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Towards Understanding the Message of Garabandal Chapter 18: AND DO NOT WANT YOUR CONDEMNATION | perseverer's Blog


Now we come to the truth which is all too unpopular these days - the existence of Hell.  And the fact is, Our Lady is worried about us going there.

How does the gentlest and sweetest of all Mothers broach this painful subject?  She alludes to the possibility of our condemnation, first assuring us of her great love for us.

Condemnation, in turn, alludes to the reality of judgement.

First comes death, then judgement, the Particular Judgement.  We will know then the state of our soul and where its eternal end will be.  There is also the General Judgement.  At the end of the world, Jesus Christ, in all His glory and majesty, will come from Heaven to judge all men, both good and bad, and to give to each of them the reward or the punishment he shall have merited.

AND DO NOT WANT YOUR CONDEMNATION

Our Blessed Mother did not elaborate on this painful subject in her Message.  It distressed her to even have to mention it.

But in our day, many people calling themselves Catholic, no longer believe in Hell.  One of my former school Principals laid down the law about not teaching the doctrine of Hell and my husband was castigated by his Christian Brothers Principal for mentioning it.

I am reminded of the Protestant lady who approached the Cure of Ars and said, "I don't believe in Hell!"  to which he replied, "You will when you get there."

Probably more than one person has thought in their lifetime that it would be useful to know what it is like in Hell.  It would be motivating, in the extreme, to know.

If such a favour were to be granted, to whom would Our Lord bestow it?  Someone, surely, who would relate it truthfully and without embellishment or self pity.  Someone who would appreciate it as a great grace and wish to share the benefits of it with others.  Someone indeed who could endure it - someone well used to extremes of suffering.

Well, such a someone does exist and was in fact granted this favour.

St Theresa of Avila was a great mystic and Doctor of the Church.  In the 16th century, she reformed the Carmelite Order.

In Chapter 32 of her autobiography she discusses how the Lord desired to put her spirit in a place in Hell she had deserved because of her sins.

A long time after the Lord had already granted me many of the favours I've mentioned and other very lofty ones, while I was in prayer one day, I suddenly found that, without knowing how, I had seemingly been put in hell.   I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins.  This experience took place within the shortest space of time, but even if I were to live for many years I think it would be impossible for me to forget it.  The entrance it seems to me was similar to a very long and narrow alleyway, like an oven, low and dark and confined; the floor seemed to me to consist of dirty, muddy water emitting a foul stench and swarming with putrid vermin.  At the end of the alleyway a hole that looked like a small cupboard was hollowed out in the wall; there I found I was placed in a cramped condition.  All of this was delightful to see in comparison with what I felt there.  What I have described can hardly be exaggerated.

What I felt, it seems to me, cannot even begin to be exaggerated; nor can it be understood.  I experienced a fire in the soul that I don't know how I could describe.  The bodily pains were so unbearable that though I had suffered excruciating ones in this life and according to what the doctors say, the worst that can be suffered on earth (for all my nerves were shrunken when I was paralyzed, plus many other sufferiengs of many kinds that I endured, and even some, as I said, caused by the devil), these were all nothing in comparison with the ones I experienced there.  I saw furthemore that they would go on without end and without ever ceasing.  This, however, was nothing next to the soul's agonizing: a constriction, a suffocation, an affliction so keenly felt and with such a despariting and tormenting unhappiness that I don't know how to word it strongly enough.  To say the experience is as though the soul were continually being wrested from the body would be insufficient, for it would make you think somebody else is taking away the life, whereas here it is the soul itself that tears itself in pieces.  The fact is that I don't know how to give a sufficiently powerful description of that interior fire and that despair, coming in addition to such extreme torments and pains.  I didn't see who inflicted them on me, but, as it seemed to me, I felt myself burning and crumbling; and I repeat the worst was that interior fire and despair.

Being in such an unwholesome place, so unable to hope for any consolation, I found it impossible either to sit down or to lie down, nor was there any room, even though they put me in this kind of hole made in the wall. Those walls, which were terrifying to see, closed in on themselves and suffocated everything.  There was no light, but all was enveloped in the blackest darkness.  I don't understand how this could be, that everything painful to see was visible...

I was left terrified, and still am now in writing about this almost six years later, and it seems to me that on account of the fear my natural heat fails me right here and now.  Thus I recall no time of trial or suffering in which it doesn't seem to me that everything that can be suffered here on earth is nothing; so I think in a way we complain without reason.  Hence I repeat that this experience was one of the greatest favours the Lord granted me because it helped me very much to lose fear of the tribulations and contradictions of this life as well as to grow strong enough to suffer them and give thanks to the Lord who freed me, as it now appears to me, from such everlasting and terrible evils.


It is unlikely that any of us will ever experience such a vivid impression of Hell as St Theresa, but we have her excellent testimony, and we have a reminder from the Queen of Heaven who appeared on earth to four humble village girls, and amid the ecstacy her apparition caused to the eldest of them, said, ever so gently,  I love you very much

AND DO NOT WANT YOUR CONDEMNATION.

This Blog Entry's Comment Board (3 comments)
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oddjob007
Posted on 03:18PM on Mar 31st, 2012
That description of hell sounds like a terrible revenge being exacted by God; that does`nt sit right with my understanding of a forgiving and loving God. Does he hate sinners that much that they are condemnded to eternal suffering? If so, what is the criteria for being damned, how bad does one have to be? I think I am right in saying that only the Christian religion believes in hell? so, are non- Christians bound for hell for not believing in Christianity?
perseverer
Posted on 04:29PM on Mar 31st, 2012
What is terrible for the human soul is its preference for evil in its flight from God. The suffering of hell cannot be avoided by them, even in this life. Hell was not created by God; it was created because creatures He made to know, love and serve Him wanted it.

As for God's attitude towards sinners - the whole purpose of the mission and life and death of Christ was to redeem them! He loved us and gave Himself for us while we were yet sinners!

"But God commendeth his charity towards us; because when as yet we were sinners, according to the time, Christ died for us: much more, therefore, being now justified by his blood, shall we be saved from wrath through him." (Romans 5:8)

What does it take to be condemned? It takes dying in a state of mortal sin. A mortal sin is any serious offence against the Law of God in thought, word, deed or omission. St John speaks about deadly sins and lesser sins in his first epistle. But he also speaks of the confidence we should have in God to help us. (1John 5:14 -21)

Most religions believe in hell, though there are variations. Muslims believe in hell as a place of eternal suffering, though the devil does not reside in hell. Buddhists believe that hell is the very lowest rung and that people cannot be regenerated from it; their suffering is eternal. Hindus do not believe that hell is permanent but is more like a place of learning and purification.

Let us not, in our consideration of non Christians lessen the gravity of acknowledging the reality and the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Truly only God knows what lies in the depths of each human conscience, and we should therefore never suppose that anyone has been condemned for rejecting Christ. I am convinced that many a doubting soul receives convincing instruction in the hour of death or in the moments before the soul has left the body.

Nevertheless, culpable ignorance of the truth is a serious matter and we should not be complacent about it.
oddjob007
Posted on 04:45PM on Mar 31st, 2012
A well reasoned and sobering reply Barbara; its easy to forget the fundamentals in this modern age where science seeks to reduce God to folklore. Another timely wakeup call I think; thanks for that.
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