Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!

Third Sunday after Epuiphany—21 January A.D. 2018
Ave Maria!

Tomorrow will be the forty-fifth anniversary of the infamous Roe vs. Wade decision, forced on the American people in 1973 by seven men in total denial of the founding principle of the “inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”  Only Byron White and William Rehnquist have the moral right to call themselves “Justices” of the 1973 Supreme Court.

Please pray to end every attempt to take away innocent human life from conception to natural death!

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English
Chair of Unity Octave Prayer

The Reality of Sin and Hell

“The children of the kingdom shall be cast out into the exterior darkness,
and there shall be much weeping and gnashing of teeth.”[1]

    One of the great travesties that truth has suffered during the past thirty years or so is the denial that there is such a thing as sin;  and the denial that unrepentant sinners will be punished eternally in the place we call hell.

    The Modernists have twisted Catholic teaching in order to justify almost every kind of sinful behavior.  They started by telling us that there was no sin if we didn't harm anyone.  Then they suggested that sin required a positive intention to offend God.  Later they informed us that sometimes sin was allowed because of the circumstances in which we found ourselves; that a good result would justify any kind of bad behavior.  Some of them tell us that sin is not defined in terms of God at all, but merely represents the failure to make full use of our human potential as individuals and, particularly, as a society.

    All of these ideas, of course, are nonsense.  God has given us the ability to distinguish between right and wrong, and insists that we do our best to avoid evil and to do good—without any excuses about inconvenience, victim-less crimes, social development, or whatever.  Our whole purpose for being on this earth is to glorify God and later to share His happiness in heaven—not for any of the humanist purposes advanced by the Modernists.

    The Modernists have likewise twisted Catholic teaching about the reality and the eternity of punishment for those who repeatedly break God's laws and who have no sorrow for their sins.  Some of them will tell you that hell was just a medieval idea, intended to scare immature people to obey the law; that mankind is now more mature and no longer in need of such “stories.”  Others will suggest that hell is not a place, nor is it real; that it is just a state of mind in which we punish ourselves only temporarily.  And even among those who admit the reality of hell, many insist that God's mercy will not allow it to punish eternally—that some day it will fade away, releasing all souls to heaven.

    Once again, these ideas are nonsense.  Just as sin is real, hell is real!  And as it is real, it is eternal.  God is merciful, but He is also just.

    Hell was created for the fallen angels; those, following Lucifer, that rebelled against God and insisted on being regarded equally with Him.  The nature of angels is such that their decisions are irrevocable; they know all there is to know about the consequences of their actions, and they never change their minds.  Hell must be eternal, even if just for these fallen angels, for they will be in eternal rebellion against God.  And certainly, a similar eternal punishment is appropriate for people who have had a lifetime to consider their actions, yet remain impenitent even at the moment of death.

    Our Lord is quite specific about the eternity of hell whenever He mentions it in Sacred Scripture.  He speaks of “unquenchable fire, where the worm dies not, and the fire is not quenched.”[2]  He speaks of those who will not help their fellow man, commanding them to “Depart into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.[3]  He tells us that there are sins that will “not be forgiven in this world or in the world to come.”[4]

    We are given to understand that the punishment of hell is twofold.  The primary pain of hell is the pain of loss—of knowing both that God is infinitely good, and simultaneously that we have lost God forever.  This, of course, compounded by the realization that “my loss is the result of my own stupidity—no one else is to be blamed.”  God extended His graces to us abundantly—in the thousands of Masses we did not attend, in the millions of prayers we did not say, in all the good advice we did not take, and in all the good examples we did not imitate—God extended His graces to us and we ignored them.  All of the joy, and peace, and beauty we should have enjoyed over eternity with God is hopelessly lost.  That is the primary pain of hell.

    The secondary pain is actual punishment; pain of the senses.  It is presumably something like fire, yet obviously somewhat different in that it inflicts pain on both the devils and the spirits of the reprobate, and after the General Judgment, on the bodies of the damned.  Apparently it will burn without consuming, in order to last forever.

    Perhaps with reference to our Lord’s words about “the exterior darkness” it has long been conjectured that “the flames of hell give heat but no light.”[5]  Imagine eternal blindness added to all the rest!

    I've never cared much for preaching about the awful pains of hell, but they are a reality—a very dangerous reality, about which the devil would like to have us confused.  For the devil is envious that we are not in hell, and would like us to be tricked into thinking that hell is only a minor annoyance, so that we can share his misery for eternity.  The devil knows that he cannot have God, so he wants us not to have Him either.

    But, as they say, “Forewarned is forearmed.”  And perhaps by knowing something of the reality of sin and the eternity of hell, we will change our lives in whatever ways are necessary to avoid hell and to gain heaven.  We can try to cultivate faith like the centurion in today's Gospel—the faith that set him apart from those “cast out into the exterior darkness.”—the faith that made our Lord want to heal the leper.  And we can try to overcome the evils in our lives as St. Paul tells us in today's epistle, “not being overcome by evil, but rather overcoming evil by doing good.”[6]


[1]   Gospel: Matthew viii: 1-13

[2]   Mark ix: 42-43

[3]   Matthew xxv: 41

[4]   Matthew xii: 32

[5]   Probably the words of Saint Basil the Great (329-379), Bishop of Cæsarea in          Cappadocia.

[6]   Epistle: Romans xii: 16-21




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