Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Time of Recollection

Remedies against sin, part 3

We will continue to meditate on the doctrine of Hell. Both Old Testament Prophets and Our Lord and His Apostles taught this doctrine.
Prophet Isaias warned us about torments of ill conscience in Hell: "their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched: and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh." (Isaias 66:24), whereas Our Lord said about sinners' fate: "And these shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting."(Matt 25:46). We can read more in St Mark Gospel (9:43) and in St Matthew about: "the chaff..will burn with unquenchable fire." (Matt 3:12) and also: "It is better for thee to go into life maimed or lame, than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into everlasting fire... It is better for thee having one eye to enter into life, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire." (Matt 18:8-10). St Paul told us about: "eternal punishment" (2 Tess 1:9). Severity of punishment for sins committed during temporal life may look out of proportion when compared to eternity of Hell. However, the murderer commits his crime during several minutes but needs to serve his punishment for many years. According to the Holy Scripture, time given us on earth is that of trial before eternity. If we pass this trial we deserve the prize of eternal life of happiness in Heaven but failing would bring sufferings of Hell. This simple truth helps keeping earthly life in order. Without fear of Hell's eternity, men would become soon like to beast. God is just, therefore Hell is necessary to separate sinners and just. It will be good to remember in times of temptation terrifying picture described by the Prophet of Patmos: "And the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever: neither have they rest day nor night" (Apocalypse 14:11)

Picture is "Dante's vision of Hell"