"I am the Creator of the heavens and the earth. You wondered, My bride, why I am so patient with the evil. That is because I am merciful: for My justice endures and spares them for a threefold reason and My mercy spares them for a threefold reason. First, My justice endures them so that their time may be fully completed. For just as a righteous king might be asked, if he holds someone imprisoned, why he does not put them to death, and he answers: 'Because it is not yet time for the inquisition of the court where they may be heard so that those who hear it can take greater warning.' In this way do I tolerate the evil until the time comes for their malice to be made known to others as well.
Did I not foretell the rejection of Saul and that he would be expelled from his kingdom and dethroned long before it was made known to men? And I tolerated him for a long time so that his malice would be shown and proven to others.
Second, because of the few good deeds that the evil do for which they should be rewarded even down to the last farthing, there shall not be the least little good they have done for Me that will go unrewarded; herein they will receive their wage for the good they have done.
Third, in order to reveal God's glory and patience. It was for this reason that I tolerated Pilate, Herod, and Judas, even though they were evil and damned. And if anyone questions why I tolerate this or that person, let him regard Judas and Pilate.
My mercy also spares the evil for a threefold reason: First, because of my great love, for their eternal torment will be long. For that reason, because of My great love, I tolerate them until the last moment so that their torment will be delayed by the long extension of time here in the world.
Second, so that their nature will be consumed by the sins, because the human nature gets consumed by sin so that they would experience the bodily death more bitterly if their nature was healthier and stronger. For a healthy nature dies a more prolonged and bitter death.
Third, for the improvement and strength of good people and the conversion of some of the evil. For when good and righteous people are tormented by the evil, it benefits the good and righteous since it helps them to abstain from sin or to gain greater merit.
Likewise, the evil sometimes live for the good of other evil persons. For when the evil reflect on the fall, wickedness, and heinous deeds of some people, they think to themselves and say: 'What good does it do us to follow them or to live like them? While our Lord is so patient, it is better for us to repent.' And in this way they sometimes return to Me, because they fear to do the things those evil men did, and their conscience tells them they should not do these things. Therefore, it is said, that if someone has been stung by a scorpion, he can be cured by being anointed with the oil wherein another reptile has died. In the same way, sometimes an evil man, who sees another person who is also evil fall and beholds his unrighteousness and vanity, is struck by remorse for his sins and is cured by the mercy and grace of God.
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Revelations and Prophesies Imparted to St. Bridget of Sweden - Book One: Chapter Twenty-five