There are Definitely
Souls in HELL
We have Our Lady's word for it. She said to the three children of Fatima, "You have seen Hell where the souls of poor sinners go." It was not simply an imaginary vision they saw but they actually saw Hell and they actually saw sinners in Hell.
There are many souls in Hell because, as Our Lady said at Fatima, "Many souls go to Hell because they have no one to pray for them or make sacrifices for them." In confirmation of the vision of Hell and Our Lady's words about Hell, God worked the great Miracle of the Sun, as well as the hundreds of physical cures, through Our Lady of Fatima's intercession, as His own testament that the Message of Fatima is authentic.
Furthermore, we must remember it is a solemn teaching of the Catholic Church that can never be changed that, indeed, there are souls in Hell and they will be there for all eternity. No one, not even the Pope, can teach or suggest that there are no souls in Hell. To believe otherwise is to sin against God and the Holy Catholic Faith.
We must be vigilant against these errors, otherwise we may well fall into Hell ourselves.
The Holy Council of Trent solemnly taught: "But though He (Jesus Christ) died for all (2 Cor. 5:15) yet all do not receive the benefit of His death, but those only to whom the merit of His Passion is communicated" (Ch.3, Session 6 on Justification).
Pope Benedict XII solemnly defined: "Moreover we define that according to the common arrangement of God, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin immediately after their death, descend to Hell where they are tortured by infernal punishments." (Denzinger 531)
"In All Thy Works Remember Thy Last End, and Thou Shalt Never Sin." Ecclus. 7:40
by L. Wethington
Commenting on this scripture St. Jerome said, "One should meditate often on hell in order to avoid going there hereafter." It seems that very few people really think of hell and think that not too many go there. St. Alphonsus said this is one of the chief reasons why so many souls are lost, because they do not want to think about hell. "O that they would be wise and would understand, and would provide for their last end." Deut. 32:29.
Jesus took Blessed Faustina to hell and showed her the sinners who did not believe there was a hell. He told her to go back and tell souls there is a hell. "With desolation is all the land made desolate; because there is none that considereth in the heart." Jer. 12:11.
The damned begin to think about hell only after it is too late. Yet Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ warned that "How narrow is the gate (to Heaven)...and few there are that find it." "Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there are that go there." St. Mt.7:13-14. So we cannot dispute this argument for we know these words are infallibly true. One does not have to believe to be damned, only to be saved. "Doctrines of devils," 1 Tim. 4:1; "precepts of men" St. Mark. 7:7; "symbolic" Last Suppers will not save a man because they are false, but adoring God "in spirit and in truth," St. John. 4:23.
But how many are saved? St. John Chrysostom once speaking in Constantinople asked this question and giving his own answer said, "Of all the thousands in this city, how many will be saved? How ought I to answer this question, or ought I answer it at all? Perhaps hardly a hundred. Would to God I could be certain of so many!"
When St. Bernard died, a holy anchorite who had also died at the same time, appeared to the Bishop of Langres and told him that 30,000 had died at the same time. He and St. Bernard went straight to Heaven, 3 others went to purgatory, and all the rest were damned. "Many are called, few are chosen."
Another case of a doctor of the University of Paris, who had died, revealed to the Bishop of that city that he was damned. He was asked if there was any knowledge in hell. He answered that he knew he was damned, that his sentence was irrevocable and that he was condemned for the pleasures of the world and of the body. He asked the holy bishop if there were any men left on earth, and when asked why, he said, "Because so many souls have fallen into hell, I do not think there could be anyone left on earth." "The number of fools is infinite." Eccles. 1:15.
Few Will Be Saved
"Strive to enter by the narrow gate, for many, I say to you, shall seek to enter, and shall not be able." St. Luke. 13:24. "How can you be astonished if I say that few will be saved," asks St. John Chrysostom, "when you see so many wicked in youth, and so many others negligent and lukewarm in their old age? What vanity among women, what avarice among merchants, what pride among the learned, what injustice among the judges, what corruption in all!" O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto Thine.
Many think they are not that bad, but yet do they really lead Christian lives? St. James gives us an easy test to tell if a man is a Christian or not. He says, "If any man thinks himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man's religion is vain." Ch. 1:26. Though he go to church, though he say his prayers, if he does not guard his tongue, St. James tells us his religion in worthless. "Praise is not seemly in the mouth of a sinner." Ecclus. 15:9. And look around, how many do you come into contact with who curse and swear, who commit mortal sin by casually destroying their neighbors' good name with gossip and never think anything of it? Many do this and St. James tells us their religion is vain. Is it any wonder then Our Lord said, "Many will strive to enter, and shall not be able." No, they will be cast into hell where "they will burn with unquenchable fire." St. Matt. 3:12.
St. Augustine said that "they who believe in God and are not converted have either lost their sense or lost their faith." St. Cesarius says "that the door to hell opens only for those who enter, but not for those who would depart." St. Bernard said with tears that "Only about one ship out of 10 was lost on the sea, but on the sea of life, only about one soul out of 10 was saved." St. Alphonsus said that "the greater part of men choose to be damned," and St. Peter, "if the just man shall scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?" (1 Peter 4:18)
St. Remigius said that few Christian adults are saved, and that the rest are damned for sins of impurity. And Father Segneri said that three-fourths of the reprobate are damned for sins of impurity. The Blessed Virgin Mary revealed to little Jacinta in Portugal in 1917 that more souls go to hell for sins of the flesh than for any other reason. (The Fatima messages were confirmed by God by a great Miracle of the Sun before a crowd of 70,000 and this miracle was even reported in an atheist newspaper.) And no wonder! The statistic currently being quoted concerning Catholics who practice artificial birth control is 80%. And this despite the solemn teaching of the Church which has always condemned artificial birth control as a mortal sin.
Our Sins Nailed Christ to the Cross
We think sin is not that bad; just look at the cross. Look at the nails in Jesus' hands and feet, look at the thorns upon His head, look at the stripes upon His body from the bitter scourging. This is the reward of our sins. Imagine if those nails were in our hands and feet, those thorns upon our head and those many stripes upon us, we would then look at sin much more differently, we would think it the greatest evil in the world. And it is! All other evils in this life come to an end at death, but sin has eternal consequences. We often hear it said when a sick person dies, "Well, he's better off now. He won't have to suffer anymore." Not if he dies in sin. His sufferings are only beginning and they will last forever.
There will be no fans or air-conditioners in hell but there will be bitter cold water. There will be no heaters in hell but only excruciating flames. And being horribly tormented in one, the sinner will cast himself into the other. "They will pass from the snow waters to excessive heat, and their sin even to hell." Job. 24:19. "Brimstone and storms of wind shall be the portion of their cup." Ps. 10:7.
St. Anthony Claret says, "Picture to yourself, Christian soul, a man whose lot is one of total misfortune, without anything good. A Christian who is condemned to hell loses God, the Supreme Good, and eternal happiness. Seriously weigh what it means to lose God."
A damned soul loses God's devoted, special providence which cared for him. He will cease to be loved by God's creatures. They will be satisfied to see him in the flames as a victim of God's justice. "The just shall rejoice when he shall see the revenge." Ps. 57:11. A mother will look from paradise upon her own condemned son in hell without being moved, as though she had never known him. "Better for him had he never been born." St. Mark 14:21. The despairing cries will increase one another's torments. He falls under the devil's power. The devil can twist into the form of a serpent, enter the mouth and bite and gnaw lungs, liver, heart and all the bowels. He can make his victim swallow molten metal and feed him poisonous toads. He can torment the damned soul as he wishes.
He will be as a thirsty man and cannot drink, as one starving and cannot eat. "By what things a man sinneth, by the same also he is tormented." Wis. 11:17. "Woe to you that are filled; for you shall hunger. Woe to you that now laugh; for you shall mourn and weep." St. Luke. 6:25. St. Anthony says, "Their strongest desire will be to die." "Men shall seek death and shall not find it. And they shall desire to die, and death shall fly from them." Apoc. 9:6. But in vain. The damned shall live as long as God shall live.
The damned will curse their sins and the day they were born. "Let the day perish wherein I was born." Job. 3:3. "They will shed enough tears to flood the earth. A time will come when they could say, 'I have suffered in these flames a thousand million years for every single mortal sin.' In spite of this, they will not calm God's anger nor move Him to pity. Dear soul, what can you do to escape this infinite evil? There in no remedy but a deep hatred for sin and a sincere repentance combined with prayer."
St. Alphonsus says, "He who prays shall be saved, he who prays not shall be condemned ... One of the greatest pains of the damned is that they could have saved themselves so easily by prayer and neglected to do so." "All those who burn in hell either did not pray or did not pray enough," was the lament of a lost soul. "To pray," she said, "is the easiest thing man can do, and God has tied up salvation to this very easy thing. Especially to Her who is the Mother of Christ whose name we never pronounce. Devotion to Her rescues from the devil numberless souls whom sin would infallibly give to him." Wisely does the Scripture tell us, "In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin."
Say this PRAYER daily to obtain the grace of salvation: "My Lord Jesus Christ, for the sake of Thy sufferings, grant me such faith, hope, charity, sorrow for my sins, and love of prayer, and a spirit of sacrifice, as will save and sanctify my soul."
Mary, Our Mediator
Another remedy which God offers us is confidence in the most Blessed Virgin Mary. St. Louis de Montfort asks us, "After we have incurred the wrath of the just Judge, do we not need a mediator with the mediator Himself, Jesus Christ?" Who would appear guilty in a court of law without one to defend him? But with the prayers of Mary the evil one will be crushed, "She shall crush thy head." Gen. 3:15; the wrath of our just Judge will be appeased, mercy shall be granted us and everlasting life.
So let us call on Her and be among those in every generation who shall call Her blessed, St. Luke 1:48, and receive the blessed fruit of Her womb, Jesus, St. Luke 1:42, as She herself invites us, "Come over to Me, all ye that desire Me, and be filled with My fruits." Ecclus. 24:26. "He that shall find Me shall find life, and shall have salvation from the Lord. ... all that hate Me love death." Prov. 8:35-36. Therefore, "Salute Mary who hath labored much among you." Rom. 16:6. Call on Her and salute Her often with the Hail Mary and She will intercede for you. If the Scripture encourages us to intercessory prayer, who better to intercede for us with Christ than His very own Mother? It was She who interceded for the couple at the wedding feast of Cana and obtained a happy outcome, even though His hour had not come, St. John. 2: 1-11, and now that She is in Heaven She is ever ready to assist us for, "charity is strong as death," Cant. 8:6. Death cannot extinguish charity. The honor we give to Her redounds to Christ as the honor we pay to a work of art redounds to the artist. And if we honor Her daily with the Hail Mary, She will intercede for us. "He that honoreth his Mother is as one that layeth up a treasure." Ecclus. 3:5.
Mary, Do Not Abandon Me
In the kingdom of Valencia a great sinner resolved to become a Mohammedan, hoping thereby to escape from the arm of justice. On his way to the ship's landing where he meant to set sail, he entered a church in which the Jesuit Jerome Lopez was preaching on the Mercy of God. Touched by the sermon, the poor sinner went to confession to the missioner. When asked if he had practiced any special devotion to which this great grace might be attributed, he replied: "I simply prayed to Mary every day not to abandon me."
In a certain hospital the same Father met a sinner who had not gone to confession for fifty-five years. He had, however, practised this little devotion: whenever he passed Her picture he greeted the Mother of God and asked Her for a happy end. He then related: one day while fighting with my enemy my dagger broke. I turned to Mary and cried out, "Alas, alas, now I shall be killed and eternally lost; Mother of sinners, help me." Scarcely had he said this when he found himself in safety. The poor sinner made a general confession and died full of confidence.
A contrite and humbled heart O God, Thou wilt not despise. "His Mercy is … upon them that fear Him." (St. Luke 1:50) These reflections are taken from St. Alphonsus, St. Anthony Mary Claret, Father Michael Mueller and Ven. Louis of Granada. We should take them to heart if we wish to be saved.
THE HAIL MARY
Hail Mary, full of grace; the Lord is with Thee; blessed art Thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of Thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death. Amen.
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