Reality of Hell
The Orlando Truth
“The national anthem of hell is, ‘I Did It My Way’ ”
The doctrine of hell is not just some dusty, theological holdover
from the unenlightened Middle Ages. It has significant consequences.
Without ultimate justice, people’s
sense of moral obligation dissolves;
social bonds are broken. People who have no fear of God soon have
no fear of man.
Hell itself is a glorification of divine
justice. The pain of hell consists in the recognition of perpetual
separation from God, just as the joy of heaven is in union with Him
forever. Contrary to what many liberal dissenters and Modernists think,
HELL IS REAL and the Church
continues to teach that there are “two classes” in humankind, “the
saved and the damned”.
Avery Cardinal Dulles,
the most renowned Catholic theologian in the United States today,
recently emphasized that theme in a major speech at Fordham University
in New York. The Cardinal criticized today’s
thoughtless optimism about salvation, stating “Popular piety has
become saccharine and many Christians take it almost for granted that
everyone, or almost everyone, will be saved.” He also noted that this
prevalent misconception has led to a sharp drop in people’s frequency
of confession. “More education is needed to convince people that they
ought to fear God Who, as Jesus taught, can punish soul and body together
in hell,” he said, citing Matthew 10:28.
Angelo Roncalli, who became Pope John XXIII, as a youth memorized a poem that became a motto for the rest of his life, entitled
Death, than which
nothing is more certain.
Judgment, than which
nothing is more strict.
Hell, than which nothing is more terrible.
than which nothing is more delightful.
This attitude of the Pope is
also the attitude of the Church, which bases its teaching about the
eternal punishment of hell directly on the words of Christ Himself,
where, at the Last Judgment, He compares the reward of the just with
the condemnation of the wicked, saying “Come, you whom My Father has
blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since
the foundation of the world.” But to the unjust, “Go away from me,
with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil
and his angels” and “the damned will go into everlasting punishment,
but the virtuous to everlasting life”
What is significant here is that Christ balances the two judgments in exactly the same way so that the endless duration
of heaven is absolutely equalized with the endless duration of hell.
Thus, if heaven exists for eternity, so must the sufferings
of hell exist without end. If it is argued that the punishment of
hell eventually ceases, then one must accept the fact that heaven
itself will end, seeing that Christ spoke of both as eternal, in the
same place and in one and the same sentence. (St. Augustine, The
City of God).
Those who go to Hell, however, do so by their
own free-will choice of breaking God’s moral law (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition 1997, par.1033).
will not conquer all, but Justice
will be served.