The souls in hell...


#1

I already know that hell is an eternal sentence but I was wondering if it were possible that you can pray for the souls in hell?? Or if they are condemned they really are eternally screwed and that there is no hope for them...at all..

I was listening about Saint Faustina's visions of hell.. And I know of people (and possibly but NOT conclusively - even some family members) who may have died in a state of mortal sin.

Would it be blasphemy to pray for the souls in hell? Would it be demonic to do so / Inviting demons in your life?? I kind of feel bad because I know that there will be many of millions of them there.. and I feel very sorry for them at this point. Hell is something I wouldnt even want to condemn even the bitterest of my acquaintances.. I wouldnt wish it on anyone at all. :imsorry:

BTW. I am encouraging everyone to really go to confession and have communion on the feast of the Divine Mercy.. its like having a 2nd baptism.

If so.. what can we do about our friends who died in mortal sin? Absolutely nothing?? Not even have masses for them?


#2

[quote="Lilsheep88, post:1, topic:274435"]
I already know that hell is an eternal sentence but I was wondering if it were possible that you can pray for the souls in hell?? Or if they are condemned they really are eternally screwed and that there is no hope for them...at all..

I was listening about Saint Faustina's visions of hell.. And I know of people (and possibly but NOT conclusively - even some family members) who may have died in a state of mortal sin.

Would it be blasphemy to pray for the souls in hell? Would it be demonic to do so / Inviting demons in your life?? I kind of feel bad because I know that there will be many of millions of them there.. and I feel very sorry for them at this point. Hell is something I wouldnt even want to condemn even the bitterest of my acquaintances.. I wouldnt wish it on anyone at all. :imsorry:

BTW. I am encouraging everyone to really go to confession and have communion on the feast of the Divine Mercy.. its like having a 2nd baptism.

If so.. what can we do about our friends who died in mortal sin? Absolutely nothing?? Not even have masses for them?

[/quote]

Lilsheep,

Of course you can pray for them and it is a good thing to do so. Please keep in mind that we operate within "time" but God operates in eternity. For God, everything is in the eternal "now." Therefore, if we pray, God sees and here's our prayers outside of the limits of time. We do not know if someone is in hell or not. Our prayers, said even post mortem, for someone may in fact have been reason for God's mercy and grace for that person at or before the moment of their death. They may have sought and received God's mercy because of our prayers. It is never too late to pray for someone.....we have no idea as to their fate, and we should pray that they are saved.

I hope this helps and God bless.


#3

One thing the Church is pretty big on is not saying that ANYBODY is for sure in hell. Not Hitler, Bin Laden, or anybody else. God alone knows who is in hell. When we pray/ offer masses for the dead, we don’t know where they are. It is still beneficial to pray for them however. They could still be in purgatory, or have been granted entrance into heaven. Either way, praying for a loved one will not invite any demonic spirits in.


#4

Yeah but one thing the church is pretty adamant about is that if somebody, anybody, died in a state of mortal sin then that is an automatic condemnation to hell.. and when Hitler, a lapsed Catholic, died he had MANY mortal sins and did not go to confession prior to committing suicide.

[quote="smp501, post:3, topic:274435"]
One thing the Church is pretty big on is not saying that ANYBODY is for sure in hell. Not Hitler, Bin Laden, or anybody else. God alone knows who is in hell. When we pray/ offer masses for the dead, we don't know where they are. It is still beneficial to pray for them however. They could still be in purgatory, or have been granted entrance into heaven. Either way, praying for a loved one will not invite any demonic spirits in.

[/quote]


#5

As you have affirmed, nobody can know with certainty if anyone else is in hell. We cannot even know our own fate, should we die this very instant.

Thus, it is never wrong to pray for the departed, even if (by our standards) it seems there is little hope of salvation.

However, if a person has been judged by God, that decision is absolutely final. That is not to say our prayers have no effect (all prayer has an effect), but it would not be the effect we had desired (the salvation of a condemned soul).

However, it is possible that our prayers might “tip the scales” for this person. The Church does not teach this, but the Church has hope that there may be other means of salvation than those specifically revealed to Her. The Church expresses such hope in the fate of unbaptized children. There is no reason that we could not likewise hope that God, who lives in the eternal present, does not hear every prayer offered on behalf of our dear departed, and would not take this into consideration - perhaps even offering clemency.

Catholic Doctrine offers little such hope - but Catholic Doctrine does not represent the entirety of Divine Truth. There is always hope where the Mercy of God is concerned.


#6

I would imagine that those in Hell are there because of their utter and final rejection of God, thus any prayers you offer for them wouldn't be recieved by them - if they had some way of knowing about it. Those in Hell are so far gone from God's love that any mercy He would show them would be rejected.

However, as others have said, we have no way of knowing who's in Hell or Heaven or Purgatory, so pray for the souls of the dead; and don't despair over any mortal sins you know someone may have committed and left without confession - none of us but the dead and God knows if a true and sincere confession in the heart was made at the moment of death.


#7

Prayers for the souls in Hell are wasted. While we do not know which specific individuals are in Hell the Church definitively teaches that anyone dying in a state of mortal sin goes immediately to Hell forever. No amount of praying for souls in Hell will do any good. Souls in Hell are never released. This is what Christ said and it is the Church teaching.


#8

We can say a prayer such as "Lord, have mercy on all the souls in Purgatory", but I don't think we're meant to make such prayers as "Lord, have mercy on the souls in hell".
It would be proper to make a prayer such as "Lord, grant to all people who have ever lived, especially those in a state of unrepented mortal sin, powerful graces of repentance and conversion at their moment of death,

If there is a specific person/s whom you think might have died in unrepented mortal sin, pray for that person/s by name, asking God to grant them powerful graces of final repentance and conversion (even though they have died and are already judged). God knows in advance what prayers will be offered for someone, and He can grant "in advance" the graces He knows will be prayerfully requested of Him as some point in the future.

An example of graces being given in advance, or in anticipation, would be Mary's Immaculate Conception. She received the grace of being conceived free from original sin before Our Lord's passion and death which merited the graces of our reconciliation and redemption.


#9

[quote="Lilsheep88, post:1, topic:274435"]
I already know that hell is an eternal sentence but I was wondering if it were possible that you can pray for the souls in hell??

[/quote]

No, prayers for souls in hell have no efficacy. Of course you have no way to know who is in hell or not in hell. So, pray for all.

[quote="Lilsheep88, post:1, topic:274435"]
there is no hope for them...at all..

[/quote]

Yes, that is correct. Hell is eternal and permanent.

[quote="Lilsheep88, post:1, topic:274435"]
Would it be blasphemy to pray for the souls in hell?

[/quote]

Of course you should pray for them. No it is not blasphemous. No one but God knows who is in Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory. Therefore, you certainly should pray for all. Prayer is also efficacious for the one praying.

[quote="Lilsheep88, post:1, topic:274435"]
Would it be demonic to do so / Inviting demons in your life??

[/quote]

No. Why do you think it would be?

[quote="Lilsheep88, post:1, topic:274435"]
If so.. what can we do about our friends who died in mortal sin? Absolutely nothing?? Not even have masses for them?

[/quote]

You can have masses said for all your friends and family who have died (and those still living!). You do not know their fate, so you pray for them in Hope.


#10

it is not proper to pray for the souls in hell! they have rejected GOD HAVE AND NO CHANCE EVER TO GET OUT OF HELL!!!!!! DONT PRAY FOR THEM---WASTED PRAYERS!!!


#11

Praying for the souls of the departed is a good practice. Praying for the souls in Hell though is not only a waste of your time but a waste of your prayers. The souls in Hell are incapable of being saved and are incapable of love. They will not benefit from your prayers but are rather disgusted by them. They would want nothing more than for you to join them in their misery.

Pray for the souls in Purgatory who would actually benefit since they are saved but still rely on your charity to help them pay their debt of temporal punishment owed to God.


#12

I think the main idea is that we prayers for those in Hell are not beneficial, but that we must have Hope that those we love have not been condemned to Hell. We have no idea what an individual's last thoughts are before they die and no idea how God will judge them, therefore, we can pray for all those who have died with the Hope that they will join God.

Faith, Hope, and Love all play a vital role in this discussion and must not be overlooked.


#13

It is stated in Jeremiah somewhere something to the effect that in the latter days we would understand the wrath of God perfectly. In these latter days people would be revived and would come back from their brush with death with some amazing information related to the realms of the dead and the lost.

The NDE of Dr. George Ritchie is certainly a good place to get some insight on this the sure does seem to fit with what the church has been teaching for centuries.

near-death.com/ritchie.html

Jesus gives him a tour of four different dimensions in the afterlife. They both fly toward a large city on Earth where they notice a group of assembly-line workers at work. He witnesses the spirit of a woman trying desperately to obtain a cigarette from the workers who are oblivious to her presence. This woman died severely addicted to cigarettes.

In a house, Jesus shows him the spirit of a boy following a living teenage girl and begging for forgiveness while the girl is completely unaware of the boy's presence. Jesus tells George that the boy committed suicide and is "chained to every consequence of his act."

Jesus shows George a bar filled with sailors who are heavily drinking. Spirits try desperately and in vain to get a drink or to control the sailors' alcoholic behavior. These spirits are from humans who die severely alcoholic. He is horrified as he observes a drunken sailor pass out and an alcoholic spirit jump into the body of the sailor.

Jesus takes him to a new dimension away from Earth and shows him a kind of "receiving station" where spirits would arrive in a deep hypnotic sleep because of their beliefs. These are spirits who believe they must sleep after death until Jesus returns.

Jesus shows him a dimension where angry spirits are locked in hand-to-hand combat, trying in vain to hurt each other. He hears verbal abuse going on. He observes some trying in vain to get sexual gratification from each other. He also sees spirits arguing over some religious or political point and trying to kill the ones who did not agree with them. Here, he realizes he is seeing hell. These are spirits who are locked into some earthly desire that went beyond the physical and which cannot be satisfied in the spirit.

He is then taken to a different dimension appearing like an enormous university. Here he observes people dressed as monks engaged in some form of artistic behavior or research. He is taken into an enormous library where all the important books of the universe are assembled. He asks Jesus if this is heaven. He replies that these are the people who grew beyond selfish desires while on Earth. George realizes these people cannot see Jesus, just as the others could not see him in hell.


#14

It is theoretically possible for a Being composed of fundamental energy to replicate the earth exactly as it was in any moment of time in the past along with every human being that was alive at that time and then pour out more of the Holy Spirit so that in an entirely new branch of time more and more people who had been lost in that other branch of time would be saved in this newer branch of time.

We may be shown eventually that there is far more to Ezekiel 37, the resurrection of dry bones than we had imagined.


#15

There's no such thing as a "wasted prayer." No. Such. Thing.

God runs things in such a way that all merits and prayers are gathered to Him, and graciously used by Him to let us participate in His plan of salvation. Any prayer at all that is raised to him, unless you're praying for something outright wicked, He can use for His purposes, for some poor soul living or dead who needs prayers (perhaps as part of the Church's general treasury of merit that she is always using to pray for everyone).

Foolish prayers? He can use 'em.
Prayers for the souls of people who died instant saints? He can use 'em.
Prayers for people already damned? He can use 'em.

Look, we know one thing for sure about prayers, because Jesus told us. We know that God wants us to bug Him with all our needs and wants, like the parable of the widow bugging the crooked judge or the guy waking up his neighbor to get bread to feed an unexpected guest. We also know that God will never give us a rock instead of an egg, or a snake instead of a fish.

So if you feel called to pray for someone, you just pray and don't worry.

The other thing is that we can't know if those persons experienced perfect contrition before they died, or if Jesus came to them and gave them a chance to repent, or if somehow their mortal sins were judged as not truly done with knowledge of their gravity and full consent. We can hope against hope for anyone's salvation, and we can pray for their salvation. Just don't assume they're in Hell when you pray, or pray that they repented sincerely at the moments of their deaths.

Re: prayer specifically for people in Hell, that's been a custom in plenty of places over time (particularly medieval Ireland, because the Irish like to be thorough). It's always gently discouraged, because it can't possibly hurt anything and because prayers are never wasted. It just doesn't make sense, that's all.


#16

[quote="Lilsheep88, post:1, topic:274435"]
And I know of people (and possibly but NOT conclusively - even some family members) who may have died in a state of mortal sin.

Would it be blasphemy to pray for the souls in hell?

[/quote]

Yes, I believe it would be heretical to believe that your prayers could gain someone’s release from hell. Once some poor soul is in hell they will stay there.

But you cannot "know" that someone died in a state of mortal sin.

So it is more than appropriate, in fact it is greatly encouraged, that you pray that all souls gain the gift of eternal salvation.

Chuck


#17

Even if someone died in mortal sin, they will go to Purgatory if there is the slightest glimmer of God's genuine love. Perhaps to the end of the world....

Yes, we do know that some are in Hell. St. Bridget's Revelations gives examples of Judas, Pilate, and Herod as both evil and damned.


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