Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The heat of summer reminds us of the heat of Hell – better to avoid sins of impurity

As the temperatures rise this summer, we find ourselves immersed in a popular culture that accepts impure fashions as normal.

Indeed, grossly immodest dress is becoming the norm and modest dress is becoming a thing of the past.  Impure magazines plaster the check out aisle of grocery stores, supercenters and gas stations.

Even at Church, we witness the increase of immoral dress.

Against this trend of gross sins of impurity, we must fight back with all the power of our souls.   Especially for the sake of the children, we must not only avoid the near occasions of sin, but we must instill in their souls, the greatest horror of impurity. 

To this end, it is important to reflect on the eternal punishment it causes.

Our Lady of Fatima told Blessed Jacinta Marto that more souls go to Hell for sins of impurity than for any other sin.

Then, while in the hospital, Jacinta was very saddened by the worldliness of the visitors, the women dressed in fashionable clothes, often with low-cut dresses.  "What is it all for?" she asked Mother Godinho (her guardian ).  "If they only knew what eternity is."

And Sister Mariana de Jesus Torres, the young nun who received the messages of Our Lady of Good Success, saw a vision in which there were 3 swords hanging over Our Lord’s head, each with an inscription. On the first was written, “I shall punish heresy”; on the second, “I shall punish blasphemy”; and on the third, “I shall punish impurity.”

Yet when was the last time you heard a sermon on immoral fashions?

To help the trend of impurity and immodest fashion, we should read and meditate on the punishment of Hell. 

Please read:

Hell as Seen by Saint Teresa of Avila
Saint Teresa of Avila (1515-1582) is one of the most extraordinary saints of the Church. As a reformer of the Carmelite order, she led a life of intense activity. Burning with love, and given greatly to prayer, her life was deeply mystical9. She described this life in detail in her books, which became basic works for the study of Catholic mysticism.

In her autobiography, she recounts being taken alive to Hell, and attests to the good that this did for her. Here are her words:

Some considerable time after our Lord had bestowed upon me the graces I have been describing, and others also of a higher nature, I was one day in prayer when I found myself in a moment, without knowing how, plunged apparently into hell. I understood that it was our Lord's will I should see the place which the devils kept in readiness for me, and which I had deserved by my sins. It was but a moment, but it seems to me impossible I should ever forget it, even if I were to live many years.

The entrance seemed to be by a long narrow pass, like a furnace, very low, dark, and close. The ground seemed to be saturated with water, mere mud, exceedingly foul, sending forth pestilential odors, and covered with loathsome vermin. At the end was a hollow place in the wall, like a closet, and in that I saw myself confined. All this was even pleasant to behold in comparison with what I felt there. There is no exaggeration in what I am saying.

But as to what I then felt, I do not know where to begin, if I were to describe it; it is utterly inexplicable. I felt a fire in my soul. I cannot see how it is possible to describe it. My bodily sufferings were unendurable. I have undergone most painful sufferings in this life, and, as the physicians say, the greatest that can be borne, such as the contraction of my sinews when I was paralyzed, without speaking of others of different kinds, yea, even those of which I have also spoken, inflicted on me by Satan; yet all those were as nothing in comparison with what I felt then, especially when I saw there would be no intermission, nor any end to them.

Those sufferings were nothing in comparison with the anguish of my soul, a sense of oppression, of stifling, and of pain so keen, accompanied by so hopeless and cruel an infliction, that I know not how to speak of it. If I said that the soul is continually being torn from the body it would be nothing - for that implies the destruction of life by the hands of another; but here is the soul itself that is tearing itself in pieces. I cannot describe that inward fire of that despair, surpassing all torments and all pain. I did not see who it was that tormented me, but I felt myself on fire, and torn to pieces, as it seemed to me; and, I repeat it, this inward fire and despair are the greatest torments of all.

Left in that pestilential place, and utterly without the power to hope for comfort, I could neither sit nor or lie down: there was no room. I was placed as it were in a hole in the wall; and those walls, terrible to look on of themselves, hemmed me in on every side. I could not breathe. There is no light, but all was thick darkness. I do not understand how it is; though there was no light, yet everything that can give pain by being seen was visible.

Our Lord at that time would not let me see more of hell. Afterwards I had another most fearful vision, in which I saw the punishments of certain sins. They were most horrible to look at; but because of I felt none of the pain, my terror was not so great. In the former vision, our Lord made me really feel those torments, and that anguish of spirit, just as if I had been suffering them in the body there.

I know not how it was, but I understood distinctly that it was a great mercy that our Lord would have me see with mine own eyes the very place from which His compassion saved me. I have listened to people speaking of these things.

And I have at other times dwelt on the various torments of hell, though not often, because my soul made no progress by the way of fear; and I have read of the diverse tortures, and how the devils tear the flesh with red-hot pincers. But all that is as nothing before this; it is a wholly different matter. In short, one is a reality, the other a picture; and all the burning here in this life is as nothing in comparison with the fire that is there.

I was so terrified by that vision - and that terror is on me even now while I am writing - that though it took place six years ago, the natural warmth of my body is chilled by fear when I think of it.

And so, amid all the pain and suffering which I may have had to bear, I remember no time in which I do not think that all we have to suffer in this world is as nothing. It seems to me that we complain without reason. I repeat it, this vision was one of the grandest mercies of our Lord. It has been to me of the greatest service, because it made me strong enough to bear up against them, and to give thanks to our Lord, who has been my Deliverer, as it now seems to me, from those fearful and everlasting pains.10

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