To think that God is a chastiser Who delights in persecuting us is one of most lamentable diabolic suggestions. This is an error. To make us think that henceforth we have no refuge and to induce us to despair is what leads to final impenitence. It is like the denial itself that God exists because, if God exists, His love is inextinguishable. And even a soul burdened with all imaginable crimes must also have recourse to Him to ask His forgiveness. The only condition is to go humbly repentant. But the infernal serpent, proud, is apt to harden the heart of the human being, precisely to impede its recovery after having made it fall into sin.
Why, then, except to free us from this error, does Jesus invite us and not cease repeating, "Come to Me, all of you?"
To Sister Benigna Consolata He came to say, "I am the divine Rag-picker. Where I see miseries, I rejoice and I never tire of cleansing them."
Truthfully, what does a rag-picker do other than clean the stains and the garbage from the ground? When is a rag-picker used except when the floor is dirty? The good Jesus humiliates Himself to that degree to make us understand that He came to seek His sinful children in order to cleanse them precisely from their filthiness. He wants to leave the earth cleansed of sins! And, at present, by means of this miserable "portavoz," He said some years ago and even now continues repeating, "I go now, begging souls to let themselves be made happy that they may not despise My love."
Will He be able to say to us any expression more faithful than this? Now, not only as a rag-picker but as a beggar, He presents Himself before us and asks that we let ourselves "be made happy."
The happiness of the human being is not in the mirages the world presents him, nor in the satisfaction of morbid pleasures. Happiness is in uniting ourselves to God, Who knows very well what must make us happy and He will give it to us, not only in the other life but also in this one, because true happiness is the peace and joy of a clean conscience because there is no happiness except this. That is why first we must go to God and go with confidence, confiding as much in His mercy as in His justice. Thus we will enter fully on the path of our salvation, synonymous with happiness.
To trust in Divine Justice! Is it not certainly a mystery that surpasses our comprehension? He has said, "If I were not just I would not be merciful." Precisely when, in a purely human sense, we know a person is just, we trust in him. Is that not so? Then, why mistrust, why foolishly fear, Divine Justice?
"My divine essence as a terrible God will always be overcome by acts of love to My Divine Justice in union with My human-divine Heart. In Its role as Victim It does nothing but love and praise that Justice three times holy. Love My Justice and make it loved. Look, not everyone knows how to do anything but fear My Justice after they have offended it. And that fear wounds My Victim Heart. Therefore I want them to know that I am a Victim for the world. I answer for, I pay for, their sins, so the world might only love and no longer fear. If the world would love My Justice it would not sin. When My Justice punishes the sins and faults of men, the wicked do nothing but protest and abhor My Justice. And the good become terrified and try to elude it, to flee from it. Why do they do that? Fools. How much more they would obtain if, praising My Justice, they would lovingly give themselves up to it. When love is given to My Justice, My Heavenly Father exchanges His Justice for love. I want them to love Me in My most Holy Trinity with a similar trusting love. Let them abandon themselves to My Justice as well as to My love, because My Justice will save them."
Well now, let us meditate on those beautiful words that, although they enclose a profound mystery of love, still they are within reach of our comprehension. When a child has offended his father, disobeyed him, etc., when his father admonishes him, if he begs his pardon, respectfully and with filial confidence so he might give him a punishment, but not be angry with him, not deny him his friendship and love, certainly that father will give himself to his son with a greater abundance of paternal love. On the other hand, if the son, after offending his father, having incurred disobedience to his orders, flees from his presence, will not such a one grieve the heart of his father? And if, when brought by the father to punishment or admonishment, the son alleges that he is too rigorous with him and rebels, would not the son make himself more deserving of punishment? And the father might even cool in his love for that ungrateful, arrogant and rebellious one. Thus, this is the reasoning God our Lord has just given us on exhorting us and explaining to us that we must trust in His Justice as well as in His love. Why? Because He loves us. That is why He calls us to account with every right, because He wants us to correct ourselves so He might not one day find it necessary to abandon us to our whims and disordered appetites. Everyone who loves demands that he be trusted in his love. How much more God, Who is most holy and just?
He, on punishing us, will not condemn us, if we humbly confess that we have sinned. His love of Justice is, precisely, to have compassion on our miserable condition, to pity our weakness, weakness that He Himself must heal in us in the measure that we trust in Him and that we leave ourselves in His hands, saying to Him, "Punish us, O Lord. . .but do not punish us as we deserve, rather according to Your Justice that feels pity and compassion for us." That is why He said to us recently, "If I were not just I would not be merciful, because My love and mercy are the testimony of My Justice. I am the unfathomable sea of love and of pardon. I pardon whenever they repent of their faults. And they offend Me again and I pardon them again. I know the force of those passions under which human misery groans."
And when He has given that irrefutable proof of His love for Justice, He adds, "This is My love of Justice. The soul that loves My Justice has found the key to My Heart. With love My Justice is disarmed."
Ah, indeed! Our Lord wants us to learn to trust in Him, immensely, even when we see that He is punishing us. If He punishes us, if we feel at times the lash of a blow from His hand, then we should bless Him and make acts of faith and trust in His love, saying, "Thou art just, O Lord: and thy judgments are just." (Ps. 118, 137) Because in such cases it is because He is the one purifying us in order not to punish us as we deserve. Thus King David sings, saying, "He hath not dealt with us according to our sins: nor rewarded us according to our iniquities." (Ps. 102, 10). This is the same as saying: God seeks us because He does not want us to arrive impenitent on the last day into His presence, because He loves us and He does not want to throw us into Hell, which is the real punishment for sin and for all sinners. That is why He exhorts us to abandon ourselves to His Justice, because His Justice will save us, because it will purify us from all our stains so we may enter His glory where, as we already know, nothing defiled will enter. That is why St. Augustine said, "Here, Lord, burn; here, cut; here. . .and not in eternity."
Let us not then have any fear of Divine Justice. On the contrary, let us have recourse to it, asking it to purify us, to lift us from our abjection in time, now when the Divine Victim is still answering for us.
If Jesus is our bondsman, what have to fear? Only one thing we must fear, and always: sin.
Sixth Meditation:Final Judgment