Catholic Doctrine

on

Hell

- A horrific eternity of torture and despair -


Taken from Hell plus How to Avoid Hell by Fr. FX Schouppe, S.J. and Thomas A. Nelson. (TAN Books & Publishers, Inc., 1989)


A holy priest was exorcizing a demoniac, and he asked the demon what pains he was suffering in Hell. "An eternal fire," he answered, "an eternal malediction, an eternal rage, and a frightful despair at being never able to gaze upon Him who created me." "What would you do to have the happiness of seeing God?" "To see Him but for one moment, I should willingly consent to endure my torments for 10,000 years. But vain desires! I shall suffer forever and never see Him!"


On a like occasion, the exorcist inquired of the demon what was his greatest pain in Hell. He replied with an accent of indescribable despair: "Always, always! Never; never!"


Unhappy sinners who are lulled to rest by the illusions of the world and who live as if there were no Hell will be suddenly stripped of their illusions by the most frightful of catastrophes. From the midst of their pleasures they shall fall into the Pit of Torments.


They who deny Hell will be forced to admit it soon; but alas! it will be too late. Father Nieremberg, in his work "The Difference between Time and Eternity", speaks of an unfortunate sinner, who, as the result of his evil ways, had lost the Faith. His virtuous wife exhorted him to return to God and reminded him of Hell, but he would answer obstinately: "There is no Hell." One day his wife found him dead, and strange circumstance, he held in his hand a mysterious paper on which in large characters was traced this terrifying avowal: "I now know that there is a Hell!"

 

Another incident:

Mgr. de Segur relates a second fact, whicih he regards as alike free from doubt. He had learned it in 1859, of a most honorable priest and superior of an important community. This priest had the particulars of it from a near relation of the lady to whom it had happened. At that time, Christmas Day, 1859, this person was still living and little over forty years.

She chanced to be in London in the winter of 1847-1848. She was a widow, about twenty nine years old, quite rich and worldly. Among the gallants who frequented her salon, there was noticed a young lord, whose attentions compromised her extremely and whose conduct, besides, was anything but edifying!

One evening, or rather one night, for it was close upon midnight, she was reading in her bed some novel, coaxing sleep. One o'clock struck by the clock; she blew out her taper. She was about to fall asleep when, to her great astonishment, she noticed that a strange, wan glimmer of light, which seemed to come from the door of the drawing-room, spread by degrees into her chamber, and increased momentarily. Stupified at first and not knowing what this meant, she began to get alarmed, when she saw the drawing-room door slowly open and the young lord, the partner of her disorders, enter the room. Before she had time to say a single word, he seized her by the left wrist, and with a hissing voice, syllabled to her in English: "There is a Hell!" The pain she felt in her arm was so great that she lost her senses.

When, half an hour after, she came to again, she rang for her chambermaid. The latter, on entering, noticed a keen smell of burning. Approaching her mistress, who could hardly speak, she noticed on her wrist so deep a burn that the bone was laid bare and the flesh almost consumed; this burn was the size of a man's hand. Moreover, she remarked that, from the door of the salon to the bed, and from the bed to that same door, the carpet bore the imprint of a man's steps, which had burned through the stuff. By the directions of her mistress, she opened the drawing-room door; there, more traces were seen on the carpet outside.

The following day, the unhappy lady learned, with a terror easy to be divined, that on the very night, about one o'clock in the morning, her lord had been found dead-drunk under the table, that his servants had carried him to his room, and that there he had died in their arms.

 

There would not be one who should be so crazy as to accept this bargain: During the year, you may yield to all your passions, gratify all your whims, on the condition of spending one day, only one day, or even one hour, in fire. I repeat, not a single person would accept the bargain. Will you have a proof of it? Listen to the history of the three sons of an old usurer:

 

A father of a family who grew rich only by doing wrongs had fallen dangerously ill. He knew that the final stages of death had already set in, and nevertheless he could not decide to make restitution. "If I make restitution," he said, "what will become of my children?" His confessor, a man of sagacity, had recourse to a singular strategem to save this poor soul. He told him that if he wished to be cured, he was about to give him an extremely simple, but costly remedy. "Should it cost a thousand, two thousand, even ten thousand francs, what odds?" answered the old man briskly. "What is it?" "It consists in pouring the melted fat of a living person on the dying parts. It does not need much. If you find anyone willing, for ten thousand francs, to suffer one hand to be burned for less than a quarter of an hour, that will be enough."

"Alas!" said the poor man, sighing, "I am very much afraid I can find no such person." "I will help you," said the priest quietly. "Summon your eldest son; he loves you; he is to be your heir; say to him, 'My dear son, you can save your old father's life if you consent to allow one hand to be burned only for a small quarter of an hour.' If he refuses, make the proposal to the second, pledging yourself to make him your heir at the expense of his elder brother. If he refuses in this turn, the third will no doubt accept."

The proposition was made successively to the three brothers, who, one after the other, rejected it with a shudder. Then the father said to them: "What! To save my life, an instant's pain alarms you? And I, to procure your comfort, would go to Hell - to be burned eternally! Indeed, I should be quite mad." And he hastened to restore all he owed without regard to what should become of his children. He was quite right, and so were his three sons. To suffer a hand to be burned, a short quarter of an hour, even to save a father's life, is a sacrifice above human strength.


Relates actual incidents of souls appearing from that realm of despair!

 

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