Saturday, February 09, 2008
Justice for all: but "not all will be equal"
We all desire a fair world. But we cannot repair all the destructions of the past, all the people unjustly tormented and killed. Only God himself can create justice, which must be justice for all, even for the dead. And, as Adorno, a great Marxist, says, only the resurrection of the flesh, which he considers unreal, could create justice.
We believe in this resurrection of the flesh, in which not all will be equal. It is common to think today: whatever is sin, God is magnificent, he knows us, therefore sin does not matter, in the end God will be nice with everyone. It is a beautiful hope. Yet, there is justice, and there is true guilt. Those who have destroyed man and earth cannot suddenly sit beside their victims at the table o God. God creates justice. We must have this present.
It seemed thus important for me to write also this text [Spe Salvi] on purgatory, which for me is such an obvious truth, so clear and also so necessary and consoling that is cannot be forgotten. I tried to say: perhaps there are not so many who have destroyed themselves thus, who are forever incurable, who do not have any element left upon which the love of God may rest, who do not have in themselves a minimum capacity for loving. This would be hell.
On the other hand, they are certainly few - or at least not many - those who are so pure as to be able to immediately enter in the communion with God. Very many of us hope that there be something curable in us, that there be a final desire to serve God and to serve men, of living according to God. But there are so many wounds, so much filth. We have the need of being ready, of being purified. This is our hope: even with so much filth in our souls, in the end the Lord gives us the possibility, cleanses us finally with his goodness which comes from his cross. He thus renders us capable of being forever with him. And therefore heaven is hope, it is justice finally realized. And he gives us also the criteria for living so that this [present] time may also be, in a certain way, heaven, a first light of heaven.
Wherever men live according to these criteria, a speck of heaven appears in the world, and this is visible. It seems to me also an evidence of the truth of faith, of the need to follow the way of the commandments, of which we should speak more often. They are truly road signs and show us how to live well, how to choose life. Therefore, we must also speak of sin and of the sacrament of forgiveness and reconciliation. A sincere man knows that he is guilty, that he should start anew, that he should be purified. And this is the wonderful reality which the Lord offers us: there is a possibility for renewal, of being new. The Lord starts anew with us and we can thus start anew also with the others in our life.
Meeting with the Parish Priests and Clergy of Rome
February 7, 2008