Sinners Will Not Believe in the Divine Threats
Until the Chastisement Has Come Upon Them


Lot Fleeing with his Daughters from Sodom - by DÜRER, Albrecht - from National Gallery of Art, Washington

This Panel depicts Lot and his Two (2) Daughters, Fleeing-from the Destruction-of Sodom. In the Story-from Genesis, Two (2) Angels warn Lot that he should Escape, before God Destroys the City, for its Sins. Lot is told that his Family must not Look-back, otherwise they will be Turned-into Pillars-of-Salt. Far behind them, near the Towering Rocks, is Lot's Wife, Transformed-into a Brown Pillar-of-Salt. In the Distance, the Town-of Sodom, Explodes-with Brimstone and Fire; huge Columns-of Smoke, Belching-up into the Sky. Gomorrah, in the Far Distance, Suffers a similar Fate. Lot's Son-in-laws, did not Believe-in Lot's Warning-of God's Chastisement, and were Destroyed-by Fire.

 

Except you do Penance,
you shall all likewise Perish - Luke 13:5.

 

Sinners Will Not Believe in the Divine Threats
Until the Chastisement Has Come Upon Them

by Saint Alphonsus Liguori

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After our Lord had Commanded our First Parents, not to Eat-of the Forbidden Fruit, Unhappy Eve approached the Tree, and was Addressed-from it by the Serpent, who said to her: Why has God Forbidden you to Eat-of this Delightful Fruit? "Why hath God Commanded you?" - Genesis 3:1. Eve replies: "God hath Commanded us that we should not Eat, and that we should not Touch it, lest perhaps we Die" - Genesis 3:3. Behold the Weakness-of Eve! The Lord had Absolutely Threatened them with Death, and she now Begins-to Speak-of it, as Doubtful: Lest perhaps we Die. If I Eat-of it, she said, I shall Perhaps Die. But the Devil, seeing that Eve was Little-in Fear-of the Divine Threat, Proceeded-to Encourage her by saying: No, you shall not Die the Death - Genesis 3:4; and thus he Deceived her, and Caused her to-Prevaricate, and Eat the Apple. Thus, even Now, does the Enemy continue-to Deceive so-many poor Sinners. God Threatens: Stop!, Sinners, and do Penance, because if not, you shall Damn yourselves, as so-many others have done: "Except you do Penance, you shall all likewise Perish" - Luke 13:5. The Devil says to them: "No, you shall not Die the Death" - Genesis 3:4. Fear Nothing, Sin-on, Continue-to 'Enjoy' yourselves, because God is Merciful; He will Pardon you by-and-by, and you shall be Saved. "God", says Saint Procopius, "Inspires one with Fear; the Devil takes it away". God only Desires-to Terrify them by His Threats, in-order-that they may Depart-from Sin, and thus be Saved. The Devil Wishes-to 'Destroy' that Fear, in-order-that they may Persevere-in Sin, and thus be Lost. Many are the Wretches who 'Believe' the Devil, in Preference-to God, and are thus Miserably Damned. At present, Behold!, the Lord 'Displays' His Anger, and Threatens us with Chastisement. Who knows how many there may be in this Country, who have no thought-of 'Changing' their Lives, in the Hope that God will be-Appeased, and that it will be Nothing. Hence, the Subject-of the Present Discourse:

 

Sinners will not Believe in the Divine Threats,
until the Chastisement shall have come come upon them

My Brethren, if we do not Amend, the Chastisement will Come; if we do not Put-an-End to our Crimes, God will. When Lot was Warned-by the Lord, that He was about to-Destroy Sodom, Lot at-once Informed his Sons-in-Law: "Arise! get you out of this place, because the Lord will Destroy this City" - Genesis 19:14. But they would not Believe him: "And He seemed to them, to speak as it were in Jest" - Genesis 19:14. They Imagined-that he Wished to Sport-with their Fears, by Terrifying them with such a Threat. But the Punishment 'Overtook' them, and they Remained, to be the Sport-of-the-Flames. My Brethren, what do we expect? God Warns us that Chastisement hangs-over us; let us put a Period-to our Sins, or shall we Wait-for God to do it? Hear, O Sinner! what Saint Paul says to you: "See, then, the Severity and Goodness of God; towards them, indeed, that are Fallen - the Severity; but towards thee, the Goodness-of-God, if thou Abide in-Goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be Cut-off" - Romans 11:22. Consider, says the Apostle, the Justice which the Lord has Exercised-towards so-many, whom He has Punished, and Condemned-to Hell; towards them, indeed, that are Fallen - the Severity. Consider the Mercy with which He has Treated you, but towards thee - the Goodness-of-God. You must 'Abandon' Sin; if you 'Change' your Ways, 'Avoid' the Occasions-of-Sin, 'Frequent' the Sacraments, and continue-to 'Lead' a Christian Life, the Lord will Remit your Punishment, if you Abide in Goodness; if not, you shall Perish, otherwise thou also shalt be Cut-off. God has already Borne-with you too-long, He can Bear-with you no-longer. God is Merciful, but He is Just withal; He deals Mercifully with those who Fear Him; He cannot Act thus, towards the Obstinate.

Such a Person Laments, when he sees himself Punished, and says, why has God Deprived me of my Health? Why has He taken-from me this Child, or this Parent? "Your Iniquities have turned these things away", exclaims Jeremiah, "Your Sins have withholden Good Things from you" - Jeremiah 5:25. It was not the Desire-of God to Deprive you of any Blessing, of any Gain, of your Son, or your Parent; it would have been the Wish-of God to make you Happy in all-things, but your Sins have not-allowed Him. In the Book-of-Job, we Read these Words: "Is it a Great Matter that God should Comfort thee? But thy Wicked words, Hinder this" - Job 15:11. The Lord would fain Console you, but your Blasphemy, your Murmuring, your Obscene Words, spoken-to the Scandal-of so-many, have prevented Him. It is not God, but Accursed Sin, that 'Renders' us Miserable and Unhappy. "Sin maketh Nations miserable" - Proverbs 14:34. We are Wrong, says Salvian, in Complaining-of God, when He deals Hardly with us. Oh! how much more Hardly, do we Deal-with Him, Repaying-with Ingratitude, the Favors which He has Bestowed-on us!

Sinners imagine-that, Sin Procures them Happiness; but it is Sin which makes them Miserable, and Afflicted in every Respect. "Because thou didst not Serve the Lord thy God with Joy and Gladness of Heart, for the Abundance-of all things: Thou shalt serve thy Enemy, whom the Lord will send-upon thee, in Hunger, and Thirst, and Nakedness, and in-Want-of all things: and he shall put an Iron Yoke upon thy neck, till he consume thee" - Deuteronomy 28:47-48. Because thou hast not Wished-to Serve thy God, in the Peace which all those Taste, who Serve Him, thou shalt Serve thy Enemy in Poverty and Affliction, until he shall have Finished-by making thee Lose both Soul and Body. David says that the Sinner, by His Crimes, digs himself the Pit, into-which he Falls. "He is Fallen-into the Hole he made" - Psalm 7:16. Recollect the Prodigal Son: he, in-order-to Live-without Restraint, and Banquet-as he pleased, left his Father; but then, for having left his Father, he is Reduced-to Tend Swine; Reduced-to such a Degree-of Misery, that of the Vile Food with-which the Swine are filled, he has not Wherewithal to-Fill himself: "And he would Fain have Filled his Belly with the Husks the Swine did eat, and no-Man gave unto him" - Luke 15:16. Saint-Bernardine-of-Sienna, relates that a certain Impious Son, 'Dragged' his Father along the Ground. What happened to him afterwards? One day he was himself 'Dragged-by' his own Son, in like-manner, when, arriving at a Certain-place, he exclaimed, "No more ----- Stop here, no more ----- thus far did I Drag my own Father ----- Stop!". Baronius mentions a Circumstance-of a like-Nature, concerning the Daughter-of-Herodias, who caused John-the-Baptist to be Beheaded. He tells-of her, that one-day, as she was-Crossing a Frozen River, the Ice broke-under her, and she remained with her Head only, above the Aperture. By dint-of her Struggles to-Save herself from Death, she had her Head Severed-from her Body, and thus Died. Oh, how Just is not God, when the Time of-Vengeance 'Arrives'! He Causes the Sinner to be Caught, and Strangled in the Net, which his own-Hands have-made. "The Lord shall be Known when He Executeth Judgments, the Sinner hath been Caught-in, the Works-of his own-Hands" - Psalm 9:17.

Poor Sinners, their Greatest Misery is, that they are Lost, and do not-Know their State.
 

Let us Tremble, my Brethren, when we see others Punished, Knowing-as we do, that we ourselves, have Deserved the same Punishments. When the Tower-of-Siloh fell-upon Eighteen (18) Persons, and Killed them, the Lord said to-many, who were present: "Think you that they also were Debtors, above all the Men that dwelt-in Jerusalem" - Luke 13:4. Do you think that these Wretches alone, were in Debt-to God's Justice, on-account-of their Sins? You are yet Debtors-to it; and if you do not Penance, you shall be Punished as-well-as they: "Except you do Penance, you shall all likewise Perish" - Luke 13:5. O, how many Unfortunate Men, Damn themselves by False Hope in the Divine Mercy? Yes, God is Merciful, and therefore Assists and Protects them, who Hope-in His Mercy: "He is the Protector-of All, that Trust-in Him" - Psalm 17:31. But He Assists and Protects those only, who Hope-in Him, with the Intention-of Changing their Lives; not those, whose Hope is Accompanied-by a Perverse Intention-of continuing-to Offend Him. The Hope-of the Latter, is not Acceptable-to God, He Abominates and Punishes it: "Their Hope, the Abomination-of the Soul" - Job 11:20. Poor Sinners, their Greatest Misery is, that they are Lost, and do not-Know their State. They Jest, and they Laugh, and they Despise the Threats-of God, as if God had 'Assured' them, that He should not Punish them. "Whence", exclaims Saint Bernard, "this Accursed Security?" Whence, O Blind that you are, whence this Accursed Security? Accursed, because it is this Security, which brings you to-Hell. "I will come to them that are at-Rest, and dwell Securely" - Ezekiel 38:11. The Lord is Patient, but when the Hour-of Chastisement Arrives, then will He Justly Condemn to-Hell, those Wretches who Continue-in Sin, and Live-in Peace, as-if there were no Hell for them.

The Lord Stands-with the Scourge in His Hand, and you still continue
in-Disgrace with Him. Tremble, lest God should make you Die-in your Sins, for if you Die thus, you shall be Cast-into the Fire-of-Hell, where your Ruin shall be Hopeless for Eternity (∞).
 

Let Sin be no-more for us, my Brethren; let us be Converted, if we wish-to Escape the Scourge, which hangs-over us. If we do not Cease-from Sin, God will be Obliged-to Punish us: "For Evil-doers shall be Cut-off" - Psalm 36:9. The Obstinate are not-only Finally Shut-out from-Paradise, but Hurried-off the Earth, lest their Example should 'Draw' others into-Hell. And let us Reflect-that these Temporal Scourges are nothing, in-comparison-with those Eternal (∞) Chastisements, Hope-of Relief-from which, there is None. Give-Ear, O Sinner! my Brother, give-Ear! "For now the Axe is laid-to the Root-of the Trees" - Luke 3:9. The Author-of the "Imperfect Work", in his comment-upon this Passage, says: "It is said that the Axe is-Laid, not to the Branches, but to the Root, so that it will be Irreparably Exterminated". He says that when the Branches are 'Lopped', the Tree continues-still to-Live; but when the Tree is Felled-from the Root, it then Dies, and is Cast-into the Fire. The Lord Stands-with the Scourge in His Hand, and you still continue in-Disgrace with Him. The Axe is Laid-to the Root. Tremble, lest God should make you Die-in your Sins, for if you Die thus, you shall be Cast-into the Fire-of-Hell, where your Ruin shall be Hopeless for Eternity (∞).

Day-of-Slaughter -
by Hans Memling -
from Muzeum Narodowe, Gdansk

 

But, you will say, I have Committed many Sins during the Past, and the Lord has Borne-with me. I may, therefore, Hope that He will Deal mercifully-with me for the Future. God says, do not Speak-so: "Say not, I have Sinned, and what Harm hath Befallen me? For the Most High is a Patient Rewarder" - Ecclesiasticus - 5:4. Do not Say-so, for God Bears-with you now, but He will not always Bear-with you. He Endures-to a Certain Extent, and then, Pays-off All. "Now, therefore, stand up, that I may Plead in Judgment against you, concerning all the Kindnessof the Lord" - 1Kings 12:7, said Samuel to the Hebrews. Oh how-Powerfully does not the Abuse-of the Divine Mercies, Assist-in Procuring the Damnation-of the Ungrateful! "Gather them together, as for the Day-of-Slaughter" - Jeremiah 12:3. In the End, the Herd-of those who will not be Converted, shall be Victims-of Divine Justice, and the Lord will Condemn them to Eternal (∞) Death, on the Day-of-Slaughter, when the Day-of His Vengeance shall have Arrived (and we have Reason always, to be in-Dread, as-long-as we are not Resolved-to 'Abandon' Sin, lest that day should be already Near). "God is not Mocked, for what things a Man shall Sow, these also shall he Reap" - Galations 6:7-8. Sinners expect to-Mock God by Confessing at-Easter, or Two (2) or Three (3) Times-a-Year, and then Returning-to their Vomit, and Hoping after that, to-Obtain Salvation. "He is a Mocker, not a Penitent", says Saint Isidor, "who continues to do that, for-which he is Penitent"; but God is not Mocked.

What Salvation? ----- what Salvation do you Expect? "For what Things a Man shall Sow, them also shall he Reap". What Things do you 'Sow'? Blasphemy, Revenge, Theft, Impurity: what then do you Hope for? He who Sows-in-Sin, can Hope to-reap Nothing, but Chastisements and Hell. For he that Soweth-in his Flesh, continues the same Apostle, of his Flesh also, shall Reap Corruption. Continue, Impure Wretch! continue-to Live, Sunk-in the Mire-of your Impurity, your Impurities will be Converted-into Pitch, within your Bowels. "A Day shall come", says Saint-Peter-Damian, "a Day shall come, or rather a Night, when your Lust shall be turned-into Pitch, to-feed an Eternal Flame, within your Bowels".

Saint-John-Chrysostom says that some 'Pretend' not to-see; they see the Chastisements, and 'Pretend' not to-see them. And then others, Saint Ambrose says, have no Fear-of-Punishment until they see it has 'Overtaken' them. To all these it will happen, as it did to-Mankind at the Time-of the Deluge. The Patriarch Noah, Foretold and Announced to them, the Punishments which God had Prepared-for their Sins; but the Sinners would not Believe him, and notwithstanding that the Ark was Building-before their Eyes, they did not Change their Lives, but went-on Sinning, until the Punishment was-Upon them, until they were Smothered in the Deluge. "And they Knew-not, till the Flood-came, and Took them all-Away" - Matthew 24:39. The same happened-to the Great Babylon, in the "Apocalypse", who said: "I sit a Queen, and I shall not see Grief" - Apocalypse 18:7. She Persevered-in her Impurity, in the Hope-of not being Punished, but the Chastisement at-length came, as had been Predicted! Therefore shall her Plagues come-in one day, Death and Mourning, and Famine, and she shall be Burnt-with-Fire.

The Adoration of the Holy Name of Jesus (detail),
Depicts the Jaws of Hell/Mouth of the Pit of Hell -
by GRECO, El - from National Gallery, London

 

Brother, who Knows whether this is not the Last Call, which God may Give you? Our Lord says that a certain Owner-of a Vineyard, finding a Fig-Tree for the Third (3rd) Year without Fruit, said: "Behold, for these Three Years I come seeking Fruit on this Fig-tree, and I find None; cut it down therefore, why Cumbereth it the Ground"? - Luke 13:7. Then the Dresser-of the Vine replied: "Lord, let it alone this Year also . . . and if Happily it Bear Fruit ----- but if not, then, after that, thou shalt cut it down" - Luke 13:8-9. Let us enter-into ourselves, my Brethren; for-Years has God been-Visiting our Souls, and has found no-other Fruit therein, than Thorns and Thistles; that is to say, Sins. Hear how the Divine Justice exclaims, Cut it down therefore, why Cumbereth it the Earth? But Mercy 'Pleads': Let it alone this Year also. Have Courage, let us give it One (1) Trial-more; let us see whether it will not be Converted, at this other-Call. But Tremble, lest the same Mercy may not have Granted-to Justice, that-if you do not Now Amend, your Life shall be Cut-off; and your Soul, Condemned to Hell. Tremble, Brother, and take-Measures that the Mouth-of the Pit, does not Close-over you. Such was the Prayer-of David: "Let not the Deep, Swallow me up, and let not the Pit, Shut her Mouth, upon me" - Psalm 68:16. It is that which Sin 'Effects', Causing the Mouth-of-the-Pit, that is, the State-of-Damnation, into which the Sinner has Fallen, to-Close-over him by-Degrees. As-long-as that Pit is not entirely-Closed, there is some Hope of-Escape; but if it Once-shut, what further Hope remains-for you? By Closing-of-the-Pit, I mean the Sinner's being Shut-out from every Glimmer-of Grace, and Stopping-at-Nothing; that, being the Accomplishment-of what the Wise Man has said: "The Wicked Man, when he is Come-into the Depth-of-Sins, Contemneth" - Proverbs 18:3. He Despises the Laws-of-God, Admonitions, Sermons, Excommunications, Threats - he Despises Hell itself; so-that Persons have been Known to-say, Numbers go-to Hell, and I amongst the Rest. Can the Man who Speaks-so, be Saved? He can be Saved, but it is Morally Impossible he should. Brother, what do you say? Perhaps you have yourself come-to the Contempt-of the Chastisements-of God. What do you say? Well, and if you had, what should you do? Should you Despair? No; you know what you have to do. Have 'Recourse-to' the Mother of God.

Although you should be in-Despair, and Abandoned-by God, Blosius says, that Mary is the Hope-of the Despairing, and the Aid-of the Abandoned. Saint Bernard says the same-thing, when he Exclaims, The Despairing Man who Hopes in thee, Ceases to be Desperate. But if God Wishes-that I should be Lost, what Hope can there be for me? But, says God, no, My son, I do not Wish to-see you Lost: "I Desire not the Death-of the Wicked" - Ezekiel 33:11. But what then do You Desire, O Lord? I Wish him to be Converted, and 'Recover' the Life-of My Grace: "But that the Wicked, turn-from his Way, and Live" - Ezekiel 33:11. Hasten then, Brother, fling yourself at the Feet-of Jesus Christ; Behold Him! see how He stands-with His Arms open, to-Embrace you.

 

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 . . .

 

Consecration to God thru Mary