Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Stealing Heaven

Christ and the Good Thief - Titian

Alas, dear Christ, the dragon is here again.
Alas, he is here: terror has seized me, and fear.
Alas, that I ate of the fruit of the tree of knowledge.
Alas, that his envy led me to envy too.
I did not become like God; I was cast out of Paradise.
Temper, sword, awhile, the heat of your flames
and let me go again about the garden,
entering with Christ, a thief from another tree.

             St. Gregory

Who can help but love St. Dismas, the "good thief" who stole heaven with one simple, heartfelt sentence: Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. 

I've always thought that the story of St. Dismas reflects the true depth and beauty of God's mercy. During times of trouble, I often repeat the words he spoke to Jesus to remind myself of the greatness of God's love for his people.

God bless all the "wicked saints"  whose great witness to God's mercy reaches into the hearts of  poor sinners everywhere.  They are a  reminder to us that we should never lose hope - that conversion is possible, even into the last moments of someone's life. We all have people in our lives who seem to have little to no interest in God and maybe some of us have lost hope that they can change, but this should never be the case. True conversion is always possible and our prayers can help.

I remind you, My daughter, that as often as you hear the clock strike the third hour, immerse yourself completely in My mercy, adoring and glorifying it; invoke its omnipotence for the whole world, and particularly for poor sinners; for at that moment mercy was opened wide for every soul. In this hour you can obtain everything for yourself and for others for the asking; it was the hour of grace for the whole world - mercy triumphed over justice.    (Jesus to St. Faustina, The Diary of St. M. Faustina Kowalska - 1572)



  1. This is wonderful Mary. Thanx.

    We can always hope that even at the last minute, people may yet get to accept God in their hearts.

    God bless you.

  2. Hi Victor,
    So true! Thanks for commenting, Victor!

  3. Beautiful words, Mary. God is so good.

  4. I love the 'wicked saints' too, because that's all of them! I remember just despairing because I couldn't lose weight. I thought 'there must be a fat saint...there has to be!' That's when I found out about Thomas Aquinas. He was quite rotund. Phew! I felt better, and ready to move ahead to better eating habits.

    I can be inspired by goodness and by faults... I think the faults make me feel more like a friend to our dear saints.

  5. Hi Ceil,
    I didn't know he was "rotund"...lol. Yes, makes me feel a bit better too! Gives me great hope as well! Thanks for commenting, Ceil :)

  6. I don't remember who said this, but someone said, "Every saint has a past." We, by the grace of God, leave our pasts behind us and we can become saints. Praise God!

    1. Hi Mallory,
      Amen! And many of us are thrilled to leave those pasts behind...lol!

  7. What a great poem! Thanks for sharing it! I love the good thief too, and often say, Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom. I always imagine Dismas as being a very humble man. I wonder what the other thief thought when hearing Dismas' plea. Hopefully, in the end, he repented too. Jesus, I trust in Thee! xo

  8. Hi Patricia,
    Isn't it an awesome poem? I love it too.

    Maybe Dismas' words made the other thief think - I guess we'll find out one day, won't we? I know the words between Jesus and Dismas certainly make me think.

    Thanks for commenting, Patricia!

  9. Every time I hear those words Dismas spoke to Jesus from his cross, I kind of whisper an interior "Yess!" Because it proves, as do the lives of those wicked saints you mention, that there is hope for all of us :)
    Thanks for sharing the poem and Titian's beautiful painting, Mary.

  10. Exactly :)

    You know that "snow button" you mentioned the other day? Well, it's still in the on position here. Must be some kind of malfunction? Lol.

    Happy Valentine's Day, Karin!

  11. Beautiful post about my favorite passage in the Bible.

    God Bless you.

    1. Thank you, Michael. It's a favorite of mine as well. God bless you too!