Spiritual Retreat by Father William Casey CPM
As most of you know, there has been a rather vivid discussion recently in the blogosphere on the subject of hell. As one who has written rather substantially, on the topic of hell, and our need to recover a more biblical notion regarding judgment and hell, I pray that you will tolerate me adding my own voice to the recent discussions.
Those who read this blog regularly, will know that I have spoken on the topic of Hell on any number of occasions. For example:
The Hell of It ——–Hell Has to Be——Will Many Be Saved? ——–Sinner Please Don’t Let this Harvest Pass ——–The Fire Next Time ——–The Mystery of Iniquity ——–Ignoring Two Words Devastates Evangelization
Divine action, being limitless in its plenitude, can take possession of a soul only to the extent to which that soul is emptied of all trust in its own action.
For such self-confidence is a spurious fullness that excludes divine action.
This is the obstacle most likely to impede divine action, namely, that which is found in the soul itself, for in the case of external obstacles the divine action can, when it chooses, convert them into useful means. Everything is equally useful and useless to it. Without it everything is as nothing, and with it nothing becomes everything. Meditation, contemplation, vocal prayers, interior silence, acts of the faculties of the soul, whether accompanied by emotional feelings, and whether distinctly or less clearly perceived, a life of retirement or an active one, all these things may be valuable in themselves, but the best of all for the soul is what God wills at this particular moment, and ail else must be regarded by the soul with perfect indifference as being nothing at all.
Their stories are as old as time but worth repeating in this present age where so many seem to think they are too smart for God, religion and all of His love and grace. I must admit that being a fan of contemporary music and literature, I threw the stories of Jack Kerouac, John Lennon and Bob Marley’s late in life embrace of faith and tradition into my book without giving it much thought. However, I am surprised to find that so many who have read or perused my just released book, The Catholic Tide Continues to Turn have stated that they were not familiar with these stories and found them very revealing. Perhaps it is because our rebellious society has lionized figures who want to throw out God or just leave him as far distant as possible. Yet all three men realized that the traditional values, in which they were raised and the love of God they were once shown, was too important to forever jettison.
Ivan Ilyich saw that he was dying, and he was in continual despair. In the depth of his heart he knew he was dying, but not only was he not accustomed to the thought, he simply did not and could not grasp it. The syllogism he had learnt from Kiesewetter’s Logic, “Caius is a man, men are mortal, therefore Caius is mortal,” had always seemed to him correct as applied to Caius, but certainly not as applied to himself. That Caius — man in the abstract — was mortal, was perfectly correct, but he was not Caius, not an abstract man, but a creature quite, quite separate from all others.
It’s short, and it’s all about death. Maybe that’s why we read it in high school.