Life After Death Experience – My Visit to Heaven, Hell & Purgatory
#21
(12-20-2019, 06:22 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I never suggested people were not sinners.  Either way you prove what I was trying to say above because you perfectly encapsulate THE trad position (and I would argue, THE teaching of the RC for most of its history). Its extremely rigorous and basically puts 99.99% of people in Hell.  It seems like our friend Fionnchu would concur that what you say is pretty much what Rome taught for centuries.  That was the point of my post, not to suggest most men weren't sinners.  All men sin and fall short of the glory of God.

If 99.99% of people go to Hell, it's because they commit sins that deserve Hell, and it's their own fault for doing so. To say they're not at fault means that God is unjust. The Church also teaches that every man is given sufficient grace to save his soul, and if he's damned, it's because he rejected it.

But who knows what the number is. Maybe it's 99%. Maybe it's 50%. Maybe it's 1%. Worry about your own soul, not the numbers, because absent special revelation from God, you'll never know in this life how many souls go to Hell, and in the next life, you'll see that they're there because of their sins. The Church has never taught how many go to Hell, even if there have been saints that speculated about it.
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#22
(12-21-2019, 04:17 AM)Paul Wrote:
(12-20-2019, 06:22 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: I never suggested people were not sinners.  Either way you prove what I was trying to say above because you perfectly encapsulate THE trad position (and I would argue, THE teaching of the RC for most of its history). Its extremely rigorous and basically puts 99.99% of people in Hell.  It seems like our friend Fionnchu would concur that what you say is pretty much what Rome taught for centuries.  That was the point of my post, not to suggest most men weren't sinners.  All men sin and fall short of the glory of God.

If 99.99% of people go to Hell, it's because they commit sins that deserve Hell, and it's their own fault for doing so. To say they're not at fault means that God is unjust. The Church also teaches that every man is given sufficient grace to save his soul, and if he's damned, it's because he rejected it.

But who knows what the number is. Maybe it's 99%. Maybe it's 50%. Maybe it's 1%. Worry about your own soul, not the numbers, because absent special revelation from God, you'll never know in this life how many souls go to Hell, and in the next life, you'll see that they're there because of their sins. The Church has never taught how many go to Hell, even if there have been saints that speculated about it.
All I know in working with many many people that die is that the bulk of them are neither Roman Catholic nor do they have a shred of interest in Catholicism before they die.  In working with so many people that die I cannot help but occasionally think of this sort of thing.  In a healthcare (specifically oncology)  environment death is VERY real and ever present.  Not saying that changes things but it give me a certain very close look at end of life issues that many are not privy to. 

Aside from that I don't sit and worry over it excessively.  I'm neither a trad nor Roman Catholic. I was just getting into the conversation because life after death has always interested me and on a certain visceral level I've always thought (wrong or right ) the classic trad RC view to make of God a monstrous legalist, and makes me think Dostoevsky's "Grand Inquisitor" was pretty spot on in his caricature. 

When you've got a theology that places anyone who is not a baptized RC, in a state of grace and communion with the Pope  and couple that with various private revelations that talk about souls "falling into hell like snowflakes" it's hard not to imagine that from that point of view the bulk of humanity is going to hell in a handbasket.  If we know that (aside from the snowflakes imagery)  the rest is true (which most trads wouldn't deny)  than how is there much hope for heaven for most, heck, even for most Catholics? If eating meat on a Friday is a mortal sin or looking at a woman with lust, to say nothing of worse sins like usury (which is part and parcel of the financial system,  and, by the way, promoted by the RCC since the renaissance)  than it stands to reason most-- including Catholics- - are damned.  Any way you slice it it doesn't look good.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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#23
(12-21-2019, 10:21 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: When you've got a theology that places anyone who is not a baptized RC, in a state of grace and communion with the Pope  and couple that with various private revelations that talk about souls "falling into hell like snowflakes" it's hard not to imagine that from that point of view the bulk of humanity is going to hell in a handbasket.  If we know that (aside from the snowflakes imagery)  the rest is true (which most trads wouldn't deny)  than how is there much hope for heaven for most, heck, even for most Catholics? If eating meat on a Friday is a mortal sin or looking at a woman with lust, to say nothing of worse sins like usury (which is part and parcel of the financial system,  and, by the way, promoted by the RCC since the renaissance)  than it stands to reason most-- including Catholics- - are damned.  Any way you slice it it doesn't look good.
Well said, but to add:

At any moment in time, many thousands of people are dying, that means many souls in transition. We Catholics or even to stretch it to Christians, are a small minority of those 'thousands' and as the women related, even those who are obviously afraid of God, get a chance at not going to hell. It is then and always has been, for us humans, a choice. I'd venture to guess that there are a whole lot of nonCatholics or nonChristians in Purgatory. I think Jesus has lots of Mercy to go around and truly knows the substance of our souls.

I've often heard it related that we put ourselves in Hell, that we do as we always have and run from God (Jesus') Mercy into the clutches of the evil ones. Some people never change and judging from the world in general, they certainly are quite numerous. I've often thought that our world is how it is because of all those who are thinking evil endlessly. The character of our world is a reflection of what lives here.

It would, therefore, not be such a stretch to see 'souls falling like snowflakes' into hell. In fact, it makes sense. The guy she said she saw is probably quite commonplace in our world today and as I intimated,  meeting Jesus or just realizing one was lost, these sorts would run away from the light.

I tend to believe that the Mercy of Jesus is immense and her testimony is evidence of how immense and loving He is, but that there are huge numbers that repel from such love, they did in life and they continue that path after death. Relatively speaking, such disparaging numbers of fallen vs saved makes sense too. In the end, literally, how many do and how many don't make it to Heaven or Purgatory is quite immaterial to ourselves. It is mostly if WE make it in the end, isn't it? We all have a spirit, a human one in us that is influenced towards a goal. We can follow it or ignore it, but that path, how strange to some it can be, (since we're all individuals), will hopefully lead us to a Savior waiting to review with us how we did while in exile and if we listened to His promptings and graces sufficiently to merit somewhere other than Hell. I pray we all do.
One should have an open mind; open enough that things get in, but not so open that everything falls out
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I don't need a good memory, because I always tell the truth.
Jessie Ventura

Its no wonder truth is stranger than fiction.
Fiction has to make sense
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If history doesn't repeat itself, it sure does rhyme.
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You don't have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.
C.S. Lewis

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“In a time of deceit…truth is a revolutionary act”
George Orwell
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#24
(12-21-2019, 10:21 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: All I know in working with many many people that die is that the bulk of them are neither Roman Catholic nor do they have a shred of interest in Catholicism before they die.  In working with so many people that die I cannot help but occasionally think of this sort of thing.  In a healthcare (specifically oncology)  environment death is VERY real and ever present.  Not saying that changes things but it give me a certain very close look at end of life issues that many are not privy to.

If they have zero interest in religion, why is it surprising if they go to hell? If it's that they're not Catholic, well, God will judge them based on whether or not it's their fault. That's why we're supposed to spread the Gospel.


(12-21-2019, 10:21 AM)formerbuddhist Wrote: When you've got a theology that places anyone who is not a baptized RC, in a state of grace and communion with the Pope  and couple that with various private revelations that talk about souls "falling into hell like snowflakes" it's hard not to imagine that from that point of view the bulk of humanity is going to hell in a handbasket.


Except that's not the theology. Being in a state of grace is required. There are, or may be, multiple ways of getting there. The Church doesn't teach that everyone who isn't formally Catholic goes to hell. The Protestant who's been told all his life that the Catholic Church is satanic, isn't at fault for not looking into the matter, and manages to avoid mortal sin can get to heaven. But it's much harder without the sacraments, and it takes a certain amount of bad will to at least not investigate the issue.

And it's not the Church making the rules. God makes the rules on who gets in to heaven and who goes to hell. The Church just tells us what they are.
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#25
Don't discount the fact that our sacrifices and the Masses said all around the world are helping to save souls who are not in a state of grace from Hell.  That's what the children of Fatima did.

And the rosaries.  Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.

Mary will be there to aid those who are not in a state of grace whom we pray for.
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#26
(12-20-2019, 07:18 PM)Teresa Agrorum Wrote: This starkly conflicts with the testimony of the three seers of Fatima, who despite their extreme youth had shocking things to say about Hell and the souls that go there.

"Taking into account the behavior of mankind, only a small part of the human race will be saved." ~Lucy of Fatima

"So many people are going to die, and almost all of them are going to Hell! So many people falling into hell!" ~Jacinta of Fatima

"The Jesuit objected: 'Sure, the world is a cesspool of vice and sin. But there's always the hope of salvation'.

"The nun protested vigorously: 'No, Father, many, many are lost'."
Speaking of extreme youth...

In first grade, 1967-68, at parochial school we assembled to watch the "cold war classic" 1952 film on "The Miracle of Our Lady of Fatima." At this time, we still had "duck + cover" every last Friday of the month when the Civil Defense alarm went off at 10 AM, and expectations that we'd die in a nuclear blast were not fantasy; recall the bracelets marketed to U.S. schoolchildren with one's religion stamped on it in case of death....and the dramatic perils of the movie imprinted themselves indelibly on my mind.

This combined message of impending doom terrified me. I could not sleep: the lights on the wall one sees in a darkened bedroom move (as from passing reflections from cars) seemed demonic, my luminous rosary haunted me, as I'd be damned.

Such an education would soon fade with my very generation as we were raised; I have a feeling this film showing to future classes at St. Finbar's must have been discontinued soon, as the nuns all abandoned their habits and began leaving our convent.

Easy to shrug off for many now, but this left lasting impacts on my soul that persist. How do you suggest that children be taught such a Marian message of likely damnation for so many if the Fatima and related apparitions are to be believed as literally true?

[Image: The_Miracle_of_Our_Lady_of_Fatima_VHS_cover.jpg]
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#27
I would like to offer a few last thoughts on this subject. I think preoccupation with who is going north and south detracts from the bigger picture. I also think there is so much we don't know to even be making "educated guesses." For example, the souls of miscarried babies. What actually happens in the process of creating a soul? Does the soul act prior to being put in a body? If so, maybe the outcome is warranted. I know that may be difficult to process since all we see is a lifeless baby body but God doesn't see as we do.

The Original Sin thing is also troubling for several reasons:

1) Two people born in the Grace of God were able to spiritually condemn the entirety of humanity who as far as we know (keyword phrase) without us having any input on that fateful day when Adam and Eve took a bite of the apple. Its shocking to me that secularists don't push this point more often when challenging Christianity. If your parents committed a horrible crime and get sent to prison, the penal system doesn't sentence the offspring to suffer for that transgression. You can try to use the "well Jesus..." line to make a comeback but that only works if you are born apparently..... That is why I think the most truthful answer is we just plain and simply don't know ALL of the circumstances, so we just have to trust that God is just and merciful. To claim to know more than that is very dangerous....

2) Even though Jesus gives us hope through His sacrifice, we are still stuck with its consequences in this world. For example, a saintly man that has died and received the beatific vision could walk on a beach of naked women and not explode in lust whereas even an Earth bound man who has accepted Jesus, probably not so much. I'm quite sure most Earth bound men would love to walk a beach without having to be paranoid that an occasion to sin will arise. Why does it? Adam and Eve!

FYI, I am not challenging the teaching on Original Sin but I think we have to be careful how far we extrapolate it.

Another issue I've come across is the role of Confession. I have heard some say that even if we confess, we still go to purgatory for those sins. Christ tells us "Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven" (Matthew 18:18-19). This is where the issue of indulgences comes in. It is hard to preach "infinite loving mercy" then tell a penitent who receives absolution that they still have to suffer for what they did. Is the sin loosed or not? Our Lord seems to say its over once the priest in persona Christi asks for it to be....

With regards to "the number down south", again we have to be prudent. What qualifies as "many" or "large number?" I think what most people fear is that they do believe in God but know well in their hearts that they aren't saints. When you say "many" to such folks they assume the big "gotcha" will get them. That gets them frustrated, annoyed, and maybe even becomes an occasion to commit the sin of despair. In other words, our preaching of "many" done out of context becomes a stumbling block for them and now the burden is actually on us. There is also danger in thinking we are "one of the few.....one of the PROUD!" Arrogance anyone? Pride cometh before the fall! I understand the human preoccupation with hell but I think we do a poor job as a church keeping the context proper. We hope that fear of hell will straighten people out hastily in itself, but that often backfires spectacularly.

I would say anyone in hell is there because they indignantly chose it. The number is irrelevant and we don't have one. To speculate what constitutes "many" is not beneficial. Maybe its 51%. Maybe its 80%. No one really knows. Also, the number doesn't really have bearing on where your soul ends up. Its not like God is running spiritual lottery here.

Probably a ramble but I think the culture warriors often have loose trigger fingers when it comes to fire and brimstone often resulting in a self-fulfilling prophecy...
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#28
(12-20-2019, 07:09 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: At any rate that's pretty cool if that newer edition has that Canon for Those Who Departed. I'm glad you still remember it and pray it.  It should be more widely known.  I only keep that Akathist book for that one, as I haven't really used it ) aside from the one to St Nicholas (which was yesterday in the old calendar).

It was indeed that prayer. I picked up a copy of the newer edition this morning.

Hopefully I don't sound like I'm bragging, but the Melkite eparchy really is a blessing. It makes so many resources available to maintain Byzantine purity within Catholicism. I know purity is mostly a bad word these days, but not in this case!
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#29
(12-21-2019, 10:49 PM)divinesilence80 Wrote: 1) Two people born in the Grace of God were able to spiritually condemn the entirety of humanity who as far as we know (keyword phrase) without us having any input on that fateful day when Adam and Eve took a bite of the apple. Its shocking to me that secularists don't push this point more often when challenging Christianity. If your parents committed a horrible crime and get sent to prison, the penal system doesn't sentence the offspring to suffer for that transgression. You can try to use the "well Jesus..." line to make a comeback but that only works if you are born apparently..... That is why I think the most truthful answer is we just plain and simply don't know ALL of the circumstances, so we just have to trust that God is just and merciful. To claim to know more than that is very dangerous....

We live in a culture where the individual is the basic unit of society, and family is, well, whatever you want it to be. But the Church has always taught that society is made up of families, and this was even more true in the ancient world. The acts of the head of the family impact the rest of it.

But it's true today, too, and the penal system does affect the children. If dad commits a crime and goes to prison, the family's losing that income. Maybe that means they lose their house and are now homeless. Maybe it means the mother has to go to work and that affects the children. Or maybe dad gambles or drinks away his money, and now the family's penniless, and that money isn't there to be passed on to the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Adam rejected God's gifts of grace, so he no longer had them for his children to inherit.
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#30
(12-22-2019, 04:08 PM)Melkite Wrote:
(12-20-2019, 07:09 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: At any rate that's pretty cool if that newer edition has that Canon for Those Who Departed. I'm glad you still remember it and pray it.  It should be more widely known.  I only keep that Akathist book for that one, as I haven't really used it ) aside from the one to St Nicholas (which was yesterday in the old calendar).

It was indeed that prayer.  I picked up a copy of the newer edition this morning.

Hopefully I don't sound like I'm bragging, but the Melkite eparchy really is a blessing.  It makes so many resources available to maintain Byzantine purity within Catholicism.  I know purity is mostly a bad word these days, but not in this case!
That's awesome that you've found a spiritual home in the Melkite Eparchy and that the new edition of the prayerbook has that prayer. That prayer deserves to be more widely known.  When I pray my Evening Prayers later there's always a portion at the end (in the Old Orthodox Prayerbook) where you can pray an optional Canon-- perhaps I'll pray that one.  It's been awhile for me.
Walk before God in simplicity, and not in subtleties of the mind. Simplicity brings faith; but subtle and intricate speculations bring conceit; and conceit brings withdrawal from God. -Saint Isaac of Syria, Directions on Spiritual Training


"It is impossible in human terms to exaggerate the importance of being in a church or chapel before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. I very seldom repeat what I say. Let me repeat this sentence. It is impossible in human language to exaggerate the importance of being in a chapel or church before the Blessed Sacrament as often and for as long as our duties and state of life allow. That sentence is the talisman of the highest sanctity. "Father John Hardon
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