Traditional History of Salvation # 4 Book of Judith

Please take the time to read the Book of Judith.  I am just going to give a review, but there is so much more to it than what I will tell.  It is pretty short and can be read rather quickly.  As you read it, put yourself in the Catholic Church in place of the Israelites.  We can see where we have gone wrong and why we are being attack by the devil and the world.

Cromo recordatorioNabuchodonosor, the famous king of the Assyrians, sent out his general Holofernes to conquer all of the countries to the west of him.  The cities of Syria, Mesopotamia, Libya, and Cilicia all surrendered.  All their cities and gods were destroyed so that Nabuchodornosor alone would be called god.

But when Israel heard of these events they feared, but prepared to resist.  But they also began praying, fasting and putting on haircloth.  They cried to the Lord that the Assyrians would not make prey of their children, have their wives carried off, their cities laid waste and their holy things not profaned.  They also did not want to be a reproach to the pagans.

They were blessed to be protected to some degree by the mountains that surrounded Jerusalem.  They began preparing by gathering food and arms.

FatimaThe general Holofernes gathered the different rulers to tell him what they knew about the Israelites.  Achior was the captain of the Ammons and began to explain who they were.  In his explanation we see clearly the blessings and curses of God depending on the behavior and faithfulness of His people.  It is worth while reading it slowly to see where we as Catholics have been and are going to be.

Achior begins by telling how the Israelites are from the Chaldean race from Mesopotamia.  They had given up the gods of their fathers and forsook the ceremonies where these false gods were worshipped.  The only worshipped one God of heaven.

They went into Egypt when the famine came and dwelt there for 400 years.  They so multiplied that their army could not be numbered.  So the king of Egypt oppressed them with slavery and they cried out to the Lord who struck Egypt with many plagues.  The Egyptians then cast them out because of the plagues, but then changed their minds and pursued them.  God of heaven opened the sea for them and closed in on the Egyptians.

They lived in the deserts of Mount Sinai where no one had been able to live and received water and food from heaven for 40 years.  They had no arms, but God fought for them and won.  But whenever they departed from the worship of the Lord their God and worshipped false gods, they were given to spoil, the sword and reproach.  As often as they repented, God of heaven would give them power again.  As long as they did not sin in the sight of God, all went well for God hates iniquity.  But they sinned and they were led into captivity, but then came together to again possess Jerusalem to be where their holy places are.

Achior went on to say to look for their offenses against God so that they will again be easy prey.  But he also warned that if they are being faithful, Holofernes would not be able to overcome them because God would defend them.

This angers him and he sends Achior to be turned over to the Israelites to die with them when he destroys them to prove that there is only the god Nabuchodonosor.

So they approach Jerusalem and cut off all of their water supplies.  This puts the Israelites in fear.  They decide that if God didn’t do something in 5 days they would surrender.  It is at this point when someone tells the widow of king Manasses, Judith, what is to happened.  This wealthy widow had never remarried and lived a life of prayer and fasting.  She is disturbed at the idea of giving in and not trusting in God.  So she prays and fast more.  After dressing in her jewels and stately clothes she goes with her maid into Assyrian camp to talk with Holofernes.  She tells them that they are about to disobey God and that he will be easily able to conquered them without a battle.  She asks if she can stay with him till he occupies Jerusalem.

vasarijudith1554Soon after, he lusts after her beauty and invites her to a party where he and all the leaders get drunk on wine.  The men all leave to sleep and think that Judith will lie with Holofernes.  But instead she prays and cuts his head off.  She leaves the camp with the head hidden and enters Jerusalem.  She shows them the head of the general and tells them all to attack the Assyrians a dawn.  With trumpets and shouts they approach the Assyrian camp.  All the Assyrian captains discover the headless body of Holofernes and run for their lives.  The Israelites were able to conquer those who stayed and fought.  It took three months for them to retrieve all the booty that had been left behind in the Assyrian camp.

judith_with_the_head_of_holofernes_by_cristofano_alloriFrom then on, while the holy woman Judith lived and prayed, there was peace in Israel.

We traditional Catholics must take great joy in this true history.  We need to be Judith today and stand up against compromise with the devil, the world and anyone who does not want to serve the True God.  As can be seen over and over, prayer, true liturgy of worship, and sacrifice can avail much.  It was so difficult for the woman Judith to walk into the enemies camp to defeat them, but she had faith and action.  May we be encouraged by her and do the same.  And at least we can be the few Catholics who will speak the truth to the leaders of the Church.  Let them know things will only get worst till we return to Pure and True Adoration of God.   And speak out and tell them to stop allying the Church with the ways of the world and the devil.  It has not work and will not work in the future.