Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"For the Lord disciplines him who he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives..."

I occasionally receive a comment here at La Salette Journey which accuses me of spreading "doom and gloom" for warning of coming chastisement.  Even many who profess to be Catholic scoff at the idea of God sending (or permitting) chastisements against His people.  Such people argue that, "a loving God would not 'punish' His creation with a chastisement. 

An article entitled "My Redeemer Lives: Tragedy, Disaster, and the Justice of God," which appeared in an edition of The Word Among Us magazine back in 2006, presented this argument. The author of this article, after referring to the multiple disasters in New Orleans and the earthquake and the tsunami which followed it in the Indian Ocean, wrote: " should we think about these things? Does Scripture really teach that God punishes us with earthquakes and floods and hurricanes? Does the Church teach that God sits back impassively while we suffer at the cruel hands of Mother Nature? Of course, the answer to both questions is a resounding 'No.'"

And of course, when you pose those questions, the answer is definitely a "resounding no." But perhaps those are the wrong questions? What does Sacred Scripture really teach us about chastisement? Does chastisement really represent merely a "punishment"? Or is it something else entirely? We can best examine this issue through the analogy of parents who actually love their children and who wish what is best for them. Such parents will employ both the carrot and the stick to encourage their children to do the right thing. When the carrot isn't working, parents will very often turn to the stick because of their love for their children. Does not Sacred Scripture teach us that, "He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently)" (Proverbs 13: 24).

And in Hebrews 12: 6-12, we read: "For the Lord disciplines him who he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time at their pleasure, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but rather be healed."

We see how earthly parents discipline and chastise us for our own good, what makes us believe that things would be any different in God's relationship with all of His children? Are we prepared to accept what God's Holy Word has to say on this matter or do we believe ourselves to be "wiser" than that inspired Word?

A chastisement is coming. Why? Father Albert Hebert, S.M., explains: "Sin and evil is the one enemy of mankind. It spearheads the columns of all the other evils it brings with it. It brings destruction and death, and a terrible eternal death for the unrepentant, those who flaunt their pride and their resistance in the face of a Loving and Merciful God, those who are a continuous scandal to others. They forget that God's Justice must be infinite too, and that sooner or later it must be exercised to preserve His honor and integrity, to save the innocent, to confirm the good and to justify the martyrs."  See here.


Michelle said...

I remember Billy Graham's wife saying that if God doesn't chastise America soon He'll have to apologize for Sodom and Gomorrah. This nation has become even more evil than those cities on the plain which were destroyed by fire. Interestingly, Our Lady of Akita in Japan has warned of a fire which will descend from Heaven on mankind if people do not repent.

jac said...

"Does Scripture really teach that God punishes us with earthquakes and floods and hurricanes? "

Those who ask this never read the Bible and peculiarly the passages on the Deluge and Sodome and Gomorrah, or if they did they never heeded them seriously.
Not speaking about the true content of the Fatima's 3rd Secret, in the known two first secrets our Lady warned us of WWII and even a WWIII as chastisements .
Whatever are the Akita's apparitions, they have been approved by the Church and nobody can overturn this approval.
Since our Holy Father declared that Fatima's and Akita's contents are "essentially the same", it is easy to understand that the last one SAYS the Fatima's 3rd Secret which Pope John declined to unveil.
And our Lady clearly speaks of a next coming chastisement:
"If men don't repent and better themselves the Father will
inflict a terrible punishment. Fire will fall from the sky and wipe out a great part of humanity."
It is time now to spread the devotion to our Lady of Akita as high as Fatima and to go there in pilgrimages and, upon all, tell the truth: Yes, God may punish the men because He loves them.

Dermot said...

I want to commend you, Paul, for this blog, which I discovered recently. I especially like when you relate the words of the Popes, including our present Holy Father, to current world events.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Jac, well said. It was Pope Leo XIII who said that ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Jesus. And since the majority of people today are ignorant of the Scriptures...

jac said...

Dear Fr Melanson,
Can you imagine the impact on the japanese people that crowds of Catholic pilgrims going to Akita would have while praying our Lady like we can see today in Lourdes or Fatima?

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

Thank you Jac for your astute comments. I should mention that I am not a priest but rather a lay philosopher. I pray for the Japanese people and for their conversion to Catholicism. God bless you!

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