The Mercy

St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori

Monastery In the parable of the weeds we read that "since it was growing in a field together with the grain, the servants wanted to eradicate it: You want to go and eradicate it? Said the master, At harvest time I will say to the reapers: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to burn them.
(Mt 13,24-30)

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Abuse of Mercy

This parable shows on one hand the Lord's patience toward sinners, and on the other his punishment towards the obstinate.

St. Augustine says that the devil deceives men in two ways: with despair and hope. After the sin, he threatens with despair and the terror of the divine justice, but before, he leads the soul to sin with the hope in the divine mercy. Therefore the Holy warns: "After the sin, hope for mercy, before the sin, have fear of His justice." Those who need God's mercy to offend him do not deserve it. God has mercy on those who fear him, not on those who use the hope of mercy not to fear Him.

It is difficult to find a person so desperate, that really wants to be damned. Sinners want to sin without losing the hope of salvation. They sin, thinking, "God is merciful, I'll do this and then I will confess it." "I'll do what I like ,anyway, God is good": thus speak the sinners, as St. Augustine writes. However, many with this way of thinking have ended badly. Thus says the Lord: Do not say: "His mercy is great, he will forgive the sins of many" (Sir 5:6). Do not say: "For how many sins I may commit, with an act of contrition, I'll be forgiven," And why? Since there are in Him mercy and anger, His wrath will be poured out upon the sinners. While being merciful, God is also justice ... God promises his mercy to those who fear him, not to those who abuse it. His mercy is on those who fear Him (Lk 1:50), sang the Mother of God.Bu He threatens the stubborn with His justice. [...]

In short, St. Paul says, we can not try to fool God (Gal 6:7). You can not offend him continuously with purpose and then claim Paradise. We will reap what we have sown: who sows sins has no reason to expect anything but to serve the punishment in hell. The net with which the devil drags souls to hell is hissed through the words: "Feel free to sin, because He will save you in spite of all your sins." God hates the hope of those who persist in sinning because their hope is an abomination. This false hope causes God to punish those who, abusing of His goodness, offended Him in any way..

Do not do it anymore
Son, you have sinned? Do not do it over and pray for the sins of the past (Sir. 21.1). My christian, your good Lord wants to save you and so he warns: "Son, do not go back to insult me, but from now on, try to ask for forgiveness of your sins." My brother, as you have offended God, you need to fear more to offend again because, committing other sins, you'll tip the scales of the divine justice and you can damn yourself forever.

I do not say that, after another sin, for you there is no more forgiveness, because I do not know, I'm just saying, it can happen. Tell me, please: if you assume that a food is poisoned, would you take it anyway? If you must pass the way in which you think that there are enemies lurking to threaten your life, would you take that road anyway, despite having as an alternative a safe way?

When you want to buy a house, you are very careful not to throw away your money. When you get your medicine, you try to make sure that it does not harm you. Why, then, for a pleasure of the senses you want to risk your eternal salvation, saying: "I hope I can confess"? When will you confess? «Sunday». And who guarantees that you'll be alive until Sunday? "Tomorrow." And who guarantees you'll be alive tomorrow? St. Augustine says: "You are not the master of not even an hour, how can you be the master of tomorrow?" How can you promise yourself to confess tomorrow, when you do not even know if you'll get another hour of life? Continues the Saint: "God has promised forgiveness to those who repent, but not a guaranteed tomorrow to those who offend." If you sin now, maybe God will give you time to repent, but if He will not give it to you, what will become of you for all eternity? Why then do you want to lose the grace and risk losing yourself forever? For a paltry satisfaction, will you risk losing a thousand ducats? In fact, you'd be willing to gamble away everything, money, house, farms, freedom and life? wouldn't you? So why, for a paltry pleasure, you are willing to lose everything at once, your soul, heaven and God? Tell me if you believe that there is a heaven, hell, eternity? Are these truths of faith, or fairy tales? Do you believe that, if death surprises you in sin, you will be lost forever?

If you believe, wouldn't be madness to get an eternal punishment for not having rejected in time your sins. Indeed, by analogy, no one would be so imprudent as to take poison with the idea of finding, then, the remedy to heal. These wrong thoughts can actually condemn you to eternal death. Brother, ponder the words of the Spirit: You trusted in thy wickedness. You will fall above a disaster that you can not avoid (Is 47.10 to 11). If you sin recklessly relying on the divine mercy, the punishment shall come upon thee suddenly, without knowing where it came from.

Taken from St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.