FishEaters Traditional Catholic Forums

Full Version: Honey, That’s What Hell is Like
You're currently viewing a stripped down version of our content. View the full version with proper formatting.
Pages: 1 2 3


So, what do you guys think about the way this mother handled this situation? From Stacy Trasancos:



Honey, That’s What Hell is Like
November 18, (AD) 2013



The other day a particular child,* I shall not say which, committed a serious offense against her grandmother. If said child were an adult, it would not only have been illegal, it would have been a transgression of a commandment, a mortal sin. Although I wanted to shake the sneaky little mini-me, I mostly wanted her to understand the seriousness of the pain she caused her family and God, and ultimately would cause herself if she didn’t control her actions. I wanted her to be sincerely contrite. When she apologized rather triumphantly, as if we should all congratulate her for it and move on, well, my nose flared and my eyes slanted, and that usually happens seconds before my mouth becomes cathartic, which it did.

I didn’t play the hell-fire card; I wouldn’t. I wanted to teach her about love, communion, and the responsibility of belonging to a family. I’ve experienced a certain hell on earth in the dark days of my past when I rejected God and hurt my family. I’ve known inner loneliness and the despair of regret. I’ve inflicted bodily injury when the emotional pain was too great to bear. Of course, I couldn’t tell her that, so after a sufficiently didactic soliloquy (ahem), we sent her to bed with a somber kiss, and let it go ’til morning.

That night she cried out, and I found her trembling in bed. She’d dreamt that a plane carrying her family across the country to visit her grandmother crashed in the forest, and she was the sole survivor. “Mommy, I thought I’d be alone and lost forever.”

“Honey, that’s what hell is like, permanent separation from the people you love and from God who loves you most. You can choose to turn away from that love, but it is a terrible, lonely place, more painful than we can ever imagine. Nothing is worth that separation.”

She was nodding before I finished. The next day, with the sweetest tears in her eyes, she apologized to all of us on her own. There is an immense joy in reconciliation. Broken relationships feel like hell, but reunions are heavenly. As happy as I was that she learned that lesson, my nose and eyes twitched again as an anger welled inside me. That’s why Satan tries to destroy families, isn’t it? So children will grow to expect hell. This time, instead of running my mouth, I silently prayed for those children and hoped my prayers, like so many hugs, could somehow help them know the loving embrace of our Father.

*Said child gave permission to share this experience.

Vox Wrote:Of course, one of the commenters had this to say:

[html]
Quote:I will state up front that I am not a believer and I therefore consider what you are teaching your kid appalling. Teaching children about heaven and hell is just an underhanded way of controlling their behavior that goes beyond what is really necessary. All one needs to convey to a child is the question: "how would you feel if someone did that to you?"

Using Santa Claus to control a child's behavior is dishonest. Using an all knowing, omnipresent deity for that purpose is even worse because believing in Santa Claus is temporary. Believing in God, heaven and hell can last a lifetime.
[/html]

Whatevah. But the article does raise the question of how to talk to kids about Hell without making them inordinately afraid. A friend of mine, for ex., was raised Baptist, and as a child, always felt as if God were "out to get him" all the time, just waiting for him to err so He could toss him into Hell. He was also taught that "Rapture" stuff. He'd have to walk home from school and along the way, would be terrified he'd get home to find an empty house, with his parents having been "raptured up," leaving him alone. To this day, as a grown man, He has no warm feelings toward God and doesn't perceive Him as a loving Father.

So: how to balance out God's Justice and His Mercy is a kid's mind, when talking to a wee one about sin, punishment, Hell, etc.? 

Eh...I prefer to go this route when talking to my kids about Hell.  LOL

I think it will depend on the age of the child and their maturity.

I have a 5-year-old and we're just starting to touch on the topic of death - her realization that her paternal grandmother is deceased and the woman she calls "Grandma" is not in fact Daddy's mommy, but Bestefar's wife. We've been talking a lot about what Heaven is like (she wanted to know what kind of cars the angels are allowed to drive if the streets are paved with gold), but we haven't touched on Hell specifically yet.

But we do talk about how God has rules for us like how Mommy and Daddy have rules for her and her siblings. That there are consequences for breaking the rules, but saying sorry helps, just like with Mommy and Daddy.

We've also talked at length about Hitler (we've referred to him as the bad man across the ocean who killed lots of people, and that's why great-grandpa became a soldier and went to war), so she has some concept about evil. But Hell specifically hasn't been broached yet. I equate purgatory to a "time-out", but what would you compare Hell to for a child?
Quote:We've also talked at length about Hitler (we've referred to him as the bad man across the ocean who killed lots of people, and that's why great-grandpa became a soldier and went to war), so she has some concept about evil. But Hell specifically hasn't been broached yet. I equate purgatory to a "time-out", but what would you compare Hell to for a child?
Heaven is when you can play games and listen to stories with your mum and dad
Purgatory is when you did something very wrong and mum and dad told you that you will stay in your room for five hours and think about what you did.
Hell is when you don't want to see mom and dad and you stay in this room because you're too proud to apologise.
(11-24-2013, 05:49 AM)PolishTrad Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:We've also talked at length about Hitler (we've referred to him as the bad man across the ocean who killed lots of people, and that's why great-grandpa became a soldier and went to war), so she has some concept about evil. But Hell specifically hasn't been broached yet. I equate purgatory to a "time-out", but what would you compare Hell to for a child?
Heaven is when you can play games and listen to stories with your mum and dad
Purgatory is when you did something very wrong and mum and dad told you that you will stay in your room for five hours and think about what you did.
Hell is when you don't want to see mom and dad and you stay in this room because you're too proud to apologise.

Brilliant!
There are too many misconceptions about hell.  It is not a place where demons have fun abusing humans. Are they not guilty too?  In hell all suffer, both man and angel, because
God love is a consuming fire.  If you love God his fire will not harm but will enlighten you like the burning bush or the three youths in the furnace (book of Daniel). If you have no love for God this same fire of his love will be unbearably painful.  We need to focus on God's love and how to be in union with His love rather than on justice.  All those who go to hell are there or their own accord because they have no love for God or His people.  Love..do not hate.
(11-25-2013, 11:37 AM)meadjodha Wrote: [ -> ]There are too many misconceptions about hell.  It is not a place where demons have fun abusing humans. Are they not guilty too?  In hell all suffer, both man and angel, because
God love is a consuming fire.  If you love God his fire will not harm but will enlighten you like the burning bush or the three youths in the furnace (book of Daniel). If you have no love for God this same fire of his love will be unbearably painful.  We need to focus on God's love and how to be in union with His love rather than on justice.  All those who go to hell are there or their own accord because they have no love for God or His people.  Love..do not hate.

I disagree, Christ is the great Judge. Ultimately it is we who presents God with evidence of our crimes, but God ultimately is the One who delivers Justice. I think Christ's caritas and mercy is important. But Christ is also Truth. You cannot have Love without Truth and with the Heaven you must present the Hell.

We need to focus a little more on His Justice than loooooooove which is a throwback from the 60s. Man must learn to fear God again so he can in turn learn to truly love thy neighbor and love God above all.
Way to go!
(11-24-2013, 05:49 AM)PolishTrad Wrote: [ -> ]
Quote:We've also talked at length about Hitler (we've referred to him as the bad man across the ocean who killed lots of people, and that's why great-grandpa became a soldier and went to war), so she has some concept about evil. But Hell specifically hasn't been broached yet. I equate purgatory to a "time-out", but what would you compare Hell to for a child?
Heaven is when you can play games and listen to stories with your mum and dad
Purgatory is when you did something very wrong and mum and dad told you that you will stay in your room for five hours and think about what you did.
Hell is when you don't want to see mom and dad and you stay in this room because you're too proud to apologise.

Way to go! Applause Thank you for this.
(11-25-2013, 02:54 PM)austenbosten Wrote: [ -> ]I disagree, Christ is the great Judge. Ultimately it is we who presents God with evidence of our crimes, but God ultimately is the One who delivers Justice. I think Christ's caritas and mercy is important. But Christ is also Truth. You cannot have Love without Truth and with the Heaven you must present the Hell.

We need to focus a little more on His Justice than loooooooove which is a throwback from the 60s. Man must learn to fear God again so he can in turn learn to truly love thy neighbor and love God above all.

? Focusing on God's love is a "throwback from the 60s"? Are you serious? Nooooooooooooooo... No way. Read the Saints' writings!

People need to focus on both His Love and His Justice; the one without the other makes no sense. They're not at war with each other, and neither should be stressed over the other.
Thanks VOX.  I am tired of the depictions of God as vengeful.  That is not what our Lord is like.  Remember how he rebuked the apostles for wanting to call down fire upon sinners who refused them?  Christ is our judge and he will judge us based on our love or lack of it.
Pages: 1 2 3