My love was hidden prior to My incarnation. I kept it hidden in My justice like light obscured by a cloud. Once I had taken a human nature, although the law that had been given was changed, justice itself was not changed but was all the more clearly visible and was shown in a more abundant light in love through God's Son. This happened in three ways. First, the law was mitigated, since it had been severe because of disobedient and hardened sinners and it was difficult in order to tame the proud. Second, the Son of God suffered and died. Third, My judgment now appears to be farther away and both seems to be postponed out of mercy and to be gentler toward sinners than before.
Indeed, the acts of justice concerning the first parents or the flood or those who died in the desert seem rigid and strict. But that same justice is still with Me and ever has been. However, mercy and love are now more apparent. Earlier, for wise reasons, love was hidden in justice and displayed with mercy, albeit in a more hidden manner, because I never carried out and never do carry out justice without mercy or kindness without justice. Now, however, you might ask: if I show mercy in all My justice, in what way am I merciful toward the damned? I will answer you by way of a parable.
It is as if a judge were seated in judgment and his brother came along to be sentenced. The judge says to him: 'You are my brother and I am your judge and, although I sincerely love you, I cannot nor is it right for me to counteract justice. In your conscience you see what is just with respect to what you deserve. It is necessary to sentence you accordingly. If it were possible to go against justice, I would willingly take your sentence upon myself.'
I am like that judge. This person is My brother because of My human nature. When he comes to be judged by Me, his conscience informs him of his guilt and he understands what his sentence should be. Since I am just, I reply to the soul - figuratively speaking - and tell it: 'You see all that is just for you in your conscience. Tell Me what you deserve.'
The soul answers Me then: 'My conscience informs me of my sentence. It is the punishment due to me, because I did not obey You.'
I answer: 'I, your judge, took on Myself all your punishment and made your danger known to you as well as the way to escape punishment. It was simple justice that you could not enter Heaven before atoning for your guilt. I took on your atonement, because you were incapable of bearing it your self. Through the prophets I showed you what would happen to Me, and I did not omit a single detail of what the prophets foretold. I showed you all the love I could in order to make you turn to Me. However, since you have turned away from Me, you deserve to be sentenced, because you scorned mercy. However, I am still so merciful that, if it were possible for Me to die again, for your sake I would again endure the same torment I once endured on the cross rather than see you sentenced to such a sentence. Justice, however, says that it is impossible for Me to die again, even if mercy tells me to want to die for your sake again, if it were possible. This is how I am merciful and loving even toward the damned. I loved mankind from the start, even when I seemed to be angry, but nobody cared about or paid any attention to My love.'
Because I am just and merciful, I warn the so-called knights that they should seek My mercy, lest My justice find them. My justice is as immovable as a mountain, it burns like fire, it is as frightening as thunder, and as sudden as a bow fitted with an arrow. My warning is threefold.
First, I warn them as a father does his children, in order to make them turn back to Me, because I am their Father and Creator. Let them return, and I will give them the patrimony due to them by right. Let them return, because, although I have been spurned, I will still welcome them with joy and go out to meet them with love.
Second, I ask them like a brother to recall My wounds and My deeds. Let them return, and I will receive them like a brother.
Third, as their Lord I ask them to return to the Lord to Whom they pledged their faith, to Whom they owe their allegiance and to whom they have sworn themselves by oath.
Wherefore, o knights, turn back to Me, your Father, Who brought you up with love. Think on Me, your brother, Who became as one of you for your sakes. Turn back to Me, your kind Lord. It is highly dishonest to pledge your faith and allegiance to another lord. You pledged Me that you would defend My Church and help the needy. See now how you pledge allegiance to My enemy, and throw away My banner and hoist the banner of My enemy!
Wherefore, O knights, come back to Me in true humility, since you deserted Me through pride. If anything seems hard to suffer for Me, consider what I did for you! For your sakes, I went to the cross with My feet bleeding; My hands and feet were pierced for you; I spared not a single limb of Mine for you. And yet you ignore all this by running away from Me.
Come back, and I will give you three kinds of help. First, fortitude, so as to be able to withstand your physical and spiritual enemies.
Second, a brave generosity, so that you may fear nothing but Me and may deem it a joy to exert yourselves for My sake.
Third, I shall give you wisdom to make you understand the true faith and the will of God. Therefore, come back and take your stand like men!
For I, Who am giving you this warning, am the same One Whom the angels serve, the One who freed those forefathers of yours who were obedient but sentenced the disobedient and humbled the proud. I was first in war, first in suffering. Follow Me, then, so that you will not be melted like wax by fire. Why are you breaking your promise? Why do you scorn your oath? Am I of less value or more unworthy than some worldly friend of yours to whom, once you pledge your faith, you keep it? To Me, however, the giver of life and honor, the preserver of health, you do not render what you have promised.
For this reason, good knights, fulfill your promise and, if you are too weak to do so in deeds, at least have the will to do so! I feel pity due to the slavery the devil has imposed on you and so I will accept your intention as a deed. If you come back to Me in love, then exert yourselves in the faith of My Church, and I will come out to meet you like a kind father together with all My army.
I will give you five good things as a reward. First, neverending praise will always sound in your ears. Second, the face and glory of God will always be before your eyes. Third, the praise of God will never leave your lips. Fourth, you will have everything your soul can desire, and you will desire nothing more than you have. Fifth, you will never be separated from your God, but your joy will endure without end and you will live your life in joy without end.
Such will be your reward, My knights, if you defend My faith and exert yourselves more for the sake of My honor than for your own. If you have any sense, remember that I have been patient with you and that you have insulted Me in a way you yourselves would never tolerate. However, although I can do all things by reason of My omnipotence, and although My justice cries out to be revenged upon you, still My mercy, which is in My wisdom and goodness, spares you. Therefore, ask for
mercy! In My love I grant that which a person asks Me for in humility."
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Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden - Book Two: Chapter Twelve