The World is getting more and more insane, in my opinion. Ultimately, though, that is not what matters. What matters is getting to Heaven and avoiding Hell. My section on Heaven is shorter than my section on Hell, but it’s only because Heaven is so hard to describe.
Heaven: Quam Dilecta
Here, Hilary White has a beautiful post on Heaven, containing the Psalm which begins,
Quam dilecta tabernacula tua, Domine virtutum!
(How lovely are Thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!)
Frankly, the word dilecta is so dilectable, it’s almost enough by itself to make me want to go to Heaven.
Dilecta! Mmmmmmm. Yummy. Let it roll off the tongue. It practically sounds like that which it describes.
And the word in English, lovely, is almost as lovely. Do go and read Hilary’s post on Heaven.
Hell: Her damned face
This is the place you really want to avoid. Catholics who care about where their friends will end up, occasionally try to share the Gospel. Yes, we know it annoys everyone, but really, what’s that compared to hating and being hated by everyone and everything for all eternity? You know those great parties they have in Hell, where you and your friends all think you’re going to have a great time? Yeah? They don’t exist. In Hell you will hate your “friends” and they will hate you. You will hate your damned children and your damned parents and they will hate you. Hate is all there is in Hell.
You don’t want to go there.
Oh, and by the way, I have started praying really dangerous prayers like, “Dear God, please do whatever it takes to get me, my family and friends to heaven.”
One woman I heard of prayed a prayer like that and was diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer a month later.
But I’m so fed up with the obstinacy of my friends and family in this matter and with my own various failings that it’s time to get deadly serious. And yes, I expect He will answer these prayers and I expect it will be drastic.
Whatever it takes, Lord.
If you want to avoid Hell, but aren’t even sure if you believe in God or not, or what is true, just do as Ann Barnhardt suggests and pray “God, I don’t want to go to Hell.” Really, He can work with that, but do try to follow His inspirations.
My favourite prayer right now, which I often pray is:
O My Jesus, forgive us our sins. Save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to heaven, especially those who most need Thy mercy. Amen.
In this post, Ann relates a story from a priest, in which he finally works up the courage to tell a parishioner to stop desecrating the Eucharist (ie to stop assaulting Jesus).
I know something like this should be a no-brainer. But the temptation to cowardice this time was particularly strong. Then I saw it. I saw what you described in your post. I saw her damned face. By the grace of God there was imprinted deeply onto my imagination her damned face staring back at me. With all her sorrow. With all her contempt for my cowardice. With her regret for her adultery. With her disgust for the bad advice she received from previous priests. I saw her damned sad face. I imagined the hell of staring at her face for all eternity. And I said, ‘hell no.’
Hell. You don’t want to go there. God doesn’t want you to, either, but He will respect your free will.
Non-Catholics. Become Catholic. (Please, at least look seriously at it).
Catholics: Go to Confession.