Terra infecta est ab habitatoribus suis, propter hoc maledictio vorabit terram. Isaiah 24, 5-6 *
We can talk about anything in the age of the Corona virus, but there are certain issues that continue to be prohibited, especially in the Catholic world.Perhaps the most important of these issues is the judgment and retribution of God in history.The existence of this censorship is a good reason to address this issue.
The Kingdom of God and His Justice
I do not start from the Old Testament, where the references to God's punishments are innumerable, but here are the words of our Lord:
“But you must first be concerned with His kingdom and His justice;then everything else will be added to you” (Mt 6, 31–33).
These words of the Gospel are a life program for everyone and remind us of one of the Beatitudes:
"Blessed are the hungry and thirsting for justice;because they will be full” (Mt 5, 6).
The concept of justice is one of the first moral concepts of our reason: the philosophers define it as the tendency of the will to give everyone what is due to them.The longing for justice is in the heart of every human being.We are not only looking for what is true, good and beautiful, but also for what is right.Everyone loves justice and detests injustice.And since the world is full of injustices and human justice, which is administered by the courts, is imperfect, we strive for perfect justice that does not exist on earth and that we can only find in God.
The most famous process in history, the one made to our Lord Jesus Christ, led to the most sensational injustice ever.But God is infinitely righteous because He gives His own to everyone.The beauty of the universe lies in its order, and order is the realm of justice, because order is to give everyone his place, and justice is to give everyone their own: unicuique suum, as determined by Roman law .
The infinite justice of God
The infinite righteousness of God manifests itself in two different judgments that await man at the end of his life: the particular judgment, to which every soul is subjected at the moment of death, and the universal judgment, to which all men will be subjected, with body and soul, after the end of the world.
It is the faith of the Church: at the end of his life, every person steps before God, the Lord and Supreme Judge, to receive his reward or punishment.For this reason the priest says at the funeral: Memor esto judicii mei, sic enim erit et tuum (Sir 38).Remember my judgment, if you want to learn to judge well.
In particular judgment, according to Father Garrigou-Lagrange, the soul understands spiritually that it is judged by God, and in the divine light, conscience pronounces itself the divine judgment."This happens in the first moment when the soul is separated from the body, so that it is true that it is true to say of a person that he has died, it is also true to say that he is judged" [ 1] .The judgment is final and it is enforced immediately.
God's judgment is different from that of men.The case of Raimund Diocre, professor at the Sorbonne, who died in 1082, is famous.A large number of people were present at his funeral in Notre-Dame in Paris, including his student, St. Bruno of Cologne.A shocking event occurred during the ceremony that was studied in great detail by the Bollandist scholars.
The body was laid out in the middle of the central nave and, according to the time, covered with a simple cloth.When the funeral began, the priest said the words:
"Answer me: How many wrongdoings and sins have you committed ...?"
Suddenly you heard a voice from under the shroud:
"I am accused by the just judgment of God!"
The shroud was removed immediately, but the deceased was immobile and cold.The suddenly interrupted celebration was immediately resumed after this general unrest.The question was repeated and the deceased screamed in an even louder voice:
"I am judged according to God's just judgment!"
The horror among those present reached a climax.Several doctors approached the body and found that Raimund was really dead.Because of the horror and general unrest, the Church authorities decided to postpone the funeral until the next day.
The next day the funeral mass was repeated.When the celebrant came to the same sentence of the Requiem and pronounced it, the body rose under the shroud and shouted:
"After God's righteous judgment, I'm damned to hell forever!" 
After this terrible testimony, the funeral was stopped and it was decided not to bury the body in the cemetery.On the coffin of the damned were written the words he will speak at the moment of resurrection:
"Justo Dei judicio accusatus sum, justo Dei judicio judicatus sum, justo Dei judicio condemnatus sum."
The indictment, the conviction, the guilty verdict: this is what the rejected will expect on the day of the Last Judgment.
For this reason, St. Augustine says in hisCivitas Dei:
"Those who are bound to die do not have to worry so much about what will make them die, but about the place where they will be forced to go after death." 
And this place, we add, is hell or heaven.
The Fatima message begins with the terrible vision of hell and reminds us that our life on earth is very serious because it presents us with a dramatic decision: heaven or hell, eternal happiness or eternal damnation.Depending on our decision, we will be judged and the verdict will be implemented immediately.
The Last Judgement
But after death, a second judgment awaits us: the world's judgment.
The existence of a world court that follows the particular judgment is a belief.St. Augustine summarizes the teaching of the Church as follows:
"No one doubts or denies that Jesus Christ, as Scripture proclaims, will deliver the final judgment"  .
It will be the last judgment that no one can avoid.
In the hour of Judgment Day, Jesus Christ, preceded by the cross, will appear from the heights of heaven, surrounded by hosts of angels and saints (Mt 24, 30–31) and seated on a throne (Mt 25, 30).The role of the judge was given to him by the Father, as Jesus himself says in the Gospel:
“I can't do anything on my own;I judge how I hear it (from the Father) and my judgment is just because I am not concerned with my will, but with the will of the one who sent me” (Jn 5:30).
But why is a universal judgment necessary because God judges every soul immediately after death and the judgment in the Last Judgment confirms the judgment already given in the special judgment?Wouldn't one judgment be enough?
Saint Thomas Aquinas answers:
“Every person is a person in himself and at the same time part of the entire human race;therefore he has a double judgment: the special one after his death, when he is judged in accordance with what he has done in life, if not entirely because he (it) received not for the body but only for the soul, therefore, there must be another judgment according to which we are part of humanity: the universal judgment of all humanity through the universal separation of the good from the bad. ” 
The same Church teacher explains elsewhere that although man's earthly life ends with death, it somehow extends into the future because he continues to live in people's memories, especially in children.In addition, the life of man continues in the effects of his works.For example, says Saint Thomas, "from the deception of Arius and others, error flows among men to the end of the world, and from the words of the apostles faith, (...) All of this is subject to the esteem of divine judgment." [ 6]
The judgment of God, therefore, does not end with death, but extends to the end of time, for the good influence of the saints or the bad influence of the rejected can extend to the end of time.Saint Benedict, Saint Francis and Saint Dominic deserve to be rewarded for all the good that they have done to the end of the world, while Luther, Voltaire and Marx must be punished for all evil at the end of the world that their works have done.That is why there has to be a final judgment in which everything that concerns everyone is in some way perfectly and clearly judged.While judgment is made on the individual in the particular court, particularly with regard to the correctness of the intention of his actions, the universal court judges his objective works, in particular with regard to the effects they have had on society.
After the immediate judgment before God, at the moment of death, it is necessary that a public judgment follows that not only before God, but also before all people, angels, saints and the most Blessed Virgin Mary, because the gospel says:
"Nothing is covered that is not revealed, and nothing is hidden that is not known" (Lk 12, 2).
It is true that those who have acquired Heaven through suffering and persecution are glorified, and that evil and perverse people who have lived a happy life before people are publicly dishonored.Father Schmaus says that the final judgment reveals the truth or lie of people's cultural, scientific and artistic works;the truth or the lie of the philosophical directions, the political institutions, the religious and moral forces that have moved history;the importance of sects and heresies, wars and revolutions.The corpses of Arius, Luther, Robespierre and Marx are already in the dust, but on the day of the judgment their books, their statues, their names must be publicly desecrated.
We add that man is born and lives in a nation and that his actions help to change the nations and peoples in which he lives for the better or for worse, and these peoples and these nations also become in their culture, their institutions and their laws.It is for this reason that when the Son of Man comes in glory, the Gospel says, “All nations will be called before Him, and He will separate them as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and the sheep on his right, the goats but gather to the left.”(Mt 25, 31–46).
The judgment is therefore not only pronounced on individuals, men and angels, but also the nations are called to fulfill the plans of Divine Providence and must therefore align themselves with the divine will that regulates and governs the universe.At the Final Judgment it is revealed when and how much each people has fulfilled the task assigned to them by God.[8th]
“The wisdom of reason keeps secrets over time,” writes Monsignor Antonio Piolanti, “but in the end time it will have to pour out its treasure before the eyes of the World Assembly.All masks will fall and the happy Pharisees will wear an indelible shame on the mark.” 
The judgment will extend to the entire history of mankind, which will be revealed in public to the greater glory of God.It will be the triumph of Divine Providence, which in the course of history guides the fate of people and peoples in an invisible and impenetrable way.
Everyone in the valley of Josaphat will say the big word before the last judgment:
"Iustus es Domine, et rectum iudicium tuum" (Ps 117, 137).
"Lord, you are just and your judgment is correct."
The Particular Judgment and the Final Judgment are the two highest moments in which God's judgment on people and nations manifests itself.This divine judgment is followed by a reward or punishment.The reward or punishment is applied to man both for life and for eternity after death, whereas for nations that do not have eternal life, the reward or punishment is only applied in history.And since the world judgment concludes history, Jesus Christ does not condemn the nations to eternal punishment at this moment, but reveals to the eyes of all gathered how the nations have been rewarded or punished according to their virtues or sins throughout history.
It is important to understand that for both individuals and nations, the Final Judgment is the culmination of divine judgment, but God is not limited to judging only at this hour: He judges, one can say, from the moment of creating the universe.At the origin of world history there is a judgment: the judgment of God against Lucifer and the renegade angels, as well as at the origin of the creation of man the judgment against Adam and Eve.Since then, God's judgment on his creatures has not ceased until the end of time because Divine Providence maintains the creation of the created universe and guides it to its end.All movements of the physical world, the moral world and the supernatural world are wanted by God, with the exception of sin, the only purpose of which is the free creature.
Jesus says that all the hair on our head is numbered (Luke 12: 8). Even more, acts, no matter how small, are judged by God.But God is not only infinitely righteous, He is infinitely merciful  , and there is no divine judgment that is merciless, just as there is no expression of divine mercy that is not without deepest righteousness.Perhaps the most beautiful example of this entanglement of justice and mercy is given to us by the immense gift of the Sacrament of Penance.In this Sacrament, in which the sinner is judged and forgiven, the priest who acts in persona Christi exercises the judicial power of the Church.But he also exercises God's motherly mercy by speaking away from our sins.God's righteousness intervenes to restore the order that deserves punishments through guilt. Divine Mercy manifests itself through the forgiveness of our sins, thanks to which God frees us from eternal pain.
The punishment of the nations
That applies to people, but also to nations.God is not absent from history, rather He is always present with his immensity, and there is no point or moment in time when God's righteousness and mercy do not manifest in the peoples.All the calamities and disasters that affect the nations in their history also have a meaning.The causes sometimes elude us, but it is certain that the origin of every evil approved by God lies in the sin of man.St. Prosper of Aquitaine, a student of St. Augustine, says that "the causes of divine action are often hidden and only the effects are visible"  .One thing is certain: Whatever the secondary causes, God is always the cause, everything depends on Him.
At this point the question arises of how God judges and punishes people's behavior in history.The answer of Scripture, theologians and saints is clear.Tria sunt flagella quibus dominus castigat: war, plague and hunger.With these three scourges, as St. Bernhard of Siena explains  , God punishes the three main vices of man: pride, lust and avarice: pride when the soul rebels against God (Rev. 12, 7-9), lust when the body rebels against the soul (Gen 6, 5-7), and avarice when things rebel against man (Ps 96, 3).War is the punishment for the pride of the people, epidemics are the punishment for their lust and hunger is the punishment for their avarice.
The signs by which we can see that God's judgment is near
In his sermons, Saint Bernard analyzes the psalm, which says:
"Tempus faciendi Domine dissipaverunt legem tuam" (Ps 118, 126)
"It is time, Lord, to act, they broke your law."In this statement, the psalmist distinguishes three moments:
Tempus, the time when God's mercy enables people to change.During this period, God offers sinners the opportunity to suspend judgment, abolish punishment, make amends, and offer grace.God waits because he wants sinners to be converted.The waiting time can be long, but there is a limit.If there is no remorse during this time, the punishment is logical and necessary.
The second moment is when God prepares to punish the unrepentant sinners: this is a time expressed by the words faciendi domine, which, according to Saint Bernard, summarize “the bitter revenge and the hard punishment of God” when the people do not want to purify themselves. The punishment is, however, an act of mercy on the part of the father, who does not want the eternal death of sinners, but their lives, and through the scourges he imposes on them, he still tries to convert them.It is the time when the ax is placed at the root of the tree: " securis ad radicem arboris posita est " (Mt 3, 10).
The third moment is that of the crime committed: dissipaverunt legem tuam.It is time to pick up the sickle and bring in the harvest, as the angel of the Apocalypse says:
"Put your hand on your sickle and harvest;because the time has come to harvest because the harvest of the earth is ripe ”(Rev 14:15).
What are the signs that the harvest is ripe?Saint Bernhard lists seven:
the existence of many and terrible sins as in Sodom and Gomorrah;
the fact that sin is committed despite full warning and with deliberate consent;
that these sins are committed by an entire people in their entirety;
that this is done in a public and shameless way;
that it is done with all the devotion of the heart of sinners;
that sins are committed with care and attention;
that it all happens continuously and persistently.
This is the hour when God punishes the sins of pride, lust, and avarice with the scourges of plague, war, and hunger.
Tempus faciendi Domine, dissipaverunt legem tuam
"It is time to act, O Lord, they have violated your law." Another great saint with a prophetic voice, St. Louis Grignion of Montfort, picks up what St. Bernhard said in his burning prayer and calls out:
“It is time for you to act, Lord, according to your promise.The divine law will be broken, the Gospel will be given up, the streams of injustice will flood the earth and even overwhelm your servants.The whole earth is in a pitiful state, infertility is everywhere.Your sanctuary is desecrated and the abomination is even in the holy place.Righteous Lord, God of Vengeance, will you in your zeal allow everything to perish?Will every place eventually become like Sodom and Gomorrah?Will you be silent and patient forever? "
Saint Ludwig Maria wrote these words in the early 18th century.Two centuries later, Our Lady in Fatima announced that if they continued to offend God, the world would be punished by war, hunger and persecution of the Church and the Holy Father and "different nations would be destroyed".
But has the world stopped insulting God today, a hundred years after the apparitions of Fatima and three hundred years after the death of St. Louis Maria?Is the divine law less violated, is the Gospel less abandoned, the sanctuary less profaned?Don't we see sins crying out for revenge before God, like abortion and sodomy, justified, exalted, and protected by the laws of the States?Have we not seen that the idol of Pachamama was even carried to the sacred area of the Vatican and worshiped there?Doesn't all of this ask to be judged by God now?And whoever loves God does not have to love and desire the hour of his righteousness, just like to repeat on the day of the Last Judgment: Justus es Domine, et rectum iudicium tuum (Ps 117, 137): "You are righteous, O Lord, and your judgment is full of justice?"
Because the peoples are not aware of the punishments that hang over them
As soon as the ax falls on a people, there are Catholics who declare that they do not know whether it is a punishment or a trial.Unlike humans, the evils of the nations are always punishments.It can happen that a virtuous man has to suffer a lot in order to be tested in his patience, as happened to Job.The sufferings that individual men encounter in their lives are not always a punishment, but more often a test that prepares them for a happy eternity.In the case of nations, suffering from wars, epidemics or earthquakes is always a punishment precisely because they have no eternity.It makes no sense to say that a disaster can be "a test" for a nation.It can be a test for the individual members of a nation, but not for the whole nation because it is in time and not in eternity.
A nation's punishments increase in proportion to their sins.And in relation to sins, rejection of the idea of punishment is increasing among the wicked, as Voltaire did in his blasphemous poem about the Lisbon catastrophe, written after the terrible earthquake that destroyed the capital of Portugal in 1755.The Church has always responded to the atheists' blasphemy by reviving awareness that everything that happens depends on God and has meaning.But if the churchmen themselves deny the idea of punishment, it means that the punishment is already in progress and unchangeable.In the early days of the Corona Virus, Archbishop of Milan, Monsignor Mario Delpini, went so far as to say that "it is pagan to think of a God who sends flagella".In reality, it is not pagan but atheistic to think of a God who does not send scourges.The fact that this is the thinking of many bishops worldwide means that parts of the world episcopate have fallen victim to atheism.And that is a sign of an ongoing divine punishment.
Saint Bernard declares that the closer God's punishment approaches, the less aware are the peoples who deserve it. The reason for this blindness of mind is pride, initium omnis peccati (Sir 10:15 ), the beginning of every sin.Pride darkens the intellect and prevents you from seeing how close the doom is.God wants to humble the proud with this blindness.
With the help of St. Bernard, we can also interpret a passage in the psalms written by Leo XIII.in his exorcism against Satan and the fallen angels:
"Veniat illi laqueus quem ignorat, et captio quam abscondit, apprehendat eum et laqueum cadat in ipsum" (Ps 34, 8).
The free translation of this passage could be: May the noose come, which he does not think of, and the maneuvers, which he hides, seize him, so that he falls into his own death snare.
Saint Bernhard says that this passage can be interpreted from the psalms in three ways.
On the side of God: Veniat illi laqueus quem ignorat.The first cause of this ignorance comes from God, who uses the epidemics and famines to hide his plans: laqueus est pestis vel fames et consimilia ,thenoose is the plague or famine and the like, says Saint Bernhard.First of all, God deprives people of their leaders: not only political and spiritual leaders, but also the angels who watch over the nations.God then takes away the lumen veritatis, the light of truth, which is a grace, like every good that comes from God.Eventually, God lets sinful people fall into the hands of their own vices, the demons that replace the angels, and the wicked who lead them into the abyss.
Et captio quam abscondit, apprehendat eum .Once all guidance and the light of truth have been taken from them, when God announces punishment, the unrepentant peoples do not change but increase their sins.And the multiplication of sins increases the blindness of the people even more.
Et laqueum cadat in ipsum.Sinful peoples ignore the hour of punishment that comes suddenly and unexpectedly.The maneuvers they try to destroy the good are against them.They are not only punished, but also humiliated.In this way, Isaiah's prophecy is fulfilled:
"But there will be a disaster that you cannot conjure up.A ruin will attack you that you cannot banish.And suddenly your doom, which you never thought of, will come” (Isaiah 47, 11).
Dread and fear
When punishment begins, the devil, seeing his plans thwarted, spreads the feeling of fear to the people, an antechamber to that of despair.The bad guys deny the existence of the catastrophe, the good guys understand their arrival, but instead of recognizing the opportunity for renewal, they are tempted to see their own doom in it.This happens when they refrain from seeing the wise hand of God behind the events, instead chasing machinations.The archdeacon Henri-Marie Boudon, an author who was very dear to the holy Ludwig Maria Grignion of Montfort, writes: “Dieu ne frappe que pour être regardé;et l'on n'arrête les yeux que sur les créatures " [ 17].God strikes only to be noticed, and instead of looking at him, we get stuck with the creatures.
This does not mean that the machinations of revolutionary forces should not be observed, analyzed and fought, but without forgetting that the revolution in history is always defeated because of the self-destructive nature of the evil that is in it and the counter-revolution always wins because of the fertility of the good that it carries.
Atheism is the displacement of God from all areas of human activity.The great victory of God's enemies is not to suppress our lives or limit our physical freedom, but to remove the idea of God from our minds and hearts.All considerations, the philosophical, historical or political speculations in which God does not come first, are wrong and illusory.
Bossuet says: "Toutes nos pensées qui n'ont pas Dieu pour objet sont du domaine de la mort "  (All our thoughts that are not about God are in the realm of death).It is true, and we can say that all thoughts that have God as their subject belong to the realm of life because Jesus Christ, judge and savior of mankind, is “way, truth and life” (Jn 14: 6).To speak of God's judgment in history and about history therefore does not mean to speak of death, but of life, and whoever speaks of it is not a "prophet of doom" but a herald of hope.
Those who reject the idea of punishment with the greatest strength today are the men of the Church.They reject punishment because they reject the judgment of God, which they replace with the judgment of the world.But fear of God arises from humility, fear of the world arises from pride.
To fear God is the beginning of wisdom: Timor Domini initium Sapientiae, the fullness of wisdom is the fear of God, says the book Sirach (1, 14, 16) and the book Ecclesiastes ends with the following words:
Deum time, et mandata eius serva: hoc est enim omnis homo (Ecc. 12, 13).
"Fear God, and keep His commandments!Everyone needs that alone.”Those who do not fear God replace the divine commandments with commandments from the world for fear of being isolated, censored and persecuted from the world.Fear of the world, which is a consequence of sin, urges flight, but fear of God encourages struggle.
A great French author, Ernest Hello, says:
"To fear the name of God means not to be afraid of anything"  .
Hello also reminds us of a word of Scripture, the depth of which we will never know: laetetur cor meum ut timeat nomen tuum (Ps 85, 11): "My heart rejoice, that it may fear your name."
Joy is only where God's presence is, and God cannot be present when there is no fear of him.The Holy Spirit says that there is nothing better than fear of God: Nihil melius est quam timor Domini ( Sir 23, 27);he calls it the source of life: Timor Domini fons vitae (Prov. 14, 27) and jubilation and joy: Timor Domini gloria, gloriatio and laetitia and corona exultationis (Sir 1 , 11).
It is this fear of God that urges us to recognize the divine hand in the tragic events of our time and to prepare ourselves for the fight with calm courage.
The knight, death and the devil
The Knight, Death and the Devil is an engraving by Albrecht Dürer from 1513. The work shows a knight with a helmet on his head and a sword and a spear riding a majestic steed and defying the death that defeats him an hourglass showing the time of fleeting life and the devil, depicted as a horned animal with a halberd.
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira recalls this picture in an article published in the Catolicismo magazine almost seventy years ago in February 1951 to illustrate the conflict between the revolution that cannot back away and the Church, despite everything failed to win.
“War, death, and sin are preparing to devastate the world again, this time to a greater extent than ever.In 1513 Dürer's incomparable talent represented it in the form of a knight who had gone to war in full armor and accompanied by death and sin, the latter being represented by a unicorn.Europe, which was already involved in the upheavals that preceded the pseudo-Reformation, was approaching the tragic era of religious, political and social wars that triggered Protestantism.
The next war, without being explicitly and directly a religious war, will affect the most sacred interests of the Church in such a way that a true Catholic cannot do anything other than see the religious aspect as the main one.And the massacre that will break out will certainly be incomparably more devastating than that of previous centuries.
Who will win?The Church?\
The clouds in front of us are not rosy.However, we are moved by an invincible certainty, which means that not only will the Church - which is obvious given the divine promise - not disappear, but that it will achieve a greater triumph in our time than that of Lepanto.
How?When?The future belongs to God.Many causes of sadness and concern pile up before us, even if we look at some brothers in faith.In the heat of the fight, it is possible and even likely that there will be terrible forms of desertion.But it is absolutely certain that the Holy Spirit will continue to evoke admirable and indomitable spiritual energies of faith, purity, obedience, and devotion in the Church, which at the right moment will cover the Christian name with glory again.”
Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira ends his article with the hope that the 20th century will be "not only the century of great struggle, but above all the century of immense triumph".We repeat this hope, which we extend to the 21st century, our century, the era of the coronavirus and new tragedies, but also the time for renewed trust in the promise of Fatima.A trust that we would like to express with the words that Pope Pius XII.To the Catholic Action in 1948:
“You know, beloved children, the mysterious horsemen that the Apocalypse speaks of.The second, third and fourth are war, hunger and death.But who is the first rider on the white horse?'The one who sat on it had a bow.He was given a wreath and, as the winner, he went out to win' (Rev 6, 2).It is Jesus Christ.The far seeing evangelist not only looked at the ruins caused by sin, war, hunger and death.He saw Christ's victory first.Indeed, the Church's path through the centuries is only a cross, but it is always a triumphal procession at all times.The Church of Christ, the people of faith and Christian love, are always those who bring light, salvation and peace to mankind without hope.Iesus Christus heri et hodie, ipse et in saecula (Heb 13, 8).Christ is your guide, from victory to victory.Follow him. " 
 Henri-Marie Boudon, La dévotion aux saints Anges (Devotion to the Holy Angels), Clovis, Cobdé-sur-Noireau 1985, p. 265.
 Jacques-Bénigne Bossuet, Oraison funèbre de Henriette-Anne d'Angleterre (funeral speech for Henriette Anne of England) (1670), in Œuvres complètes, Outhenin-Chalandre fils, Paris 1836, Vol. II, p. 576.
 Ernst Hello, L'homme (Man), Librairie Académique Perrin, Paris 1911, p. 102.
 Pio XII, speech of September 12, 1948 to the youth of the Catholic Action, speeches and radio messages, X (1948-1949), p. 212.