15 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Proper Use of Time

1. “Time is money,” runs an old English proverb. But for a Christian time is something much more important. It is the price of eternity. With time well spent or badly spent we can purchase a life of eternal happiness with God or of eternal suffering in hell. Since our true destiny is God and everlasting happiness, all the time which we spend with this in view is well spent, whereas all that is not devoted to this end is useless or harmful.

We must make a special effort to avoid sloth. There is good reason for calling it the father of vices. When a man surrenders to laziness he is squandering a priceless treasure which was intended to be used in the service of God and for the sanctification of his own soul and the souls of his fellowmen. He is also disobeying the clear command which God issued after the sin of Adam: “In the sweat of your brow you shall eat bread.” (Gen. 3:19)

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15 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

12 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

Hell1. “In whatever you do, remember your last days, and you will never sin.” (Ecclus. 7:36)

The meditation considered by the masters of the spiritual life to be the most useful for rousing the soul from sin, or from a state of torpor, is that on the last things, in other words, on what will happen to us at the end of life. Amongst these last things, hell is the most terrifying. Yet, if the mercy of God did not sustain us, we could fall into hell at any moment. St. John Chrysostom meditated on hell every day. All the Saints have found in this meditation the first steps on the way to perfection. Remember that a single mortal sin would merit hell for us. In that moment the sinner could have been already hurled into that abyss of torments. Let us imagine that we are there… and that the goodness and mercy of God has released us from those everlasting, all-devouring flames. If this should happen, all the sacrifices which virtue demands would seem so easy and pleasant. How ready we should be to do anything sooner than return to that chasm of eternal sorrow! Read more here:

12 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

11 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Particular and General Judgments 1. “It is appointed unto men to die once and after this comes the judgment.” (Heb. 9:27)  To have to appear before the face of the Living God is terrifying for everybody. How much more terrifying will it be for the sinner? Weighed down by numberless sins, he will stand before the scrutinising gaze of God. He will be able to hide nothing. Everything will be evident and clear. The countenance of our Divine Redeemer, which was mild and merciful during life, will at that moment be that of a severe and just judge. After having scorned so many graces, after having spurned so many calls to conversion and so many secret inspirations to change his life, after dying unrepentant… behold the sinner in the presence of his Eternal Judge. At that moment he will hear the irrevocable sentence resounding in his ears: “Depart from me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Mt. 25:41) This terrible condemnation will be publicly repeated, moreover, at the general judgment. 

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11 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

10 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day

The Death of the Sinner as Opposed to that of the Just Man

1. The sinner must die also. For him death is really terrible. Imagine him lying on his deathbed, instinctively aware that his life is over. The past will rise up to reproach him, a past full of sin and of ingratitude towards his Creator and Redeemer. The plans which he has centred around profit, ambition, and honour will have vanished like smoke. His friends will have either deserted him or will be at hand to utter useless words which will have no power to comfort him. Now he must stand alone, alone before God. The sinner must die also. For him death is really terrible. Read more here.

10 January, Antonio, Cardinal Bacci: Meditations For Each Day