IX - CHRISTIAN LIFE

Posted by on 10 November 2016

       HOPE

 1 - We are in hope, we shall be in the reality (pecc. mer. 2, 8, 10)

 2 - Sing and walk (s. 256, 3) - Sing through humility in order to reach eternity (s. 123, 5)

 3 - The perfection of those who walk consists in knowing that they have not yet reached their goal; they know how long they have already walked and how long they still have to walk (s. 306/B, 3)

 4 - With broken legs there is no way to walk (nat. et gr. 49, 57)

 5 - Walk in the light of prophecy, walk in the light of the future realities that have been foretold, walk in the light of the words of God (en. Ps. 142, 15)

 6 - I beseech you: love with me, run with me as believers; let us desire the heavenly fatherland, let us consider ourselves only as pilgrims down here! (Io. ev. tr. 35, 9)

 7 - As long as we dwell in hope, let us not think about what we are, but about what we shall be. In this mental dwelling there are no longer evil people, nor have we to deal with assemblies of falsehood. Not in hope, but in the present visible reality we tolerate them (c. ep. Parm. 2, 14, 32)

 8 - No matter how long you will have progressed, your hope will always be based on mercy. For if justice is used without mercy, it will find in every man a reason to condemn (en. Ps. 147, 12) - God’s mercy shall be like a torrent to irrigate and inebriate those who put their hope under the protection of His wings (en. Ps. 35, 14)

 9 - Men run two opposite risks: they are in danger both from hoping and despairing. Who is deceived by hoping? Those who say: ‘God is good, God is merciful, let me do what I like’. These men are abusing hope. And those are in danger from despair who, having fallen into grave sins, thinking that they cannot be forgiven anymore even if they repent and believing that they are doomed to damnation, say with themselves: ‘We are already destined to be damned, why not do what we like?’ (Io. ev. tr. 33, 8)

 10 - The hope of the evil is in the present time, your hope is in the future; but their hope is uncertain, yours is certain; theirs is false, yours is true (en. Ps. 52, 8)

 a)    Beatitudes

 1 - Try to shape your life and behaviour according to God’s commandments, starting from the holy fear of God, through which human pride is defeated and wisdom has its beginning. After becoming meek and patient by means of piety, submit yourself to the authority of the Scriptures. Afterwards afflict yourself because of the sin that is in your members and implore consolation and liberation through Christ’s grace. Then satiate your spiritual hunger and thirst with prayer. In order to obtain mercy and help from the Lord, be merciful by forgiving and showing humanity. In this way you shall purify your heart by making it apt to see something of the unchangeable substance of God, the supreme and ineffable Trinity, in which there will be also perfect peace (ep. 171/A, 1-2)

 2 - In the Beatitudes to each maxim a reward has been joined and nothing has been expressed in the reward that would not fit the precept (s. 53, 8, 8) - Humility is apt to enjoy the kingdom of heaven permanently, meekness to possess the earth, mourning to be consoled, hunger and thirst for justice to be satiated, mercy to obtain mercy, a pure heart to see God (s. 53, 9, 9)

 Happy are the poor in spirit

1 - Who are the poor in spirit? The humble: those who are filled with trepidation before the words of God, who confess their own sins, who do not put their trust in their own merits or justice; those who, when they do something good, praise God because of it; when they do something bad accuse themselves (en. Ps. 73, 24)

2 -The poor in spirit, even if they have riches, do not possess them; let them be poor and the kingdom of heaven will be theirs (s. 53/A, 6)

3 - The poor have abandoned themselves to You. Because of this, they are poor: they have despised all the temporal goods of this world so that You might be their only hope (en. Ps. 9, 31)

4 - O poor Lord, do not condemn the merciful rich, the humble rich, the poor rich! O poor one, be a true poor, that is, humble! (s. 14, 4)

5 - Seek what is enough in order to live, not what is superfluous. All the rest burdens, does not sustain; it is a burden, not an honour (s. 85, 5, 6)

6 - From the love of the world no good fruit comes, from the love of God no bad fruit comes. Charity does not seek its own advantage, but the salvation of the brethren (s. 107/A, 1) - Give what you will have to leave here on earth in order to receive what you can never lose (s. 107/A, 2)

7 - You will possess God, you will be filled with God: these are the great riches of the soul. Material riches are superfluous, spiritual riches are not. My friend who are poor, do you think that you do not possess anything if you possess God? My friend who are rich, do you think that you possess something if you do not possess God? (s. 107/A, 3)

8 - Do you want to be rich before God? Give to God… It is more important to have God in one’s soul than gold in one’s purse (s. 107/A, 7) - Christ offers you His food. Be poor and you’ll be satiated (s. 332, 2)

9 - ‘Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also’ (Mt. 6:21). The thief was able to take away from him his money, but was not able to take down from heaven his heart (s. 107/A, 6)

10 - Many rich men had put much of what they possessed into the treasury; the poor widow put all she had. She had much since she had God in her heart. It is more important to have God in one’s soul than gold in one’s purse (s. 107/A, 7)

11 - Keep hold, O poor, of what you do not have to leave by dying, keep hold of what you’ll possess by living everlastingly (s. 359, 2)

Happy are those who mourn

1 - Mourning is sorrow arising from the loss of dear ones; but all will be comforted by the Holy Spirit in order that, while losing the temporal joy, they may enjoy to the full the one that is eternal (s. dom. m. 1, 2, 5)

2 - In mourning there is suffering, in consolation its reward. But the true consolation will be only when something will be given that cannot be lost: in such a way must be consoled those who now are sad for being still away from their fatherland (s. 53, 3, 3)

3 - Mourning is something painful, whenever it is the mourning of one who repents. Every sinner should mourn over one’s sins. Let him mourn over oneself and he will come back to life, let him mourn by repenting and he will be consoled by being forgiven (s. 53/A, 8)

4 - In the mourning is the labour, in the laughter the reward (s. 175, 2, 2)

5 - The more I desire what I lack, the more I sigh until I have it, the more I weep until I obtain it (en. Ps. 38, 20)

6 - ‘My tears have been my bread day and night’; not bitterness, but bread. They were sweet to me, I was feeding myself with them eagerly (en. Ps. 41, 6)

7 - Christ has raised us to a great hope and with it we sigh. A sigh expresses sadness, but there are also sighs that express joy. Sarah, being sterile, sighed with joy at the time she became mother; we too, O Christ, from your holy fear have conceived and given birth to the spirit of salvation (en. Ps. 101, s. 1, 2)

8 - If we are His sheep, it is not unsuitable for us to ask for His mercy with tears. For He is our God and Creator, we are His sheep and His people: we weep because of what we do not have yet, we rejoice in hope (s. 47, 1)

9 - You have examined yourself, you have acknowledged that you are guilty: I have fallen again into the same sins; what shall I do? When you say these things, Christ is already groaning, since your faith is groaning. In the voice of one who groans, the hope of his rising again appears (Io. ev. tr. 49, 19)

Happy are the meek

1 - Meek are those who do not resist wickedness and evil, but defeat evil with good. They shall inherit the earth, from which they shall not be able to be expelled (s. dom. m. 1, 2, 4)

2 - The meek do not contradict the divine words, uttered against their sins, and the words of God that they cannot understand yet (s. dom. m. 1, 18, 55)

3 - You shall possess the earth if you shall be meek, but you shall be possessed by it if you shall be harsh… Being meek means not to resist your God, so that, in the good you do, you may like Him, not yourself; and in the evils you justly suffer you may dislike yourself, not Him. It is not a small thing if you please Him while displeasing yourself; on the contrary, if you please yourself you shall displease Him (s. 53, 2, 2)

4 - The meek are those who do not resist God’s will. When things are alright, they praise God; when things are bad, they do not blaspheme God. They give glory to God in their good works, they accuse themselves in their sins (s. 53/A, 7)

5 - The meek are those who, in everything good they do, like only God; in every evil they suffer do not dislike God (s. 81, 3)

6 - In this every remedy for us consists, brethren: ‘Learn from me, because I am meek and humble of heart’. What good is it if someone performs miracles, but he is proud and is not meek and humble of heart? (s. 142, 11)

7 - Let us admire, brethren, the extraordinary meekness and gentleness of the Lord. He brought truth as a teacher, meekness as a liberator, justice as a protector. When He was speaking, His truth was acknowledged; when He was not reacting against His enemies, His meekness was praised (Io. ev. tr. 33, 4)

8 - ‘Sweet and upright is the Lord’ (Ps. 25:8). If you love Him because he is sweet, you must fear Him inasmuch as He is upright. The Lord is meek, patient, merciful; but also just and truthful (Io. ev. tr. 33, 7)

9 - The true Christian and Catholic meekness, my very dear ones, is to be opposed to the quarrelsome and schismatics. It is a matter of treating an illness and therefore it is necessary to proceed with care. Let nobody pick a fight with them. Let nobody defend even faith itself from them through discussions. No spark or occasion of quarrel must be ignited: tolerate, neglect. Observe how physicians are gentle in treating sick people (s. 357, 4)

Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness

1 - They are hungry and thirsty and they are happy? When is indigence happy? They are not happy because they are hungry and thirsty, but because they will be filled. Happiness will be in the satiety, not in the hunger. But hunger must precede satiety, lest nausea prevent us from taking food (s. 61, 6, 7)

2 - They love the true and indestructible good; they shall therefore be filled with the food of God’s will and the drink of eternal life (s. dom. m. 1, 2, 6)

3 - To hunger and thirst for justice belongs to this earth; to be satiated with justice belongs to heaven, where nobody will sin (53/A, 9) - We shall be satiated in an insatiable way (s. 362, 28, 29)

4 - Up there all are satiated with the food of righteousness and the drink of wisdom, all are dressed in immortality, all live in their eternal fatherland. Eternity itself is the health of all, health is eternal, concord is eternal. No one brings a lawsuit against anyone, no one looks for a judge or the decision of an arbitrator or a sentence of revendication; no illness, no death (s. 305/A, 8)

5 - ‘They will have their fill from the abundance of your house’ (Ps. 36:9). Even those who are sober will have their fill. They will drink so much that they will be inebriated. Because of that inebriety they forget all the past evils. O holy inebriety! I would like that we all be inebriated in this inebriety! (s. 335/D, 1)

6 - When the time of hope will have passed and the joy of the reality will have come, God will inebriate them with the abundance of His life and will give them to drink at the torrent of His delight. How? Listen: ‘For with you is the fountain of life’ (Ps. 36:10). To be inebriated with life means to live without end. From such inebriety nobody can sober up so that he may be thirsty again. There are such men who, in their own bed at the shadow of God’s wings, fight and win, win and are crowned (s. 335/D, 3)

7 - Let the land be thirsty! And let it give out the words of its thirst. For it is written: ‘My soul thirsts for you like parched land’ (Ps. 143:6). Let our land therefore say, let us say, while desiring God’s rain: ‘May God have mercy on us and bless us’ (en. Ps. 66, 1)

8 - There is an inner thirst and an inner belly, because there is an inner man. And that inner man is invisible, while the outer man is visible; yet the inner is better than the outer. What is not seen is loved more. In you, as well as in a friend, you love more the soul than the body (Io. ev. tr. 32, 2)

9 - In this dryness of our life and of our mortal condition, we would dry up before even being thirsty, if we were not touched gently from above by a breeze of justice (div. qu. Simp. 1, 2, 16)

10 - I was thirsty and you gave Me vinegar: I desired faith from them and I only found oldness (en. Ps. 68, s. 2, 6)

11 - If we are Christians and we believe, we must drink Christ. Everyone in himself must acknowledge whether he drinks and lives what he drinks or not, since the source does not abandon us if we do not abandon it (Io. ev. tr. 32, 4)

Happy are the merciful

1 - They, by helping those in distress, will receive in return the delivery from their own condition of distress (s. dom. m. 1, 2, 7)

2 - You are a beggar at God’s door; but there is also another beggar at your door. Whatever you will do to him, God will do to you (s. 53/A, 10)

3 - A merciful man offers no resistance to a wicked man if, by trying to correct him, he would make him worse by resisting (s. dom. m. 1, 18, 55)

4 - You must be merciful towards all. Towards a righteous man you shall use your mercy only in his bodily needs (en. Ps. 102, 12)

5 - Alms must wait long in your hand until you find a righteous man to whom you may give them. Be diligent, prudent and temperate in this matter; consider your works as your treasures (en. Ps. 102, 12)

6 - Be merciful towards a wicked man, but not inasmuch as he is wicked. If you give to the sinner, in him you honour vice, not human nature (en. Ps. 102, 13)

7 - Exercise mercy, brethren. There is no other bond of charity, there is no other bond by which we may be led from this life to that fatherland; extend your love up to your enemies, and be sure: the Lord will be merciful to you if you will have been merciful to the others (en. Ps. 102, 14)

8 - It is sincerity and truth to remember what we have been, even if we have progressed, and to be merciful towards those who fall, because we have been lifted up from our fall too by Christ’s mercy: even if He was without sin, He humbled Himself for the sinners (c. ep. Parm. 3, 2, 5)

Happy are the pure of heart

1 - Just as this light cannot be seen, except with pure eyes; in the same way neither God is seen, unless the heart, by which He can be seen, is pure (s. dom. m. 1, 2, 8)

2 - God gives the reward according to the heart, which He can see. Of course nothing is greater than God; but do not be afraid of your narrowness: welcome Him and He will enlarge you. In this way you will see God (s. 53/A, 11)

3 - Let never the worms of bad thoughts enter the coffer of your heart (s. 177, 11)

4 - Nothing cleanses the heart except the undivided and sincere striving for eternal life in the pure love of wisdom alone (s. dom. m. 2, 3, 11)

5 - Whoever is innocent in his hands shall ascend; whoever is clean in his heart shall stand: the innocence of the hands is in the work, the cleanness of the heart in its end (perf. iust. 15, 36)

6 - Our heart becomes immaculate by means of the regeneration given to us, of the help given us in our fight, of our prayer addressed to God. The grace of God, who operates through Jesus and the Holy Spirit, makes us have desires opposite to those of the flesh (en. Ps. 118, s. 19, 7)

7 - The heart of a man is said to be upright when he wants what God wants (en. Ps. 100, 6)

8 - If anyone feels burdened by the flesh, he should strive by continence to purify his heart in order to lift it up to God (Io. ev. tr. 1, 7)

9 - You dwell together if you have only one heart (en. Ps. 100, 11)

10 - It is a great thing for us to have a resolute heart without being shaken by the sight of those who enjoy the visible things they love, until we see the realities God has prepared for those who love Him. The just shall see them not from below, like their enemies, but from above (en. Ps. 111, 7)

Happy are the peacemakers

1 - In peace there is perfection, since in peace nothing offers opposition; and the children of God are peacemakers, because nothing resists God, and surely the children must have the likeness of their father. Peace is the life of an accomplished and perfect wise man (s. dom. m. 1, 2, 9)

2 - You want to make peace? Start from yourself to be a peacemaker. You must make peace interiorly in yourself, where maybe you are continuously fighting against yourself. May the spirit be subject to the One who is superior to it, and it will be victorious against the inferior part of you (s. 53/A, 12)

 3 - Seek peace with all and sanctification, without which nobody will be able to see God (s. 53, 15, 16)

 4 - The Lord will give peace in immortality to those who have peace in charity (s. suppl. 16, 8)

 5 - The true Christian and Catholic meekness, my very dear ones, is to be opposed to them. Let nobody pick a fight with them. Let nobody defend even faith itself from them through discussions. No spark or occasion of quarrel must be ignited: tolerate, neglect. Observe how physicians are gentle in treating sick people (s. 357, 4)

 6 - What happened between Romulus and Remus or between Cain and Abel illustrated that hatred can subsist within the city of men and between the two cities, that of God and that of men. The wicked war with the wicked; the good also war with the wicked. But the good cannot war with other good, if they are perfect. At most the spiritual desires of one of two men, good but not yet perfect, may fight against the carnal desires of the other (civ. 15, 5)

 7 - Seek peace and follow it. Where is it? Peace has passed through humankind. And where has it gone? Ask first: Who is peace? Christ is peace. He is our peace because He has made one people from two. There was war, but from that wood peace was coming down (s. 25, 7)

 8 - The good we long for is peace; not the peace that men have between themselves: untrustworthy, unstable, changeable, uncertain; and not even the peace that man enjoys within himself until he has subdued all his passions. Those who on earth have been peacemakers will reach that peace (en. Ps. 127, 16)

  9 - Love peace at home, at work, with your wives, children, servants, friends, and with your enemies (en. Ps. 147, 15)

 10 - What does peace do? It does not judge on uncertain matters, it does not assert stubbornly what it does not know; it is more prone to think well of others than to have rash suspicions. It does not regret so much when it is mistaken in ascribing something good to someone who is evil; it, on the contrary, painfully regrets when it happens to think something bad of a good person (en. Ps. 147, 16)

Happy are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness

1 - Whatever persecutions the prince of this world may stir up from without, he only increases the glory which is according to God, being unable to shake anything in that edifice which has been built with great strength from within (s. dom. m. 1, 2, 9)

2 - A bandit too is persecuted, because of his wrongdoings, and suffers a punishment. What makes a martyr is not the punishment but the cause of it; let him choose the cause first, and then undergo the punishment serenely (s. 53/A, 13)

3 - Do not believe that one who persecutes the heart is less cruel than one who persecutes the body (c. Gaud. 1, 21, 25) - Beware of those who persecute the soul (Io. ev. tr. 11, 12)

4 - ‘Prove me, O Lord, and try me; burn my reins and my heart’. Burn my pleasures, burn my thoughts, so that I may not think anything bad and I may not get pleasure from any evil. Burn my reins with the fire of your word, burn my heart with the heat of your Spirit (en. Ps. 25, II, 7)

5 - In some cases the one who suffers persecution is in the wrong and the one who inflicts it is in the right. But what is sure is that always both the bad have persecuted the good and the good have persecuted the bad: the former doing harm by their unrighteousness, the latter seeking to do good through discipline; the former with cruelty, the latter with moderation; the former impelled by cupidity, the latter by love. For those who kill are not careful how they wound, but those who cure are cautious how they cut; for the ones want to destroy what is sound, the others what is decaying (ep. 93, 2, 8)

6 - During persecutions the reward is given for fighting, in time of peace for persevering (s. 303, 2)

7 - Man persecutes in order to kill the body, the devil persecutes in order to ensnare the soul. There are other enemies of ours too, from whom we must pray God to deliver us, lest they lead us astray, either by crushing us with the troubles of this world or by alluring us with its enticements (en. Ps. 141, 14)

8 - The abundance of the wicked is a great occasion of purification for the good. Under the hand of such a great Artist, even only a little bit of gold in the midst of a large quantity of straw cannot be lost. Be good, tolerate the evil (s. 15, 5)

9 - The fire of persecutions devours the persecutors, not those who are persecuted (en. Ps. 96, 6)

Happy are those who are persecuted for the sake of Christ

1 - ‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first’ (Jn. 15:18). Behold: the world hates! Who is hated by the world unless the world? What world? The persecutor is the condemned world, the persecuted one is the reconciled world. The condemned world is whatever is outside the Church, the reconciled world is the Church (s. 96, 7, 8)

2 - The Church persecutes impelled by love, they by fury; she does so in order to correct, they in order to overthrow; she does so in order to recall from error, they in order to drive headlong into error. The love of the Church endeavours to deliver them from that ruin, so that none of them should die (ep. 185, 2, 11)

3 - When the Church is persecuted, there are three categories of people in it: some approve, some flee, some suffer (adn. Iob 24)

4 - How great persecutions has the Church suffered! How many times have the servants of the devil said: Annihilate the Christians, destroy the Christians, let no one remain, overthrow them even to the foundation! And while these things were being said, the persecutors were rejected, the martyrs crowned (en. Ps. 136, 19)

5 - Jesus, in His human weakness, gave His disciples an example of living, by which it might be clear that it is no sin if His faithful withdraw from the sight of their persecutors and escape the fury of the wicked by concealing themselves, rather than inflame it by showing themselves openly (Io. ev. tr. 49, 28)

6 - Paul escaped from his persecutors. Clearly he had care of the sheep, but he commended them by his prayers to the shepherd sitting in heaven and for their advantage he preserved himself by flight: ‘It is necessary for you that I remain in the flesh’ (Phil. 1:24) (Io. ev. tr. 46, 7)

7 - ‘All who desire to live piously in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution’ (2 Tim. 3:12). Paul says: ‘All’; so nobody is exempted. If you want to experience the truth of this statement, start to live piously in Christ and you will see that it is true. If the kings of the earth are not persecuting any longer, has maybe the devil ceased to unleash his fury? (s. 94/A, 2)

8 - At first there was the assault of the persecutors, now there has remained the malevolence of those who plot harm. The roar of persecutors did not cease, they have turned their assaults into thoughts (en. Ps. 69, 4)

b) The last things (novissima)

 Death

1 - You were born; it is certain that you will die and, in this certainty of death itself, the day of your death is uncertain. Amidst these uncertainties, where death alone is certain, the hour of which is uncertain, and while it alone is very much guarded against, although, at the same time, cannot be escaped, every living man disquiets himself in vain (en. Ps. 38, 19)

2 - Great act of mercy is to let you be uncertain about the duration of your life in order to give you the opportunity to convert. If, on the contrary, He had indicated to all people the day of their death, by giving this security He would have caused an increase of sins. In matter of sin, both hope and despair must be feared (en. Ps. 144, 11)

3 - As far as the last day of this world is concerned, Christ states that no one knows it, except the Father. Let us therefore be vigilant by living well, so that our last day may not find us unprepared (s. 97, 1)

4 - Our desire should not be arrested in its course, but should be increased until it reaches its goal. That day is a day without end. Those days are all together; and, because of this, they satisfy us. They are all together, because there is only one day, which remains and does not pass away: this is eternity (en. Ps. 89, 15)

5 - The fisherman has not drawn his hook yet, but the fish has already the hook in his jaws. And what seems to you long, is short; all these things pass over quickly. Do you wish to be patient? Consider the eternity of God. Join your heart to the eternity of God, and with Him you shall be eternal (en. Ps. 91, 8)

6 - If you love wealth, keep it where it cannot be lost; if you love honour, have it where no unworthy person is honoured; if you love health, try to obtain it where there is nothing to be feared for it once it has been obtained; if you love life, acquire it where it cannot be ended by any death (ep. 127, 5)

7 - A body dies when the soul abandons it. The various parts of the body are still there, but the dweller has departed (s. 65, 4, 5)

8 - Death killed life, so that death might be killed by life (s. 279, 3)

9 - Christ gave Himself to death, killing in this way death. By His death He killed death, He was not killed by death; and, having killed death, freed us from death. Death is alive if we die, but if we live, it dies (s. 359, 2)

10 - Every man who is separated from God is a dead soul. While you cry over a body from which the soul has departed, you do not cry over a soul from which God has departed? (s. 65, 6, 7)

11 - One thing is the death of the soul, another is the death of the body. The soul cannot die, because its consciousness cannot be extinguished; but it can die if it loses God (s. 273, 1)

12 - Although in the Scriptures several deaths can be found, two are more important: the first death and the second death; the one the first man (Adam) introduced by sinning and the one the second man (Christ) will introduce by judging (c. Iul. imp. 6, 31)

13 - Death is inflicted in sinful flesh as the due of disobedience, but in the likeness of sinful flesh it was received in voluntary obedience (pecc. mer. 2, 29, 48)

14 - Christ came to unfasten the old chain of our death with the newness of His death (s. 350, 1) - Death was in us the punishment of sins, in the Lord was a gift of mercy (Io. ev. tr. 3, 13)

15 - The being defeats the nothing, and in this way death will be swallowed up in victory (vera rel. 12, 25) - Life reigns without end in eternal life, death has reigned only temporarily and with an end (pecc. mer. 1, 13, 17)

16 - It is one thing to fight well -which now happens, when the contention of death is resisted-, another thing not to have adversaries, which will then happen, when death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed (cont. 3, 6)

17 - Not to want to die is for the faithful not a sign of progress, but of lack of progress (qu. Mt. 16, 5)

18 - Do not fear the bitter cup of death; death is indeed bitter, but through this bitterness we pass to a great sweetness. This bitterness cures the depth of your soul, not inasmuch as you die, but inasmuch as you die for the truth; it is a medicine, not a poison; it heals your interiority, drink fearlessly. Christ did not hesitate to drink it for you, so that you might not think that what is given to you is a poison (s. 299/E, 2)

19 - How would I like to want to die, if I had reached the stage of wanting to die! Whoever has a sound faith and knows what goal he must reach, progresses towards leaving this life willingly. For it is not the same thing to know the destination that must be reached and to love it while desiring to be already there. If such an attitude will have efficaciously found its way into his soul, he will certainly die willingly (cupio dissolvi) (qu. vet. t. 3)

The resurrection of bodies

1 - Christ was put to death because of our evil deeds, rose again because of our justification: He is the head of the Church, He is the bread coming from that land of eternity. His body is His bride, the Church, for the two will be only one body. He did not want to rise again together with His members, but before them, in order to give them hope, so that they might wait with confidence until the realization in them of what has already happened in their head (s. 45, 5)

2 - ‘(The pharisees to the guards) Say that his disciples came while we were asleep and stole him’ (Mt. 28:13). Sleeping witnesses, bought, corrupted, denying their own life, dreaming other people’s thefts! If you were awake, why did you not arrest the thieves? If you were asleep, how did you see what happened? (s. 299/E, 4)

3 - ‘I shall no longer call you servants, but friends’. And what will He give to His friends? What He showed in Himself after rising from the dead. They will be crowned and will pass to eternal glory, made equal to God’s angels. There will be no longer corruption, nor titillation. Mortal flesh will be transformed, in this way, into an angelic body. The one who promised it to you has it, and is ready to give it (s. 45, 10)

4 - ‘As the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, so also the Son gives life to whom He wants’. The resurrection of souls is effected by the eternal and unchangeable substance of the Father and of the Son; the resurrection of bodies is effected by the temporal dispensation of the Son's humanity (Io. ev. tr. 23, 13)

5 - God raises up souls through Christ, the Son of God; He raises up bodies through the same Christ, the Son of man: ‘He has given Him authority’ (Jn. 5:27) (Io. ev. tr. 19, 15)

6 - Where shall the soul be satiated? Where the supreme being is, the whole truth, the full abundance: Happy are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. ‘And I will raise him up on the last day’: I return to him what he loves, I return to him what he hopes for; he shall see what, while not seeing it yet, he has believed; he shall eat what he now hungers for; he shall be filled with what he thirsts for. Where? In the resurrection of the dead (Io. ev. tr. 26, 6)

7 - How do we understand these two resurrections? As far as the first one is concerned, if we have really believed, we have already risen to eternal life: ‘The hour comes, and it is now, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear shall live’ (Jn. 5:25). What is ‘shall hear’ unless ‘shall obey’? For one may hear without believing, that is, without obeying; by not obeying, one does not live. Christ, the Word of God, is preached to us; the Son of God, by whom all things were made, who, in God’s plan of salvation, took flesh, was born of a virgin, grew in the flesh, suffered in the flesh, died in the flesh, rose again in the flesh, ascended in the flesh, promising a resurrection to the flesh, promising a resurrection to the soul, which is to be effected before the resurrection of the flesh. Who hears and obeys shall live; who hears and does not obey, that is, hears and despises, shall not live (Io. ev. tr. 19, 10)

8 - What is more wonderful, among God's wonderful works, than raising the dead? All unbelievers, all unrighteous men are dead; in body they live, but in heart they are extinct. He who raises a man dead according to the body, brings him back to see this light and to breathe this air; but he who raises is not himself light and air to him; the raised man begins to see as he was seeing before. A soul is not resuscitated in this way. When God resuscitates a soul, He brings it back to Himself. If God withdraws, the soul dies. This therefore is His grace, that He resuscitates and remains with us. O God, if You are with me, I live, since You are the life of my soul, which would die if it is left to itself. Therefore my life is present in me, that is, my God (en. Ps. 70, s. 2, 3)

9 - Who can express in words the glory of this body in the resurrection? None of us has so far experienced it. Now we carry a burdensome flesh, inasmuch as it is needy, weak, mortal, subject to corruption. In the resurrection this burden shall become an honour, this weight a solace (s. 277, 4, 4)

10 - At the end of Paul’s speech to the Athenians, after they heard about the resurrection of the dead (fundamental truth of faith for the Christians), they divided themselves into three groups: the mockers, the doubters and the believers. Those who mock fall, those who believe stand, those who doubt have an uncertain outcome: will they be on the mockers’ or on the believers’ side? (s. 150, 1, 2)

Judgement

1 - This is the most upright and wholesome faith: souls are judged as soon as they depart from the bodies, before going to a second judgement, when the bodies will be returned to the souls in order to receive the torment of condemnation or to be glorified in the same flesh in which they lived here on earth (an. et eius or. 2, 4, 8)

2 - Nobody in judging is partial toward somebody else if he is not partial toward himself (s. 178, 1, 1) - Since you have to present yourself to the Judge, be yourself your judge. Place yourself in front of yourself and say fearlessly: I acknowledge my guilt, my sin is always before me (s. suppl. 8, 4-5)

3 - We must distinguish the persons of the judges -God and man- according to the diversity of the causes. In this way you will not blame God, although He punishes the sin of the fathers in the children, neither will you compel man to judge in the same way (c. Iul. imp. 3, 34)

4 - The just are like shipwrecked men who escape death: naked but rich (s. 343, 9) - Nothing that is just displeases the just (vera rel. 22, 43) - They are just inasmuch as they are saved (spir. et litt. 29, 51)

5 - It is not denied to man to be perfectly capable of righteousness, since, with the help of the almighty Physician, he must not despair of being perfectly healed from all vices (c. Iul. 2, 10, 33)

6 - When God’s justice is in question, only God is answerable (s. 397, 2, 2)

7 - In order to know it is enough to see if something is like this or not; in order to judge we add something by which we signify that it can be also otherwise (vera rel. 31, 58)

 8 - Before you judge your brother, judge yourself. Return to yourself, mind yourself, examine yourself, listen to yourself. I want to find you being a just judge there, where you do not look for witnesses (s. 13, 7) - If you listen to your neighbour as you listen to yourself, you will attack the sins, not the sinner (s. 13, 8)

 9 - In the end Christ will come as a judge in order to take back the things He has given (adn. Iob 37) - ‘God, our God, shall manifestly come and shall not be silent’. This passage of the Scriptures predicts the coming of Christ as God in order to judge the living and the dead. When He came in order to be judged, He came secretly; when He will come in order to judge, He will come openly (s. 17, 1)

 10 - On the right will be the just, on the left the unjust; all alike will see the man, the Son of man, who was pierced, crucified, humiliated, born of the Virgin; but the Word, God with God, will appear in His form of God only to the sons of God: they will see and possess eternal life (Io. ev. tr. 21, 14)

 11 - Some men (the apostles) will be judges together with the Lord; others will be judged, but they will be placed on the right: ‘You will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel’ (en. Ps. 49, 8)

 12 - Do not fear the bad advocate! The one who one day will be your judge is now your advocate. There will be He and you with your cause. The speech in defence of your cause will be the testimony of your conscience. If you fear the future judge, rectify now your present conscience (en. Ps. 147, 1)

 13 - God does not disdain to be witness while being judge, nor is He promoted when He becomes judge, since He who is now witness will Himself be judge. The one who will then judge you is now seeing you (Io. ev. tr. 36, 11)

 14 - Endeavour, brethren, to desire the day of judgement. Only when one has begun to desire that day charity is proved to be perfect. In order to desire it, a man must have confidence in it, and for this to happen he must be a man whose conscience is not in a state of alarm, being grounded in perfect and sincere charity (Io. ep. tr. 9, 2)

 15 - We all die and rise from the dead, but each one with his particular judgement. As there are different kinds of custody in this world, in the same way there are different kinds of custody for the dead and of rewards for the risen ones (Io. ev. tr. 49, 9)

Purgatory

1 - Each man's punishment comes from his sin, and his iniquity turns into punishment. We should not suppose that that tranquillity and ineffable light of God brings forth from itself the means of punishing sin, but that it orders sins in such a way, that what have been delights to the sinning man, should be instruments to the punishing Lord (en. Ps. 7, 16)

2 - Some suffer temporary punishments in this life only, others after death, others both now and then, but anyway before that last and strictest judgement. But of those who suffer temporary punishments after death, not all are doomed to those everlasting punishments which are to follow that judgement; for to some what is not remitted in this world is remitted in the future one, so that they may not be punished with the eternal punishment of the world to come (civ. 21, 13)

3 - ‘Each one's work will become manifest, for the day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done’ (1 Cor. 3:13). The day of tribulation, the fire of trial. For what each one possessed with the enticement of love, he does not lose without the sharp sting of pain. Here, then, we have a fire which condemns neither of them, but enriches the one, punishes the other, proves both (civ. 21, 26, 2)

4 - The fire shall try both works and if any man's work remains, that is, if it is not destroyed by fire, what he has built on the foundation that is Christ will receive a reward; while if anyone’s work is burned down, he will suffer punishment, but certainly that fire is not the eternal fire itself. For into this fire only those on the left hand shall be cast, with final and everlasting damnation (civ. 21, 26, 3)

5 - Also the death itself of the body may be a part of this tribulation, as a result of the first sin, so that the time which follows death is lived by everyone according to the nature of his building. The persecutions as well, by which the martyrs have been crowned and which all kinds of Christians suffer, try both buildings like a fire, consuming some along with the builders themselves, if Christ is not found in them as their foundation, while they consume others without the builders, if Christ is found in them; and they will be saved, but with a loss. And there are also other buildings that are not consumed by persecutions, because they are found such, that they may remain forever (civ. 21, 26, 4)

6 - In the end of the world there shall be, in the time of the Antichrist, a tribulation such as has never occurred before. There will be then many buildings, of gold or of hay, built on the best foundation, that is Christ Jesus, which that fire shall prove, bringing joy to some, loss to others, but without destroying either sort, because of this stable foundation (civ. 21, 26, 4)

7 - He descended to the dead and, having loosed the pains of death, in which it was impossible for Him to be held and from which He loosed and delivered also those He wanted, He took again that body which He had left on the cross and which had been laid in the tomb (ep. 164, 5, 14)

8 - ‘Fire will go before him and burn up his enemies on every side’. I do not think it is said of the fire of hell. For it is said that the fire will go before the Lord, preceding the final judgement. That is to be understood as a kind of temporal punishment and also as a fire that operates the salvation of the redeemed (en. Ps. 96, 6)

9 - The Saviour wanted to teach us that, however righteously we live in this life of darkness and infirmity, we still commit sins, for the forgiveness of which we must pray, while we must forgive those who sin against us, so that we may be forgiven as well (civ. 21, 27, 4)

10 - If the very small sins, which are present even in the lives of the righteous, are not forgiven to us unless we forgive others, how much less those who are involved in many great crimes can obtain indulgence if they inexorably refuse to forgive any debt incurred to themselves, even if they cease from perpetrating those crimes: judgement will be without mercy to one who has shown no mercy (Jas. 2:13) (civ. 21, 27, 4)

Hell

1 - ‘The Holy Spirit will prove the world wrong about judgement, because the prince of this world has been condemned’ (Jn. 16:11). The world of the unbelieving men, subjected to the devil, is condemned by the Son of man inasmuch as He is a judge, is saved by Him inasmuch as He is a helper. The world is judged along with its prince, whom it imitates in its own pride and impiety. The hard pride of mortals should think with terror about the punishment of the rebel angels, in order to have no thought of being spared itself (Io. ev. tr. 95, 4)

2 - A great chasm completely separates Hell and Heaven. The ineffable felicity in God and in one’s soul is not a part of hell (ep. 164, 3, 7)

3 - It is the lowest realm, where it is no longer possible to remember truth, since the use of reason is no longer possible. Let us get free from the second death without delay, in which nobody remembers God; and from hell, where nobody honours God (vera rel. 52, 101)

4 - ‘As wax melts in front of fire, so let sinners perish from the face of God’. If their hard-heartedness is not dissolved in tears of penitence, after lifting up themselves like smoke, that is, after priding themselves, there will come to them the last final damnation, so that from His face they will perish forever, when He shall have appeared in His glory, like fire, for the punishment of the wicked and the light of the righteous (en. Ps. 67, 3)

5 - ‘Like sheep laid in hell, death is their shepherd’. Of those who mind only the present things, while they do not think about the future ones, considering only the present one as life. Since they belong to the devil, from whom death comes, they have death as their shepherd. Death is the shepherd of unbelievers, life is the shepherd of believers (en. Ps. 48, s. 2, 2)

6 - Then every tree which brings forth no good fruit shall be cut down and be cast into the fire. And fire shall burn in His presence (en. Ps. 49, 7) - Beware lest you become a hell to yourself (en. Ps. 102, 17)

7 - Eternal fire is not eternal like God, because, although it is without end, it is not without beginning; but God is also without beginning. Moreover, although it may be employed perpetually for the punishment of sinners, yet it is a mutable nature (nat. b. 39)

8 - Impenitence is to forsake until death the faith, which works through love (corrept. 12, 35)

9 - Flee, brother, those torments in which neither the torturers cease, nor the tortured die; to whom it is death without end to be unable to die in their torments (cat. rud. 25, 47)

10 - If we are terrified, brethren, at the thought that after this life we may suffer the punishments and torments of burning flames, such as the proud and merciless rich man had to suffer, let us amend ourselves now, while there is still time, because then there will be no longer opportunity to help, inasmuch as there will be no longer opportunity to amend. This life is the life for amendment and help (s. 113/B, 4)

Heaven

1 - In the present time the sight is by faith, in the future it will be face to face. If we believe, we see; if we love, we see. We see what? God. If a man has charity, he shall dwell in Him like in heaven (en. Ps. 149, 4)

2 - We shall see, we shall praise, we shall live eternally. There will be no kind of indigence, no seeking of help. All are satiated with the food of justice and the drink of wisdom, all are dressed in immortality, all live in their own eternal fatherland. The health of all is eternity itself: eternal is health, eternal is concord (s. 305/A, 8)

3 - The whole of our activity in heaven will consist in our ‘amen’ and our ‘alleluia’. We shall say these words with the inner enthusiasm of love. It cannot be expressed in words how we shall say them, while being satiated with them in an insatiable satiety. ‘Satiety’ inasmuch as we shall lack nothing, ‘insatiable’ inasmuch as it will never cease to give delight. Your ‘amen’ will be a ‘yes’ of total truth, your ‘alleluia’ a praise to God forever in a sweet and chaste embrace (s. 362, 28, 29)

4 - All our joy will be the ‘alleluia’, that is, in the praise of God without tiredness or boredom. What strength will our mind and what vigour will our body have, once made immortal, so that our loving contemplation of God may never cease! (s. 252, 9)

5 - The ‘alleluia’ we now say in our earthly life is like the song of a pilgrim, who longs for rest in his fatherland after his toilsome journey (s. 255, 1, 1)

6 - Who can worthily conceive or express how great a glory it is to adhere to God, so as to live for Him, to draw wisdom from Him, to be delighted in Him and to enjoy such a great good without death, error or annoyance? (civ. 12, 1, 3)

7 - What does human nature desire more than supreme happiness? Our free will itself is as much innate to us by nature as our will to be happy is. This is not the free will by which we act well, but the free will by which we want to be happy forever (c. Iul. imp. 6, 26)

8 - To follow God means to desire happiness, to reach God is happiness itself. We shall be thoroughly illuminated and occupied by His truth and holiness (mor. 1, 11, 18)

9 - Only he is a happy man, who both has all things he wants and does not want anything bad (trin. 13, 5, 8)

10 - In the heavenly condition, what now is absolutely impossible will happen: that a man may live as he wants. Whatever shall be loved shall be present, nor shall anything not present be longed for. Everything that will be there will be good, and the supreme God will be the supreme good and will be present for those who love Him to enjoy; and, what altogether is most delightful, it will be certain that it will be so forever (trin. 13, 7, 10)

11 - Up there we shall see the truth without any difficulty and shall enjoy it with full clarity and certainty. We shall not inquire into anything by a mind that reasons, but shall discern, by a mind that contemplates, the mystery of the Trinity. In that light there will be no place for inquiry (trin. 15, 25, 45)

12 - Now the glory of our God, the glory of our Christ is hidden to us. Also the glory awaiting us in heaven is hidden to us. Now it is hope that sings such praise with that love which will sing up there too. The love singing on earth is still a hungry love, the love that will sing up there will be a satisfied love (s. 255, 5, 5)

13 - Some have thought that at least the virtues of prudence, fortitude and temperance will cease, and such an assertion seems to have some elements of truth; but justice is immortal and will rather then be made perfect in us than cease to be. Perhaps the other three virtues will exist in that happy condition too: prudence, although no longer with any risk of error; fortitude, without the vexation of tolerating evils; temperance, without the opposition of the passions. In this way it may be the task of prudence to prefer or equal no good to God, and of fortitude to adhere to Him most steadfastly, and of temperance to be pleased by no harmful vice. And, for this reason, those acts of the virtues which are necessary to this mortal life, like faith, to which they are to be referred, will be reckoned among the past things. And they make now a trinity, while we hold them with our memory, we contemplate them with our intelligence and we love them based on our free will as present. They will make another one when we shall discover them not to be, but to have been, by certain traces of them which they will have left in passing in the memory; because there will be another trinity when that trace, no matter of what sort, shall be retained in the memory and recognized as true and these two things shall be joined by will as a third (trin. 14, 9, 12)

14 - May eternal life have you among its lovers! (ep. 127, 2)