Great video on the Shroud. For myself, I was always entirely taken by the shroud. What scientists say in our own day as different even from a couple years ago is amazing. Proof for anyone of good will.
But that’s the catch. If you are malicious. If you are defending your own sinful life, you will simply refuse to believe. No proof can force someone to believe. Jesus says Abraham says this:
- Luke 16:19 There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuously every day: 20. And there was a certain beggar, named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, 21. And desiring to be fed from the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: and even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22. And it happened that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23. And, lifting up his eyes in hell, when he was in torments, he seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24. And he, crying out, said, Father Abraham, have compassion on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. 25. And Abraham said, Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus likewise evil things: but now he enjoys comfort, and thou art tormented. 26. And besides all these things, a vast gulf lieth between us and you; so that they who wish to pass hence to you cannot, nor can they pass to us thence. 27. And he said, I beseech thee, therefore, father, to send him to my father’s house: 28. For I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment. 29. Abraham saith to him, They have Moses and the prophets: let them hear them. 30. But he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent. 31. And he said to him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.
The universal salvation heretics say that the rich man is not in hell but in purgatory. They go against the parable spoken by the Truth Incarnate wherein trustworthy Abraham explicitly says no one can pass from one side to the other, over the chasm between heaven and hell, ever. Ain’t gonna happen. “Abraham is a liar!” they shriek: “Jesus is a liar!”
The universal salvation heretics say that the rich man is a nice guy, charitable, and should go to heaven. But in saying that, they actually deny the resurrection. Let’s examine that:
- (1) The rich man cries out: “Father Abraham, have compassion on me, and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” The idea is that unless Abraham sends Lazarus to hell for the sake of mercy, Abraham himself along with Lazarus will go to hell for being unmerciful. To deny justice for the sake of a false mercy is in fact a sin. So Abraham rebukes this malicious “Bring ’em all to hell!” plot of the rich man: “Abraham said; ‘Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus likewise evil things: but now he enjoys comfort, and thou art tormented.’ So, the rich man stays in hell and Abraham and Lazarus remain in heaven marveling at how evil the rich man is.
- (2) The rich man cries out: “I beseech thee, therefore, father, to send him to my father’s house: For I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come into this place of torment.” Obviously, the rich man, Dives, is the Herod under whom Jesus lived and died and rose. Rich, feasting sumptuously, dressed in purple, there’s only this one possibility: Herod. Lazarus is, of course, the Lazarus of Martha and Mary fame, the one Jesus raised from the dead and who the henchmen of Herod wanted to kill all over again. The five brothers are who-knows-who? amongst the insane genealogy of Herod’s father. Remember, there is no word for “cousin” in Hebrew. It’s always “brother.” But surely they are a well known, trusted group close to Herod, evil even in the eyes of the rich man in hell. Sending Lazarus to them would mean his instant murder at their hands. But more than this, Lazarus would be committing a sin worthy of hell if he were to disrespect Moses and the prophets by effectively saying that Moses and prophets weren’t good enough. With that sin Lazarus would simply go to hell with Abraham. That’s entirely evil and malicious of the rich man in hell who obviously deserves to be there. Abraham is right to say: “They have Moses and the prophets: let them hear them.”
- The rich man in hell cannot stop being malicious and evil and plotting to get everyone in hell. He said again: “Nay, father Abraham; but if one went to them from the dead, they will repent.” He’s again disrespecting Moses and the Prophets, who spoke of the resurrection. So, Abraham rightly responds: “If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” So, the rich man stays condemned in hell forever, and Abraham and Lazarus remain safely in heaven. I love this.
Here’s how malicious and evil people are in hell: they want to be in hell and they only want everyone to be hell. They don’t want to come out of hell. They want to hate God and themselves and everyone else in hell, forever. That’s what they hotly desire, so to speak.
Is that kind of person going to be convinced by scientific studies and reason concerning the shroud? No. Because they don’t want the truth. Sure, the shroud is absolutely a proof of the resurrection. But it’s not a proof that will be received by those who are malicious and evil. You cannot force someone to believe. We are saved by grace. These proofs are but aids for someone to assent to the faith that God is already crashing down upon them. So, we provide such things, but we must rejoice that God is doing the work of salvation. People can say “no,” and do say “no,” but we can and must be there for them to try to get them to say “yes.”
By the way, those eyes on the shroud, opened up, they remind me of these eyes:
Meanwhile, I am many times a day being dragged through the mysteries of the Two Hearts Rosary as I call it. More to come on that. The currents run deep. The Rosary is amazing for those who pray it.