On 24th of August 410, barbarians sacked and destroyed the Holy City of Rome.
This was three and a half centuries after the sacking of Jerusalem, where God displayed His wrath with the Jews who had rejected His Son and committed the most cruel and terrible treachery in all of history. In response, He took from them their special election and gave it to the Gentiles, and especially to the City of Rome and the Romans. The author of Butler's Lives of the Saints says under Christmas Day that Rome had been allowed to establish its empire for the easy dispersal of the Gospel. God clearly preordained Rome for that purpose, but whether or not they stood up to the expectations of holiness and fruitfulness which God demands, is attested by history. It was a chastisement, commonly understood to be for the sake of the holiness of His people and for the punishment of the wicked. In its nature, it parrallels many similar occurences such as the Mohammedans conquering the Holy Land to chastise Christendom for its fractiousness, or the many examples in the Old Testament of the same happening to Israel.
A Chastisement is coming our way very, very shortly. I don't intend to educate anyone about history or morals or prophecies, but I do recommend educating yourself on them. I am too ignorant to educate anyone beyond myself and my family currently.
What I do intend to do is to point out to you what is very easy to see. That is our crimes:
Look at abortion. How much of it is in this country? How much is exported by this country? Is it increasing or decreasing? We celebrate the fact that fifty years have passed with an iniquitous court case promoting the cause of infant sacrifice throughout the United States, that has only now been turned over, and as a result allows and encourages all of the states to build upon their two generations of abortion culture, custom, and legislation. Egypt killed a mere pittance of the number of children that we have, and they had escaped the womb, and they were only male. In response, God struck down all of their firstborn, poisoned their waters and turned them to blood, drove pestilence upon them, their cattle, and their crops, gave them all manner of death, and shrouded them in terrifying darkness as described most poignantly in Wisdom. Herod killed a small locality of children, and their mothers' cries rose up in din, and he was afflicted with an ulcer that oozed fleas and worms from his belly until his despicable death. What cries have we raised up to heaven for our young? How many abortion victims do you know? Where are they, heaven, hell, elsewhere? Have you prayed for them? Have you thirsted for justice?
Look at the sodomites. Do you know that our country is very well known for sodomy? Perhaps second only to gluttony. How are the sodomites treated in our country? Are they in hiding, their sins persecuted, kept far from children, earnestly impressed to repent? Are their sins prevented or are they extolled in public? Does it affect our holy clergy? Are our priests preventing it, repairing it, admonishing the perpertrators? Or is it held up everywhere as a source of bold pride and presented to God's face, within His very House? In Noah's time, men made contract with men. This is similar to our homosexual unions recognized instead of punished by not only the State, but the Church in many ways, not just heretical congregations, but the inherittance of Christ Himself, Catholic clergy. In response, God struck the entire earth, punishing not just men but Creation itself, the mountains, the valleys, the lakes, and every living creature. Did a man survive just because he kept himself chaste but did nothing to admonish his neighbor? How many men survived? God gave us the rainbow as a sign of His Mercy, and now the sodomites hold it up to Him to tempt Him further.
Look at the third commandment. What do you see on Christmas? On the Feast of the Circumcision? On Sundays? On Easter? How many of your neighbors are doing profane labors? What are you doing? Are you fasting, praying, studying, recuperating your family, looking to God, shutting off all worldly concerns? Or are you thinking of money, of the yard, of the upcoming responsibilities of the week? If you are, are you looking to God's interests in the duties He has given you, so that you can endeavour and beg for the grace to please Him, or are you looking at more and various ways to acquire comforts? How much do you deny yourself?
Look at the second commandment. How is Our Lord's name treated? In your works, in your talk, do you treat Our Lord or Our Lady's name with reverence? Do you take off your hat? Do you bow your head? Or is the Holy Name of Jesus just another subject for joking and profane talk?
Look at the first commandment. Have we held to the true religion in this country? How was this country founded? What are its tenets? Are they the tenets of Holy Mother Church? Did Holy Mother Church subsist in democratic government for two thousand years? Did it promote freedom of religion? Did it promote the right to bear arms? Did it promote free speech? What does free speech do for us? Do you hear holy conversation, or blasphemy? How often does someone say something heretical, or simply talk about their loved ones being in a better place, and you say nothing about their need for prayer or their lamentable condition? We abandon our dead like heathens, and we make funerals the setting of celebration and revelry, and we hardly know the meaning of the word solemnity.
On that note, how is Christmas observed? Is it solemn and joyous, or is it an occasion for avarice, gluttony, and drunkness? Let me quote Butler: "Christians who rejoice with a wordly, vain, or carnal mirth are strangers to the Spirit of God and His holy joy. Some exterior marks of this joy are allowed, provided they be not sought for themselves, but such as suit a penitential state and Christian gravity, both by their nature and extreme moderation that is held in them; and, lastly, provided motives of virtue sanctify them, and they express and spring from an interior spiritual joy, which is altogether holy. If sensuality have any share in our festivals, they are rather heathenish Bacchanals than Christian solemnities, and on them we feed and strengthen those passions which Christ was born only to teach us to subdue."
I know I am saying all this late. What am I to do? I think it is far too late for this nation or for this world, as Our Lady said to Sister Lucia, if I recall correctly. But I earnestly say to you, that we have another penitential season coming up, that Christmas can be a time of penance as much as Lent, that all our lives should be a penance, and indeed we have much for which to offer penance. For many souls are right this moment falling into hell, and they will continue falling into hell, for the next several months, and less of them will go if we do more penance and die to ourselves, and deny ourself every luxury, as God Himself sent us from His Loving and Fatherly Hands when He sent us the cold on Christmas Eve and froze all our pipes. What are we? We can't haul water? What would our forefathers think of us? And when we suffer, we grumble, rather than loving that Merciful Hand that wishes us not to die in sin.
Chastisement is coming very soon, and things are going to get much worse, but let me end with a bit from St. Augustine's City of God, which moreorless inspired this. He has been talking about the sack of Rome and the pagans who have come to his diocese and blamed Christ and the Holy Religion which is Roman Catholicism and no other; not Eastern Schismatism, nor Protestant Debauchery, nor Protestant Miserliness (Lutheranism and Calvinism respectively), nor idolatry and Mohammedism, all of which lead to the everlasting fires of hell; and if you consider the Ten Commandments, to be a member of these false religions is worse than to commit theft, adultery, murder, or to abuse your own parents. They blamed Christ for the sacking of Rome, while they themselves survived by hiding within Christ's basilica, and the house of the Apostles, which was miraculously and mercifully spared by the barbarians, who feared Our Holy Lord, and knew themselves to be His Rod withwhich He chastised His people. Surely, we soon will meet our own rod, and there are many all over the world volunteering happily to fill the office.
"No doubt this question will be asked, 'Why does the divine mercy extend even to the godless and ungrateful?' The only explanation is that it is the mercy of one 'who makes his sun rise on the good and on the bad, and sends rain alike on the righteous and the unrighteous'. Some of the wicked are brought to penitence by considering these facts, and amend their impiety, while others, in the words of the Apostle, 'despise the riches of God's goodness and forebearance, in the hardness and impenitence of their hearts, and lay up for themselves a store of wrath in the day of God's anger and of the revelation of the just judgment of God, who will repay every man according to his actions'. Yet the patience of God still invites the wicked to penitence, just as God's chastisement trains the good in patient endurance. God's mercy embraces the good for their cherishing, just as his severity chastens the wicked for their punishment. God, in his providence, decided to prepare future blessings for the righteous, which the unrighteous will not enjoy, and sorrows for the ungodly, with which the good will not be tormented. But he has willed that these temporal goods and temporal evils should befall good and bad alike, so that the good things should not be too eagerly coveted, when it is seen that the wicked also enjoy them, and that the evils should not be discreditably shunned, when it is apparent that the good are often afflicted with them.
"The most important question is this: What use is made of the things thought to be blessings, and of the things reputed evil? The good man is not exalted by this world's goods; nor is he overwhelmed by this world's ills. The bad man is punished by misfortune of this kind just because he is corrupted by good fortune.
"However, it often happens that God shows more clearly his manner of working in the distribution of good and bad fortune. For if punishment were obviously inflicted on every wrongdoing in this life, it would be supposed that nothing was reserved for the last judgment; on the other hand, if God's power never openly punished any sin in this world, there would be an end to belief in providence. Similarly in respect of good fortune; if God did not grant it to some petitioners with manifest generosity, we should not suppose that these temporal blessings were his concern, while if he bestowed prosperity on all just for the asking we might think that God was to be served merely for the sake of those rewards, and any service of him would prove us not godly but rather greedy and covetous.
"This being so, when the good and the wicked suffer alike, the identity of their sufferings does not mean that there is no difference between them. Though the sufferings are the same, the sufferers remain different. Virtue and vice are not the same, even if they undergo the same torment. The fire which makes gold shine makes chaff smoke; the same flail breaks up the straw, and clears the grain; and oil is not mistaken for lees because both are forced out by the same press. In the same way, the violence which assails good men to test them, to cleanse and purify them, effects in the wicked their condemnation, ruin, and annihilation. Thus the wicked, under pressure of affliction, execrate God and blaspheme; the good, in the same affliction, offer up prayers and praises. This shows that what matters is the nature of the sufferer, not the nature of the sufferings. Stir a cesspit, and a foul stench arises; stir a perfume, and a delightful fragrance ascends. But the movement is identical."
Herod before he died emitted a stench that appalled and scandalized his closest friends. One of his last acts was to execute his own son, whom he had previously imprisoned. St. Francis Xavier, after having been buried in lime many days, was revealed in a lively and healthy demeanour, and emitted a fragrance more pleasant than the best of perfumes.
St. Augustine goes on to say that he personally believed one of the main reasons for God having chastised the just in the recent sacking of Rome, where plunder, murder, rape, enslavement, and every other evil was witnessed but sacrilege, was because the just and the men of God had refrained from admonishing sinners.
We pursue vainglory in our "evangelization" and never pursue holiness or penance. St. Francis Xavier forced many a man to wait before baptism, even if they were eager, and especially if they committed sins like sodomy. There is no humility in thinking you spread the religion by treating a few people kindly while never admonishing them, instructing them, or testing yourself. We write books where we talk about evangelizing, serving the poor, refugees, and spreading the kingdom of God. How many sinners have we admonished? Is it because there is a shortage of wicked crimes all around our doorstep? Is it because we do not know what evil is? That latter is more likely. But how best would God educate us? Leave us in luxury? Or unseat us from the throne of the world and humble us even to the pit?
God's Wrath is coming very quickly. When it comes, thank Him for it, because it is better than to suffer it all at His Judgment Seat.
May the Lord preserve you,