How does one turn fear of hell into love for God?


#1

As above.

I know :

prayer
the rosary
daily mass is possible
fasting

But whenever I think about love and Christ, I start thinking about hell, and it scares the “hell” outta me.

Any ideas?


#2

[quote=Magicsilence]As above.

I know :

prayer
the rosary
daily mass is possible
fasting

But whenever I think about love and Christ, I start thinking about hell, and it scares the “hell” outta me.

Any ideas?
[/quote]

I would consider your fear of Hell to be a gift from God (unless it becomes debilitating and unwholesome, of course). As your love of God matures, fear will take a lesser place in the equation, but not to fear Hell would be completely unrealistic.

Remember the words of St. John: Perfect love casts out fear.

Pray to grow in love. Meditate on Our Lord’s Passion and on the fact that the entire universe stands poised in support of your salvation. Hell doesn’t leave the picture, but it sure gets further away from your focus . . .

God bless you.


#3

Hope…hope in the sacrifice that Christ made for us and the response that we give Him will help us enter into His Kingdom.

Hell is in the back of my mind, also. But I don’t let it paralyze my faith, and I continue to strive towards living my life in the promises that Christ gave us.


#4

[quote=Magicsilence]As above.

I know :

prayer
the rosary
daily mass is possible
fasting

But whenever I think about love and Christ, I start thinking about hell, and it scares the “hell” outta me.

Any ideas?
[/quote]

You might find this beautiful excerpt from a play about St. Therese of Lisieux to be helpful:

godspy.com/faith/The-Sacrament-of-Memory-The-True-Story-of-Saint-Therese-of-Lisieux-by-Fr-Peter-Cameron-O-P.cfm


#5

Yikes! I understand what you’re talking about! There’s some kind of painting I’ve seen in the past (can’t remember which one) at an art museum as well as in books that does scare the “hell” outa me! Very disturbing!! That should “wake” one up and start turning to Christ!

We’re going to either go to Heaven:

1st-art-gallery.com/artists/William%20Bouguereau/Une%20ame%20au%20ciel%20A%20Soul%20in%20Heaven.jpg

Or Hell:

michaelmhensley.com/images/Descent%20d2%20460px.JPG

It’s our choice. I hope we ALL go to Heaven.


#6

[quote=mercygate]Meditate on Our Lord’s Passion
[/quote]

I believe that this is the key. The Way of the Cross and reflecting on the wounds Jesus suffered so severely for love of us. When I do this I am so overwhelmed at how much God loves me that I cannot help to feel love in return.

The fear of Hell is really a fear of losing the experience of that Love, for me at least.


#7

NIV 1JO 5:3

This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome.NIV JOH 14:15

“If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

Hello Magicsilence,

Rarely do I hear a homily where the priest exbounds on the shear awesome magnatude of mankind’s God given capability to love God. Here is the Maker of the universe, the most Omni-Powerful Being in the universe, and we mere humans, have the God given capacity to love Him. Wow! Is this not amaizing!

Yes! if we do not repent from sin, we go to hell. However, why not focus on the positive side of free will which gives us the awesome capacity to love God through obedience to God.

Please visit www.ILOVEYOUGOD.com


#8

Talk to a good, solid priest. They have dealt with this sort of thing before, you know, and might have good practical advice to offer.


#9

[quote=Magicsilence]As above.

I know :

prayer
the rosary
daily mass is possible
fasting

But whenever I think about love and Christ, I start thinking about hell, and it scares the “hell” outta me.

Any ideas?
[/quote]

Have you ever done Eucharistic Adoration?
I have found my inner prayer life deepening since beginning regular Adoration.


#10

I second Eucharistic Adoration. This has been an incredible turning point in my faith.

What happened to me, in spending time with Our Lord before His Holy Presence in the Eucharist, is a deeper relationship with Jesus. Because of this relationship and my love for Jesus, I don’t fear hell so much as I fear hurting Him and offending Him.

I also agree with meditating on Jesus’ passion. When we see how much He loves us by what He endured for our salvation, we begin to want to love Him back more fully in return.

I would often think of how many times I hurt Jesus, ignored Him, was sometimes embarrased of Him, just like those along the way of the Cross. I’ve often wondered how many stripes He received because of my own sin, and I don’t want to add any more to His pain. Now I want to help console Him as He waits patiently for us to come to Him, Truly Present, in the Holy Eucharist.


#11

Pray the rosary, meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries.


#12

How does one turn fear of hell into love for God?

[quote=Magicsilence]…whenever I think about love and Christ, I start thinking about hell, and it scares the “hell” outta me.

Any ideas?
[/quote]

This is what I do: for 15 minutes I go for a walk - comtemplating the world around me and taking note of every good thing in the world, in my life, all of which is a gift from God - and I pray over and over again, “I love you God”, “thank you God”…especially, I pray “God, I love you”…there’s a lot more that might be tied into this: sins may come to mind, in which case, I confess them to God, resolve to obey God’s commands more perfectly from this moment on, but without reserve I thank God for His love, mercy and forgiveness…I thank Jesus for saving me.

God is not outdone in love…as Scripture affrims:

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…(1Jn 4:18)

Remember, keep this simple…test it for 15 minutes…pray over and over “God, I love you”. It works for me.

Keep the Faith
jmt


#13

I have to ask a question. Is it the fear of hell that you have or the fear of God and the consequences he gives out to those who turn away from him? If the latter, consider this:

The fear of God is a valued sentiment in the Old Testament. It preserves a person from destruction, Like the fear of heights can preserve a person from falling a long ways, and the fear of fire can keep a person from getting burned - the fear of God can preserve a person from ultimate destruction.

Read the passage from Isaiah Chapter 11:

“The spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, a spirit of wisdom and of understanding, A spirit of counsel and of strength, a spirit of knowledge and of fear of the Lord, and his delight shall be the fear of the Lord.”

The fear of the Lord is a thing to rejoice in, it means you are marked as one who will live, just be sure that it is the Lord that you fear and not empty hollow threats of strange gods that have no power. That fear will lead one astray.

In the end, fear will pass and leave only faith and love.

peace

-Jim


#14

I third the Eucharistic adoration :smiley: It has renewed my love for God when I was in slight despair for Hell.

Devotion to the Mother of God is another. She is our powerful advocate, being the Mother of God, the New Arc of the Covenant, and the Queen of Heaven. Knowing that God allows us to have such a powerful and merciful advocate is, for me, an eye-opener into the mercy of God.

Wearing the Brown Scapular especially helps for me to lessen the fear of Hell, and appreciate God’s abundant mercy through Mother Mary (you can find various apostolates who will send you one for free, like this one - It is one of the greatest sacramentals the Church has, and Our Lady has attached an unprecedented blessing attached to it in that, “whosoever dies wearing this Scapular shall not suffer eternal fire” - given that it is worn virtuously.

So yah, do spread devotion to the brown scapular and the rosary, and promote Eucharistic adoration. :slight_smile:

God bless you all!
TTM


#15

[quote=Magicsilence]As above.

Any ideas?
[/quote]

Consider that another word for “love” is “charity”. I am sure you know how to use charity towards an angry parent or spouse… Try to make up for wrongs by doing something right :slight_smile:

Matthew 3:10 For now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that doth not yield good fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire.

Matthew 12:33 Either make the tree good and its fruit good: or make the tree evil, and its fruit evil. For by the fruit the tree is known.

This should help build your confidence, which we are encouraged to do!

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time.

hurst


#16

I recently read the Rule of St. Benedict for a class. One concept brought forth in the book is the ladder of humility. This may be worth looking into for someone in your situation. The first step of the ladder is where you seem to be, namely fear of the Lord. The ultimate end of the ladder is described as follows: “Therefore when the disciple completes the ascent of all these rungs of humility he will, in the fear of God, successfully scale the ladder of his life and soon come to that love of the Lord which, when perfect, casts out fear, whereby all that he previously observed not without fear, he will begin to keep without any effort, as though naturally out of habit, no longer because of fear of hell, but out of very love for this good habit and because of delight in virtue. The Lord will be pleased to make this manifest in his workman now cleansed by the Holy Spirit from vices and sins.”

You can find the ladder of humility here. Keep in mind that the rule is written for monks, so you’ll have to adjust some of it to fit your own life, but if nothing else it should be a good guideline to follow.


#17

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