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As a drug-user suffers when his supply of drugs is withdrawn, and his whole body cries out for its former source of pleasure and well-being, so a soul in Hell suffers - because of his own free choices - when, in Hell, he is suddenly without all those things that make it pleasurable and joyful to be a human being. He is without light, love, joy, peace, beauty, comfort or tenderness - all through his own fault, by his sinful choices.
A mother with a seriously-sick child keeps loving her. She would do nothing to harm her. She would not kill her, however - just as God does not kill the people He loves, even when they have freely chosen to abandon Him, hate Him, and then find themselves in Hell, suffering from the absence of light and love.
An unrepentant soul who had died and was about to fall down deep into Hell was shouting out in fury at the Holy God - the only God - Whom that soul despised and Whose laws it had ignored.
Many priests fail to mention the Cross. Jesus died on it, because of our sins. Few warnings are given from the pulpit, by many priests, about the serious sin by which people condemn themselves to Hell if they do not repent before they die. Many are lost because they have failed to repent of their adulteries, suicides, abortions, and lack of faith in God.
Each person on earth is given the choice: whether to serve God or to ignore Him. Those who refuse to live according to God's laws offer a great insult to their Creator; and if they persist in that state until death, it will be as if each is freely choosing to hurl himself away from his Creator, and so away from all love, light and joy.
We should be obedient to Christ, Who teaches through His Church. A lone soldier working on a special mission in a dangerous country can be more likely to stay out of danger if he obeys the precise instructions given by his commander, who can see the whole area. We too should obey our Commander's instructions even when we do not understand the need for certain moves. He wants to save us.
God never ceases to pour out His love and forgiveness towards us all; yet a person who hides behind His sins, by refusing to let go of them, stops that divine love and forgiveness reaching Him. His darkness and sadness are self-chosen; yet by repentance, he exchanges his filthy rags for a clean white garment, and his sins are banished.
If we persevere in fervent love of God and of our neighbour we can arrive at the top of the mountain of holiness, and enter Heaven as soon as we die. Those friends of Christ who grow luke-warm or careless are collected, at death, and taken to Purgatory, to be made fully-alive and joyful, ready for Heaven. People who have walked down the mountain, of their own free will, are heading towards the Abyss, and doom.
Some people want intimate friendship with Christ, but refuse to keep His Commandments. In refusing, it is as though they insist on walking a different road from His Way to Heaven. They end up on dangerous side-roads or cul-de-sacs.
He sat in the depth of despair, in Hell, wondering how he could have been so foolish to have thought that his ways of acting were better than the ways of charity, peace, kindness and healing.
I 'saw' a man falling into Hell, it seemed, as he shouted at the Lord: "How dare You do this to me!" But that angry soul had spurned the Lord's friendship and forgiveness and by his own choices had chosen to be separated from God.
A person who has welcomed the Spirit of Christ into his soul can count on the Holy Spirit to carry him across the Abyss when he dies, to meet Christ and to make his way into Heaven - even if through Purgatory. But the man who has persisted in saying to God: "I don't need you", will find, at death, that he falls into the Abyss.
Our Lady spoke about those people who deliberately ignore her prayers, and the good advice of other people, and who deliberately take the path that leads to Hell. If they do not repent before the 'door' of death closes, they will be trapped in torment forever.
The journey to Heaven can be seen as a route across dangerous terrain, to the beautiful city hidden far beyond the mountains. People who refuse good advice about travel and who insist on going where they please, and persevering in their sins, are like people foolish enough to insist on hopping all the way, or riding a unicycle.
By our intercessions, and the grace of Christ, we lift up our friends to God; it is as though we help them to travel with greater calm, as if on an escalator, and to have a 'higher' viewpoint, and time for reflection - but they retain their free-will. We do not lift them into Heaven.
People who have been helped by our intercession can be brought to the edge of the bridge that Christ has constructed for us, which leads to Heaven. The handrails represent the Church, the firm grid beneath our feet, the Commandments. People who ignore warnings rush wherever they please, and fall through the gaps into the flames below.
Just as there was a place allotted and made ready for each child, at the nursery school, so there is a 'place' ready for each of us in Heaven, if we will accept God's invitation, and persevere in faith and love, to the end.
How can a man 'lose' God after death, by being in Hell, separated from God, when it is God Who holds everyone in existence? It is as if a man were living in a bright, beautiful home, but insisted on building concrete walls of sinfulness around Himself, which he refused to destroy. He would have 'lost' the company of His family and friends, while his suffering would be entirely due to his own actions.
Everyone who discovers the Catholic Church can study, and ask questions, to learn more about the gift of faith. Some people shut their hearts and minds, to that free gift. They do not want to believe, because it would bring them the suffering of abandoning sinful habits. Yet the worst suffering of all is experienced at the loss of God, for unrepentant sinners.
Those who freely and deliberately decide to disobey Divine Law on sexual morality, as taught by Christ through His Church, and who lead unchaste lives, are like people who freely board a train, laid on by Satan. It steadily descends, then enters a great hole in the ground.
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