Jesus suffered for the salvation of souls!
All the money, possessions, houses,
mountains, oceans, animals, all of creation itself has much less value than
your immortal soul, just your own immortal soul! Your immortal soul has
infinite value. Nobody in the world can fully plumb the depths of the value of
just ONE immortal soul.
How do we know this? Jesus articulates this with luminous
clarity: “What would it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his life
in the process? What can a man give in exchange for his immortal soul?(Mk.
St. Ignatius of Loyola launched that
Biblical passage like a fiery arrow at the young, proud, and self-reliant
Francis Xavier, challenging the future patron of the missions to make the
Spiritual Exercises. Xavier made the Spiritual
Exercises which transformed his life.
However, it was that fiery and
piercing arrow from the mouth and Sacred Heart of Jesus the Lord that broke
down the resistance of Xavier--- “What
would it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul in the process?”
The angelic Doctor, St. Thomas
Aquinas, reiterates the same message. Aquinas affirms that everything in the
created world is not equal to just one immortal soul!
For a moment enter into a natural
contemplation on the beauty of nature.
The beautiful blue skies, the pure white clouds, the multi-colored
leaves blooming in autumn, the white snowcapped mountains, the brilliant and
bright rainbow-- a beautiful arc crossing the horizon, the powerful and eternal
waves crashing against the shore, the majestic eagle soaring into the heights,
and the sky painted with a multitude of lights sparkling to the eyes
delight---- all of these natural phenomena are a mere glimmer of the majestic
beauty and greatness of one immortal soul!
One immortal soul far transcends in greatness every natural beauty that
the naked eye can contemplate! For that reason once Saint Catherine of Siena
was granted a vision of one soul in the state of grace and she fell to her
knees in ecstasy stunned by its glaring beauty!
Another powerful proof to capture the
infinite value of one immortal soul is the apostolic zeal that motivated the
saints in their work, sacrifices, sufferings, and their deaths! Following are few examples of the saints and their
insatiable hunger for salvation of immoral souls….
The Cure of Ars begged for the salvation of souls!
Why did the Cure of Ars (St. John
Marie Vianney) spend from 13-18 hours in the confessional day and night, in
the cold of winter and the blistering humidity and heat of the summer
confessing sinners? Why? Why? Why? For one simple reason: love for God and love
for what God loves most the salvation of immortal souls! Why would he eat two
or three potatoes a day, sleep three hours at night battle constantly with the
devil, scourge himself to the shedding of blood and weep copious tears? One
simple reason—the love of God and love for immortal souls! The patron of Parish priests knew keenly the
value of a soul reconciled to God through the Blood of Christ applied in every
Padre Pio suffered the stigmata to save souls!
Again, you tell me why St. Padre
Pio of Pietrelcina, willingly accepted the stigmata in 1918, while absorbed
in prayer. His hands and feet were pierced through like his Beloved crucified
Lord and Savior. Padre Pio’s side was
pierced, like that of Jesus’ pierced on Good Friday by the lance and blood and
water came gushing forth. Jesus promised
this modern saint that he would bear this stigmata for fifty long years and
then at the end of his life it would disappear.
Why did Padre Pio accept this excruciating pain of the stigmata? Once
asked if it hurt, the saint responded dryly that it was no decoration! Padre Pio suffered the stigmata to imitate
his beloved Savior, the Crucified Lord, but also to repair for sins and for the
conversion of sinners. In other words,
St. Pio willingly bore this suffering for the salvation of immortal souls! He
paid a dear price!
Still more why did the three little
shepherd children of Fatima—Lucia, Francisco, and Jacinta
willingly accepted constant sacrifices that entailed great suffering, even
though they were mere children? Why?
Why? Why? The response is the same: their love for the Sacred Heart of Jesus
and for the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary and for love of what Jesus
and Mary love most in this world--- immortal souls!!!! The list of the sacrifices that these
children underwent at such a tender young age staggers the imagination and shows
the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of generous souls.
Jacinta was a little "Victim soul" (Pope JPII)
JACINTA. Let us just take the sacrifices of Jacinta Marto, the youngest of the
three seers at Fatima. What radically transformed the three of the children,
but especially Jacinta, was the graphic vision of hell, on July 13, 1917!
Seeing souls being tossed about without any equilibrium like waves at sea,
hearing their desperate cries never to be relieved, seeing hideous animals transpiercing
the souls(the devils) causing the souls eternal torment provoked in the little
Jacinta a profound conversion of heart and life! Little Jacinta, small in
stature but a giant in love for souls, was ready to offer all she had for the
salvation of immortal souls!
In concrete Jacinta did the
following! She sacrificed dancing that
she loved. Eating? Her favorite delight were the sweet grapes of the Portuguese
hillsides, these she sacrificed and replaced with eating bitter berries and nuts.
With her two cousins she wore a rough rope around her waist that caused her
discomfort during the day. She would pray with her forehead to the ground, a
penitential posture, repeating the prayers that the Angel taught her earlier in
1916. Rosaries? Before they would skip over the Rosary, by saying simply “Ave
Maria” 50 times, so as to obey their parent’s wish. However, after the vision
of Hell, the three children, but especially Jacinta, prayed the whole Rosary
and many times. In fact, the little “Victim soul” never wearied of praying
Rosaries. Why? To save souls from the
reality of Hell and bring them safely home to heaven!
One on occasion, on a blistering
summer day, the three of the children were dying of thirst, and Lucia fetched
water with a pitcher from a neighbor. But both Jacinta a Francisco implored
Lucia to pour the water into the ground so that they could suffer thirst! Why?
Once again for the salvation of immortal souls. Due to this extraordinary generosity
and love of Jacinta when Blessed Pope John Paul II beatified the little girl he
called her a “Little victim soul”.
Jesus told Faustina he longed for the salvation of souls!
SAINT FAUSTINA. In the Diary of Mercy in my soul, Jesus revealed to Saint Maria
Faustina Kowalska His love for souls. However, Jesus pointed out that love for
the salvation of souls is measured by the willingness to suffer for these
souls! The more one loves the more he is
willing to suffer for those he loves!
THE BLOOD OF JESUS. Finally the Word of God teaches us most poignantly the value of souls
related to the Precious Blood that Jesus shed for all of us and each one of us individually
on Calvary that first Good Friday.
“Now if you invoke as
Father him who judges impartially according to each one’s works, conduct
yourselves with reverence during the time of your sojourning, realizing that
you were ransomed from your futile conduct, handed on by your ancestors, not
with perishable things like gold or silver, but with the PRECIOUS BLOOD OF CHRIST as of a
spotless unblemished lamb. (I Peter 1:17-19).
Our Lady unites her suffering with Jesus to save souls!
In sum, your individual soul was
saved by the Precious Blood that Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ shed for you
on Calvary that first Good Friday. Indeed if you were the only person created
in the whole universe, Jesus would have shed every drop of His most Precious
Blood for your immortal soul. How precious and valuable indeed you are and your
soul is in the eyes of Almighty God!!!!