Ultrasound image of an unborn child.
THOU SHALT NOT KILL. An offense against God and man.
"It is said: "You shall not kill." To which of the two groups of commandments does this one belong? Are you saying: "To the second"? Are you sure? I will ask you another question: is it a sin which offends God or the man who has been struck? You say: "The man who has been struck"? Are you sure also of that? And another question: is it only a sin of homicide? By killing a person does one commit but this one sin? You say: "Only this one"? Does no one doubt it? Give Me your answers in a loud voice. Let one speak on behalf of everybody. I will wait." And Jesus bends to caress a little girl who has come near Him and looks at Him enraptured, forgetting to nibble at the apple that her mother gave her to keep her quiet.
A stately old man stands up and says: "Listen, Master. I am an old synagogue leader and I have been asked to speak on behalf of everybody. And I am going to speak. I think, we all think, that we have replied according to justice and according to what we have been taught. My certainty is based on the Law concerning homicide and blows. But You know why we have come: to be taught, as we know that You are Wisdom and Truth. If, therefore, I am wrong, enlighten my darkness, that the old servant may go to his King clad in light. And similarly, enlighten also these people who belong to my flock and have come with their shepherd to drink at the source of Life and before sitting down, he bows with the greatest respect.
"Who are you, father?"
"Cleopas, of Emmaus, Your servant."
"Not Mine: of Him Who sent Me, because the Father is to be given all priority and all love in Heaven, on the earth and in hearts. And the first to give Him this honour is His Word, Who, on the faultless table takes and offers the hearts of good people, as the priest does with the bread of the proposition. But listen, Cleopas, that you may go to God enlightened as is your holy desire."
"When judging a fault, it is necessary to take into consideration the circumstances that precede, prepare, justify and explain the fault. A man who has committed murder, before presenting himself to God to ask forgiveness, must ask himself: "Whom did I strike? What did I strike? Where, with what means, why, how, when did I strike?"
"Whom did I strike?"
"A man. I say: a man. I do not consider whether he is rich or poor, free or a slave. As far as I am concerned, there are neither slaves nor mighty ones. There are only men, created by One God, therefore, they are all equal. In fact, also the most powerful king on the earth is dust before the majesty of God. And in His eyes, as well as in Mine, there is only one slavery: sin, and therefore a slavery under Satan. The old Law discriminates between free men and slaves, and subtilises between killing with one blow and killing when the person struck survives for a day or two and likewise, whether a pregnant woman is killed by blows or only the fruit of her womb dies. But that was said when the light of perfection was still far away. Now it is amongst you and says: "Who kills his fellow creature commits a sin". And he sins not only against man, but also against God."
"What is man? Man is the sovereign creature whom God created to be the king of creation and He created him in His image and likeness, giving him His likeness according to the spirit, and His image by drawing his perfect image from His perfect thought."
"Look at the air, at the earth, at the seas. Can you see an animal or a plant, however beautiful it may be, which is equal to man? Animals run, eat, drink, sleep, procreate, work, sing, fly, creep, climb. But they do not speak. Man can also run and jump and is so fast that he seems a fish; he can creep and looks like a reptile; he climbs like a monkey; he can sing like a bird. He can procreate and reproduce. And, besides, he can speak."
"Do not say: "Every animal has its language". True, one moos, another bleats, another brays, another chirps, another warbles, but the last bull will bellow exactly the same as the first one, and so sheep will bleat until the end of the world, and donkeys will always bray like the first one, and sparrows will always chirp, whilst the lark and the nightingale will sing their songs: the former to the sun, the latter to a starry night, also on the last day of the world, exactly as they greeted the first sun and the first night. Man, instead, having not only a voice and a tongue, but also a nervous system, the centre of which is the brain, the seat of intelligence, is capable of perceiving new sensations, meditating on them and giving them names."
"Adam called dog his friend and gave the name of lion to the animal that seems most like it because of its mane round its short- bearded face. He called sheep the lamb that greeted him mildly and gave the name of bird to the beautiful flower of feathers that flies like a butterfly but sings a sweet song that a butterfly cannot sing. And later, throughout centuries, the children of Adam created new names, as and when they "became acquainted" with the works of God in His creatures, or, through the divine spark which is in man, they not only procreated children, but they also created things which were useful or harmful to their children, according to whether they were with God or against God. Those who create and do good things are with God. Those who create wicked things, harmful to their neighbours, are against God. God avenges His children tortured by man's wickedness".
"Man is thus the favored creature of God. Even if he is now guilty, he is still the dearest creature to Him. That is witnessed by the fact the He sent His own Word, not an angel, not an archangel, not a cherub, not a seraph, but His own Word, clad with human flesh, to save man. He did not deem that flesh unworthy to make Him liable to suffer and expiate, Who being a Most Pure Spirit Himself, could not have suffered and expiated the sin of man."
"The Father said to Me: "You shall become man: the Man. I made one. He was as perfect as everything I make. He was destined to a peaceful life, a most peaceful final sleep, a happy awakening and a most happy eternal life in My celestial Paradise. But You know that nothing contaminated may enter our Paradise, because there I-We, one and trine God, have Our throne. Only holiness is allowed to stand before it. I am He Who I am. My divine nature, Our mysterious being can be known only to those who are without sin. Now man, in Adam and through Adam, is foul. Go. Cleanse him. I want it. From now on You shall be the Man. The First-Born. Because You will be the first to enter here with mortal flesh deprived of sin, with a soul deprived of the original sin. Those who have preceded You on the earth and those who will come after You, will receive life through Your death of a Redeemer". Only one who was born can die. I was born and I will die."
"Man is the favoured creature of God. Now tell Me: if a father has many children, but one is his darling, the apple of his eye, and that one is killed, will that father not suffer more than he would have suffered if another son had been killed? That should not happen because a father should be just to all his children. But it happens because man is not perfect. God can do so with justice because man is the only creature, amongst all created things, who has a spiritual soul in common with his Creator Father, an undeniable sign of his divine paternity."
"If one kills the son of a father, does one offend only the son? No. One offends also the father. One offends the son in his flesh and the father in his heart. Both are wounded. By killing a man, does one offend only the man? No. Also God. Man in his flesh, God in His right. Because life and death are to be given and taken by Him only. To kill is to do violence to God and to man. To kill is to enter God's domain. To kill. is to go against the commandment of love. Who kills does not love God, because he dissipates one of His works: a man. Who kills does not love his neighbour, because he takes away from his neighbour what a murderer wants for himself: life."
"I have thus replied to the first two questions."
"Where did I strike?"
"One can strike in the street, in the house of the person assaulted, or by alluring the victim to one's own home. One can strike either one or another organ causing a more severe pain, or committing two homicides in one, by striking a woman whose womb is bearing its fruit."
"One may strike in the street unintentionally. An animal that gets out of our hands may kill a passer-by. In which case there is no premeditation. But if a man, armed with a dagger and wearing refined dissembling clothes, goes to the house of his enemy - and often an enemy is a person whose only fault is to be better - invites him to his own house under the pretext of honouring him, and then cuts his throat and throws him into a well, then there is premeditation and his guilt is complete in malice, ferocity and violence."
"If I kill a mother and her child, then God will ask me to account for two deaths. Because the womb that gives birth to a man according to the commandment of God is sacred and sacred is the young life that grows within it, to whom God has given a soul."
"By which means did I strike?"
"In vain one says: "I did not intend to strike" if he went armed with an accurate arm. In a fit of anger, also one's hand may become a weapon, or a stone picked off the ground, or a branch taken from a tree. But who inspects his dagger or an axe, with cold determination, and sharpens it if he thinks that it is not sharp enough, then conceals it safely on his body so that, although it is not seen, it may be easily grasped, and being thus ready goes to his enemy, cannot certainly say: "I did not intend to strike". Who prepares a poison picking poisonous herbs and fruits, makes a powder or drink with them which he then offers to the victim as spices or as cyder, cannot certainly say: "I did not want to kill".
"And now listen, you women, tacit unpunished murderesses of so many lives. It is also murder to detach a fruit that is growing in a womb, because it is of a guilty seed, or because it is an embryo which is not wanted, being a useless burden to your bodies and your wealth. There is only one way not to have that burden: by being chaste. Do not join homicide to lust, violence to disobedience, and do not think that God does not see, simply because man does not see. God sees everything and remembers everything. You ought to remember that, too."
"Why did I strike?"
"Oh! for how many reasons! The sudden mental turmoil which causes in you a violent emotion, such as finding your nuptial bed polluted, or a thief at home, or a dirty fellow intent on doing violence to your young daughter, the cold premeditated planning to get rid of a dangerous witness, of someone who encumbers your way, or of someone at whose position or purse you aim; those are some of the many reasons. And if God can still forgive who in a painful derangement becomes a murderer, He will not forgive who becomes such through lust for power or for men's esteem."
"Always behave properly and you will fear nobody's eye or word. Be happy with what you possess, and you will not aspire to other people's property, to the extent of becoming murderers in order to have what belongs to your neighbour."
"How did I strike?"
"Being pitiless also after the first impulsive outburst? Sometimes man cannot control himself. Because Satan throws him into evil as a slinger hurls a stone. But what would you say of a stone, which, after reaching its target, should fly back by itself to the sling, to be hurled again and strike once more? You would say: "It is possessed of a magic hellish power. And such is man, when after the first blow he strikes a second, a third, a tenth time, with unbridled ferocity. Because wrath abates and reason takes over after the first outburst, if it is an outburst caused by a justifiable reason. Whereas ferocity increases the more the victim is struck by a genuine murderer, that is, by a satan, who does not feel and cannot feel pity for a brother because, being satan, he is hatred personified."
"When did I strike?"
"During the first outburst? After it had subsided? Pretending I had forgiven whereas my grudge grew more and more? Did I perhaps wait for years before striking, to cause double pain by killing the father through his children? You can see that by killing one offends the first and second group of commandments. Because you unduly claim the right of God and you oppress your neighbour. It is therefore a sin against God and against your neighbour. You do not only commit a sin of homicide. But you commit a sin of wrath, of violence, of pride, of disobedience, of sacrilege, and sometimes, if you kill to steal a position or a purse, of greed. I will only mention this now, and I will explain it to you in greater detail some other day, one does not commit homicide only by means of a weapon or poison. But also by slander. Meditate on that."
"I also say to you: the master, who striking a slave, does it cunningly, so that he may not die in his hands, is twice guilty. A slave is not money of his master: he is a soul of his God. And cursed be for ever who treats him worse than a bull."
Jesus' eyes sparkle with majesty and His voice thunders. They all look at Him amazed, because before He was speaking quietly.
"May he be cursed. The New Law repeals that hardness which was still justice when in the people of Israel there were no hypocrites who pretend to be saints and sharpen their wits only to take advantage of the Law of God or elude it. But now that Israel is overflowing with such vipers, for whom all caprices are lawful when it suits them, the miserable mighty ones whom God looks at with hatred and disgust, I say: it is no longer so."
"Slaves fall in the fields or at the millstones. They fall with fractured bones and with nerves laid bare by scourges. They accuse them of false crimes, so that they may strike them and thus justify their diabolical sadism. They even make use of God's miracles, as an accusation, to have the right to strike them. Neither God's power nor a slave's holiness convert their wicked souls. They cannot be converted. Good will not enter a soul glutted with evil. But God sees and says: "It is enough".
"There are too many Cains who kill the Abels. And what do you think, you foul sepulchres, whose outsides are whitewashed and covered with the words of the Law, and in whose insides Satan dominates as a king and the most cunning satanism flourishes, what do you think? That only Abel was Adam's son and that God looks benignantly only at those who are not slaves of man, and that He refuses the only offer that a slave can make: his honesty seasoned with tears? No, I solemnly tell you that every just man is an Abel, even if he is laden with fetters, even if he is dying on the furrows, or bleeding because of your scourging, and that all the unjust people are Cains, who out of pride, not out of true veneration, give to God what is contaminated with their sins and stained with blood."
"Desecrators of miracles! Desecrators of men, murderers, impious people! Out! Away from My sight! Enough! I say: enough. And I can say that, because I am the divine Word Who translates the Divine Thought. Away!"
Jesus, standing on the rough platform, is so imposing as to be frightening. With His right arm stretched out towards the door, His eyes like two blue flames, He seems to be striking by lightning the sinners present. The little girl at His feet starts crying and runs to her mother. The disciples look at one another amazed and they look to see to whom the diatribe is addressed. Also the crowd turn round and look inquisitively.
At last the mystery is clarified. At the other end of the room, outside the door, half hidden behind a group of tall country men, Doras appears. He looks thinner, yellower, more wrinkled, with his big nose and protruding chin. A servant helps him to move because he seems to be semi-paralysed. No one had seen him there, in the middle of the yard. He dares to speak in his clucking voice:
"Are You speaking to me? Is it for me?
"Yes, for you. Go out of My house."
"I am going out. But I will soon have a reckoning with You, don't worry. "
"Soon? At once. The God of Sinai, as I told you, is waiting for YOU."
"And You too, baleful fellow, because You are the cause of my infirmity and of the noxious animals in my land. I will see You again. And it will be a joy for me."
"Yes. And you will not be wishing to see Me. Because I will be your judge."
"Ah! Ah! curs... He gropes, he mumbles and falls.
"He is dead! shouts his servant. "The master is dead! May You be blessed, Messiah, our avenger!""
"Not I, but God, the eternal Lord. Let no one be contaminated. Only the servant is to see to his master. And be kind to his body. And you all, his servants, be good. Do not rejoice, out of bitter hatred, because he has been struck, so that you may not deserve to be condemned. May God and just Jonah be always your friends, and I with them. Goodbye."
"But did he die by Your request?" asks Peter.
"No. But the Father came into Me... It is a mystery that you cannot understand. It is enough for you to know that it is not right to strike God. He avenges Himself by Himself."
"Then, could You not tell the Father to let all those who hate You die?"
"Be quiet! You do not understand what your mentality is! I am Mercy and not Revenge."
The old man, the head of the synagogue, comes near and says:
"Master, You have answered all my questions and light is in me.
"May You be blessed. Come to my synagogue. Do not refuse an old man Your word.""
"l will come. Go in peace. The Lord is with you."
While the crowds go away very slowly, it all ends.
Written by Maria Valtorta, March 10th, 1945. From POEM OF THE MAN-GOD, Volume 1.