REMORSE OF CHRISTIANS IN HELL
The greatest torment the damned will have to suffer in hell will be from themselves; from their own remorse of conscience. Their worm dieth not. Alas, what a cruel worm will it be to Christians who are lost in hell, to remember for what trifles they have damned their souls!
The greatest torment the damned will have to suffer in hell will be from themselves; from their own remorse of conscience. Their worm dieth not. Alas, what a cruel worm will it be to Christians who are lost in hell, to remember for what trifles they have damned their souls! Have we, then, they will say, for such trifling, transitory, and poisonous gratifications, lost Heaven and God for ever and condemned ourselves to this prison of eternal torments? We had the happiness of being of the true Faith; but, forsaking God, we led miserable lives, to be succeeded by another life still more miserable in this pool of fire! God favoured us with so many lights, so many means of salvation, and we miserably chose to damn ourselves!
O my Jesus, thus should I now have been bewailing my misery in hell if Thou hadst let me die when I was in sin. I thank thee for the mercies Thou hast shown me, and detest all the sins that I have committed against Thee. Had I been in hell, I could no longer have loved Thee; but since I can still love Thee, I desire to love Thee with all my heart. I love Thee, my God, my Love, my All!
What does our past life appear at present but as a dream, a moment? But what will a life on earth of forty or fifty years appear to the damned, when, after hundreds and thousands of millions of years have passed away, they find that their eternity is only commencing?
How will those miserable pleasures for which they have sacrificed their salvation appear to them then? They will say: “Have we, then, for these accursed gratifications, which were scarcely tasted before they were ended, have we condemned ourselves to burn forever in this furnace of fire, abandoned by all, and for all eternity?”
Another subject of remorse will be the thought of the little they were required to do in order to be saved. They will say: “Had we pardoned those injuries; had we overcome that human respect, had we avoided those occasions, we should not have now been lost.”
It would not have cost us much to avoid those conversations; to deprive ourselves of those accursed gratifications; to yield that point of honour? Whatever it would have cost us, we should have been willing to do everything to obtain salvation; but we were not willing, and now there is no remedy for our eternal ruin. Had we frequented the Sacraments; had we not neglected Meditation; had we recommended ourselves to God, we should not have fallen into sin. We frequently proposed to do this, but we did it not. We sometimes began a good course, but we did not persevere in it, and hence we are lost for ever!
O God of my soul, how many times have I promised to love Thee, and have again turned my back upon Thee? Oh, by that love with which Thou didst die for me on the Cross, grant me sorrow for my sins, grant me grace to love Thee, and ever to have recourse to Thee in the time of temptation!