Wednesday, July 14, 2010
At a funeral, the optimist says something like "He's gone up to be With Jesus Now." We always tend to give the dead the benefit of the doubt. That's why you never hear a person at a funeral say something like "I'll bet he'll fit right in at hell"
Now the Catholic Church doesn't actually tell us which people go to hell, Nor is their any way of determining that. All we know is that the ones that the Church has canonized are truly in heaven, as for those who aren't...we have no clue. It's up to God.
The Catholic Church teaches that Hell Does exist. In fact the Catechism of the Catholic Church says rather bluntly "The Teaching of The Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity" (CCC 1035)
And again, the Church doesn't actually formally teach that there is anyone in hell, but it doesn't say anything contrary either.
It would actually be very imprudent to assume that hell is vacant. In fact, it is probably safe to assume that there are more people in hell than in heaven.
Our Lord tells us "enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few."
Basically: if hell's gates are wide open, and heaven's gates aren't the easy choice, we can assume that the "Easy Life" isn't the life that leads to the narrow gate.
The Catechism Also tells us that "To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of Definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell." CCC 1033
If unrepented mortal sin will lead us to hell then we had better get rid of all the sin in our life. If you have mortal sin in your life right now...I encourage you to stop reading and pray to God for forgiveness and get to the sacrament of Confession as soon as possible.
but Back to the Optimist. He gives everyone the benefit of the doubt when he should really be neutral on the whole issue...we just don't know. But He makes an interesting point when he says "He's with Jesus now"
Ultimately, we want to be with Jesus in Heaven. But we can be with Jesus Now. Spending time in adoration before the blessed Sacrament is to spend time With Jesus. If we want to be with Jesus in heaven, we should show it by spending time with him on earth.
Remember that Our Lord Came to set us free from Sin. All it takes to avoid hell is to go to confession and attempt to live a pius life, and if we screw up, we go back to confession. The Lord is Kind and Merciful!