MEDITATION: Of The General Judgment, And Of The Signs and Things Precedent To That Day THE II POINT

GIOTTO di Bondone 
Last Judgment (detail) 

MEDITATION: Of The General Judgment, And Of The Signs and Things Precedent To That Day 

Secondly, are to be considered the signs precedent to this general judgment, as Christ our Lord reckoneth them in his gospel, pondering their number, & terror: the things which they signify: the effects which they shall cause in men: the manner how they shall come to pass; and with all, the causes wherefore they come to pass.
1. First I am to ponder the number of them, for all creatures (as the Wiseman saith) shall be armed to take vengeance on the enemies of their Creator: and all the world shall fight for him against rash inconsiderate sinners. And as all have been instruments of Gods mercy to do them great damages, and with great reason for that they abused them to the injury of their Creator. And although they now dissemble this wrong, then they shall manifest it with terrible signs.

2. Secondly, I will ponder their terribleness, discoursing of some of them. The Sun shall be obscured, the Moon shall be turned into the color of blood: The Stars, or Comets shall fall from heaven like Lightning: and the powers of heaven shall be moved, for they shall make a fearful noise like a clock, when it is let loose to strike the hour: the earth shall dreadfully tremble, opening itself in many parts, and like mount Aetna, casting forth fire: the sea shall be in a tumult with terrible waves: the winds encountering one another shall raise horrible tempests:dreadful thunder claps, with fearful flashes of lightnings shall sound in the air: and there shall appear affrighting visions, and horrid monsters, much more horrid then in Egypt and Jerusalem. The wild, and savage beasts, and venomous serpents shall stray up, and down, running in all parts with horrible howling, roarings, and hissings.

3. But how terrible soever these signs be, they will afflict much more with the terror of the things which they signify, and which men apprehend; because all these are but as a draught of the dreadful evils, which they expect for the world shall be the very portraiture of hell. The darkness of the sun menaceth eternal darkness, in chastisment of the darkness of the soul. The blood of the moon is the sign of the indignation of almighty God, which shall take vengeance of them, for staining themselves with the blood of sins. The falling of the stars from heaven, is the sign of the most unhappy fall which they shall take from the heaven of the Church, to the bottomless pit of hell: for they threw themselves down headlong from the height of grace, to the depth of sinn. The fury of the elements, and beasts, prognosticateth the terribleness of the infernal furies against them, for living like beasts without any order, or government of their passions.

4. From hence it will arise, that men shall wither with fear, and astonishment, as well for the evils which experiment, as for those which they expect, being seized upon by the sad spirit that withereth the bones. O what a difference shall there be in this case, between those that have a good, and secure, and those that have an evil, and unquiet conscience! for albeit that all shall fear: yet the fear of the good shall be mixed with great confidence in Gods mercy. And so our Savior Christ comforteth them, saying: When these things begin to come to pass, open your eyes, and lift up your heads, for they are signs that your redemption is at hand, the end of your labors, and the beginning of your rest. But the fear of the wicked shall be full of desperation, and great impatience: for (as the Wiseman saith) an evil conscience augmenteth their fear, and pain. And if already (saith David) they tremble with fear, where they have nothing to dread, how much more will they tremble where they have so much to tremble at? beginning presently to have that trembling, & gnashing of teeth, which they shall ever have in hell. Pondering all these things, and every one of them, I will exhort myself to the fear of God, and detestation of my sins, saying myself.


How is it (o my soul) that thou fearest not the wrath of almighty God, who the more merciful he is now, shall then be the more rigorous? why embracest thou not with love the Sacraments, and signs of his grace, before the terrible signs of his wrath fall upon thee? If the pillars of heaven shall then tremble, why doest not thou fortify thyself with a celestial life, that though thou hearest, yet thou maiest not fall?

O infinite God, nail my flesh with the holy fear, making me fear thy terrible judgments. Let my bones be withered with sorrow for having offended thee, rather then I should be withered with an unprofitable fear. Let my face be covered with shame for my sins, that then I may lift up my head for joy of the redemption that I expect of them Amen.

Meditations upon the mysteries of our holie faith, 1619 / Luis de la Puente


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