ALL things consider the end; how you shall stand before the
strict Judge from Whom nothing
is hidden and Who will pronounce judgment in all justice,
accepting neither bribes nor excuses.
And you, miserable and wretched sinner, who fear even the
countenance of an angry man, what
answer will you make to the God Who knows all your sins?
Why do you not provide for yourself
against the day of judgment when no man can be excused or
defended by another because each
will have enough to do to answer for himself? In this life
your work is profitable, your tears
acceptable, your sighs audible, your sorrow satisfying and
patient man goes through a great and salutary purgatory when
he grieves more over the
malice of one who harms him than for his own injury; when
he prays readily for his enemies and
forgives offenses from his heart; when he does not hesitate
to ask pardon of others; when he is
more easily moved to pity than to anger; when he does frequent
violence to himself and tries to
bring the body into complete subjection to the spirit.
is better to atone for sin now and to cut away vices than
to keep them for purgation in the
hereafter. In truth, we deceive ourselves by our ill-advised
love of the flesh. What will that fire
feed upon but our sins? The more we spare ourselves now and
the more we satisfy the flesh, the
harder will the reckoning be and the more we keep for the
a man will be more grievously punished in the things in which
he has sinned. There the
lazy will be driven with burning prongs, and gluttons tormented
with unspeakable hunger and thirst;
the wanton and lust-loving will be bathed in burning pitch
and foul brimstone; the envious will
howl in their grief like mad dogs.
vice will have its own proper punishment. The proud will be
faced with every confusion
and the avaricious pinched with the most abject want. One
hour of suffering there will be more
bitter than a hundred years of the most severe penance here.
In this life men sometimes rest from
work and enjoy the comfort of friends, but the damned have
no rest or consolation.
must, therefore, take care and repent of your sins now so
that on the day of judgment you
may rest secure with the blessed. For on that day the just
will stand firm against those who tortured
and oppressed them, and he who now submits humbly to the
judgment of men will arise to pass
judgment upon them. The poor and humble will have great confidence,
while the proud will be
struck with fear. He who learned to be a fool in this world
and to be scorned for Christ will then
appear to have been wise.
that day every trial borne in patience will be pleasing and
the voice of iniquity will be stilled;
the devout will be glad; the irreligious will mourn; and
the mortified body will rejoice far more
than if it had been pampered with every pleasure. Then the
cheap garment will shine with splendor
and the rich one become faded and worn; the poor cottage
will be more praised than the gilded
palace. In that day persevering patience will count more
than all the power in this world; simple
obedience will be exalted above all worldly cleverness; a
good and clean conscience will gladden
the heart of man far more than the philosophy of the learned;
and contempt for riches will be of
more weight than every treasure on earth.
you will find more consolation in having prayed devoutly than
in having fared daintily;
you will be happy that you preferred silence to prolonged
holy works will be of greater value than many fair words; strictness
of life and hard
penances will be more pleasing than all earthly delights.
then, to suffer little things now that you may not have to
suffer greater ones in eternity.
here what you can bear hereafter. If you can suffer only a
little now, how will you be able
to endure eternal torment? If a little suffering makes you
impatient now, what will hell fire do? In
truth, you cannot have two joys: you cannot taste the pleasures
of this world and afterward reign
your life to this moment had been full of honors and pleasures,
what good would it do if at
this instant you should die? All is vanity, therefore, except
to love God and to serve Him alone.
who loves God with all his heart does not fear death or punishment
or judgment or hell,
because perfect love assures access to God.
is no wonder that he who still delights in sin fears death
is good, however, that even if love does not as yet restrain
you from evil, at least the fear of
hell does. The man who casts aside the fear of God cannot
continue long in goodness but will
quickly fall into the snares of the devil.