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Our Father in Heaven denies to no-one the opportunity to know Christ, and to receive the gift of Heaven. Whether in earthly life, or at the moment of death, each person in our village hears the truth; but many say: 'To join the Church would be inconvenient', or 'To serve God will cause me trouble', or 'Life is too short to make sacrifices'. They forget the purpose of life - and our destination, which will be, eventually, Heaven or Hell.
Right from the beginning of His earthly life, Christ was aware of His origin, His Divine nature and His human nature - and His utterly free and purposeful movement forwards as He fulfilled His Heavenly Father's wishes. He knew this would mean complete self-sacrifice, and a great triumph.
A person who is on his way to Hell has taken that downward path only by a series of deliberate, freely-chosen acts or thoughts by which he defies God or disobeys His laws. Yet if he pauses, and regrets his choices, and simply calls out "O God, Help me" - he will be helped to move upwards towards the light: helped by God who loves Him.
It is the Will of God to draw us up, to share His Divine life, so that each of us, after death, might live eternally within the interpenetration and communion of the Three Divine Persons in the ecstatic Unity within the Godhead. Yet this is not possible for those who oppose His Will or refuse to believe in the Son Who died to save us.
Christ looks on with sadness as many sinners ignore all His warnings and reminders about the fate of those who refuse to repent and to abandon their sins. Everyone alive on Earth right now is making his or her way towards Heaven, or towards Hell, by free and determined choices.
Just as a child needs to know about dangerous traffic, though not the details of possible injuries, so all Catholics need to know about the danger of turning away from God - though not read lists about the agonies of Hell. Hell awaits the damned, however: it awaits those who have refused to take notice of gentle warnings and vigorous reminders.
All who persist in mortal sin until they die will fall immediately into the fires of Hell, as Christ Himself has warned us. Through their own fault, they will suffer for all Eternity, having abandoned God, preferring the pleasure they found in adultery, pornography, or other serious sins.
Those who have freely turned away from Christ in earthly life, refusing His friendship and ignoring His laws, will suffer the 'loss of God' for all Eternity. They have condemned themselves, and will never look upon His lovely face, or know joy.
Christ showed me Hell, where poor sinners go, at death, if they have refused to love Him, refused to take the safe road to Heaven. By their own choice they shut themselves away from Him, and endure the torment of regret, the darkness and flames of Hell, and loss of hope, forever.
God looks upon the world as the Christ-figure looks down from the mountain-top to see Rio and Brazil spread beneath Him; and He sees the fate of all those who refuse to allow him to lift them up to glory. Those who will not obey His instructions must fall, when they die, into the Abyss nearby, into the Eternal Fire of the damned.
Some conversions take a long time. Before a lasting conversion, a person needs to go on a 'journey' to the very centre of his soul and mind. By Divine grace, he can discover his own true will. Is his will fixed on achieving pleasure, above all, or power, or physical fitness, or truth or fame? He can discover his own motives, and change them, after providential times of rest and reflection.
Christ is the only one who can cut the bars of sin in which we are imprisoned, like passengers on a doomed liner. Some people, however, do not want to change, and are not pleased to be approached by Christ or His followers.
Many people allow Christ to rescue them from captivity in their sins. Some people - as if turning away from a rescuer beside their doomed ship - want to persist in their sinful activities. They will all drown, unlike those who bravely plunge into the water, to reach Christ. "THOSE WHO REFUSE BAPTISM ARE LOST", if they understand what baptism truly means.
Christ came from Heaven as a man: a fire of Divine Love, embodied. His presence 'melted' and changed some people, who enjoyed a new and glorious life; but other people had no desire to allow Him to 'thaw' their frozen hearts and cold souls, and reacted to Him with anger.
People who meet Christ after death vary in their reactions. A person on fire with Divine Love is overjoyed to greet Him. Someone aware of her still-cold heart will accept the painful 'thawing' which is her purification. Someone frozen in spirit and unwilling to be changed will freely choose to hurl himself away, into Hell.
It is the Lord's wish that the Last Judgement picture be used on a sanctuary wall, as a reminder of the truths we ought to know: that each of us, by our freely-made choices, is walking towards either Heaven - by the grace of Christ - or towards Hell, which is the loss of God.
It is part of Christ's plan that this 'Last Judgement' picture serve as an image in a sanctuary, and as a restatement of truth, an illustration of the Catechism, a teaching aid, and a proof of my own understanding of the Gospel: that each of us is making our way to Heaven or Hell, through our freely made choices as we accept or reject the graces Christ won for us on the Cross.
A person who ends his life in Hell is trapped, and hopeless. He had one life on earth, and countless opportunities in which to do good, to love God and his neighbour and to make wise choices. But in freely choosing to do evil, right to the end, he chose to live in Satan's Kingdom, from which there is no escape.
At the Last Judgement, the Angels and Saints who have joined in the praises of Catholics at Mass will gaze upon those Catholics who used to pray with them but who stopped attending. They will look on with pity, as those unhappy souls realise how dreadful has been their carelessness in God's service - or as some souls finally turn away from God, to enter darkness.
A person who is sorry for his sins, at death, will be saved in Christ. But some people refuse to repent. One who says, "I have no sin" makes God to be a liar, and can certainly not be saved, nor find joy in Heaven. No-one receives an unjust judgement.
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