Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Time of Recollection

Remedies against sin.

The worst of last things is Hell. Nowadays, hardly anyone believes in it but disbelief does not change the reality of Hell. It is real - we read about it in the Holy Scriptures, Jesus Christ mentioned it on several occasions - therefore it must be real - Our Lord could only say the truth. The reason also confirms Hell's reality, for in the world we cannot find absolute justice, there is little inclination and admiration for virtue but instead desire for vice and crime prevails. Just men can be consoled by thoughts of eternal prize of Heaven for virtue and punishment of Hell for vice. It could be hard to imagine that just man would share holy place like Heavens with criminals like Nero or Hitler. Mere reason tells us there must be separate place of penance for souls deformed so heavily by sin. It is obvious that sinners would always try to deny Hell's existence out of natural fear of punishment. How then the grace of merciful God fits into this picture of Heaven and Hell? We cannot blame God for our own misery. For example, before Jerusalem destruction, there was a great increase in grace and many warnings. Similar increase in grace and sometimes many warnings are granted by God before sinner is finally condemned to eternal punishment. We need to be watchful not to miss the rescue rope send by God's Providence. Every sinner in Hell hear the words: "how often would I .....and thou wouldest not? " (Luke 13:34). We need to think about last things more often in particular in moments of temptation. St Bernard said once that it is better to 'visit' imaginative hell during meditation as a remedy for sin than to spend there eternity after death.

Image of Hell by Hieronimus Bosch