Thomas A. Droleskey
Jorge Mario Bergoglio's grand celebratory party that knows no limits extends, of course, to his Commissars, each of whom is an ultra-progressive revolutionary in his own Modernist right.
Jorge Mario Bergoglio has denounced what he calls "adolescent progressivism," explaining also that we cannot surrender to worldliness and thus abandon our "traditions" and "negotiate our loyalty to God who is always faithful." He even said that to do this is apostasy. No, I am not making this up. The man who has termed taken swipe after swipe at traditionalists as "Pharisees" and "restorationists" and "Pelagians" while denouncing the "no church" that was too "self-referential" and "closed in on itself."
Well, here is what the false "pontiff" said yesterday on Monday, November 18, 2013, the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of Saints Peter and Paul at the Casa Santa Marta during as his Ding Dong School Of Apostasy commenced for yet another week:
During his homily, Pope Francis warned the faithful against what he described as a “globalized uniformity” which is the result of secular worldliness.
Often he said, the people of God prefer to distance themselves from the Lord in favour of worldly proposals. He said worldliness is the root of evil and it can lead us to abandon our traditions and negotiate our loyalty to God who is always faithful. This – the Pope admonished – is called apostasy, which he said is a form of “adultery” which takes place when we negotiate the essence of our being: loyalty to the Lord.
And he spoke of the contradiction that is inherent in the fact that we are not ready to negotiate values, but we negotiate loyalty. This attitude – he said – “is a fruit of the devil who makes his way forward with the spirit of secular worldliness”.
And referring again to the passage in the Book of Maccabees, in which all nations conformed to the king’s decree and adopted customs foreign to their culture, the Pope pointed out that this “is not the beautiful globalization, unity of all nations, each with their own customs but united, but the uniformity of hegemonic globalization, it is – he said - the single thought: the result of secular worldliness”
And Pope Francis warned that this happens today. Moved by the spirit of worldliness, people negotiate their fidelity to the Lord, they negotiate their identity, and they negotiate their belonging to a people that God loves.
And with a reference to the 20th century novel “Lord of the World” that focuses on the spirit of worldliness that leads to apostasy, Pope Francis warned against the desire to “be like everyone else” and what he called an “adolescent progressivism”. “What do you think?” – he said bitterly – “that today human sacrifices are not made? Many, many people make human sacrifices and there are laws that protect them”.
What consoles us – he concluded – is that the Lord never denies himself to the faithful. “He waits for us, He loves us, He forgives us. Let us pray that His faithfulness may save us from the worldly spirit that negotiates all. Let us pray that he may protect us and allow us to go forward, leading us by the hand, just like a father with his child. Holding the Lord’s hand we will be safe”. (Figure of Antichrist: Lord save us from the subtle conspiracies of worldliness.)
Trying to decipher what this means is a waste of time as Jorge Mario Bergoglio has shown us that is agenda of "reform" is the most "ultra-progressive" form of Modernism. He is the personification of a "ultra-progessive" Modernist. Perhaps Bergoglio's condemnation of "adolescent progressivism" is meant to convey the fact that he is a "mature progressivist."
Reading Jorge Mario Bergoglio refer negatively to any kind of progressivism or apostasy is somewhat akin to listening to a former colleague of mine at a university at which I taught bemoan drunken professors who are chronically late to teach their assigned classes and who simply filibustered class time with random thoughts without discussing the subject matter of the course. That professor, who was drunk at the time he denounced such behavior, was describing his own notorious unprofessional behavior that went unchecked for decades because he had tenure. The man did have a sense of humor, though. He told me on the last day of teaching prior to his retirement after he had noticed that he was late to administer a final examination, "Tom, why should I be any different on my last day than I was on my first?" He was honest when sober. Bergoglio is sober all of the time. He has no realization that the words "progressivism" and "apostasy" apply to him.
What do I mean?
Well, I have not counted up the articles that I have written since March 13, 2013, to document Jorge Mario Bergoglio's lifelong Modernist ways as a consummate Jesuit revolutionary of the sort I ran into very frequently in the 1970s. However, there is amply proof in those articles to demonstrate the false "pontiff" defects from the Faith in innumerable ways and has, following the lead of his own predecessors in the conciliar "Petrine Ministry, engaged in acts of "interreligious prayer" that the Catholic Church strictly forbids under penalty of automatic excommunication as they are violations of the First and Second Commandments.
Bergoglio has claimed insistently that religions that deny the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, including but not limited to Talmudism and Mohammedanism, are followers of the true God and that their false rites and ceremonies are veritable sources of personal sanctification. The Argentine revolutionary has personally prayed Talmudic prayers with his pro-abortion, pro-perversity pal, Rabbi Abraham Skorka, for Sukkot while the latter was visiting him at the Casa Santa Marta, thereby giving worship to the devil and lending even more credence to the nonexistent validity of Talmudic Judaism than he has in the past as an active participant in Talmudic prayers as the actions of a putative Successor of Saint Peter are powerful instruments to evangelize Catholics and non-Catholics alike in the ways of the very apostasy and progressivism that he dared to denounced two days ago now. (See Nothing Random About This, part five.)
It should be borne in mind that, quite apart from the liturgical travesties over which he has presided, both in Argentina and as "pope" in Rome and in Rio di Janiero, Brazil, Bergoglio has blasphemed God, Our Lady, many of the saints and even Holy Mother Church, whose very Divine Constitution he has dared to denigrate by stating that she has taught error in being "too self-referential." Bergoglio has even referred to the Catholic Church as the "widowed church," prompting me to write the shortest article in the history of this site, Who Today Will Presume To Say She Is Widowed?".
Although time does not permit a full recitation of Bergoglio's relentless stream of apostasies, perhaps it is useful to note that his "private" interview (see Nothing Random About This, part one, Nothing Random About This, part two and Nothing Random About This, part three, Nothing Random About This, part four and Nothing Random About This, part five) with atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari, the founder of La Repubblica newspaper in Italy, was such an embarrassment of apostasy, heresy and error that underlings in the conciliar Vatican removed it from the Vatican website on which the full text had been posted.
The interview prompted two traditionally-minded Catholics in the conciliar structures, Mario Palmaro and Alessandro Gnocchi, to mildly criticize Bergoglio's remarks, prompting the false "pontiff" to telephone Palmaro, who has been hospitalized with a serious illness, to "thank" him for the criticism, which he said he accepted, although Bergoglio did not retract anything that he had said as it is a perfect reflection of his beliefs even if Scalfari did not take notes or record the interview (see Rorate Caeli.) He only expressed his appreciation for the "love" that prompted Palmaro and Gnocchi to criticize him. This is very sad as there is never any need to criticize a true pope on matters of doctrine (see True Popes Never Need to Convert to the Faith).
Moreover, Jorge Mario Bergoglio has surrounded himself with "ultra-progressive" revolutionaries, including each of his eight hand-picked Commissars, men who have been let loose upon the world to spew forth their heresies with ready and seemingly ceaseless abandon.
Is there any need to discuss again the fact that the mind of the ultra-progressive Honduran Modernist, Oscar Andres Maradiaga Rodriguez, is in complete harmony with that of Jorge Mario Bergoglio (see Commissar of Antichrist Speaks, part one, Commissar of Antichrist Speaks, part two, Commissar of Antichrist Speaks, part three and Commissar of Antichrist Speaks, part four)?
So is that of another commissar, Reinhard Marx, the conciliar "archbishop" of Munich and Freising. Below pasted is a translated report that appeared first on a website in the Federal Republic of Germany (the commentary within the article is part of the translation itself):
(Munich) The Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, has proclaimed Christianity without hell and purgatory, only with more paradise, so to speak, a Christian spa. Cardinal Marx belongs to the eight-member Cardinal advisory which Pope Francis appointed on 13 April to advise him on the management of the Church. Cardinal Marx represents Europe. Marx is also the Chairman of the Commission of the Bishops 'Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) and in the spring of 2014 a contender for the presidency of the German Bishops' Conference.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx held a spiritual talk on 9 November in Erding, Bavaria, a spiritual talk on "Resurrection". Here, the Cardinal tried to explain the Christian doctrine of resurrection: "Every person is a unique, eternal thought of God, who must be thought of to the end and can not disintegrate into nothingness." And further: "If God wanted everyone from all eternity and love, you everything can't be over in death".
But then the Cardinal faltered. The Christian belief in the resurrection depends, says Archbishop Marx, "that we believe God is possible." God's existence only as a "possibility"? As the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising himself puts it, the Cardinal continued by saying, if you trust the words of Christ, "Then the hope is justified that our death opens a gate to something indestructible."
Today, said the Cardinal, many have a "cramped relationship" to death and the belief in the resurrection has become "weak". "We need to see everything, to touch everything, to understand it." The Church must oppose to that "strong rites and symbols" laying out the coffin in the church, such as at a Requiem for a deceased. Children also should not deter you from confrontation with death, for example, the sight of a deceased person, but must enable them to encounter them and accompany them in this. "Therefore, the Church, and we can witness to that, that at death a change takes place and we are not before a cold nothingness," Marx said. The practice of the Church must make the hope of the resurrection visible, reports the Archbishop.
The resurrection says the Cardinal, that God gives us the assurance that
He will transform and lead us with His help to the end, "but without
moralizing and without a hell of torture, imprisonment and a burning
oven". The Church caused this with pictures like that of purgatory and
hell, fear of death. Not only that, the Church must "repent" for this
scaremongering images that a malicious invention will be obvious to
Catholics, Cardinal Marx. In the Cardinal's words, "and for that we need
to repent." And you wonder where the Cardinal actually lives. After
half a century of the abolition of the sign of hell, the problem is not
the belief that there is a hell, but that many Christians no longer
believe in the existence of hell and purgatory.
Finally, the Cardinal proffered a logical conclusion to universal salvation: Because Jesus went about not to enumerate sins, but to pledge every man to healing and salvation. "The Church must completely drive out fear ," emphasized Cardinal Marx. To imagine what would come after death, the person needs images, "but this must be images of confidence, hope, images and help to continue on, even if they can not give us a definitive answer." What the Archbishop did was give the impression that the Church has not allowed in its two thousand year history, a great show to salvation, redemption and salvation of souls. (Commissar Marx Corrects Our Lord and Abolishes Hell and Purgatory.)
No apostasy here, huh?
To contend as Reinhard "Cardinal" Marx does is to make a mockery of the very words of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and the defined doctrine His Holy Catholic Church received from Him and has transmitted infallibly without any stain of error by the guidance of the Third Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, God the Holy Ghost:
 Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known.  That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops.  And
fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul:
but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father.  But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. (Matthew 10: 26-30.)
 Wherefore you are witnesses against yourselves, that you are the sons of them that killed the prophets.  Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.  You serpents, generation of vipers, how will you flee from the judgment of hell?  Therefore behold I send to you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and
some of them you will put to death and crucify, and some you will
scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city:  That upon you may come all the just blood that hath been shed upon the earth, from the blood
of Abel the just, even unto the blood of Zacharias the son of Barachias,
whom you killed between the temple and the altar. (Matthew 23: 26-35.)
 Then he shall say to them also that shall be on his left hand: Depart
from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire which was prepared for the
devil and his angels.  For I was hungry, and you gave me not to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me not to drink.  I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.  Then they also shall answer him, saying: Lord, when did we see thee
hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and
did not minister to thee?  Then he shall answer them, saying: Amen I say to you, as long as you
did it not to one of these least, neither did you do it to me.
 And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting. (Matthew 25: 26-46.)
If anyone says that the fear of hell, whereby, by grieving for sins, we flee to
the mercy of God or abstain from sinning, is a sin or makes sinners worse, let him be
anathema. Pope Paul III, Council of Trent, Session VI, January 13, 1547.)
Since the Catholic Church, instructed by the Holy Ghost, has, following
the sacred writings and the ancient tradition of the Fathers, taught in
sacred councils and very recently in this ecumenical council that there is a purgatory, and that the souls there detained are aided by the suffrages of the faithful and chiefly by the
acceptable sacrifice of the altar, the holy council commands the bishops
that they strive diligently to the end that the sound doctrine of purgatory, transmitted by the Fathers and sacred councils,
be believed and maintained by the faithful of Christ, and be everywhere
taught and preached. The more difficult and subtle questions, however, and
those that do not make for edification and from which there is for the
most part no increase in piety, are to be excluded from popular
instructions to uneducated people. Likewise, things
that are uncertain or that have the appearance of falsehood they shall
not permit to be made known publicly and discussed. But those
things that tend to a certain kind of curiosity or superstition, or that
savor of filthy lucre, they shall prohibit as scandals and
stumbling-blocks to the faithful. The bishops shall see to it that the
suffrages of the living, that is, the sacrifice of the mass, prayers,
alms and other works of piety which they have been accustomed to
perform for the faithful departed, be piously and devoutly discharged in
accordance with the laws of the Church, and that whatever is due on
their behalf from testamentary bequests or other ways, be discharged by
the priests and ministers of the Church and others who are bound to
render this service not in a perfunctory manner, but diligently and
accurately. (Decree Concerning Purgatory, Session XXV, December 4, 1563.)
These "ultra-progressive" Modernists live in a delusional world all of their own, unable to see that most Catholics today do not fear Hell or the just judgment of God upon their immortal souls at the Particular Judgment or even that there is a Purgatory. The conciliar revolutionaries constantly have to slash at straw men in order to demonstrate themselves to be "friends" of "the people," who have been robbed of the sensus Catholicus very thoroughly by their false doctrines and sacramentally invalid liturgical rites.
Indeed, a now deceased dentist was aghast when I told him nearly eleven years
ago that I was offering up the pain of the root canal procedure that he
was performing on me (a procedure that he botched and required the tooth
to be extracted two years later) to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart
of Mary to be dispensed as she saw fit, hoping that some of the merit
that I stood to earn from a right disposition in making this offering
would be applied to the Holy Souls in the Church Suffering in Purgatory.
"Purgatory!" the dentist screamed. "I thought they got rid of that."
then told him that two of his patients who I thought at the time to be
priests could verify that the existence of Purgatory is a defined
teaching of the Catholic Church. Evidently being on a first name basis
with the putative clerics, he said about one of them, "You mean (first
name omitted) believes in Purgatory?"
I told him that, yes, his friend
believed in Purgatory. And it is my prayer that the dentist saw the
truth of this matter after this death. How many Catholics in the
conciliar structures will have their own misconceptions about Purgatory
reaffirmed now that Ratzinger/Benedict has made it a subject of
fuzziness and uncertainty that is in need of further study?
Most Catholics never give either a thought as they go about their daily business.
The conciliar revolutionaries may want to party hearty. They may have reassured many Catholics they live is indeed a party. These terrible men simply must dismiss the Patron Saint of Moral Theologians, Saint Alphonsus de Liguori, on the Particular Judgment:
ERMON XXXVII. EIGHTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST. - ON THE PARTICULAR JUDGMENT.
“Give an account of thy stewardship." LUKE xvi. 2.
BELOVED Christians, of all the goods of nature, of fortune, and of
grace, which we have received from God, we are not the masters, neither
can we dispose of them as we please; we are but the administrators of
them; and therefore we should employ them according to the will of God,
who is our Lord. Hence, at the hour of death, we must render a strict
account of them to Jesus Christ, our Judge. ”For we must all be
manifested before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may
receive the proper things of the body as he hath done, whether it be
good or evil." (2 Cor. v. 10.) This is the precise meaning of that”give
an account of thy stewardship," in the gospel of this day. ”You are
not," says St. Bonaventure, in his comment on these words, ”a master,
but a steward over the things committed to you; and therefore you are to
render an account of them." I will place before your eyes Today
the rigour of this judgment, which shall be passed on each of us on the
last day of our life. Let us consider the terror of the soul, first,
when we shall be presented to the Judge; secondly, when she shall be
examined; and thirdly, when she shall be condemned.
First Point. Terror of the soul when she shall be presented to the Judge.
1. "It is appointed unto
men once to die, and after this the judgment." (Heb. ix. 27.) It is of
faith that we shall die, and that after death a judgment shall be passed
on all the actions of our life. Now, what shall be the terror of each
of us when we shall be at the point of death, and shall have before our
eyes the judgment which must take place the very moment the soul departs
from the body? Then shall be decided our doom to eternal life, or to
eternal death. At the time of the passage of their souls from this life
to eternity, the sight of their past sins, the rigour of God’s judgment,
and the uncertainty of their eternal salvation, have made the saints
tremble. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzia trembled in her sickness, through
the fear of judgment; and to her confessor, when he endeavoured to give
her courage, she said: "Ah! father, it is a terrible thing to appear
before Christ in judgment." After spending so many years in penance in
the desert, St. Agatho trembled at the hour of death, and said: ”What
shall become of me when I shall be judged ?" The venerable Father Louis
da Ponte was seized with such a fit of trembling at the thought of the
account which he should render to God, that he shook the room in which
he lay. The thought of judgment inspired the venerable Juvenal Ancina,
Priest of the Oratory, and afterwards Bishop of Saluzzo, with the
determination to leave the world. Hearing the Dies Iræ sung, and
considering the terror of the soul when presented before Jesus Christ,
the Judge, he took, and afterwards executed, the resolution of giving
himself entirely to God.
2. It is the common opinion of theologians, that at the very
moment and in the very place in which the soul departs from the body,
the divine tribunal is erected, the accusation is read, and the sentence
is passed by Jesus Christ, the Judge. At this terrible tribunal each of
us shall be presented to give an account of all our thoughts, of all
our words, and of all our actions. "For we must all be manifested before
the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper
things of the body, according as he hath done, whether it be good or
evil." ( 2 Cor. v. 10.) When presented before an earthly judge criminals
have been seen to fall into a cold sweat through fear. It is
related of Piso, that so great and insufferable was the confusion, which
he felt at the thought of appearing as a criminal before the senate
that he killed himself. How great is the pain of a vassal, or of a son,
in appearing before an angry prince or an enraged father, to account for
some crime which he has committed! Oh! how much greater shall
be the pain and confusion of the soul in standing, before Jesus Christ
enraged against her for having despised him during her life! Speaking of
judgment, St. Luke says: "Then you shall see the Son of Man." (Luke
xxi. 27.) They shall see Jesus Christ as man, with the same wounds with
which he ascended into heaven. "Great joy of the beholders!" says Robert
the Abbot, "a great terror of those who are in expectation!" These
wounds shall console the just, and shall terrify the wicked. In them
sinners shall see the Redeemer’s love for themselves, and their
ingratitude to him.
3. "Who," says the Prophet Nahum, "can stand before
the face of his indignation ?" (i. 6.) How great, then, shall be the
terror of a soul that finds herself in sin before this Judge, the first
time she shall see him, and see him full of wrath! St. Basil says that
she shall be tortured more by her shame and confusion than by the very
fire of hell. ”Horridior quam ignis, erit pudor." Philip the
Second rebuked one of his domestics for having told him a lie. ”Is it
thus," said the king to him, ”you deceive me?" The domestic, after
having returned home, died of grief. The Scripture tells us, that when
Joseph reproved his brethren, saying: ”I am Joseph, whom you sold," they
were unable to answer through fear, and remained silent. ”His brethren
could not answer him, being struck with exceeding great fear." (Gen.
xlv. 3.) Now what answer shall sinners make to Jesus Christ when he
shall say to them: I am your Redeemer and your Judge, whom you have so
much despised. Where shall the miserable beings fly, says St. Augustine,
when they shall see an angry Judge above, hell open below, on one side
their own sins accusing them, and on the other the devils dragging them
to punishment, and their conscience burning them within? “Above
shall be an enraged Judge below, a horrid chaos on the right, sins
accusing him on the left, demons dragging him to punishment within, a
burning conscience! Whither shall a sinner, beset in this manner, fly
?"Perhaps he will cry for mercy? But how, asks Eusebius Emissenus, can
he dare to implore mercy, when he must first render an account of his
contempt for the mercy which Jesus Christ has shown to him?”With what
face will you, who are to be first judged for contempt of mercy, ask for
mercy?" But let us come to the rendering of the accounts.
Second Point. Terror of the soul when she shall be examined.
4. As soon as the soul
shall be presented before the tribunal of Jesus Christ, he will say to
her: ”Give an account of thy stewardship:" render instantly an account
of thy entire life. The Apostle tells us, that to be worthy of eternal
glory our lives must be found conformable to the life of Jesus Christ.
”For whom he foreknew, he also predestinated to be made conformable to
the image of his son ;...them he also glorified." (Rom. viii. 29, 30.) Hence
St. Peter has said, that in the judgment of Jesus Christ, the just man
who has observed the divine law, has pardoned enemies, has respected the
saints, has practised chastity, meekness, and other virtues, shall
scarcely be saved. ”The just man shall scarcely be saved." The Apostle
adds: "Where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear ?" (1 Pet. iv. 18.)
What shall become of the vindictive and the unchaste, of blasphemers
and slanderers? What shall become of those whose entire life is opposed
to the life of Jesus Christ?
5. In the first place, the Judge shall demand of sinners an account of
all the blessings and graces which he bestowed on them in order to
bring them to salvation, and which they have rendered fruitless. He will
demand an account of the years granted to them that they might serve
God, and which they have spent in offending him. "He hath called against
me the time." (Lam. i. 15.) He will then demand an account of their
sins. Sinners commit sins, and afterwards forget them; but Jesus Christ
does not forget them: he keeps, as Job says, all our iniquities
numbered, as it were in a bag. “Thou hast sealed up my iniquities, as it
were in a bag." (Job xiv. 17.) And he tells us that, on the day of
accounts, he will take a lamp to scrutinize all the actions of our life.
”And it shall come to pass at that time, that I will search Jerusalem
with lamps." (Soph. i. 12.) The lamp, says Mendoza on this passage,
penetrates all the corners of the house that is, God will discover all
the defects of our conscience, great and small. According to St. Anselm,
an account shall be demanded of every glance of the eyes. ”Exigitur
usque ad ictum oculi." And, according to St. Matthew, of every idle
word. ”Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an
account for it on the day of judgment." (Matt. xii. 36.)
6. The Prophet Malachy says, that as gold
is refined by taking away the dross, so on the day of judgment all our
actions shall be examined, and every defect which may be discovered
shall be punished. ”He shall purify the sons of Levi, and shall refine
them as gold." (Mal. iii. 3.) Even our justices that is, our good works,
confessions, communions, and prayers shall be examined. "When I shall
take a time, I will judge justices." (Ps. Ixxiv. 3.) But if
every glance, every idle word, and even good works, shall be judged,
with what rigour shall immodest expressions, blasphemies, grievous
detractions, thefts, and sacrileges be judged? Alas! on that day every
soul shall, as St. Jerome says, see, to her own confusion, all the evils
which she has done. ”Videbit unusquisque quod fecit."
7. ”Weight and balance are judgments of the Lord.
”(Prov. xvi. 11.) In the balance of the Lord a holy life and good works
make the scale descend; but nobility, wealth, and science have no
weight. Hence, if found innocent, the peasant, the poor, and the
ignorant shall be rewarded. But the man of rank, of wealth, or of
learning, if found guilty, shall be condemned. "Thou art weighed in the
balance," said Daniel to Belthassar, ”and art found wanting." (Dan. v.
27.)”Neither his gold nor his wealth," says Father Alvares, ”but the
king alone was weighed."
8. At the divine tribunal
the poor sinner shall see himself accused by the devil, who, according
to St. Augustine, ”will recite the words of our profession, and will
charge us before our face with all that we have done, will state the day
and hour in which we sinned." (Con. Jud., tom. 6.)”He will recite the
words of our profession" that is, he will enumerate the promises which
we have made to God, and which we afterwards violated. ”He will charge
us before our face ;" he will upbraid us with all our wicked deeds,
pointing to the day and hour in which they were committed. And he will,
as the same saint says, conclude his accusation by saying: "I have
suffered neither stripes nor scourges for this man." Lord, I have
suffered nothing for this ungrateful sinner, and to make himself my
slave he has turned his back on thee who has endured so much for his
salvation. He, therefore, justly belongs to me. Even his angel-guardian
will, according to Origen, come forward to accuse him, and will say: "I
have laboured so many years for his salvation; but he has despised all
my admonitions." "Unusquisque angelorum perhibet testimonium, quot annis
circa eum laboraverit, sed ille monita sprevit." (Hom. lxvi.) Thus,
even friends shall treat with contempt the guilty soul. ”All her friends
have despised her." (Lamen. i. 2.) Her very sins shall, says St.
Bernard, accuse her. “And they shall say: You have made us; we are your
work; we shall not desert you." (Lib. Medit, cap. ii.) We are your
offspring; we shall not leave you: we shall be your companions in hell
for all eternity.
9. Let us now examine the excuses which the sinner will be
able to advance. He will say, that the evil inclinations of nature had
drawn him into sin. But he shall be told that, if concupiscence impelled
him to sins, it did not oblige him to commit them; and that, if he had
recourse to God, he should have received from him grace to resist every
temptation. For this purpose Jesus Christ has left us the sacraments:
but when we do not make use of them, we can complain only of ourselves.
"But, ” says the Redeemer, “now they have no excuse for their sin."
(John xv. 22.) To excuse himself, the sinner shall also say that the
devil tempted him to sin. But, as St. Augustine says, "The enemy is
bound like a dog in chains, and can bite only him who has united himself
to him with a deadly security." The devil can bark, but cannot bite
unless you adhere and listen to him. Hence the saint adds: ”See how
foolish is the man whom a dog, loaded with chains, bites." Perhaps he
will advance his bad habits as an excuse; but this shall not stand; for
the same St. Augustine says, that though it is difficult to resist the
force of an evil habit, ”if any one does not desert himself, he will
conquer it with the divine assistance." If a man does not abandon
himself to sin, and invokes God’s aid, he will overcome evil habits. The
Apostle tells us, that the Lord does not permit us to be tempted above
our strength. ”God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted
above that which you are able." ( I Cor. x. 13.)
10. ”For what shall I do," said Job, ”when God
shall rise to judge me? and when he shall examine, what shall I answer
him” (Job xxxi. 14.) What answer shall the sinner give to Jesus Christ?
How can he, who sees himself so clearly convicted, give an answer? He
shall be covered with confusion, and shall remain silent, like the man
found without the nuptial garment. ”But he was silent." (Matt. xxii.
12.) His very sins shall shut the sinner’s mouth. "And all iniquity
shall stop her mouth." (Ps. cvi. 42.) There,, says St. Thomas of
Villanova, there shall be no intercessor to whom the sinner can have
recourse. ”There, there is no opportunity of sinning; there, no
intercessor, no friend, no father shall assist." Who shall then save
you? Is it God? But how, asks St. Basil, can you expect salvation from
him whom you have despised?”Who shall deliver you? Is it God, whom you
have insulted ?" (S. Bas., Or. 4, de Fen.) Alas! the guilty soul that
leaves this world in sin, is condemned by herself before the Judge
pronounces sentence. Let us come to the sentence of the Judge.
Third Point. Terror of the soul when she shall be condemned.
11. How great shall be the joy of a soul when, at death, she hears
from Jesus Christ these sweet words: ”Well done, good and faithful
servant; because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place
thee over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (Matt.
xxv. 21.) Equally great shall be the anguish and despair of a guilty
soul, that shall see herself driven away by the Judge with the following
words: ”Depart from me, you cursed, into everlasting fire" (verse 41).
Oh! what a terrible thunderclap shall that sentence be to her!”Oh! how
frightfully," says the Carthusian, "shall that thunder resound!"
Eusebius writes, that the terror of sinners at hearing their
condemnation shall be so great that, if they could, they would die
again. “The wicked shall be seized with such terror at the sight of the
Judge pronouncing sentence that, if they were not immortal, they should
die a second time." But, brethren, let us, before the termination of
this sermon, make some reflections which will be profitable to us. St.
Thomas of Villanova says, that some listen to discourses on the judgment
and condemnation of the wicked with as little concern as if they they
themselves were secure against these things, or as if the day of
judgment were never to arrive for them. "Heu quam securi hæc dicimus et
audimus, quasi nos non tangeret hæc sententia, aut quasi dies hæc
nunquam esset venturus!" (Conc, i., de Jud.) The saint then asks: Is it
not great folly to entertain security in so perilous an affair? "Quæ est
ista stulta securitas in discrimine tanto?" There are some, says St.
Augustine, who, though they live in sin, cannot imagine that God will
send them to hell. ”Will God," they say, ”really condemn us ?" Brethren,
adds the saint, do not speak thus. So, many of the damned did not
believe that they should be sent to hell; but the end came, and,
according to the threat of Ezechiel, they have been cast into that place
of darkness. "The end is come, the end is come... and I will send my
wrath upon thee, and I will judge thee." (Ezec. vii. 2, 3.) Sinners,
perhaps vengeance is at hand for you, and still you laugh and sleep in
sin. Who will not tremble at the words of the Baptist: ”For now the axe
is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree, therefore, that doth not
yield good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire." (Matt, iii.
10.) He says, that every tree that does not bring forth good fruit shall
be cut down and cast into the fire; and he promises that, with regard
to the trees, which represent sinners, the axe is already laid to the
roots that is, chastisement is at hand. Dearly beloved brethren, let us
follow the counsel of the Holy Ghost "Before judgment, prepare thee
justice." (Eccl. xviii. 19.) Let us adjust our accounts before
the day of accounts. Let us seek God, now that we can find him; for the
time shall come when we will wish, but shall not be able to find him.
”You shall seek me, and shall not find me." (John vii. 36.)”Before
judgment," says St. Augustine, ”the Judge can be appeased, but not in
judgment." By a change of life we can now appease the anger of Jesus
Christ, and recover his grace; but when he shall judge, and find us in
sin, he must execute justice, and we shall be lost. (Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year by St Alphonsus Liguori in .pdf format; a sermon on the death of the sinner is appended at the end of this article.)
These points can never be made enough, which is why I continue with this work despite the paucity of financial resources. Given the never-ending cascade of error that issues forth from the mouth of the conciliar revolutionaries, it is important to repeat basic themes time and time again, something that Saint Anthony Mary Claret did when preaching parish missions in Cuba:
On the first day it was necessary to treat of the principal end of the function. On the second day I usually began to treat of some doctrinal subject, and this I did all the rest of the days. On the third day I reviewed briefly what I had preached about on the previous day, saying, for example, "Yesterday I explained this and that other point to you. . ." In this way I reviewed the principal points of my former sermons. Three reasons induced me to do this. Firstly, when people hear the same thing said again, no matter how briefly, they are more vividly impressed by its truth, for as St. Alphonsus de Liguori says, simple people have heads hard as wood, and in order to make them remember and understand anything well, one has to hammer it in by repetition. (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, The Autobiography of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1985, p. 83.)
With this in mind, therefore, let me repeat some words of wisdom from Saint Anthony Mary Claret concerning the necessity of opposing and denouncing the conciliar revolutionaries and their hideous attacks upon Our Lord's Sacred Deposit of Faith:
The sole reason why society
is perishing is because it has refused to hear the word of the Church,
which is the word of life, the word of God. All plans for salvation will be sterile if the great word of the Catholic Church is not restored in all its fullness.
The right to preach and instruct the people which
the Church ha received from God Himself in the persons of the Apostles,
has been usurped by a crowd of prattling newspapermen and ignorant
babblers. The ministry of the world of God, which is the most elevated
and important of all--because by it the earth has been conquered--has
turned from a ministry of salvation to an abominable ministry of ruin.
As nothing or nobody could check the triumph of the word of God in the
time of the Apostles, so also will no one or nothing be able to repress
the ravages of false preaching and doctrines unless by opposing them
with the preaching of priests and by the distribution of abundant good
books and other holy and profitable works.
"O my God, I give Thee my word that I will labor,
preach, write and circulate good books and pamphlets in abundance, so as
to exterminate evil by good." (Saint Anthony Mary Claret, The Autobiography of Saint Anthony Mary Claret, republished by TAN Books and Publishers, 1985, p. 8.)
Saint Felix of Valois, whose feast we commemorate
today, was a co-founder, along with Saint John Matha, of the Order of
the Holy Trinity for the Redemption of Captives, also known as the
Trinitarian Fathers. We need the intercession of Saint Felix, who was so
devoted to the Mother of God, to help ransom our Catholic dioceses and
parishes and schools and the Vatican itself from their captivity at the
hands of the conciliar revolutionaries who have mocked God in matters of
doctrine and the liturgy. Saint Felix of Valois will help us to remain
steadfast in the midst of the storms that surround the Church Militant
at this time. He will help us to grow in our love for the Mother God as
we give unto her Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart many prayers, especially
by means of her Most Holy Rosary, and sacrifices and mortifications and
penances to be given by her to the Most Holy Trinity.
The Immaculate Heart of Mary will indeed triumph in
the end. We must persevere with confidence each day of our lives as we
attempt to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world as
we beg Our Lady that our hearts will be always in unison with her
Immaculate Heart and the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Felix of Valois, pray for us.
Saint Thomas Aquinas on the Fires of Purgatory
Article 1. Whether the pains of Purgatory surpass all the temporal pains of this life?
Objection 1. It would seem that the pains of Purgatory do not surpass all the temporal pains of this life. Because the more
passive a thing is the more it suffers if it has the sense of being
hurt. Now the body is more passive than the separate soul, both because it has contrariety to a fiery agent, and because it has matter which is susceptive of the agent's quality: and this cannot be said of the soul. Therefore the pain which the body suffers in this world is greater than the pain whereby the soul is cleansed after this life.
Objection 2. Further, the pains of Purgatory are directly ordained against venial sins. Now since venial sins are the least grievous, the lightest punishment is due to them, if the
measure of the stripes is according to the measure of the fault.
Therefore the pain of Purgatory is the lightest of all.
Objection 3. Further, since the debt of punishment is an effect of sin, it does not increase unless the sin increases. Now sin cannot increase in one whose sin is already remitted. Therefore if a mortal sin has been remitted in a man who has not fully paid the debt of
punishment, this debt does not increase when he dies. But while he lived
he was not in debt to the extent of the most grievous punishment.
Therefore the pain that he will suffer after this life will not be more
grievous to him than all other pains of this life.
On the contrary, Augustine says in a sermon (xli De Sanctis): "This fire of Purgatory will be more severe than any pain that can be felt, seen or conceived in this world."
Further, the more universal a pain is the greater it is. Now the whole separate soul is punished, since it is simple: which is not the case with the body. Therefore this, being the punishment of the separate soul, is greater than any pain suffered by the body.
I answer that, In Purgatory there will be a twofold pain; one will be the pain of loss, namely the delay of the divine vision, and the pain of sense, namely punishment by corporeal fire. With regard to both the least pain of Purgatory surpasses the greatest pain of this life. For the more a thing is desired the more painful is its absence. And since after this life the holy souls desire the Sovereign Good with the most intense longing--both because
their longing is not held back by the weight of the body, and because,
had there been no obstacle, they would already have gained the goal of
enjoying the Sovereign Good--it follows that they grieve exceedingly for
their delay. Again, since pain is not hurt, but the sense of hurt, the
more sensitive a thing is, the greater the pain caused by that which hurts it: wherefore hurts inflicted on the more sensible parts cause the greatest pain. And, because all bodily sensation is from the soul, it follows of necessity that the soul feels the greatest pain when a hurt is inflicted on the soul itself. That the soul suffers pain from the bodily fire is at present taken for granted, for
we shall treat of this matter further on [Cf. Supplement, 70, 3].
Therefore it follows that the pain of Purgatory, both of loss and of sense, surpasses all the pains of this life.
Some, however, prove this from the fact that the whole soul is punished, and not the body. But this is to no purpose, since in that
case the punishment of the damned would be milder after the resurrection than before, which is false.
Reply to Objection 1. Although the soul is less passive than the body, it is more cognizant of actual suffering
[passionis]: and where the sense of suffering is greater, there is the
greater pain, though the suffering be less.
Reply to Objection 2. The severity of that punishment is not so much a consequence of the degree of sin, as of the disposition of the person punished, because the same sin is more severely punished then than now. Even so a person who has a better temperament is punished more severely by the same sentence than another; and yet the judge acts justly in condemning both for the same crimes to the same punishment.
This suffices for the Reply to the Third Objection.
Article 2. Whether this punishment is voluntary?
Objection 1. It would seem that this punishment is voluntary. For those who are in Purgatory are upright in heart. Now uprightness in heart is to conform one's will to God's, as Augustine says (Serm. i in Ps. 32). Therefore, since it is God's will that they be punished, they will suffer that punishment voluntarily.
Objection 2. Further, every wise man wills that without which he cannot obtain the end he has in view. Now those who are in Purgatory know that they cannot obtain glory, unless they be punished first. Therefore they are punished willingly.
On the contrary, No one asks to be freed from a punishment that he suffers willingly. Now those who are in Purgatory ask to be set free, as appears from many incidents related in the Dialogue of Gregory (iv, 40,65). Therefore they will not undergo that punishment voluntarily.
I answer that, A thing is said to be voluntary in two ways. First, by an absolute act of the will; and thus no punishment is voluntary, because the very notion of punishment is that it be contrary to the will. Secondly, a thing is said to be voluntary by a conditional act of the will: thus cautery is voluntary for the sake of regaining health. Hence a punishment may be voluntary in two ways. First, because by being punished we obtain some good, and thus the will itself undertakes a punishment, as instanced in satisfaction, or when a
man accepts a punishment gladly, and would not have it not to be, as in
the case of martyrdom. Secondly, when, although we gain no good by the punishment, we cannot obtain a good without being punished, as in the case of natural death: and then the will does not undertake the punishment, and would be delivered from it; but
it submits to it, and in this respect the punishment is said to be voluntary. In this latter sense the punishment of Purgatory is said to be voluntary.
Some, however, say that it is not voluntary in any way, because the souls in Purgatory are so replete with suffering, that they know not that they are being cleansed by their pains, and deem themselves damned. But this is false, for did they not know that they will be set free, they would not ask for prayers, as they often do.
This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
Article 3. Whether the souls in Purgatory are punished by the demons?
Objection 1. It would seem that the souls in Purgatory are punished by the demons; for, according to the Master, "they will have for torturers in their pains, those who were their tempters in sin." Now the demons tempt us to sin, not only mortal, but also venial when they fail in the former. Therefore in Purgatory also they will torture souls on account of venial sins.
Objection 2. Further, the just are competent to be cleansed from sin both in this life and afterwards. Now, in this life, they are cleansed by pains inflicted by the devil, as was the case with Job. Therefore after this life also, those who have to be cleansed will be punished by the demons.
On the contrary, It were unjust that he who has triumphed over someone, should be subjected to him after victory. Now those who are in Purgatory have triumphed over the demons, since they died without mortal sin. Therefore they will not be subjected to them through being punished by them.
I answer that, As after the Judgment day the Divine justice will kindle the fire with which the damned will be punished for ever, even so now the elect are cleansed after this life by the Divine justice alone, and neither by the ministry of the demons whom they have vanquished, nor by the ministry of the angels who would not inflict such tortures on their fellow-citizens. It is,
however, possible that they take them to the place of punishment: also
that even the demons, who rejoice in the punishment of man,
accompany them and stand by while they are being cleansed, both that
they may be sated with their pains, and that when these leave their
bodies, they may find something of their own in them. But in this life,
while there is yet time for the combat, men are punished both by the wicked angels as foes, as instanced in Job, and by the good angels, as instanced in Jacob, the sinew of whose thigh shrank at the angel's touch [Genesis 32:25]. Moreover, Dionysius says explicitly that the good angels sometimes inflict punishment.
This suffices for the Replies to the Objections.
Article 4. Whether venial sin is expiated by the pains of Purgatory as regards the guilt?
Objection 1. It would seem that venial sin is not expiated by the pains of Purgatory as regards the guilt. For a gloss [St. Gregory, Moral. xvi, 28] on 1 John 5:16, "There is a sin unto death," etc. says: "It is vain to ask pardon after death for what was not amended in this life." Therefore no sin is remitted as to guilt after this life.
Objection 2. Further, the same subject is freed from sin as falls into sin. But after death the soul cannot sin venially. Therefore neither can it be loosed from venial sin.
Objection 3. Further, Gregory says [Dial. iv, 39] that every man will be at the judgment as he was when he left the body, because "the
tree . . . wheresoever it shall fall, there shall it be" [Ecclesiastes 11:3]. If, then, a man go forth from this life with venial sin, he will be with venial sin at the judgment: and consequently one does not atone for venial sin in Purgatory.
Objection 4. Further, it has been stated (Supplement, 2, 3) that actual sin is not blotted out save by contrition. But there will be no contrition after this life, because it is a meritorious act. For then there will be neither merit nor demerit since, according to the Damascene [De Fide Orth. ii, 4], "death is to men what the fall was to the angels." Therefore, after this life, venial sin is not remitted in Purgatory as to its guilt.
Objection 5. Further, venial sin is not in us except on account of the fomes. Wherefore in the original state Adam would not have sinned venially, as was stated (Sent. ii, D, xxi, 2). Now after this life
there will be no sensuality; because the fomes will cease when the soul is separated, since it is called the "law of the flesh" (Romans 7). Hence there will be no venial sin then, and consequently it cannot be expiated by the fire of Purgatory.
On the contrary, Gregory [Dial. iv, 39] and Augustine [De vera et falsa poenit. iv, xviii, by some other author] say that certain slight sins will be remitted in the life to come. Nor can this be understood of the punishment: because thus all sins, however grave they be, are expiated by the fire of Purgatory, as regards the debt of punishment. Therefore venial sins are cleansed by the fire of Purgatory as to their guilt.
Further, wood, hay, stubble (1 Corinthians 3:12) denote venial sins, as we have said (I-II, 89, 2). Now wood, hay, stubble are consumed in Purgatory. Therefore venial sins are remitted after this life.
I answer that, Some have asserted that no sin is remitted after this life, as regards the guilt: that if a man die with mortal sin, he is damned and incapable of being forgiven; and that it is not possible for a man to die with a venial sin and without mortal sin, since the final grace washes the venial sin away. They assign as reason for this that venial sin is excessive love of a temporal thing, in one who has his foundation in Christ, which excess results from the corruption of concupiscence. Wherefore if grace entirely overcome the corruption of concupiscence, as in the Blessed Virgin, there is no room for venial sin. Hence, since this concupiscence is altogether abated and removed, the powers of the soul are wholly subject to grace, and venial sin is cast out. But this opinion is nonsensical in itself and in its proof. In itself, because it is opposed to the statements of holy men and of the Gospel, which cannot be expounded as referring to the remission of venial sins as to their punishment, as the Master says in the text [Sentent. iv, D, xxi] because in this way both light and grave sins are remitted in the life to come: while Gregory [Dial. iv, 39] declares that light sins alone are remitted after this life. Nor does it suffice for them to say, that this is said expressly of light sins, lest we should think that we shall suffer nothing grievous on their account: because the remission of sin diminishes punishment rather than aggravates it. As to the proof,
it is shown to be worthless, since bodily defect, such as obtains at
the last moment of life, does not remove the corruption of concupiscence;
nor does it diminish it in its root but in its act, as instanced in
those who lie dangerously ill; nor again does it calm the powers of the soul, so as to subject them to grace, because tranquillity of the powers, and their subjection to grace, is effected when the lower powers obey the higher which delight together in God's law.
But this cannot happen in that state, since the acts of both kinds of
powers are impeded; unless tranquillity denote the absence of combat, as
occurs even in those who are asleep; and yet sleep is not said, for
this reason, to diminish concupiscence, or to calm the powers of the soul, or to subject them to grace. Moreover, granted that the aforesaid defect diminish concupiscence radically, and that it subject the powers to grace, it would still be insufficient to wash away venial sin already committed, although it would suffice in order to avoid it in the future. Because actual sin, even if it be venial, is not remitted without an actual movement of contrition, as stated above (Supplement, 2, 3), however much the latter be in the habitual intention. Now it happens sometimes that a man dies in his sleep, being in a state of grace and yet having a venial sin when he went to sleep: and such a man cannot make an act of contrition for his venial sin before he dies. Nor may we say, as they do, that if he repented neither by act nor by intention, neither in general nor in particular, his venial sin becomes mortal, for that "venial becomes mortal when it is an object of complacency"; because not all complacency in venial sin makes it mortal (else all venial sin would be mortal, since every venial sin pleases for as much as it is voluntary), but only that complacency which amounts to enjoyment, wherein all human wickedness consists, in that "we enjoy what we should use," as Augustine says [De Trin. x, 10]. Hence the complacency which makes a sin mortal is actual complacency, for every mortal sin consists in an act. Now it may happen that a man, after committing a venial sin, has no actual thought of being forgiven or of remaining in that sin,
but thinks perhaps about a triangle having its three angles equal to
two right angles, and while engaged in this thought falls asleep, and
It is therefore clear that this opinion is utterly unreasonable: and consequently we must say with others that venial sin in one who dies in a state of grace, is remitted after this life by the fire of Purgatory: because this punishment so far as it is voluntary, will have the power, by virtue of grace, to expiate all such guilt as is compatible with grace. St. Thomas expresses himself differently, De Malo, 7, 2, ad 9,17: "Guilt is not remitted by punishment, but venial sin as to its guilt is remitted in Purgatory by virtue of grace, not only as existing in the habit, but also as proceeding to the act of charity in detestation of venial sin."
Reply to Objection 1. The gloss refers to mortal sin. Or it may be replied that although, in this life, it is not amended in itself, it is amended in merits, because a man merited here that his punishment should be meritorious to him there.
Reply to Objection 2. Venial sin arises from the corruption of the fomes, which will no longer be in the separate soul that is in Purgatory, wherefore this soul cannot sin venially. On the other hand, the remission of venial sin proceeds from the will informed by grace, which will be in the separate soul in Purgatory. Hence the comparison fails.
Reply to Objection 3. Venial sins do not alter a man's state, for they neither destroy nor diminish charity, according to which the amount of the soul's gratuitous goodness is measured. Hence the soul remains such as it was before, notwithstanding the remission or commission of venial sins.
Reply to Objection 4. After this life there can be no merit in respect of the essential reward, but there can be in respect of some accidental reward, so long as man remains in the state of the way, in a sense. Consequently in Purgatory there can be a meritorious act in respect of the remission of venial sin.
Reply to Objection 5. Although venial sin arises from the proneness of the fomes, sin results in the mind; wherefore even when the fomes is no more, sin can still remain.
Article 5. Whether the fire of Purgatory delivers from the debt of punishment?
Objection 1. It would seem that the fire of Purgatory does not deliver from the debt of punishment. For every cleansing is in
respect of some uncleanness. But punishment does not imply uncleanness.
Therefore the fire of Purgatory does not deliver from punishment.
Objection 2. Further, a contrary is not cleansed save
by its contrary. But punishment is not contrary to punishment.
Therefore one is not cleansed from the debt of punishment by the
punishment of Purgatory.
Objection 3. Further, a gloss on 1 Corinthians 3:15, "He shall be saved, yet so," etc. says: "This fire is the trial of tribulation of which it is written (Sirach 27:6): The furnace tries the potter's vessels," etc. Therefore man expiates every punishment by the pains of this world, at least by
death, which is the greatest punishment of all, and not by the fire of Purgatory.
On the contrary, The pains of Purgatory are more grievous than all the pains of this world, as stated above (Article 3). Now the satisfactory punishment which one undergoes in this life atones for the debt of punishment. Much more therefore is this effected by the punishment of Purgatory.
I answer that, Whosoever is another's debtor, is freed from his indebtedness by paying the debt. And, since the obligation incurred by guilt is nothing else than the debt of punishment, a person is freed from that obligation by undergoing the punishment which he owed. Accordingly the punishment of Purgatory cleanses from the debt of punishment.
Reply to Objection 1. Although the debt of punishment does not in itself imply uncleanness, it bears a relation to uncleanness by reason of its cause.
Reply to Objection 2. Although punishment is not contrary to punishment, it is opposed to the debt of punishment, because the obligation to punishment remains from the fact that one has not undergone the punishment that was due.
Reply to Objection 3. Many meanings underlie the same words of Holy Writ. Hence this fire may denote both the present tribulation and the punishment to come, and venial sins can be cleansed from both of these. That natural death is not sufficient for this, has been stated above (Sent. iv, D, 20).
Article 6. Whether one person is delivered from this punishment sooner than another?
Objection 1. It would seem that one person is not delivered from this punishment sooner than another. For the more grievous the sin, and the greater the debt, the more severely is it punished in Purgatory.
Now there is the same proportion between severer punishment and graver
fault, as between lighter punishment and less grievous fault. Therefore
one is delivered from this punishment as soon as another.
Objection 2. Further, in point of duration unequal merits receive equal retribution both in heaven and in hell. Therefore seemingly it is the same in Purgatory.
On the contrary, is the comparison of the Apostle, who denotes the differences of venial sins by wood, hay, and stubble. Now it is clear that wood remains longer in the fire than hay and stubble. Therefore one venial sin is punished longer in Purgatory than another.
I answer that, Some venial sins cling more persistently than others, according as the affections are
more inclined to them, and more firmly fixed in them. And since that
which clings more persistently is more slowly cleansed, it follows that
some are tormented in Purgatory longer than others, for as much as their affections were steeped in venial sins.
Reply to Objection 1. Severity of punishment
corresponds properly speaking to the amount of guilt: whereas the length
corresponds to the firmness with which sin has taken root in its subject. Hence it may happen that one may be delayed longer who is tormented less, and "vice versa."
Reply to Objection 2. Mortal sin which deserves the punishment of hell, and charity which deserves the reward of heaven, will, after this life, be
immovably rooted in their subject. Hence as to all there is the same
duration in either case. It is otherwise with venial sin which is punished in Purgatory, as stated above (Article 6).
Saint Alphonsus de Liguori on the Death of Sinners
SERMON XXXVIII. NINTH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST. - ON THE DEATH OF THE SINNER.
"Thy enemies shall cast a trench about thee." LUKE xix. 43.
SEEING from a distance the city of Jerusalem,
in which the Jews were soon to put him to death, Jesus Christ wept over
it. "Videns civitatern flevit super illam." Our merciful Redeemer wept
at the consideration of the chastisement which was soon to be inflicted
on the city, and which he foretold to her inhabitants. ”Thy enemies
shall cast a trench about thee. ” Unhappy city! thou shalt one day see
thyself encompassed by enemies, who shall beat thee flat to the ground,
and thy children in thee, and shall not leave in thee a stone upon a
stone. Most beloved brethren, this unhappy city is a figure of the soul
of a sinner, who, at the hour of death, shall find himself surrounded by
his enemies first, by remorse of conscience; secondly, by the assaults
of the devils; and thirdly, by the fears of eternal death.
First Point. The sinner at death shall be tortured by remorses of conscience.
1. "Their soul shall die in a storm." (Job xxxvi. 14.) The unhappy
sinners who remain in sin die in a tempest, with which God has
beforehand threatened them. ”A tempest shall break out and come upon the
head of the wicked." (Jer. xxiii. 19.) At the commencement of his
illness the sinner is not troubled by remorse or fear; because his
relatives, friends, physicians, and all tell him that his sickness is
not dangerous; thus he is deceived and hopes to recover. But when his
illness increases, and malignant symptoms, the harbingers of approaching
death, begin to appear, then the storm with which the Lord has
threatened the wicked shall commence. "When sudden calamity shall fall
on you, and destruction as a tempest shall be at hand." (Prov. i. 27.)
This tempest shall be formed as well by the pains of sickness as by the
fear of being obliged to depart from this earth, and to leave all
things; but still more by the remorses of conscience, which shall place
before his eyes all the irregularities of his past life. ”They shall
come with fear at the thought of their sins, and their iniquities shall
stand against them to convict them." (Wis. iv. 20.) Then shall his sins
rush upon his mind, and fill him with terror. His iniquities shall stand
against him to convict him, and, without the aid of other testimony,
shall assail him, and prove that he deserves hell.
2. The dying sinner will confess his sins;
but, according to St. Augustine, ”The repentance which is sought from a
sick man is infirm." (Serm, xxxvii., de Temp.) And St. Jerome says, that
of a hundred thousand sinners who continue till death in the state of
sin, scarcely one shall be saved. ”Vix de centum milibus, quorum mala
vita fuit, meretur in morte a Deo indulgentiam, unus." (Epis. de Mort.
Eus.) St. Vincent Ferrer writes, that it is a greater miracle to save
such sinners, than to raise the dead to life. ”Majus miraculum est, quod
male viventes faciant bonum finem, quam suscitare mortuos." (Serm. i.,
de Nativ. Virgin.) They shall feel convinced of the evil they have done;
they will wish, but shall not be able, to detest it. Antiochus
understood the malice of his sins when he said: ”Now I remember the
evils that I have done in Jerusalem." (1 Mach. vi. 12.) He remembered
his sins, but did not detest them. He died in despair and oppressed with
great sadness, saying: "Behold, I perish with great grief in a strange
land" (v. 13). According to St. Fulgentius, the same happened to Saul at
the hour of death: he remembered his sins; he dreaded the punishment
which they deserved; but he did not detest them. “Non odit quid fecerat,
sed timuit quod nolebat."
3. Oh! how difficult is it for a sinner, who
has slept many years in sin, to repent sincerely at the hour of death,
when his mind is darkened, and his heart hardened!”His heart shall be as
hard as a stone, and as firm as a smiths anvil." (Job xli. 15.) During
life, instead of yielding to the graces and calls of God, he became more
obdurate, as the anvil is hardened by repeated strokes of the hammer.
”A hard heart shall fare evil at the last." (Eccl. iii. 27.) By loving
sin till death, he has loved the danger of his damnation, and therefore
God will justly permit him to perish in the danger in which he wished to
live till death.
4. St. Augustine
says, that he who is abandoned by sin before he abandons it, will
scarcely detest it as he ought at the hour of death; for he will then
detest it, not through a hatred of sin, but through necessity. ”Qui
prius a peccato relinquitur, quam ipse relinquat, non libere, sed quasi
ex necessitate condemnat." But how shall he be able to hate from his
heart the sins which he has loved till death? He must love the enemy
whom till then he has hated, and he must hate the person whom he has
till that moment loved. Oh! what mountains must he pass! He shall
probably meet with a fate similar to that of a certain person, who kept
in confinement a great number of wild beasts in order to let them loose
on the enemies who might assail him. But the wild beasts, as soon as he
unchained them, instead of attacking his enemies, devoured himself. When
the sinner will wish to drive away his iniquities, they shall cause his
destruction, either by complacency in objects till then loved, or by
despair of pardon at the sight of their numbers and enormity. "Evils
shall catch the unjust man unto destruction." (Ps. cxxxix. 12.) St.
Bernard says, that at death the sinner shall see himself chained and
bound by his sins. ”We are your works; we will not desert you." We will
not leave you; we will accompany you to judgment, and will be your
companions for all eternity in hell.
Second Point. The dying sinner shall be tortured by the assaults of the devils.
5. ”The devil is come down unto you, having
great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time." (Apoc. xii. 12.) At
death the devil exerts all his powers to secure the soul that is about
to leave this world; for he knows, from the symptoms of the disease,
that he has but little time to gain her for eternity. The Council of
Trent teaches that Jesus Christ has left us the sacrament of Extreme
Unction as a most powerful defence against the temptations of the devil
at the hour of death. “Extremæ Unctionis sacramento finem vitæ tanquam
firmissimo quodam præsidio munivit." And the holy council adds, that
there is no time in which the enemy combats against us with so much
violence in order to effect our damnation, and to make us despair of the
divine mercy, as at the end of life. ”N ullum tempus est, quo
vehementius ille omnes suæ versutiæ nervos intendat at perendos, nos
penitus, et a fiducia, etiam, si possit, divinæ misericordiæ
deturbandos, quam cum impendere nobis exitum vitæ perspicet." (Sess. 14,
cap. ix. Doctr. de Sacr. Extr. Unct.)
6. Oh! how terrible are the assaults and
snares of the devil against the souls of dying persons, even though they
have led a holy life! After his recovery from a most severe illness,
the holy king Eleazar said, that the temptations by which the devil
assails men at death, can be conceived only by him who has felt them. We
read in the life of St. Andrew Avelliuo, that in his agony he had so
fierce a combat with hell, that all the religious present were seized
with trembling. They perceived that, in consequence of the agitation,
his face swelled, and became black, all his members trembled, and a
flood of tears gushed from his eyes. All began to weep through
compassion, and were rilled with terror at the sight of a saint dying in
such a manner. But they were afterwards consoled, when they saw that as
soon as an image of most holy Mary was held before him, he became
perfectly calm, and breathed forth his blessed soul with great joy.
7. Now, if this happens to the saints, what
shall become of poor sinners, who have lived in sin till death? At that
awful moment the devil does not come alone to tempt them in a thousand
ways, in order to bring them to eternal perdition, but he calls
companions to his assistance. "Their house shall be filled with
serpents." (Isa. xiii. 21.) When a Christian is about to leave this
world, his house is filled with devils, who unite together in order to
effect his ruin. "All her persecutors have taken her in the midst of
straits." (Lamen. i. 3.) All his enemies will encompass him in the
straits of death. One shall say: Be not afraid; you shall not die of
this sickness! Another will say: You have been for so many years deaf to
the calls of God, and can you now expect that he will save you? Another
will ask: How can you repair the frauds of your past life, and the
injuries you have done to your neighbour in his property and character?
Another shall ask: What hope can there be for you? Do you not see that
all your confessions have been null that they have been made without
true sorrow, and without a firm purpose of amendment? How can you repair
them with this heart, which you feel so hard? Do you not see that you
are lost? And in the midst of these straits and attacks of despair, the
dying sinner, full of agitation and confusion, must pass into eternity.
”The people shall be troubled and they shall pass." (Job xxxiv 20.)
Third Point. The dying sinner shall be tortured by the fears of eternal death.
8. Miserable the sick man who takes to his bed in the state of mortal
sin! He that lives in sin till death shall die in sin. "You shall die in
your sin." (John viii. 21.) It is true that, in whatsoever hour the
sinner is converted, God promises to pardon him; but to no sinner has
God promised the grace of conversion at the hour of death. ”Seek the
Lord while he may be found." (Isa. iv. 6.) Then, there is for some
sinners a time when they shall seek God and shall not find him. “You
shall seek me, and shall not find me." (John vii. 34.) The unhappy
beings will go to confession at the hour of death; they will promise and
weep, and ask mercy of God, but without knowing what they do. A man who
sees himself under the feet of a foe pointing a dagger to his throat,
will shed tears, ask pardon, and promise to serve his enemy as a slave
during the remainder of his life. But, will the enemy believe him? No;
he will feel convinced that his words are not sincere that his object is
to escape from his hands, and that, should he be pardoned, he will
become more hostile than ever. In like manner, how can God pardon the
dying sinner, when he sees that all his acts of sorrow, and all his
promises, proceed not from the heart, but from a dread of death and of
9. In the recommendation of the departing
soul, the assisting priest prays to the Lord, saying: ”Recognize, O
Lord, thy creature." But God answers: I know that he is my creature;
but, instead of regarding me as his Creator, he has treated me as an
enemy. The priest continues his prayer, and says: ”Remember not his past
iniquities. ” I would, replies the Lord, pardon all the past sins of
his youth; but he has continued to despise me till this moment the very
hour of his death. ”They have turned their back upon me, and not their
face: and, in the time of affliction, they will say: Arise, and deliver
us. Where are the gods which thou hast made thee? let them rise and
deliver thee." (Jer. ii. 27, 28.) You, says the Lord, have turned your
back upon me till death; "and do you now want me to deliver you from
vengeance? Invoke your own gods the creatures, the riches, the friends
you loved more than you loved me. Call them now to come to your
assistance, and to save you from hell, which is open to receive you. It
now justly belongs to me to take vengeance on the insults you have
offered me. You have despised my threats against obstinate sinners, and
have paid no regard to them. ”Revenge is mine, and I will repay them in
due time, that their foot may slide." (Deut. xxxii. 35.) The time of my
vengeance is now arrived; it is but just to execute it. This is
precisely what happened to a certain person in Madrid, who led a wicked
life, but, at the sight of the unhappy death of a companion, went to
confession, and resolved to enter a strict religious order. But, in
consequence of having neglected to put his resolution into immediate
execution, he relapsed into his former irregularities. Being reduced to
great want, he wandered about the world, and fell sick at Lima. From the
hospital in which he took refuge he sent for a confessor, and promised
again to change his life, and to enter religion. But, having recovered
from his illness, he returned to his wickedness; and, behold! the
vengeance of God fell upon him. One day, his confessor, who was a
missionary, in passing over a mountain, heard a noise, which appeared to
be the howling of a wild beast. He drew near the place from which the
noise proceeded, and saw a dying man, half rotten, and howling through
despair. He addressed to him some words of consolation. The sick man,
opening his eyes, recognized the missionary, and said: Have you, too,
come to he a witness of the justice of God? I am the man who made my
confession in the hospital of Lima. I then promised to change my life,
but have not done so; and now I die in despair. And thus the miserable
man, amid these acts of despair, breathed forth his unhappy soul. These
facts are related by Father Charles Bovio (part iii., example 9).
10. Let us conclude the discourse. Tell me, brethren, were a
person in sin seized with apoplexy, and instantly deprived of his
senses, what sentiments of pity would you feel at seeing him die in this
state; without the sacraments, and without signs of repentance! Is not
he a fool, who, when he has time to be reconciled with God, continues in
sin, or returns to his sins, and thus exposes himself to the danger of
dying suddenly, and of dying in sin? "At what hour you think not," says
Jesus Christ, "the Son of Man will come," (Luke xiii. 40.) An unprovided
death, which has happened to so many, may also happen to each of us.
And it is necessary to understand, that all who lead a bad life, meet
with an unprovided death, though their last illness may allow them some
time to prepare for eternity; for the days of that mortal illness are
days of darkness days of confusion, in which it is difficult, and even
morally impossible, to adjust a conscience burdened with many sins. Tell
me, brethren, if you were now at the point of death, given over by
physicians, and in the last agony, how ardently would you desire another
month, or another week, to settle the accounts you must render to God!
And God gives you this time. He calls you, and warns you of the danger
of damnation to which you are exposed. Give yourself, then, instantly to
God. What do you wait for? Will you wait till he sends you to
hell?”Walk whilst you have light." (John xii. 35.) Avail yourselves of
this time and this light, which God gives you at this moment, and now,
while it is in your power, repent of all your past sins; for, a time
shall come when you will be no longer able to avert the punishment which
[I entreat my
reader to read Sermon xliv., or the Sermon for the Fifteenth Sunday
after Pentecost, on the practical death, or that which practically
happens at the death of men of the world. I know by experience that
though it does not contain Latin texts, whenever I preached that sermon,
it produced a great impression, and left the audience full of terror. A
greater impression is made by practical than by speculative truths.] (Sermons for All the Sundays in the Year by St Alphonsus Liguori in .pdf format.)