February 16, 2016

The Most Consequential, Church Approved Apparitions in the 20th Century Testify to the Reality of Hell

Hell
The two most consequential apparitions in the twentieth century were the appearance of our Lady to the children at Fatima and that of our Lord to Saint Faustina. In these visitations, the Blessed Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ urge humanity to reject sin and to pray unceasingly. Our Lady extolled the power of the daily Rosary for conversion and repentance. Our Lord taught Sister Faustina the Divine Mercy Chaplet to call upon God's mercy – especially for sinners and those near death.

God's message to us is unmistakable: Life is tenuous. The time for mercy and forgiveness is now. When Christ comes again, at the end of history, it will be as a just judge who separates the good from the wicked. The righteous will experience the Beatific Vision in Heaven. The lost will burn forever in the unquenchable fire that is Hell.

Since many today deny Hell's existence, it is worth remembering that during these apparitions, both Sister Lucy and St. Faustina witnessed Hell first hand and wrote about its horrors. At Fatima, Mary told Lucy, Jacinta and Francisco that many people go to Hell because they have no one to pray or make sacrifices on their behalf. She then showed the children a glimpse of Hell which Sr. Lucy describes in her book, Memoirs:
[Mary] opened Her hands once more, as She had done the two previous months. The rays [of light] appeared to penetrate the earth, and we saw, as it were, a vast sea of fire. Plunged in this fire, we saw the demons and the souls [of the damned]. The latter were like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, having human forms. They were floating about in that conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames which issued from within themselves, together with great clouds of smoke. Now they fell back on every side like sparks in huge fires, without weight or equilibrium, amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fright (it must have been this sight which caused me to cry out, as people say they heard me). The demons were distinguished [from the souls of the damned] by their terrifying and repellent likeness to frightful and unknown animals, black and transparent like burning coals. That vision only lasted for a moment, thanks to our good Heavenly Mother, Who at the first apparition had promised to take us to Heaven. Without that, I think that we would have died of terror and fear.
Throughout her life, Sister Faustina Kowalska, a barely literate, Polish nun, received visions of Christ, during which our Lord instructed her. Faustina recorded these conversations in her diary, later published as: The Diary of Saint Maria Faustina Kowalska: Divine Mercy in My Soul. Here, St. Faustina recounts her experience of Hell and graphically details the various unending torments inflicted on the damned:
Today, I was led by an angel to the chasm of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures that I saw; the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one's condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it — a terrible suffering, since 8it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God's anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness, and a terrible, suffocating smell, and despite the darkness, the devil and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and of their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of their sufferings.
There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.
The Church affirms the existence of Hell, its eternity and nature [i.e., the chief pain of Hell is one's separation from God; there are also physical privations in addition to spiritual death]. It does not describe eternal damnation in detail. The visions of Sr. Lucy and St. Faustina are private revelations, not the infallible Word of God. Nonetheless, the accounts of these heroic women of faith cannot be dismissed. Those who ignore such testimony do so at their own peril. Ultimately, it is our decision to sin or to love that determines whether we spend eternity in Hell. God respects our free will, even if we chose perdition over Him.

17 comments :

Marianne said...

Thank you for this article. I posted it on my FB. Hell is for real. I pray everyday for myself first, a sinner, my family and for others, that we will all have eternal peace and happiness in heaven. The Jubilee Year of Mercy is to wake us all up to pray earnestly for the time for mercy is NOW! Just this morning, whilst at prayer in church, my eyes glanced at the banner for the Year of Mercy, which depicted the prodigal son being embraced by the Father. I thought of the words of the prodigal son.. "I will rise and go to my father..." To me the Father's house was the confessional. So I pray that confessionals may not gather cobwebs but contrite souls may seek God's mercy as they repent with contrite hearts.
God bless
Yours in Christ
Marianne

Fatimite said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn't Pope Francis tell his good friend, (and celebrated atheist) Eugenio Scalfari, in interview # 4 last year that souls who do not go to heaven are annihilated? Couldn't one deduce from that comment that the Pope outright dismisses the existence and reality of hell?

Matthew Coffin said...

Fatimite,

The March 2015 interview [available here in Italian] to which you refer created a firestorm and was never published on the Vatican website. Mr. Scalfari has admitted that his interviews are reconstructions from memory. [He does not use a tape recorder or take notes.]

I wish His Holiness would refrain from granting informal interviews to atheist journalists who are no fans of the Church and whose journalistic ethics are dubious.

As for Francis' views concerning Hell; he very much believes in its existence and has spoken frequently about both it, and the diabolical efforts of the Devil in our fallen world.

Fatimite said...

Hello Mr. Coffin--thank you for clarifying and expanding upon my comment. I have read that Mr. Scalfari reconstructs from memory. But, hasn't it also been established that he submits his interviews to Pope Francis to proofread prior to publishing should he misreport?

Regardless, the most troubling aspect concerning the interview in question (and the others as well) is the fact that the Vatican has neither denied that the pope said this nor reaffirmed Church teaching. They question the accuracy of the interview--throw suspicion on what was reported--but have they ever flat-out denied that the Holy Father said that souls who don't enter heaven are annihilated?

Confusion is abound, even at the highest levels of the Church, and as one prominent US prelate said recently (albeit regarding the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family), "confusion is of the devil."



anonymous said...

This is what Jesus Christ, a non Catholic, said about Hell:
Matthew 13:41-42, 49-50 “The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. So it will be at the end of the age. The angels will come out and separate the evil from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Mark 9:43, 48-49 “And if your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than with two hands to go to hell, to the unquenchable fire…where their worm does not die and the fire is not quenched.’ For everyone will be salted with fire.”
Matthew 22:13 “Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
Matthew 8:12 “while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

These "saints" are saints because the Catholic church anointed them as so. But does that really make them a saint in the eyes of Jesus Christ? Anyone can say that Jesus appeared to them and took them to hell, but was it really Jesus? If this was Jesus who visited Faustina, why didn't he talk about all of these levels while he was alive and place them in the Gospels? And why wouldn't Faustina ask Lord, while on earth you said Hell is fire and weeping and gnashing of teeth due to eternal suffering imposed on all people in hell?
One more peculiarity about all of these people that visited hell, the repulsive demons are inflicting the suffering on individuals as they see fit, and to their great pleasure. Why would God allow the very beings who tried to destroy his creation and slaughtered his Son, eternal demonic pleasure and not suffering as the others? Makes no sense. Satan is thrown into the lake of fire at the end of the millenial reign, along with death and hell. Anitchrist and False Prophet are thrown alive into the lake of fire at the second coming of Jesus. Death and Hell are thrown into the lake of fire at the end of the millenial reign of Jesus. The dead (not in Christ) who missed the first resurrection (at the rapture of the saints and those alive on earth) are resurrected (the second resurrection) to appear at the Great White Throne judgement. They are gathered in bundles by angels as chaff and thrown into the lake of fire.
Demons, fallen angels, satan, death, hell, and condemned souls all receive the same eternal misery.
"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." This occurs at the second coming of Jesus.
And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

I do not believe any of these saints who claim they visited hell, especially with Jesus. Just as those who say they saw heaven and were dead, but then came back. Nowhere in scripture does it state different levels, different punishments in hell. Numerous scriptures specifically state that we die and sleep until the resurrection. Some to eternal life and some to eternal punishment. Psalmists and prophets state the dead sleep in sheol until resurrected to life or the second death.
The only one who can proclaim a soul to be a saint, is Jesus Christ at the first resurrection when he gives them a white robe. Like the man at the wedding feast who was not dressed properly, the groom tossed him into the darkness. Those not given a white robe will be tossed into the darkness and firey furnace. My rule of thumb is, If Jesus didn't say it in scripture, then it's a deception.

Rowland Stenrud '67 said...

"God respects our free will..." How can free will come into play with the threat of hell? No human being would choose to go against God if he or she really believed that hell would be the penalty for choosing otherwise. Furthermore, human beings cannot choose to do good unless they have been given the power to do so by the Holy Spirit. After his resurrection Jesus told his disciples, "And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). The unbeliever who is without the Holy Spirit has no choice but to walk according to the flesh. He doesn't understand the things of the Spirit.

Also, the Father made this promise: "Behold, I am making all things new" (Rev. 21:5). Pain and suffering is part of this old creation. If it continues into the New Creation, then all things have not been made new. The fires of hell are meant to heal the sinner of his wickedness. This is why the fire burns with sulfur. Sulfur has medicinal qualities and is still used today in modern medications.

God promised that He would wipe away all tears. How could we believers not shed tears for all eternity knowing of the sufferings of the damned, many of whom will be family and friends who died in unbelief?

Rowland Stenrud '67 said...

"God respects our free will..." How can free will come into play with the threat of hell? No human being would choose to go against God if he or she really believed that hell would be the penalty for choosing otherwise. Furthermore, human beings cannot choose to do good unless they have been given the power to do so by the Holy Spirit. After his resurrection Jesus told his disciples, "And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high" (Luke 24:49). The unbeliever who is without the Holy Spirit has no choice but to walk according to the flesh. He doesn't understand the things of the Spirit.

Also, the Father made this promise: "Behold, I am making all things new" (Rev. 21:5). Pain and suffering is part of this old creation. If it continues into the New Creation, then all things have not been made new. The fires of hell are meant to heal the sinner of his wickedness. This is why the fire burns with sulfur. Sulfur has medicinal qualities and is still used today in modern medications.

God promised that He would wipe away all tears. How could we believers not shed tears for all eternity knowing of the sufferings of the damned, many of whom will be family and friends who died in unbelief?

Matthew Coffin said...

Fatimite,

You may be right that Mr. Scalfari submitted his interviews to Pope Francis to proofread prior to their publication, although this generally isn’t done. In the interview you originally cited, the text does not have quotation marks around the statements attributed to the Holy Father. Furthermore, the Vatican did not publish the interview on its website or in its newspaper. The private discussions, personal opinions, and public utterances of pontiffs should not be considered official texts, much less Church doctrine. The fact that the secular media and various public figures of renown, among others, treat them as such has, as you correctly point out, led to confusion.

We should pray for the Holy Father’s apostolic exhortation on family life to be issued in March.

Thank you for your observations.

ck said...

If one looks around at the suffering that is inflicted by evil upon mankind , it would seem that man creates his own hell right here on earth. And that if the death of Jesus Christ payed the price of the sin by becoming sin for all mankind then what is left to pay ? God created all out of perfect love and Jesus Christ became God Man because of that perfect love. Jesus said Father forgive them for they know NOT what they do . Mankind was saved out of his ignorance not his understanding. Jesus met Gods justice on the Cross and man met Gods mercy in the Resurrection. Jesus said Behold I make all things new not some things ALL things new!

stephen murphy said...

Please remember that there is nothing in scriptures that indicates that everything Jesus said or did was written down;just the opposite. Jesus did establish a Church to spread His message to the ends of the earth.

Dan Sprague said...

I love my Catholic friends and family and others who pursue the heart and mind of God! Seek God's infallible Word and the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the absolute truth. God would have told us if he were sending a human who would be infallible in interpreting and teaching of God's Word. The Catholic Church tradition and doctrine was in large part created by the Roman Emperor Constantine several hundred years after the upper room experience. Do an honest and thorough study of the Catholic Church history and you will find it steep in paganism with wolves in sheep's clothing. Millions of God's people were slaughtered by such wolves! Wake up to God's message without the confusing fine print inserted between verses of the Bible according to the Catholic Church tradition. I have listened to hundreds of testimonies of cradle Catholics who after many years of being confused by the Catholic Church doctrine discover a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus . If you really want to experience the fullness of Christ we can go directly through God's Word and humble prayer to our Heavenly Father himself! Rest assured that if God by His divine insisted that you go through the Catholic Church in order to have a relationship with him would have told you so in his inspired word. Jesus told us he was leaving temporarily and that the Holy Spirit would come and dwell within us and reveal to us God's heart and mind. He did not tell us he was sending us a pope. Trust the Word of God.

Matthew Coffin said...

Dan,

I have no doubt that you love your Catholic friends and family who pursue the heart and mind of God. I published your comment despite its numerous demonstrably false assertions about Catholicism. I don’t have the time or the inclination to refute them one by one, nor do I wish to argue the finer points of theology in the comments section. The idea that the Catholic Church was founded or created by the Emperor Constantine is easily dismissed. Equally fallacious is the notion that the Catholic Church is responsible for the ‘slaughter of millions’. Christ clearly gave Peter primacy among his Apostles [See, St. Peter, the Rock, the Keys, and the Primacy of Rome in the Early Church.]

Regarding your contention that Catholics lack a personal and intimate relationship with Jesus; there is nothing more intimate or personal than Catholics who, when we receive Communion, receive Christ into our very bodies to be more fully assimilated into His.

I will not respond to rebuttals, however well intended, for such debate is rarely productive or enlightening.

Peace be with you.

Mechelle Perry said...

I can suggest to all Non Catholics who do not understand SAINTS Cannonized by the Catholic Church, in which is only by the works of JESUS CHRIST through GOD the Father purifying their souls to a level of santification for the purpose of GOD alone to do great works on earth and in Heaven.
I suggest you study St Padre Pio and St Francis of Assisi who both were great saints on earth who lived with all the wounds of the Crucified Lord. There are great EX- Protestant pastors that have converted to the One True Church and I suggest you study the great works of these great convert pastors who gave up their only pay check in total faith to live out the truth of Matthew 16:18 Dr. Scott Hahn, Allen Hunt, Tim Staple, Alex Jones and many many more. The Journey Home on EWTN Catholic TV station is another great program of those who have found the truth. Dr. Gary Smith a protestant pastor has written a great book on the deception of the SO CALL RAPTURE which DOES NOT exist !! and has lead many souls astray.
GOD says that NOTHING UNCLEAN WILL ENTER THE GATES OF HEAVEN,,, and UNLESS WE BECOME LIKE LITTLE CHILDREN WE SHALL NOT SEE THE FACE OF GOD.....
Pray for the LORD to purify your heart, soul and mind so that you can enter the gates of HEAVEN and not stay in PURGATORY for eternity. the book of Macabees.

James Albrecht said...

Dan Sprague,
Of course God sent individuals to teach us about his word. If you are familiar with the Gospels, you know this is indisputable. He sent them out to teach in his name, cast out demons, baptize, re-present the last supper--various things Jesus told his disciples to do.

Some of these followers performed the act of teaching by writing down the gospels and other texts. Some of these texts were canonized as the New Testament by the successors of those disciples.

So clearly, the authority of these humans that Jesus sent out preceded the authority of the texts--which did not event exist at that time.

And if you consider the life of a christian even today, the gospel is delivered by a person, not a disembodied text. Someone--your parents, a friend, a preacher--brings the gospel to you. God's obvious choice was to spread the message person to person. Not by text alone.

Best regards,

Karen Bourgon said...

When I saw this article on Spirit Daily, I felt it might be of interest for me to add my own horrible glimpse of hell, that God, for whatever reason, chose to reveal to me in a dream. I add to others' testimony that this place is indeed very real, and I reiterate that which I said when I first published the dream on my spiritual website, The Deliverance Network (done under the authority of my Catholic priest spiritual directors): " OH! PEOPLE OF THE WORLD, HEED MY WITNESS! YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE HERE!!!". The link to the published writing is here: http://thedeliverancenetwork.com/2010/01/29/the-face-of-satan-part-xii-the-reality-of-hell/
God bless!

Truth Seeker said...

I am glad to see this article on hell - which is very real. I was very disturbed when I watched a youtube video of Bishop Robert Barron give his comments on hell - ending with there is a "possibility" of people being there! A "possibility"??? Is he saying it is possibly empty? I know we cannot know WHO is there - but I definitely believe there are many many souls there. I also asked a monsignor about hell - and he too said, "The church does not teach on it" and he said, "We don't know if anyone is there." It is very very sad that those who are supposed to be teaching the truths about our Catholic faith, and what the Church teaches, as well as God's words through scripture are teaching falsehoods. Much prayer for all clergy is needed daily!

Rowland Stenrud '67 said...

CK, thanks for your comment. I partly disagree with your statement: "And that if the death of Jesus Christ payed the price of the sin by becoming sin for all mankind then what is left to pay?" I don't agree with this substitutionary atonement theology (also known as satisfaction theology and popularized by St. Anselm of Canterbury in his 1098 AD work, Cur Deus Homo) expressed by your statement.

Jesus's baptism of fire was for the purpose of creating the new man, the new Adam. Jesus's is the beginning of the New Creation. The Father's creative work described in Genesis was only the first step in his plan to create mankind in his perfect image. Even before they sinned, Adam and Eve were not in God's perfect image. If they had been, they would not have sinned. The Father breathed a soul into the human father of mankind, but He did not pour out His Spirit on Adam like He did on Jesus. Jesus was the first human being to be made in God's perfect image. And Jesus was perfected through his suffering in obedience to the Father. And if Jesus needed to be perfected, certainly Adam and Eve needed this even before they sinned. Jesus never sinned, but he still needed to be perfected.

If you don't believe that Jesus was perfected by his suffering on the cross, then please read the Letter to the Hebrews
2:10-11 and 5:8-10. I was shocked too when I read this. When we believers put off the old man born of Adam and are born again in Jesus, we too then become part of the New Creation.

God's justice and wrath was never the primary problem regarding mankind's relationship with God. The major obstacle in mankind's relationship with God was and is our very nature inherited from Adam. Our Adamic flesh nature is in rebellion against God from the very day of our birth (Gen. 8:21 and Psalm 58:3) It is this that required Jesus to go to the cross, not God's sense of justice or His wrath against evil. God was always willing to forgive human sin without any price being paid. But forgiveness would do no good unless men and women were re-created in the Spirit by which they would truly be in God's image and likeness and thereby able to repent of their sins and love God and neighbor.

This perfecting of Jesus was not completed until his resurrection. It was Jesus's resurrection that made him to be fully in the "image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation" (Col. 1:15). Colossians is speaking of the New Creation, not the Genesis creation. "He [Jesus] is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead..., For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him [God] reconcile[d] to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross" (Col. 1:18b-20)