Chapter 41 - A Judgment Scene for Five Categories of People. Harsh condemnation of God's enemies, the first men signifying the pope and his clergy.
Our beloved Creator’s words in the presence of the heavenly host and the bride, in which he complains about five men signifying the pope and his clergy, the evil laity, the Jews and the heathens; and also about the help he sends to his friends, signifying all mankind, and about the harsh judgment he executes on his enemies.
“I am the Creator of all things. I was born of the Father before Lucifer. I am inseparably in the Father and the Father in me and one Spirit in us both. Accordingly, there is one God - Father, Son, and Holy Spirit - and not three gods. I am the one who promised the eternal inheritance to Abraham and led my people out of Egypt through Moses. I am the one who spoke through the prophets. The Father sent me to the womb of the Virgin without separating himself from me but remaining inseparably with me so that mankind, who had abandoned God, would return to God through my love.
But now, in your presence, my heavenly host, although you see and know all things in me, yet for the sake of the knowledge and teaching of my bride standing here, who cannot understand spiritual things except through a corporal parable, I make a complaint before you over these five men who are standing here, for they provoke me to wrath in many ways. Just as I, once, in the Law, with the name of Israel, signified the whole Israelite nation, so now by these five men I signify every man in the world.
The first man signifies the leader of the Church and his priests; the second, the evil laity; the third, the Jews; the fourth, the heathens; and the fifth, my friends. But from you, Jew, I exclude all the Jews who are Christians in secret and who serve me secretly in a pure love, a right faith, and a perfect deed. And from you, heathen, I exclude all those who would gladly walk in the way of my commandments, if they only knew and were taught how they should walk and live, and who with their deeds do as much as they know and are able. These shall by no means be judged with you. I now complain over you, o head of my Church, who sit on my seat which I gave to Peter and his successors to sit on with a threefold dignity and power: First, so that they would have the power of binding and loosing souls from their sins. Second, so that they would open Heaven for the penitent. Third, so that that they would close Heaven to the damned and to those who despise my Law. But you, who should be healing souls and presenting them to me, you are in truth a murderer of souls. I appointed Peter as shepherd and guardian of my sheep. But you, however, scatter and wound them. You are worse than Lucifer. For he was envious of me and desired to kill none but me so that he could rule in my place. But you are so much worse, for you do not only kill me by driving me off from yourself by your bad deeds, but you also kill souls by your bad example. I redeemed the souls with my blood and entrusted them to you as to a faithful friend, but you deliver them back again to the enemy from whom I redeemed them. You are more unrighteous than Pilate. He judged no one else but me to death, but you not only judge me as if I were a powerless lord and worthy of no good thing, no, you also judge and condemn the souls of the innocent and let the guilty go free without any rebuke. You are more cruel than Judas who only sold me, but you not only sell me, but also the souls of my chosen men for your own shameful profit and vain name’s sake. You are more despicable than the Jews, for they only crucified my body, but you crucify and torture the souls of my chosen men for whom your malice and your sins are more bitter than from any wound from a sword. And so, since you are like Lucifer and more unrighteous than Pilate and more cruel than Judas and more despicable than the Jews, I complain over you with justice.
To the second man, that is, to the laity, our Lord said: “I created all things for your benefit. You gave your consent to me and I to you. You gave me your faith and promised by oath that you would serve me. But now, you have deserted me like a man who does not know his God. You hold my words for a lie and my deeds as vanity, and you say that my will and my commandments are too heavy. You have violated the faith you promised me. You have broken your oath and abandoned my name. You have separated yourself from the number of my saints and have come to belong to the number of the devils and you have become their friend. You think that no one is worthy of praise and honor but yourself. Everything that belongs to me and that you are bound to do for me appears heavy and bitter for you, but the things that please yourself are very easy for you. Therefore, I complain over you with right, for you have broken the faith you gave me in baptism and later; and for the love I have shown you in word and deed, you mock me and call me a liar, and for my suffering you call me a fool.”
To the third man, that is, to the Jews, he said: “I began my deed of love with you and I chose you as my people. I led you out of slavery, I gave you my Law, I brought you into the land I had promised your fathers, and I sent you prophets to console you. Thereafter, I chose a virgin for myself from among you from which I assumed Manhood. But now I complain over you since you do not want not believe in me, but say: ‘The Christ has not yet come; he is still to be expected.’ ”
Our Lord said to the fourth man, that is, to the heathens: “I created and redeemed you like the Christian man, and I created all good things for your sake. But you are like a man out of his senses, because you do not know what you are doing. You are also like a blind man, because you do not see where you are going. You honor and worship the created things instead of the Creator, and the false instead of the true, and you bend your knee before things that have less worth than yourself. That is why I complain about you.”
To the fifth man, he said: “My friend, come closer!” And he directly said to the heavenly host: “My beloved friends, I have a friend with which I signify and mean many friends. He is like a man trapped among evil people and harshly shackled in captivity. If he speaks the truth, they beat his mouth with stones. If he does something good, they thrust a spear into his breast. Alas, my friends and saints, how long shall I endure such men, and how long shall I tolerate such contempt?”
Saint John the Baptist answered: “You are like the most pure mirror, for we see and know all things in you as in a mirror without any help of words and speech. You are the sweetness that no one can describe in which we taste all good things. You are like the sharpest of swords for you judge in righteousness.”
Our Lord answered him: “Indeed, my friend, you said the truth, for my chosen men see all goodness and righteousness in me, and even the evil spirits see it in their own conscience but not in the light. Just like a man placed in a dark prison, who had earlier learned the letters, knows that which he had learned before even though he is in darkness and currently cannot see, so it is with the devils. Even though they do not see my righteousness in the light of my clarity, they still know and see it in their conscience. I am also like a sword that separates things into two parts. In this way I give each and every person what they deserve.”
Then Our Lord said to Saint Peter: “You are the founder and defender of the faith and of my Church. While my host is listening, state the sentence of the five men!” Peter answered: “O Lord, all praise and honor to you, for the love you have shown to your earth. Blessed be you by all your host, for you allow us to see and know all things in you that have been and will be, and that is why we see and know all things in you. It is true justice that the first man who sits upon your seat, while having the deeds of Lucifer, should shamefully lose the seat he dared to sit on and become a partaker in the torment of Lucifer. The right judgment of the second man is that he, who has fallen away from your faith, should fall down to hell with his head down and feet up, for he loved himself and despised you who should have been his head. The right judgment of the third man is that he will not see your face and that he should be tormented for his malice and greed, since unbelievers do not deserve to see your glory and beauty. The right judgment of the fourth is that he should be locked up like a man out of his senses and banished to the city of darkness. The right judgment of the fifth is that help should be sent to him.”
Then our Lord answered: “I swear by God the Father, whose voice John the Baptist heard in the Jordan; I swear by the body which John baptized, saw, and touched in the Jordan; I swear by the Holy Spirit who revealed himself in the form of a dove at the Jordan, that I shall do justice with these five men.”
Then our Lord said to the first of these five men: “The sword of my severity will go into your body; it shall enter at the top of your head and penetrate you so deeply and violently that it can never be drawn out. Your chair will sink like a heavy stone and never stop before it comes to the lowest of depths. Your fingers, that is, your assistants and advisers, will burn in the inextinguishable sulfurous fire. Your arms, that is, your office-holders, who should have reached out for the help and benefit of souls but instead reached out for worldly honor and profit, will be judged to the torment and suffering of which David speaks: ‘His sons shall be fatherless and his wife a widow and others shall take his property.’ Who is ‘his wife’ if not the soul which shall be excluded from the glory of Heaven and be widowed and lose God? ‘His sons’, that is, the virtues they appeared to have, and my simple and humble men who were under them, shall be separated from them. Their honor and property will be given to others, and they will inherit eternal shame instead of their dignity and glory. Their headgear will sink down into the filth of hell, and they will never be able to get up out of it. Just as they rose above others through their honor and pride, so in hell they will sink so much deeper than others so that it will be impossible for them to ever stand up again. Their limbs, that is, all the priests who followed and helped them in wickedness, will be cut off from them and severed just like the wall that is torn down where not a single stone is left upon another stone and the cement no longer adheres to the stones. No mercy will come to them, for my love will never warm them nor restore or build them up into an eternal house in Heaven, but instead they shall be excluded from all good and endlessly tormented with their headmen and leaders.
But to the second I say: Since you do not want to keep the faith you promised me and have love toward me, I shall send an animal to you that will rise from the surging torrent, and it shall swallow you. Like the torrent always flows downward, so this animal will drag you down to the lowest hell, and just like it is impossible for you to travel upstream against the surging torrent, it will be just as hard for you to ever ascend from hell.
To the third I say: Since you, Jew, do not want to believe that I have come, you will see me when I come on judgment day, but not in my glory but in your conscience, and you will come to know that all the things I said were true. Then there is nothing left for you but to be tormented as you deserve.
To the fourth I say: Since you do not care to believe and do not want to know me, your darkness will become light for you, and your heart will be enlightened so that you may know that my judgments are true, but you will still not come to the light.
To the fifth I say: I shall do three things to you. First, I shall fill you inwardly with my fervor. Second, I shall make your mouth harder and firmer than any stone, so that the stones turn back to the ones throwing them at you. Third, I shall arm you with my weapons so well that no spear will harm you but instead everything will melt before you like wax in the heat of the fire. Be therefore made strong and stand like a man. For just like a knight in battle who hopes for help of his lord and continues fighting as long as he still has some life-force in him, so may you too stand firm and fight like a man; for the Lord, your God, whom none are able to withstand, will give you help. And since your number is small, I will honor you and multiply you greatly. Behold, my friends, you see these things and know them in me, and in this way they stand before me.
The words I have now spoken will be fulfilled. But these other men shall never enter my kingdom, as long as I am King, unless they better themselves. For Heaven will only be given to those who humble themselves and to those who mourn over their sins with penance.” Then all the host answered: “Praise be to you, Lord God, who are without beginning and without end.”