Monday, December 27, 2010

The Fires of Hell

I have a little confession to make.  It's okay---I already took it to the confessional.  I missed mass for a few weeks--and including the Holy Day of Obligation on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.  I know, I know, I know--I'm a horrible Catholic, a horrible husband and a horrible father.  What was really bad?? I didn't miss mass.  I was nice to sit at home and relax.  It was nice, at least, until the next time I went to mass.  You see, I hadn't gone to reconciliation before going to mass.  Since I had missed mass, I was in a state of mortal sin and not able to receive communion.   All I could think about during mass was, "If the Eucharist is a taste of Heaven then not being able to receive the Eucharist must be a taste of Hell."

Now, I'm not going to sit her and say that sitting through mass and not taking communion is Hell.  I'm saying it's a small taste of Hell.  No way it compares to the loneliness, sadness and despair of what Hell must be like just like I'm not sure the Eucharist can come close to the happiness, completeness and joy that it's like to be in Heaven.   There are similarities though.  Those in Hell, are cut off--by their own choices--from the love of God.  I was at mass and cut off--because of my own choices--from receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.   Obviously, there were some differences.  I was with family, so I was able to feel love.  I knew that all I had to do to be forgiven was to go to confession, so I was able to have hope.

I'm not sure people are afraid of Hell like they should. Obviously, I'm not or else I wouldn't have missed mass knowing full well that spiritual state it would put me in.  But I hear people joke saying, "I'll see you in hell" or one local radio DJ who said, "If you are going to go to Hell, don't go small and just barely get in--go big so there is no doubt!"  Okay, I'm not going to play the prude--I'm sitting here telling you that up until last Thursday, I was in a state of mortal sin.   I know he was saying it tongue in cheek and for a laugh but considering his whole show revolves around "sex, drugs and rock and roll" I'm pretty sure I can say that there was some seriousness behind it too.   In essence, he was saying, "party now and worry about the consequences later."  

This type of thinking seems crazy doesn't it? That we can think, "I'd rather do A, B and C now, for a short period, and spend eternity without love, without happiness, without hope."   I see people who don't feel like they have love, happiness or hope and I certainly don't want to live eternally like that.  But that's the choice we make when we sin.  

Fortunately, all God wants is our salvation and for us to be reconciled with Him so He makes it very easy for us to reconcile with Him.  It's just up to us to choose Him over ourselves.


  1. I've often thought about this very thing! I don't think it's all that funny to say, "There's a place in hell for people like me/you/whomever" I can't even bring myself to laugh at it. I try not to be completely too serious...but at the same time, I think you're right...people are not nearly fearful enough of hell.

  2. Sadly, I know way too many Catholics who do not see missing Mass as a mortal sin. Or, they take the stand of 'I had my own little chat directly with God and have no need of confession with a Priest.'

    I guess I'd say that it is easy in our current culture where what makes YOU feel good is considered right for you, we could use a little more fear of hell.

  3. Do you have any idea how much trouble I'd be in if I thought that way?

  4. Again, a beautiful post. "There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over the 99 who have no need to repent." I am glad you found your way home. You get another link on my examination of conscience at