tiny mind that He lives for ever. Since always He is God, whose name was Jehovah. This God is the source of all things in the universe. He is the Creator, and all things were created by Him. When He created, He did not make something out of existing materials. Rather, He created something out of nothing; that is, He created all things out of nothing. Hence, He is the Creator, the source, of all things.

This Creator is God. The Hebrew word for God is Elohim. The word Elohim, a compound noun made up of two words, means “the faithful and mighty One.” He is the mighty One with power. Moreover, He is the mighty One who keeps His promise. Elohim God is the faithful, mighty One, whose name is Jehovah.

THE SELF-EXISTING AN EVER-EXISTING GOD

THE ETERNAL GREAT I AM


The title Jehovah is also a Hebrew word which is basically the same as the verb to be. The name Jehovah simply means “to be.” What does this mean? This means that this faithful, mighty One is the One who is. In the universe, only He is, and all the rest are not. The phrase “to be” equals “to exist.” He exists; hence, He is.

If He did not exist, He would not be. The name Jehovah is “to be,” and this “to be” is without beginning or ending. Hence, the actual version of the Bible renders this name as “He who is self-existing and ever-existing.” To be self-existent is to be without beginning, and to be ever-existing is to be without ending. His being, His existence, is without beginning and without ending. This Creator is self-existing and ever-existing.

A person is born, exists and has a being, an identity, but we cannot guarantee that it will be here in forty or fifty years’ time; it will not continue to exist here forever. After fifty years, we cannot say where he will be.
In other words, he won´t be in this world and will let to exist. Someone may have a lovely cat at home, but it can live at most for a little over ten years; after that, will let to exist. Therefore, its name cannot be “To be.” It is the same with us human beings. Our human life span is the limit of our existence.

If our life span is one hundred years, then we will exist for one hundred years. We can celebrate the new year only one hundred times, not one hundred and one. After one hundred years, we will let to exist. Hence, our being cannot exist for ever, we are finite beings. The name Jehovah means “To be,” "to exist", therefore He is infinite, that means "to be present". Our existence is finite, that means our existence is "temporal”. All our human existence is finite, that means our existence is "temporal” has a limit time, we have a time to born and a time to die.
Different to ours, God lives for ever through all the times, He never was born, always has existed and never will die, lives for ever and ever.

The present version of Revelation 1:4 speaks of Him who exists now, who existed in the past, and who will exist in the future. In Hebrew, Jehovah means He was, He is, and He is to be.
That is why He is trustworthy. He is not only the faithful, mighty One but also the ever-existing, mighty One. Therefore, the Lord Jesus told the Pharisees in John 8:24, “Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins.”
Who can save us? Only Jesus, he says “I Am”; only He can save us. Who is “I Am”? “I Am” is Jehovah or God, the Father of Jesus for the current christians. In the name Jesus, "Je"- is the simplified form of Jehovah and -"sus" means Savior The name Jesus means Jehovah or God, the Savior. "Je" = God, "sus" = Savior, Jesus savoir of all men.

The One who is self-existing, ever-existing, without beginning, without ending, ever-living, ever-being, and ever-present has come to be our Savior. This is the real meaning of the name Jesus, to Him all the honor and glory for ever and ever.

Then, we may ask Him, “Lord, You said that You are, but what are You?” The Lord would say, “I am whatever you want, and I am whatever you lack. What do you want? Do you want life? Good, I am life.” We may say, “Lord, I want salvation,” and He would say, “That is right. I am salvation.”

A brother may say, “Lord, I can love all my brothers.” The Lord would say, “That is wonderful! I am love.” Lord, what shall we do? submission is hard to practice.
The Lord would say, “I am submission.” The young people may say, “It is such a hardship for us students to study. I want to pass the entrance examination into a good school. Therefore, I need wisdom.” The Lord would say, “That is wonderful! My name is God, the mighty one. I am your wisdom and intelligence ask for them at any time, never let to ask for.”

We thank the Lord that He is! In John 8, the Lord mentioned three times that He is “I Am” (vv. 24, 28, 58). In verse 24 He says, “Unless you believe that I am, you will die in your sins,” and in verse 28 He says, “When you lift up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am.”

Among the Jews, at least Saul of Tarsus was one who persecuted christians. The Jews had already killed the Lord Jesus, yet Saul still continued to destroy the church and persecuted the believers of Jesus.
However, on his way to Damascus, Jesus whom he persecuted appeared to him from heaven and said to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (Acts 9:4).

Saul was shocked, a gleaming light covered him, and he asked, “Who are You, Lord?” The Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you persecute” (v. 5). Only then did Saul realize that this Jesus was God, the I Am whom his fathers worshipped.
That is why, in effect, the Lord said, “After you have crucified Me, you will know that I am.
In the end, we can only bow our head and in sign in worship say, “Lord Jesus, now I know that You are. You really are. We thank and praise the Lord for this wonderful truth.

THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD: THE ETERNITY

Eternal refers to the endless past, the unending future, or to God's present experience of all time. God has no beginning as man can understand beginning and no ending either, but God exists now and knows both the beginning and the end as we perceive them. God always existed, and always going to exist.
Always, always, always never ends, never aged, the pass of the time it is not a obstacle for God, in front of him time does not exist.
This rational thought is hard to understand with our tiny mind, but God has gave us a understanding to accept that He has always existed and will always exist.

This also points to how much we can trust God. Since He created time as we know it, God lives outside of time and can see the beginning and the end of our lives and the age of all human kind from the beginning of the world.
Therefore when God tells us that events will proceed us, we must trust in him and we can rest assured that those events will happen just as God described. More than that though, we can live with the peace of knowing that when we die we will be with Him forever without end. A day will be as a thousand years.

In Psalm 90:2 we can read;
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.
and other texts;

Genesis 21:33; And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the Lord, the everlasting God.

Isaiah 57:15; For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Deuteronomy 33:27;
The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms: and he shall thrust out the enemy from before thee; and shall say, Destroy them.

I Timothy 1:17;
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

God is eternal. His existence had no beginning and will have no ending. He always was, always is and always will be. (Compare Exodus 3:14) He is the I Am -- God.

Isaiah 40:28 Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his under- standing no one can fathom.

Habakkuk 1:12 O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to execute judgment; O Rock, you have ordained them to punish.

Psalms 90:2, 4 [2] Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. ... [4] For a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.

Psalms 102:24-27 [24] So I said: "Do not take me away, O my God, in the midst of my days; your years go on through all generations. [25] In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. [26] They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. [27] But you remain the same, and your years will never end."

Isaiah 57:15 For this is what the high and lofty One says -- he who lives forever, ...

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -- his eternal power and divine nature -- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

God has always existed and He always will. Nothing can resist Him and nothing will ever be able to bring an end to Him. There is no power, strenght or intelligence that be able to destroy God. The rebel angels wanted to do so, destroy God for ever, but The Almighty made to cast to the rebel angels to eternal hell where suffer the consequences of their rebellion against God.

Since God cannot have an end, He promises to provide the eternal life with Him if I believe His Son died for me, I will believe and live my life right now serving Him and believing in my heart that He only can save my soul, without Him there is no salvation, but eternal damnation.

GOD IS IMMUTABLE AND ETERNAL

God is eternal. It is a quality of eternity; "from everlasting to everlasting he is God," i.e. the same. God do not only always remain in being, but he always remains the same in that being: "thou art the same" (Psalm 102:27).

The being of creatures is successive; the being of God is permanent, and remains entire with all its perfections unchanged in an infinite duration. Indeed, the first notion of eternity is to be without beginning and end, which notes to us the duration of a being in regard of its existence; the creatures are in a perpetual flux; something is acquired or something lost every day.

A man is the same in regard of existence when he is a man, as he was when he was a child; but there is a new succession of quantities and qualities in him. Every day he acquires something till he comes to his maturity; every day he loseth something till he comes to his period.

A man is not the same at night that he was in the morning; something is expired, and something is added; every day there is a change in his age, a change in his substance, a change in his accidents. But God hath his whole being in one and the same point, or moment of eternity. He receives nothing as an addition to what he was before; he loseth nothing of what he was before; he is always the same excellency and perfection in the same infiniteness as ever. His years do not fail (Heb. 1:12), his years do not come and go as others do; there is not this day, to-morrow, or yesterday, with Him, ,God is immutable, there is no change in Him.

As nothing is past or future with him in regard of knowledge, but all things are present, so nothing is past or future in regard of his essence. He is not in his essence this day what he was not before, or will be the next day and year what he is not now. All his perfections are most perfect in him every moment; before all ages, after all ages.
As he hath his whole essence undivided in every place, as well as in an immense space, so he hath all his being in one moment of time, as well as in infinite intervals of time. Some illustrate the difference between eternity and time by the similitude of a tree, or a rock standing upon the side of a river, or shore of the sea; the tree stands always the same and unmoved, while the waters of the river glide along at the foot.

The flux is in the river, but the tree acquires nothing but a diverse respect and relation of presence to the various parts of the river as they flow.
And though the angels have no substantial change, yet they have an accidental; for the actions of the angels this day are not the same individual actions which they performed yesterday: but in God there is no change; he always remains the same. Of a creature, it may be said he was, or he is, or he shall be; of God it cannot be said but only he is. He is what he always was, and he is what he always will be; whereas a creature is what he was not, and will be what he is not now.

As it may be said of the flame of a candle, it is a flame: but it is not the same individual flame as was before, nor is it the same that will be presently after; there is a continual dissolution of it into air, and a continual supply for the generation of more. While it continues it may be said there is a flame; yet not entirely one, but in a succession of parts. So of a man it may be said, he is in a succession of parts; but he is not the same that he was, and will not be the same that he is.

But God is the same, without any succession of parts and of time; of him it may be said, "He is." He is no more now than he was, and he shall be no more hereafter than he is. God possesses a firm and absolute being, always constant to himself. He sees all things sliding under him in a continual variation; he beholds the revolutions in the world without any change of his most glorious and immovable nature. All other things pass from one state to another; from their original, to their eclipse and destruction; but God possesses his being in one indivisible point, having neither beginning, end, nor middle.

God hath life in himself (John 5:26): "The Father hath life in himself;" he is the "living God;" therefore "steadfast forever" (Dan. 6:26). He hath life by his essence, not by participation. He is a sun to give light and gives life to all creatures, therefore he has an unlimited life, a life transcending all bounds.

If God were not eternal, he were not immutable in his nature. It is contrary to the nature of immutability to be without eternity; for whatsoever begins, is changed in its passing from not being to being. It began to be what it was not; and if it ends, it cease to be what it was; it cannot therefore be said to be God, if there were neither beginning or ending, or succession in it (Mal. 3:6): "I am the Lord, I change not;" (Job 37:23)

Had he not been eternal, there had been the greatest change from nothing to something. A change of essence is greater than a change of purpose. God is a sun glittering always in the same glory; no growing up in youth; no passing on to age. If he were not without succession, standing in one point of eternity, there would be a change from past to present, from present to future. The eternity of God is a shield against all kind of mutability. If anything sprang up in the essence of God that was not there before, he could not be said to be either an eternal, or an unchanged substance.

God is unchangeable. His counsel, nature, motivations, agenda, purpose and character are always the same.

Malachi 3:6 I the LORD do not change.

James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

1 Samuel 15:29 He who is the Glory of Israel does not lie or change his mind; for he is not a man, that he should change his mind. (See the same at Numbers 23:19.)

Hebrews 6:17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath.

Of comfort. What foundation of comfort can we have in any of God's attributes, were it not for his infiniteness and eternity, though he be "merciful, good, wise, faithful?" What support could there be, if they were perfections belonging to a corruptible God? What hopes of a resurrection to happiness can we have, or of the duration of it, if that God that promised it were not immortal to continue it, as well as powerful to effect it? If His power were not Almighty, if his duration were not eternal.

If God be eternal, his covenant will be so. It is founded upon the eternity of God; the oath whereby he confirms it, is by his life. Since there is none greater than himself, he swears by himself (Heb. 6:13).

The immutability of his counsel follows the immutability of his nature. Immutability and eternity go hand in hand together. The promise of eternal life is as ancient as God himself in regard of the purpose of the promise, or in regard of the promise made to Christ for us. "Eternal life which God promised before the world began." (Tit. 1:2).

No any doubt, God is eternal. The enjoyment of God will be as fresh and glorious after many ages, as it was at first. God is eternal, and eternity knows no change; there will then be the fullest possession without any decay in the object enjoyed. There can be nothing past, nothing future; time neither adds to it, nor detracts from it; that infinite fulness of perfection which flourisheth in him now, will flourish eternally, without any discoloring of it in the least, by those innumerable ages that shall run to eternity, much less any despoiling him of them: "He is the same in his endless duration" (Psalm 102:27).
As God is, so will the eternity of him be, without succession, without division ; the fulness of joy will be always present; without past to be thought of with regret for being gone; without future to be expected with tormenting desires.

When we enjoy God, we enjoy him in his eternity without any flux; an entire possession of all together, without the passing away of pleasures that may be wished to return, or expectation of future joys which might be desired to hasten. Time is fluid, but eternity is stable.

Because God is always vigorous and flourishing; a pure act of life, give new and fresh rays of life and light to the creature, flourishing with a perpetual spring, and containing the most capacious desire; forming your interest, pleasure, and satisfaction; with an infinite variety, without any change or succession; he will have variety to increase delights, and eternity to perpetuate them; this will be the fruit of the enjoyment of an infinite and eternal God: he is not a tiny glass of water, but a big fountain, where water is always living, flowing, gives life and never will end up.

Thanks very much to; Witness Lee and Stephen Charnock.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

The glories of Heaven

The Eternity of God--->
<---The mysteries of kingdom of Heaven


Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. Matthew (25:34)
.. I have come that they may have life and have it more abundantly "(John 10:10).

These phrases so full of joy and happiness are very encouraging and every believer wants to hear from the lips of Jesus Christ the King of the universe, where all the saints and the righteous finally, and forever will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
A place that nobody knows how exactly, but Jesus gives us enormous hope when he says about Heaven, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor is it in the mind of man, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor 2: 9).

A place that nobody knows how exactly is, but Jesus gives us enormous hope when he says about Heaven, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor is it in the mind of man, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Cor 2: 9).

Attempt to describe the indescribable with words that can not nearly express the glory of Heaven. God has done all things well, where you look at everywhere, you see the perfect work of creation; mountains, flowers , birds , skies, clouds , sun, plants, landscapes , seas, rivers. So many wonders that exist in the universe and so many others we don´t even imagine. We admire and watch with open mouth a beatiful landscape, then, we expect that Heaven is something much better something not imagined, something that the human mind can not imagine . It will be a surprise for all those who love God, something neither the smartest nor the wisest can describe.

God has wanted it to be a pleasant surprise and huge what Heaven will be because he has not been revealed to anyone. The believer and faithful to God must have hope and believe in his word that you will be more beautiful, marvelous, more that admirable. No human words to define what Jesus told us about Heaven.

THE BLESSING OF THE SAINTS IN HEAVEN

No need to be on the altar of a church to get into heaven, anyone who has the enormous grace to go to heaven after death, is already a saint. If there is blame to pay, must be purified from all sin, and that's why is the purgatory, purification is so perfect that makes everyone who leaves the place of atonement is holy forever in the glory of God.

The Saints also receive the blessings of Heaven from two different perspectives. First place will receive the freedom to live in Heaven. Second place will receive an accurate understanding of what is eternal bliss of the soul and its salvation from hell . This act will make the person (soul ) experiences a huge gratitude to God for having spared the eternal punishment of hell.
Those who go to heaven will not suffer the wrath of God (but does fall on those who go to hell). Are free "from the wrath to come " (I Thessalonians 1:10.

The soul will be greatly and eternally grateful to God with songs of thanksgiving and eternal praise to his Creator for having spared the eternal death of hell . The dwellers of Heaven will be free of sin, the cause of sin , and the consequences of sin.
Sin is the cause of all the world's misery. Sin is the reason why humans experience pain, sorrow, disease, hatred, jealousy, envy, disunity and even death.

Saint Paul is mourning sin and expressed in the strongest language his desire to be released from it:
Miserable me! Who will deliver me from this body of death "( Romans 7:24).
The true child of God fervently desires to live forever in a place away from sin: a place where he will never commit another sin, a place where will never have another sinful thought. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh . These are opposed to each other, to not do the things that ye would ( Galatians 5:17).

Heaven is the place where will not exist more neither death nor sin. This is beautifully depicted in Revelation 21:3-4; "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God will wipe every tear from the eyes, and there will be no death, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things are passed away.

In heaven you will be free from the temptations of the devil. Here on earth, the enemy of souls assails men daily. Here "Be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the devil , as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour " (I Peter. 5: In the land of the devil tries to tempt the same way he tried to make Peter.

And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone , where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever. (Revelation 20:10). "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet." (Romans 16:20).

In Heaven there will be no devil to tempt the saints with sin anymore. In Heaven, the saints will be free from the lusts of the world. These are described by John as " the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not from the Father but from the world. " (I John 2:16 ).

In heaven the saint will be free from the evil influence of the world, because they has defeated the world forever with the blood of Jesus Christ.
The eternal bliss of the soul in heaven, is as Paul said, "Now we see through a glass darkly" (I Corinthians 13:12). Indeed, the picturing we now trying to describe is dark compared to true glory of Heaven.

Who can imagine the things we now attempt to describe Heaven?

"We will never understand glory fully until we are in Heaven. Trying to say a few blurry and dark ideas, just a few strokes of the imperfect state of glory which the saints arrive after death."

The blessing of the soul in the glory consisting of at least three things:

1) See God such as he is.

2) The perfection of graces in the believer.

3) The fullness of eternal bliss.

1st. - SEE GOD SUCH AS HE IS

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (Matthew 5:8).

The saints in heaven will see God in all His majesty. They witness the infinite glory of the Almighty in such enormous magnitude as they are able to conceive. They will not be present only to the distance, but "face to face" (I Corinthians 13:12).

In this mainly involves the blessing of the saints in glory: to be in front to God. It is impossible for a finite human being can understand God. Revelation 22:5 describes some of the glory of seeing God:

There will be never more the darkness of night, there and they need no light of lamp or sunlight, for the Lord God gives them light;. Reign forever and ever".

The glory of God will dissipate sunlight as now the brilliance of the sun dispels the darkness of night.
The Father will not manifest directly in Heaven because we are we told in the Scriptures that God is invisible: "Therefore the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever ever. Amen. "(I Timothy 1:17).

It has been said of Christ, "He is the image of the invisible God" (Colossians 1:15). Father need not manifest itself in any other way than with the glory and majesty of the exalted Christ. The Lord said to his disciples on the night before his death: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father" (John 14:9).

Jonathan Edwards was a theologian, congregational pastor and missionary to Native Americans during the colonial era. It is known as one of the largest and deepest theologians in the history of the United States, and defined Christ this way: "God is glorified in the body of Christ is the most perfect way that may be to see God with bodily eyes, that one of the Persons of the Trinity has assumed a true body to be His body, and in which dwells forever like Himself, the divine majesty and excellence appear as much as possible to be expressed in outer shape or in figure.

They will see Him with their bodily eyes , in His glorified human nature, and this will be one of the most glorious visions . The love of Christ manifested well be one of the most delectable things for them because, although the bodies of the saints shine with extreme beauty and glory, yet undoubtedly the body of Christ infinitely surpass both as sunshine relative to the stars.

The glory of the body of Christ will be the masterpiece of God's hand in all of the material universe. In His glorious body His glorious spiritual perfections, His majesty, His holiness, His exultant mercy and love and gentleness will manifest. The eye never tire of contemplating this ineffable and glorious perfection."

Not only they will see Christ face to face, but they will walk and talk with Him. Christ treated them as brothers and speak to them as close friends . Just before his crucifixion, Jesus said to his disciples : " No longer do I call you servants , for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth : but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known "( John 15:15 ).

If Christ could say this to his disciples while they were still wrapped in their sinful nature, don´t you think that, He will admit them in Heaven when they have completely purged of all stain and iniquity and be present at his great throne with their clothes purified with His blood?

Certainly. The Scriptures speak of the life of God among His people in glorious terms: "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God himself will be with them as their God ... and see His face, and His name shall be in their foreheads "(Revelation 21:3, 22:4).

2nd .- PERFECTION OF GRACES IN THE BELIEVER

Secondly, those who are accepted in Heaven enjoy the perfection of all His graces.

It is analyzed three specific graces:

1st) The grace of knowledge.

2nd) The grace of holiness.

3rd) The grace of love.

First, the grace of knowledge will be perfected in glory. "For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, then that which is in part shall be done away now we see in a mirror dimly,.. But then face to face with the Creator now I know in part, but then I know even as also I am known. "(I Corinthians 13:9-10, 12).

Our knowledge of divine things is now sparse and vague. We do not perceive things clearly. We are slow in our understanding. We know then, as Christ knows us now. The grace of wisdom will be perfect in the saints in heaven. The saint will fully understand Christ as mediator between God and men.

They will understand the mystery of the Incarnation of Jesus, the man who becomes God . In such great magnitude as possible , the saints in glory will understand the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Understand the plan of salvation of souls and how they worked Divine Providence in all the circumstances of their lives.

There all the difficulties, trials , and dark providences of life will be considered as evidencing entities glorious that will give witness in truth that " those who love God all things work together for good " (Romans 8:2).

Understand the excellencies of Christ-Divinity degree as full as they are able . The knowledge of God will be quite full , with all its divinities , they will know God fully . Human beings here on earth can never fully comprehend the Divine Essence of God.
The grace of holiness will be perfect in all the glory they receive . "We know that when He (Jesus ) shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is" (I John 3:2). That´s to say, we will really know who Jesus Christ is, the Living God, with all its power and all its glory.

Holiness is the transcendent beauty of God and angels. Holiness is a primary attribute of God.

"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts ( Isaiah 6:03 ) is the cry of the seraphim who constantly attend in glory of heaven.
In heaven holiness will be perfect in the believer and sin will not exist anymore ...
Then the words of God will reach their full meaning: "Be holy, because I am holy. " (I Peter 1:16). Holiness is the fervent desire of the saint who travels through this world of sin . There, the Saints are as the angels of God. There, as much as possible , they shall become as Christ himself. They shall be holy for all eternity.

In Heaven the grace of God's love is perfect. In the land of God's love is expressed in low and intermittent form. Flesh of sin and selfishness of men obstruct the love of God. We can not love God as he is deserve or even as we would like.
Although the spirit of the son of God desires with all his inner strength to do what the Scripture says : " Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength" ( Deuteronomy 6 : 5) this can not be done perfectly here on earth.

But as He in his heart wishes to do so, God's desire of believer valid as if the action was done perfect form. In heaven, God's love will flow without interference as no one has ever experienced on earth. God will be totally and completely loved in their saints, they will love each others without any presence of expureos desires or selfishness.

3rd - THE FULLNESS OF ETERNAL GRACE

Third, those who enter in Heaven will experience the fullness of joy. "Show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy, at thy right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

The fullness of joy could be described as experiencing the immense love of God, generous as the waters of an ocean. Others, who have a much better understanding of this issue, which have been described in this way:
"His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant, thou hast been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of thy Lord" (Matthew 25:21.

The vision of God, of amorous God , and to be loved by God will cause an outpouring of joy in the spirit , and will create such holy ecstasy of joy in the elect, which is simply unspeakable and full of glory. He will be a loving father and his children will love him dearly.

They will see in him all what the love wants. The love desires the love of the beloved. The saints in glory shall see the transcendent love of God for them, . .God will do Ineffable manifestations of love for them. It will be an marvelous and unique spectacle of love of God toward all the elects in heaven.

"They will see so much love in God towards them, as they wish,or they may desire more ... when they see to God such glorious, and see at the same time how greatly God loves them, what a treat this will not cause the soul".

Love desires the union. So they will see this glorious God that joined them completly. They will see that He is their Father, and they are his children. They shall see God present with them gloriously ; God with them, and God in them and they in God.
Love desires the possession of its object. So they will see God, even as their own God, when they witness this transcendent glory of God, will see it as their own, will cling to God, and never, never want to be separated from Him.

"The one in glory of heaven shall enjoy God as their capacity allows.
The Psalmist wrote of the great blessing that involved the worship of God in his temple:
"Blessed are those who dwell in your house; will eternally praise you.
Because sun and shield is Jehovah God. Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly.." (Psalm 84:4, 11).

Those in heaven will say: "that blessed are those who are in the presence of God himself!"

If the Lord God refuses nothing to those who turn to Him on earth, then will deny any glory of Heaven to His redeemed children?
Here on earth we enjoy God especially through his word, worship, and prayer. There we will enjoy Him "face to face." "Here you have God in expectation, but in Heaven you will have Him in possession."
There the saints in glory will be filled with joy with the eternal enjoyment of the manifestation of God in all His attributes.
There, will increase greatly the joy and exhilaration of the glorified when contemplating God's mercy shown towards them in salvation and how they deserved for their sins have been among the damned of hell, but were saved from the torments of hell only by Mercy sovereign of God who were granted in eternal salvation, and were accepted by them!.

The key of salvation is in accept the salvation that God offer us before we leave the body in this world, before dying.

The ministers of the Church will rejoice with those that led to the knowledge of Christ and the fruits of their work will be seen there completely. Paul writes of this infinite joy in I Thessalonians 2:19.

"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing?

Are not even ye, before our Lord Jesus at his coming?"

Other things will undoubtedly contribute to the joy of heaven, as being with loved ones we had here on earth and the saints of all times, by contemplating the providences of God towards them in the land, being already in the divine city, but the greatest joy of all will be to be in front of Him, in front of his presence!!

DIFFERENT DEGREES OF GLORY IN HEAVEN

All the inhabitants of Heaven, ie all the saints, are eternally happy, enjoy a joy and a peace not known on earth, the peace of Jesus Christ. All have their needs satisfied, there is any lack, and that makes them extremely happy. Everyone has what they deserve in fair measure and know by divine justice that does not deserve more and gladly accepts it.

All are very happy, but some enjoy of the Glories more than others. In Heaven there are different degrees of glory.
Those who worked more for the kingdom and glory of God here on earth receive greater honor and glory in Heaven.
The first evidence we have different degrees of glory comes from what is sometimes called the law of opposition.

Are there different degrees of torment in hell?

Yes it is so, then by the law of opposition, could logically deduce that there will be different degrees of glory in Heaven.
In Luke 12:47-48 we speak of those who "receive many lashes" and those who "receive only a few."
There are different degrees of punishment in hell, so we conclude that we also have varying degrees of sanctification in heaven. II Corinthians 5:10 and I Corinthians 3:8 gives us the basis for the difference:

"For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done while in the body, ie in this world, whether good or bad."

THE CASE OF THE EQUALITY OF REWARD IN HEAVEN

According to our procedure in this world, every faithful follower of Jesus Christ receives the best gift of all, eternal life. The only question is whether there is an additional reward awaited by some of us. Those who say that God rewards each saved christian alike, sometimes indicate a specific parable of Jesus to support his argument: Matthew 20:1-15.

"For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard.
And having agreed with the laborers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard.
And he went out about the third hour, and saw standing in the square to others who were out of work , and told them: "Go ye also into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is right." And they were.

He went out again about the sixth hour and the ninth, and did the same.
And he went about the eleventh hour, he found others standing around, and said, "Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?" They said. " Because no one has hired us," he said, "Go ye also into the vineyard."

When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, "Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last unto the first."
When those came who were hired about the eleventh hour, they each received a denarius.
And when those came who were hired first, they thought they would receive more, and they likewise received every man a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled against the landowner, saying:

"These last worked only one hour, but have made them equal to us who have borne the burden and the scorching heat of the day"
But he answering said to one of them, 'Friend, I do thee no wrong;
Did you not agree with me for a denarius "Take what is yours and go?;
but I want to give to this last the same as you.
Is it not right to do what I will with mine own? Or are you envious because I am generous?".

"Every man shall receive his own reward according to his work for the Kingdom of God." Obviously the rewards are promised to all believers and their different degrees of glory, wich will be the equivalent to the work done for God here on earth.

Peter asks Jesus, "Behold, we have left all and followed thee: what shall we receive" (Matthew 19:27).
Jesus assures Peter that the Jewish disciples will have authority in the kingdom but also tells Peter that many others who come to the truth after them, will also be in the kingdom.

Scripture speaks of those who receive " the reward of a prophet " (Matthew 10:41) which seems to distinguish as different from the ordinary reward. Christ taught his disciples that whoever gives them " a glass of water " in its name will not go unrewarded (Mark 9:41).
This would not be possible if there was no recognition of good works in heaven.

In another section of Scripture is recognized quite clearly that there will be differences among believers in glory. Says the prophet Daniel that " shall shine as the brightness of the firmament . , And they that turn many to righteousness will be like the stars forever and ever " (Daniel 12:3).

And Saint Paul compares the difference between the sun, moon , and stars and applied to believers in the glory of heaven:
"There is one glory of the sun , and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory. So also will be the resurrection of the dead. " (I Corinthians 15:41-42 ).

Paul is simply saying that while a star shines more brightly than other in the sky thus, a holy shall shine with a glory more divine than another when the dead arise to receive payment for the deeds done in this life.

One will be more glorious and will enjoy more of that glory over another based on how he lived, what he has done for the Kingdom of Christ, who has done in assistence of our brothers in need while living on earth.

This is taught of diaphanous form in parable of the talents, where a man had authority over ten cities and other on five ( Luke 19:12-19 ).

"The saints are like many containers of different sizes thrown into the sea of ​​happiness where each container is filled: this is eternal life, where a man has his full capacity. But after all containers are admitted to the sovereign kingdom of God , God applies his prerogative to determine the size of the container."

Each person will be filled according to their capacity of holiness and joy. No one will lack anything. But some will have a greater capacity for joy than others. Some theologians explain the glory as follows;

"despite of having degrees of glory, however, this does not imply that has defect or desire (lack ) of glory in Heaven to any glorified persons, simply each person will be just as full of glory as he is able to receive."

This is explained in a clearer demonstration. Take a small bowl and a large container and throw them at sea, both bowls will be full, yet there is no so much capacity in the small bowl as in big one, but both are full.

So says the saint is like two containers, however, as if they were one, because of the enjoyment of God, but one is more spacious to take more than God than the other, but still, the less holy will be full of glory of God;
He who has less glory, will have enough glory, though not equal glory than any another glorified saint. So those degrees of glory pose no defect in those people who have less glory of those than have more.

All containers are full, but of different sizes. All glories will wear crowns, some with greater luster than others. The holiness and happiness will be greater in some than others throughout eternity.

IMPORTANT FACTORS OF GLORY OR REWARD

The presence of different degrees of glory in heaven can come to the thought that there could be some envy in Heaven for the degrees of glory that many of our brothers will enjoy eternally. Here on earth this is possible because of our imperfect humanity and by existing sin among us, more in Heaven that is impossible.

All love will be perfect in heaven, the degrees of happiness you will experience every being is according to what is fair measure deserves it and knows by justice he does not deserve more.
It stands to reason that if a person here on earth, suffered persecution in their body or in spirit, struggled to keep his body and soul in a state of purity, by rejecting all impure sexual act or not allowed, within marriage or gave his life for the needy, sick, lonely, leaving everything and going to foreign lands, it is right that such person receives in Heaven degrees extraordinaries of happiness because of his devotion for God's sake.

God greatly compensates for the sacrifice and the dedication in favor to the others. Consider the delivery of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta and her extraordinary work on behalf of the poor.
And it will be like the Apostle Paul wrote. "So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it is, and if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it" (I Corinthians 12:26).

The saints in glory will think it is right that those who stood out among others in works of justice, gave their lives by love thy neighbor and sought the glory of God on earth should receive greater glory in heaven. Men will bless God by irradiating of his glory shining through other men, because envy and sin will have no place in the Kingdom of God.

To all believers in Christ, your eternal state in heaven is the result of what you do here on earth."But this I say:
He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly. And he who sows bountifully will also collect" (II Corinthians 9:6).

Are you looking for an eternity with the greatest degree of happiness possible?

So, live your life from now on completely oriented to the greater glory of God. Tomorrow may be too late. Your present life determine your future to the glory of heaven. To guide those who seek a better future life is imperative to start with a spiritual life oriented towards good of others.

We must be steadfast in prayer, without prayer there is no holiness!.

He who begin a good work without prayer soon will tire and abandon all, will find confusion, contradictions, and immediately will leave everything unfinished.

He who clinging to prayer constantly, daily, never is confused, never gets lost, never leaves the work begun, indeed, finds solution to all problems and strength necessary in prayer. Through constant prayer get wisdom and understanding of God. Daily prayer is a communication with the Eternal Father and His Son Jesus, and never we will be confused, will understand what God wants from us and will obtain humility, quite important for sainthood.

The Saints got these qualities to go to Heaven; prayer, wisdom, understanding and humility much humility.
So, ask God in daily and constant prayer; wisdom, understanding and humility.

SOME DEGREES OF GLORY OR REWARD
1 - GRADES OF MERCY AND HOLINESS HERE ON EARTH


Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Anyone wishing to obtain mercy in heaven should practice it in this world. And for this, as we all want mercy, we must act so that it becomes our advocate in this world, to get us free in the future. There is a mercy in heaven, which is reached through the earthly mercy. It says, in effect, Scripture:
Lord, thy mercy reach heaven.

We have knowing that we have to account for all our good and bad deeds, words, thoughts, gestures or intentions, indeed, all good things have a reward. A religious sister was surprised to discover (when went heaven ) that every smile, every kind reply, every prayer for someone in need, every good deed toward our brethren, is recorded in Heaven and receives an award!.

"He will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of these, you did for me " (Mt. 25:45 ) . God has given us different ministries each. Some are privileged to devote our time to the ministry of the Word of God and prayer (Acts 6:4 ) . We can think of that a priest in front of his faithfuls has greater advantage to go to Heaven, but that's not true . Those who has received more, more will have to account.

It is not good that we compare with each other, because always end up thinking that we are superior to others or inferior to them. On earth, we received praise very differently to as it is in heaven.
The heaven gives value to rewards according to the type of person we are . It comes down to our daily lives.
In Proverbs 16:32 we find: "Better is he that is slow to anger than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."

In other words, if we control our spirit, we are better than those who have conquered a city, or who have achieved great things. We may prophesy "vehemently" but the apostle Paul said that if we do not have love, is useless (1 Cor 13:2). The words of our mouth and our attitudes are much more important in the sky that the way we preach or teach. God measures us based on our attitude toward others and our relationships with others.

Practise ye, therefore mercy in this world, and will receive the heavenly mercy.
The poor ask for, and you ask for God, poor one bite, you the eternal life.
Give to the poor, and will deserve receive to Christ, because he said: Give, and it shall be given. I do not understand how dare you expect to receive, if you refuse to give. So, when you go in to the church, give alms to the poor all you can, according to your possibilities. (St. Cesareo Arles).

DEGREES OF GOODNESS MADE

Being kind perfects the spirit of a person, because you know give and give others without fear of being defrauded by others, giving support and encouragement to all around him. Often the concept of kindness is mistaken for weakness, no one likes to be the "long-suffering" in their work, of whom everybody take advantage of him.
But goodness is exactly the opposite, it is the strength that has to control his character, his passions and his outbursts, to become them in meekness.

It involves an inclination to do good, with a deep understanding of people and their needs, always patient and balanced mood. This value develops in each person the willingness to please to everybody, in fair measure, to all people at all times. Now we can ask:
When do we move away from a kindly attitude?

This is seen in those aggressive attitudes, when we adopt bad manners or ways of talking something arrogant, using words grandiloquent, with reason on our side or not. Also when we adopt an indifferent attitude towards the concerns or concerns with others, deeming them unimportant or as a result of the lack of understanding and ability to solve problems.

Never be considered superior!

In doing so, we become unable to really listen with interest and treat with kindness to all who come to us searching a advice or a solution.

We must understand that goodness does not has measure, is disinterested, so never expect a remuneration . Our actions must be accompanied by a genuine desire to serve, avoiding doing things to look good ... for who is speak well of us. But being kind no means being soft, condescending or indifferent to the injustices those around us. By contrast, the kind is a person who is still vigorous and demanding without leaving of being sympathetic and friendly. Similarly, never responds with insults and contempt for those that mistreat him, thanks the domain he has about his person, try to behave politely despite the adverse and hostile environment.

Goodness perfects the person who takes it as an important value in his life, because their words are full of encouragement and enthusiasm, facilitating friendly and easy communication; given without fear of being cheated, and above all, have the ability to understand helping others and forgetting himself.

The 5 principles of Kindness;

1 - Sow seeds of kindness.

Every time you smile, listens attentively to a friend, give thanks or treat a stranger with courtesy and respect, you are emitting positive energy. This energy causes an impression on the other person who, in turn, will pass to the dozens of people that are in your way. Thus, these positive gestures will have a multiplier effect, ultimately will return to you increased. Remember that it all comes back, the good and the bad.

2nd - Cooperates with everyone equally.

We are all smart enough to be nice to the important people around us every day of our lives, as neighbors, our bosses and even coworkers. However, we do not always care about a stranger to whom we will not see again. Change your posture and begins to treat all people with whom you're going to find as if they were the most important of the world, indeed they are. If not it is for us, yes for someone, and if they are not for today, they may be for tomorrow.

3rd - Having a clear conscience.

Although you are not going to see again the person you have mistreated or noone else has known of your attitudes or your bad behavior, you 're aware that acted badly. Therefore, this bad feeling will be in your mind and in your heart every time you try to convince someone that they can trust you. As you 're betraying yourself, it will be hard you can believe in a person or in a relationship. Remember that consciousness never sleeps, never is silenced, and will haunt you wherever you go.

4rd - Find convince rather than overcome.

Change your inside and tell others what you like instead of what you don´t like.
Do the exercise to redirect conversations to your terrain, for example, instead of saying authoritatively "closes the window", you can replace it with "do you mind if I close the window, or, does not make a bit cold ? ". This way, formulates a question that people can reply, besides converting the fact of closing the window on a shared idea, too, by the other party. This is one of the best ways to get that your own ideas are accepted. Remember that in good friendship, we give glory to God.

5th - Listen to your inner voice.

When you enter into a relationship with someone, an inner voice tells us "he is a good person" or " do not trust her."

How can we make such judgments instantly?

Because we are able to detect nonverbal cues. Pay attention to body language : arms and legs uncrossed, inclination of head to show the interest of what you are telling, and open palms to indicate frankness and receptivity.

Show that you go through life in peace is the best way to plant yourself in front of others from a caring and gentle side. Goodness, will be then a reality contagious, productive and generative of good feelings.

In a hostile world, it's hard to be kind, but is not impossible. Pray a lot for all your achievements, do it with humility and soon you will notice the changes in you.

God rewards in Heaven with glories very important those who have practiced kindness with their brethren here on earth.

Remember that God is Kindly by excellence and infinitely fair to reward you.

DEGREES OF SELF-DENIAL AND SUFFERING

The winners are those who have overcome the world, the flesh and the devil.
The term "winner" means that has won a battle. We must overcome in the following areas to emerge triumphant:

The world:

We must overcome the world and its attractions, including the vainglory of life, the acceptance of the people of this world and its temporal rewards. The desire for things and positions in this world is very strong, so even Demas, who was and walked with Paul and changed the promise of eternal life for these things (2 Tim 4:10).

We should not despise the world, which is the work of the generous hand of God, but we must be careful not to drag us astray.

The desires of the flesh:

The flesh includes worldly desires, such as sexual lust, the sexual scandal, the orgies, the wordly desires, promiscuity, base instincts and every kind of sexual immorality.
Within marriage spouses should respect each other, be faithfuls, without deception or lies. Adultery leads to ruin many matrimonies and it occurs in children a lack of love towards his parents, where respect and trust are annihilated. The bad example they shown, it will be reflected in children in future. Spouses will have give an account for such actions. Also includes overeating, and take all the pleasures without measure.

The Devil:

The devil has many followers who practice witchcraft, fortune-telling, horoscopes, divination hands, Egyptian cards, tarot, work with black magic, occultism, spiritualism, the game of the cup, the Ouija, and all who sympathize with the devil are his followers and adepts.

All these wishes should be extinguished in order to become a true spiritual victor.
Other Bible verses that deal with other ways to have a victorious life, found in Romans 5:17, Romans 12:21 and 1 John 2:14.

In Heaven there are awards and high positions of special and extraordinary glory reserved for all these winners.
Consider some examples of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3. The winners of the flesh and the devil are at extraordinary high positions, above many in Heaven, with each battle won the devil and the desires of the flesh have glorified God in their bodies and in their attitudes, and as is it fair, God will give them the deserved award.

DEGREES OF EMINENCE IN HUMILITY

The gift of humility saves us from being sucked into a life of self-destruction and evil, and will help us to be more sincere and lasting friendships and deeper and meaningful relationships.
It is extremely important to learn to be humble because we are social beings who need other people´s help in our lives to talking, loving, fun healthily, living and learning about human relationships.
Nobody can be happy if being isolated from others but if we lack humility, we could never relate well with our neighbors and at the end we would be isolated, embittered and unhappy.

Humility is the foundation of healthy human relationships because it keeps everyone in an honest, respectful and peaceful relationship. When someone discover humility, discovers who he is and what the meaning of his life. Will experience joy and will be satisfied with what life gives you without think that deserves more than their peers.

A true Christian will seek to be humble and with God's help, will recognize that God created us all equal, of the same substance of the earth, and gave His life for each of us equally.

Humility comes only with constant prayer. It is a gift that God rewards those who strive daily in this spiritual act. Any prayer is valid for humility, if done with heart and soul.

Remember that the devil will try by all means to stay away from prayer.
He knows how important it is praying, and for this reason will not rest until I see you away from meditation and prayer.
The devil will confuse you and make you doubt its effectiveness and its spiritual value.
The more you praying, the more will be irritated the devil, and the more will pursue you. The persecution will be according to the degree to which you praying.
God will not allow more persecution than you can bear.

Why does God allow that the devil pursue me?

God allows him to some extent, to strengthen your spirit and ends up winning him. Remember that God takes advantage of the devil and use him for your own spiritual good. God always, always ends up winning, and the devil knows this, hence his anger is even greater. Your reward will be extraordinary in Heaven, if you defeat to the devil, and will be for all eternity!.

The praying of the Holy Rosary daily is an important means to get humility and defeat to the devil, our Blessed Mother crushed the head of the serpent, the devil, and fill us with spiritual gifts, including humility and love for prayer.

The Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, and Litany of the Holy Rosary are full of indulgences and spiritual gifts to reach humility and love for God and the Blessed Virgin.

Remember that Mary promised that the devotees of the Rosary shall enjoy a very special glory in Heaven, the same glory of the saints and martyrs alive.

Remember also that Jesus Christ promised that the devotees Stations of the Cross, get in Heaven a blessing and a extraordinary glory that will accompany throughout eternity.

HAPPINESS THAT NEVER ENDS

Here's a summary of what the Catholic Church teaches about the heavenly bliss that will receive the inhabitants of heaven:
All who die in God's grace (state of Grace), after purification in purgatory (remember that all will have to go through purgatory some for a short time, others for a longer time, even those who live in holiness are offered to go the purgatory to comfort all those who suffer most) will have the true joy of living with Christ forever.

They see God such as He is, face to face. Is communion of life and love with the Trinity, the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the heavenly blessed. This is the ultimate object of the deepest human desires and the state of supreme bliss. In heaven, men live with and in Christ, keeping his true identity.

By his death and resurrection, Jesus Christ opened heaven to all who choose to accept it, recognize him as the Son of God and only Savior of mankind. Good people to fully benefit of Christ's redemption. Those who have believed in him and remained faithful become sharers in his glory. The heaven is a community of all who have lived in Christ.

BEATIFIC VISION

God is the main object of the human being and will in Heaven. Once there, the inhabitants of Heaven receive the "beatific vision," the ability to see God in all its glory and magnificence. The secondary object of the beatific vision is the knowledge and love of persons whom Christians have known on earth.

Theologians teach that the Church is not a bodily activity, the beatific vision does not require the senses and imagination. The beatific vision and love are the activities of the spiritual faculties of every human being.

Man need a greater dignity and strengthening their spiritual faculties, superiors to the virtues of hope and faith, for enjoy the beatific vision. Lumen gloriae, the light of glory, is the name given to permanent ennoblement of the intellect by which humans can join the Trinity in the beatific vision.

A STATE OF HAPPINESS

Theologians speak of Heaven as a state of happiness. They explain that we exist to glorify God and to find our happiness, but we find our happiness only giving glory to God. In Heaven, the members of the Mystical Body of Christ, glorify God for his participation in the glory of Christ - it is only in Christ that they can do it. Christ is the Temple where God-Father is perfectly united, and the Heaven is his sanctuary.

Because Christ and Virgin Mary are glorified in body, and that a body requires a place to live, the tradition of the Church follows Scripture in which teaching that Heaven is a place. How the Heaven works?. It is a mystery.
It is far beyond what the human being can understand, so that the scriptures describes it in images that humans being can relate them: life, light, peace, wedding feast, wine of the kingdom, Father's house, the heavenly Jerusalem, paradise, power, glory, eternal happiness, etc.

However, all this will exist in the fullest sense only after the Parousia, ie, when all who are saved, will recover their original bodies , the same we had here on earth, but completely glorified.

The essential element in the state of celestial glory is union with the Holy Trinity in the mind and heart, leading to the beatific joy. Those who die in grace of God, possess essential glory , as soon as it has completed its purification. However, the fullness of glory will come to them when they get back their glorified bodies after the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

Theology teaches that God has intended the human being for eternal bliss. This is his last end, gain happiness.
Therefore, Heaven has to bring man to a state of perfect happiness. The concern here is not the physical satisfaction, true happiness is associated with the fulfillment of the noble aspirations of the soul.

Since forever has been intended for supernatural union with God , the human being does not have other the destination than no be the supernatural.
Thus, their ultimate happiness is union with God. God is the primary object of the beatific vision. Only God is able to meet the human and angelic intellect made ​​for possession of the truth. Only God can satisfy the desires of the human´s heart or angelic will. Without God do not exist happiness. Without God the existence it is a chaos , a state of agony, of pain and suffering permanent. That is the state of the inhabitants of hell.

The infinite perfection of the Holy Trinity and the infinite love of God provide all the inhabitants of Heaven a satisfaction that never ends . This happiness is not at all bored because is not mixed with material pleasure, which , by their nature, can not last. The happiness of heaven is permanent and infinite, it can´t have a anxiety that will decrease or disappear.

THE GLORY OF A NEW BODY

This varies from one person to another, corresponding to the state of the union of the individual with God at the moment of death. It is very important, if you are in agony or sick, ask for a priest to administer the holy oil, it is very important that the person that receive it be consents, that know what will receive.

The martyrs, virgins, chaste, lay people committed to God and faith teachers receive a special mark, a halo denoting their commitment to Christ and his work during his life here on earth.

All the saved enjoys the company of the elect - that is, each one of the blessed are delighted in others, including the Virgin Mary, the angels and the saints.
As they lived on earth, they will obtain affinities with some of the blessed, there will always full agreement of the spirit among all.

Then will come the Resurrection, or restoration of the body. The blessed in heaven have the same bodies they had on earth, however, these bodies will have special features, including the following;

Splendor: the bodies will have a supernatural glow and will make them beautiful to look at.

Agility: it will allow that the glorified bodies move through space in an instant, with incredible mobility.

Subtlety: The complete subordination of the body to the soul, so both they will be perfectly integrated.

Impassivity: The glorified bodies no longer suffering any more, and does not need to eat or sleep to kept it, since suffers no wear.

The renewal of the world along with the restoration of the body, are complete with salvation within of the plan of God. The renewed universe is the ultimate glorification of Christ and contributes to the eternal happiness of the blessed in Heaven.

Some parts have been taken from William C. Nichols. Revised and corrected.