Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Those who are tormented in hell are tormented by the invasion of love

As for me I say that those who are tormented in hell are tormented by the invasion of love. What is there more bitter and violent than the pains of love? Those who feel they have sinned against love bear in themselves a damnation much heavier than the most dreaded punishments. The suffering with which sinning against love afflicts the heart is more keenly felt than any other torment. It is absurd to assume that the sinners in hell are deprived of God’s love. Love is offered impartially. But by its very power it acts in two ways. It torments sinners, as happens here on earth when we are tormented by the presence of a friend to whom we have been unfaithful. And it gives joy to those who have been faithful. That is what the torment of hell is in my opinion: remorse. But love inebriates the souls of the sons and daughters of heaven by its delectability.
St Isaac of Syria


Anonymous said...

I can relate to this. I have lived a life where I have rejected love on so many occasions and I can assure you that hell is a lonely place. How on earth do you do penance? How do you return to the Lord? How do you say sorry when pride refuses you permission to lose face? How do you surrender the fear that has paralyzed you into inactivity? What must I do to inherit eternal life? For by comparison I envy the rich young man in the Gospel. Only a few lousy pounds would have bought him salvation. That’s closer to the Lord than I have ever been.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Dear Anonymous,
Find a wise priest and discuss this with him.
Maybe, too, you need think about His choice to become closer to you, not your feelings of distance from Him. Feelings are never to be trusted in a situation like this.
When Jesus cries out, "My God, My God, why have you foresaken me". I think that He is expressing precisely what you are feeling, this is a very important part of His crucifixion.
Whether your isolation is the result of your rejection of love or has some other cause it is not hell but a sharing in His suffering. If you share in that, you will as St Paul says, share in His resurrection.

Anonymous said...

Father, could you perhaps preach about this? Your remarks to Anonymous are comforting but I find it very hard to understand. Most of us dont reject love, certainly not deliberately; we yearn for it and dont (or cant) recognise it, let alone feel it.

Anonymous said...

To inherit eternal life? Accept that God Loves YOU - despite your Pride, despite your fear & inactivity, despite all your flaws.

The only unforgiveable sin is to Blasphem the Holy Spirit .. what does that mean? It means to refuse to believe that God can Love ...even "a jerk like me or you"

God's love is described as a burning ... we spend time in purgatory by choice to be made pure & worthy God's love .. but can we ever be pure and worthy? I think the soul that realises that they are not worthy yet despite their faults God so Loved us - God so Loved YOU - he sent his only Son .. to accept that "yes God loves me or YOU .. even as I am" .. that is a letting go of self for God & that IS Heaven.

Hell is the inability to believe God loves us.

Judge not that you be not judged for the judgment you give is the judgement you shall receieve .. usually the worst judgement we make is on our own worth. Since we have free will God will never force you to believe he Loves you .. so if you eternally judge yourself unloveable then that is the judgement you will live with through eternity.

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