Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus in 70 AD - Luke 19:41-44 - Painted-by Wilhelm von Kaulbach . . . . . (Click to enlarge)
|This Depiction shows Four (4) Jewish Patriarchs (including Moses) on their Thrones in-Heaven, as Witnesses.
A Band-of God's Avenging Angels (each carrying the same type-of 3-Pronged Flagellation Device, as used-to Scourge Jesus) Descends-on the Scene,
and a Group-of Satan's Angels, can be seen to the Left. On the Right, a Triad-of Angels, carrying the Holy Eucharist, Escort a Family-of
Christians, from the Devastation. Various other Individual Scenes, Depict the Wanton Destruction, Cannibalism, Suicide and other Sinful Acts,
described in-Writing by the Jewish Historian, Flavius Josephus.
The Roman Legions of-Titus were the Right-Arm-of-God in the Destruction of Jerusalem. The Destruction of Jerusalem, in 70 AD, Forty (40) Years after the Death-of Jesus Christ, is very important in Church History. The Tearing in-Two by-God, of the Veil of the Temple, reaches its Climax in the Destruction of Jerusalem. The Catholic Church now Stands-alone, as God's only Chosen-means of-Salvation. The Forty (40) Years God gave the Jewish People, to Repent-of their Deicide, is Symbolic-of the Number-of Days (40), Nineveh was given to-Repent, in the Book-of-Jonah; Forty (40) was also the Number-of Days Goliath was Allowed-to Taunt Israel, before God empowered David to-Slay him (1Samuel 17:16). After Taunting God for Forty (40) Years, God empowered Titus to-Destroy Jerusalem. Many, many-more Symbolic examples-of the Number Forty (40), can be seen at Saint Augustine's Arithmology.
Thou hast been Favorable-to the Nation, O Lord,
Thou hast been Favorable-to the Nation;
hast Thou been Glorified? - Isaiah 26:15
We must 'Persuade' ourselves, that God cannot do Otherwise, than Hate Sin; He is Holiness itself, and therefore cannot but Hate that Monster, His Enemy, whose Malice is altogether Opposed-to the Perfection-of-God. And if God Hates Sin, He must necessarily Hate the Sinner, who makes-League with Sin. "But to God, the Wicked and his Wickedness, are Hateful-alike" - Wisdom 14:9. O God, with what an Expression-of Grief and with what Reason, do You not Complain-of those who Despise You, to take-part-with Your Enemy. "Hear, O ye Heavens, and give Ear, O Earth, for the Lord hath Spoken; I have brought-up Children, and Exalted them; but they have Despised Me" - Isaiah 1:2. Hear, O ye Heavens, He says, and give-Ear, O Earth, Witness the Gratitude with which I am Treated-by Men. I have Brought them up, and 'Exalted' them as My Children (i.e. Raised-to the Supernatural Order), and they have 'Repaid' Me with Contempt and Outrage. "The Ox Knoweth his Owner, and the Ass his Master's Crib: but Israel hath not-known Me. Woe to the Sinful Nation, a People laden-with Iniquity, a Wicked Seed, Ungracious Children: they have Forsaken the Lord, they have Blasphemed the Holy One of Israel, they are gone-away Backwards" - Isaiah 1:3-4. The Beast-of-the-Field, the Ox and the Ass, continues the Lord, Know their Master, and are-Grateful to-him; but My Children have not Known Me, and have-Turned their Back upon Me. But how is this? "Services are Remembered, even by Beasts" says Seneca. The very Brutes are Grateful-to their Benefactors; see that Dog, how he Serves and Obeys, and is Faithful-to his Master, who Feeds him; even the Wild Beasts, the Tiger and the Lion, are Grateful-to those who Feed them. And God, my Brethren, Who till now has Provided us with-everything, Who has Given us Food and Raiment: What more? Who has kept us in-Existence up to the Moment when we Offended Him; how have we Treated Him?
How do we Purpose to-Act in-Future? Do we not Think-to Live-on as we have been Living? Do we not Perhaps, Think-that there is no Punishment, no Hell for us? But Hearken and Know, that as the Lord cannot but Hate Sin, because He is Holy, so He cannot but Chastise it, when the Sinner is Obstinate, because He is Just.
When He does Chastise, it is not to-Please Himself, but because we 'Drive' Him, to it. The Wise Man says that God did not 'Create' Hell, through a Desire-of Condemning Man thereto, and that He does not Rejoice-in their Damnation, because He does not Wish-to see His Creatures Perish: "For God made-not Death, neither hath He Pleasure-in the Destruction-of the Living, for He Created all-things, that they might Be" - Wisdom 1:13. No Gardener 'Plants' a Tree, in-order-to Cut it down and 'Burn' it. It was not God's Desire-to see us Miserable and in-Torment; and therefore, says Saint-John-Chrysostom, He Waits so-long before He 'Takes' Vengeance-of the Sinner. He Waits-for our Conversion, that He may then be able to-Use His Mercy, in our Regard. "Therefore the Lord Waiteth, that He may have Mercy on you" - Isaiah 30:18. Our God, says the same Saint-John-Chrysostom, is in-Haste to-Save, and Slow to-Condemn. When there is Question-of Pardon, no-sooner has the Sinner Repented, than he is Forgiven-by God. Scarcely had David said "Peccavi, Domino", when he was Informed-by the Prophet, that his Pardon was already Granted: "The Lord also hath Taken-away thy Sin" - 2Kings 12:13. Yes, because we do not Desire Pardon so-anxiously, as He Desires-to Pardon us, says the same Holy Doctor. On the other hand, when there is Question-of Punishment, He 'Waits', He Admonishes, He 'Sends' us Warning of it, Beforehand: "For the Lord God doth nothing, without Revealing His Secret to His Servants, the Prophets" - Amos 3:7.
But when, at-length, God sees that we are Willing to-Yield, neither-to Benefits, nor Threats, nor Admonitions, and that we will not Amend, then He is Forced-by our own-Selves to Punish us, and while Punishing us, He will Place-before our Eyes, the Great Mercies He before, Extended-to us: "Thou thoughtest Unjustly that I shall be Like to-thee, but I will Reprove thee, and Set-before thy Face" - Psalm 49:21. He will then say-to the Sinner, Think you, O Sinner, that I had Forgotten, as you had done, the Outrages you put-upon Me, and the Graces I dispensed-to you? Saint Augustine says that God does not Hate, but Loves us, and that He only Hates our Sins. He is not Wroth with-Men, says Saint Jerome, but with their Sins. The Saint says, that by His Nature, God is inclined-to Benefit us, and that, it is we-ourselves, who 'Oblige' Him to Chastise us, and Assume the appearance-of Severity, which He has not of Himself. It is this which David means to-Express, when he says that the Lord, in Chastising, is like a Drunken Man who Strikes in his Sleep: "And the Lord was Awaked, as one out of Sleep, . . . and He Smote His Enemies" - Psalm 77:65-66. Theodoret adds that, as Drunkenness is not Natural-to Man, so Chastisement does not Naturally Belong-to God; it is we who 'Force' Him into that Wrath, which is not His by Nature - (Ezekiel c.16). Saint Jerome, Reflecting-on those Words which Jesus Christ, on the Day-of General Judgment will address-to the Reprobate, "Depart from Me, you Cursed, into Everlasting Fire, which was Prepared-for the Devil and his Angels" - Matthew 25:41, inquires, who has Prepared this Fire for Sinners? God perhaps. No, because God never 'Created' Souls for Hell, as the Impious Luther taught; this Fire has been Kindled-for Sinners, by their own Sins. He who Sows-in Sin, shall Reap Chastisement. "He that Soweth Iniquity, shall Reap Evil" - Proverbs 22:8. When the Soul commits Sin, it Voluntarily Obliges itself to-Pay the Penalty thereof, and thus Condemns itself to the Pains of-Hell. "For you have said, we have entered-into a League with-Death, and we have made a Covenant with-Hell" - Isaiah 28:15. Hence Saint Ambrose well-says, that God has not Condemned Anyone, but that each One is the Author-of his own Chastisement. And the Holy Ghost says, that the Sinner shall be Consumed-by the Hatred, which he Bears himself; "and with the Rod of his Anger, he shall be Consumed" - Proverbs 22:8. He, says Salvian, who Offends God, has not-more Cruel Enemy than himself, since he himself has Caused the Torments which he Suffers. God, he continues, does not wish to-see us in-Affliction, but it is we who Draw-down Sufferings upon ourselves, and by our Sins, 'Enkindle' the Flames in-which we are to-Burn. God Punishes us, because we 'Oblige' Him to-Punish us.
But I know, you say, "the Mercies of God are Great; no matter how Manifold my Sins, I have in-view a change-of-Life by-and-by, and God will have Mercy upon me". But no, God Desires you not to-Speak thus. And say not: "The Mercy of the Lord is Great, He will have Mercy-on the Multitude-of my Sins" - Ecclesiasticus 5:6. And why has the Lord Forbidden you to say so? The Reason is this, "For 'Mercy' and 'Wrath', Quickly come-from Him" - Ecclesiasticus 5:7. Yes, it is True, God has Patience, God Waits-for Some Sinners; I say Some, for there are Some whom God does not Wait-for at all; how many has He not Sent-to Hell, Immediately-after the First (1st) Transgression? Others, He does Wait-for, but He will not always Wait-for them; He Spares them for a Certain-time, and then Punishes. "The Lord Patiently Expecteth, that when the Day-of-Judgment shall come, He may Punish them in the Fullness-of their Sins" - 2Maccabees 6:14. Mark well, "When the Day-of-Judgment shall Come: when the Day-of-Vengeance shall Arrive, in the Fullness-of their Sins". When the Measure-of Sins, which God has determined-to Pardon, is Filled-up, He will Punish. Then, the Lord will have no Mercy, and will Chastise Unremittingly. The City-of-Jericho did not Fall, during the First (1st) Circuit, made-by the Ark; it did not Fall-at the Fifth (5th), or at the Sixth (6th); but it Fell-at last, at the Seventh (7th) - (Joshua 6:20). "And thus it will happen with thee", says Saint Augustine, "at the Seventh Circuit made by the Ark, the City-of-Vanity, will Fall". God has Pardoned you, your First (1st) Sin, your Tenth (10th), your Seventieth (70th), perhaps your Thousandth; He has often Called you, now Calls you again; Tremble, lest this should be the Last Circuit taken-by the Ark; that is, the Last Call, after which, if you do not Change-your-Life, it will be Over-with you. "For the Earth", says the Apostle, "that Drinketh-in the Rain, which cometh-often upon it . . . and bringeth-forth Thorns and Briars, is Reprobate, and very-near unto a Curse, whose End is to be Burned" - Hebrews 6:7-8. That Soul, he says, which has often-Received the Waters-of Divine Light and Grace, and Instead-of 'Bearing' Fruit, 'Produces' nought but the Thorns-of-Sin, is Nigh-unto a Curse; and its End will be to-Burn Eternally (∞) in Hell-fire. In a word, when the 'Period' comes, God Punishes.
And let us know, that when God Wishes-to Punish, He is-Able and Knows-how to do it. "The Daughter of Sion shall be left . . . as a City that is Laid Waste - Isaiah 1:8. How many Cities do we not Know, to have been Destroyed and Leveled-with the Ground, by Reason-of the Sins of the Inhabitants, whom God could no-longer Bear-with! One day, Jesus Christ being within sight-of the City-of-Jerusalem, Gazed-upon it, and Thinking-of the Ruin which her Crimes were to-Draw down-upon her, our Redeemer, Who is so Full-of Compassion-for our Miseries, began-to Weep: "Seeing the City, He Wept over it, saying: . . . they shall not leave-in thee a Stone upon a Stone, because thou hast not known the Time-of thy Visitation" - Luke 19:41-44. Poor City, there shall not be left in-Thee, a Stone-upon a Stone, because thou hast not been Willing to-Know the Grace, which I Gave thee, in-Visiting thee with so-many Benefits, and Bestowing-upon thee, so-many Tokens-of My Love; whilst thou hast Ungratefully Despised Me, and Driven Me away. "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, . . . how often would I have Gathered thy Children . . . and thou wouldst not, Behold, your House shall be left-to you Desolate" - Luke 13:34-35. Sinful Brother, who knows whether God does not, at this Moment, look-upon your Soul and Weep? Perhaps He sees that you will not Turn-to-Account, this 'Visit' which He now Pays you, this 'Summons' which He Gives you, to-Change your Life. "How often would I . . . and thou wouldst not". How often, says the Lord, have I Wished to-Draw you to Me, by the Lights which I have-given you? How-often have I 'Called' you, and you would not Hear Me? You have been Deaf-to Me and Fled-from Me. "Behold, your House shall be left to you, Desolate". Behold, I am already-on the Point-of Abandoning you, and if I Abandon you, your Ruin will be 'Inevitable', 'Irreparable'.
"We would have Cured Babylon, but she is not Humbled, let Us Forsake her" - Jeremiah 51:9. The Physician, when he sees that the Patient will not Adopt his Remedies, which he himself Carries-to him, with so-much Kindness, and which the Other, Flings-out of the Window ----- what does he do at-length? He Turns his Back upon him, and Abandons him. My Brethren, by how many Calls, has not God Endeavored to-Avert Damnation from you? What more can He do? If you Damn yourself, can you Complain-of God, Who has Called you, in so-many different Ways?
in-order-that you may Learn-to Dread those which are Eternal (∞). Saint-Bernadine-of-Sienna, says that for certain-Sins, more-especially those which are Scandalous, there is no-more Effectual Method-of doing-away-with them, than by Temporal Punishments. But,
then He Abandons the Sinner, and Chastises him with Eternal (∞) Death. Therefore, does He say, "Because I Called, and you Refused . . . and have-neglected My Reprehensions, I will also Laugh-in your Destruction, and will Mock, when that shall-come, which you Feared" - Proverbs 1:24-26. You, says God, have Laughed-at My Words, My Threats, and My Chastisements, your Last Chastisement shall 'Come', and then I will Laugh-at ye. "And it, (the Rod), was turned-into a Serpent" - Exodus 4:3. Saint Bruno, in his Commentary-upon this Passage, says, "the Rod is turned into a Serpent, when they will not Amend". The Eternal (∞), will-Succeed the Temporal Punishment.
Oh, how-well does not God know how to-Chastise, and so to-Order it, that from the Instruments and Motives-of Sin, should be-Drawn the Chastisement! "That they might Know that by-what Things a Man Sinneth, by the same-also, he is Tormented" - Wisdom 11:17. The Jews put Jesus Christ to-Death, for Fear the Romans should Seize-on their Possessions. "If we let Him alone", said they, "all will Believe-in Him, and the Romans will Come and Take-away our Place and Nation" - John 11:48. But the same Sin of 'Putting' Jesus Christ to-Death, was the Cause-of their being Shortly-after, Despoiled-of Everything, by the Romans. "They Feared they should lose Temporal Possessions", says Saint Augustine, "and thought not of Eternal Life, and so Lost both". In trying to-Save their Possessions, they Lost their Souls; the Punishment 'Came', and they Lost both. Thus, it Falls-out with-Many; they Lose their Souls for the Things-of Earth; but God often Condemns them to-Beggary in this World, and Reprobation in the Next.
My Brethren, 'Provoke' no-longer the Anger-of your God, know that in-Proportion-to the Multitude-of His Mercies towards you, in-Proportion-to the Length-of-Time He has Borne-with you, your Punishment will be-Greater, if you do not Amend. "The Lord makes up for the Slowness-of His Chastisement", says Saint Gregory, "by its Grievousness, when it does Come". "Woe to thee, Corozain", thus does the Lord Speak-to a Soul that has Abused His Favors, "Woe to thee Bethsaida, for if in Tyre and Sidon had been-Wrought the Mighty Things which have been-Wrought in you, they would have done Penance long-ago, sitting in Sackcloth and Ashes" - Luke 10:13. Yes, my Brethren, if the Graces which have been Given-to you, had been Given-to a Turk or an Indian; if in Tyre and Sidon had been Wrought the Mighty Works which have been Wrought-in you, he would have now been a Saint, or at least have done Great Penance for his Sins; and have you become a Saint? Have you at-least done Penance for your many Mortal Sins, for your many Evil Thoughts, Words, and Scandals? See you not, how God is Angry-with you? How He Stands-with His Scourge in His Hand? Do you see not Death hanging-over you.
And what are we to do? You inquire: are we to Despair? No, God does not Wish us to-Despair. "Let us Go with-Confidence, to the Throne-of-Grace"; that is what we are to-Do, as Saint Paul 'Exhorts' us, in order "that we may obtain Mercy, and find Grace in Seasonable Aid" - Hebrews 4:16. Let us at once go to the Throne-of-Grace that we may Receive the Pardon-of our Sins, and the Remission-of the Punishment which Overhangs us. By Seasonable Aid, the Apostle means to-Convey, that the Aid which God may be Willing-to Lend us Today, He may Deny Tomorrow. At once, then, to the Throne-of-Grace.
But what is the Throne-of-Grace? Jesus Christ, my Brethren, is the Throne-of-Grace. "And He is the Propitiation-for our Sins" - 1John 2:2. Jesus, it is, Who by the Merit-of His Blood, can obtain Pardon-for us, but we must 'Apply' Immediately. The Redeemer, during His Preaching-in Judea, Cured the Sick, and Dispensed other Favors, as He went-along; whoever was on the Spot, to-ask a Favor-of Him, 'Obtained' it; but whoever was Negligent, and Allowed Him to-Pass without a Request, remained-as he was. "Who went about doing Good" - Acts 10:38. It was this, that caused Saint Augustine to-say: "I Fear, Jesus passing-by"; by-which he meant to-Express that when the Lord 'Offers' us His Grace, we must Immediately 'Correspond', doing our utmost to-Obtain it, that otherwise He will Pass-on and Leave us without it. "Today, if you shall hear His Voice, Harden not your Hearts" - Psalm 94:8. Today God Calls you; 'Give' yourself to God, Today; if you Wait-for Tomorrow, intending to-Give yourself to-Him then, perhaps He will have Ceased-to Call, and you will remain Deserted.
Mary, the Queen and the Mother of Mercies, is also a Throne-of-Grace, as Saint Antoninus says. Hence, if you see that God is Angry with you, Saint Bonaventure 'Exhorts' you to have Recourse-to the Hope-of-Sinners. Go, have Recourse-to the Hope-of Sinners: Mary is the Hope-of Sinners, Mary, who is Called the Mother-of Holy Hope: "I am the Mother of Fair Love, and of Fear, and of Knowledge, and of Holy Hope" - Ecclesiasticus 24:24. But we must take Notice-that Holy Hope is the Hope-of that Sinner who Repents him of his Evil Ways, and Determines-upon a Change-of-Life; but if anyone 'Pursues' an Evil Course, in the Hope-that Mary will Succor and Save him, such a Hope is False, such a Hope is Bad and Rash. Let us then Repent-of our Sins, Resolve-to Amend, and then have Recourse-to Mary, with a Confidence-that she will Assist and Save us.