Source: Catholicism Pure and Simple
On 13th July 1917, at Fatima, Our Lady showed the terrifying vision of Hell for no more than a few split seconds to the three little visionaries. But the unspeakable horror of Hell and the unbearable thought that anyone at all could end up there, changed their lives forever.
All of us will eventually die and face judgement before God. If we die in a state of grace we’ll go to Heaven (with perhaps a temporary period of cleansing in Purgatory first). If we die in mortal or Original sin, then we go straight away to Hell for all eternity, with no hope for redemption.
If that scares you, that’s okay. Yes, we should choose God out of love, but the Church has always taught that the threat of eternal punishment can have a very salutary effect on leading people away from sin and toward God.
So repent, go to confession, decide to amend your life and avoid the occasions of sin. Grow close to Jesus and Mary through prayer, spiritual reading, the Sacraments and devotional practices. Love your neighbour as yourself, for what you do to one of these little ones, you do to Christ ().
Then you will have peace of mind and heart. And no fear of death.
Here are 10 quotes from the saints about this real place of punishment:
1) “I am filled with fear and trembling, and all my bones are shaken at the thought of that unhappy country of the damned.”
2) “I saw the torments of hell and those of purgatory; no words can describe them. Had poor mortals the faintest idea of them, they would suffer a thousand deaths rather than undergo the least of their torments during a single day.”
(St. Catherine of Siena)
3) “Poor Judas! Above seventeen hundred years have elapsed since he has been in Hell, and his Hell is still only beginning.”
(St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori)
4) “The natural fire that we see during this life has great power to burn and torment. Yet this is not even a shadow of the fire of Hell.”
(St. Anthony Mary Claret)
5) “The wicked bodies of the condemned shall simmer and blaze in those living fires.”
(St. Cyprian of Carthage)
6) “Alas! Of what kind is that place of wailing and of gnashing of teeth… at which even Satan shudders? O Woe! What kind of place is it, where the unsleeping worm dies not? What dread misery to be sent into outer darkness? Of what kind of angels placed over these torments, who pitiless and frightful, punish by casting in there, while at the same time the reproach most grievously? Then shall those already in the midst of the torments cry out with pleading voices, and there will be no one to speak for them to the Lord, and they shall not be heard.”
(St. Ephrem of Syria)
7) “Let us fancy we see hell, and imagine what is worst to behold – a horrible cavern full of black flames. Sulphur, devils, dragons, fire, swords, arrows, and innumerable damned who roar in despair. Imagine the worst you can, and then say, ‘All this is nothing compared to hell.’”
(St. Ignatius of Loyola)
8) “No more is it possible for the evildoer, the avaricious, and the treacherous to hide from God than it is for the virtuous. Every man will receive the eternal punishment or reward which his actions deserve. Indeed, if all men recognized this, no one would choose evil even for a short time, knowing that he would incur the eternal sentence of fire. On the contrary, he would take every means to control himself and to adorn himself in virtue, so that he might obtain the good gifts of God and escape the punishments.”
(St. Justin Martyr)
9) “Alas! I could not bear the sight of them. How could I, as the mere noise of these despairing yells caused me an unbearable horror?”
(St. Lydwine of Schiedam)
10) “Do not neglect the grace that is offered to you. The God who offers the sinner pardon, does not promise him tomorrow.”