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Arrival of the newly converted souls in the 'paradise garden'. Their acknowledgment of guilt.
82,1. See, we again find ourselves in the so-called paradise. You can easily convince yourselves that it is still the old one as we have seen and left it before. There in the middle of the paradise, the first paradise-dwellers is waiting for us, much more humbly and contemplative than before, when we came from the monastery to them. Our 'heaven-dwellers' are also following us humbly and thus we proceed with our new catch directly to our first paradise inhabitants.
82,2. See, our previous leader of paradise and the two first speakers are making big eyes when they see from afar that the whole heavenly company is following us. They did not expect heaven to be conquered for they secretly held that as a touchstone, which would show the full truth of our final mission.
82,3. But since the whole heaven is humbly following us, the prior says to his company: listen, friends, under these circumstances, the whole case is gaining a completely different appearance. These three are definitely sent here by a Godly power still unknown to us; this is as clear as the sun! But what we must do with this terrible certainty is a completely different question. How is it with our conscience? How do we fare regarding our previous behavior towards these high messengers? This is again a completely different question; shall we go after judgment has been made, if all goes well, to purgatory, or - the Master help us - even to hell? Listen, friends, this is yet another quite hopeless question!
82,4. They are also approaching us with very stern faces, which does not provide much consolation for us. If I only think how things were with our priestly life upon earth and think how we, who know the gospel of the Master well but never lived it among each other in the true Christian way and how we, in the literal sense of its meaning, always resisted the pure Spirit of God; oh brothers, then I cannot make a more to the point remark to assume that all of us face under this highly sad circumstances, nothing other than the most pure, most terrible and heated hell! I would almost want to call out for the mountains to fall upon us, that we no longer need to see the faces of such terrible judges!
82,5. The other, the better speaker turns to the prior, saying: listen, friend and brother, I believe we should not despair so quickly since there will be ample time for that when we would be finally condemned. We do know the old adage which says: “A good word always finds a good place”. Let us, therefore, trust in our prayer and our greatest possible humility and not despair too early in the great mercy of the Lord. Who knows whether these three messengers are really going to judge us with relentless strictness, for if they are sent by God, they would be better and softer in their judgment than what we ever were towards the alleged sinners in our only sanctifying church.
82,6. The prior says: oh, dear friend and brother, your consoling words tastes as sweet as honeycomb and the most tasty milk, but then I again think of the words of Christ in the gospel, where Christ the Lord says to the ‘false prophets’, namely the nominal Christians and the nominal priests: “Go away from Me, accursed, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels, for I do not know you; you are workers of iniquity, you have always resisted the Holy Spirit!” Friend, what do you say about this text?
82,7. The other one says: yes, brother, this is an exceptionally terrible text, fully applicable to us. I also must admit to you that I am not feeling so good about hell. If the Master would indeed not be more merciful than what we mostly where upon earth, then this text can be applied in a horrific way. For the Lord, have said: “Be merciful and you shall receive mercy!” But exactly there lies the problem, for our mercy upon earth was in a sorrowful state. If I only think how easily and with how much glee we often have condemned often whole nations to hell, I begin to really fear and my previous consoling words to you begin to sound very hollow to me.
82,8. A third one says: friends and brothers, I fully understand; we are lost! I think that we should go together and straight to the main messenger standing in the middle and ask him nothing but the warmest degree of hell, to spare him the terrible judicial sentence, especially in the light of the fact that we were on earth mostly compelled by the ecclesiastical authority to act like this and not otherwise. We only executed the church’s requirements, whether they were right or not. I do think that it was rather impossible for us to act differently upon earth, even if we have negated God’s words and have thus not served God, but Mammon.
82,9. We could have rather died the martyr’s death than to act against Christ like that, but exactly because of our church, we were of too weak faith to have such a thing done to us. So, I mean, then, that we have not made ourselves guilty of the very worst hell. To God be the glory, and His name is always to be praised above all things. I mean, He will not do the worst to us, and so we await with the humblest peace what the Lord will decide about us.
82,10. See, the whole company humbly agrees with him. Now that everyone has meekly humbled himself, and they have acknowledged their guilt towards each other, we shall go to them and offer them a justified destination. Be completely serious at my side, for there is still much that need to be removed from them before they can be ready for a higher destination.
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