The severity and rigor of the Final Judgment should make every soul tremble with fear

April 10, 2022 • 4 min

#BibleCommentary #Death #Exhortation #FourLastThings #Meditations

From The Sinner’s Guide, page 87
By Venerable Louis of Granada

THE EIGHTH MOTIVE FOR PRACTISING VIRTUE: THE THOUGHT OF THE LAST JUDGMENT, THE SECOND OF THE FOUR LAST THINGS.

Immediately after death follows the particular judgment, of which we have been treating. But there is a day of general judgment, when, in the words of the Apostle, “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.”

In considering this subject what strikes us as most amazing, and what filled the holy soul of Job with awe, is that a frail creature like man, so prone to evil, should be subjected to such a rigorous judgment on the part of God, by Whose command his every thought, word, and action are inscribed in the book of life.

In his astonishment Job cries out: “Why hidest Thou Thy face, and thinkest me Thy enemy? Against a leaf, that is carried away with the wind, Thou showest Thy power, and Thou pursuest a dry straw. For Thou writest bitter things against me, and wilt consume me for the sins of my youth. Thou hast put my feet in the stocks, and hast observed all my paths, and hast considered the steps of my feet: who am to be consumed as rottenness, and as a garment that is moth-eaten.”

And returning to the same subject, he continues: “Man born of a woman, living for a short time, is filled with many miseries; who cometh forth like a flower and is destroyed, and fleeth as a shadow, and never continueth in the same state. And dost Thou think it meet to open Thy eyes upon such a one, and to bring him into judgment with Thee? 'Who can make him clean that is born of unclean seed? Is it not Thou who only art?“

Thus does holy Job express his astonishment at the severity of the Divine Justice towards frail man, so inclined to evil, who drinks up iniquity like water. That He should have exercised such severity towards the Angels, who are spiritual and perfect beings, is not a matter of so much surprise. But it is truly amazing that not an idle word, not a wasted moment, in man’s life shall escape the rigor of God’s justice.

“But I say unto you that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account of it in the day of judgment.” If we must render an account of idle words which harm no one, how severe will be the account exacted of us for impure words, immodest actions, sinful glances, blood-stained hands, for all the time spent in sinful deeds? We could hardly credit the severity of this judgment, did not God Himself affirm it. Oh! sublime religion, how great are the purity and perfection thou teachest!

What shame, then, and what confusion will overwhelm the sinner when all his impurities, all his excesses, all his iniquities, hidden in the secret recesses of his heart, will be exposed, in all their enormity, to the eyes of the world! Whose conscience is so clear that he does not blush, does not tremble, at this thought?

If men find it so difficult to make known their sins in the secrecy of confession; if many prefer to groan under the weight of their iniquities rather than declare them to God’s minister, how will they bear to see them revealed before the universe? In their shame and confusion “they shall say to the mountains: Cover us; and to the hills: Fall upon us.”

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