Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Reason no. 8 why I remain Catholic: Hell

Hell is probably one of the most disputed topics in the Christian faith.

Does hell exist and if it does, is it empty?

Jesus warns us, "[I]t is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into hell, where the worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." Mark 9:47-48

And in Revelation, we read: "And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever, and they have no rest, day or night, these worshipers of the beast and its image, and whoever receives the mark of its name." Revelation 14:11

And in the Catechism of the Catholic Church: 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" (CCC 1035).

Many religions and even Christian denominations deny the existence of hell and sometimes, in the Catholic church, you may hear pulpit that hell is empty.

We live in a time where both sin and hell are no longer a concern for most. The claws of relativism have taken hold of our society and convinced us that everyone has their own truth and thus just do what makes you feel good. To each his own. We shouldn't judge others?

However, this way of thinking leaves major room to interpret what pleases me and what pleases you. What if looking at child pornography in the privacy of my own home makes me happy? What if doing drugs and driving under the influence, makes me happy? What if being promiscuous and having no concern for other peoples feelings, makes me happy? And the list goes on and on. It is a slippery slope to live an existence where anything goes and everyone makes their own little world of "what makes them happy."

The fact of the matter is, that we were created for goodness. We were created for real lasting joy and that is what we truly long for. This joy, this goodness is connected to our conscience and to a sense of morality. This is our compass. In fact, morality is derived from natural law.  God has destined us for an end and that end pertains to the things that are good, true and beautiful.  This desire is innate in us Hence why when we do things that are immoral we hide and do them in secret. Secrecy reveals to us that our intuitive nature, in fact, knows that what we are doing is going against the very natural law that God instilled within us.

Therefore, if we choose to pursue this route, could we go on without any consequences? At times it seems like those who do wrong, many times get away with it. But this is not so. There is always a price to pay for our actions. You see, the beauty of heaven and hell, that which I discovered during my conversion, is that they are a choice. What we choose in this life, sets the way for what we will receive in the next. Because God has given us free will.

Hell does exist. Many saints have witnessed it and our tradition points to it. Jesus himself spoke of it. On July 13, 1917, Our Lady of Fatima showed Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco a vision of hell. Jacinta’s father Ti Marto witnessed the children’s actions in the Cova da Iria that day. He remembered “that Lucia gasped in sudden horror, that her face was white as death, and that all who were there heard her cry in terror to the Virgin Mother, whom she called by name,”

So if you find yourself doubting Satan and you find yourself doubting there is a hell, just think that the devil Himself believes in God, His greatest enemy.

In the current state of our Church, we can see the effect of what men have done by choosing evil things. We see it all around us. Sometimes it is so prevalent and in our face, we forget to see the good that is still in this world. Many Bishops throughout the U.S. are asking their parishes to pray the St. Michael prayer at the end of Mass. This was a custom that Pope Leo XIII began after writing the prayer and asking it to be said after all Masses.

Our enemy is prowling around to seek the ruin of our soul. We cannot fight an enemy if we don't acknowledge that he exists and that hell is definitely not vacant!

Disclaimer: Linus_Picture @ pixabay

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