Everything you always needed to know about Hell


Courtesy of Saint Thomas Aquinas, as explained by Msgr. Charles Pope

The teachings of the Lord on Hell are difficult, especially in today’s climate. The most difficult questions that arise relate to its eternal nature and how to square its existence with a God who is loving and rich in mercy.

1. Does God love the souls in Hell? Yes.

How could they continue to exist if He did not love them, sustain them, and continue to provide for them? God loves because He is love. Although we may fail to be able to experience or accept His love, God loves every being He has made, human or angelic.

The souls in Hell may have refused to empty their arms to receive His embrace, but God has not withdrawn His love for them. He permits those who have rejected Him to live apart from him. God honors their freedom to say no, even respecting it when it becomes permanent, as it has for fallen angels and the souls in Hell.

God is not tormenting the damned. The fire and other miseries are largely expressions of the sad condition of those who have rejected the one thing for which they were made: to be caught up into the love and perfection of God and the joy of all the saints.

2. Is there any good at all in Hell? Yes. Are all the damned punished equally? No.

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Answered today on Yahoo Answers: A question about our redemption in Jesus Christ.

Question: So god required a sacrifice and then he sacrificed his son who was also himself?

Answer: Not exactly.

The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three divine and distinct persons who essentially constitute the one, true God.

1 X 1 X 1 = 1

The 2nd person of the Holy Trinity (the Son) took on flesh and became man, while never ceasing to be God. We know him as Jesus Christ.

Jesus did for the human race what Adam failed to do: He remained totally and completely obedient to God the Father, even unto death on the cross.

Since Jesus is the eternal God, it is impossible for him to commit any type of sin, so Jesus is immune to the wickedness and snares of the devil. Jesus’ act of total obedience to his heavenly Father, as one of us and on our behalf,  served to appease God’s wrath (due to our sins) redeem mankind and “make” the peace between man and God.

When Jesus permitted the forces of evil to unjustly put him to death, he became the perfect and spotless sacrifice for the sins of the world and the forces of evil became subject to divine judgment, subsequently forfeiting the dominion over all the earth that they enjoyed after “the fall of man”.

When he rose again three days later, Jesus defeated death and proved his claim to divinity, as well as his mastery over Satan, sin and death. Jesus is now the King if Kings and Lord of Lords, wielding all power over heaven and earth, death and hell.

Fallen mankind does not have that type of power. Only Jesus does.

Through faithful allegiance to Jesus Christ, along with baptism into his church, the power to overcome death becomes available to all who truly seek it. This is primarily a function of divine grace, which is a free gift from God.

All we need do is accept God’s saving grace (which Jesus deliberately obtained for us by his life, death and resurrection) and make a free will choice to cooperate with that grace, as a full, faithful member of his church, and then, hope for the best.

God will do the rest. His grace is sufficient.

How can the Church think and act in a missionary way when she does not believe any more in her own identity and mission?

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During the past fifty years nothing has been more harmful to the safeguarding and the transmission of the Faith than this escalating ecumenism which is nothing other than the religious “dictatorship of relativism.”(Cardinal Ratzinger) This evil has changed the way in which the Church sees Herself.

She no longer comprehends herself as the Mystical Body of Christ, as the sole Bride of the Lamb that was slain, as the unique way of salvation. It is exactly this ecumenism which transformed the missionary Church into one ecumenical community of dialogue amongst others.

Against this background of ecumenism, it is a tragi-comedy in the making to summon the Church to joy in the Gospel and to attempt her into change her into a missionary Church.

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Whenever the Church has abandoned the notion of beauty, it has lost precisely the power that it hoped to cultivate—its ability to reach souls in the modern world.

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The Greatest Post-Vatican II Catholic Art

Is it any wonder that so many artists and intellectuals have fled the Church? Current Catholic worship often ignores the essential connection between truth and beauty, body and soul, at the center of the Catholic worldview. The Church requires that we be faithful, but must we also be deaf, dumb, and blind? I deserve to suffer for my sins, but must so much of that punishment take place in church?

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An interesting post on the rationality of evil

Dennis Prager , in this episode of his Prager University series of videos, takes on an ever popular heresy:  evil is irrational.  This heresy is popular for any number of reasons but doubtless it all boils down to the belief, completely unfounded in human experience, that reasonable people will agree on what is good and what is evil.  The experience of the last half century in the West should have knocked that bit of foolishness into a cocked hat.  Agreement on good and evil in practice is largely a matter of convention.   If the social norms of a people come under challenge, we quickly see apparently reasonable people disagreeing on such fundamental questions as whether an unborn child has a right to life, or whether sex outside of marriage is evil.

Concepts of good and evil are either based on revelation from God, or are matters of opinion to be argued about.  Fewer people in our society believe in revelation, hence good and evil become matters of opinion for debate.  When the debate is joined we often find that there is little agreement on goals and that therefore what is rational to each individual takes varying paths to differing goals.  Widespread disagreement on good and evil also causes the State to grow ever larger to enforce the version of good held by those in power in the State.

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Witchcraft and other occult practices

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The Witch of Endor (1st Samuel 28:7)

All witches believe in the power of charms and spells – indeed witchcraft is largely about exercising this power. What are we to think of this claim to spiritual power through charms, spells, and curses? From my experience and from consulting people from this and other countries, I have not the slightest doubt that spells and curses do have power, can really affect people, including people who do not know that they have been the object of spells and curses. I am even more certain however that Jesus can protect his followers from any and every spell and curse, even though they may sometimes have to pass through a difficult time.

Last year I spoke with an English Catholic doctor who had been working in the Pacific islands. Quite a number of times people who had been cursed would be brought to the hospital. There was nothing wrong with them physically, but they simply and rapidly faded away and died. He said to me how frustrating it was. He would tell them with vigour that there was no medical reason for them to die – but they did die! A missionary from Nigeria told me of a similar case, in which a healthy young man at the university after being cursed by a witch simply declined and died within two weeks. A member of our monastic community who comes from Ghana assures me that witch doctors’ curses and spells in that country can have real power to harm, including harming people who do not know that they have been cursed. (A Dutch medical anthropologist working in Ghana confirmed this.) A Catholic doctor in this country consulted me about the case of a woman here who had been cursed by another woman at work – and the health of the first woman collapsed and remained collapsed in a way which was medically inexplicable.

A Catholic man from the third world came to us one evening seeking help. He had been a university lecturer and indeed a government minister in his country. His wife, from whom he has separated, was very deeply involved in witchcraft and she had got him cursed by ‘experts’. His life was now in a state of total disarray and he could not concentrate to read a book or write letters – and there were other very difficult problems. In the name of Jesus we prayed against all curses and demonic attacks. He was immediately much better, and after a few more sessions he was able to work normally again. He then got a responsible job in an organisation helping the third world.

In nearly all third world countries the people living there seem to believe in the power of curses and spells. Indeed, their lives may become an existence of fear and misery, unless they have a truly living faith in Jesus. Increasingly also in our own country and the rest of the first world, people are coming up against the power of the occult and witchcraft. How sad it is to find Catholics, including some priests, who do not believe in the existence of demons and who therefore are not able fully to help so many needy people.

Doubtless quite a proportion of the people who come for this sort of help are just imagining things. But there are certainly many others who are not just imagining. On a number of occasions I have thought it was all imagination and psychological sickness, only to find out later that I was wrong. (A lonely widow from the third world came to us for help on account of the voices she was hearing. We prayed. the voices continued and I thought she was simply suffering from schizophrenia. However a very gifted and experienced Anglican exorcist prayed with her, delivered her from one or more evil spirits, and the voices ceased.)

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Excerpted from:

I Saw Satan Fall – The Ways of Spiritual Warfare by Benedict Heron OSB

No Pope should make a habit of offering his spontaneous reflections to the world.

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Given the adversarial relation between the Church and the world—it is the height of naiveté to deny it—the Supreme Pontiff must be careful to weigh every word and phrase he chooses to utter in public, for the world will eagerly seize upon any ambiguity or telling omission in order to declare triumphantly that a new breach has appeared in the citadel and that the invasion of the Church by worldly thinking has made a stunning new advance. Thus a Pope’s pursuit of “simplicity” and “sincerity,” if it leads to the idea that the Pope must shun all formalism in his public addresses and “speak from the heart,” can come—inevitably will come—at the expense of all the faithful and at the risk of undermining the very credibility of the Church herself.

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Editor’s note: We’ve all heard the phrase, “The devil’s in the details.” It is also equally true that lack of detail might also serve evil purposes. When a pope makes vague, open-ended statements in public, he incites both scandal and dismay – while at the same time, reinvigorating the enemies of the church – who twist his imprecise language to their own nefarious ends.

Pope Francis: “You can not serve God and money.”

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Vatican City ( AsiaNews) – ” You can not serve God and money “, ” greed , in fact, is the root of all evil “, “it corrupts” and “its power is so great, it can make you deviate from [the path of ] faith”, it even “robs you of faith, it weakens it and you lose it”. And when one does something for money that countermands the first commandment, he or she “is guilty of idolatry.”

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Editor’s note: I applaud Pope Francis for his clarity on this matter. Just one question … why do we have many of our bishops running dioceses with assets running into the hundreds of millions of dollars? Wouldn’t the Church be better off with more bishops – in much smaller dioceses – in charge of fewer hard assets?

After the Second Vatican Council, the dogma of the devil’s existence became an ’embarrassing part of doctrine’.

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Satan’s “no” to God

It’s time for Catholics especially who have been perhaps too eager to buy into too many of the promises and doctrines of modern science, to become reacquainted with the reality of evil.

Just as morality is not a flexible system based on the Masonic conception of “tolerance”; evil, temptation and the devil are not merely convenient mechanisms used to illustrate the concepts of right and wrong to children.

While it’s increasingly fashionable to have a hearty laugh at the simplistic and outdated beliefs of those forefathers in the Faith removed from us by less than a century, all Catholics must be very careful to faithfully retain those doctrinal elements central to the Faith; most especially Original Sin, evil, and the temptations of a very real, very powerful devil.

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Does Satan Really Exist?

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Some Catholics maybe surprised in this day and age, that the existence of evil, the devil as well as hell, are all truths of our Catholic Faith. All one has to do is pick up a copy of the Catechism and look it up and you will find that the Church officially teaches – from paragraph #1033 through paragraph #1037 – that evil does exist, that there is a person, a fallen Angel to be exact, who wants nothing more than to destroy humanity and if that is not possible then at least to get as many people away from God, away from salvation to spend eternity in hell with him.

Pope Paul IV, taught that “evil is not merely a lack of something, but an effective agent, a living spiritual being, perverted and perverting.   A terrible reality – mysterious and frightening – who goes about acting in a way contrary to the teaching of the Bible and the Church.”

Of course there is the New Testament, which alone refers to the devil and his wickedness nearly 300 times as a warning to us of his presence and activity in our world.

This leads us to the Gospels, where Jesus talks more about the devil and evil then anything else except His divinity.

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Submitted by Jola S.

Related links:

  1. Satan Never Looks Like Satan
  2. Pope Francis: Where There Is Calumny, There Is Satan Himself!
  3. Satan Is Real and Alive!

Modern Faces of Evil: Satanism, Nazism, Reincarnation and Various Cults of Personality.

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…in the U.S. today we have the frontal aspect of Satanism as represented by teenagers’ increasing attraction to it, and we see the more subtle form emerging from out of the goddess regions of neo-pagan New Age.

For both, the bottom line, whether one dresses it up in Jungian terminology, or scrawls a pentagram on an underpass in the suburbs, is the Satanic commandment to do whatever one wants, and to experience everything, extolling personal power and its final agent, the Devil, aver submission to moral law.

Refusing to consider oneself a sinner is the common ground of both. And both varieties, as witnessed by the suicide related  above and Whitmont’s colloquial and knowledgeable references to nazism, are no more or less than the current blossoming of the Nazi legacy, come home to roost in the good old U.S.A. not quite 50 years after its defeat in Germany.

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Don’t play with the devil, because you will lose!

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A GENERAL RULE: Don’t play with the Devil.

As soon as one knows that it comes from the devil, it must be rejected without any discussion. Check to see if God would suggest the thought, if not, it’s from the devil! Don’t entertain it.

“Playing with the devil” is tarrying with a thought that one knows to be not good, and thus from the devil. Woe to him who consents to dialogue with the devil (who is much stronger than we). Eve succumbed because she “played” with the devil. Instead of cutting him short, she started to discuss the temptation with him. The devil finished by making her fall.

Saint Bernard wrote: “Nobody becomes suddenly bad.” Know that it has not happened all of a sudden. For a long time, they have played with the devil.

If you play with the devil, you will lose. Don’t entertain “what if” bad thoughts. Reject it as soon as you perceive it’s a bad thought or you will fall little by little. He proposes little sins first.

The devil tries to put our minds at ease when we are in sin or are about to sin. The good angels do the opposite. We must not help the devil but must help disturb the conscience of those living in sin. Don’t put them at ease. We must not help the devil give them a false peace.

People today are very external and active. They don’t know how to be quiet, how to think about life. Beware of too much activity that keeps the mind from thinking, keeps us from internal thoughts. True peace of mind does not come from the devil.

The good angel will give reasons why an idea is bad.

The devil uses our situation against us. Are we tired, sick, have evil friends, etc. Beware of “if” or “maybe” proposals and thoughts.

God also uses good friends and sends us lights. Pay attention to influences. Distinguish between good influences and bad or evil influences. Keep the good and reject the evil.

The devil moves the passions since he cannot move the will. He however wants our will. So he moves our passions: sadness, anxiety, etc. Don’t play with it. Say no to sadness. God always gives peace of mind when good is selected.

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Women Being Driven by Their Image of Men

Because of Roe – one court decision – abortions were somehow now acceptable. Any obstacles that stood in a woman’s way of getting her education or starting her career were fair game for destruction – even her children. Because after all, a women should be just like a man in every way. She could go to school like a man, have sex like a man, go to work like a man, and not have to carry children like a man.

Yet in this drive to be just like men in every single way, someone forgot that women are uniquely designed to give birth to the human race. We are women for a reason. We are nurturing for a reason – it’s simply a matter of design. Several recent editorials have voiced the view that women ought to realize their right to be mothers and the need for them to be just that.

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Fair warning: There is no authentic Santa Muerte (Saint Death).

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This is a perversion of things Christian which is on the rise in certain sub-cultures, especially criminal.

There is an article at the site of the FBI “Santa Muerte: Inspired and Ritualistic Killings (Part 1 of 3)
By Robert J. Bunker, Ph.D.

If you look at this material, keep in mind that much of it is quite dark. There is great evil here and the influence of the demonic.

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Evil mainly works by getting good people to believe in lies.

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For me, and for many other I knew, being pro-choice was actually motivated out of love: I didn’t want women to have to suffer with these unwanted pregnancies that were so totally out of their control. Because it was an inherent part of my worldview that everyone except people with hang-ups eventually has sex, and that sex is, under normal circumstances, only about the relationship between the two people involved, I got lured into one of the oldest, biggest, most tempting lies in human history: To dehumanize the enemy. Babies had become the enemy because of their tendencies to pop up out of the blue and ruin everything; and just as societies are tempted to dehumanize the fellow human beings who are on the other side of the lines in wartime, so had I, and we as a society, dehumanized the enemy of sex.

It was when I was reading up on the Catholic view of sex and new life that everything changed.

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In the wake of unspeakable evil and death …

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St. Rose of Lima has taken center stage in the aftermath of the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School Dec. 14, which left 20 children and seven adults dead.

Parishioners and community members gathered for a prayer vigil the night of the shootings and flocked to Sunday Masses seeking solace. They looked to Msgr. Weiss and his staff and other Catholic leaders for pastoral outreach in the aftermath of the violence.

Eighteen children died at the school and two others died after they had been rushed to the hospital. All of the children were first-graders. The adults included the principal and five teachers, as well as the gunman.

Police officials identified the shooter as Adam Lanza, 20, and said he killed himself as first responders arrived on the scene.

Many of the dead were Catholic and were known in the St. Rose parish family. Wallace said funerals for eight of the children and one of the adults were being scheduled at St. Rose. Two funerals took place Dec. 18.

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Why it was necessary for God to send his son into the world, as a man, to save us.

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From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

457     The Word became flesh for us in order to save us by reconciling us with God, who “loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins”: “the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world”, and “he was revealed to take away sins”:

Sick, our nature demanded to be healed; fallen, to be raised up; dead, to rise again. We had lost the possession of the good; it was necessary for it to be given back to us. Closed in the darkness, it was necessary to bring us the light; captives, we awaited a Savior; prisoners, help; slaves, a liberator. Are these things minor or insignificant? Did they not move God to descend to human nature and visit it, since humanity was in so miserable and unhappy a state?

458     The Word became flesh so that thus we might know God’s love: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him.” “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

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Peter Kreeft on “If Good and Evil Exist, God Exists.”

An excellently reasoned 5 minute video that’s well worth watching.

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Mother of eleven decides to really clean house … and gets some unexpected help.

There came a time in my life when I was going through a spiritual renewal and examining how I could grow closer to God. I decided to purify my house by getting rid of anything I considered to be evil. We have a big house with thirteen rooms, six of them bedrooms for our eleven children. That covers a lot of space.

I cleaned out closets, crawl space in the attic, the basement, every place I could think of where there might be something in question. I was a collector of books and I disposed of anything that had to do with horoscopes, numerology, etc. There was a time when I thought of these things as innocent fun, but later realized they are a gateway into the occult.

It was an on going process that took me months to complete. Finally, the day came when I sat back and was satisfied, feeling my house was free of any intentional evil.

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Lies, Damned Lies, and a Spirit of Confusion

“He is a liar and the father of lies,” said Jesus of Satan (John 8:44). They who are committed to holiness must be committed to clarity of intention and speech: “Let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil” (Matthew 5:37).

The lie is the distinguishing feature of evil, because of its self-devouring commitment to what is not: it is an inner vacuity. Shakespeare’s villain Parolles identifies himself as a “corrupter of words,” and the sardonic Porter in Macbeth remarks wryly upon the liar who equivocates his way down the primrose path to perdition.

Orwell’s dystopian regime in 1984 rests upon a ground floor of terror and violence, but its bedrock foundation is the lie: witness the hero Winston Smith’s work at the “Ministry of Truth,” sending precious archival materials down the “memory hole,” where they will be lost forever. It is why Dante situates fraud below violence in the Inferno’s decrepit descent into non-being and idiocy; so we find the giant Nimrod, builder of the heaven-aspiring Tower of Babel, sputtering gibberish, and the consummate liar Satan uttering not a single word, but telling the same old lie again and again with every flap of his bat-like wings, “I rise by my own power.”

The result is, literally, confusion—pouring together, a disorderly mélange, a chaos. I believe, in our day, that we see this linguistic and moral confusion in almost everything that is uttered about the subjects that have us most perplexed: man and woman; marriage and children.

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