Hell exists, and is eternal. This is a serious warning for the world; that it can not continue to tread toward the destructive path without consequences. God awaits every moment of our lives for us to turn back to him, to live as we are designed and meant to live – that is, in purity and love; with our dignity and integrity intact.
But what is Hell like, and is there any evidence that such a thing exists?
Firstly, I think Hell is already an obvious reality in this life. We see that those who willfully separate themselves from God in order to live immoral lives embrace darkness by hiding their activities from the society, because they know that what they do is not an honorable thing. This willful separation from light and communion, when carried into Eternity without repenting from it while on Earth, is what Hell is. It is the eternal separation from God, who is the source and end of all that is good. Isaiah 29:15-16 says,
|Woe to those who hide deep from the LORD their counsel, whose deeds are in the dark, and who say, “Who sees us? Who knows us?“ You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay; that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me“; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding“?|
Indeed, any immoral deed is a self-centred disorder, for it goes against the natural law that is apparent in our conscience, and places our selfish wants in its place. Imagine a man who says, “I don’t like this gravity which keeps me bound to the floor, so I shall walk out of my 46th floor office window to be free of it” and expect to not receive some sort of consequences going against that particular natural law. We recognize the disorder here, because it’s consequences are physical and apparent. Yet it is the same with moral law, only the consequences are spiritual and, thus, not so apparent to our eyes.
We tend to be better at dealing with the quantitative than the qualitative, but that is only due to our shortsightedness – we think that only what is apparent is reality, when in fact reality exists regardless of how much we can perceive of it. Sin contravenes the moral law, and Hell is a consequence of this: of our own stubbornness and pride, our willful failure to turn back and right the wrongs in our lives.
Let us turn our attention now to a place in Portugal, called Fátima. This is the place of one of the most famous apparitions of Blessed Virgin Mary. Here, in 1917, Our Lady (as Catholics like to refer to her) appeared to three children: Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. In one of the three “Secrets of Fatima”, she allowed them to see a vision of Hell. The Message of Fatima, published by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, details the revelation:
“Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze… amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear.”
This is a terrible picture, one that should leave us first with an impression, and ultimately to do whatever is necessary to avoid it; and this includes a resolution to rid of all sin in our lives.
A YouTube video of a Monsignor’s homily on Our Lady of Fatima and hell links her messages to perhaps the greatest problem of our age: sexual impurity. As he points out, Our Lady at Fatima revealed that, “More souls go to Hell because of the sins of the flesh than for any other reason”. Is this any wonder? Looking at the culture today, the rubbish that frequents our lounge via the TV, and wide availability of pornographic material via the World Wide Web…. no, it isn’t any wonder.
It is a fearful and dreadful irony that we, as a society, have embraced our downfall with wide-open arms, rejecting all that is good and holy, including the love that is due to the human persons being made into objects of sexual perversion. This way, we gradually reject what makes us human – in caring for our fellow human persons as human persons – and turn ourselves into beasts.
A Catholic Answers article responds to the question, “What’s wrong with looking at pornography?, It’s not like you’re getting a girl pregnant or spreading STDs.” It’s sad that such a question needs to be posed in the first place, but it is wise and necessary for us to give sound reasons, in order to counter the spreading of this spiritual affliction.
Eternity. “How long is that”, one might ask. Imagine, if it were possible, scooping out the ocean one teaspoonful at a time. Would that take a long time? Yes; but by the time when one has finished with that, eternity is only beginning. Eternity is “long”, precisely because it is not within time. Eternity and Heaven/hell are outside of space-time. It has no beginning, and no end, and we participate in this after our short stay on Earth, in this space-time, is over. Indeed, what is even a hundred years in comparison to Eternity? The choice is ours, here and now:
|“See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil. If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it. But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess. I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19)|