The Joy of Salvation ... For Catholics

A Spirituality of Abandonment Founded on Complete Trust in Jesus Christ

Based on the Spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Louis de Montfort, and St. Faustina Kowalska

The Joy of Salvation: Brief Overview and Personal Reflection by Michelle Willis

St. Therese of Lisieux: Have Complete Confidence in Jesus ... Avoid Purgatory

St. Louis de Montfort: Give Mary the Merits of Good Works ... Trust in Jesus Totally!

St. Faustina: Jesus I Trust in You! Immerse Yourself in God's Mercy and Love

What Is Christian Love?

Take the Love Test

Contact Information

The "Joy of Salvation" spirituality draws on the insights of three saints, primarily St. Therese of Lisieux, but also St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maria Faustina.  And while many similar spiritual themes can be drawn from other wonderful and inspiring Saints, I have chosen to focus on these three because each adds a particularly important spiritual dimension to the "Joy of Salvation" spirituality.

 

Through St. Therese of Lisieux, one comes to understand that one should entrust the salvation of one’s soul entirely to Jesus Christ, and having done so, maintain complete confidence in him for one's salvation, thus avoiding Purgatory!  Essentially, one can have confidence of going straight to heaven after death.

 

From St. Louis de Montfort, one learns to "give to Jesus all we can possibly give him, and in the most perfect manner, that is, through Mary's hands. In this devotion everything is given and consecrated, even the right to dispose freely of one's spiritual goods and the satisfactions earned by daily good works."1  The result? Jesus "will be generous toward the generous!"2

 

Finally, in giving the Divine Mercy Devotion to the world, Jesus told St. Faustina: "My daughter, speak to priests about this inconceivable mercy of Mine.  The flames of mercy are burning Me -- clamoring to be spent; I want to keep pouring them out upon souls; souls just don't want to believe in my  goodness."3

 

Each section of this web site elaborates on the basic themes mentioned above, but the place to visit first is the section on St. Therese of Lisieux and her teachings on Purgatory. Prepare to be delightfully surprised!

A Brief Overview

and Personal Reflection

by Michelle Willis

What does all of this mean for one who takes the teachings of these spiritual giants to heart? St. Therese tells us to "give away all the merits of our good deeds, and that it is better to appear before God empty handed."4  This means one will, at the hour of death, come before the Lord with no merits to offer him in reparation for sin. All one will have is a spirit of complete trust in the merits of Jesus' sacrifice, a spirit of complete abandonment to the mercy and goodness of God. St. Therese believed that a person who makes a sincere effort to live as Jesus' faithful disciple and maintains unyielding trust in him will have nothing to fear at the hour of death, for there is no sin, no human weakness, no fault for which Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary does not make reparation. Above all, St. Therese believed wholeheartedly that Jesus will honor that trust and pour out the abundance of his mercy on such a person.

 

The fruits of abandoning oneself to Jesus Christ with complete and total trust for salvation are joy and peace. Consequently, one will no longer seek to grow in goodness and charity with the aim of gaining salvation by this but rather, one will seek to live these virtues out of one's intense gratitude for the “gift” of salvation -- an unearned gift which one does not deserve and would never on one's own obtain. One will no longer pray, participate in the Sacred Liturgy, or receive the Eucharist because “graces” are being accumulated, but because when one does these wonderful things, one is participating in -- sharing in -- not only the very life of God, but also in the work of salvation that Jesus made possible by his life, death, and resurrection. One will not seek ways to live a holy life because this will get him or her into heaven but rather, as a means of following in the footsteps of the One who has already made heaven obtainable. Once one fully and completely understands the great (unearned) gift of salvation in Jesus Christ, one will not hesitate -- out of thanksgiving -- to do what he asks: to learn of him who is meek and humble of heart, to pick up one's cross daily, to die to oneself, to do good to others with enthusiasm, to serve with a generous heart, and to carry on the work of establishing the Reign of God.

 

Placing all trust for salvation in Jesus is very freeing. In truth my own interior life had been leading me in this direction for many years, but I could never achieve a level of total abandonment and trust until I read Fr. van Dijk's article The Teachings of St. Therese of Lisieux on Purgatory. Once I  came to understand this properly, it began to produce a joy born of relief and gratitude, and also the freedom to live and serve from the motivation of love and thanksgiving, rather than fear.

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this reflection. I submit it with the great hope that many others will experience "the joy of their salvation."

 

Most sincerely yours,

Michelle Willis

References

 

1. de Montfort, Louis, True Devotion To The Blessed Virgin, Montfort Publications, Bay Shore, NY, Fifth Printing 1987, pp. 60-61.

2.  Ibid., p.67

3.  Divine Mercy In My Soul, Diary of Sister M. Faustina Kowalska, 1987 Marian Press, Stockbridge, MA, p. 99

4.  Philippe de la Trinite, La Doctrine de Sainte Therese sur Ie Purgatoire,  page 13. Translated from the German.

Scripture Verses for Prayer and Meditation

 

Carefully and prayerfully read and consider the following:

•  Psalms 51:12

•  Psalms 27:1-3

•  Psalms 62:1-2

•  Isaiah 45:18

•  Luke 2:29-32

•  Acts 4:8-12

•  Acts 13:47

•  Romans 12:9-16

•  Philippians 2:1-4

•  1 Thessalonians 5:8-11

•  Hebrews 4:14-16

•  Hebrews 2:3-4

•  Hebrews 6:9-12

•  1 Peter 1:3-9

•  1 Peter 2:1-5

Print this list of Scripture verses:

 

The Joy of Salvation ... for Catholics

A Spirituality of Abandonment Founded on Complete Trust in Jesus Christ

Based on the Spirituality of St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Louis de Montfort, and St. Faustine Kowalska

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