Skip to content

Of Hell and Other Things

By Michael Seagriff
3/6/2014 (3 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 (3 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

The Importance of a Regular Daily Devotional Time Watch

Image of Do you have a daily devotional time?

Do I have a daily devotional time?  Do I realize how important it is?  Those are good questions to ask. We have all heard of the ... continue reading


Give to the Religious Freedom Fund Watch

Image of It's time to stand up for religious freedom.

There is currently an appeal at Catholic Online for donations to a religious freedom fund.  People should give and understand why this ... continue reading


9/11 The Day the World Kept Turning

Image of The Word Trade Towers under assault from terrorists on 9/11

On September 11th and the immediate calendar pages to follow there were appointments to keep, needs to tend to and goals to meet creating ... continue reading


Always a Reason for Hope Watch

Image of

When we look at hope through the eyes of our own humanness, it is easy to see it simply as optimism... a positive attitude. Yet through the ... continue reading


I See You. Do You See You?

Image of

We live in a very individualistic world today. While individuality is important and necessary, we've pushed this concept so far to the ... continue reading


Never Miss any Updates!

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

Information
Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Services
Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

The California Network
Inspiring streaming service

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on catholic.org

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Catholic Online Singles
Safe, secure Catholic dating

The California Studios
World-class post production service

Education
Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Catholic Online MasterClass
Learn from experts

School Teachers
Teacher lesson plans & resources

Catholic Media Missionaries
The New Evangelization

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Socials
Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2017 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.