Today’s ✠Challoner Meditation: July 15th

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✠Challoner Meditation: July 13th



Consider first, that according to the different issue of this trial in the particular judgment, the condition of departed souls shall bee very different. For such as, like the rich glutton, (Luke xvi.,) shall be found at the time of their departure quite void of grace and charity – and in a word, all such as have died in mortal sin shall, like the rich glutton, be immediately buried in the flames of hell, where the worm never dies, and the fire is never extinguished. Ah! how strangely shall the men of riches, the great ones of this world, the ladies that have been slaves to their pleasures, here find their condition altered? A bed of fire, instead of their soft couches; the want of every thing that can afford the least comfort, even to a drop of water, instead of their former affluence; insulting devils instead of their servants and attendants; eternal torments for momentary satisfactions, &c. In fine, they that could never brook the least thing contrary to their own humour, appetite, or will, now find themselves in an instant plunged into that bottomless pit where they shall never know what it is to be indulged in any one desire or inclination. O! that the children of this world, the unhappy slaves of their passions and pleasures, would think of this whilst they have time.

Consider 2ndly, the very different condition of the souls of the children of God after their departure hence. For as many of them as like the martyrs and other saints, shall be found, when they are presented before the judge, without blemish of sin, or deb of punishment due to divine justice on account of former offences not sufficiently expiated, shall be immediately translated to heavenly joys. ‘Their earthly house of this temporal dwelling is now dissolved, but they have a building of God – a house not made with hands, eternal in heaven,’ 2 Cor. v. 1. ‘They are absent from the body, but present with the Lord,’ v. 8. They enjoy what the apostle so much longed for when he ‘desired to be dissolved and to be with Christ,’ Philip. i. 23. ‘They are now before the throne of God, and in his temple, and he that sitteth on the throne dwelleth over them, an the Lamb leads them to the living fountains of waters,’ Rev. vii. 15, 17 – even the happy waters of eternal life, which ever flow from the throne of God. ‘They follow the Lamb withersoever he goeth,’ chap. xiv. 4, ‘and they live and reign with him,’ chap xx. 4. ‘They even sit with him on his throne,’ Rev. iii. 21, ‘and exercise with him power over the nations,’ chap. ii. 26. See, Christians, if you will but dedicate yourselves in good earnest to the love of God during your short pilgrimage, what great things are prepared for you in your true country, and that immediately after your departure hence. How little reason, then, have the true lovers of God to apprehend a death that shall bring them in an instant to the very fountain-head of true and everlasting life! O what a happiness it is to shut in a moment the eyes with which we see this world and mortals, and to open them immediately to the sight of God and of Christ! – S. Cyprian.

Consider 3rdly, that as all are to be tried after their departure by their works, and to be rewarded according to their works which they carry with them hence to the judgment-seat of Christ, so those whose dead works have not been fully expiated by penance – whose devotions and other good works have been full of imperfections – who have built only with wood, hay, and stubble, though not to the destroying of the foundation of the faith and grace of Christ – shall suffer loss in this fiery trial, and instead of being immediately admitted into the presence of God in his heavenly temple, where nothing defiled shall enter, must wait till the dross they have carried with them out of the world be purged away, and they be fitted for the sight and enjoyment of their sovereign good. O how few souls shall be found at their departure so perfectly pure as to be qualified to fly up immediately to the embraces of God! How very few are there that carry with them no spot, no blemish, no debt, nor even of an idle word, into the other world, where, by the fixed decrees of heaven, every soul shall be judged and rewarded according to what she carries hence!

Conclude to spare no pains now to rid thyself by penitential exercises of all thy spots, stains, and debts whilst thou art on the way, lest if thou leave them to be discharged in another world, thou mayest be cast into that prison of which it is written, Matt. v. 26, ‘Amen, I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou pay the last farthing.’

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