I recently received my January/February issue of ENVOY MAGAZINE. It is an excellent issue with many good articles. In the Bible we read: “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” Taken from St. Sister M. Faustina Kowalska’s “DIARY: Divine Mercy in My Soul” — we have recounted her experience of hell.
“I Sister Faustina Kowalska, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence…the devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.” (Diary 741)
We do not reflect on hell to try to scare anyone, instead we wish to be rooted in true reality. St. Ignatius Loyola in his “SPIRIUTAL EXERCISES” tells us of the importance of this meditation, especially to keep us from mortal sin. Let me continue with some of what Sister Faustina relates to us concerning hell:
“Today, I was led by an angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw:
The first torture that constitutes hell is — the loss of God.
The second is — perpetual remorse of conscience.
The third is — that one’s condition will never change.
The fourth is — the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it. A terrible suffering since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger.
The fifth is — continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own.
The sixth is — the constant company of Satan.
The seventh is — horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings.”
Sister Faustina goes on to speak about the “indescribable sufferings” of hell:
“There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me.
Let the sinner [i.e., one who dies in the state of mortal sin] know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like…how terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God’s mercy upon them. O My Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend you by the least sin.” (Diary 741)
The “Divine Mercy” of Jesus Christ is all the more meaningful in light of this vision of hell. The vision of Christ’s mercy that comes to us through His sacrificial death on the Cross is our consolation and our hope. He has saved us from eternal damnation, suffering and death and has opened the way to everlasting life and happiness in heaven. Choose today! I set before you the blessing and the curse, life and death!