THE ADORNMENT OF THE SPIRITUAL
by Blessed John of Rusybroeck
THE FIRST BOOK
7. Of the Blessed Sacraments
There is still another coming of Christ our Bridegroom, taking
place every day, with growth of grace and renewal of gifts. That
is, when a man receives some sacrament with a humble heart void of
anything contrary thereto. In this way he receives new gifts and
more ample grace, because of his humility and through the
mysterious working of Christ in the sacraments. Those things which
are contrary to the sacraments are unbelief in Baptism, a lack of
repentance in Confession, and approaching the Sacrament of the
Altar in the state of mortal sin or with an evil intention; and so
on as regards the other sacraments. Those who act thus receive no
new grace; rather does their sinfulness increase.
This is the other coming of Christ our Bridegroom, which is
present with us every day. We should consider it with a desiring
heart, lest it should not take place within us; for it is needful,
if we are to remain steadfast and to go forward in eternal life.
8. Of the Third Coming of Christ
The third coming, which is yet to be, will take place at the
Judgment, or in the hour of death. The wherefore of this coming is
the fitting time, the due cause, and the righteousness of the
The time which is fitting for this coming is the hour of death,
and the Last Judgment of all men. When God created the soul out of
nothing and united it with the body, He set a fixed day and a
fixed hour known only of Him, when it should have to give up
temporal things and to appear in His presence.
The due cause: for the soul must then account for every word
spoken and for every deed done, before the Eternal Truth.
The righteousness of the Judge, for it is to Christ that this
Judgment and this Verdict belong; for He is the Son of Man and the
Wisdom of the Father, and to this Wisdom all judgment is given,
since all hearts, in heaven, and on earth, and in hell, are clear
and open to It. And therefore these three points are the occasions
of the general coming in the Day of Doom, and of the particular
coming to each man in the hour of his death.
9. Showing what Christ will do in the Day of Doom
In this Judgment Christ, our Bridegroom and our Judge, will reward
and punish, according to justice; for He will give every man that
which he has earned. He will give to the good, for every good work
done in God, a wage without measure, that is to say, God's very
Self, Whom no creature of itself can earn. But when God works
these works with and through the creature, then by His power the
creature gains His very Self as wage. And with due justice He will
give eternal woe and eternal sorrow to the damned; for these
despised and rejected the Eternal Good for a good that cannot
endure. And of their own free will they have turned away from God,
and have set themselves against His glory and His will, and have
sought after creatures; and so shall they be justly condemned.
Those who bear witness at the Judgment are the angels and the
conscience of men. And the adversary is the hellish fiend; and the
Judge is Christ, Whom none can deceive.