Last/General Judgment - by MICHELANGELO di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni - from Cappella Sistina, Vatican . . . . .
"And they shall see the Son of Man coming in the Clouds of Heaven
with much Power and Majesty" - Matthew 24:30.
But, Behold, the Heavens are Opened - the Angels come-to Assist-at the General Judgment, carrying, as Saint Thomas says, the Sign-of the Cross and of the other Instruments-of the Passion-of the Redeemer. "Veniente Domino ad judiciurn signum crucis, et alia passionis indicia demonstrabunt". The same may be Inferred-from the Twenty-fourth (24th) Chapter-of Saint Matthew: "And then shall Appear the Sign of the Son of Man in Heaven; and then shall all the Tribes-of the Earth, Mourn" - Matthew 24:30. Sinners shall Weep at the Sign-of the Cross; for, as Saint Chrysostom says, the Nails will Complain-of them - the Wounds and the Cross-of Jesus Christ will Speak-against them. "Clavi de te conquerentur, cicatrices contra te loquentur, crux Christi contra te perorabit".
Most Holy Mary, the Queen of Saints and Angels, shall Come-to Assist-at the Last Judgment; and Lastly, the Eternal Judge shall Appear-in the Clouds, Full-of Splendor and Majesty. "And they shall see the Son of Man coming-in the Clouds of Heaven, with much Power and Majesty" - Matthew 24:30. Oh! how Great, shall be the Agony-of the Reprobate, at the Sight-of the Judge! "At their Presence", says the Prophet Joel, "the People shall be in Grievous Pains" - Joel 2:6. According-to Saint Jerome, the Presence-of Jesus Christ, will Give the Reprobate, more Pain than Hell itself. "It would", he says, "be easier for the Damned to Bear the Torments of Hell, than the Presence of the Lord". Hence, on that Day, the Wicked shall, according-to Saint John, call-on the Mountains, to Fall-on them and to Hide them from the Sight-of the Judge. "And they shall Say-to the Mountains and the Rocks: Fall upon us, and Hide us from the Face of Him that Sitteth-on the Throne, and from the Wrath-of the Lamb" - Revelation 6:16.
Satan Performs his Office-of-Accuser
Satan speaks-before the Throne of God -
"Most Just God, Declare him to be mine, who was Unwilling to be Yours"
Then, Sinners will not be able to Hide themselves; but, with Insufferable Pain, they shall be Compelled-to Appear-in Judgment. "To lie Hid", says Saint Anselm, "will be Impossible - to Appear, will be Intolerable". The Devils will Perform their Office-of Accusers, and, as Saint Augustine says, will Say-to the Judge: "Most Just God, Declare him to be mine, who was Unwilling to be Yours". The Witnesses against the Wicked shall be, First (1st), their own Conscience - "Their Conscience, bearing Witness to them" - Romans 2:15; Secondly (2nd), the very Walls-of the House, in which they Sinned, shall Cry-out against them - "The Stone shall Cry-out of the Wall" - Habakkuk 2:11; Thirdly (3rd), the Judge Himself will say - "I am the Judge and the Witness, saith the Lord" - Jeremiah 29:23. Hence, according-to Saint Augustine, "He Who is now the Witness of your Life, shall be the Judge of your Cause". To Christians particularly, He will say: "Woe to thee Chorazin; woe to thee Bethsaida; for if in Tyre and Sidon had been Wrought the Miracles that have been Wrought in you, they would Long ago have done Penance in Sackcloth and Ashes" - Matthew 11:21. Christians, He will say, if the Graces which I have Bestowed-on you, had been given-to the Turks or to the Pagans, they would have done Penance for their Sins; but, you have Ceased-to Sin, only with your Death. He shall then Manifest-to all Men, their most-hidden Crimes. "I will Discover thy Shame, to thy Face" - Nahum 3:5. He will Expose-to View, all their Secret Impurities, Injustices, and Cruelties. "Iwill Set, all thy Abominations, against thee" - Ezekiel 7:3. Each-of the Damned, shall Carry his Sins, Written-on his Forehead.
What Excuses can Save the Wicked, on that Day? Ah! they can Offer no Excuses. "All Iniquity shall Stop her Mouth" - Psalm 107:42. Their very Sins shall Close the Mouth-of the Reprobate, so that they will have no-Courage to-Excuse themselves. They shall Pronounce their own Condemnation.
Saint Bernard says, that the Sentence-of the Elect, and their Destiny-to Eternal (∞) Glory, shall be First-declared, that the Pains-of the Reprobate, may be Increased-by the Sight-of what they Lost. "Prius pronunciabitur sententia electis, ut acrius (reprobi) doleant videntes quid amiserint". Jesus Christ, then shall First Turn-to the Elect, and with a Serene Countenance shall say: "Come, ye Blessed of My Father, Possess the Kingdom prepared for you, from the Foundation of the World" - Matthew 25:34. He will Bless all the Tears shed-through Sorrow for their Sins; and all their Good Works, their Prayers, Mortifications, and Communions; above all, He will Bless for them the Pains-of His Passion, and the Blood shed-for their Salvation. And after these Benedictions, the Elect, singing 'Alleluias', shall enter Paradise to Praise and Love God, for all Eternity (∞).
The Judge shall then Turn-to the Reprobate, and shall Pronounce the Sentence-of their Condemnation in these Words: "Depart from Me you Cursed, into the Everlasting Fire" - Matthew 25:41. They shall then be Ever (∞) Accursed, Separated-from God, and sent-to Burn Forever (∞), in the Fire of Hell. "And these shall go into Everlasting Punishment; but the Just into Life Everlasting" - Matthew 25:46.
After this Sentence, the Wicked shall, according-to Saint Ephrem, be Compelled-to take-leave Forever (∞) of their Relatives, of Paradise, of the Saints, and of Mary, the Divine Mother. "Farewell, ye Just! Farewell, O Cross! Farewell, O Paradise! Farewell, Fathers and Brothers; we shall never see you again! Farewell, O Mary, Mother of God!". Then a Great Pit shall be opened-in the Middle-of the Valley; the Unhappy Damned shall be Cast-into it, and shall see those Doors-shut, which shall never again be Opened. O Accursed Sin! to what a Miserable End will Sin, One day, Conduct so-Many Souls, Redeemed-by the Blood-of Jesus Christ! O Unhappy Souls! for whom is Prepared, such a Melancholy End. But Brethren, have Confidence. Jesus Christ is now a 'Father', not a 'Judge'. He is Ready-to Pardon all who Repent. Let us then, ask Pardon-from Him.
Eternal Father, Your Son has Promised that You will Grant us all the Graces which we ask for in His Name. In the Name and Merits of Jesus Christ, I ask the following Graces for myself and for all Mankind. Please give me a Lively Faith in all that the Church Teaches. Enlighten me, that I may know the Vanity of the Goods of this World, and the Immensity of the Infinite Good that You are. Make me also see the Deformity of the Sins I have Committed, that I may Humble myself and Detest them as I should.
Give me a Firm Confidence of Receiving Pardon for my Sins, Holy Perseverance, and the Glory of Heaven, through the Merits of Jesus Christ, and the Intercession of Mary. Give me a Great Love for You, that will Detach me from the Love of this World, and of myself, so that I may Love none other, but You.
I Beg of You a Perfect Resignation to Your Will. I Offer myself entirely to You, that You might do with me, and all that belongs to me, as You Please.
I Beg of You a Great Sorrow for my Sins.
I ask You to give me the Spirit of True Humility and Meekness, that I may Accept with Peace, and even with Joy, all the Contempt, Ingratitude and Ill-treatment I may receive. At the same time, I also ask You to give me Perfect Charity, which shall make me wish well to those who have done Evil to me.
Give me Love for the Virtue of Mortification, by which I may Chastise my Rebellious Senses and oppose my Self-Love. Give me a Great Confidence in the Passion of Jesus Christ and in the Intercession of Mary Immaculate. Give me a Great Love for the Blessed Sacrament, and a Tender Devotion and Love to Your Holy Mother. Give me, above all, Holy Perseverance, and the Grace always to Pray for it, especially in Time-of Temptation, and at the Hour-of Death.
Finally, I recommend to You the Holy Souls of Purgatory, my Relatives and Benefactors, and in a special manner I recommend to You all those who Hate me or who have in any way Offended me; I Beg You to Render them Good, for the Evil they have done or may wish to do me. Grant that, by Your Goodness, I may come One Day to sing Your Mercies in Heaven; for my Hope is in the Merits of Your Blood and in the Patronage of Mary. Mary, Mother of God, Pray to Jesus for me.
Ancient Miraculous Prayer to Saint Joseph