Monday, May 23, 2011

Few are chosen....




For many are called but few are chosen. St. Mark 20:16

Lord, are there few that are saved? But he said to them: Strive to enter by the narrow gate; for many, I tell you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able. St. Luke 13:23-24

Enter ye in at the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. How narrow is the gate and how strait is the way that leads to life, and few there are that find it! St. Matthew 7:13-14

St. Macarius was living among some ruins when one day he found a skull and turning it over with his staff, asked it who it had been. "I was the high priest of the pagans of this place." it answered. "And where are you now?" he asked. "In Hell!" came the reply. Macarius then asked the skull if its place was very deep in Hell. "As far down as the earth is lower than Heaven." "Are there any souls lower than you?" "Yes, the souls of the Jews." "And are there any souls lower than the Jews?" "Yes, the souls of bad Christians - who were redeemed by the blood of Christ but valued their salvation so cheaply."

When St. Francis Jerome was preaching in the square, he was routinely harassed by a brazen woman named Catherine - the mistress of a rich man - who would interrupt him with shouts, jests and noisy musical instruments. One day, as she was making her usual commotion, the saint paused and looked up at her window, saying, "Beware my daughter of resisting grace; before eight days pass God will punish you." This only made her even more boisterous. However, eight days later as he was passing through the square, her windows were shuttered. Neighbors told him that she had died earlier that day. "Died?" he replied, "Well, let her tell us now what she gained by laughing at hell. Let's go ask her!" A large crowd followed him up to the death chamber hoping to see a miracle. Francis Jerome paused and said a brief prayer then uncovered the face of the dead woman. In a loud voice he commanded: "Catherine, tell us where you are now." At this, the corpse resumed some color then lifted its head and opened its eyes. Looking wildly at those present the woman cried, "I'm in hell! I'm in hell!" At this she collapsed back into death. Turning to the crowd, Francis Jerome said, "Death is real. Heaven is real, and yes, hell is real."

The number of the saved is as few as the number of grapes left after the vineyard-pickers have passed. St. John Mary Vianney

I had the greatest sorrow for the many souls that had condemned themselves to Hell. I especially saw the souls of the Lutherans... falling into hell like snowflakes in a mid-winter blizzard. St. Teresa of Avila

Be one of the small number who find the way to life, and enter by the narrow gate into Heaven. Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd, so many of whom are lost. Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way. St. Louis Marie de Montfort

How many souls turn away from the road to glory, and go to hell! St. Francis Xavier

There are many who arrive at the faith, but few who are led into the heavenly kingdom. Behold how many are gathered here for today's Feast-Day: we fill the church from wall to wall. Yet who knows how few they are who shall be numbered in that chosen company of the Elect? Pope St. Gregory the Great

The greater number of men still say to God: Lord we will not serve Thee; we would rather be slaves of the devil, and condemned to Hell, than be Thy servants. Alas! The greatest number, my Jesus - we may say nearly all - not only do not love Thee, but offend Thee and despise Thee. How many countries there are in which there are scarcely any Catholics, and all the rest either infidels or heretics! And all of them are certainly on the way to being lost. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

A multitude of souls fall into the depths of Hell, and it is of the faith that all who die in mortal sin are condemned for ever and ever. According to statistics, approximately 80,000 persons die every day. How many of these will die in mortal sin, and how many will be condemned! For, as their lives have been, so also will be their end. St. Anthony Mary Claret

As a man lives, so shall he die. St. Augustine

Ah! A great many persons live constantly in the state of damnation! St. Vincent de Paul

The Lord called the world a "field" and all the faithful who draw near to him "wheat." All through the field, and around the threshing-floor, there is both wheat and chaff. But the greater part is chaff; the lesser part is wheat, for which is prepared a barn not a fire. [...] The good also are many, but in comparison with the wicked the good are few. Many are the grains of wheat, but compared with the chaff, the grains are few. St. Augustine

The more the wicked abound, so much the more must we suffer with them in patience; for on the threshing floor few are the grains carried into the barns, but high are the piles of chaff burned with fire. Pope St. Gregory the Great

What do you think? How many of the inhabitants of this city may perhaps be saved? What I am about to tell you is very terrible, yet I will not conceal it from you. Out of this thickly populated city with its thousands of inhabitants not one hundred people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that! St. John Chrysostom

Taking into account the behaviour of mankind, only a small part of the human race will be saved. Lucy of Fatima

So many people are going to die, and almost all of them are going to Hell! So many people falling into hell! Jacinta of Fatima

Countless hosts have fallen into Hell. Venerable Mary of Agreda

The perverse are hard to be corrected, and the number of fools is infinite. Ecclesiastes 1:15

The greater part of men choose to be damned rather than to love Almighty God. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

The number of the damned is incalculable. St. Veronica Giuliani

What is the number of those who love Thee, O God? How few they are! The Elect are much fewer than the damned! Alas! The greater portion of mankind lives in sin unto the devil, and not unto Jesus Christ. O Saviour of the world, I thank Thee for having called and permitted us to live in the true faith which the Holy Roman Catholic Church teaches. [...] But alas, O my Jesus! How small is the number of those who live in this holy faith! Oh, God! The greater number of men lie buried in the darkness of infidelity and heresy. Thou hast humbled Thyself to death, to the death of the cross, for the salvation of men, and these ungrateful men are unwilling even to know Thee. Ah, I pray Thee, O omnipotent God, O sovereign and infinite Good, make all men know and love Thee! St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

I see around me a multitude of those who, blindly persevering in error, despise the true God; but I am a Christian nevertheless, and I follow the instruction of the Apostles. If this deserves chastisement, reward it; for I am determined to suffer every torture rather then become the slave of the devil. Others may do as they please since they are [...] reckless of the future life which is to be obtained only by sufferings. Scripture tells us that "narrow is the way that leads to life" [...] because it is one of affliction and of persecutions suffered for the sake of justice; but it is wide enough for those who walk upon it, because their faith and the hope of an eternal reward make it so for them. [...] On the contrary, the road of vice is in reality narrow, and it leads to an eternal precipice. St. Leo of Patara

I was watching souls going down into the abyss as thick and fast as snowflakes falling in the winter mist. Blessed Benedict Joseph Labre

The majority of men shall not see God, excepting those who live justly, purified by righteousness and by every other virtue. St. Justin the Martyr

The majority of souls appear before the Judgement empty-handed. They did nothing good for eternity. Venerable Mary of Agreda

All infidels and heretics are surely on the way to being lost. What an obligation we owe God! for causing us to be born not only after the coming of Jesus Christ, but also in countries where the true faith reigns! I thank Thee, O Lord, for this. Woe to me if, after so many transgressions, it had been my fate to live in the midst of infidels or heretics! St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Brethren, the just man shall scarcely be saved. What, then, will become of the sinner? St. Arsenius

If the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly man and the sinner appear? I St. Peter 1:18

I fear that Last Day, that day of tribulation and anguish, of calamity and misery, of mist and darkness, that Day on which, if the just have reason to fear, how much more should I: an impious, wretched, and ungrateful sinner! Blessed Sebastian Valfre

The Ark, which in the midst of the Flood was a symbol of the Church, was wide below and narrow above; and, at the summit, measured only a single cubit. [...] It was wide where the animals were, narrow where men lived: for the Holy Church is indeed wide in the number of those who are carnal-minded, narrow in the number of those who are spiritual. Pope St. Gregory the Great

In the Great Deluge in the days of Noah, nearly all mankind perished, eight persons alone being saved in the Ark. In our days a deluge, not of water but of sins, continually inundates the earth, and out of this deluge very few escape. Scarcely anyone is saved. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Out of one hundred thousand sinners who continue in sin until death, scarcely one will be saved. St. Jerome

Get out of the filth of the horrible torrent of this world, the torrent of thorns that is whirling you into the abyss of eternal perdition. [...] This torrent is the world, which resembles an impetuous torrent, full of garbage and evil odours, making a lot of noise but flowing swiftly passed, dragging the majority of men into the pit of perdition. St. John Eudes

Oh how much are the worldlings deceived that rejoice in the time of weeping, and make their place of imprisonment a palace of pleasure; that consider the examples of the saints as follies, and their end as dishonourable; that think to go to Heaven by the wide way that leadeth only to perdition! St. John Southwell

Nor should we think that it is enough for salvation that we are no worse off than the mass of the careless and indifferent, or that in out faith we are, like so many others, uninstructed. St. Bede the Venerable

We owe God a deep regret of gratitude for the purely gratuitous gift of the true faith with which he has favoured us. How many are the infidels, heretics and schismatics who do not enjoy comparable happiness? The earth is full of them and they are all lost! St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

St. Teresa, as the Roman Rota attests, never fell into any mortal sin; but still Our Lord showed her the place prepared for her in Hell; not because she deserved Hell, but because, had she not risen from the state of lukewarmness in which she lived, she would in the end have lost the grace of God and been damned. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

They who are to be saved as Saints, and wish to be saved as imperfect souls, shall not be saved. Pope St. Gregory the Great

They who are enlightened to walk in the way of perfection, and through lukewarmness wish to tread the ordinary path, shall be abandoned. Blessed Angela of Foligno

If you want to be certain of being in the number of the Elect, strive to be one of the few, not one of the many. And if you would be quite sure of your salvation, strive to be among the fewest of the few; that is to say, do not follow the great majority of mankind, but follow those who enter upon the narrow way, who renounce the world, who give themselves to prayer, and who never relax their efforts by day or night, so that they may attain everlasting blessedness. St. Anselm

Live with the few if you want to reign with the few. St. John Climacus

Many begin well, but there are few who persevere. St. Jerome

The saints are few, but we must live with the few if we would be saved with the few. O God, too few indeed they are; yet among those few I wish to be! St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Those who are saved are in the minority. St. Thomas Aquinas

If you wish to imitate the multitude, then you shall not be among the few who shall enter in by the narrow gate. St. Augustine

There are few, not many, who enter in at the narrow gate and find the strait way to eternal life. Origen

The path to Heaven is narrow, rough and full of wearisome and trying ascents, nor can it be trodden without great toil; and therefore wrong is their way, gross their error, and assured their ruin who, after the testimony of so many thousands of saints, will not learn where to settle their footing. St. Robert Southwell

So that you will better appreciate the meaning of Our Lord's words, and perceive more clearly how few the Elect are, note that Christ did not say that those who walked in the path to Heaven are few in number, but that there were few who found that narrow way. It is as though the Saviour intended to say: The path leading to Heaven is so narrow and so rough, so overgrown, so dark and difficult to discern, that there are many who never find it their whole life long. And those who do find it are constantly exposed to the danger of deviating from it, of mistaking their way, and unwittingly wandering away from it, because it is so irregular and overgrown. St. Jerome

It is granted to few to recognise the true Church amid the darkness of so many schisms and heresies, and to fewer still so to love the truth which they have seen as to fly to its embrace. St. Robert Bellarmine

Ah! How very small is the kingdom of Jesus Christ! So many nations have never had the faith! St. Peter Julian Eymard

We were so fortunate to be born in the bosom of the Roman Church, in Christian and Catholic kingdoms, a grace that has not been granted to the greater part of men, who are born among idolaters, Mohammedans, or heretics. [...] How thankful we ought to be, then, to Jesus Christ for the gift of faith! What would have become of us if we had been born in Asia, in Africa, in America, or in the midsts of heretics and schismatics? He who does not believe is lost. He who does not believe shall be condemned. And thus, probably, we also would have been lost. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

So vast a number of miserable souls perish, and so comparatively few are saved! St. Philip Neri

For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth, in the midst of the people, as though a few olives that remain should be shaken out of the olive tree, or grapes when the vintage is ended. Isaias 24:13

And it shall be as when a man gathers in the harvest which remains. [...] And the fruit thereof that shall be left shall be as a single cluster of grapes; and as the shaking of the olive tree: two or three berries on the top of the bough, of four or five on the top of the tree, says the Lord, the God of Israel. Isaias 17:5-6

That those who walk in the way of salvation are the smaller number is due to the vice and depraved habits imbibed in youth and nourished in childhood. By these means Lucifer has hurled into Hell so great a number of souls, and continues thus to hurl them into Hell every day, casting so many nations from abyss to abyss of darkness and errors, such as are contained in the heresies and false sects of the infidels. Venerable Mary of Agreda

Yes, indeed, many will be damned; few will be saved. St. Benedict Joseph of Labre

The holy man is perished from off the earth, and there is no one upright amongst men: they all lie in wait for blood, every one. [...] He who is best among them is like a brier, and he who is righteous as the thorn. Micheas 7:2,4

But that which brings forth thorns and briers is reprobate, and very near unto a curse, whose end is to be burnt. Hebrews 6:8

I do not speak rashly, but as I feel and think. I do not think that many priests are saved, but that those who perish are far more numerous. St. John Chrysostom

A great number of Christians are lost. St. Leonard of Port Maurice

Bad confessions damned the majority of Christians. St. Teresa of Avila

Christ's flock is called "little" (Luke 12:32) in comparison with the greater number of the reprobates. St. Bede the Venerable

The greater number of Christians today are damned. The destiny of those dying on one day is that very few - not as many as ten - went strait to Heaven; many remained in Purgatory; and those cast into Hell were as numerous as snowflakes in mid-winter. Blessed Anna Maria Taigi

The common opinion is that the greater part of adults is lost. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Among adults there are few saved because of sins of the flesh. [...] With the exception of those who die in childhood, most men will be damned. St. Regimius or Rheims

It is as though Jesus said: "O My Father, I am indeed going to clothe myself with human flesh, but the greater part of the world will set no value on my blood!" St. Isidore of Seville

How many among these uncivilized peoples do not yet know God, and are sunk in the darkest idolatry, superstition and ignorance! [...] Poor souls! These are they in whom Christ saw, in all the horror of His imminent Passion, the uselessness of His agony for so many souls! St. Francis Xavier Cabrini

Nothing afflicts the heart of Jesus so much as to see all His sufferings of no avail to so many. St. John Mary Vianney

O Jesus! [...] Remember the sadness that Thou didst experience when, contemplating in the light of Thy divinity the predestination of those who would be saved by the merits of Thy sacred passion, thou didst see at the same time the great multitude of reprobates who would be damned for their sins, and Thou didst complain bitterly of those hopeless, lost, and unfortunate sinners. St. Bridget of Sweden

The greater part of men will set no value on the blood of Christ, and will go on offending Him. St. Isidore of Seville

Take care not to resemble the multitude whose knowledge of God's will only condemns them to more severe punishment. Blessed John of Avila

If you wish to imitate the multitude, you shall then not be among the few who shall enter in by the narrow way. St. Augustine

The multitude was put forth. St. Matthew 9:25

How few the Elect are may be understood from the multitude being cast out. St. Hilary of Poitiers

Notwithstanding assurances that God did not create any man for Hell, and that He wishes all men to be saved, it remains equally true that only few will be saved; that only few will go to Heaven; and that the greater part of mankind will be lost forever. St. John Neumann

Meditate on the horrors of Hell which will last for eternity because of one easily-committed mortal sin. Try hard to be among the few who are chosen. Think of the eternal flames of Hell, and how few there are that are saved. St. Benedict Joseph Labre

Ah, how many souls lose Heaven and are cast into Hell! St. Francis Xavier

Taking into account the present development of humanity, only a limited number of the human race will be saved [...] many will be lost. Lucy of Fatima

All persons desire to be saved, but the greater part, because they will not adopt the means of being saved, fall into sin and are lost. [...] In fact, the Elect are much fewer than the damned, for the reprobate are much more numerous than the Elect. St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori

Shall we all be saved? Shall we go to Heaven? Alas, my children, we do not know at all! But I tremble when I see so many souls lost these days. See, they fall into Hell as leaves fall from the trees at the approach of winter. St. John Mary Vianney

Behold how many there are who are called, and how few who are chosen! And behold, if you have no care for yourself, your perdition is more certain than your amendment, especially since the way that leads to eternal life is so narrow. St. John of the Cross

Throughout many generations, few are chosen. Origen

It is certain that few are saved. St. Augustine

There are a select few who are saved. St. Thomas Aquinas

The number of the elect is so small - so small - that, were we to know how small it is, we would faint away with grief: one here and there, scattered up and down the world! St. Louis Marie de Montfort

And they [...] shall be so few that they shall easily be counted, and a child shall write them down. Isaias 10:19

Oh, Jesus, Divine Redeemer of souls, behold how great is the multitude of those who still sleep in the darkness of error! Reckon up the number of those who stray to the edge of the precipice. Consider the throngs of the poor, the hungry, the ignorant, and the feeble who groan in their abandoned condition. Oh Lord, our sins darken our understanding, and hide from us the blessing of loving Thee as Thou dost merit. Enlighten our minds with a ray of Thy divine light. Thou art the Friend, the Redeemer, and the Father of the one who turns penitent to Thy Sacred Heart. Amen. Pope St. Pius X

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