We can hear the word "hell" used frequently in the workplace, on TV and radio, in all types of popular music, at the ballgames — everywhere, it seems, except in church, the one place where we most need to be repeatedly taught and warned about the reality of hell, that is, the "state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God" (Catechism, 1033). Not enough people in our society have a healthy fear of ending up in hell. Fewer still seem to have the fear of the Lord, the Judge of all (see Jas 5:9).
If we ignore the reality that we could freely choose eternity in hell over an eternity with Jesus, we ignore the serious effects of sin. This denies the need to be saved from our sins. Thus, we make ourselves a god. We kick God off the judge's bench and sit there ourselves. We judge that we're doing OK, and that our sins are not serious (or they aren't even sins in our eyes). We judge that we'll go to heaven, because we're not in danger of going to hell. We're safe from danger, so we don't need a Savior.
The original sin happened because man succumbed to the temptation to be like God and judge for himself what was good and bad (Gn 3:5). Repent of taking the place of God and judging yourself. Even St. Paul did not dare to judge himself (1 Cor 4:3). Like the tax collector, throw yourself on the mercy of God and pray, "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner" (Lk 18:13).
Don't delay even a moment. Repent now! Confess Jesus as your Lord and Savior (Rm 10:9). Reject sin, Satan, and hell.
|Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") for One Bread, One Body covering the period from August 1, 2005 through September 30, 2005.
†Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 8, 2005.