All the money, possessions, houses, mountains, oceans, animals, all of creation itself has much less value than your 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. 8:36)
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….
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 absolution!
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. 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.
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”.
St 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).
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!