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Americans Think Hell Exists, But No One Goes There
Tradition in Action ^ | Marian T. Horvat

Posted on 05/14/2004 8:20:11 PM PDT by Land of the Irish

RELIGIOUS: Hell Under Attack

Tradition In Action

Americans Think Hell Exists,
But No One Goes There

Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.

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The good Catholic prepares his soul for death
and peacefully faces God and Judgment.
Above, the tomb of the son of St. Louis IX
in the Abbey of Royaumont.

US Catholic, April 2001

Does the modern man still believe that there is life after death? Or in a Heaven and Hell? It may come as a surprise to many, as it did to me, to hear that an overwhelming majority of Americans say that they believe in a life after death, as well as the existence of Heaven and Hell.

According to a new study, 76% of Americans believe in Heaven and 71% in Hell. (1) Of course, there are eclectic views of what such places are. For example, 39% described Hell as a “state of eternal separation from God’s presence;” 32% called it “an actual place of torment and suffering,” and 13% hold it is merely a “symbol” of some “bad outcome after death.” There was a variety of opinions about Heaven also, reflecting the individualism inherent in the basically Protestant U.S. culture, which confers a supposed “right” for each individual to define the truth as he sees it.
(1) The poll was taken by the Oxnard-based Barna Research Group, an independent marketing research firm, which interviewed 1,000 adults nationwide during September, 2003. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points. “The Pearly Gates … or Hell?” Connie Kang, Los Angeles Times, October 24, 2003.
A 2003 Harris Poll that surveyed 2,200 U.S. adults found similar results: 82% believed in Heaven, 69% believed in Hell, and less than 1% thought they could go to Hell. “The Harris Poll, #11, February 26, 2003”, Harris Interactive Internet site.
But now for the more astounding statistic: Of all those folks who still purport to believe in Hell, only one-half of 1% thinks that they could possibly be going there. That is to say, everyone is going to Heaven, and virtually no one will be in Hell. For all practical purposes, Hell might as well not exist.

Sadly, this general view prevails even among Catholics, despite the teaching of the Church, which states that those who die in the state of mortal sin will be judged and condemned to Hell, a place, an abode of everlasting torment. It is filled with the enemies of Christ (Ps. 109:1), those who refuse to believe in the Gospel (John 3:18), the impure, thieves, the covetous, blasphemers (1 Cor 6:10), and many of the great on this earth (Matt 19:30), among others. Hell not only exists, therefore, but would be well populated, as Scriptures itself affirms: “Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat.” (Matt 7:13)

A Bad Catechesis

Why, then, do so many American Catholics adopt the sanguine view that no one goes to Hell? Tongue in check, I pass over the possibility anyone could suppose people have become more saintly than in the past and have stopped committing mortal sins.

The next possibility seems to be true. Such optimism is being fed by the poor catechesis and teaching on the Four Last Things - Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell - since Vatican II. The progressivist view of Hans Urs von Balthasar on universal salvation, for example, has become mainstream thinking, even among so-called conservative Catholic scholars today. Von Balthasar boldly queried that since the Redemption of Christ was sufficient to have saved all sinners, why should it not be so? In the end, he proposed, one can entertain the possibility that Hell, should it exist, is vacant (Dare We Hope?). Instead of sternly repudiating this thinking, Pope John Paul II in a certain way accepted it in his own work Crossing the Threshold of Hope (end of chap. 28).

Another progressivist favorite, Fr. Karl Rahner, S.J., assures us that the dead are not suffering, or even really gone:
“They do not leave us. They remain! Where are they? In darkness? Oh, No! It is we who are in darkness. We do not see them, but they see us. Their eyes, radiant with glory, are fixed upon our eyes…. Oh, infinite consolation! Although invisible to us, our dead are not absent… They are living near us, transfigured … into light, into power, into love.”(2)

(2) Quoted in “Of May Things,” George M. Anderson, S.J., America, November 3, 2003.
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Some progressivist Prelates may be shocked to
find - perhaps too late! - that Hell exists.
Above, a Cardinal is dragged by the devils to Hell in a 12th century painting (England).

Supported by these sham progressivist buttresses, parish priests and religious have taken up the practice of assuring the faithful that all are in Heaven, or on the way there. Variations on this theme abound in Catholic periodicals in the month of November, with its feasts of All Saints and All Souls. Here is a typical fare, a meditation on death by Fr. Ron Rolheiser for the faithful of Los Angeles (The Tidings, November 14, 2003):
“Imagine dying a sudden death by an accident or heart attack. One minute you’re alive, tangibly connected to family, friends, a home, a routine, a healthy body, plans for a future, an anticipated dinner that evening, your favorite sports team on a wonderful playoff fun …  The next minute you’re on the other side. In Heaven, yes, but in one instant stripped of everything you’ve drawn your life from. You’re in God’s arms, secure, loved, forgiven...”
According to this increasingly common preaching, a man suffers a sudden death, and he automatically goes to Heaven. One minute you’re on earth, the next you’re in Heaven in God’s arms. There is no mention of a judgment, of a possible Hell. It is to all appearances a very comforting notion, but in the end, only that, a deceptive and even devious fiction. Perhaps one of Satan’s greatest triumphs is the fact that he has managed to convince people that no one is going to Hell, if it even exists.

The Letter from Beyond, which follows below for TIA’s readers, is a salutary meditation on death quite different from the example above. It is the story of a young woman, Anne, who met an unexpected death, faced God at her private judgment, and was condemned to that terrible forever of suffering in Hell. Anne relates her fate in a letter, which she delivers to a friend, Claire, in a dream.

You can imagine Claire’s shock. She had heard the news about her friend’s car accident and sudden death only that morning. It upset her since she realized Anne was not a good Catholic, and she said some prayers for Anne’s soul. Then, that night, she had a dream, so vivid it seemed real. In it, Anne delivered a letter addressed to her. Do not pray for me, the letter read, for I am condemned. I didn’t take God seriously. I didn’t take advantage of the many graces He gave me in this life. I made a god of pleasure, of my own self-satisfaction and whims, of the good things of this life. And now I am suffering an afterlife of eternal torment.

I will stop here, and let you read the rest.

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St. John Chrysostom:
“He who despises Hell or forgets it will not escape it.”

Detail, Last Judgment, Lochner

The story, doctrinally sound, cannot be dismissed merely as a fiction and dream. God communicates to men in many ways and the Church has authorized many divine communications made in visions as well as dreams. Analogously as in Sacred Scriptures God often made use of dreams to warn men of dangers, God continues to forewarn man by means of dreams. It would seem that the Letter from Beyond could well be one of these cases. The diocesan Curia of Treves (Germany) authorized its publication in 1953 as highly instructive and faithful to Catholic teaching. Later Fr. Bernhardin Krempel, C.P., Doctor in Theology, added footnotes demonstrating its absolute concordance with the doctrine of the Catholic Church.

Certainly the warnings in this dream are both extremely salutary and timely. Now, more than ever, it is necessary to remind Catholics of the existence of Hell, since so many live as if the truths of the Faith do not exist. After you read it, I invite you to share it with friends or relatives who have lapsed from the practice of the Catholic Faith or living in the state of mortal sin. Perhaps the reading of this letter will cause them to stop and reflect on the eternal fate reserved for the impious in the next life. Who knows if thinking about the fires of Hell will not excite in their hearts a holy fear that will lead them to change their lives?

Scriptures recommends a constant meditation on the last things to keep us from sinning: “In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin (Eccles 7:40). The Saints and Doctors of the Church counsel us to think often of Hell. St. Bernard said:
“Often go down to Hell during your lifetime, so that you will not have to after death.”
Or the words of St. John Chrysostom:
“He who despises Hell or forgets it will not escape it.”
Instead of encouraging inconsistent hopes that Hell is unpopulated, the Church wisely counseled her children to mediate often on it, knowing that many would abandon the path of sin by thinking about those devouring flames, those horrible torments that the human tongue cannot express.

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Letter from Beyond

With notes by Fr. Bernhardin Krempel, C.P., Doctor of Theology

What follows is the faithful translation from the Portuguese edition of the work titled Letter from Beyond,
published by Artes Gráficas Armando Basílio and distributed by Livraria Clássica Brasileira

On the first page of the original German edition of 1953 are these words of approbation:
“Imprimatur of the orginal German: Brief aus dem Jeneseits: Treves, 9/11/1953. N. 4/53.
Ecclesiastical approbation of this work: Taubaté – Est. de São Paulo – 2/11/1955.

An Introduction by Claire

The following explanation was found among the papers left by a nun who died in a convent in Germany.

In my youth, I had a friend, Anne, who lived near my house. That is to say, we were mutually attached as companions and co-workers in the same office. After Anne married, I never saw her again. We never had what can be called a real friendship, but rather an amiable relationship. For this reason, when she married well and moved to a better neighborhood far from my home, I didn’t really miss her that much. - 21653 Bytes
A view across Lake Garda.

In mid-September of 1937 I was vacationing at Lake Garda when my mother wrote me this bit of gossip: “Imagine, Anne N. died. She lost her life in an automobile accident. She was buried yesterday in M. cemetery.”

I was shocked by the news. I knew that Anne had never been very religious. Was she prepared when God called her suddenly from this life? The next morning I assisted at Mass in the chapel of the convent boarding house where I was rooming. I prayed fervently for the eternal rest of her soul and offered my Holy Communion for that intention.

Throughout the day I was unsettled, and that night I slept fitfully. Once, I awoke suddenly, hearing something that sounded like my door being opened. Startled, I turned on the light, noting that the time on the clock on my nightstand showed ten minutes after midnight. The house was quiet and I saw nothing unusual. The only sound was from the waves of Lake Garda breaking monotonously on the garden wall. There was no wind. Nonetheless, I thought I heard something else after the rattling of the door, a swooshing sound like something being dropped. It reminded me of when my former office manager was in a bad mood and dropped some problem papers on my desk for me to resolve.

Should I get up and look around? I wondered. But since all remained quiet, it didn’t seem worthwhile. It was probably just my imagination, somewhat overwrought by the news of the death of my friend. I rolled over, prayed several Our Fathers for the Poor Souls in Purgatory, and returned to sleep. I then dreamed that I arose at six to go to morning Mass in the house chapel.

Upon opening the door of my room, I stepped on a parcel containing the pages of a letter. I picked it up and recognized Anne’s handwriting. I cried out in fright. My fingers trembled, and my mind was so shaken I couldn’t even think to say an Our Father. I felt like I was suffocating, and needed open air to breathe. I hastily finished arranging myself, put the letter in my purse, and rushed from the house.

Once outside, I followed a winding path up through the hills, past the olive and laurel trees and the neighboring farms, and then on beyond the famous Gardesana highway. The day was breaking with the brilliant light of the morning sun. On other days, I would stop every hundred steps or so to marvel at the magnificent view of the lake and beautiful Garda Island. The sparkling blue tones of the water delighted me, and like a child gazing with awe at her grandfather, I would gaze with admiration upon the ashen-colored Mount Baldo that rose some 7,200 feet above the opposite shore of the lake.

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"I  sank to the ground on the riverbank between two cypress trees."

On this morning, however, I was oblivious to everything around me. After walking a quarter of an hour, I sank mechanically to the ground on the riverbank between two cypress trees where only the day before I had been happily reading a novel, Lady Teresa. For the first time I looked at the cypress trees conscious of them as symbols of death, something I had taken no notice of before, since these trees are quite common here in the south.

I took the letter from my purse. There was no signature, but it was, beyond any doubt, the handwriting of Anne. There was no mistaking the large, flowing S or the French T she made that used to irritate Mr. G. at the office. It was not, however, written in her usual style of speaking, which was so amiable and charming, like her, with those blue eyes and elegant nose. Only when we discussed religious topics did she become sarcastic and take on the rude tone and agitated cadence of the letter I now began to read.

Here, word for word, is the Letter from Beyond of Anne V. as I read it in the dream.

Letter from Beyond


Do not pray for me. I am damned. Do not think that I am telling you this and certain circumstances and details about my condemnation as a sign of friendship. Here we no longer love anyone. I do it on the command of “that power that never desires Evil and always does Good.”

In truth, I would like to see you here where I will remain forever. (1)

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Suppl., Q. 98, art. 4:  "Therefore, they [the damned] will wish all the good were damned."
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"Here [in Hell] we no longer love anyone."

Do not be surprised that I should say this. We all think the same way here. Our will is hardened in evil - in what you call “evil.” Even when we do something “good,” as I do now in opening your eyes about Hell, it is not with any good intention.(2)
(2) In response to the Question whether every act of the will in the damned is evil, St. Thomas distinguishes the deliberate will and the natural will: “Their natural will is theirs not of themselves but of the Author of nature, Who gave nature this inclination which we call the natural will. Wherefore since nature remains in them, it follows that the natural will in them can be good.
“But their deliberate will is theirs of themselves, inasmuch as it is in their power to be inclined by their affections to this or that. This will is in them always evil: and this because they are completely turned away from the last end of a right will, nor can a will be good except it be directed to that same end. Hence even though they will some good, they do not will it well so that one is not able to call their will good on that account.” Ibid., Q. 98, a. 1.

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This article continues
in the recently published booklet
The Letter From Beyond

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Related Articles of Interest:

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Hell: A Demand of Divine Goodness

burbtn.gif - 43 Bytes   Heaven: A Matter of Interpretation

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Tradition in Action

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TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic
KEYWORDS: catholic; hell

1 posted on 05/14/2004 8:20:12 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Akron Al; Alberta's Child; Andrew65; AniGrrl; Antoninus; apologia_pro_vita_sua; attagirl; ...


2 posted on 05/14/2004 8:21:07 PM PDT by Land of the Irish
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To: Land of the Irish
Interesting and very important topic.

Jimmy Akin has discussed this quite a bit lately in his blog:

The Population of Hell
Canonization Of The Damned
Canonization of the Damned: Part II

3 posted on 05/14/2004 8:27:33 PM PDT by B Knotts
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To: Land of the Irish
Also, as I linked in another thread where this topic came up, here is The Population of Hell, by Avery Cardinal Dulles, S.J.
4 posted on 05/14/2004 8:32:37 PM PDT by B Knotts
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To: Land of the Irish

As Padre Pio used to say:
"They'll believe in hell when they get there"!

Hopefully, your submission will inspire more Catholics to invoke the patronage of St Joseph (that they too may depart this world in the arms of Jesus and Mary), and to pray the holy rosary each and every day

5 posted on 05/14/2004 8:51:08 PM PDT by AskStPhilomena
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To: B Knotts

I'm amazed. Jimmy Akin has just put into words what I've been thinking for a long time now.
He gets it. Somebody out there gets it.

6 posted on 05/14/2004 9:00:58 PM PDT by Loyalist (Kasper for Pope: Because things won't get better until they can't get any worse!)
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To: Land of the Irish

Americans once had a reputation for common sense; this smacks of a creeping utopianism.

7 posted on 05/14/2004 9:02:07 PM PDT by TradicalRC (In Heaven there is no beer, that's why we drink it here.)
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To: Land of the Irish
A few weeks ago, there was a news story on the BBC (broadcast by local public TV) concerning Indians who travel to Nepal to find desperately poor Nepalese girls to lure to India. The girls are promised good jobs, but instead find themselves enslaved as prostitutes; they must service dozens of men a day seven days a week. Eighty percent of these girls become infected with HIV; when they become ill, charity organizations can do nothing more than take care of them until they die.

When I see stories such as this, I have no trouble believing in perdition.

8 posted on 05/15/2004 7:36:44 AM PDT by megatherium
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To: B Knotts
I also suspect that the Church might be able to use its infallibility to define the damnation of other individuals. If it can define the dogmatic fact that a particular person is in heaven, this would seem to be prima facie evidence that the Church would also be able to use its infallibility to define that a particular person isn't in heaven.

This is positively bizarre! How would the Church do this? We use miracles as requisites to sainthood.

What would the Church use as requisites to perdition?

It is a good thing the Church wastes not one minute of precious time defining who might or might not be in hell.

9 posted on 05/15/2004 8:08:58 AM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: sinkspur; B Knotts
No mortal heretofore has descended into Hell with the ceremony of canonisation. Sigismondo shall be the first to be deemed worthy of such honour. By an edict of the Pope, he shall be enrolled in the company of Hell as comrade of the devils and the damned... (Pius II, 1460 AD)

10 posted on 05/15/2004 8:41:16 AM PDT by gbcdoj (in mundo pressuram habetis, sed confidite, ego vici mundum)
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To: gbcdoj
Sigismondo shall be the first to be deemed worthy of such honour. By an edict of the Pope, he shall be enrolled in the company of Hell as comrade of the devils and the damned... (Pius II, 1460 AD)

No Pope can declare that anyone is in hell, though some Popes tried, no doubt.

11 posted on 05/15/2004 9:11:47 AM PDT by sinkspur (Adopt a dog or a cat from an animal shelter! It will save one life, and may save two.)
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To: sinkspur

People need to limit their beliefs on hell to what the bible does say about it. The bible says that people are punished after judgement and not now.

"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished." 2 Peter 2:9.

Sinners will be cast into hellfire at the great judgment day at the end of the world?not when they die. God would not punish a person in fire until his case was tried and decided in court at the end of the world. Nor would God burn a murderer who died 5,000 years ago 5,000 years longer than one who dies and deserves punishment for the same sin today.

So shall it be in the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire." Matthew 13:40-42. "The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day." John 12:48.

Yes, I was taught things not true about hell, and I think that most of us hear that too.

12 posted on 05/15/2004 9:56:11 AM PDT by tessalu
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To: tessalu
Sinners will be cast into hellfire at the great judgment day at the end of the world?not when they die.
For with respect to that which he [Victor] most correctly and very soundly holds, namely, that souls are judged when they depart from the body, before they come to that judgment which must be passed on them when reunited to the body and are tormented or glorified in that same flesh which they here inhabited -- was that a matter of which you [Peter] were unaware? Who is so obstinate against the Gospel as not to perceive those things in the parable of that poor man carried after death to Abraham's bosom and of the rich man whose torments are set before us? (St. Augustine of Hippo, On the Soul and Its Origin, 11, n.8.)

13 posted on 05/15/2004 10:15:24 AM PDT by gbcdoj (in mundo pressuram habetis, sed confidite, ego vici mundum)
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To: sinkspur
Simply stating that his opinion is bizarre seems to me to be beside the point. I think in his three articles he has made a reasonable argument.

What do you think, for instance, of his idea that we know that Judas, and perhaps Nero, are in hell?

14 posted on 05/15/2004 10:45:25 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: sinkspur; Land of the Irish; gbcdoj; Loyalist
BTW, here is some correspondence, and a clarification from Cardinal Dulles on one point of what Pope John Paul II was quoted as saying (the initial quote was slightly wrong):

Correspondence (October 2003)

Let me take this occasion to clarify a further point. I reported that Pope John Paul II, according to the English text of one of his General Audience talks, said: "Eternal damnation remains a possibility, but we are not granted, without special divine revelation, the knowledge of whether or which human beings are effectively involved in it." By now I have been able to get my hands on the official (Italian) version of the talk in the Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II. It agrees with the English except that the words "whether or" are omitted. Thus the Pope cannot be cited as tending toward universalism. On the contrary, he teaches here as elsewhere that some have in fact said "no" to the divine invitation to everlasting life. I believe this to be the case, though the Church has never taught under pain of heresy that anyone is damned. (Emphasis mine)

15 posted on 05/15/2004 11:00:12 AM PDT by B Knotts
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To: Land of the Irish; Canticle_of_Deborah
Where do they get these notions....

Hmmm, if one were to examine the statements and writings of their heretic-in-chief, "JP2":

"All men are saved." (Osservatore Romano, 6 May 1980)

"The article in the Apostles' Creed, 'He descended into hell', simply means that Christ's body was in the earth for three days." (Osservatore Romano, 16 January 1989)

16 posted on 05/15/2004 4:29:31 PM PDT by Viva Christo Rey
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To: Land of the Irish

17 posted on 05/15/2004 11:46:51 PM PDT by boycott
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To: Viva Christo Rey
Those paraphrases of the Pope's words clearly distort what he said.
632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead" presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to his resurrection.[477] This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christ's descent into hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in the realm of the dead. But he descended there as Saviour, proclaiming the Good News to the spirits imprisoned there.[478]

633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheol in Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision of God.[479] Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await the Redeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parable of the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abraham's bosom":[480] "It is precisely these holy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abraham's bosom, whom Christ the Lord delivered when he descended into hell."[481] Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor to destroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.[482]

634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."[483] The descent into hell brings the Gospel message of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus' messianic mission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread of Christ's redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved have been made sharers in the redemption.

1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."[610] Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren.[611] To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self- exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."

1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.[612] Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,"[613] and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"[614]

1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire."[615] The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."[616] Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."[617]

1037 God predestines no one to go to hell;[618] for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance":[619] Father, accept this offering from your whole family. Grant us your peace in this life, save us from final damnation, and count us among those you have chosen.[620] (John Paul II, Catechism of the Catholic Church)

Now that you've been proven wrong, retract your slander of the Pope as a "heretic-in-chief".

381. Q. What must they do who have lied about their neighbor and seriously injured his character?

A. They who have lied about their neighbor and seriously injured his character must repair the injury done as far as they are able, otherwise they will not be forgiven. (Baltimore Catechism No. 2)

18 posted on 05/16/2004 8:57:50 AM PDT by gbcdoj (in mundo pressuram habetis, sed confidite, ego vici mundum)
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To: gbcdoj


Sorry, will be those who take the reality of Hell lightly. Christ suffered his Passion for a reason. He came to free us from the stain of original sin. Now, because of his love for us, we may now enter into the gates of Heaven. It is Christ and only him that merited for us Eternal Salvation. Yet, it is also up to us to accept his saving love and follow in his footsteps.

I bring this up because there are may who believe all they have to do is say they accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior, then go about their sinful ways. We must accept Jesus as our Savior, and then hold fast to his commands. “What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works?”(James 3:14). So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”(James 3:17).

“Now this is the message that we have heard from him and proclaim to you: God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all. If we say, “We have fellowship with him,” while we continue to walk in darkness, we lie and do not act in truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, then we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of his Son Jesus cleanses us from all sin. If we say, “We are without sin,” we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing. If we say, “We have not sinned,” we make him a liar, and his word is not in us. My children I am writing this to you so that you may not commit sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one. He is expiation for our sins, and not for our sins only but for those of the whole world. The way we may be sure that we know him is to keep his commandments. Whoever say, “I know him,” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps his word, the love of God is truly perfected in him. This is the way we may know that we are in union with him: whoever claims to abide in him ought to live just as he lived.”(1 John 1:5-10 & 1 John 2:1-6).

I believe that this is an important truth to understand in relation to the pains of Hell that can come about through the lack of this truth in its entirety.

God Bless, TTWSYF

19 posted on 05/16/2004 12:21:21 PM PDT by The Truth will set you Free
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To: B Knotts

Thank you for the update. It is good news.

20 posted on 05/17/2004 12:39:37 PM PDT by johnb2004
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