In today’s first Mass reading, Our Lord states:
You say, “The LORD’s way is not fair!” Hear now, house of Israel: Is it my way that is unfair, or rather, are not your ways unfair? When someone virtuous turns away from virtue to commit iniquity, and dies, it is because of the iniquity he committed that he must die. But if the wicked, turning from the wickedness he has committed, does what is right and just, he shall preserve his life; since he has turned away from all the sins that he committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. (Ezekiel 18:25)
Many modernists today ascribe these words of justice to the “God of the Old Testament”” — a vengeful, ruthless deity who inflicts death at every turn. The “God of the New Testament”, on the other hand, is the one of mercy, tolerance, and love who embraces all sinners unequivocally; nothing is expected of them in return except to have “faith” in God’s love.
Nothing could be further from the truth, of course. That is the heresy of “universalism”, the belief that everyone will be saved. The God of the entire Bible is One and the same who “is love.”(1) The fact is that the first words Jesus preached were “Repent and believe the good news.”(2)
In his new book, Dr. Ralph Martin explains the present crisis of truth in the Church:
If I were to describe how many of our fellow Catholics view the world today, I would describe it like this: “Broad and wide is the way that leads to heaven, and almost everybody is going that way; narrow is the door that leads to hell, difficult is the path, and few there are who travel that way.” This… is the exact opposite of what Jesus himself says about the situation of the human race as He sees it. The default situation of the human race is lost—not saved—and Jesus’s warnings about this are to be received with the utmost attention. —A Church in Crisis: Pathways Forward, p. 67, Emmaus Road Publishing
Among the many victims of political correctness today are the terms “justice”, “hell” or “chastisement.” For decades, Catholic retreat houses have been the hotbed of New Age and radical feminist programmes that have been given a free pass by many in the hierarchy. But laity or priests who address the truth about sin, eternal damnation, reparation, consequences, etc. are apparently the real problem. Yes, the heart of the Gospel is indeed God’s incredible love and mercy… but even that passage of the Word ends with a warning:
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him will not be condemned, but whoever does not believe has already been condemned, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. (John 3:16-18)
But then it gets really politically incorrect:
Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains upon him. (John 3:36)
Condemned? Wrath? Really? Yes, really. But as we hear in that Gospel and today’s first reading, God went so far as to give His very life so that sinners would not only be saved but healed from the destructive effects of sin.
“Do I indeed derive any pleasure from the death of the wicked?” says the Lord GOD. “Do I not rather rejoice when he turns from his evil way that he may live?” (Ezekiel 18:23)
Today, our world is rapidly erasing the lines between good and evil, right and wrong, the truth and the lie; between animals and man, between male and female, between living and dying. Hence, the times long foretold in Sacred Scripture are now upon us when God’s hand is being forced to cleanse the world, according to seers around the world. In 1975, gathered in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Paul VI, Dr. Ralph Martin gave a prophecy, which is perhaps the best summary from Our Lord as to what is here and coming:
Because I love you, I want to show you what I am doing in the world today. I want to prepare you for what is to come. Days of darkness are coming on the world, days of tribulation… Buildings that are now standing will not be standing. Supports that are there for My people now will not be there. I want you to be prepared, My people, to know only Me and to cleave to Me and to have Me in a way deeper than ever before. I will lead you into the desert… I will strip you of everything that you are depending on now, so you depend just on Me. A time of darkness is coming on the world, but a time of glory is coming for My Church, a time of glory is coming for My people. I will pour out on you all the gifts of my Spirit. I will prepare you for spiritual combat; I will prepare you for a time of evangelism that the world has never seen…. And when you have nothing but Me, you will have everything: land, fields, homes, and brothers and sisters and love and joy and peace more than ever before. Be ready, My people, I want to prepare you… —Pentecost Monday, 1975, Rome, Italy
A similar word came to Fr. Michael Scanlan a year later (see here). Yet, these are but echoes of what Jesus said to Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta several decades before:
My daughter, the earth is not yet purged; the peoples are still hardened. And besides, if the scourge ceases, who will save the priests? Who will convert them? The garment that for many of them covers their lives is so deplorable, that even the secular are disgusted to approach them… At many points [on earth] they will say: ‘Here there was such a city, here such buildings.’ Some points will disappear completely. Time is short. Man has reached the point of forcing Me to chastise him. He wanted to almost challenge Me, to incite Me, and I remained patient—but all times come. They didn’t want to know Me through love and mercy — they will know Me through Justice. —November 4th, 21st, 1915; Book of Heaven, Vol 11
But even this is love—though it is “tough love.” A Great Shaking of the Church and the world is necessary, not because God has to vent like some exasperated tyrant, but in order to save the greatest number of souls. Hence, justice is love, justice is also mercy.
As countries continue to expand abortion laws, redefine human nature, and experiment with our very DNA… it seems that, collectively, humanity will no longer acknowledge God in any other way. It is indeed our ways that are unfair.
- 1 John 4:8
- Mark 1:15