Francis’ words on Hell, “the eternal abyss of solitude”

  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::element_type() should be compatible with views_handler_field::element_type($none_supported = false, $default_empty = false, $inline = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::query() should be compatible with views_handler::query($group_by = false) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_query::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_query.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_user::init() should be compatible with views_handler_field::init(&$view, $options) in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/modules/user/views_handler_field_user.inc on line 0.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • strict warning: Non-static method views_many_to_one_helper::option_definition() should not be called statically, assuming $this from incompatible context in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_many_to_one.inc on line 23.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 1113.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.
  • strict warning: Only variables should be passed by reference in /home/abounaor/public_html/english/sites/all/modules/captcha/captcha.inc on line 61.

Francis’ words on Hell, “the eternal abyss of solitude”

By Andrea Tornielli/ lastampa.it

Pope Bergoglio has cited Hell many times, which is not a place but a state in which one chooses to be by rejecting the love of God.

In the first five years of his pontificate, Pope Francis spoke several times of the devil, a tempting being, and on various occasions he also mentioned Hell. The chief punishment of hell, reads the Catechism of the Catholic Church at number 1035, “is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs”. The Church’s Magisterium teaches that after earthly death there exists a state, not a place, which belongs to those who died in grave sin and lost sanctifying grace through a personal act. This state involves the painful deprivation of God’s vision.

Pope Bergoglio made his first explicit quotation to Hell on 21 March 2014, in the Roman parish of San Gregorio VII, while meeting the members of “Liberaˮ an Italian association that fights the mafia. “I feel that I cannot conclude without saying a word to the absent bosses today, to those absent but central figures: the men and women of the mafia. Please, change your lives, convert, stop, cease to do evil! We are praying for you. Convert, I ask it on my knees; it is for your own good. This life you are living now, it won’t bring you pleasure, it won’t give you joy, it won’t bring you happiness. The power, the money, that you possess now from so many dirty transactions, from so many mafia crimes, is blood-stained money, it is power soaked in blood, and you cannot take it with you to the next life. Convert, there is still time, so that you don’t end up in hell. That is what awaits you if you continue on this path. You had a father and a mother: think of them. Cry a little and convert.”

Three months later, on 11 June 2014, Francis returns on the subject, speaking off the cuff during the Wednesday audience dedicated to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. “When a person lives in evil, when one blasphemes against God, when one exploits others, when he tyrannizes them, when he lives only for money, for vanity, or power, or pride, then the holy fear of God sends us a warning: be careful! With all this power, with all this money, with all of your pride, with all your vanity, you will not be happy. No one can take it with them to the other side: not the money, power, vanity or pride. Nothing! We can only take the love that God the Father gives us, God’s embrace, accepted and received by us with love. And we can take what we have done for others. Take care not to place your hope in money or pride, power or vanity, because they can promise you nothing good!”.

Although he does not explicitly mention the word Hell, the reference to a painful “stateˮ after death”, which is intended for those who until the very end reject God, is evident. “I am thinking, for example, of people who have responsibility for others and allow themselves to become corrupt; do you think a corrupt person will be happy on the other side? No, all the fruit of his corruption has corrupted his heart and it will be difficult for him to go to the Lord. I am thinking of those who live off human trafficking or slave labor; do you think these people who traffic persons, who exploit people through slave labor have love for God in their hearts? No, they haven’t fear of the Lord and they are not happy. They are not. I am thinking of those who manufacture weapons for fomenting wars; just think about what kind of job this is. I am certain that if I were to ask: how many of you manufacture weapons? No one, no one. These weapons manufacturers don’t come to hear the Word of God! These people manufacture death, they are merchants of death and they make death into a piece of merchandise. May fear of the Lord make them understand that one day all things will come to an end and they will have to give account to God.”

At the Angelus of 2 November 2014, the commemoration day of all the faithful departed, the Pope prayed as follows, “Look upon us with mercy, born of the tenderness of your heart, and help us to walk in the ways of complete purification. Let none of your children be lost in the eternal fire, where there can be no repentance”.

On March 8, 2015, in conversation with the parishioners of Santa Maria Madre del Redentore a Tor Bella Monaca, Pope Bergoglio said: “You know that there was an angel who was very proud, very proud; and he was very intelligent. He was envious of God, do you understand? He was envious of God. He wanted God’s place. And God wanted to forgive him, but he said: “I don’t need forgiveness, I am enough for myself! This is Hell: to say to God: “You take care of yourself, that I take care of myself”. You are not sent to Hell: you go there on your own, because you choose to be there. Hell is wanting to distance oneself from God because you do not want God’s love. This is Hell. Have you understood? It’s a theology a bit... easy to explain, but that’s what it is. The devil is in Hell because he wanted it: never a relationship with God”.

“But if you are ... think of a sinner: if you were a dreadful sinner, with all the sins of the world, all of them; and then, they condemn you to the death penalty; and when you are there, you say blasphemies, insults, many things... And when you go there, to the death penalty, when you are about to die, you look to Heaven and say: “Lord...!” Where do you go, to Heaven or Hell?... You go to Heaven, because there was another one who was a thief, one of those thieves... He was crucified near Jesus. And one of these two thieves insulted Jesus. This one did not believe Jesus; he endured pain to the point of death. But at one point, something moved inside of him and he said, “Lord, have mercy on me! And what did Jesus say? Do you remember what he said? “Today, tonight, you shall be with me in Paradise. Why? Because he said “remember”, “look at me”. To Hell go only the one who says to God: “I don’t need You, I take care of myself alone”, as the devil did, who is the only one whom we are sure is in Hell”.

At the end of 2015 the Pope’s message for Lent 2016 was made known. The text reads: “ The corporal and spiritual works of mercy must never be separated. By touching the flesh of the crucified Jesus in the suffering, sinners can receive the gift of realizing that they too are poor and in need. By taking this path, the “proud”, the “powerful” and the “wealthy” spoken of in the Magnificat can also be embraced and undeservedly loved by the crucified Lord who died and rose for them. This love alone is the answer to that yearning for infinite happiness and love that we think we can satisfy with the idols of knowledge, power and riches. Yet the danger always remains that by a constant refusal to open the doors of their hearts to Christ who knocks on them in the poor, the proud, rich and powerful will end up condemning themselves and plunging into the eternal abyss of solitude which is Hell”.

On 25 November 2016, in the homily of the mass at Santa Marta Bergoglio, he dwelt on a phrase from the Apocalypse: “Then death and hell were thrown into the pool of fire”. “Eternal damnation is not a torture chamber. That’s a description of this second death: it is a death. And those who will not be received in the Kingdom of God, it’s because they have not drawn close to the Lord. These are the people who journeyed along their own path, distancing themselves from the Lord and passing in front of the Lord but then choosing to walk away from Him. Eternal damnation is continually distancing oneself from God. it is the greatest pain, an unsatisfied heart, a heart that was created to find God but which, out of arrogance and self-confidence, distances itself from God”.

Instead Jesus tried to attract the proud “with words of meekness” saying: “Come”. And he says so to forgive. “But the proud - Francis continued - draw away, they go their own way and this is eternal damnation: far from the God who gives happiness, from the God who loves us so much”. In reality, we “do not know” if “they are many”, but “we only know that this is the path of eternal damnation”. The drawing away, therefore, is “the fire of not being able to approach God because I do not want to”. It is the attitude of those “who every time the Lord approached them, would say: “Go away, I can take care of myself”. And they continue to get by in eternity: this is tragic”.

Finally, on May 13, 2017, in the homily of the Mass of the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Fatima, celebrated in the parvis of the great Marian shrine in Portugal, Francis recalled the image from the book of revelation of the woman clothed with the sun, about to give birth to a child: “The Virgin Mother did not come here so that we could see her. We will have all eternity for that, provided, of course, that we go to heaven. Our Lady foretold, and warned us about, a way of life that is godless and indeed profanes God in his creatures. Such a life – frequently proposed and imposed – risks leading to hell. Mary came to remind us that God’s light dwells within us and protects us”.

These are the words spoken publicly or written by Francis, which recall what the Church believes in Hell. And on the day the Pope invites us to greet his predecessor and to wish him “Happy Easter!” from all the faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square, it is comforting to recall an answer from Benedict XVI found in the book-interview with Peter Seewald “Ultime conversazioniˮ. When asked if he had a favorite prayer, the Pope Emeritus answered by quoting more than one. Among these, also that of Saint Francis Xavier, “I love you not because you can give me Paradise or condemn me to hell, but because you are my God. I love you because you are you”.

Thu, 04/05/2018 - 18:33
Comment through the site Comment through facebook

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.