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A person who is deep in mortal sin, and does not care, whether through ignoring God's existence or His laws, is like a man playing cards in a coal-mine, unconcerned that the shaft leading out of the mine could collapse at any moment. Death is the 'collapse' that would leave him trapped, without God's love and light, forever.
By prayer and penance, which includes the offering-up of daily troubles, we can help to rescue people in danger of Hell, people who are unworried about mortal sin. It's as though such people are playing cards deep underground, unaware of the danger they are in; and the one who prays and does penance is crawling through a tunnel, to pull them out, to reach God's light and love.
When a monk or nun or devout lay-person offers prayers and penances in order to draw a soul away away from mortal sin, into a state of grace, it's as though that sinner has been pushed along in a dangerous coal-mine, helped to reach the main shaft leading upwards so that he can reach God's light, and freedom.
There is no doubt about it. By uniting ourselves with Christ, in prayer, and in patient acceptance of our sufferings and humiliations, for love of Him, and by our intercessions for people in need, we are saving many from committing mortal sin, or from dying unrepentant and falling into Hell.
A person trapped in mortal sin who does not want to be rescued and who does not really believe that he is in danger of damnation is like an old man living in a basement room, covered in dirt and dust, and who struggles to climb the steep stairs, but who refuses to live elsewhere. He blithely ignores the danger of being fatally ill, and alone.
Just as a branch is gradually weighed down by snow, which has arrived quietly, one snow-flake at a time until a great burden of snow causes the branch to bend, so a person can become weighed down, through carelessness, by one venial sin after another, so that he scarcely notices when he commits a mortal sin, and forgets about his salvation.
There are near-misses on the roads every day, and even fatal crashes. Christians in other circumstances even risk death for their Faith. Are we all ready for Heaven, if we meet sudden death? Christ wants us to examine our lives, to make an honest assessment of our spiritual state, in case we have not repented of mortal sins.
A wise person tries to lead a life worthy of Heaven, and so is already living in God's glorious light, when at death, she is called to step forward into Heaven. People who are trapped in mortal sin, by their own free choices, are as if held in a deep pit, in this life. If they do not repent before they die, they will be in that pit at death, unable to enter Heaven, separated from God for all Eternity, by their own fault.
A man who carelessly and deliberately commits mortal sin, but who does not walk away from the Church is like a man on a narrow ladder in a mineshaft, above a fiery pit, in danger, but who has a safety-rope round his waist - from Heaven. If he begins to climb upwards, he can find safety at last, and avoid the flames.
A person who is in mortal sin who not only disobeys God's Commandments but deliberately leaves the Church is like a man on a narrow ladder, in a mine-shaft, above a fiery pit, who deliberately cuts the safety-rope that God had put around him to save him from falling into the flames.
It is a tragedy when people die suddenly, especially if they are unprepared or trapped in mortal sin. Each is catapulted into the presence of the Creator, and is carried towards Heaven, if in a state of grace, possessed by the Holy Spirit, or else falls into Hell. We should all give up our sins, and love God, and show love for Him and our neighbour.
When a great natural disaster strikes, people are suddenly taken from what was preoccupying their heart, mind and efforts. They will be judged by God, who sees who was occupied with ordinary duties, who was planning an adulterous affair, for example, or who was cooking a meal and whether she was holy or in a state of mortal sin. How blessed are those who are ready to die at any moment.
It is a tragedy when a massive natural disaster strikes, and people on earth are suddenly orphaned, bereaved, or injured or lost; but it is an even greater disaster that so many of those who have died have gone to God whilst unprepared, or living in mortal sin. How fortunate are all who have led holy lives.
A person who goes his own way, ignoring God's laws, and not caring about committing mortal sin, is like a person in a lift which is hurtling towards destruction because the cable has snapped. Unless he accepts that he is in danger, and calls for help in time, he will perish.
We do not always feel wonderful after a good Confession, because we are like a man who has climbed out of a deep mine shaft - mortal sin - and who now sits exhausted on the ground. But within the soul the peace of Christ increases, as Christ present within the soul gives grace and spiritual nourishment.
There is only one Heaven: the one that people can hope to enter because of what Christ has done to make a way in, to give us access to the Father. There is no other Heaven. Only through union with Christ can people enter, some straight away, others - if not in mortal sin - after some purification.
Just as an astronaut who deliberately cuts himself free from his spacecraft risks floating away alone into space, to die, so a person in mortal sin risks finding himself eternally 'lost' without any of the joy and peace and love of God, his Eternal 'Home'
To be in a state of grace is like living in the sunlight with people you love, in beautiful surroundings. To be in mortal sin is to be trapped, spiritually, as if in a dark alley-way, slimy underfoot, and filthy, whilst other people are free and joyful. With God's help, we can live in the light.
A person in mortal sin is like a man on a mountain-side looking into a beautiful valley, towards the City of God, but unable to see a way in. He cannot, by his own power, be restored to a state of grace, or - if he dies - enter Heaven. He needs the help of God, to find forgiveness and salvation.
There is one way into Heaven, made by Christ. It is found by people who walk along the road marked out by Christ. By repentance and Baptism, people are made radiant with Divine grace, ready to walk through the gates of Heaven when they die. Even the person in mortal sin, if he descends from his isolation, can be purified and made worthy to enter.
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