Tag: Catholic Mystic

Mystic And Prophetess – Blessed Anna Catherine Emmerich.

Mystic And Prophetess – Blessed Anna Catherine Emmerich.

Anna Katharina Emmerick was born on September 8, 1774 in the farming community of Flamsche near Coesfeld. She grew up amidst a host of nine brothers and sisters. She had to help out in the house and with the farm work at an early age. Her school attendance was brief, which made it all the more remarkable that she was well instructed in religious matters. Her parents and all those who knew Anna Katherina noticed early on that she felt drawn to prayer and to the religious life in a special way.

Anna Katharina labored for three years on a large farm in the vicinity. Then she learned to sew and stayed in Coesfeld for her further training. She loved to visit the old churches in Coesfeld and to join in the celebration of Mass. She often walked the path of Coesfeld’s long Way of the Cross alone, praying the stations by herself.

Anna Katharina wanted to enter the convent, but since her wish could not be fulfilled at that time, she returned to her parental home. She worked as a seamstress and, while doing so, visited many homes.

Anna Katherina asked for admission to different convents, but she was rejected because she could not bring a significant dowry with her. The Poor Clares in Münster finally agreed to accept her if she would learn to play the organ. She received her parents’ permission to be trained in Coesfeld by the organist Söntgen. But she never got around to learning how to play the organ. The misery and poverty in the Söntgen household prompted her to work in the house and help out in the family. She even sacrificed her small savings for their sake.

Together with her friend Klara Söntgen, Anna Katharina was finally able to enter the convent Agnetenberg in Dülmen in 1802. The following year she took her religious vows. She participated enthusiastically in the life of the convent. She was always willing to take on hard work and loathsome tasks. Because of her impoverished background she was at first given little respect in the convent. Some of the sisters took offence at her strict observance of the order’s rule and considered her a hypocrite. Anna Katharina bore this pain in silence and quiet submission.

From 1802 to 1811 Anna Katharina was ill quite often and had to endure great pain.

As a result of secularization, the convent of Agnetenberg was suppressed in 1811, and Anna Katharina had to leave the convent along with the others. She was taken in as a housekeeper at the home of Abbé Lambert, a priest who had fled France and lived in Dülmen. But she soon became ill. She was unable to leave the house and was confined to bed. In agreement with Curate Lambert she had her younger sister Gertrud come to take over the housekeeping under her direction.

During this period, Anna Katharina received the stigmata. She had already endured the pain of the stigmata for a long time. The fact that she bore the wounds of Christ could not remain hidden. Dr. Franz Wesener, a young doctor, went to see her, and he was so impressed by her that he became a faithful, selfless and helping friend during the following eleven years. He kept a diary about his contacts with Anna Katharina Emmerick in which he recorded a wealth of details.

A striking characteristic of the life of Anna Katharina was her love for people. Wherever she saw need, she tried to help. Even in her sickbed she sewed clothes for poor children and was pleased when she could help them in this way. Although she could have found her many visitors annoying, she received all of them kindly. She embraced their concerns in her prayers and gave them encouragement and words of comfort.

Many prominent people who were important in the renewal movement of the church at the beginning of the 19th century sought an opportunity to meet Anna Katharina, among them Clemens August Droste zu Vischering, Bernhard Overberg, Friedrich Leopold von Stolberg, Johann Michael Sailer, Christian and Clemens Brentano, Luise Hensel, Melchior and Apollonia Diepenbrock.

The encounter with Clemens Brentano was particularly significant. His first visit led him to stay in Dülmen for five years. He visited Anna Katharina daily to record her visions which he later published.

Anna Katharina grew ever weaker during the summer of 1823. As always she joined her suffering to the suffering of Jesus and offered it up for the salvation of all. She died on February 9, 1824.

Anna Katharina Emmerick was buried in the cemetery in Dülmen. A large number of people attended the funeral. Because of a rumor that her corpse had been stolen, the grave was reopened twice in the weeks following the burial. The coffin and the corpse were found to be intact.

Clemens Brentano wrote the following about Anna Katharina Emmerick: “She stands like a cross by the wayside”. Anna Katharina Emmerick shows us the center of our Christian faith, the mystery of the cross.

The life of Anna Katharina Emmerick is marked by her profound closeness to Christ. She loved to pray before the famous Coesfeld Cross, and she walked the path of the long Way of the Cross frequently. So great was her personal participation in the sufferings of our Lord that it is not an exaggeration to say that she lived, suffered and died with Christ. An external sign of this, which is at the same time, however, more than just a sign, are the wounds of Christ which she bore.

Anna Katharina Emmerick was a great admirer of Mary. The feast of the Nativity of Mary was also Anna Katharina’s birthday. A verse from a prayer to Mary highlights a further aspect of Anna Katharina’s life for us. The prayer states, “O God, let us serve the work of salvation following the example of the faith and the love of Mary”. To serve the work of salvation – that is what Anna Katharina wanted to do.

In Colossians, the apostle Paul speaks of two ways to serve the gospel, to serve salvation. One consists in the active proclamation in word and deed. But what if that is no longer possible? Paul, who obviously finds himself in such a situation, writes: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I complete what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:24).

Anna Katharina Emmerick served salvation in both ways. Her words, which have reached innumerable people in many languages from her modest room in Dülmen through the writings of Clemens Brentano, are an outstanding proclamation of the gospel in service to salvation right up to the present day. At the same time, however, Anna Katharina Emmerick understood her suffering as a service to salvation. Dr. Wesener, her doctor, recounts her petition in his diary:

“I have always requested for myself as a special gift from God that I suffer for those who are on the wrong path due to error or weakness, and that, if possible, I make reparation for them.” It has been reported that Anna Katharina Emmerick gave many of her visitors religious assistance and consolation. Her words had this power because she brought her life and suffering into the service of salvation.

In serving the work of salvation through faith and love, Anna Katharina Emmerick can be a model for us.

Dr. Wesener passed on this remark of Anna Katharina Emmerick: 

“I have always considered service to my neighbor to be the greatest virtue. In my earliest childhood I already requested of God that he give me the strength to serve my fellow human beings and to be useful. And now I know that he has granted my request.” How could she who was confined to her sickroom and her bed for years serve her neighbor?

In a letter to Count Stolberg, Clemens August Droste zu Vischering, the vicar‑general at that time, called Anna Katharina Emmerick a special friend of God. In the words of Hans Urs von Balthasar we can say, “She brought her friendship with God to bear in solidarity with human beings.”

To bring friendship with God to bear in solidarity with human beings – does this not shed light on an important concern in the life of the church today? The Christian faith no longer includes everyone. In our world, the Christian community represents people before God. We must bring our friendship with God to bear, let it be the decisive factor in solidarity with human beings.

Anna Katharina Emmerick is united to us in the community of believers. This community does not come to an end with death. We believe in the lasting communion with all whom God has led to perfection. We are united with them beyond death and they participate in our lives. We can invoke them and ask for their intercession. We ask Anna Katharina Emmerick, to bring her friendship with God to bear in solidarity with us and with all human beings.

~Source:

Vatican.va

The Purifying Flames: Jesus Explains To A Mystic What Purgatory Truly Is

The Purifying Flames: Jesus Explains To A Mystic What Purgatory Truly Is




The Purifying Flames

JESUS:
 

“I want to explain to you what Purgatory is and in what it consists. And I explain it Myself, with a form that will clash with so many who believe themselves to be trustees of knowledge of the Beyond — and are not.

The souls immersed in those flames suffer only from love.

Not undeserving of possessing the Light, but not yet worthy of entering immediately into that Kingdom of Light, these souls, upon presenting themselves to God, become clothed with the Light. It is a brief, anticipated bliss, which makes them certain of their salvation, and makes known to them what their eternity will be. It makes them experience what they had committed toward their soul; thus defrauding it of years of the blessed possession of God. Immersed thereafter in the Place of Purgation, they are clothed with the expiatory flames.

In this matter, those who talk of ‘Purgatory’ speak rightly. But where they are not right is in wanting to apply various names to those flames.

These flames are a conflagration of Love. They purify by enkindling souls with love. They give Love because, when the soul has reached in them that love which it did not reach on earth, it is liberated and joined to Love in Heaven.

This seems to you a different doctrine than what is known — true? But reflect.

What does God, One and Triune, want for the souls created by Him? The Good.

He Who wants the Good for a creature, what sentiments does He have for that creature? Sentiments of Love.

What are the first and the second commandments, the two most important? Those of which I have said there are no greater, and in which are the keys for reaching Eternal Life? They are a commandment of love: ‘Love God with all your strength, love your neighbor as yourself.’

Through My own mouth and by the prophets and the saints, what have I said to you an infinite number of times? That Charity is the greatest of absolutions. Charity consumes the faults and the weaknesses of man, because he who loves lives in God, and by living in God he sins little; and if he sins he at once repents, and for him who is repentant there is the forgiveness of the Most High.

What is lacking to souls? Love. If they had loved much, they would have committed few and light sins, connected with your weakness and imperfections. But they would never have reached a conscious obstinacy in faults, even venial ones. If they would have striven not to grieve their Love, Love also, seeing their good will, would have absolved them even of the venial transgressions they committed.

How does one repair, even on earth, a fault? By expiating it — even if only with difficulty — through the means with which it was committed. He who has damaged something, by restoring whatever he has taken away with his insolence. He who has calumniated, by retracting the calumny, and so on.

Now: if poor human justice wants this, will not the holy Justice of God want it? And what means will God use to obtain reparation? Himself, that is, Love, and by exacting love.


All pivots on love, Maria, except for the truly ‘dead’: the damned. For these ‘dead,’ even Love is dead. But for the three Kingdoms — that of the heaviest: the Earth; that in which the weight of matter is abolished, but not of the soul burdened by sin: Purgatory; and finally that in which its inhabitants share with their Father the spiritual nature which frees them from every duty — for all three the motor is Love. It is by loving on earth that you work for Heaven. It is by loving in Purgatory that you conquer Heaven which in life you had not known how to merit. It is by loving in Paradise that you enjoy Heaven.


When a soul is in Purgatory it does not do anything but love, reflect, repent in the light of Love which has kindled for it these flames — which already are God, but which hide God from it for its punishment.


Behold the torment. The soul remembers the vision of God it had in its particular judgment. That memory is carried with it and, since to have even but glimpsed God is a joy which surpasses every created thing, the soul thus has anxiety to enjoy again that joy. That memory of God and that ray of light which had clothed it at its appearing before God, thus cause the soul to ‘see’ in their true essence the failures committed against its Good. And this ‘seeing,’ together with the thought that it has voluntarily forbidden itself the possession of Heaven and union with God for ages or centuries, constitute its purgative pain.


It is love, and the certainty of having offended Love, which is the torment of those being purged. The more a soul in life has failed, the more it is as if blinded by spiritual cataracts which make more difficult its knowing and reaching that perfect repentance of love which is the first collaboration with its purgation and its entrance into the Kingdom of God.


Love is weighed down and slowed down the more a soul has oppressed it with guilt. But as the power of Love cleanses it little by little, its resurrection to love is quickened and, in consequence, so is its conquest of Love — which is completed in the moment in which, having finished its expiation and reached the perfection of love, it is admitted into the City of God.


There is need to pray much so that these souls, who suffer in order to reach Joy, may be swift in reaching the perfect love that absolves them and unites them to Me. Your own prayers, your suffrages, are as so many increases in the fire of love. They increase its ardor, its heat. But — ohblessed torment! — they also increase the capacity to love. They quicken the process of purgation. They raise to ever higher levels the souls immersed in that fire. They bring them to the threshold of Light. And, at last, they open the Gates of Light and introduce the soul into Heaven.


For each of these works provoked by your charity for one who has preceded you into the second life, there is a corresponding jump in charity for you. The Charity of God which thanks you for providing for His repentant children, the charity of the repentant themselves, who thank you for endeavoring to place them in the Joy of God.


Never do your dear ones love you as they do after their death from the earth, because their love is thereafter infused with the Light of God, and in this Light they understand how you love them and how they should have loved you.


They cannot speak words to you any more which invoked forgiveness and give love. But they speak them to Me for you, and I bring them to you, these words of your Dead, who now know how to see and love you as they ought. I bring them to you together with their requests of love and with their blessing, already valid inasmuch as from Purgatory, because already infused with that kindled Charity which burns and purifies them. And [it is] perfectly valid, then, from the moment in which, being liberated, they come to meet you upon the threshold of Life, or will be reunited to you in that same Life, if you have already preceded them into the Kingdom of Love.

Trust in Me, Maria. I work for you and for your dearest ones. Lift up your spirit. I come to give you joy. Trust yourself to Me.”


****

Mary Visits Souls In Purgatory: The Holy Souls Have Knowledge Beyond Ours, They See Earth As A Place Of “Darkness” (1)

Mary Visits Souls In Purgatory: The Holy Souls Have Knowledge Beyond Ours, They See Earth As A Place Of “Darkness” (1)


In our world today, very little is taught in regular catechism classes about Purgatory, about the suffering that the Poor Souls experience in order to be completely purified to be able to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet Purgatory does exist, and the sufferings that the Poor Souls experience there are very real.

A privileged soul, named Maria Simma, Since 1940, at the young age of 25 has had regular visits from the souls in Purgatory to explain their sufferings and to ask for prayers and Masses to be released from Purgatory. Her local Bishop and parish priest told her she could make known these visitations as long as there were no theological errors.

One day, Sister Emmanuel Maillard, a French nun known for her apostolate in favor of the Apparitions of Our Lady in Medjugorje, came across Maria Simma’s book, called The Souls in Purgatory told Meand read it with great interest. According to the nun:

“This book struck me so much because it related very recent testimonies, and also explained very well the Church’s doctrine on the subject… Straight away, I wrote to the editor who told me that Maria Simma is still alive. Quickly, I contacted her, and she agreed to meet me to answer my questions, which were many!”

This interview took place in 1997 at Maria’s house in Sonntag, a very lovely village in the Vorarlberg Mountains in Austria. The following are excerpts from this interview of Sister Emmanuel of Medjugorje with Maria Simma, taken from a booklet entitled: The Amazing Secret of the Souls in Purgatory, published by Queenship Publishing Co., P.O. Box 220, Goleta, CA 93116, USA (Phone 800-647-9882, Fax: 805-967-5843):

(Note: Maria Simma died on March 16, 2004, in Sonntag, at the age of 89).


Maria, can you tell us how you were visited for the first time by a soul in Purgatory?


Yes, it was in 1940. One night, around 3 or 4 o’clock in the morning, I heard someone coming into my bedroom… I saw a complete stranger. He walked back and forth slowly. I said to him severely:
“How did you get in here? Go away!” But he continued to walk impatiently around the bedroom as if he hadn’t heard. So I asked him again: “What are you doing?” But as he still didn’t answer, I jumped out of bed and tried to grab him, but I grasped only air. There was nothing there. So I went back to bed, but again I heard him pacing back and forth.

I wondered how I could see this man, but I couldn’t grab him. I rose again to hold onto him and to stop him from walking around; again, I grasped only emptiness. Puzzled, I went back to bed. He didn’t come back, but I couldn’t get back to sleep. The next day, after Mass, I went to see my spiritual director and told him everything. He told me that if this should happen again, I shouldn’t ask, “Who are you?” but “What do you want from me?”

The following night, the man returned. I asked him: “What do you want from me?” He replied: “Have three Masses celebrated for me, and I will be delivered.”

So I understood that it was a soul in Purgatory. My spiritual director confirmed this. He also advised me never to turn away the poor souls, but to accept with generosity whatever they asked of me.

And afterwards, the visits continued?

Yes. For several years, there were only three or four souls, above all in November. Afterwards, there were more.

What do these souls ask of you?

In most cases, they ask to have Masses celebrated and that one be present at these Masses. They ask to have the Rosary said and also that one make the Stations of the Cross.

Maria, do the souls in Purgatory have, nevertheless, joy and hope in the midst of their suffering?

Yes. No soul would want to come back from Purgatory to the earth. They have knowledge which is infinitely beyond ours. They just could not decide to return to the darkness of the earth.

Here we see the difference from the suffering that we know on earth. In Purgatory, even if the pain of the soul is just terrible, there is the certitude of living forever with God. It’s an unshakeable certitude. The joy is greater than the pain. There is nothing on earth which could make them want to live here again, where one is never sure of anything.


Maria, can you tell us now if it is God who sends a soul into Purgatory, or if the soul itself decides to go there?

It is the soul itself which wants to go to Purgatory, in order to be pure before going to Heaven.

Maria, at the moment of death, does one see God in full light or in an obscure manner?

In a manner still obscure, but, all the same, in such brightness that this is enough to cause great longing.

Maria, can you tell us what the role of Our Lady is with the souls in Purgatory?

She comes often to console them and to tell them they have done many good things. She encourages them.

Are there any days in particular on which She delivers them?

Above all, Christmas Day, All Saints Day, Good Friday, the Feast of the Assumption, and the Ascension of Jesus.

…to be continued 

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