Tag: heaven

How Do I Convince a Non-Believer?

How Do I Convince a Non-Believer?

Question

What should I say to convince someone that practicing religion isn’t a waste of time?

Answer

A good place to start is the issue of happiness. Every human being by nature desires his or her own happiness. As Thomas Aquinas writes, “To desire happiness is nothing else than to desire that one’s will be satisfied. And this everyone desires” (Summa Theologiae I-II:5:8).

But whatever satisfaction we receive from the goods that satisfy our wills is always subject to being undermined. Consider, for instance, how easily bodily and material goods can be taken away from us. Many healthy people wake up and discover that they have a life-threatening illness, with only a few months to live. Natural disasters can take away our material goods in an instant. Can one actually be content knowing that these evils could pop up any day?

There is also the looming threat of death. Any goods that we possess in this life will ultimately be lost, since “the living know that they will die” (Eccl. 9:5). I don’t think any sane person likes the idea that all the goods of this life could be wiped out at any moment by death.

Religion offers a solution to these various aspects of the problem of happiness in some way or another. And since every human being cares about his or her own happiness, he or she should care about religion. I will speak here only of the Christian religion.

Christianity says that there is an ultimate good for us to possess that can in no way be lost. That ultimate good is God himself, and full possession of him is to be had in heaven. And any goods that we lose in this life will not be missed, because God himself will completely satisfy the will’s desire. This experience of complete satisfaction, of happiness, is unending and free of all looming threats that could possibly undermine it.

Christianity also gives a solution to the issues of happiness with its teaching that Jesus Christ has conquered death. In as much as man must die, he can live again with a glorified body in the new heaven and new earth on condition that he dies in friendship with Christ. And such life is forever, free from corruption and the threat of death.

The bottom line is that Christianity is crucial because it offers man the key to being man fully alive. It offers a total and perfect state of happiness that is definitive and unending. And that hope for eternal life is such that Paul can say, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”

Why We Are Obligated To Teach And Warn Our Children Of Hell

Why We Are Obligated To Teach And Warn Our Children Of Hell

How We Are Obligated To Teach And Warn Our Children Of Hell.

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‘The Blessed Virgin, one’s guardian angel, all the saints, love a man, however wicked, as long as he lives on earth. 

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But once he is condemned by God, then God’s friends agree in God’s judgment and condemnation. For all eternity they will not have a kind thought for this wretched soul. Rather 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.) 

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‘They will abhor him. 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” – Mk. 14:21).’ 

– (St. Anthony Mary Claret).

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At Portugal 100 years ago, Our Lady of Fatima chose to appear to three poor children to give Her messages to them to avoid the wrath of Heaven for man’s numerous sins. Our Lady showed them the fire of Hell. She exposes the children to a vision of the suffering in Hell, in order to move them to try and stop more souls from falling into Hell. She wants them to suffer greatly here below, in order to stop souls having to suffer even more greatly in Hell below! Do we have the courage to tell that to our ten, eight and seven year olds? Or have we desensitized ourselves to the bitterness and pain of Hell, by our sugary and painless version of the Faith today? 
Today, to speak of Hell is almost a tabboo—not just in Liberal circles, but also in Conservative circles. We could almost rephrase the saying: “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil” into “Speak not of Hell, Listen not about Hell, Think not of Hell” and perhaps with some luck, Hell will just go away and leave us alone! “Let sleeping dogs lie” and so “Let the devil lie”! Well, actually, the devil will lie, but not in the way we think! He won’t lie down, but he will tell lie upon lie to drag our souls into Hell. Some of those lies are: 

There is no Hell! There is no devil! There is no sin! Just believe in Jesus and you are saved! All souls go to Heaven, no matter what! 

Our Lady burst that bubble of lies at Fatima. Yes, there is a Hell. Yes, there is a Purgatory. Yes, most souls go to Hell. Yes, the good, sweet, loving God does punish little girls in Purgatory and keeps them there until the end of the world. Yes, God does demand a lot of suffering from us in this world, even from little children, if we and they want to avoid Hell for ourselves and those around us. This R-rated apparition was not shown to adults, but to little children, aged ten, eight and seven. What is our version of the Faith like? Is it full of realism, like Our Lady’s version? Or is it sugary, honeyed, candied, fun-loving cartoon version of the Faith! “Be not deceived, God is not mocked!” (Galatians 6:7). “Unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish!” (Luke 13:3). Those who end up in Hell, find that there is no sugar, honey, candy or popcorn down there! Isn’t that the message Our Lady tried to communicate, before we twisted, watered-down and sugared her version of the story?

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Let us not be afraid of Hell. Let us not be afraid to suffer much to avoid Hell. Let us not be afraid to tell our children, family, relatives and friends about Hell. For Our Lady was not afraid to come from Heaven to tell us these things!

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How A Young Child Was Condemned To Hell As Told By Pope St Gregory The Great. 

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Let us not doubt that baptized babies who die in their infant years will enter into the heavenly Kingdom. We should not, however, believe that all those infants who have begun to speak will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. For the entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven will be closed to many babies because of their parents’ bad rearing. In this city, there lives a certain man who is known to all; three years ago, this man had a son who, if I recall, would then have been about five years old, for whom he had such human love that he did not even try to discipline him. 

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For this reason, the boy, when someone prevented him from getting his way, used to blaspheme the magnificence of God – and let me emphasize that this is something dangerous. 

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When, three years ago, a deadly plague fell upon the region where he lived, this young boy succumbed to it and was near death. As eyewitnesses recounted, while the father took the child into his arms, the boy himself saw evil spirits coming for him. The boy began to tremble, to blink his eyes in fear, and to cry out in despair to his father: “Father, save me, protect me.” Simultaneously, as he cried, he turned his face towards his father’s chest, as though wanting to be hidden. 

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When the father saw his son trembling, in agony he asked him what he had seen. The son answered: “Black creatures came to me and wanted to take me away with them.” No sooner had he finished this phrase, than he immediately blasphemed the name of the Divine Magnificence and, with this blasphemy, expired. 

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Thus, God, the All-Powerful, in order to show by what sin the boy was given over to these evil servants, allowed him to die with this sin which his father, while the boy was alive, did nothing to prevent. And this boy whom God allowed, by His mercy, to live as a blasphemer, by His righteous judgment was also permitted to blaspheme at his death, so that his careless father might know well his sin. For this father, being indifferent to the soul of his young son, reared for the Gehenna of fire not an insignificant sinner, but a great sinner.’ 

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– Pope St. Gregory the Great

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The Blessed Virgin Reveals to a Great Sinner How a Child Had Been Condemned to hell for Mortal Sin.

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This story comes from by Rupensis (Ros. Sacr. p. 5, c. 60.), and by  Boniface (Stor. Virg. 1. 1, c. 11.), that in Florence there lived a young girl, named Benedetta (the blessed), although she might better have been called Maladetta (the cursed), from the evil life she was living. One day she received the Grace of hearing St. Dominic preach and recieved confession and absolution from the saint and was directed by him to pray the Rosary daily. The girl soon gave way to sin once again and back to her wicked life. God, in order to confirm her in her good life, one day showed hell to her, and some persons there who had been already condemned on her account. Then opening a book, he made her read in it the frightful record of her sins. The penitent shuddered at the sight, and, full of confidence, had recourse to Mary, asked her help, and learned that this divine mother had already obtained from God for her time enough to mourn for her numerous sins. After the Vision, The Blessed Virgin revealed many mercies our Lord and Lady have done for her but She also revealed to her that a child of only eight years of age, with one mortal sin only, had been that day condemned to hell!



Do The Saints In Heaven Suffer Emotionally If Their Loved Ones Are In Hell? 

Do The Saints In Heaven Suffer Emotionally If Their Loved Ones Are In Hell? 

A theologian responds: Our relationship with God prevails over bonds of affection.

In Christian theology, the beatific vision (Latin: visio beatifica) is the ultimate direct self communication of God to the individual person. A person possessing the beatific vision reaches, as a member of redeemed humanity in the communion of saints, perfect salvation in its entirety, i.e. heaven.

Now, While enjoying the beatific vision, will the blessed in Heaven suffer, if they have loved ones in Hell?

For an answer to this question, we turn to Giacomo Canobbio, a professor of systematic theology at the Theology School of Northern Italy. “The question,” Canobbio told Aleteia, “presupposes that relationships after death are like those in our present life. It’s inevitable that we think that way: it’s the only way we know, because we have no experience at all of life after death, and the accounts of those who claim to have arrived at the threshold of Heaven and to have returned then to this world are totally unfounded. Affective relationships are pillars of human existence and bring with them joy or suffering, according to how the people we love rejoice or suffer.”


Full or empty?

The question, Canobbio continues, “also presupposes that there are people in Hell. In past years, some people have disseminated the idea that Hell is empty because God, who loves His children, could not bear to see them suffer forever. We need to clarify that no one can say if Hell is empty or full. It’s worth remembering that the Church can proclaim someone to be a saint, but cannot declare whether anyone is damned. Therefore, we cannot state with certainty that Hell is purely imaginary. What is in play is the seriousness of our relationship with God, which entails responsibility, the twin sister of freedom.”

Like when a sick person isn’t at a wedding.

Therefore, that being said, supposing that someone I love were in Hell and I were in Heaven, how could I be happy, knowing that the person is in a situation of terrible suffering? “The question brings another along with it: How can God be in the fullness of beatitude if some of His children, for whom Jesus Christ gave His life, do not come to participate in the beatitude for which He destined them? To use an example: Could we imagine a wedding banquet made joyless because someone connected to the spouses by ties of affection is sick in the hospital? This is just an example that helps us to understand that, as important as affective relationships are, they are not the source of beatitude; rather, our relationship with God is.”


The damned

Moreover, the theologian continues, “any description of Hell must specify that those who are damned are cut off from any and every affective relationship: their decision to build their life without accepting a loving relationship with God deprives them of every other relationship, and therefore also of that with their loved ones who are in heaven.”


In fact, if such relationships were to remain, “they would not be deprived of all consolation, and therefore, they would not be in Hell.”

Relationship with God

“What I have said,” Canobbio warns, “are merely a few hesitant words regarding hypothetical situations. What it would seem could be said with fair plausibility is that the source of beatitude in Heaven does not depend on the relationships we had during our earthly life; rather, it arises from our relationship with God.”


Just one, all-satisfying emotion.

Consequently, are the souls that are in Heaven able to perceive and to experience emotions in response to what happens to them? Here, the theologian is clear: “In the description of beatitude, we must include all aspects of human existence. Regarding emotions, we most certainly cannot deny their existence. Still, a clarification is needed: there is only one emotion in Heaven, namely that of fullness and satisfaction, because [people in Heaven] have reached the goal for which human persons are destined.”

“We will see and we will love”

Lastly, in the scholastic tradition, Canobbio concludes, “the accent was placed on ‘vision’ and therefore the satisfaction of the intellect. However, there was also a line of thought—of Augustinian origin—that placed the accent on the affective aspect, joining it to the intellectual dimension: we will see, and we will love. And, there is no satisfaction that does not include emotion, even if that emotion isn’t conceived of as an alternation of moods.”


Source:

Aleteia




A Study Of The Doctrine Of Hell: Proportionate Gifts For Those In Heaven And Proportionate Sufferings For Those In Hell 

A Study Of The Doctrine Of Hell: Proportionate Gifts For Those In Heaven And Proportionate Sufferings For Those In Hell 


…continued

Proportionate Gifts For Those in Heaven AND Proportionate Sufferings For Those in Hell


The Catholic Catechism states:

Again at the Last Judgment all men get their bodies back and each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare and it is revealed to all even to its furthest consequences, the good each person has done or failed to do (CCC 1039). 

At this time the saved will enjoy the Blessed or Beatific Vision proportionate to how they lived their lives. In other words people who had a higher degree of holiness attained in their life (through the grace of God), will enjoy Heaven for all eternity more than if they would have attained a lower degree of holiness in their lifetime. 

St. Therese of Lesieux used the famous analogy that all in Heaven have their own drinking cup completely full. She stated some have a full large drinking mug while others have a full thimble to illustrate this point of proportionate heavenly blessings. 

Likewise, the people who are condemned to hell and rejected God in a more complete fashion, will undergo greater punishments and torments in hell for all eternity than someone who rejected God, but to a lesser extent. The punishment of the damned is proportioned to each one’s guilt. There is not equality of pain for those in hell but rather a disparity based on their guilt in this life, or as the Council of Lyons and Florence asserted: 

The souls of the damned are punished with unequal punishments (‘poenis tamen disparibus puniendas‘). 

St. Augustine in the 400’s A.D. affirmed that justice demands that punishment be proportional to the guilt of a person: ‘In their wretchedness the lot of some of the damned will be more tolerable than that of others.’ We will look at this in more detail later, including things that our Lord Jesus said about this in the Gospels and St. Paul’s reaffirmations of these warnings in Romans 2:5-9, 2 Corinthians 5:10, and elsewhere.

…to be continued



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