22 October 2011

St. Faustina's Vision of Hell

Vividly recounted here, and worth meditating on:
These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin.

I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.
You can read the rest here.

If you really want to rile people up, share this anecdote with them, where a saint saw that only 5 out of 33,000 escaped such torments.

As predicted, some commentators responded to the description with typical objections, including, "I honestly can't imagine what kind of life you'd have to live in order to warrant the most horrible torture possible for the rest of eternity." Another objection: "How did God conceive of such a terrible place? [I]t is hard for me to believe that that many people are so evil. I believe most people, not all, are basically good."

The reason these people don't understand the horror of hell is because they don't understand the horror of sin.

Why did Our Lord go through the excruciating sufferings he did on our behalf? Because sin is "really not that bad"?

Watch "The Passion of Christ" or read Anne Catherine Emmerich's "Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ." Our Lord clearly understood the price that sin--even the smallest--exacts from us, and His horrendous sufferings show that.

The fact that Our Lord spent more time warning us about hell than speaking about heaven in the Scriptures shows how most Christians selectively ignore His words in favor of their own interpretation. On the last day, though, we won't be able to offer any excuses. We can't stand there and say, "But I didn't know..." It doesn't get any clearer than this: "Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers nor prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. 6:9. Those who look at that list and think they do none of those things might want to recall Our Lord's words: "But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Matt. 5:28.

And what of the rest? "Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day." Jn 6:54.

This statement alone excludes the whole swath of humanity that rejects the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist--yes, even our Protestant brethren. (I speak of the normative avenues of grace; can God save those outside the fold? In His great mercy, yes--but it's not something to be assumed or expected, but prayed and hoped for.)

And among the Catholics who do receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord? Seventy-five per cent don't bother attending Mass regularly, 80% are using contraception, and Catholics are divorcing at the same rate as non-Catholics. Of those who do attend Mass, 70% don't believe in the Real Presence and are most likely receiving in the state of mortal sin, thus adding to their sins that of sacrilege.

The more you think about it, the more the numbers make sense: only 5 out of 33,000 saved....

Ah, but Our Lord didn't really mean what you say he means, is the predicted response... Not according to the numerous saints who were granted visions of hell. Why did the saints wear themselves out, even to the point of death, for souls? Because they took Our Lord's words seriously, unlike so many of us complacent Catholics today, who would rather fill our lives with distractions than pay attention to the important things. Yes, I know I sound annoyingly preachy, but I care enough about souls to say them. Be annoyed if you wish; these things must be said.