“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.
But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt.When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
This parable shows the shocking contrast between the divine forgiveness and the human being's refusal to “forgive.” It is an insult to give the same name for those two situations so opposite one from the other. To pay back his enormous debt the first servant would have to sell everything he owned as well as himself and his family. This situation shows the gravity of the karma, which is in proportion to the gravity of the fault.
However, the same Law of Reciprocity does not exclude pardon provided the human being inserts himself into the divine laws. Due to his initial humility the servant begged and was forgiven a debt of ten thousand talents, equivalent to approximately 60 million pence (a King's ten-year income) but later on he was incapable of forgiving 100 pence owed to him by his fellow servant.
Because of this, his guilt became greater than before and as a consequence the retroactive effect became proportionally more intense. The divine pardon has no similarity with human pardon. A creature, forgiven through the natural laws of Creation, becomes clean and as pure as any one who had never ever committed any fault. No difference can be perceived, nothing can tell who of them had committed a fault! Imagine for example two twin brothers, absolutely identical, dressed with same garment. Let us suppose that one of them took care of his clothes, kept it impeccably clean, avoided places that could dirty him. The other, on the contrary, neglected that, paid no attention to dirt, which increasingly accumulated on him and he did not avoid places that would stain him. This way his garment became a stinky trash, bearing no relation to his brother's clothes.
One day this brother perceived what he had done and decided to clean him self at any cost. After an enormous work, proportional to the size of his own previous indolence and neglect, he was able to clean entirely his clothes in a way that he became identical to his twin brother that was never stained. If one examined in extreme detail both brothers one could not distinguish who was formerly stained. And more: their former history has no importance at all! The work expended to cleanse him self, to expiate the former errors now makes him as clean and pure as his brother. This is the way of divine justice which really forgives any creature his fault if he recognizes his mistakes and makes diligent effort himself to repair them. After that, it is impossible to say which one sinned because the error was extinguished and no sign of this is inside Creation.
Indeed the pardon is a fact: “For I will be merciful towards their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more” (Heb 8:12). He can resume his spiritual ascent without fear of condemnation. The repentant person who redirects his life will not face spiritual death and his crimes would not be remembered:
“But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed and keep all My statutes and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live: he shall not die. All transgressions that he hath committed they shall not be mentioned unto him. In his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.” (Ezekiel 18:21,22), because “righteousness delivered from death” (Proverbs10:2). The divine pardon will exclusively depend on his.
Normally with human beings the contrary is customary. Frequently with a magnanimous stand he pardons his fellow man a small fault but never stops to divulge everywhere: “Oh! That one did me this and that and I forgave him!” Hypocrisy resides in this false pardon, only hypocrisy. In his core he keeps snatching and suffocating his fellow man shouting: pay me what you owe! If the human being hears his inner voice then his manners would be completely different. Altruistic and more interested in his fellow man's wellbeing, acting always in this direction would only deliver blessings through reciprocity. In his letter to Titus, Paul refers to this when he made an exhortation to the members of the community to “be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarrelling, to be gentle, and to show every courtesy to everyone” (Titus 3:1,2). Everything would be different if human beings really “heed the counsel of your own heart, for no one is more faithful to you than it is” (Sirach 37:13).But unfortunately his rationalization, always directed to himself, finds swiftly sundry egocentric arguments to muffle the weak and faintly audible inner voice, the spiritual intuition, which manifests here and there through exhorting doubts.
The living spirit comprehends immediately the false in everything and through the intuition wants to make its will to prevail. However as it, the spirit, is subdued by the intellect, a dominion affected over millennia, it does not hear the timid warnings that cannot be a match to the violent rebuff of the intellect.
This way the human being accepts things as true but which do not exist, as in the case of an easy divine pardon, conveniently adapted to his spiritual inertia. Nobody can obtain pardon for sins through penitence, monetary contributions, fasting, a number of uttered prayers and other church tariffs. Contrary to the teachings of churches it is not the quantity of prayers that produces results. About this the Lord warned through Prophet Isaiah: “even though you make many prayers, I will not listen” (Isaiah 1:15). Without personal effort and inner perseverance one cannot become better, not even a millimeter can be progressed in the spiritual development and consequently nothing can be redeemed. Nothing can be improved if a human being thinks and believes things are different. If any one believes in arbitrary pardon, only because a blind guide said so, probably one of these that: “… strain out a gnat but swallow a camel” (Matthew 23:24). Ignorance is caused by personal guilt because nobody will be kept without help to understand correctly the laws of Creation.
“If you say, ‘Look we did not know this’, does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who keeps watch over your soul know it? And will He not repay all according to their deeds?”
Fasting, penitence and other mortification practices are nothing but gross transgressions of the natural laws. Only one full of meanness and vanity can feel great by ill treating his body. The body is the most precious wealth for each one on earth. It is an indispensable tool for the spirit's maturing. Here the sentence from the Book of Sirach fits: “No one is worse than one who is grudging to himself; this is the punishment for his meanness” (Sirach 14:6). Nevertheless Pope Clement VI gave no importance to this Sirach book because in 1384 he personally sponsored a public flagellation in the city of Avignon…
A voluntarily ill treated and macerated body is a visible sign that the respective spirit is in the same condition. A “pious” penitent like that cannot anymore counterbalance the grace of life because the deplorable state of his spirit and the dirt imbued in his soul can only weave with his intellect a miserable material substitute, this grotesque compensation of the suffering of his body. Doing this doubles his guilt: first by abusing his body and second believing that this act is pleasing to God.
The belief that divine Love forgives everything arbitrarily, without taking into account the infallible Justice, contributes to the fall of human beings. With this belief any one can engage in all sorts of vices and passion, ill-treat his fellow man as much as he wants to satisfy his own greed and ambition and then with a simple wave of the hands toward the heights become an exemplar believer? “For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they have not submitted to God's righteousness.” (Romans 10:3).
Humanity has complied with Lucifer's basic command to live without refrain at exhaustion. The hedonist principle is in force on earth since seven thousand years. We can find the same principle mixed without mask in some Bible phrases:
“There is nothing better for the people under the sun, than to eat, and drink, and enjoy themselves”
The author of Wisdom and Isaiah denounced this principle in their own epoch with courage and strong irony in the words: “Our name will be forgotten in time and no one will remember our works. (… ) Come therefore, let us enjoy the good things that exist, let us take our fill of costly wines and perfumes. (… ) let none of us fail to share in our revelry.” (Wisdom 2:4,6,7,9); “But instead there are joy and festivity, killing oxen and slaughtering sheep, eating meat and drinking wine, let us eat and drink, or tomorrow we die.” (Isaiah 22:13). “Ah, you who are heroes in drinking wine and valiant at mixing drinks.” (Isaiah 5:22). Isaiah was indeed ironical in his warnings about idolatry. (Check Isaiah 44:13-20).
Two centuries after Isaiah, Socrates, the great Greek philosopher, brought irony to an art level when in Athens it received a special name: Socratic irony which is studied until today in philosophy courses. We must not mistake the fine and competent irony of the Socratic kind, that demolish the most solid theories of the intellect, the most delusional fantasies of the sentiment, with any common ironical offense directed to a person just to cause suffering. The effect of the first kind is to shake the human soul stiffened by dogma; conversely the other kind will inflict severe pain into the inner most part of a person. The last kind is denominated sarcasm, mocking or scorn with which the priests and scribes frequently used against Jesus in any opportunity: “He saved others; he cannot save himself” (Matthew27:42).
Jesus himself used legitimate irony in some situations. As for example when he classified Pharisees as “righteous” (Matthew 23:28) or when Jesus after being accused of acting “by demons of Beelzebub” responded that in this case Satan would be “divided against itself” because he was just destroying demonic influences (check Luke 11:17,18). Paul was also ironical, indeed caustic, when comparing the complicated Corinthians and the apostles: “Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Quite apart from us you have become kings! Indeed, I wish that you had become kings, so that we might be kings with you! We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor but we in disrepute” (1Corinthians 4:8,10). No less ironical he was when he called them “super apostles” (2Corinthians 11:5) which false priests mislead members of their own community. The Book of James contains vigorous ironical warnings. In the Old Testament Amos, the prophet, shot off sharp ironies against his hypocritical listeners:
“Come along to Bethel and sin! And then to Gilgal and sin some more! Bring your sacrifices for morning worship. Every third day bring your tithe. Burn pure sacrifices – thank offerings.”
Another Old Testament example of mocking irony, that may cause one to laugh, was given by Elias when he exposed the failure of the prophets of Baal to invoke their gods:
“… a little louder – he is a god, after all. Maybe he's off meditating somewhere or other, or maybe he's gotten involved in a project, or maybe he's on vacation. You don't suppose he's overslept, do you? and needs to be woken up?”
Thucydides, who lived from 465 to 395 B.C., almost repeated Isaiah's ironies about the sinful behavior of his people and criticized in his work, “Histories of Peloponnesian Wars”, the promiscuous customs of ancient Greece: “They search for swift valued pleasures since their own lives were equally ephemeral (… ) The pleasures and all means to reach them were accounted beautiful and useful. Nobody was arrested neither by fear of the Lord nor by human laws (… ); besides nobody planned to live long enough to account for his faults.”
Profound truth resides in the words of Thucydides. The human being has ever lived like this, vicious, unscrupulous, “do not be so confident of forgiveness that you add sin to sin” (Sirach 5:5). Nevertheless not even one of their faults could be forgiven the way they thought; conversely they overburden themselves with a colossal guilt when accepting the childish concept that the Lord would be capable of an arbitrarily benevolent injustice. A basest blasphemy to think the Lord could let His Will become a cheap merchandize to be bargained…
A few here and there ask themselves if this tale of a complacent forgiveness would be right. Unfortunately those admonishing thoughts were cast away by fear of touching something “sacred” or because this type of questioning would be incumbent only on religion and theology. If there are people in charge to study this sort of things and give right answers why care so much? If so many can accept this why question? But if a concept forms a central pillar, the main column of their faith, a dogma, then it would be a sin even to think that this could not be right! With this sluggish thinking the human being dives spiritually more and more. With this diving more errors are alike and one becomes less capable of recognizing one's fall; neither can one recognize the last helping resources coming from Creation.
This situation becomes increasingly worse until such a human being becomes totally excluded from any spiritual help, and will be inexorably delivered to the executioners until every debt would be paid. Therefore as enemies of God they will stand without any possibility to turn back even if they were considered good persons, according to their religion, all the established duties of which they performed exemplarily. They are Pharisees as in the time of Christ.
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