"Hell is not spoken of anymore" (cont.)
This is a continuation of my post from Friday which responded to a blogger's question about Hell. I will post my notes on Heaven and Purgatory in the near future. Once again, we have nothing to fear in we live in the Grace of Christ.
c. How long does Hell last?
- “eternal fire, eternal punishment, eternal separation”
- Lk 16:19-31 The rich man and Lazarus
- “a great gulf has been fixed, to prevent those who want to cross from our side to yours or from your side to ours”
d. Who goes there? (we know there are souls in Hell, but can’t know specifically whom)
Jesus : see notes from previous post +
- “all evil doers” (Mt 13:41)
- “many take the road that leads to destruction” (Mt 7:13)
- “the elect are few” (Mt 22:14)
- “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter the kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 19:24) - referring to someone whose god is money
- is Judas in Hell? can't say for sure, but Jesus says it is “better for that man (by whom the Son of Man is betrayed) if he had never been born!” (Mt 26:24)
-“anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a branch-and withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and burnt” (Jn 15:6)
- "those who behave in these ways (sexual vice, impurity and sensuality, the worship of false gods and sorcery, antagonisms and rivalry, jealousy, bad temper and quarrels, disagreements, factions and malice, drunkenness, orgies and such things) will not inherit the kingdom of God" (Gal 5:18-21; cf. 1 Cor. 6:10)
- “sin that leads to death” (1 Jn 5:16) - i.e., mortal sin
-“those who die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, # 1033).
- mortal sin:
1. grave offense (it's wrong) -mainly, direct offenses against the Ten Commandments
2. full knowledge (I know it's wrong)
3. full consent (I freely choose to do it)
- "mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace.
- "if it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back.
- "However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God" (in other words, we can judge an action as a grave offense, but only God can judge what's in a person's heart; that's why we can never say that "so and so" is in Hell; also, we don't know if at the moment of death that he/she showed some sign of repentance-'Lord, have mercy' - that God would take into account in his infinite Mercy)
4 distinctions of Hell:
a) damned - eternal punishment
b) limbo (Abraham’s bosom) - holy souls (from OT) there until Christ freed them
c) limbo (infants) – not official teaching; but "Holy Innocents"?
d) purgatory - temporal punishment
-“God predestines no one to go to Hell" (CCC, #1037)
- Hell is the result of free will, and ultimately, God's Love
- God loves us so much that He has given us free will in order that we will choose to be with Him in Heaven
- He respects our free will so much that He allows us to choose to reject Him; He helps us so much in our lives (with His grace) to choose Him, but won't ever force us to love Him
- our free will is REAL (the "power to make choices for ever, with no turning back")
- God wills each of us to choose Heaven, but allows us to choose Hell
Fatima prayer: "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy."