Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Michael Seagriff

3/6/2014 (2 years ago)

Harvesting the Fruits of contemplation (harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/)

Where is the zeal for the salvation of souls?

After reading the familiar Gospel story about Lazarus and the rich man, I saw the following internet headline: 'Pastor who does not believe in hell fired!'  God's timing is impeccable, isn't it?

Lazarus and Dives, illumination from the Codex Aureus of Echternach
Top panel: Lazarus at the rich man's door
Middle panel: Lazarus' soul is carried to Paradise by two angels; Lazarus in Abraham's bosom
Bottom panel: Dives' soul is carried off by two devils to Hell; Dives is tortured in Hades

Lazarus and Dives, illumination from the Codex Aureus of Echternach Top panel: Lazarus at the rich man's door Middle panel: Lazarus' soul is carried to Paradise by two angels; Lazarus in Abraham's bosom Bottom panel: Dives' soul is carried off by two devils to Hell; Dives is tortured in Hades

Highlights

By Michael Seagriff

Harvesting the Fruits of contemplation (harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/)

3/6/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in Blog

Keywords: Four Last Things, Hell, Lazarus, Thomas Aquinas, Luke, Mass, prayer, faith, trust, pastor, gospel, faith. Lent


CANASTOTA, NY - My immediate thought after reading this headline was: 'and this pastor was caught off guard by his dismissal?'  The sad reality is that it is not just this specific minister, but so many other Christians, including many Catholics (even some of our priests), who have abandoned the fundamental truth that there are eternal consequences to a life lived in unrepentant and un-confessed sin (see Catechism of the Catholic Church, Sections 1033-1041).

'Our God is far too merciful,' these dissidents argue, 'than to banish anyone to an eternity in hell.' What Scripture and what Catechism do they read?

Light a virtual candle in prayer

How have we arrived at this state of confusion on such a crucial article of faith? When was the last time you heard a sermon on sin, death, hell, and the last judgment?  Chances are not too recently and maybe no even during Lent. Been encouraged to go to confession regularly? How many funerals have you attended where the decedent's arrival in heaven has been happily and definitely announced?  - far too many, probably.

The only way you can subscribe to a theory of universal salvation is to assume that God, His Church and the many individuals He has used over the centuries to teach and guide us never really meant what He or they said. You would have to conclude, for example, that the story of Lazarus and the poor man (Luke 16:19-31), the description of the Last Judgment (Matthew 26:31-46), and the Catechism references set forth above were never intended to be taken seriously. Maybe that is
why verses 41-46 of Chapter 25 in Matthew are so often excluded when that Gospel is proclaimed in our Churches.

Of course, St. Augustine didn't really mean it when he said: 'God made you without yourself; God redeemed you without yourself; but God will not save you without yourself.'

I am equally as certain that St. Bernard was faking it when with tears he said that "there was hardly one ship out of ten lost on the sea, but on the ocean of life there is hardly one soul saved out of ten."

What was Ven. Louis Granada, O.P. thinking when he opined that 'Men have eyes as keen as those of an eagle in discerning the things of this world, but they are as blind as beetles to the things of eternity?'

Finally, I suspect that the late Father Winfrid Herbst, S.D.S. must have been hitting 'the sauce' before he was foolish enough to write the following: 'I am sure many lost souls in hell right now would cry out to preachers and writers if they could: Oh, why did you not tell us more about the horrors of hell? Why did you not strike such fear into our hearts by your realistic description of hell that we would have made greater efforts to avoid it?...Why did you spare our feelings in a matter of such eternal moment? Oh, why did you not make hell a thousand times hotter than you did, then perhaps we would not be here today? '

Where is the zeal for the salvation of souls?

Save the starving from death

God made us to be with Him eternally. He gives us all the graces we will need to join Him there. We can believe what He teaches, respond to His graces, humble ourselves by confessing and seeking forgiveness for our sins and enjoy eternity in His Presence, or we can reject what He teaches and offers us here on earth and discover to our eternal regret that God never lies. The choice seems so obvious, doesn't it?

St. Thomas Aquinas reminds us that no one 'is in hell who did not have, time after time, the chance of taking heaven in his grasp'.

Father Leo Rudloff, O.S.B. reinforces the Angelic Doctor, when he stresses "that hell is not a blind destiny into which the sinner plunges unawares, but is his self-chosen and fully deserved portion."

We are entitled to the truth. Our priests and bishops must not hesitate to teach that truth, no matter how uncomfortable it may make them or us.

Oh, how our priests and bishops need our prayerful support and encouragement!

(One of twenty thought provoking essays you will find in Fleeting Glimpses of the Silly, Sentimental and Sublime)


---

A blog through which I promote zeal for the salvation of souls, awe and amazement for the Holy Eucharist and Eucharistic Adoration, and fidelity to the Truths of our Catholic Faith.



Comments


More Blog

What is love? Watch

Image of

By Michaela Daphne

People say things like "If you really love me, you'll have sex with me" or "If you really love me, you'll buy me nice things," but what is the real definition of love? How do newly weds navigate the difficult terrain of authentic love? BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - When ... continue reading


Desolation, Grace, and Trust Watch

Image of

By Jackie Stammen

Recently I've crossed into a place I'm not proud to admit I've entered. It's not a physical place, but rather a spiritual and mental place. It's a product of exhaustion coupled with fear, but mostly it's due to a greater distance between God and I because I've been ... continue reading


The Corporate Christian Watch

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

What is a "corporate Christian"? It is a name I have coined for Christians whose world-view is filtered through the 501c(3) charter of their church. Not every Christian nor every church goes through this filter. However, there are a number who do and they do not ... continue reading


The Problem of Freedom Without God

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

In these increasingly dark days, a philosophy of freedom without reference to God has emerged.  In other words, people believe they are free to do anything they want. Well, the fact is, God does give the right of free choice or what is often called free ... continue reading


While Men Slept Watch

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

The parable of the "while men slept" has a message for our times. How can we apply its lessons to our times? The parable of sleeping men is in Matthew 13:24-30, 39.24 He proposed another parable to them, saying: "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed ... continue reading


The Power of Belief Systems Watch

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

Belief systems cause people to act, or "not" to act, as the case may be. Beliefs dictate actions; they also dictate in-actions. Therefore a lot of what happens to a person and community is caused by their actions creating consequences, or their lack of offensive ... continue reading


Just Sign on the Dotted Line Whom You Will Serve Watch

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

The insanity of Western leaders is being manifested as 1000 'Altars to Baal' will be erected in cities around the world. The first alter is expected to appear on April 19, the anniversary of both Waco and the the Oklahoma City Bombing.  An altar is planned in ... continue reading


Has the Church Become Secular? Watch

Image of

By Cheryl Jones

There are some serious questions to ask in this election cycle.  A big one is: has the church become secular?  What does that mean?  The question refers to whether the church adopted the tactics of the secular world as a means to obtain its ends? This ... continue reading


My Bad Attitude Watch

Image of

By Tara K. E. Brelinsky

I suppose you could say I was feeling inspired (or maybe just brave) when I decided to follow up our hour of peace and stillness with another hour of quiet reflection and prayer at the home of a fellow parishioner for the parish's annual rosary crusade (sans ... continue reading


Good Friday - Gazing Upon The Face of Christ Watch

Image of

By Michael Seagriff

It is only with much perseverance and undeserved grace that our meditation and contemplation will bear fruit - fruit which we should share with those around us. On those occasions when we are so blessed, most of us will resort to sharing our experience with written or ... continue reading


All Blog News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Daily Reading for Tuesday, May 10th, 2016 HD Video
  • 'The doctors were shocked': Conjoined twins share unusual bond
  • The gruesome way scientists are killing unborn babies in school ...
  • Daily Readings for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • Historical Jubilee documents on display!
  • Bl. Edward Jones: Saint of the Day for Friday, May 06, 2016
  • Daily Reading for Monday, May 9th, 2016 HD Video

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 1:1-11
1 In my earlier work, Theophilus, I dealt with everything Jesus had done ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 47:2-3, 6-7, 8-9
2 For Yahweh, the Most High, is glorious, the great king over all the ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:46-53
46 and he said to them, 'So it is written that the Christ would suffer ... Read More

Reading 2, Ephesians 1:17-23
17 May the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, give you a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 5th, 2016 Image

St. Hilary of Arles
May 5: Bishop of Arles, France, and friend and relative ... Read More