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Suffering and the divine punishment of the good alongside the wicked

The great St. Augustine sees clearly and speaks frankly where we moderns deceive ourselves and obfuscate.

Detail from image of statue of St. Augustine, carved by Gian Lorenzo Bernini [c.1650; WikiArt.org]

Many today labor under the delusion that the reality of suffering is a difficulty for Christianity – as if Christian doctrine would lead us to expect little or no suffering, so that its adherents should be flummoxed by suffering’s prevalence.  As I have discussed in previous articles, this is the reverse of the truth.  The Catholic faith teaches that suffering is the inexorable consequence of original sin and past actual sin. It is an essential part of the long and painful process of sanctification, of overcoming sinful habits of thought and action. It is the inevitable concomitant of the persecution Christians must face for preaching the Gospel and condemning the world’s wickedness. It is an inescapable punishment for sin, which we must embrace in a penitential spirit. By way of suffering we pay both our own temporal debt and that of others for whom we might offer up our suffering. By way of it, we most closely unite ourselves to Christ’s Passion. The extent and depth of human suffering thus confirms, rather than disconfirms, the claims of Christianity.

As I proposed in those earlier articles, bafflement at suffering is less the cause than the consequence of the modern West’s apostasy from the Catholic faith. It also reflects the softness and decadence of a dying civilization that has become accustomed to affluence and cannot fathom a higher good beyond ease and beyond this life, for the sake of which we might embrace suffering. Nor is it apostates alone who exhibit this blindness. The spiritual rot has eaten its way deep into the Church, afflicting even those who are otherwise loyal to orthodoxy and Christian morality. And in our disinclination to accept suffering, we are only ensuring ourselves more of it.

Here as elsewhere, the great St. Augustine sees clearly and speaks frankly where we moderns deceive ourselves and obfuscate. In chapters 8-10 of Book I of The City of God, he discusses how and why evil and suffering befall the good as well as the wicked in this life. As our own age descends into ever deeper moral, political, social, and economic disorder, we would do well to meditate upon his bracing teaching. If the faithful believe they will or ought to be spared the brunt of the punishment that the sins of our civilization are liable to bring down upon it, they are sorely mistaken. Things are likely to get worse for all of us, even if only so that divine providence can ultimately bring something better out of the chaos.

In chapter 8, Augustine notes that while there is in this life some connection between evildoing and suffering on the one hand, and righteousness and blessings on the other, it is very far from tight. The wicked enjoy many good things, while the good suffer much misfortune. To be sure, this will be redressed in the afterlife, when the good will be rewarded with eternal happiness and the wicked with eternal torment. “But as for the good things of this life, and its ills,” Augustine writes, “God has willed that these should be common to both; that we might not too eagerly covet the things which wicked men are seen equally to enjoy, nor shrink with an unseemly fear from the ills which even good men often suffer.”

When we wonder why God permits us to suffer even though we try to obey him, part of the reason is precisely that we might be saved. For if we pursue righteousness only when it is easy to do so, our virtue is bound to be shallow and unlikely to last. Nor, if the connection between virtuous behavior and material blessings is too tight, are we likely to pursue the former for the right reasons. We cannot achieve happiness in the world to come if we become too attached to the world that is, and suffering is a means of preventing the latter.

Moreover, says Augustine, the difference between a truly righteous man and a wicked one is often exposed precisely by suffering:

Wherefore, though good and bad men suffer alike, we must not suppose that there is no difference between the men themselves, because there is no difference in what they both suffer. For even in the likeness of the sufferings, there remains an unlikeness in the sufferers; and though exposed to the same anguish, virtue and vice are not the same thing. For as the same fire causes gold to glow brightly, and chaff to smoke… so the same violence of affliction proves, purges, clarifies the good, but damns, ruins, exterminates the wicked. And thus it is that in the same affliction the wicked detest God and blaspheme, while the good pray and praise. So material a difference does it make, not what ills are suffered, but what kind of man suffers them.

Now, so far Augustine is addressing suffering that is unmerited. But there is also suffering that good men can merit and bring upon themselves, as Augustine explains in chapter 9. This is so in several ways. First, of course, nobody’s perfect. Even those who avoid the more blatant violations of Christian morality still typically exhibit moral failings of various lesser kinds:

Although they be far from the excesses of wicked, immoral, and ungodly men, yet they do not judge themselves so clean removed from all faults as to be too good to suffer for these even temporal ills. For every man, however laudably he lives, yet yields in some points to the lust of the flesh. Though he do not fall into gross enormity of wickedness, and abandoned viciousness, and abominable profanity, yet he slips into some sins, either rarely or so much the more frequently as the sins seem of less account.

But there is also the attitude that the good man takes toward those who do live especially wicked lives. There are many who disapprove of such wickedness and would never practice it themselves, but who nevertheless, out of cowardice, refrain from criticizing it in others. Here Augustine makes some remarks that are especially relevant to our times, and worth quoting at length:

Where can we readily find a man who holds in fit and just estimation those persons on account of whose revolting pride, luxury, and avarice, and cursed iniquities and impiety, God now smites the earth as His predictions threatened? Where is the man who lives with them in the style in which it becomes us to live with them? For often we wickedly blind ourselves to the occasions of teaching and admonishing them, sometimes even of reprimanding and chiding them, either because we shrink from the labor or are ashamed to offend them, or because we fear to lose good friendships, lest this should stand in the way of our advancement, or injure us in some worldly matter, which either our covetous disposition desires to obtain, or our weakness shrinks from losing. So that, although the conduct of wicked men is distasteful to the good, and therefore they do not fall with them into that damnation which in the next life awaits such persons, yet, because they spare their damnable sins through fear, therefore, even though their own sins be slight and venial, they are justly scourged with the wicked in this world, though in eternity they quite escape punishment. Justly, when God afflicts them in common with the wicked, do they find this life bitter, through love of whose sweetness they declined to be bitter to these sinners.

Here Augustine teaches that it is not enough to refrain from the sins of wicked men. The Christian must also criticize them for their wickedness, and try to get them to repent of it. To be sure, Augustine goes on to acknowledge that there may be occasions where one might justifiably opt to postpone such criticism until an opportune moment, or refrain from it out of a reasonable fear of doing more harm than good. But he teaches here that it is not justifiable to refrain from such criticism merely because it is difficult, or because we fear causing offense and losing friends, or because we don’t want to risk losing status or other worldly goods. For the wicked are in danger of damnation if they do not repent, and we “wickedly blind ourselves” if we shirk our duty to encourage them to do so. Even if we avoid damnation ourselves, we will justly suffer alongside them when divine providence visits this-worldly punishments upon them (social and economic disorder, natural disasters, and the like).

Here too Augustine emphasizes that God allows the good to suffer alongside the wicked in part to wean them from their attachment to this world, where their reluctance to criticize the wicked is a symptom of this attachment:

What is blame-worthy is, that they who themselves revolt from the conduct of the wicked, and live in quite another fashion, yet spare those faults in other men which they ought to reprehend and wean them from; and spare them because they fear to give offense, lest they should injure their interests in those things which good men may innocently and legitimately use – though they use them more greedily than becomes persons who are strangers in this world, and profess the hope of a heavenly country.

Augustine is especially hard on Christians (such as clergy) who do not have family obligations and the like to worry about, yet still shrink from doing their duty to condemn the wickedness that surrounds them:

[They] do often take thought of their own safety and good name, and abstain from finding fault with the wicked, because they fear their wiles and violence. And although they do not fear them to such an extent as to be drawn to the commission of like iniquities, nay, not by any threats or violence soever; yet those very deeds which they refuse to share in the commission of they often decline to find fault with, when possibly they might by finding fault prevent their commission. They abstain from interference, because they fear that, if it fail of good effect, their own safety or reputation may be damaged or destroyed; not because they see that their preservation and good name are needful, that they may be able to influence those who need their instruction, but rather because they weakly relish the flattery and respect of men, and fear the judgments of the people, and the pain or death of the body; that is to say, their non-intervention is the result of selfishness, and not of love.

The application to the present day is obvious. Consider the sexual sins into which our age has, arguably, sunk more deeply than any previous one. So as to avoid criticizing these sins too harshly or even talking much about them at all, even many otherwise conservative Christians lie to themselves about their gravity, pretending they are slight when in fact (and as the tradition has always insisted) they are extremely serious. Such sins have, among their consequences: the even graver sin of murder, in the form of abortion; fatherlessness and the poverty and social breakdown that is its sequel; addiction to pornography and the marital problems it brings in its wake; the loneliness and economic insecurity of women who in their youth were used by men for pleasure, and are later unable to find husbands; a general breakdown in rationality that has now reached the point where even the objective difference between men and women is shrilly denied; and the willingness to mutilate children’s bodies in the name of this gender ideology.

Worse, many Christians deceive themselves into thinking that it is love or compassion for the sinner that prevents them from condemning these sins too harshly. In fact, given the grave damage caused by these sins, and the difficulty so many have in extricating themselves from them, to refrain from warning others against them is the opposite of compassionate. Yet the present age is so addicted to them that, of all sins, sexual sins are those criticism of which puts the critic at greatest danger. People fear for their reputations, and even livelihoods, if they speak up. Hence, as Augustine says, “their non-intervention is the result of selfishness, and not of love.”

The consequence, Augustine teaches, is that many sinners who might have repented had they been warned will end up damned as a result. And those who failed to warn them will suffer at least temporal punishments along with them, because they were too attached to the comforts of this life to help others prepare for the next. Augustine writes:

Accordingly this seems to me to be one principal reason why the good are chastised along with the wicked, when God is pleased to visit with temporal punishments the profligate manners of a community. They are punished together, not because they have spent an equally corrupt life, but because the good as well as the wicked, though not equally with them, love this present life; while they ought to hold it cheap, that the wicked, being admonished and reformed by their example, might lay hold of life eternal… For so long as they live, it remains uncertain whether they may not come to a better mind. These selfish persons have more cause to fear than those to whom it was said through the prophet, He is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand (Ezekiel 33:6).

In chapter 10, Augustine hammers on the theme that the treasure of Christians is to be found in heaven and not in any of the goods of this life, and that, accordingly, no worldly suffering can possibly truly harm them. He writes:

They should endure all torment, if need be, for Christ’s sake; that they might be taught to love Him rather who enriches with eternal felicity all who suffer for Him, and not silver and gold, for which it was pitiable to suffer, whether they preserved it by telling a lie or lost it by telling the truth. For under these tortures no one lost Christ by confessing Him… So that possibly the torture which taught them that they should set their affections on a possession they could not lose, was more useful than those possessions which, without any useful fruit at all, disquieted and tormented their anxious owners.

As this last remark indicates, the loss of worldly blessings – material goods, reputation, friendships, health, livelihood, even life itself – is permitted by God so that we might learn not to cling to these things at the expense of the beatific vision, the value of which trumps all else. God thus only ever permits suffering not in spite of his goodness, but rather precisely because of his goodness. As Augustine says, there isn’t “any evil [that] happens to the faithful and godly which cannot be turned to profit,” so that, with St. Paul, “we know that all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28).

(Editor’s note: This essay originally appeared on Dr. Feser’s blog in a slightly different form and is reprinted here with the author’s kind permission.)


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About Dr. Edward Feser 37 Articles
Edward Feser is the author of several books on philosophy and morality, including All One in Christ: A Catholic Critique of Racism and Critical Race Theory (Ignatius Press, August 2022), and Five Proofs of the Existence of God and is co-author of By Man Shall His Blood Be Shed: A Catholic Defense of Capital Punishment, both also published by Ignatius Press.

18 Comments

  1. Suffering. For the reprobate just punishment, for the faithful discipline for sanctification, offering what we suffer for the reprobate’s turn to repentance and salvation. These irrepressible realities addressed by Dr Feser within the aura of impending disaster. Things will get worse. Many of the credentialed, prelates, theologians are expressing this opinion.
    Never in the history of Christianity has the entire spectrum of Apostolic tradition been subverted by seeming plausibly couched arguments. How far it portends we don’t know. What matters is that we are alert, and as recommended by essayist Feser, deepen our relation to Christ, and go so unimaginatively far as to actually participate in His crucifixion.
    “The Christian must also criticize them for their wickedness, and try to get them to repent of it” [who else but Augustine, the source of Feser’s commentary] is largely ignored in the politically correct ecclesial world of ‘make nice’ insipid Christianity. Thou shan’t upset the congregation. Empty pews are the result. Lacking candor and with that fire they’ve turned to other things [one Feser points out the ruination of marriages – pornography].
    If I may add out of experience that Laity hunger for that fire, the truth about things as they are. Suffering for a greater good, at its best for love’s sake, even for, better said especially for love of the adversary, the tormentor is the purest offering of love and the most effective to elicit repentance. That, because it most closely imitates Christ. Christ whose impossible love shatters all logic.

    • Father Peter,
      I am a reprobate sinner in need of help and prayers. Could you please remember me in a special way in your daily prayers and offer up some of your sufferings and penances this advent for the salvation of my soul and to help me make reparation for my sins? Thank you Father!

      • We all feel unworthy and yet, the Lord Jesus came to rescue us. Fr Peter will have words of comfort and nobility. God bless you.

        Psalm 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

        Psalm 51:1- To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba. Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. …

        Micah 6:6 “With what shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before God on high? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?

        Psalm 34:18 The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

        1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

        • @ Casey mcKee.
          Casey I am most pleased to fulfill your request, that intercession belonging in a specified manner to the ordained priesthood. Know that graces for your repentance will be given, be prepared to respond with faith and confidence.

    • Fr. Morello summarizes our present moment: ” Thou shan’t upset the congregation.” So, instead, this from an unknown source of probably the 1970s”

      “Adults
      discovering their spiritual emptiness,
      look to the Church
      not for a breezy bon mot,
      but for the hard truths of
      mystical life, fasting and prayer.
      Lapsed Catholics,
      tiptoeing back into Church
      on Sunday Morning,
      look not for a communal meal
      and a handshake,
      but for a holy Sacrifice
      and the promise of redemption.
      Our faith is like a strong drink,
      or a plate of hearty food.
      We can make it easier to accept,
      by watering it down
      and taking out the spices.
      But who wants a watery drink,
      or a tasteless dish? (“If the salt
      has lost its savor…”)
      Our society is begging for red meat.
      If we offer a thin soup, instead,
      we shall rightly be rejected”

  2. What most attracts the human heart that prompts them to follow Christ? The call to a life of sacrificial love and acceptance of suffering unto perfection by grace. Preach that and they will come.

    Preach a life of ease, self-indulgence, rewards here on earth, a prosperity gospel, creature comforts, satisfaction of carnal passions, etc and the churches will be emptied. Don’t doubt this; just look around. Look at those who proclaim such a gospel…where are their adherents?

    • Dear Deacon Edward, you are right to point to the frequency of effete preaching as an indicator of sickness in the Church.

      We could add to that: a general ignorance of Christ’s commands results in many in our Church being ignorant of the Person of Christ and His Father.

      At Luke 11:23 Jesus explains: “Those who are not with Me are against Me; and they scatter who do not gather with Me.”

      How gloriously informative is The Word of God; yet, fiercely incisive, too. We rejoice in God’s Word and are all subject to it. Those who chose to live in discipline to it, are firmly built on the eternal divine Rock (Matthew 7:24). A very good place to be!

      That so many of our Catholic brothers & sisters, including many hierarchs, reject God’s loving discipline, causes us who believe to deeply fear for them, for they are clinging to straws.

      John the Beloved Apostle reports that the children of God (and of Mary) are known by: 1. Their obedience to God’s commandments; and, 2. Their witness to the teachings of Jesus Christ. (Revelation 13:17b).

      God has made it that easy for us to inherit eternal life.

      Sadly, much theologizing can obscure this easy yoke & light burden (Matthew 11:30).

      Take care. Keep well & ever sustained by the love of The Lamb; blessings from marty

  3. This is right of course, but we are told by the bishop of Rome not to judge, and even before his ascension the pervasive atmosphere in the Church since I was a young man, long ago, is not to speak the chastising rebukes that Augustine and Feser say we are called to speak. I do not dispute Feser nor Augustine, but there is a reason in addition to risking our comforts and well-being that most of us do not do what they say we are called to do – it is the example and quite often the vocalized direction of the Church not to be “judgmental”, to be tolerant, for instance to make the sodomite and the adulterer “feel welcome” in the Church, or not to call heretics heretics but instead “those of a different tradition”, etc.. And there is also a background belief, usually but not always unspoken, extending even to the Vatican, that no one really goes to hell forever, that mercy forgives everything anyway, and if that is the case then the importance of correcting another’s sins becomes of lesser importance, less worth risking personal discomfort and suffering over. These are problems that are pervasive and penetrating and though Feser and Augustine are no doubt right, the thick inhibiting fog through which we walk is not going to be easily dissipated.

    • Mark,
      All you say is undoubtedly true. Yet in the Catholic morass of the Catholic world today, CHRIST speaks. He speaks through those of strong faith and hope, in the words He gives to the tongues of those who love Him enough to speak on His behalf.

      If we focus more on Christ and less on the deceits of those who know not His truth, power, and strength, we advance His charity and His will. Should we let stand the false and dishonest fake speech of those in opposition to Christ? If we remain silent or allow the loss of others’ faith and hope to influence us, the tortuous assault against Christ advances in modes and directions we barely discern while we ourselves lose faith and hope.

      One could argue that the critical mass of crises in the Church today functions to point clearly to the dire lack of Christ’s voice. All the more reason babes, saints, and sinners with faith begin to speak – boldly – courageously, in season and out.

      Onward, Christian Soldier. Happy Penitential Advent, my friend and friends.

    • Mark:
      Of the “thick and inhibiting fog through which we walk,” when such fog is really, really thick it’s actually solid B.S. And the marketers, so proud of their well-rounded arguments, are really tumble bugs in clerical garb.

      Instead, this from our first pope:
      “In times past there were false prophets among God’s people, and among you also there will be false teachers who will smuggle in pernicious heresies. They will go so far as to deny the Master who acquired them for his own, thereby bringing on themselves swift disaster. Their lustful ways will lure many away. Through them, the true way will be made subject to contempt. They will deceive you with fabricated tales, in a spirit of greed…” (2 Peter 1-4).

    • Dear Mark and Meiron,

      The struggle of sincere Catholics amidst a mob of insincerity and mockery IS the normal Christian life, NOT something strange and able to subvert our devotion to loving and obeying King Jesus Christ.

      Long before Augustine (a mixed bag if ever there was) and faithful St Dr Edward Feser, mighty Apostle Paul told us: “So be very careful about the lives you lead, like intelligent and not like senseless people. This may be a wicked age, but your lives should redeem it.” (Ephesians 5:15)

      “Try to discover what The Lord wants of you, having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness, but expose them by contrast.” (Ephesians 5:10-11)

      Protestants, Charismatics, and Pentecostals have a source of blessings we rarely find in Catholic congregations, for they readily do as St Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5:18-20: “Be filled with The Holy Spirit. Sing the words and tunes of the psalms and hymns when you are together and go on singing and chanting to The Lord in your hearts, so that you always and everywhere are giving thanks to God who is Our Father in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ.”

      In Africa, Catholics generally sing & chant like that, with all their heart & soul, but in Australia you’ll get dirty looks if you do. We need congregation-wide coaching in how to open our hearts & pour out our all to Jesus who gave His all for us.

      I know no clergy able to lead this. It has to be a ministry of inspired lay leaders.

      Much to be done but with Christ always on our side, we WILL get there.

      ‘Nil desperandum’; for persevering Catholics the end will be glorious!

      Always in the love of The Lamb; blessings from marty

        • Dear Mike, thanks for your question.

          Martin Luther, Jean Calvin and other reformers separated from our Catholic church, when they should have persevered in calling for reform from within.

          Yet, as all recent popes have reminded us, God has (surprisingly?) manifestly blessed authentically Apostolic churches (e.g. Lutherans, Anglicans, etc.) with outstanding Bible scholarship and superb liturgical praise & worship music.

          They have SO much to teach us, and many of us Catholics are humble enough to discern that our glorious King, Jesus Christ, is constantly and joyously at work among these separated brothers and sisters, too.

          There’s no merit, Mike, in cutting off our nose to spite our face! Let’s recall how Saint Peter the First Pope had to be taught to be more inclusive by Saint Paul (see Galatians 2:11 et seq.)

          As our unchanging role model let’s look to Jesus, who described himself as “humble and lowly of heart” (Matthew 11:29).

          Proud and arrogant attitudes have too often been the cause of horrible offenses in our beloved Catholic church. Let’s avoid repeating the same sins . . !

          Take care, Mike; keep well.

          Ever in the grace & mercy of Jesus Christ; love & blessings from marty

      • Dear Dr Marty:

        Unceasing blessings of insight and discernment. The Lord is putting us to the test, yes the testing of our faith!
        The pages of CWR tell us clearly that dependable men and women stand for Jesus and seek the right course for the church. It is through tribulation the church ultimately grows. Devoted witnesses speak volumes, raise people up and draw others into the church.

        Psalm 139:13-16 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

        Matthew 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’

        Titus 3:5 He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,

        1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.

        We love Christ and want to see the church as a beacon of light and hope.

        Benedictions as you as you continue to bring much to the discussion table!

        Brian

  4. I often hear the refrain that no one preaches about sin anymore. Probably because no one in the pews wants to hear about it. Keep everything ‘NICE’ and when a brave priest or Bishop does speak out, what criticism he gets from the establishment. The Bishop is the one with authority who chastises the brave priests. What’s one to do?

  5. The Book of Job is an allegory about the rise, fall and Restoration of Israel. Both wicked, and the righteous such as Job, suffer equally upon the Fall of Israel in 587 B.C.. The “Chaldeans’ hauling Job’s children off and into captivity, are the Babylonians hauling the House of Judah, out of the Promised Land and into captivity, pain and suffering in Babylon, in 587 B.C.. The “Assyrians” hauling Job’s children off, are the Assyrians hauling the House of Ephraim off into captivity, pain and suffering, in 722 B.C..

    Until the Second Coming of Jesus, to Restore the Kingdom to Israel, the world, righteous like Job and wicked alike, are still suffering from God’s Covenant with Israel.

    God made a Covenant with His People, Deuteronomy 28: Blessings for Obedience. Curses for Disobedience. If God’s people, as a whole, love God through obedience to His Commandments, God will pour down blessings upon His people as a whole, “Blessings for Obedience”. If God’s people, as a whole, hate God through disobedience, God will pour down upon His people, as a whole, “Curses for Disobedience”. God’s people are all those circumcised into the Israelite Church, the Descendants of Judah and the Descendants of Ephraim, and those Baptized into the Catholic Church.

    Deuteronomy 28: Blessings for Obedience. Curses for Disobedience.

    Acts of the Apostles 1:6 The Ascension of Jesus.
    “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

    Jesus has not yet, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”, so we, God’s people, righteous and wicked as a whole, are still suffering from the Fall of Israel.

    Lamentations 2:1
    How the Lord in his wrath
    has detested daughter Zion!
    He has cast down from heaven to earth
    the glory of Israel,
    Unmindful of his footstool
    on the day of his wrath.
    The Lord has consumed without pity
    all the dwellings of Jacob;
    He has torn down in his anger
    the fortresses of daughter Judah;
    He has brought to the ground in dishonor
    her king and her princes.

    Baruch 4:11 With joy I fostered them; but with mourning and lament I let them go. Let no one gloat over me, a widow, bereft of many: For the sins of my children I am left desolate, because they turned from the law of God, and did not acknowledge his statutes; In the ways of God’s commandments they did not walk, nor did they tread the disciplined paths of his justice.

    2 Kings 24:18
    The LORD’S anger befell Jerusalem and Judah till he cast them out from his presence.

    Israel was not really in God’s Presence in heaven. Nor were Adam and Eve in heaven, but in the Presence of God on free-willed earth, before their fall from the Garden of Eden. It was God’s Presence which was removed from Adam and Eve, upon their Fall from the Garden of Eden, which is on free-willed earth. In Ezekiel 11, it is God’s Presence which was removed from free-willed earth, when God removed His Presence from the stone temple in Jerusalem, upon the Fall of Israel. God places His Presence, away from Israel and atop God’s Holy Mountain.

    Ezekiel 11:22
    Then the cherubim lifted their wings and the wheels alongside them, with the glory of the God of Israel above them. The glory of the LORD rose up from the middle of the city and came to rest on the mountain east of the city

    In Jesus’ John 17 prayer to God the Father, Jesus laments the fact that He is going to Ascend into Heaven and leave His Church on earth. Through apparitions and locutions from Jesus and the Blessed Mother over the past 200 years, Jesus has told us to prepare for His Second Coming! Jesus is about to take over as King and Ruler of the world, defeat Satan as the ruler of the world, Rule the world with and through His Catholic Church, bring His Kingdom Come to free-willed earth, Restore the Kingdom to Israel, Restore Job, Marry His Bride the Catholic Church, by placing His Presence in the Revelation 21 ‘New Jerusalem’, which puts His Church on earth atop the Holy Mountain of God, on free-willed earth for tens of thousands of years, and wipe away His Catholic Church Bride’s every tear! Hallelujah! Come Lord Jesus Come!

    John 17:1 Prayer of Jesus.
    And now I will no longer be in the world, but they are in the world, while I am coming to you…
    …I do not ask that you take them out of the world but that you keep them from the evil one.

    Divine Mercy in my Soul, 512:
    The day of the renewal of vows. The presence of God flooded my soul. During Holy Mass I saw Jesus, and He said to me, You are My great joy; your love and your humility make Me leave the heavenly throne and unite Myself with you. Love fills up the abyss that exists between My greatness and your nothingness.

    Divine Mercy in my Soul, 912:
    I want you to be My spouse.

    http://www.apocalypseangel.com/married.html

    http://www.apocalypseangel.com/eden.html

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  1. Suffering and the divine punishment of the good alongside the wicked | Franciscan Sisters of St Joseph (FSJ) , Asumbi Sisters Kenya
  2. Suffering and the divine punishment of the good alongside the wicked – Catholic World Report – The Old Roman
  3. Suffering, divine punishment of the good and the wicked - JP2 Catholic Radio
  4. La souffrance et le châtiment divin des bons à côté des méchants

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