Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon’s Pastoral Ponderings
The Church has always thought of God’s wrath as a metaphor descriptive of His “negative response” to sin. The expression signifies the metaphysical incompatibility of moral evil with the Font of goodness. When the Bible, then, speaks of God’s anger, it indicates His extreme, punitive displeasure toward what is radically opposed to His being.
If God’s wrath is understood in that way, it is clear that no one can placate or appease it. That is to say, it is metaphysically impossible for God to become—somehow—less angry in regard to sin. The Lord’s “negative reaction” cannot be other than it is, because it is an expression of His intrinsic truth. As long as God is God, sin must be the object of His wrath. Nothing done on this earth—nothing accomplished by Christ himself—alters the divine nature. Consequently, it is impossible for the biblical God to…
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