St. Gregory on the dread Judgment after death

April 8, 2022 • 2 min

#Death #DoctorsOfTheChurch #FourLastThings #Justice #Meditations #WhatTheSaintsSay

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 84
By Venerable Louis of Granada

If you ask me the cause of this terror with which the Saints are filled, I will let St. Gregory answer for me:

Men aspiring to perfection, (says the holy Doctor,) constantly reflect upon the justice of the Sovereign Judge Who is to pronounce sentence upon them in the dread hour which terminates their earthly career. They unceasingly examine themselves upon the account they are to render before this supreme tribunal. And if happily they find themselves innocent of sinful actions, they still ask with fear whether they are equally free from the guilt of sinful thoughts. For if it be comparatively easy to resist sinful actions, it is more difficult to conquer in the war which we must wage against evil thoughts. And though the fear of God’s judgment is always before them, yet it is redoubled at the hour of death, when they are about to appear before His inflexible tribunal. At this moment the mind is freed from the disturbances of the flesh; earthly desires and delusive dreams fade from the imagination; the things of this world vanish at the portals of another life; and the dying man sees but God and himself. If he recall no good which he has omitted, yet he feels that he cannot trust himself to give a correct and impartial judgment. Hence his fear and terror of the rigorous account to be exacted of him.

Do not these words of the great Doctor prove that this last hour and this supreme tribunal are more to be dreaded than worldly men imagine? If just men tremble at this hour, what must be the terror of those who make no preparation for it, whose lives are spent in the pursuit of vanities and in contempt of God’s commandments? If the cedar of Lebanon be thus shaken, how can the reed of the wilderness stand? “And,” as St. Peter tells us, “if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

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