God has an intense love for all sinners, whom he came to save. Judas, who is referred to in Scripture as the “son of perdition”, tragically seems to have rejected God until the last. Reflecting on the life and death of Judas, we can learn some valuable lessons:
+ “God hates sin; but at the same time never ceases to love the sinful soul while it remains on earth, and always gives it the assistance it requires for salvation: ‘But Thou sparest all, because they are Thine, O Lord, Who lovest souls.’ [Wisd. 11: 27] – St. Alphonsus
+ “Each soul is a matchless treasure [to God]” (Jesus to Sr. Mary of the Holy Trinity). Speaking of the Passion, St. John the Evangelist spoke thus to Sr. Josefa Menendez: “How His Heart thrilled at the thought of the moment, then approaching, when He would go to the Father, but it was crushed with sorrow at the sight of one of the Twelve, one specially chosen, who was to deliver Him up to death, and at the knowledge that for the first time His Blood was to prove useless to save a soul.”
+ To doubt God’s love is great blasphemy. According to the revelations of St. Catherine of Siena, as well as the words of St. Jerome, the despair of Judas was a greater offence to God than his betrayal. In an act of infinite love, Jesus died to save Judas; he doubted this love, thereby blinding himself to the graces of God which sought to save him. Apart from an extraordinary grace, the consequence of despair “worked logically out, is final impenitence” (Fr. Faber). It is in this sense that despair is unpardonable. “The mercy of God [of course] is infinite towards him who repents”; the guardian angel of Adolph Rette assured him of this when he was tempted to despair! How beautiful.
“Some say, ‘I have done too much evil; the good God cannot pardon me.’ My children, this is a great blasphemy; it is putting a limit to the mercy of God, which has no limit – it is infinite” (St. John Vianney). St. John Vianney proceeds to encourage us (as well as those in despair) to trust in God’s infinite mercy. The remainder of the quote can be found here: https://littlestsouls.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/to-sinful-souls-drowned-in-despair-25/
We must always remember the following: the Precious Blood of Jesus (which was shed in remission for our sins) is infinitely more pleasing to God than our sins are displeasing to God.
+ God’s just anger does not diminish his love. Despite rejecting His love, God still loved Judas, as we have seen. Love itself takes no delight in the death of the wicked [Ezek. 18:23]. Jesus said to Sr. Josefa (and other chosen souls): “My Heart is so sharply wounded at the loss of souls… especially when they are among My chosen ones.” In fact, in the life of St. Joseph of Cupertino, we read that “the loss of Judas was the worst pain of the Passion” (Fr. Faber, p. 250 of ‘Notes on Doctrinal and Spiritual Subjects, vol. 1’).
+ “God condemns no one” (St. Faustina). Properly speaking, God offers everyone abundant grace to be saved. Consequently, they alone are lost who reject God at the “moment of death”, says St. Catherine. St. Rose of Lima was once troubled by the mystery of predestination. Our Lord consoled her with the following words:
“My child, know that I only condemn those who, by resisting My graces, will obstinately lose their souls: continue, therefore, to make a good use of them, live in peace, and be no longer disturbed with this fear.”
(Taken from p. 175 of ‘St. Rose of Lima’)
+ Relapse into sin prefigures final impenitence. “There is something in the peculiar malice of a relapse very congenial to final impenitence” (Fr. Faber, p. 384 of ‘Growth in Holiness’). A holy fear of sin is necessary in the spiritual life. God promises forgiveness for the repentant, but He does not promise the grace of repentance to any sinner. (There are some extraordinary exceptions, such as the First Nine Fridays devotion etc.)
“Never does My Heart refuse to forgive a soul that humbles itself, especially when it asks with confidence.”
– Jesus to Sr. Josefa Menendez
“Ah! daughter, how should I not love you?… My Son shed His Blood for all men… all are my children. But when Jesus selects one soul in particular, my Heart rests in her.”
– Our Lady to Sr. Josefa Menendez