Monday, January 15, 2007

On Conversion: its necessity; signs denoting it; means of preserving it

From: Letters and Writings of Marie Lataste

"My daughter, conversion is necessary to the sinner. God, in fact, wills not his death but his conversion. Since such is the will of God, the sinner ought to turn to God. But he ought to do so, not only for the sake of God, but also for his own sake. Without this, what will become of him? He will die in sin, he will merit the malediction of God, he will be wretched forever. He ought, then, to be converted, and quickly. What is the continuance of life to a sinner but a merciful means which God gives him that he may work out his conversion? This gift of God will not last for ever. No one knows how long it will endure. God may withdraw it any moment. And yet what do sinners say? They put it off to a later time. What is this later time of theirs? They say, 'To-morrow.' Does this to-morrow belong to them? To-morrow! and why not to-day? Is not God ready to-day? And is it not their interest to-day? Is it not madness to count on the future? Is conversion to be found in death? No; in death there will be nothing but condemnation, because there will be nothing but justice. Every day numbers of sinners are surprised by the justice of My Father. These also said, 'To-morrow, later.' On the morrow Hell opened beneath their feet. The conversion of the sinner, then, is not only necessary, but urgent, and one which must not be delayed under any pretext whatsoever.

"How is a true conversion to be recognized? As a tree has its fruits, so conversion has its acts. A proud man converted becomes humble; a covetous man becomes full of compassion for the poor and detached from his riches; a passionate man becomes calm and peaceable; a voluptuous man becomes mortified; a slothful man becomes a lover of labour. This is not saying therefore that the proud man will never sin again from pride, the covetous from avarice; and so of the rest. They may again fall because of their weakness, but they will make haste to rise. They know of the sacrament of My mercy; they will come to humle themselves before My minister, ask forgiveness of him, and, rising up stronger and more courageous, they will walk on with their eyes turned towards God. Conversion, to be real, must be sincere and from the very depth of the heart; when it proceeds from the heart and is sincere, the conversion lasts, endures, and is perfected. The sinner may still commit faults, but their number diminishes, while his acts of love for God increase every day more and more.
"I say this to you, My daughter, that you may not be discouraged: on the contrary, always have confidence and hope in My mercy, remain always turned towards Me.

"What is necessary, My daughter, in order to preserve the fruits and benefits of conversion? A great humility, a complete distrust of yourself, an utter abandonment of yourself to God; it is necessary to fight against your inclinations, against the most obstinate, and then against the others; to mortify yourself in your body, in your mind, in your heart; above all, to pray much, to go to God and show Him how miserable you are, to move His compassion for you; in fine, to approach the Sacrament of My Love. It is the sacrament of strength, the sacrament of courage, the sacrament of life, and so long as you have this you possess the fruits and benefits of conversion."

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