3/6/2014 (1 year ago)
Harvesting the Fruits of contemplation (harvestingthefruitsofcontemplation.blogspot.com/)
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?
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,
'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.
By Jackie Stammen
Years ago after a retreat I attended, the Lord gave me a prayer which I've since remembered, which is kind of amazing because if there's anything I'm not so great at it's memorizing things word for word. Thank God it's a short prayer and that He knows my shortcomings ... continue reading
By Michael Seagriff
Let me repeat some obvious truths. God is more powerful than any of us. He draws each of us to Himself. He wants to excite our hearts. He longs to fill our minds and souls with the Truth. He desires that we yield ourselves totally to His will. CANASTOTA, NY - We are ... continue reading
By Wendy RN., BA, MBA
Eggs contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body. including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more.One large egg contains (1):Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 9% of the RDA.Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
There are consequences to every decision we make. With the decisions we make that are not pleasing to God, our loving Father tries to hold back the wrath that we bring upon ourselves as a result from those sins. However, as we sin more and more and as the sin goes ... continue reading
By Tara K. E. Brelinsky
My heart leaped as I raced barefooted across the cold mudroom floor. Pulling the door open, I found our little old mangy cat sitting just on the opposite side. Bending down to run my hands across her dirty winter coat, she rewarded me with a deep satisfied purr. ... continue reading
By Deacon Ian VanHeusen
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, St. Paul writes that we should 'pray without ceasing.' This word from scripture can have two very different effects on our lives. Either we can reject it as a pious sentiment that is 'not practical,' or we can allow it to transform how we ... continue reading
By Michael Seagriff
I still remember Nina walking toward the pew where we were seated - nearly 25 years ago - with that challenging, inviting, loving, mischievous, welcoming, smile on her face. CANASTOTA, NY - 'I have the perfect time for you,' she announced.I glanced quizzically at my ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
I journal a lot. In the past few years I've started to turn my journaling into more of a conversation. A conversation with God. This may seem odd or impossible to some people. Yet, I know many of you do the same. So for those who are a bit uncomfortable or skeptical ... continue reading
By Jackie Stammen
Our pride likes to tell us that the good within us is because we are so great on our own accord. As we allow ourselves to increase, and God to decrease our egos inflate and we become convinced and deceived that we are actually the center of our own universe and we ... continue reading
By Chaplain Adele M. Gill
Life is chock-full of surprises; some are blessings, while others may be challenges. Our friend's son and his wife just learned yesterday that they are facing a serious medical challenge. He was just diagnosed yesterday with an aggressive melanoma, just days before the ... continue reading