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The souls in Hell may have refused to empty their arms to receive His embrace, but God has not withdrawn His love for them.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.

More….

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

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

Link

 

Whenever a created thing becomes no longer a means to love God but an end it itself, then you have a “love” that is idolatry.

Do you “love” the idea of finding the perfect mate? To have a better love life within marriage? To have a child? To get a job? To win an athletic championship? To get a college degree? To flourish in business? The desire for all these things can be good indeed. The avid pursuit of each of these things can actually be a duty, depending on one’s state it life.

The question, though, is whether these desires and achievements are stepping stones on the road to God or are disastrous detours. Ultimately, a gut check is needed. Are we most intent on things below or on things above? (Col 3) We should be passionate about many things below – but is our zeal for health, love, kids, education, job, financial security truly a function of our zeal for loving God and doing his will?

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Glenn Beck explains the reasons for the recent attacks on the Catholic Church and religious freedom

Please take a look at the link below; it takes 10 minutes of your life. We have been stripped of many of our civil liberties and now they want to attack our faith and beliefs.

Glenn Beck explains (video link)

As men, we are told in the bible to be the spiritual leaders of our house. So we can no longer sit on the side line while others stand up to defend what is left to defend.

Little by little our faith is being challenged and Catholic or not it will affect us all. So please take the 10 minutes and then pass on the link to anyone who you think will listen.

Frank J. Schwartz Jr.
State Program Director
Illinois State Knights of Columbus

Submitted by John Z.

Editor’s note: Glenn Beck is a Mormon, but he seems to have a better “handle” on this issue than many/most Catholics. After watching the video, perhaps you can help educate your fellow Catholics, whether they be laymen or clergy.

Habitual abortionist claims she is “at peace” with God. Question is: “Which god?”

Millions of dead babies
testify to the awful truth
of abortion

I continue to do abortions after 25 years because the voices of gratitude and relief from my patients drown out the hatred and intolerance from the protesters outside. In the small still hours of the night I am at peace with myself and with God, who gave me this mission in life. – Mary Smith, MD, Dallas, TX.

Editor’s note: Doctor Smith … please do not blame the one, true God for your particular brand of spiritual blindness and moral degradation. Blame the false god(s) that you obviously worship, instead!

Thou shalt not kill.  (Exodus 20:13)

And they served their idols: which were a snare unto them. Yea, they sacrificed their sons and their daughters unto devils, And shed innocent blood, [even] the blood of their sons and of their daughters, whom they sacrificed unto the idols of Canaan: and the land was polluted with blood. Thus were they defiled with their own works, and went a whoring with their own inventions. (Psalms 106:36-39)

The earliest reference to contraception and abortion is in the Didache, a document from the second half of the first century or early second century. Didache reads: “You shall not practice birth control, you shall not murder a child by abortion, nor kill what is begotten”.

Link

The “right to choose” is a gift from God, but misusing that gift results in divine judgment.

by Doug Lawrence

God created man as a free person, obliged to make all kinds of free-will choices, and to answer for them, come Judgment Day.

One who knowingly and willingly chooses evil has nothing but the mercy of God, on which to rely.

One who knowingly induces others to do evil, by whatever means, shares the responsibility for all the negative consequences that logically follow.

But what of the person who claims their conscience informs them to the contrary … who perceives evil as good … and perhaps, good as evil? What then?

He gets to be President of the United States, and he gets to give a State of the Union speech on national television, in order to try to justify his seriously disordered “take” on things!

May God have mercy on his soul … and if he manages to get himself reelected … on this once great country!

Interesting social justice quote from the Bible

In the words of Jesus Christ:

Mark 14:7
For the poor you have always with you: and whensoever you will, you may do them good: but me you have not always.

Some Light Lenten Reading On The Passion of Jesus Christ


(click any graphic to enlarge)

Read “The Passion Behind the Passion”

Only two options: Jesus Christ was either God … or he was a bad man.


Unbelievers almost always say he was a good man, not a bad man; that he was a great moral teacher, a sage, a philosopher, a moralist, and a prophet, not a criminal, not a man who deserved to be crucified. But a good man is the one thing he could not possibly have been according to simple common sense and logic. For he claimed to be God. He said, “Before Abraham was, I Am”, thus speaking the word no Jew dares to speak because it is God’s own private name, spoken by God himself to Moses at the burning bush. Jesus wanted everyone to believe that he was God. He wanted people to worship him. He claimed to forgive everyone’s sins against everyone. (Who can do that but God, the One offended in every sin?)

Now what would we think of a person who went around making these claims today? Certainly not that he was a good man or a sage. There are only two possibilities: he either speaks the truth or not. If he speaks the truth, he is God and the case is closed. We must believe him and worship him. If he does not speak the truth, then he is not God but a mere man. But a mere man who wants you to worship him as God is not a good man. He is a very bad man indeed, either morally or intellectually. If he knows that he is not God, then he is morally bad, a liar trying deliberately to deceive you into blasphemy. If he does not know that he is not God, if he sincerely thinks he is God, then he is intellectually bad — in fact, insane.

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How we live each day of our lives culminates in an intense moment of truth at the time of death.


I recall the special graces associated with the passing of an aunt.

She was married but her husband preceded her into eternal life. She did not have children because she was always the caregiver of extended family.  She was in the process of dying a natural death in the warmth of the family home. It was not necessary that she be hooked up to machines; no intravenous drips of morphine or any other painkiller was needed.

We sat around her bed and conversed with her as she went in and out of consciousness.

Suddenly she said, “The room is filled with them. There is hardly enough room for all of them. Don’t you see them?  Angels are all over this room.”

I believed her because she was credible and the existence of angels is part of Catholic doctrine.

She continued, “Oh, John (her deceased husband) is here.  He is extending his hand to me. There are other family members too.  I see them.”  Then, speaking first person to her deceased husband she said, “Oh John, I want to go, but I will miss all these people. I am not quite ready please.”

This no nonsense woman of faith was utterly believable. It seemed the natural order of things for a good woman who served others selflessly all of her life.  We told her that we would miss her but we would be together again; it would be alright if she went to meet the Lord and her husband.

The next day, with her face illumined, she looked up as if acknowledging the presence of someone we could not see and then she closed her eyes and peacefully breathed her last.

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Scottish philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre defines liberalism

In liberalism, as MacIntyre explains it

Every individual is to be equally free to propose and to live by whatever conception of the good he or she pleases, derived from whatever theory or tradition he or she may adhere to, unless that conception of the good involves reshaping the life of the rest of the community in accordance with it.

And thus the “good” becomes a private matter:

We are presented, that is to say, with agents as if detached altogether from any conception of or perception of the good or goods… All preferences of all individuals are to be weighed in the same balance and accorded the same respect, no matter whose they are or what their grounding.

For a philosophical liberal, then, the contention that that there exists an objective and non-private human good for human nature is dangerous nonsense. He would also scorn claims that this good might have a definite, knowable nature which transcends personal preference and that it thus has public and even political relevance.

Read the entire article

Seen on the web: “I can resist anything … except temptation”

Can a person be trained to resist temptation?

While designing role playing games more suited to kindergarten than marriage therapy, the scientists finally concluded:  “…your commitment may depend on how much a partner enhances your life and broadens your horizons.”

In other words, “If you don’t satisfy me, honey, I’m out of here!”

It astounds me that in this study of betrayal in marriage, not even once do words like wrong or evil appear.  Needless to say, neither do the words sin or God.

The character Ivan Karamazov in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov seems to decide that God doesn’t exist and that therefore, logically, nothing can be judged as wrong or immoral.  Those researchers at their universities would agree.

However, the Torah does not.  A marriage is not just a contract between two parties.  It is a holy covenant between three entities: man, woman, and God.

One spouse might believe that an extra-marital fling will complete his or her life while the other spouse is convinced that such a fling is destructive. Who is to say which belief is more compelling?  But there is one more party to the marriage—God!  And He is pretty unambiguous about it.

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Submitted by Doria2

Simple, Comprehensive Earth Day Message: Don’t abuse anyone/anything on earth.

God = good.

Abuse = bad.

Be like God.

Peace!

“Deliver us from evil”

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It is notable that “Deliver us from evil” is the last, not the first, of the petitions in the Our Father. This is suggestive of the place that “fear of the devil” should have in our lives. On the one hand, we should be aware that, apart from grace, we are not adequate to deal with the Prince of This World. That’s why it’s a petition in the Our Father. As the song says,

For still our ancient foe
doth seek to work us woe;
his craft and power are great,
and armed with cruel hate,
on earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide,
our striving would be losing,
were not the right man on our side,
the man of God’s own choosing.

That man is not you, empowered by your sense of self-worth. It is not Buffy the Vampire Slayer, who overcomes evil through girl power and the affirmation of her circle of friends. It is not any of the heroes of pop culture who invariably look deep within at their darkest hour and find that they have what it takes to be heroes. It is not anybody in Millennial America, filled with the notion that, with faith in the goodness of the American people, Democratic Capitalism, and Therapeutic Moralistic Deism, we shall prevail.

On the contrary, that man is Jesus Christ, and Him only. To be sure, by grace, we can participate in His glorious humanity and, by the Spirit, find the strength within to overcome evil — but only by grace, not because of our native and intrinsic wonderfulness. That is why He teaches us to pray to God the Father through Him to deliver us from evil. Because we cannot deliver ourselves, whatever Yankee myths about Daniel Webster outwitting the devil may have taught Americans to think. Apart from Him, we can do nothing (Jn 15:5).

Read the whole article

Note to Congress: Real freedom is the choosing of the good.

050514-F-7203T-005One should not be worried about whether one is free, but rather about what one does with that freedom. There is no virtue in being free; the virtue comes in the actions that stem from our freedom of choice. Real freedom is the choosing of the good.

-St. Augustine

Cherokee Wisdom – Two Wolves

“Two Wolves” {Cherokee Wisdom}

What a great story to pass on to our kids and a lesson to be learned by us all!

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two “wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather:

 “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Submitted by Doria2

Pope Benedict on the Feast of the Assumption

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In his great work “De Civitate Dei,” St Augustine says once that the whole of human history, the history of the world, is a struggle between two loves: love of God to the point of losing oneself, of total self-giving, and love of oneself to the point of despising God, of hating others. This same interpretation of history as a struggle between two loves, between love and selfishness, also appears in the reading from the Book of Revelation that we have just heard.

Here, these two loves appear in two great figures. First of all, there is the immensely strong, red dragon with a striking and disturbing manifestation of power without grace, without love, of absolute selfishness, terror and violence.

At the time when St John wrote the Book of Revelation, this dragon represented for him the power of the anti-Christian Roman Emperors, from Nero to Domitian. This power seemed boundless; the military, political and propagandist power of the Roman Empire was such that before it, faith, the Church, appeared as a defenceless woman with no chance of survival and even less of victory.

Who could stand up to this omnipresent force that seemed capable of achieving everything? Yet, we know that in the end it was the defenceless woman who won and not egoism or hatred; the love of God triumphed and the Roman Empire was opened to the Christian faith.

Courtesy of Zenit News Agency. Click Here For More.