i have to admit that it is difficult for me to always believe in an eternal Hell… temporary Hell (otherwise known as purgatory) is not hard for me to believe in ONE BIT… but permanent Hell… hmmm… I believe it in my head… have no problem in my head beliving…
but in my heart… well, something seems kind of… ungodly about it… :eek:
Hi distracted. I came across an author today who suggested a view of Hell that I had never really considered in quite this way before:
Hell teaches us God when we are to gross to learn Him otherwise. It lights up the depths of sin’s malignity, that we may look down, and tremble, and grow wise. Its fires turn to water, and quench the fiery darts of the tempter. They rage around us, so that we dare not rise up from prayer. They follow us, like the many-tongued pursuing flame of a burning prairie and drive us swiftly on, and out of breath, along the path of God’s commandments. O Hell! thou desolate creation of eternal justice! who ever thought of finding a friend in thee? Yet we cannot doubt but that hell has sent into heaven more than half as many souls as it contains itself.
—The Creator and the Creature, Fr. Frederick Faber, 1856, TAN Publishers reprint 1978, p. 268, 269
It may be that isolated from the rest of the book, these comments will seem less powerful. Fr. Faber has been finding God’s love for us everywhere. Of course, Hell might be the last place one should look for love. But even in that most terrible place, we can with the eyes of faith see God’s love for us in our weakness and woundedness. If it doesn’t help, I understand. Possibly Fr. Faber waxes poetic and perhaps overly optimistic at times…but on the other hand, I shudder to think how much love for God I might ever have learned, or how easy it could be to stumble mortally even now, if I had no acquaintance with the schoolmaster of holy fear.
God bless us and increase our faith…