CHRISTIANS IN HELL KNOW THEY HAVE BEEN GIVEN ALL THE GRACES NECESSARY FOR SALVATION
What cruel swords of anguish and remorse for the damned will the lights, the calls, and all the other graces be which they received from God in order to repent and be saved! They will say: “We might have become saints and happy for ever in Heaven, but now, alas, we must be forever miserable in hell!”
What cruel swords of anguish for the damned will the lights, the calls, and all the other graces be which they received from God! They will say: “We might have been saints and happy for ever in Heaven; but now we must be forever miserable in hell!”
The greatest torment of the damned will be to reflect that they are lost through their own fault, their own will, notwithstanding that Jesus Christ died to save them. “God,” they will say, “gave His life for our salvation and we fools, of our own free will, have cast ourselves into this furnace of fire to burn forever! Heaven lost! God lost! Ourselves eternally miserable!”
Such will be the eternal lamentations of the damned.
O my God, despised and forsaken by me, grant that I may find Thee whilst time yet remains for me to repent. For this end, grant me, O my Redeemer, to share in that sorrow which overwhelmed Thee in the Garden of Gethsemani for my sins. I am sorry above every evil for having offended Thee. Receive me into Thy favour, O Jesus, now that I promise to love Thee, and to love no other but Thee.
Represent to yourself a sick man in great pain and suffering, who has none to pity him, but many to load him with injuries, to reproach him with his disorders, and to ill-treat him with great rage. The damned are treated far worse. They suffer all kinds of torments, without the slightest compassion from anyone. But, at least, cannot the damned love God Who justly punishes them? Ah, no; while they know that God is sovereignly amiable, they are constrained to hate Him. This is hell, not to be able to love the Sovereign Good, which is God.
If the damned could resign themselves to the Divine will, as pious souls in their sufferings are now able to do, hell would no longer be hell. But no; the damned shall rage like wild beasts under the scourge of Divine justice, and their rage shall serve but to increase their torments. If, then, O Jesus, I were in hell, I should be incapable of loving Thee, but have to hate Thee forever! And what evil hast Thou done me, for which I should hate Thee? Thou hast created me, Thou hast died for me; Thou hast bestowed upon me many special graces. These are the evils which Thou hast done me. Chastise me as Thou pleasest, but do not deprive me of the power of loving Thee. I love Thee, my Jesus, and I desire ever to love Thee.
Consider the terror of the soul on its first entrance into hell: “Am I, then, really damned?” it will ask, “or is it all a hideous dream?” It will think whether there can be any remedy; but will find that there can be no remedy–none, for all eternity!
Millions of ages will pass away, as many ages as there are drops of water in the sea, or grains of sand on the earth, or leaves upon the trees; and hell will still be hell, eternity will still be only commencing!
At least, may not the damned be able to flatter themselves, saying: “Who knows but that hell may one day come to an end?” No, for in hell there can be no who knows? The damned will be most certain that all the torments which they suffer every moment will continue throughout eternity. O my God, do men believe in hell and yet commit sin?
All the greater will the torment of those be who often meditated on hell, and yet by sin condemned themselves to its torments. Ah, let us not lose time, but let us renounce sin and give ourselves to Jesus Christ! All that we can do to avoid hell will be but little. Let us be persuaded of this and tremble; he that trembles not will not be saved.
O my Jesus, Thy Precious Blood, Thy Death, are my hope! Let others abandon me, but do not Thou abandon me! I see that Thou hast not as yet abandoned me, since Thou still invitest me to pardon, if I will but repent of my sins, and Thou still offerest me Thy grace and Thy love if I will but love Thee. Yes, my Jesus, my Life, my Treasure, my Love, I will ever bewail my offences against Thee, and will ever love Thee with my whole heart. My God, if I have lost Thee, I will lose Thee no more. Tell me what Thou requirest of me, and I will endeavour to comply with Thy will in all things; grant that I may live and die in Thy grace, and then dispose of me as Thou pleasest. O Mary, my hope, be thou my protectress, and suffer me never again to lose my God.