Sunday, February 7, 2010

POP QUIZ! What's Mentioned In The Bible 90 Times By Jesus?

Everyday, roughly 150,000 people die. That's a huge number, 150,000. So that means that if everyday roughly 150,000 people die, roughly 150,000 souls makes their journey from this life to the next.

How many of those souls are thrown into Hell?

If roughly 150,000 people die everyday, then that boils down to roughly 100 die every minute.

So, lets say 'Christine' just passed away and has made her journey to the afterlife.

'Christine' was a nice girl. She liked kittens, she helped out her local cat rescue and gave money to her local animal shelter.

But 'Christine' was just thrown into Hell.

'Christine' had no religion to speak of. She was just a nice person.

But right now 'Christine' is burning in Hell.

"But Traddy!", you say "God is merciful. He wouldn't throw a nice person like Christine into Hell!"

Well, in the post Vatican II world, where black is white and vice versa, that's most likely what you've come to understand about God and his mercy. But the reality is quite different.

Jesus Christ, our savior, mentioned Hell 90 times throughout the Bible.

90 times.

He mentioned Heaven just 27 times. So clearly he had an agenda.

When Saint Paul wrote his 12th Epistle to the Phillipians he said: "...with fear and trembling work out your salvation."

Fear and trembling?

Was Saint Paul frightened that he would end up in Hell?

You betcha.

And you should be too.

Catholics today have lost their sense of sin, and along with it, their fear of Hell. Hell and sin is not only barely mentioned in the Novus Ordo church, preaching about this doctrine of the church today is actually frowned upon.

People don't like to hear about it. It makes them uncomfortable. It causes them to squirm in the pews. We all know that all you have to do is be 'nice'.

'Nice' isn't mentioned in the Bible, folks. Look it up.

But Hell is.

90 times.

By our savior, Jesus Christ.

If Jesus Christ is our savior, what did he come to save us from? Bad people? Bad movies? Bad curry?

He came to save us from Hell. And yes, His mercy is infinite - on this side of the aisle. When we cross over to the next life and we find ourselves in His presence for our judgement, He is no longer merciful. He's not our cosmic buddy who wants to hug us like the new age movement in the church would like you to believe. He is the Just Judge. The time for mercy and for being forgiven "...seventy times seven." as Matthew wrote in chapter 18 is over. Now it's time to face the music for our actions.

So now, lets go back to 'Christine'. She's been burning in Hell for a few minutes now. She has been cursing God. Damning Him. For her pain and suffering which is what she deserves, she is cursing God. While unimaginable pain and suffering is coursing through her body she is cursing God. And it won't end anytime soon. It will go on for eternity.

How long is eternity? Eternity means forever. If we get a pebble in our shoe, we stop everything to get rid of it right away. Because we don't like it, it's uncomfortable. But 'Chrisitne' will suffer endlessly, with no hope of parole. She will burn forever. Tonight when you go to sleep, she will be burning.

Tomorrow when you get up she will still be burning.

In the 66th chapter of Isaias' prophecy we are told "... And they shall go out, and see the carcasses of the men that have transgressed against me: their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched: and they shall be a loathsome sight to all flesh." In like fashion, Saint Mark wrote "...And if thy foot scandalize thee, cut it off. It is better for thee to enter lame into life everlasting, than having two feet, to be cast into the hell of unquenchable fire: Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished."

You see, in Hell, there is no peace. No love. Only hatred and suffering. Remember when I said 'Christine' is cursing God? It's because that is all that is left for her in her desperation. Our prayers cannot help poor 'Christine' who is "...consigned to flames of woe", as Mozart's Requiem said. 'Christine' will suffer for all eternity. Dante correctly placed above the gates of Hell this motto: "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here". For there is no hope, no peace, no love, nothing but torments and pain.

Why am I telling you this? To save you. It is not me being mean, it is not fear-mongering, it is the truth, as revealed to us by our Lord and savior. We hear the truth so rarely in the Novus Ordo church, that I have to tell you, because they won't say it. You probably don't want to hear this either, because you have grown up in a church that tells you it's ok to pick and choose for yourself what you believe.

It's not.

You have been commanded to do certain things in a certain way. If by your actions you do not follow God's will, then you will be "consigned to flames of woe" for all eternity. You make the choice to follow God or not. Noone else to blame. You. You either do it or you don't.

And let's set someting else straight about God. God doesn't throw you into Hell. You throw yourself. You make the decisions in your life. You have been given free will to do as you please. Most choose unwisely, I'm afraid.

It's that simple.

You see, God HATES sin. He hates when you sin. He hates when I sin. Sin cuts off our souls from the grace of Almighty God. It slowly pinches off our relationship with him until it is no more. And then if we die in sin, we go to Hell. That's it. Hell.


But if we are lucky enough to work out our salvation, and die in a state of grace, we live forever with Him in Heaven, we will reach our goal.

Well, it SHOULD be our goal. Getting to Heaven. That should be everyone's primary goal, and getting our loved ones there should be our goal as well.

We are called to do so, to help our friends and neighbors find the narrow path. That's what "love thy neighbor" means. Not giving them that cup of sugar they want to borrow, or the hedgeclippers. Help them get to Heaven. Keep them out of Hell, that's love.

But it's not easy, I know that. It's hard enough to find the path ourselves and stay put. But that's what we must do.

And 'Christine' continues to burn in the everlasting, the unquenchable fire.

What can you do that 'Christine' didn't?

Well for starters, you can go to Mass every Sunday. On time. If Mass begins at 9, don't show up at 9:10. And don't leave before the priest does, either. Show respect to our Lord and stick it out. It's really not that tough.

Get to confession. Remember how I mentioned God forgives infinitely on this side of the aisle? Take advantage of it. I understand most Catholics today believe they are living saints, with much adoration due to them, but let me give you another sobering dose of reality.

You aren't. Get yourself to confession. The pitifully short lines for the confessional shows that there is much more other than your salvation on your minds. Knock it off. Go to confession. Often.

Follow his Commandments.

Love one another as he loves us. Remember who came to earth and who died upon the cross for our sins because we could not possibly pay the price of our transgressions ourselves. He had to pay the price. He suffered, was tortured, and died a terrible, unimaginably painful death so that you and I could enter the gates. Don't screw up the opportunity He has presented you with.

This is what he Church teaches us. More important, this is what Christ teaches us through His church. Take advantage before it's too late.

And 'Christine'? Well, she continues to burn in Hell. Please do all you can to void her fate.

God bless you.


Al said...

Yes, God is merciful. But we are also warned not to presume on His Mercy. Sadly, too many today don't even do that. they just figure Hell doesn't exist, end of story, no need for Mercy, no need for Jesus to have even died on the cross.

& what is even sadder is the fact that these same people try & use Vatican II to justify it. Vatican II NEVER got rid of Hell, or any of the other teachings that are so often downplayed by the Modernists who claim to be true Catholic & are anything but.

If there is no sin, or Hell, then why is this month's mission prayer intention from the Pope "That the Church, aware of its missionary identity, may strive to follow Christ faithfully and to proclaim his gospel to all peoples."? In other words, the Church is called to evangelize. There is a need to evangelize only if there is a Hell, not simply to make this a better world.

As I said, God IS merciful. But we can reject that mercy. & many Christines & Christophers do just that. & are now in Hell.

Anonymous said...

Very good Sir Rockin One!

Ironically my homily this weekend while it did not directly speak to the issue of Hell, it was on Sin and Grace. In light of the readings I spoke of what Sin does to us, and realizing the power of Sin in the presence of the Holy. I advised that we should not deny we are sinners, but rather own up to it and seek God's mercy, for God cannot have mercy upon us if we don't recognize we are sinners and need it.

I have given homilies on the reality of Hell when the readings call for it. However we have to be careful when we give homilies. The reason priests don't talk about Hell these days is partly becasue the perception back in the old days was that Hell was all priests knew to talk about. Priests in reaction to this now try to shy away from such a topic, choosing instead to talk about Catholic Social Teaching, or God's love, or Heaven, etc.

As for myself, I strike a balance. If the readings call for a homily on Hell and Sin I will talk about it. If on the other hand the readings call for a homily on God's mercy, I will talk about that. Back to my original point: In giving a homily one has to be careful- if you speak too much on any one thing, it will loose it's effect. People will shut you out becasue they get tired of hearing about it. As a priest you don't want to get a reputation for being a one pony show, or a one trick pony, or whatever the saying is.

This is why my homilies on Abortion, Hell, Sin, etc are well timed, and not over done.

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Thanks, Al. Good point. I myself have been guilty of that, it is easy to presume that forgiveness. That's something we can all be working on.

Fr. Dave- Thanks! I understand what you are saying, but the only time I have ever heard a homily on Hell, was from the FSSP and the SSPX. And you are right that it shouldn't be overdone, just as 'love your neighbor and you'll get to Heaven' shouldn't be overdone either. There is so much in our wonderful faith to talk about and teach, that we shouldn't get into a rut talking about one thing or another, but it doesn't seem that is the case.

Anyway, I'm shifting gears on the blog. Moving more into apologetics, I think that is needed more in this trying time in the church, so look for more posts like this one.

God bless ya both!

Anonymous said...

Is our goal really supposed to be to go to heaven, or to live according to God's will? I don't know. I guess I see it as more important to live to God's will and have faith, than try to do good deeds just to earn brownie points to get to heaven and avoid flames. Seems to take something out of doing good things for their own sake, almost turns self-serving. Granted, if you DO God's will and have faith and follow Jesus n' all that, you'll most likely get to heaven. But should that really be our motivation?

- L

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Yes Laura, that should be our goal, as it is God's will for us. He did not create us to go to Hell, he created us to live in paradise with Him and the Church Triumphant.

If you open yourself to God's graces, you are doing God's will in trying to get to Heaven, but not at the expense of others. But be careful, you cannot be selfish, and in not being selfish, in helping others attain the same goal, you are again doing God's will, and that is pleasing to him.

Hope that helps. :-)

Anonymous said...

Well I guess it kind of cancels itself out. Because if you are doing stuff only for yourself, than you're not really following God's will. So I think you're saying part of the path to heaven is to do stuff for His will which is...what will get us there...which is His goal or anyway, to have us with Him...something. lol I don't know. I guess I'm saying it seems lame to be "I will do good things so I can go to heaven yay, everyone look at how great I am thus I deserve heaven!" If that's my only purpose in doing good. It should be more motivated out of good will, doing the right thing as God wants, etc.

But they're not mutually exclusive, is the point, right? Having the goal to be in eternity with God is the point, and to do so you follow His will which IS doing sincerely good deeds (not selfishly) anyway. So to be in eternity with him (which is what He wants) you have to be doing as much as you can to be with Him in life, too. I guess it's a chicken or egg kind of thing...but either way I suppose you can't go wrong following God's will, which is to do good and love others which is what yields heaven and eternity which is what he wants...

I think we're saying the same thing but looking at from different angle slightly. Interesting kind of conundrum though. Damn that Adam and Eve for making it so complicated!

I think I get it. I mean if that IS what He wants, than doing things for Him, and ultimately to get eternity with Him IS doing His will, not being selfish. >_o I guess as long as the person isn't misguided, like, doing everything "right" and not sinning just for eternal happiness, while being BITTER and kind of a jerk along the way for having to sacrifice during life, wouldn't be the way to go.

- L

Anonymous said...

I ehard a homily on hell this weekend, from a Diocesan priest near Scranton!

This is absolutely true, and I fear greatly for many of the younger crowd today. Many fit your "Christine" almost perfectly, nice people, but without God. In fact, they reject and scorn God and his Holy Church. We MUST get out there and get them to church...I would hate to see this be a fate for many who ARE, as you said, nice people.

Saint Paul, Pray for Us! If he could convert, anyone can.

Catholic Reader

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

I am so glad to see you are going to be moving in the direction of apologetics! That is right up my alley!

I don't know what sort of apologetics you want to focus on, but if you want and writtings on Protestant belief, vs catholic belief, just ask! You are so right. Apologetics in general is sorely needed in the Church. That branch of theology kind of died out with Vatican II. Theologians shy away from Polemics, which is unfortunate. There is nothing, Sir Rockin One that I love more, then reading a good Disputation and or debate!

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Thanks again, Father!

I'm going to be fairly broad in my apologetics and run the gamut, but with a focus on actual church teaching versus perceived or that taught post V2.

Should be a fun ride. Maybe I'll start speaking, but I'm not so sure I'll have many takers...