Right after Noah with his own people got secured, the cataclysm started. As long as they were not secured, the wrath of God was not manifesting.
And you are tought therefore by this, O man, that the catastrophes and the devastations of the wrath of God don't come, for as long as God is working in order to protect que secure first his own people.
But when the righteous are safe by moving away or by passing away in peace, then expect for the wrath of God to burst out. It is near. It is not far away. And after a while it will be manifested rapidly.
The cataclysm started. Of this great and terrible fact the Holy Scripture has preserved for us the chronology too.
The cataclysm happened, when Noah was six hundred years meaning that if we calculate the years according to the genealogy that the Scripture is giving us since Adam until Noah, we will find more or less 1656 years from the epoch of the creation of the man.
And it doesn't specify only the year the Scripture, but also the month and even the day, during which it started the cataclysm. «Of the second month, the twenty seventh day of the month, at that day they broke up all the fountains of the great deep and the cataracts of the skies were opened».
On the 27th of the second month during that day the fountains opened of the abyss and the cataracts of the sky. That is around the beginning of our month November.
When Noah was six hundred years old. Pretty advanced namely in his age. And he lived in order to see with his own eyes that great and sorrowful catastrophe of the world, which without doubt he wouldn't ever want to see it.
Even if he was secured inside the ark, it could never endure his heart not to crack from the groans, that he must have heard during the first days from outside the ark and from the idea, that the whole world during those days was being destroyed.
That's the downside of longevity. The more you live, the more things you will see. Both good and bad. Both pleasant and unpleasant. The good and the pleasant however will be the least, beyond any comparison the least.
In such a way that it is sometimes a special favor and a grace, which God gives to His own people, when He takes them early from this world, in order not to see with their own eyes the suffering, that is going to happen next to their nation or to their city or to their family.
Thus God promised to the pious and pleasing in His eyes king of the Jews Josiah, that He would take him and he would add him to his fathers; «and you shall be gathered into your grave in peace and you shall not see with your eyes all the misfortunes which I will bring upon this place».
And thus many time He takes before his time the young brother God, because He doesn't want to embitter him more with the bitter cups of the deaths and of the illnesses, that right after will be given one near the other for the survivors to drink with sighs and with bitter tears.
He takes before her time the mother, in order not to see of her other child also the death and in order not to be hurt with a second piercing again her overwhelmed heart.
But you see that Noah he leaves him. He assigns the mission to him a sad mission indeed and a rough one, but also especially great and primarily honorary.
He found him capable for this. He found him worthy and He is using him therefore as an instrument of His will. The great works and the great missions are always like this, mixed with sorrows and with hardships and with bitterness.
Stay therefore rested in your place, O Christian. Anything that God gives to you, it is well given. He wants to put you in trial with sorrows and with hardships. He wants your whole life to be fermented with tears and with sighs.
He wants it alright and for your own benefit he wants it and for some great and very sweet outcome He wants it. Bear with patience the education of the Lord. Don't wish to throw away from you that load, that is imposed on you by the love of God.
Do you want to be His soldier? «Accept the hardship therefore as a good soldier of Jesus Christ». And be confident, that from these hardships, that with patience you must and you are obliged to withstand, someday will come out the sweet fruit of salvation and of repose and of peace.
It might be that you won't see it in this perishable world the outcome fruit. But you shall see it and you shall certainly find it in the future world to come, where as a contestant who has grown old in the hardships of the struggle you shall rest to the eternity in the unfading laurels of your victory and of your triumph.
When it started the cataclysm, «they broke up all the fountains of the abyss and the cataracts of the skies were opened».
It wasn't needed to be created new quantities of waters. The waters that were to be found until then and they are to be found today also inside our atmosphere and around our globe, they were enough in order to drown the world.
These same waters, that God now has restrained in limits and in restrictions, and within these limits they are to us so handy, and useful and beneficial, these same waters, when the infinite power of God wished to move these limits, they brought the great catastrophe.
And thus not only the waters of the sky, but also of the earth the seas and the lakes and the rivers and the underground storages of the waters came back in order to totally cover the face of the earth and they moved from their place in order to totally flood everything.
What would you think, O man? When God decides it, you cannot find nowhere a place to stand. The whole creation is prepared to fall upon the man who have sinned, the moment that God gives the signal of the catastrophe and of the revenge.
What fierce and terrible spectacle, it must have been the spectacle of the cataclysm! Down there the seas and the lakes and the rivers foaming and buzzing from the tumult of the waves and from the roar of the rushing waters.
The sky above is thundering and is throwing lightnings and it is not merely raining, but it is throwing thick water, incessantly, water like the current of some cataract from the height of the sky falling; water that would not stop during forty whole days and nights.
The cataracts of the sky opened. That is great was the river underneath the waters of the earth, but great was the river also from above the waters of the sky.
Such rainstorm has never seen the world. We know, that the rain falls as small or big drops, but water in the form of a cataract falling from the sky not even in our dreams we have not seen. And we should never see it.
This is it then; when God turns against you, these most useful things transform to traps of perdition and of catastrophe.
Is there anything else more useful than the water? And yet it now becomes a grave, in which it is drowning the whole world.
This is it then; when God is against you, both the earth and the sky are turning at the same time against you.
How will you be able to escape His verdict and His judgement? And how will you be able to endure the weight of His wrath? Or who is capable to stand in front of God, when He is wrathful?
But this catastrophe of the world, which was realized through the cataclysm of the waters, constitutes an example and an image, with which God presented to us also the other great catastrophe, that will happen at the end of the world when the earth will totally burn together with everything on it through fire during that day of the Lord the great and terrible and prominent.
The divine apostle Peter relates these two catastrophes and based on the first, which happened, he concludes with certainty that it will take place also the second.
The earth, he says, was lying on the waters and by waters it was made and was composed. And these waters, that were its prop and the prop of every life, that was moving on it, they revolted one day and they drowned everything that was on earth and dispersed on it the death. And thus the old world of that time «flooded in water it was lost».
But also the world today, says the divine Peter, the sky today and the earth are protected from the fire, with which they will be destroyed, when it will come the terrible day of the judgement. Because the earth does not have inside only waters. It also has fire as well.
The mount Etna, the mount Vesuvius and so many other volcanoes that open up many times in order to spew rivers fiery and burning, are informing us officially, that the inwards and the heart of the earth are made of fire.
And likewise from the sky not only falls rain, but many times it falls also the fire of the lightning, that provokes major catastrophes.
And when therefore it will come that dreadful day, the earth will be found amidst two fires, as in other times it was found amidst two seas and two torrents, it will be found between the fire, that will come out from its entrails and of the fire, that it will fall from the skies.
And then its purification will be true and definite. And then the extermination of the sinners will be definitive. The earth will be cleansed as if in a furnace, it is going to be cleansed through the fire, in order to be used from there on as eternal dwelling of the righteous.
The salvation of Noah from the waters, in which he navigated through the ark, but he didn't drown, it was a type, that pointed out the salvation of ours as well Christians through the water of the Holy Baptism.
This interpretation gives it to us the apostle Peter in his first catholic epistle, where while he was talking about the forbearance, which God showed during that epoch, that the ark was being constructed, he adds that in this ark few, that is, eight souls were saved through the water.
And then he adds the divine Peter, that through the water now also it saves us the antitype of the baptism; the baptism, of which the type was the -through the waters- salvation of Noah.
And indeed my reader. Within the world of the corruption and of the sin Jesus also constructed, of Whom Noah was a type and a sign in his time, constructed His own ark. And this ark is His Church.
She is also based upon the waters, with which Christ came in order to wash out the impurity of the sin and to bury in them the former man the corrupted and perverted by the evil.
And these waters is the sanctified bath of the baptism, which is used as a door, through which the salvated ones enter into this ark of salvation.
Outside this ark there is cataclysm and darkness. Cataclysm of the sin; darkness of delusion and ignorance. Outside this ark there is death and perdition and drowning and shipwreck.
Only inside the ark salvation exist. Only through it you will be able by escaping from the cataclysm of the evil to reach the quiet and safe harbor of the sky.
Enter therefore you too, my Christian, as in other times he entered Noah as well into the ark of his own. And observe him, how he separates himself decisively from everything, that could drive him away from the ark.
He abandons his fields and his houses and his belongings. He abandons his acquaintances and his friends and his relatives. He abandons everything and he enters in the ark.
Likewise you too abandon, my brother, every bond to the world of the sin and separate yourself for ever from it.
Abandon your bad habits and your defects. Abandon your cunning relations and sympathies. Separate yourself from acquaintances and from persons that can separate you from Christ. And enter into the ark.
Certainly he must have saddened a little within that prison that righteous man. He must have been stressed and he must have lived the life of the incarcerated.
Likewise you too, O Christian, by abandoning the anterior world of the sin you must confine yourself, pull together yourself, to take upon yourself the cross of the self abnegation and of the obedience to Christ and because you must be spoiled in the beginning, you will not be able to immediately understand how sweet and helpful and useful is the yoke of the lord, but you will be depressed in your first steps and you will be stressed.
Enter inside the ark based on your faith towards Christ and perfecting yourself on your compliance to His will.
Stick yourself to Christ and He shall be the saving ark for you also. Stick yourself through your love for Him, which is proven to be alive and powerful through the fulfillment of the commandments of Christ, through the works of obedience towards Him.
Enter in the ark. And as God in other times enclosed thoroughly Noah in there and secured him, similarly you will be secured you too now. It will watch over you the grace of His Spirit, it will secure you to salvation and to eternal blessedness.
Enter in the ark now, when there is still time to enter. It has its doors open for you too. It has them open now. But it will not have them open forever in front of you. They will close one day.
And maybe then you will ask them to open, but instead of other answer you will listen from inside the terrible voice, «I don't know you»; I don't know you.
Enter, because, if today they are open, will they be also tomorrow open? Or maybe they will be closed? And then? alas!
They started from above the clouds to dissolve into rain abruptly and to create cataracts and rivers of water falling down from the sky rapidly.
And in the beginning the people of this epoch had probably hoped, that it was just a storm and it would pass. But the rain, the unprecedented and strong rain, a really huge inundation, continued not just for hours, but for days and nights on end. For forty whole days and nights.
Explosions and upheavals in the surface of the earth, that made it be lifted in various places of the sea its bottom and where it was very deep it became shallow, they provoked that of the Oceans and of the seas the waters to over jump their limits and would completely flood the earth.
And thus the water multiplied, it proliferated, it covered the earth, it covered not only its lower places, but even those most high mountains, above which it raised fifteen whole meters!
And thus even those most high mountain tops were found covered and they were shown to be low and humble in the face of the wrath of God.
Yes, nothing is so high compared to the power of God. And there is nothing, that God can not humiliate it and bring it down.
«And it was floating the ark on the surface of the waters». The water covered everything. And the trees and the forests and the mountains and the summits of the high alps. Only the ark it didn't manage to cover, but the ark was floating over the water being safe.
Everything was buried and was destroyed by the water, and only the ark remains. The same water, that destroys everything else, the same sustains the ark and saves the ones that are found enclosed in it.
And thus the same water becomes for the others death and catastrophe and for them salvation and protection.
And this reminds me, my reader, the word of the truth, the preaching of the faith, which while for the faithful ones it is a scent of fragrance that leads to eternal life, to the unfaithful ones the very same and not another preaching is a scent of death that leads to death.
The same word of the truth while illuminating those, it obscures the others, and while it saves the faithful ones, it reproaches even more the unfaithful ones.
And it was floating the ark over the water». And thus, the higher the water was rising, the more it was approaching to the sky the ark.
This again reminds me a great and consolatory truth; the truth, that the sadness lifts us towards the sky.
Clouds of sorrow, cataclysm of hazards many times are shading our lives. And it seem to us then black and completely shut the sky. And we think, that we are isolated and abandoned and totally alone.
This is an error, my Christian! God is close to you. And while the waters of the sorrow multiply, the more you approach closer to the Sky. And while your sufferings increase and you patiently are holding them on, the more you are approaching to God.
Be patient during the cataclysm of the many waters. Be patient with faith. And be sure then, that your ark will always be floating towards a conducted direction, that is, the heaven and the eternal repose and blessedness.
«And every living being died of those who moved on the earth». And behold therefore the result of that downpour and that huge inundation. Every living being died that was moving on the earth through that inundation and that cataclysm of the waters.
Never ever before had triumphed so much the death since the epoch that was introduced on the earth, as much as it prevailed during those terrible days.
And never ever before it was more vividly presented the image of death, as is described by the divine John in his Apocalypse, as sitting upon a pale horse and be followed by Hades.
The birds were drowned, the animals were drowned together with the wild beasts, the serpents were drowned and all the people were drowned. And in general everything that had breath of life everything that was breathing and had the need of air in order to live, and every animal that was to be found on the land, they all died.
«And God eliminated every living being from the earth from man to animals and to serpents and to the birds of the sky and Noah remained alone and all who were with him in the ark».
So the humans died, but it also died and every living being, that was living and moving on the earth.
Nevertheless only the man had sinned and only him was guilty and offender. Why then should not be punished him only, but had to be punished with him also the whole kingdom of the animals?
O man, who pretend to care about justice and you that, when it is about your own person, you have no problem and for the ill-intentioned interest of yours to commit not only one, but thousands and tens of thousands wrongdoings what do you think? Do you believe, that God is unfair Who unleashed the wrath?
If together with the man it took the wrath of God also the animals, do not forget, that God did not do them injustice in anything. He is the Lord of every life, because at the same time He is the only source and cause of life.
He created them. He brought them in life and gave them the existence. He is also the One Who takes it away now.
Who would be qualified to ask Him: What are you doing? And to whom would He be obliged to give an explanation for this catastrophe Him, Who did not ask no one neither He consulted anyone, when He created them?
Pay attention nevertheless, O man, and you will not find it difficult over this particular case to discern how righteous the Lord is and how straightforward are the judgements of His.
And indeed; when I see this general catastrophe, this terrible perdition, I reverently stand in awe in front of the infinite holiness of God, which so powerfully demonstrates its hatred against the sin.
God hates sin. And because He hates sin, He inexorably punishes the sinner man, and together with him He punishes also those who serve him and supply for him, the lower animals and beasts, which he while being away from God he does not use to the praise of His glory, but for the demoralization of himself even further.
And this general catastrophe of humans and animals presents the judgement of God being even more terrible and the revenge of His wrath more vivid and more dreadful.
But I stand in awe at the same time in front of the wisdom and prudence of God, Who not only did everything wisely, but also wisely He governs the world.
Because if the animals were made for the humans, shouldn't they also be multiplied in analogy to the multitude of the humans?
And since now the mankind is decreasing and is limited in only one family, isn't it proper to be decreased in number and be limited the animals too?
Otherwise they would run the risk that they would take over the sovereignty over the earth and he wouldn't have it the man. They would fill up the earth and soon they would displace and they would vanish the man from his kingdom.
Imagine, Noah with his three children and with the four wives that they had with them, when they would exit from the ark, to find themselves on a land full of oxen and of lambs, but also of lions and of tigers and of numerous serpents and of every kind of wild beasts in packs going around the earth.
I ask you, my reader, in that case, would Noah be king over the earth, as God created the man to be, or would he be an impotent slave, spending his life with constant fears and agonies?
And would it be easy then for Noah to live and to multiply or he would most likely suffer what he didn't suffer in the cataclysm? Well, my brother, indeed and truthfully, «how great are your works, O Lord; everything with wisdom you have made!»
And in order to understand better this truth and this purpose of the divine providence, I will refer you, my reader, to the 23rd chapter of Exodus in the verse 29.
There God promises to Israel, that He would multiply them to a great nation and that He would expel from the promised land the Amorites and the Hivites and the Canaanites and the Hittites.
And He also adds the following: «I will not take them away within one year, in order not to become the earth to a desert, and to not multiply a lot the beasts of the earth».
He does not expel, as you see, during one only year these nations the barbarians and idol worshipers from that land of God's promise.
And He does not expel them on the one hand for the land not to desolate, because the Israelites would not have yet sufficiently multiplied, and on the other hand so that they won't -after the desolation of the earth- multiply and become too many the wild animals in the land of God's promise.
Therefore, my Christian, you can see it clearly. What seem to you to be wrath and curse of God, it is actually mercy and compassion.
Similarly in our life and for many other things it seem to us, that God seem to be unfair and as if He wants our bad and our catastrophe.
O blind and foolish man! Have a little patience and it won't pass much time that you too, if you are not distorted and fanatically blind, you 'll be convinced and see, that the bitter experience that God gave to you is full of sweetness, and the rough and unfair if full of the fruit of repose and justice.
All the people, all who at that time were to be found in life, all the inhabitants of the earth, who, if they were not more, for sure they wouldn't be much less than what they are today, all men and women and children died, except for those who were in the ark.
They died, and we can imagine the terror and the fear, that must have overwhelmed them, when they were seeing vanishing every hope for salvation of their lives and when they were observing the waters continuously rising and surrounding them hopelessly.
They didn't expected it; and this now makes their terror greater and their agony more dreadful, since so abruptly for them the catastrophe comes.
They didn't expected it. The Lord assures us, that on the eve of the cataclysm the people were living their life carefree eating and drinking and having fun.
Blind and deaf to the invitations and the warnings, which through the preaching of Noah God was sending to them, there were thinking, that they were safe and before they drowned in the waters in order to die their body as well, their soul had already died, because they had drowned in the worship of the flesh and in the materialism.
But what a surprise now! Now they see with their eyes, they feel with all their senses exactly the thing, which they were previously hearing from the mouth of Noah being pre announced and they didn't believe it.
That thing, that they were making fun of, that they considered impossible, behold now, it is surrounding them threateningly and tries to drown them.
O! yes; without doubt they get persuaded now, that they were foolish and nonsensical, because they didn't believe to the voices and the warnings of Noah.
Without doubt they repent now, but unfortunately for them it is now late. A chance of repentance they don't find, although with tears now they must be pleading the mercy and the forgiveness.
The time for repentance has already passed and now has come the time for righteous retribution and punishment.
We can however imagine the efforts that many must have employed among these people in order to escape the terrible danger, which kept coming closer more threatening and which in the end they didn't manage to avoid.
Some of them must have climbed on the tops of very high trees; others must have climbed on the tops of high mountains and for a moment they must have hoped there that they had been released from the torture of the terror, that possessed their hearts.
But there as well it reached them finally the water and they died in a worse way that those, who were caught abruptly by the inundations.
Because these last ones died, without even understanding it. While those who lived in the highlands, before they were caught by the water, they see it approaching slowly-slowly and the closer it gets, the more they get more frightened and they experience the agony of death even before death gets a hold on them.
Some of them might have clung themselves on the ark, which they were seeing, while it was constructed, and they were laughing at Noah; and others might have been able to climb to its top and on its roof.
All in vain however. Because also this place was not safe at all. Eigher by hunger, or by the cold, as they would be continually beaten by the rain, or because they would be carried away by the surge of some storm or by the rush of some gale, and these people fell very quickly into the arms of death.
Others maybe would have relied to the friendship or the kinship that they had with Noah; to the acquaintance they had with him.
And they must have come close to the ark and they must have knocked shouting with agony, begging with tears and with moanful cries, for Noah to feel pity for them and open to them the door of the ark.
«Haven't we eaten and haven't we drunk together? Haven't we gone out together for a walk and haven't we enjoyed together? Haven't you come to our house and haven't we come to your house? Open to us therefore now. Save us from this terrible occasion, from this terrible catastrophe».
They must have told him these, and also other things. They must have told him friendly words, words with love, words with sorrow, and agony, that must have provoked the sympathy and the sadness and the tears.
Haven't I told you these last seven days? Why didn't you hear me? Why didn't you pay attention to me? Now already it's late. God has shut closed the door of the ark and nobody is able to open it. I cannot do anything to help you».
That's how, my reader, it will also be during that terrible and dreadful day of the judgement, when everything will pass not this time from the water, but from the fire and the flames.
All who will not find themselves inside the ark, that is Jesus Christ, will be destroyed for ever and no salvation will not be able to save them.
Some maybe out of desperation must have tried to break in the ark, to open it by force, in order to enter inside through their own hand.
They didn't manage it however. Because the ark was made by square beams. and thus not only to the force of the storms could endure, since it was not made, by weak slats, y by men either it was not easy to be broken.
Some of them furthermore, who were asking with tears by Noah to open for them, it's is not unlikely that they had even helped him, when he was constructing the ark. They might have worked on wage others in order to cut wood for him, others in order to bring it to him, others in order to assemble it and to nail it.
And yet they were not back then prudent and wise in order to open their ears and to heed to these words that Noah was telling them. And now they are found outside them too.
And they must be begging, but the door is shut. And they must be reminding to Noah the services that they were offering to him in other times, but he must be telling them; «I do not know you». I do not know you.
How many of us too we will suffer exactly like these wretches! Because also many of us we are serving Christ in His construction of His ark, His Church, which is His body.
We serve Him and we act His will with the preaching of His Gospel, in the liturgy of His mysteries, in the mission of saving souls.
And while more or less we collaborate with Him for the ark to be constructed, into which they will be saved all who will be found inside during that day of the catastrophe, it would not be paradoxical that ourselves then we would remain outside.
We serve Him as salaried employees, not as His servants sincere and dedicated. We serve Him for the money that we will receive from that service, for the honor, that will give to us the public office of this service.
Or we serve Him carelessly with a fervor that evaporates easily and while we are talking well and maybe very well for the others, we are not talking at the same time for ourselves also.
And the result will be, that others can be saved by our speeches and through our ministry and our liturgy to enter inside the ark of the salvation; while ourselves it's not difficult to remain outside.
And during that dreadful day of the judgment it's not impossible to hear our unfair complaint towards God and Lord and governor and head of the ark, when we will be saying to Him:
«Lord, in Your name haven't we prophesied?» And He will be answering to us: «I don't know you». «Not everyone saying to me, Lord, Lord, will enter in the life...»
Ah! my reader; if these lines, that you are reading, are finding some favor in your eyes, do not forget also the one who writes them.
And pray to God for this poor not to be found during that terrible day in that difficult position that we described to you above, and never hear either from the mouth of the Lord the terrible word; «I don't know you».
Let us stop now for a moment, my brother. And lets take through our fantasy a look upon the terrible catastrophe.
Let us imagine that terrible image of the earth covered with water, so that you wouldn't see nothing but an infinite sea on it, without anywhere to be seen any end of this sea, nor any little island in this sea.
Only corpses of people and animals and birds and serpents floating, as if they were many small boats over these wide and limitless waters.
Forty days and nights the sky needed in order to drop these waters. And hundred and fifty days, that is, more or less, half a year the earth remains covered with these waters.
Observe therefore this terrible catastrophe, my Christian, and think. Think, what a terrible thing it is for someone to fall in the hands of the great God. «It is terrible to fall in the hands of the living God».
Think, what a bad thing it is for someone to walk away from God and to persist in the sin. It is not possible, sooner or later, the sin will create for the sinner his catastrophe.
Since God hates and abhors the sin, since God is a living God and not a dead God, this will certainly happen; the catastrophe of the sinners is inevitable and determined.
Pay attention, sinful brother like I am. Pay attention to the example of our ancestors in order to find teachings salvatory and beneficial for the soul.
Pay attention in order not to suffer as they suffered, and without expecting it find yourself also surrounded by the waves of the same wrath of God, which exterminated them too.
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