SSUN1-71

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Chapter 71

In apparent captivity of the paradisiacal Augustinians. Their doubts about the correctness of their conduct.

71,1. The two heavenly monks (for you must understand that "heavenly" is here referred to as "being in paradise") lead us, and the angels follow us with cudgels and sabers. You ask where they will take us? Just look there towards the north, in the corner of the big garden wall is a dirty tower, with a black door. There they shall hold us. What will happen further, experience shall tell. But listen a bit, what the two paradise monks discuss on the way.

71,2. One of them just said, "What would you think if these three vagabonds were emissaries of some better place than this one, in which we can never eat enough; should we not listen to their case, and inquire where they really came from? For the question we have asked them whether they came from above or from below, was too hasty. We have, as one would say, fell with the door into the house. I propose that if they were really from above, and we would treat them in this paradise in the most unparadisiacle way, it could cost us very dearly. My opinion is this: instead of locking them into the tower, we could rather take them to the freedom tower in the direction of noon, which is open to the outside and only locked on the inside.

71,3. The other says: Dear friend and brother, I mean, you will not want to be a heretic here in paradise. We know well that the Lord has walked on the earth without glory, and this was also the case with the first proclaimers and spreaders of His doctrine. But you know that at that time the Church of the Lord was poor and suffering. After the great church meeting at Nicea, however, she globally triumphed over all the heathens. For this reason, she stopped being poor and suffering and became a triumphant, rich church, a church full of splendor, glory, prestige, power, and might.

71,4. If on the earth the Lord furnishes His Church and His servants with such glory, how much more will He do this in the kingdom of blessed spirits. If then, he will send us higher messengers, you can expect with the utmost confidence that such messengers will not appear in the form of such alley trash, but with great splendor and heavenly majesty. For it is said in Scripture that the Lord will return with great power and glory upon the clouds of heaven. How, then, should such sentinels be emissaries of God? Veiled messengers of hell, yes, but not higher messengers of heaven. Hence, only to the right, into the enclosed tower with them, which is built of pure holy stones, and it will at once show what kind of spiritual children they are; For such consecrated stones shall burn the devil a thousand-fold worse than the lowest hell.

71,5. The first replies: Well, do what you please, but I will stick with my idea. If things would go wrong, you can handle it. And so, do what you want, I will not hinder you in your plan. See, the tower is already near us. Here I give you the key because I do not want to have any part in this endeavor. But I have already often thought that in our Roman church, we are always quicker with condemnation than blessing. And so, I have been thinking for a while about the text of the Lord, in which, He has explicitly warned His apostles and disciples against condemnation and judging.

71,6. For this reason, I secretly undertook to not condemn or judge anybody. I shall thus stay true to my intent regarding these three, and therefore I will tell you again: Do what you please, But I do not want to have any share in your doing.

71,7. The other says, "I shall take the key, and I shall execute Divine justice; For great is the love of the Lord, but His righteousness is above it, even calling for the blood of the Son of God. Therefore, let me execute justice.

71,8. The first one curtly replies to the executor of justice: I myself know from Scripture that the Lord gave the apostles and the disciples no other command than that of love. I also know that the Lord once used an unjust housekeeper as an imitative example, and He once said that He has more joy over a penitent sinner than over 99 righteous ones. But I do not recall any important text in which the Lord has explicitly emphasized strict justice. The tax collector has been justified in the end, and the righteous Pharisee reproved! When I think of this, our righteous justice has lost much worth in my opinion. By the way, as I said, do what you want. The tower is here, the three are here as well. You have the key in your hand, so I shall retreat.


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