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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Nov 15, 2012 10:25:12 AM PST
Yes, there is a hell and Vatican II did not deny what the Catholic Church has taught about it for almost 2000 years: that the majority of the human race chooses the wide and easy road.

Posted on Jan 27, 2013 8:56:59 AM PST
The best way to insure that people loose their fear of offending God and incurr His just punishments for sin, including eternal damnation, is to deny the reality of Hell; or even more subtly, to deny the eternity of its duration, or the reality of the fire that burns there. This is what many modern theologians do; and even worse, many people listen to their charlatanry and end up finding out the hard way that indeed there is an eternal Hell of unspeakable torments and people are condemned there for all eternity.
All true prophets and doctors in the Church have done their best to warn people of this reality and to urge them to conform their lives to God's commandments and to do all in their power to avoid sin and save their souls. The false prophets do the contrary.

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 12:37:09 AM PDT
Saved4Him says:
I have a question, for those who have no hope for the world (and are less than charitable to those who 'dare to hope'), Are you okay with going to hell? Are you okay with being one of those who come to find out on Judgment Day that you chose the wide road? Christ stood with the lost. Will you? If asked, would you be like Paul and prefer your own damnation to save others-even the whole world?

Cradle Catholics have been quite fortunate. Most have not grown up with the sort of evangelization and view of God some here think is needed in order to be faithful followers of Christ and make others faithful followers as well. This is one area where I feel, 'They know not of what they speak'. I am a convert. I grew up with the 'fire and brimstone' theology propounded by many of the reviewers. I've heard all the verses used to support it (verses I believe are misapplied), over and over and over again. I can say, 'having been there'--This is not a good idea! The fear--even manic fear that it creates does make you 'good' for awhile (at least on the surface). But the 'goodness' doesn't last, it strips the person of a healthy sense of freewill, cannot move one past a poor attrition onto true contrition and a burning love for God and ultimately repels one from God. Because that's what hell does and what it is-separation from God. An evangelization based (at least in part) on fear and hell, will produce just that. Roman Catholicism saved me. It gave me hope because it taught me to hope for the whole world (and not Balthazar, but rather people like St. Therese of The Child Jesus).

I cannot go back to the idea that most will be condemned to hell. I left the Church I grew up in because of it. I embraced R.C. in part because it seemed to teach against. I will leave Roman Catholicism too, if it turns out that I was deceived on what the Church actually teaches in this regard. Having it my way? Well, if by having it my way, you mean, not being afraid of my Heavenly Father, then yes, I want it my way.

Jesus came to save everyone. What is this defeatist attitude which says that while we need to save everyone we possibly can, we already know the future, a future in which Jesus' mission never reaches it's ultimate goal, a future in which the Mother of God looses more than half of the world's children despite her prayers and a future where evil is never really, truly, put out of it's misery. What joy can I possibly have in heaven, if even one soul is lost? Christ told us, that whatever we pray for, if it's according to His will, He will do it. Well, we know Christ desires to save everyone and I pray for the salvation of everyone. Ergo...Can I not at least hope that my prayers will be answered?

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2013 5:35:30 AM PDT
It's not a question of "losing hope"; its a question of maintaining and believing the truth as our Lord gave to His Church and has been handed down faithfully through the ages: There is indeed a Hell and it is Eternal and all those who die in the state of mortal sin: "final impenitence" go there. There is also a Heaven and indeed God, does will all men to be saved: " Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth"{1. Timothy 2:4}; but men have a free will and even as we see in the life of our Lord, many hearing the truth, turned their backs on Him and abandoned Him: "After this many of His disciples went back; and walked no more with Him" (John 6. 67).
It is all about keeping a balance between the mercy of God and His just judgements. You speak of conversion; and one of the most effective tools of conversion that the Church has had, have been the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; in these the exercitant, is required to meditate on the great truths of the faith, including the sovereignty of God, death, judgement, heaven, hell eternity; but also of the life and passion death and virtues of our Lord, in order that we may conform our lives to His. You are correct in stating that an over-emphasis on Hell and damnation is morbid, and will not produce holy saints; but a denial of Hell, will also result in people thinking that they can live their lives without any regards for God's laws or the consequences of breaking them.
As to your opening question: Would I like to go to Hell? Not at all. But, do I believe if I kill someone, or commit adultery, or any other mortal sin, and don't repent and confess my sin, I will indeed go to Hell.
To your second question: Would I be willing to be damned to save others? Not at all. I am not a saint, but a sinner who needs to frequent the Sacrament of Penance (the Sacrament of God's infinite mercy). I sincerely desire and pray that all men will be saved, and I see even in my close family both the conversion of those who go astray and those who refus God's graces. It is a sad reality.
Another question is: How can there be joy in Heaven, even if one soul is lost? Because the saint of Heaven see God face to face and contemplate and possess an infite joy that "no one can take from them". They also see the punishment of the damned in the light of God's perfect justice. The wicked angels and men, freely chose to live apart from God, He does not force them and He gave them what they wanted.
Remember it is a question of fidelity to the truth, not to construct a religion of our own making or according to our own ideas.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2013 12:23:12 PM PDT
Saved4Him says:
"I sincerely desire and pray that all men will be saved". This is all I ask for. All that I ask for is the freedom to hope all will be saved. I don't think that's asking too much of people who are so incredibly certain that "Joe", "Tom" and "Frank" are going to hell. To be faithful to the truth, requires that I hope. Not some formulated truth or philosophical truth and certainly not a religious construct of my own making, but the truth that I wake up to every morning, the reality that is my life, my relationship to God and to others. I nearly left Christianity -my grief was that great. All I had was Jesus. I struggled for years trying to conform to the 'fire and brimstone theology' I was taught. I fought against that hope. I don't have the energy to do it again. I'm tired. If Catholicism teaches that we can't even hope for universal reconcilation, I'll simply bow out. It would make me incredibly sad to do so as I thought I was healing and I thought it was the Church that was healing me and God, I loved her for it. So I guess...here's one soul lost. That a denial of hell produces people who think they can live their own way without any regard for God, may be true. But it's also true then, that they are merely obeying God out of fear (of punishment) and not out of love. That fear of hell drives conversions-even mass conversions is sad. Give me a person who believes the whole world will be saved and obeys God for the simple reason that they love Him. That God will save all, is something that ought to make one so joyous as to create in them a missionary-spirit to rival the ages, never a license to sin (as many were turning Paul's teaching of grace into a license for breaking the commandments)! And I could not have infinate joy knowing that others are suffering (even if they deserve it), unless I took joy in their sufferings, did not care if they suffered or somehow, did not know they suffered. As for the latter, I suppose this would mean that I would forget I ever loved them.

Thank you for answering my questions.

Posted on Mar 12, 2013 2:42:29 PM PDT
I understand that the fear of Hell can be very demoralizing for some souls, especially the melancholic. I also agree that to reach great sanctity and do great things for God, we must be motivated by a great love for Him and a great desire that all men reach eternal salvation. It is indeed in reading the lives of the great mistics, such as St. Teresa of Avila, John of the Cross or Therese of Liseuex, that we find this great love for God and the salvation of souls motivating them to pray and sacrifice themselves as living holocausts.
Do not judge the effect of the reality of Hell or damnation on the effect it just has on your soul, but on the soul of many who will not be motivated by any other reality (sad to say). Instead of dweling on who will be lost or saved, it is better to love God practice the virtues and pray and beseech God for the salvation of sinners. If this issue is disturbing you, leave it alone. I can recomend the devotion of the "nine first fridays" in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, with their magnificent promises; and the enrolling and wearing of the Scapular of our Lady of Mt. Carmel.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 12, 2013 5:53:09 PM PDT
Saved4Him says:
Thank you.
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Participants:  3
Total posts:  7
Initial post:  Nov 15, 2012
Latest post:  Mar 12, 2013

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