God Threatens to Chastise Us in Order to
Deliver Us from Chastisement

Jonah Warns the People-of-Nineveh about God's impending Chastisement -
by French Engraver, Gustave Doré

God Saved Jonah from a Storm (chaos),
in the Belly-of-a-Whale
Jonah was reluctant to do God's Will.
The People of Nineveh did Heed the Prophet Jonah
God relented His impending Chastisement of Nineveh

The Trials and Calling of Moses -
by BOTTICELLI, Sandro -
from Cappella Sistina, Vatican

God Saved Moses from the Crocodile infested Nile (chaos),
in a Reed Basket
Moses was reluctant to do God's Will
The Egyptians did not Heed the Prophet Moses
God destroyed the Egyptian Chariot Army
 

Moses is the Right Hand-of-God, in Destruction of the Egyptian Army

 

Therefore saith the Lord the God-of-Hosts, the Mighty One of Israel:
Ah! I will Comfort Myself over My Adversaries: and I will be
Revenged-of My Enemies - Isaiah 1:24

 

God Threatens to Chastise Us in Order to
Deliver Us from Chastisement

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

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Saint Michael the Archangel carries the Scales-of-Justice, by which Men's Souls are 'Measured' and 'Weighed' by God.
 

Such is the Language-of God, when Speaking-of Punishment and Vengeance; He says that He is Constrained-by His Justice, to-take Vengeance on His Enemies. But, 'Mark' you, He Begins-with the Word Heu, "Ah": this Word is an Exclamation-of Grief, by-which He would Give us to-Understand, that if He were Capable-of Weeping, when about-to Punish, He should Weep Bitterly, at-being Compelled-to Afflict us, His Creatures, whom He has Loved so-Dearly, as-to give-up His Life, through Love-for us. "'Alas' " says Cornelius-a-Lapide, "is uttered-by One who is 'Lamenting', and not 'Insulting'; God signifies-by this Word, that He is Grieving, and that He is unwilling-to Punish Sinners". No, this God, Who is the Father-of-Mercies, and so-much Loves us, is not of a Disposition-to Punish and Afflict, but rather-to Pardon and Console us. "For I know the Thoughts that I Think towards you", saith the Lord, "Thoughts of Peace, and not of Affliction" - Jeremiah 29:11. But someone will say, since such is His Character, why does He now Punish us? or, at least, appear as-if He meant-to Punish us? Why so? Because He Wishes-to be-Merciful towards us; this Anger which He now 'Displays', is all Mercy and Patience.

Let us then, my Brethren, 'Understand' how the Lord, at-Present, appears in-Wrath, not with a View-to our Punishment, but in-order-that we may Cleanse ourselves of our Sins, and thus enable Him to-Pardon us. Such is the Subject-of our Discourse:

 

God Threatens-to Chastise Us,
in-Order-to Deliver Us from Chastisement

The Threats-of Men, ordinarily Proceed-from their Pride and Impotence; whence, if they have it in their Power to-take Vengeance-on an Object, they Threaten nothing, lest they should thereby give their Enemies an Opportunity-of Escape. It is only when they Want the Power-to 'Wreak' their Vengeance, that they 'Betake' themselves to-Threats, in-order-to 'Gratify' their Passion, by-awakening at-least, the Fears-of their Enemies. Not-so, the Threats-of which God makes-use; on-the-contrary, their Nature is quite-Different. His Threats do not Arise-from His Inability-to Chastise, because He can be Avenged, when He Wills; but He Bears-with us, in-order-to see us Penitent, and thus Exempt-from Punishment. "But Thou hast Mercy upon all, because Thou canst do all things, and overlookest the Sins of Men, for the Sake of Repentance" - Wisdom 11:24. Neither does He Threaten from Hatred, in-order-to Torment us with Fear; God Threatens from-Love, in-order-that we may be Converted to- Him, and thereby 'Escape' Chastisement; He Threatens, because He does not Wish-to see us Lost; He Threatens, in Finé, because He Loves our Souls. "But Thou Sparest all, because they are Thine, O Lord, Who Lovest Souls" - Wisdom 11:27. "The Lord delayeth not His Promise, as some imagine, but dealeth Patiently for your sake, not willing that any should Perish, but that all should return-to Penance" - 2Peter 3:9. Thus the Threats-of God are all Acts-of-Tenderness, and Amorous Calls-of His Goodness, by which He means-to Save us, from the Punishment which we 'Deserve'.

"Yet Forty (40) days", exclaimed Jonah, "and Nineveh shall be Destroyed" - Jonah 3:4. Wretched Ninevites, he cries, the Day-of your Chastisement is come; I announce it to you, on the Part-of God. Know that within Forty (40) days, Nineveh shall be Destroyed, and Cease-to Exist. But, how comes it, that Nineveh did Penance, and was not Destroyed? "And God saw their Works, that they were Turned-from their Evil Way, and God had Mercy" - Jonah 3:10. Whereat, Jonah was Afflicted, and making Lamentation before the Lord, Said-to Him: "Therefore, I went before Thee into Tarsis, for I knew that Thou art a Gracious and Merciful God, Patient and of-much Compassion, and easy-to Forgive Evil" - Jonah 4:2. He then left Nineveh, and was Screened-from the Rays-of the Burning Sun by an Ivy, which God Caused to-Overshadow his head. But how did the Lord next Act? He Withered the Ivy, whereat Jonah was so-much Afflicted, that he Wished-for Death. God then said to him, Thou hast Grieved for the Ivy, for which thou hast not Labored, nor made it to grow; . . . and shall not I spare Nineveh? - Jonah 4:10. Thou Grievest-for the Ivy which thou hast not Created, and shall not I Pardon the Men, who are the Work-of My Hands?

The Destruction which the Lord 'Caused' to be Held-out against Nineveh was, according-to the Explanation-of Saint Basil, not an actual-Prophecy, but a simple Threat, by which He meant to bring-about the Conversion-of that City. The Saint says, that God often Appears-in Wrath, because He Wishes to-deal Mercifully with us; and Threatens, not with the Intention-of Chastising, but of-Delivering us from-Chastisement. Saint Augustine adds, that when anyone Cries-out to you "Take Care", it is a Sign he does not mean-to Injure you. And thus exactly, does God Act, in our Regard; He Threatens us with Chastisement, says Saint Jerome, not that He means-to Inflict it, but to Spare us, if we Profit-by the Warning. Thou, O Lord, says Saint Augustine, art Severe, but then most-so when Thou Wishest-to Save us; Thou Threatenst, but in so-Threatening, Thou hast no-other Object, than-to Bring us to-Repentance. In Psalm 55, the Lord could Chastise Sinners without Warning, by a sudden-Death, which should not-Leave them Time-for Repentance; but no, He 'Displays' His Wrath, He 'Brandishes' His Scourge, in-order-that He may see them Reformed, not Punished.

The Lord said to Jeremiah: "Speak to all the Cities-of Juda . . . . If so be, they will Hearken and be Converted, every one from his Evil Way: that I may Repent Me of the Evil, which I think to do unto them" - Jeremiah 26:2-3. Go, He says, and tell the Sinners, if they Wish to-Hear you, that if they Cease-from their Sins, I shall 'Spare' them the Chastisements which I intended-to have Inflicted-on them. And now, my Brethren, 'Mark' me. The Lord 'Addresses' you in a similar-way, out-of my mouth. If you Amend, He will 'Revoke' the Sentence-of Punishment. Saint Jerome says: "God is Wroth, not with us, but with our Sins"; and Saint-John-Chrysostom adds, that if we 'Remember' our Sins, God will 'Forget' them. He Desires that we, being Humbled, should 'Reform', and 'Crave' Pardon-of Him. "Because they are Humbled, I will not Destroy them" - 2Paralipomenon 12:7.

But, in-order-to Amend, we must be Led-to it, by Fear-of-Punishment, otherwise, we never should be brought-to 'Change' our Lives. True it is, God Protects him who Places Hope, in His Mercy. "He is the Protector-of All, who Trust-in Him" - Psalm 17:31. But he who Hopes-in the Mercy-of the Lord, is always the Man who Fears His Justice. "They that Fear the Lord, have Hoped-in the Lord. He is their Protector and their Helper" - Psalm 113:11. The Lord often Speaks-of the Rigor-of His Judgments, and of Hell, and of the Great Number who go Thither. "Be not Afraid-of them who Kill the Body . . . Fear ye Him Who, after He hath Killed, hath Power-to Cast-into Hell" - Luke 12:4-5. "Broad is the Way, that Leadeth-to Destruction, and many there are who enter Thereat" - Matthew 7:13. And why does the Lord, so-often Speak thus? In-order-that Fear may keep us from-Vice, and from the Passions, and from Occasions; and that thus we may reasonably Hope-for Salvation, which is only for the Innocent, or the Penitent, who Hope and Fear.

Oh, what Strength, has not the Fear-of Hell, to-Rein us in from-Sin! To that End, has God 'Created' Hell. He has Created us, and Redeemed us by His Death, that we might be Happy with Him; He has Imposed-upon us, the Obligation-of Hoping-for Eternal (∞) Life, and on that account Encourages us, by saying that all those who Hope-in Him, shall be Saved. "For none of them that wait-on Thee, shall be Confounded" - Psalm 24:3. On the other hand, it is His Wish and Command, that we should be in Fear-of Eternal (∞) Damnation. Some Heretics hold, that all who are not in-Sin, should consider themselves as-assuredly Just and Predestined; but these have with-Reason, been Condemned-by the Council-of-Trent (Session 6 can. 14,15), because such a Presumption is as Perilous-to Salvation, as Fear is Conducive-to it. "And let Him be your Fear, and let Him be your Dread, and He shall be a Sanctification unto you" - Isaiah 8:13-14. The Holy Fear-of-God makes Man Holy. Wherefore David begged-of God, the Grace-of-Fear, in-order-that Fear might 'Destroy' in-him the Inclinations-of the Flesh. "Pierce Thou my Flesh, with Thy Fear" - Psalm 118:120.

We should then Fear, on-account-of our Sins, but this Fear ought not to-'Deject' us: it should rather 'Excite' us to Confidence-in the Divine Mercy, as was the case with the Prophet himself. "For Thy Name's sake, O Lord, Thou wilt Pardon my Sin, for it is Great" - Psalm 24:11. How is that? Pardon me because my Sin is Great? Yes, because the Divine Mercy is most-Conspicuous in the Case-of Greatest Misery; and he who has been the Greatest Sinner, is he who Glorifies-most the Divine Mercy, by Hoping-in God, Who has Promised to-Save all those, who Hope-in Him. "He will Rescue them from the Wicked, and Save them, because they have Hoped-in Him" - Psalm 36:40. For this Reason it is, Ecclesiasticus says, that the Fear-of the Lord, Bringeth not Pain, but Joy and Gladness: "The Fear of the Lord shall Delight the Heart, and shall give Joy and Gladness" - Ecclesiasticus 1:12. Thus, this very Fear, Leads-to the Acquisition-of a Firm Hope in-God, which makes the Soul Happy: "He that Feareth the Lord shall Tremble at Nothing, and shall not be Afraid, for He is his Hope. The Soul of him that Feareth the Lord, is Blessed" - Ecclesiasticus 34:16-17. Yes, Blessed, because Fear 'Draws' Man away-from Sin. "The Fear of the Lord, Driveth-out Sin" - Ecclesiasticus 1:27, and at the same-Time, Infuses-into him a great-Desire of-Observing the Commandments: "Blessed is the Man that Feareth the Lord; he shall Delight Exceedingly in His Commandments - Psalm 111:1.

 

 

Trust expresses the Disposition we should have toward-God. It includes not only the Virtue-of-Hope, but also a Lively Faith, Humility, Perseverance and Remorse-for Sins committed. It is simply the Attitude-of a Child, who Trusts boundlessly-in the Merciful Love and Omnipotence-of the Heavenly Father, in every Situation.

 

We must, then, 'Persuade' ourselves that Chastisement is not what the Nature-of-God, inclines Him to. God, because by His Nature, He is Infinite (∞) Goodness, says Saint Leo, has no-other Desire than to-Bless us, and to-See us Happy. When He Punishes, He is Obliged-to do so, in-order-to Satisfy His Justice, not to-Gratify His Inclination. Isaiah says, that Punishment is a Work, Contrary-to the Heart-of-God. "The Lord shall be Angry . . . that He may do His Work, His strange Work . . . His Work is Strange to Him" - Isaiah 28:21. And therefore does the Lord Say, that He sometimes almost-'Feigns' the Intention-of Punishing us. But why does He do so? For this Reason: Let every Man of you, return-from his Evil Way - Jeremiah 18:11. He does so, in-order-to our Reformation, and consequently, our Exemption-from the Chastisement, deserved-by us. The Apostle writes, God hath Mercy on whom He Will, and whom He will, He Hardeneth - Romans 9:18. With regard-to which Passage, Saint Bernard says that God, of Himself, Wishes to-Love us, but that we 'Force' Him to-Condemn us. He calls Himself the Father-of-Mercies, not of-Vengeance. Whence, it comes that His Tenderness, all Springs-from Himself, and His Severity, from us.

 

Beware - Divine Mercy, ceases at our Death. After Death, Guilt remains for ever, since it cannot be Remitted without Grace, and Men cannot 'Receive' Grace after-Death; nor should Punishment cease, so-long-as Guilt remains.

 

And who has ever been able to-Comprehend the Greatness-of the Divine Mercies? David says, that God, even while yet Angry, feels Compassion for us: "Thou hast been Angry, and hast had Mercy on us" - Psalm 59:3. "O Merciful Wrath, which art Enkindled, but to-Succor, and Threatenest, but to-Pardon", exclaims the Abbot Beroncosius. "Thou hast shewn", continues David, "Thy People, hard things; Thou hast made us Drunk-with the Wine of Sorrow" - Psalm 59:5. God 'Discovers' Himself to us, armed-with a Scourge, but He does so in-order-to see us Penitent and Contrite, for the Offences which we are Committing-against Him: "Thou hast given a Warning to them that Fear Thee: that they may Flee-before the Bow; that Thy Beloved may be Delivered" - Psalm 59:6. He 'Appears', with the Bow already-Bent, upon the Point-of 'Sending-off' the Arrow, but He does not 'Send' it off, because He Wishes that our Terror should Bring-about Amendment, and that thus we should 'Escape' the Chastisement. "That Thy Beloved may be Delivered". I Wish to-Terrify them, says God, in-order-that Struck-by Fear, they may Rise-from the Bed-of-Sin, and Return-to Me. "In their Affliction, they will Rise Early to Me" - Hosea 6:1. Yes, the Lord, although He sees us so-Ungrateful and Worthy-of Punishment, is Eager to-Free us from it, because how Ungrateful so-ever we be, He Loves us, and Wishes us Well. Give us Help from Trouble. Thus, in Fine, Prayed David; and thus we ought to Pray. Grant, O Lord, that this Scourge which now Afflicts us, may 'Open' our Eyes, so that we Depart-from Sin; because, if we do not 'Here' have-Done with it, Sin will Lead us to Eternal (∞) Damnation, which is a Scourge, 'Enduring' Forever (∞).

What shall we then do, my Brethren? Do you not see that God is Angered? He can no-longer bear-with us. "The Lord is Angry". Do you not 'Behold' the Scourges-of God, 'Increasing' every day? Our Sins 'Increase', says Saint-John-Chrysostom, and our Scourges 'Increase' likewise. God, my Brethren, is Wroth: but with all His Anger, He has Commanded me to-Say, what He formerly Commanded to be said, by the Prophet Zechariah: And thou shalt say to them, Thus saith the Lord-of-Hosts: Turn ye to Me saith the Lord-of-Hosts, and I will turn to you saith the Lord-of-Hosts" - Zechariah 1:3. Sinners, saith the Lord, you have Turned your backs upon-Me, and therefore have 'Constrained' Me to-Deprive you of My Grace. Do not 'Oblige' Me to-Drive you Forever (∞) from My Face, and Punish you in Hell, without Hope-of-Pardon. Have done with it: Abandon Sin, be Converted-to Me, and I Promise-to Pardon you all your Offences, and once more to-'Embrace' you as My Children. Turn ye to Me, saith the Lord-of-Hosts, and I will turn-to you. Why do you Wish-to Perish? (Mark how-Tenderly the Lord Speaks). "And why will you Die, O House-of-Israel" - Ezekiel 18:31. Why will you Fling yourselves into that Burning Furnace? "Return ye and Live" - Ezekiel 18:32. Return-to Me, I 'Await' you with Open Arms, ready-to 'Receive' and Pardon you.

Doubt not of this, O Sinner, continues the Lord. "Learn to do well . . . And then Come and Accuse Me, saith the Lord . . . if your Sins be as Scarlet, they shall be made White-as-Snow" - Isaiah 1:17. Take Courage, saith the Lord, Change your Life, come-to Me, and if I do not Pardon you, 'Accuse' Me. As if He were to say, 'Accuse' Me of Lying and Bad Faith; but, no, I shall not be Unfaithful: your Conscience, now so-Black, shall by My Grace, become as White-as-Snow. No; I will not Chastise you, if you Reform, says the Lord, because I am God, not Man. "I will not Execute the Fierceness of My Wrath, . . . because I am God and not Man" - Hosea 11:9. He says besides, that Men never 'Forget' an Injury, but that when He sees a Sinner Penitent, He 'Forgets' all his Offences. "I will not Remember all his Iniquities that he hath done" - Ezekiel 18:22. Let us then at-once, return-to God, but let it be, at-once. We have Offended Him enough Already, let us not-Tempt His Anger any-further. Behold Him, He Calls us, and is ready to-Pardon us, if we Repent-of our Evil Deeds, and Promise Him to-Change our Lives.

 

Prayer

O Jesus, my Redeemer, I return Thee Thanks-for not having taken me out-of this Life whilst I was Thy Enemy. How many years have passed since I Deserved to be in Hell! Had I Died on such a Day, or on such a Night, what would have become of me for all Eternity? My God, I return Thee Thanks. I Accept-of Death, as a Satisfaction-for my Sins, and I Accept-of it, the Manner in-which it may Please Thee to Send it to me; but since Thou hast Waited-for me until now, oh, Wait for me yet a little-longer. Suffer me, therefore, that I may Lament my Sorrow a-little. Give me Time to Weep-over my Offences against Thee, before Thou Comest-to Judge me.

I will no-Longer 'Resist' Thy Calls. Who knows, but these words which I have just Read, are Thy Last Call to me? I Acknowledge that I do not deserve Mercy: Thou hast Pardoned me so-often, and I have again Ungratefully Offended Thee. A Contrite and Humble Heart, O God, Thou wilt not Despise. Ah, Lord, since Thou canst not Despise a Humble and Penitent Heart, behold the Traitor who, Humbled and Repentant, has Recourse-to Thee. Cast me not away from Thy Face. Thou hast said, Him that cometh to Me I will not cast-out. It is True that I have Offended Thee, more than others, because I have been Favored more than others with Light and Grace; but the Blood Thou hast Shed-for me, gives me Courage, and proffers Pardon to me, if I Repent. Yes, O my Sovereign Good, I do Repent with my Whole Soul for having Insulted Thee. Pardon me, and give me Grace to-love Thee for the Future. I have long-enough Offended Thee. As for the Remainder-of my Life, no, my Jesus, I will not Spend it in Offending Thee; I will Spend it wholly in Weeping-over the Displeasure I have given Thee, and in Loving Thee with all my Heart, O God, Worthy-of Infinite Love.

O Mary, my Hope, Pray to Jesus for me.

Amen

 

Ancient Miraculous Prayer to Saint Joseph
Patron of Departing Souls

This Prayer was found in the Fiftieth Year of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In 1505 it was sent from the Pope to Emperor Charles, when he was going into Battle. Whoever shall Read this Prayer, or Hear it, or Keep it about themselves, shall never Die a Sudden Death, or be Drowned, nor shall Poison take-effect on them; neither shall they Fall into the Hands of the Enemy, nor shall they be Burned in any Fire, nor shall they be Overpowered in Battle.

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O Saint Joseph, whose Protection is so Great, so Strong, so Prompt before the Throne of God, I Place in you, all my Interests and Desires.

O Saint Joseph, do Assist me by your Powerful Intercession, and Obtain for me from your Divine Son, all Spiritual Blessings through Jesus Christ, Our Lord; so that having Engaged here below your Heavenly Power, I may Offer my Thanksgiving and Homage to the most Loving of Fathers.

O Saint Joseph, I never Weary Contemplating you and Jesus Asleep in your Arms; I dare not approach while He Reposes near your Heart. Press Him in my name and Kiss His Fine Head for me, and ask Him to Return the Kiss when I Draw my Dying Breath, Saint Joseph, Patron of Departing Souls, Pray for us.

Amen

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Many Miracles have been attributed to this Daily Prayer.
Make this Prayer known everywhere . . .