looking for some discussion on the topic. if there is anyone here that does not view hell as a literal place, what do you make of the fatima account where the children are shown hell? or of the other saints that claim to have been shown a glimpse of hell? were they just plain out lying…?
no disrespect meant but how do you reconciliate the two. thanks.
“I, Sister Faustina Kowalska, by the order of God, have visited the Abysses of Hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence…the devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God, What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: That most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.” (Diary 741)
First, why would an omnipotent God give to man Commandments for living if no negative moral sanction existed for refusing to observe them? And among believers, refusing to believe God’s Commandments is tantamount to refusing to accept God Himself.
Second. A few of the Apostles saw Jesus transfigured and appearing with (I believe) Moses and Elijah. Were they lying?
Third. Jesus spoke of the pains of Gehenna, a lake of fire, or as the comedian George Carlin says: “Hell is like burning a hundred Christmas trees and jumping right in the middle.” During Jesus’s time, the most lasting and brutal pain humans understood was burning, fire. (admit it, there were very few plane crashes, auto wrecks, radiation poisoning, etc. Even today, can one think of any pain that could be much worse than burns. Was his use of fire a metaphor or a fact?
Four. In that vein, are the visions of Saints simply consistent with what Jesus taught. And I doubt Jesus was lying.
Five. If Hell is the counterpart of Heaven, wouldn’t it be a three dimensional place? (with apologies to JP II ). After all, Jesus appeared to his apostles in three dimensional form. Just think of Thomas and that fish breakfast by the lake. And we also as Catholics have the doctrine of the Assumption of Mary. So, might that be some support for the idea that hell is an actual place where three dimensional beings exist?