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‘It is Sin that Makes Nations Miserable’
St. Alphonsus de Liguori gave six important sermons on the topic of how God’s mercy has a limit, and when that time comes, He chastises not only individual sinners, but nations.

Here he warns man that individuals can avoid sadness on earth and eternal chastisement afterwards if they repent and reform their lives. For it is “accursed sin” that makes us unhappy here and in the afterlife.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori

At present, behold the Lord displays His anger and threatens us with chastisement. Who knows how many there may be in this country who have no thought of changing their lives in the hope that God will be appeased, and that it may be averted. Hence the subject of the present discourse: Sinners will not believe in the divine threats until the chastisement shall have come upon them.

My brethren, if we do not amend, the chastisement will come; if we do not put an end to our crimes, God will. When Lot was warned by the Lord that he was about to destroy Sodom, Lot at once informed his sons–in–law: Arise! get you out of this place, because the Lord will destroy this city. (Gn 19:14) But they would not believe him… And so the punishment overtook them, and they remained to be the sport of the flames.

My brethren, what do we expect? God warns us that chastisement hangs over us; let us put a period to our sins, or shall we wait for God to do it? Hear, O sinner! what St. Paul says to you: See, then, the severity and goodness of God towards them, indeed, they that are fallen, he shows severity; but if thou abide in goodness towards thee God shows goodness; otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. (Rom 11:22)

Consider, says the Apostle, the justice that the Lord has exercised towards so many whom He has punished and condemned to Hell; towards them, indeed, that are fallen, the severity, but consider the mercy with which He has treated you.

But in face of the goodness of God, you must abandon sin. If you change your ways, avoid the occasions of sin, frequent the Sacraments, and continue to lead a Christian life, the Lord will remit your punishment, if you do not abide in goodness, you shall perish, and shall be cut off. God has already borne with you too long, He can bear with you no longer.

God is merciful, but He is just withal. He deals mercifully with those who fear Him; He cannot act thus towards the obstinate. Such a person laments when he sees himself punished, and says, why has God deprived me of my health? Why has He taken from me this child, or this parent?

Ah, sinner! what have you said, exclaims Jeremiah, your sins have withholden good things from you. (Jer. 5:25) It was not the desire of God to deprive you of any blessing, of any gain, of your son, or your parent; it would have been the wish of God to make you happy in all things, but your sins have not allowed Him.

In the book of Job we read these words: Is it a great matter that God should comfort thee? But thy wicked words hinder this. (Job 15:11). The Lord would fain console you, but your blasphemy, your murmuring, your obscene words, spoken to the scandal of so many have prevented Him. It is not God, but accursed sin, that renders us miserable and unhappy. It is sin that makes nations miserable. (Prov. 14:34).


Blason de Charlemagne
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St Alphonsus Liguori. Six Discourses on Natural Calamities,
Divine Threats & the Four Gates of Hell
Aeterna Press, Kindle Ed., p. 10,

Posted on April 6, 2024,

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