Today some want to let us pass – especially in the last period – as a ‘sugary’ Church, all ‘good’ and ‘mercy’, ‘forgiveness’ and ‘understanding’. I feel little – but it will be my wrong opinion (it would not be the first note) to talk about hell. Apart from some good exorcist, and on more than one occasion Pope Francis who never tires of repeating the consequences to which we go to meet a ‘little Christian’ life.
‘Inferno’ seen not as a cliché in the sense of the apex of evil, but just as eternal condemnation, in the event of a lack of ‘reversal’ of course in life. And I speak first of all to myself, then also to you who read.
Has something changed in the Doctrine? Has Hell been abolished?
There should be no fear of hell, it must only keep us on the path of God’s grace, which is the only antidote. The only medicine. The only way.
I ask for help from two saints, to remember a little bit of this place where it would be the greatest misfortune for anyone. And I do not sincerely believe that it is completely empty. And then, thinking as much as possible about Paradise, let’s not forget that the alternative is the one you are about to read. by Daniele Venturi
The hell seen by Santa Teresa d’Avila
In the vision of the Saint there are several important factors concerning hell:
a) The place where the hell would be, whose entrance consists of a long tunnel, is narrow, like a low, dark and cramped oven. A pestilential place where there is neither hope of comfort nor space to sit or relax. The ground, all smelly mud, is full of disgusting reptiles. There is no light, but very dense darkness and in the meantime everything that can be painful to the sight can be seen anyway.
b) The penalties suffered by the damned. The soul is invested by a fire that Teresa can not describe; the body (the Saint is there with the soul and the body) is tortured horribly by intolerable pains. But all this is still nothing in front of the agony of the soul that suffers an oppression, an anguish, a sadness and a living and desperate pain “that I do not know – says the Saint – how to express myself”. “To say that you suffer continuous agonies of death is not enough, because at least in death it seems that life is torn off from others, while here it is the same soul that makes itself into pieces by itself. The most atrocious suffering is the thought that these penalties have neither end nor any mitigation “. The worst torments are the fire and inner despair. The pains and afflictions are felt in spirit but are truly suffering, as if one were suffering in the body.
c) Such punishments are such as to overcome every human imagination: compared to them, the most atrocious sufferings of this earth are nothing. What is said about hell and its tortures has nothing to do with reality, because it is totally different.
It is certain that “how much is meditated on the torments of hell, on what the demons are suffering, or that is read in the books, has nothing to do with reality, because it is totally different, like a portrait compared to the object retracted. Almost not even our fire can be compared with that of down there “.
d) In addition to the chastisements we say so common for all the damned, there are also terrifying punishments for every particular vice.
e) It is the same damned soul that is torn apart, which is done in pieces by itself. “I did not see – says the Saint – who made me suffer them (called torments), but I felt burning and dilating, although the worst torment was the fire and inner despair”.
The hell seen by Santa Veronica Giuliani
And now, in short, the most remarkable is found in the visions of Santa Veronica:
a) Hell is “very dark” place but it gives fire like a great furnace. In all other visions the landscape, so to speak, is essentially always that, even if some details change. Even when he finds himself in a deserted, dark and solitary place, he hears nothing but screams, cries, whistles of snakes, noises of chains, wheels, irons, barrels so large that, at every stroke, the whole world seemed to sink. Like when he finds himself “in a low, black and fetid region, full of bulls’ bellowing, of lions screams, of snake whistles … A great mountain rose up in front of me and was covered with asps and basilisks tied together … The living mountain was a clamor of horrible curses “. It is always hell as Jesus tells her: “Aim and look carefully at this place that will never end. So the torment, my justice and my strict disdain “. Torment for the damned is precisely the justice of God and his strict indignation.
b) The damned are those who have rejected God and his law, and have chosen to serve their ego. The demons keep them as tied beasts of different species. Beasts which, in an instant, become in the eyes of the Saint, creatures (men), but so terrifying and ugly, that they gave her more terror than the demons themselves. The Saint sees them fall, damned forever, in that abyss like a rain. Hell, according to the Saint, deserves it above all for the sin of ingratitude. The souls, that is, despite being in the abundance of so many goods, almost never know how to recognize their origins and almost never remember those who have done everything and gave them.
c) Even in hell there is an order: those who sin more and more seriously responsible, suffer more frighteningly than others who have sinned less and with less responsibility. For S. Veronica there is a higher hell, that is, benign hell, and a maximum hell. There are therefore various departments, perhaps depicted in those mountains, one different from the other from which the damned rush into the abyss. In fact, the mountain opens wide and in its open flanks the Saint sees a multitude of souls and demons intertwined with chains of fire. Demons, extremely furious, harass the souls who cry out in despair. To this mountain follow other more horrible mountains, whose bowels are the scene of atrocious and indescribable tortures.
The souls of the new inhabitants are rushing down with the fury of dense hail. “And at this arrival, punishments are renewed on the damned”. In an even more profound place thousands of souls are piled up (they are those of the murderers), over which looms a press with an immense wheel. The wheel turns and makes all hell tremble. Suddenly the press swoops upon the souls, reducing them almost to one; so that each participates in the penalty of the other. Then they come back as before.There are several souls with a book in their hands. The demons beat them with fire rods in their mouths, with iron maces on their heads, and with sharp spikes they pierce their ears. They are the souls of those religious bastards, who adapted the rule to their own use and consumption. Other souls are locked up in bags and impaled by the devils in the mouth of a horrible dragon that forever digruma. They are the souls of the misers. Others bubbled into a lake of rubbish. Suddenly they strike lightning. The souls remain incinerated, but then regain the primeval state. “The sins they have committed are the most serious that ever living can imagine”.
d) At the bottom of the abyss are the hierarchs of hell. Here, in fact, the Saint sees a monstrous throne, made of terrifying demons. In the center a chair formed by the heads of the abyss. The Saint notes that the mute pillow of the chair was Judas and other desperate souls like him. When asked the angels who those souls were, she received this terrible answer: “They were dignitaries of the Church and religious prelates”. Satan sat on it in his indescribable horror and from there he watched all the damned.
e) The vision of Satan forms the torment of hell, as the vision of God forms the delight of Paradise. Here, the blessed are happy in the vision of God which is the source and root of all their goods; in hell, the damned, as well as being incredibly tormented by demons who dispense pain and suffering unheard of in their hatred, is the vision of Satan above all, their greatest enemy and creator in part of their damnation, which makes them suffer unspeakably.
f) In hell there is also the sorrow of the senses: the Saint speaks of flames and fire, of cries and noises, of stench and horrendous smoke. that can not be compared to any penalty on earth. Great mystery, hell and terrible reality. “Many – as Our Lady said to Sr. Veronica – do not believe that there is hell, and I tell you that you who have been there have not understood anything of what it is”.