The CAPG's Blog

Sunday February 09, 2020

There is a Hell for the Wicked

How is it possible that a merciful God could punish with eternal misery poor human being for slips and faults of natural weakness? Why does He create them? Does He rejoice in calling persons into existence to damn them? God created us for eternal happiness; heaven is our destiny. Those who succeed in damning themselves, do it against the will of God. 

God, though infinite in His mercy is infinite in all His perfections: He is infinitely just. No punishment which He can inflict upon him who dies in mortal sin will be commensurate with His justice unless that punishment be boundless in its intensity and eternal in its duration.

I do not understand how anybody can believe in a God without believing in everlasting punishment. The very existence of God calls for a hell of the wicked where the worm never dies and the fire shall never be quenched. He who dies in mortal sin remains in that sin, as the Scripture assures us: "Wherever the tree falleth there it shall lie." He remains for all eternity as he died: the enemy of God. And God must for all eternity treat him as His enemy. Reason, I repeat, requires the existence of hell; therefore, all ages and all nations have believed in it. The pagans firmly believed in it; they spoke of the wicked dead as suffering endless banishment and as being condemned to endless labor and torment.

It is not credit to our enlightened age if it records the names of individuals who became conspicuous by sneering at the mention of hell, who pretended there was no such place or state or hell-fire or everlasting punishment. Odes such an impudent denial destroy the doctine of hell? Besides, hell is not an opinion, and not even a mere doctrine, but hell is a real fact; reason and revelation convince us of the existence of this fact. Can a man do away with a fact by denying it? Is there no such city as San Francisco, because you deny it on the ground that you never saw it? Does the sun cease to shine as soon as you state: The sun is not shining? Moreover, did ever a learned man prove that there was no hell? Voltaire and Rousseau made a desperate attempt to prove the non-existence of hell, but all that these blasphemers accomplished was to assert boldly that perhaps there was no hell. Against such a silly perhaps we have sound reason supported by the infallible word of God to convince us of hell. Yes, there is a hell, and those who refuse to believe in it will be cast into it forever. The wicked may wish that there be no hell and laugh at the idea of it: Jesus Christ, the Son of God, shall say to them on the last day: "Depart from Me, ye accursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels." Such is the just retribution of mortal sin, which is a turning away from God for the sake of a created thing. The damned are deprived of ever seeing God. This is the greatest of all imaginable sufferings, and yet it is a most appropriate punishment: He who has rejected God on earth, shall be rejected by Him for all eternity.

As soon as the wicked soul leaves the body in death, it shall realize the irreparable loss of God, and find itself cast away from the face of God forever. It shall be sunk into the flames of hell, into a sea of fire. The soul, without the body, can be reached by this fire; God shall cause all those sensations in the soul which it had when lodged in the body. The fire of hell, set ablaze to punish the Wicked, is not like earthly fire; it does not consume, but preserves; it does not give light, but causes extreme darkness.

The unspeakable torment of hell is waiting for you if you die in a grievous sin. Make up your mind to avoid such an eternal misfortune at the risk of losing everything temporal.

Source: Spiritual Pepper and Salt for Catholics and Non-Catholics by Bishop William Stang.