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Reflections: Catholic Basics Sctn. (Hell/Damnation)

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Hell / Eternal Damnation

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Hell / Eternal Damnation

 

Category
Quotation

Hell / Eternal Damnation

Also See: Hell / Eternal Damnation (Topic Page)

"Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:13-14)

"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:15-20)

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name?' Then I will declare to them solemnly, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers.'" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 7:21-23)

"Then, dismissing the crowds, [Jesus] went into the house. His disciples approached him and said, 'Explain to us the parable of the weeds in the field.' He said in reply, 'He who sows good seed is the Son of Man, the field is the world, the good seed the children of the kingdom. The weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sows them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the harvesters are angels. Just as weeds are collected and burned (up) with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers. They will throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears ought to hear.'" (Mt. 13:36-43)

"Thus it will be at the end of the age. The angels will go out and separate the wicked from the righteous and throw them into the fiery furnace, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 13:49-50)

"...The servants went out into the streets and gathered all they found, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests he saw a man there not dressed in a wedding garment. He said to him, 'My friend, how is it that you came in here without a wedding garment?' But he was reduced to silence. Then the king said to his attendants, 'Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside, where there will be wailing and grinding of teeth.' Many are invited, but few are chosen." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 22:10-14)

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit upon his glorious throne, and all the nations will be assembled before him. And he will separate them one from another, as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will place the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the king will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?' And the king will say to them in reply, 'Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you accursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, a stranger and you gave me no welcome, naked and you gave me no clothing, ill and in prison, and you did not care for me.' Then they will answer and say, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or ill or in prison, and not minister to your needs?' He will answer them, 'Amen, I say to you, what you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me.' And these will go off to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mt. 25:31-46)

"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe (in me) to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Mk. 9:42-48) [Reminder: Interpretation and application of Scripture should not be contrary to the perennial, official teaching of the Roman Catholic Church. Do not take Scripture passages out of context. Do not inflict harm on yourself or others, break laws, take unsuitable/incautious or inappropriate/drastic actions, or take figurative items literally.]

"Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' but not do what I command? I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, listens to my words, and acts on them. That one is like a person building a house, who dug deeply and laid the foundation on rock; when the flood came, the river burst against that house but could not shake it because it had been well built. But the one who listens and does not act is like a person who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the river burst against it, it collapsed at once and was completely destroyed." (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 6:46-49)

"There was a rich man who dressed in purple garments and fine linen and dined sumptuously each day. And lying at his door was a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who would gladly have eaten his fill of the scraps that fell from the rich man's table. Dogs even used to come and lick his sores. When the poor man died, he was carried away by angels to the bosom of Abraham. The rich man also died and was buried, and from the netherworld, where he was in torment, he raised his eyes and saw Abraham far off and Lazarus at his side. And he cried out, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me. Send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, for I am suffering torment in these flames.' Abraham replied, 'My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours.' He said, 'Then I beg you, father, send him to my father's house, for I have five brothers, so that he may warn them, lest they too come to this place of torment.' But Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them.' He said, 'Oh no, father Abraham, but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' Then Abraham said, 'If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.'" (Our Lord Jesus Christ, Lk. 16:19-31)

"When the thousand years are completed, Satan will be released from his prison. He will go out to deceive the nations at the four corners of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them for battle; their number is like the sand of the sea. They invaded the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of the holy ones and the beloved city. But fire came down from heaven and consumed them. The Devil who had led them astray was thrown into the pool of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were. There they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Rv. 20:7-10)

"Next I saw a large white throne and the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence and there was no place for them. I saw the dead, the great and the lowly, standing before the throne, and scrolls were opened. Then another scroll was opened, the book of life. The dead were judged according to their deeds, by what was written in the scrolls. The sea gave up its dead; then Death and Hades gave up their dead. All the dead were judged according to their deeds. Then Death and Hades were thrown into the pool of fire. (This pool of fire is the second death.) Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the pool of fire." (Rv. 20:11-15)

"The one who sat on the throne said, 'Behold, I make all things new.' Then he said, 'Write these words down, for they are trustworthy and true.' He said to me, 'They are accomplished. I (am) the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give a gift from the spring of life-giving water. The victor will inherit these gifts, and I shall be his God, and he will be my son. But as for cowards, the unfaithful, the depraved, murderers, the unchaste, sorcerers, idol-worshipers, and deceivers of every sort, their lot is in the burning pool of fire and sulfur, which is the second death.'" (Rv. 21:5-8)

"The only true failure is eternal damnation." 

"Once lost, we are lost forever." (Muller)

"The belief in hell makes saints."

"Mortal sin is the currency of damnation."

"[I]n hell there is no redemption" (Responsory)

"One purchases damnation by sinning mortally."

"They who perish, perish by their own negligence." (St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church)

"Too late they will believe in eternal punishment who would not believe in eternal life." (St. Cyprian)

"There is a great difference between fire that can be quenched and fire that is unquenchable." (St. Gregory of Nyssa)

"We can say that blasphemy is truly the language of hell." (St. John Vianney)

"Live in fear of the day of judgement and have a great horror of hell." [St. Benedict (Rule)]

"A man buys hell here with so much pain, that he might have heaven with less than half the amount." (St. Thomas More)

"If Hell could repent, you would obtain its pardon." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"It is not God who condemns us to Hell; it is we ourselves who do it by our sins." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"There is but one eternity; if the soul be once lost, it is lost forever." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"The bodies of the damned will also rise to share in the eternal punishment of their souls." (Baltimore Catechism)

"This place is called gehenna, the bottomless pit, and is hell strictly so-called." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"When I see people driving carts on Sunday, I think I see them carrying their souls to Hell." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"If Hell were not eternal, it would not be so frightful a chastisement." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"[T]he pain of fire is equal to the guilt" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"For mortal sin alone is the pain of hell due" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"God threatens Hell, not to send us there, but to deliver us from that place of torments." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"There is no middle place: you must be forever happy in Heaven, or overwhelmed with despair in Hell." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"Moreover, if anyone without repentance dies in mortal sin, without a doubt he is tortured forever by the flames of eternal hell." (Council of Lyons / Pope Innocent IV, 1254 A.D.) 

"The souls of those who die in mortal sin or with original sin only, however, immediately descend to hell, yet to be punished with different punishments." (Council of Lyons II, 1274 A.D.)

"[M]en are punished in hell for no other than mortal sin." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[E]ternity of punishment does not correspond to the quantity of the sin" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[T]he unhappiness of the damned surpasses all unhappiness of this world." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[S]ince guilt will remain in the soul for ever, its punishment also will be everlasting." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"There is no sin or wrong that gives a man such a foretaste of hell in this life as anger and impatience." (St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church)

"The misery of the damned consists in being for ever deprived of the vision of God and punished with eternal torments in hell." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"The Angels banished for ever from Paradise and condemned to hell are called demons, and their chief is called Lucifer or Satan." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"The demons tempt us because of the envy they bear us, which makes them desire our eternal damnation; and because of their hatred of God." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Our Lord Himself speaks of it, when He relates there is a Hell, but we live as if there were not; we sell our souls for a few pieces of money." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

Q: "Who are they who go to Hell?" A: "They who do not die in the grace of God, that is, [those] who die in mortal sin." (Catechism of St. John Neumann)

"Those are punished in hell who die in mortal sin; they are deprived of the vision of God and suffer dreadful torments, especially that of fire, for all eternity." (Baltimore Catechism)

"When, moreover, we reflect that this torment is to be eternal, we can see at once that the punishment of the damned includes every kind of suffering." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"All the damned are in hell because they have stopped praying!... They would not be there had they not stopped praying." (St. Alphonsus, Doctor of the Church?)

"How great will be the pain and misery of the damned, seeing that they might have been saved so easily, provided they had prayed to God for their salvation!" (Muller)

"But it remains unquestionably true that just as there is no end of joy for the good, so too there will be no end of torment for the wicked." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"God's initial will is every man's salvation, but his justice may finally require some man's damnation." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[E]nvy reigns supreme in the damned. Therefore they grieve for the happiness of the blessed, and desire their damnation." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"...all of whom will rise with their bodies... that they may receive according to their works, whether their works have been good or evil, the latter everlasting punishment with the devil..." (Lateran Council IV, 1215 A.D.)

"[T]hose who are in hell can receive the reward of their goods, in so far as their past goods avail for the mitigation of their punishment." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[A]ll whosoever die in mortal sin, neither faith nor works of mercy will free them from eternal punishment, not even after any length of time" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"What can there be that is worse than hell? Yet nothing is more profitable than the fear of it! For the fear of hell gains for us the crown of the kingdom" (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"Although the sinner does not believe in Hell, he shall nevertheless go there if he has the misfortune to die in mortal sin - even though he neither believes in Hell or even thinks about it." (St. Anthony Mary Claret)

"In reality, the eternal salvation of man is only in God. Man's rejection of God, if it becomes definitive, leads logically to God's rejection of man (cf. Mt 7:23; 10:33), to damnation." (Pope John Paul II)

"Some foolish worldlings say: If I go to Hell I shall not be alone there. Miserable fools! Do you not see that the greater number of your companions, the more insufferable shall be your torments?" (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"It (The Roman Church) teaches...that the souls... of those who die in mortal sin, or with only original sin descend immediately into hell; however, to be punished with different penalties and in different places." (Pope John XXII, 1321 A.D.)

"Therefore every tree that brings not forth good fruit shall be cut down and cast into the fire, because he who here neglects to bring forth the fruit of good works finds a fire in hell prepared for him." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

"Hell and eternal torments are the consequences of the creature's contempt of his creator. God is a jealous God; if we drive Him from the dwelling of our souls, the deep abyss must be our everlasting abode." (Liturgical Year)

"The bodies of the damned, though incorruptible, will not be impassible; they will be capable of experiencing heat and cold and of suffering various afflictions." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

"The bodies of the damned shall be destitute of all the endowments of the glorified bodies of the blessed, and shall bear upon them the appalling mark of eternal reprobation." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"No, there will be a vast difference between the bodies of the elect and the bodies of the damned; because only the bodies of the elect shall have, like the risen Christ, the endowments of glorified bodies." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") 

"If one said to those poor lost souls that have been so long in Hell, 'We are going to place a priest at the gate of Hell: all those who wish to confess have only to go out, ' do you think, my children, that a single one would remain?" (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"Those who are damned do not belong to the Communion of Saints in the other life; and in this life those who belong neither to the body nor to the soul of the Church, that is, those who are in mortal sin, and who are outside the true Church." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"Hell will never lack sufficient room to admit the bodies of the damned: since hell is accounted one of the three things that 'never are satisfied' (Proverbs 30:15,16)." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The bliss of heaven in the case of the blessed, and the miseries of hell in the case of the damned, will be the same in substance and in eternal duration; but in measure, or degree, they will be greater or less according to the extent of each one's merits or demerits." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"In the world, people hide Heaven and Hell: Heaven, because if we knew its beauty, we should wish to go there at all costs - we should, indeed, leave the world alone; Hell, because if we knew the torments that are endured there, we should do all we could to avoid going there." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"In this life, men who are in sin retain the possibility of obtaining everlasting happiness: not so those who are lost in hell, who, in this respect, are in the same case as the demons." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[T]he bodies of the damned will be tormented not only from without, but also from within, according as the body is affected at the instance of the soul's passion towards good or evil." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church") 

"If the Devil and his angels, although they are incorporeal, are to be tortured by a corporeal fire, what wonder if souls, even before they are reunited with their bodies, can feel corporeal torments?" (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"We declare that a great number of those who are condemned to eternal punishment suffer that everlasting calamity because of ignorance of those mysteries of faith which must be known and believed in order to be numbered among the elect." (Pope Benedict XIV)

"The degree of intensity in the punishment corresponds to the degree of gravity in the sin; wherefore mortal sins unequal in gravity will receive a punishment unequal in intensity but equal in duration." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[T]he damnation of the wicked is for the correction of those who are now in the Church; for punishments are intended for correction, not only when they are being inflicted, but also when they are decreed." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Can. 9. If anyone says or holds that the punishment of the demons and of impious men is temporary, and that it will have an end at some time, that is to say, there will be a complete restoration of the demons or of impious men, let him be anathema." (Pope Vigilius, Canons Against Origen, 543 A.D.)

"When the Devil tempts you, remember Hell - the thought of Hell will preserve you from that land of misery. I say, remember Hell, and have recourse to Jesus Christ and to most holy Mary, and they will deliver you from sin, which is the gate of Hell." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"In quite another way does the mercy of others err through their humane sympathies, who think that the sufferings of those men who are condemned by this sentence will be temporal, but that the happiness of those who are set free sooner or later will be eternal." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"[I]t is written (Wisdom 11:17): 'By what things a man sinneth by the same also he is tormented.' Now men sin by the sensible things of this world. Therefore it is just that they should be punished by those same things." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In the present life men are deterred from blasphemy through fear of punishment which they think they can escape: whereas, in hell, the damned have no hope of escape, so that, in despair, they are borne towards whatever their wicked will suggests to them." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"In that He says that the bundles of tares are to be cast into the fire (Mt. 13:30), and the wheat gathered into barns, it is clear that heretics also and hypocrites are to be consumed in the fires of hell, while the saints who are here represented by the wheat are received into the barns, that is into heavenly mansions." (St. Jerome, Doctor of the Church)

"Is there one fire in hell, or, according to the diversity of sinners, are there as many kinds of fire prepared in that place? The fire of hell is one, but it does not torment all sinners in the same way. Everyone there, according to the quantity of his sin, has the measure of his pain." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"The unquenchable fire is the punishment of eternal damnation, either because it never totally destroys or consumes those it has once seized on, but torments them eternally, or to distinguish it from purgatorial fire which is kindled for a time and again extinguished." [Remigius (as quoted by St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church)]

"[T]hat fire does not alter bodies as to their matter, but acts on them for their punishment by a kind of spiritual action, it is for this reason that it is stated not to be material, not as regards its substance, but as to its punitive effect on bodies and, still more, on souls." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"So great is the thirst of the damned, that if one of them were offered all the water on this Earth, he would exclaim: All this water is not sufficient to extinguish the burning thirst which I endure. But alas! The unhappy damned shall never have a single drop of water to refresh their tongues." (St. Alphonsus Liguori, Doctor of the Church)

"A good confession: (1) Remits the sins we have committed and gives us the grace of God; (2) Restores us peace and quiet of conscience; (3) Reopens the gates of Heaven and changes the eternal punishment of hell into a temporal punishment; (4) Preserves us from falling again, and renders us capable of partaking of the treasury of Indulgences." (Catechism of Pope St. Pius X)

"But they say, How can they be called Saints, if they shall not pray for their enemies whom they see in hell burning? They do not indeed pray for their enemies, so long as there is any possibility of converting their hearts to a profitable penitence, but how shall they pray for them when any change from their wickedness is no longer possible?" (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

"The reason why everlasting punishment appears hard and unjust to human ideas is because in this infirmity of our mortal state we have no adequate grasp of what exceeding high and pure wisdom which would enable us to form an idea of the enormity of man's first transgression. The higher man's enjoyment of God, the greater his impiety in forsaking God: destroying in himself a good gift that might have lasted for ever." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church, 5th century A.D.)

"The wicked are all condemned to eternal punishment, and are punished for their own wickedness. Yet they will burn to some purpose, namely that the just may all both see in God the joys they receive, and perceive in them the torments they have escaped: for which reason they will acknowledge themselves for ever the debtors of Divine grace the more that they will see how the evils which they overcame by its assistance are punished eternally." (Pope St. Gregory the Great, Doctor of the Church) 

"It is written (Matthew 25:41): 'Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire, which is prepared for the devil and his angels.' Therefore they will be punished eternally. Further, just as the good angels were made happy through turning to God, so the bad angels were made unhappy through turning away from God. Therefore if the unhappiness of the wicked angels comes at length to an end, the happiness of the good will also come to an end, which is inadmissible." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Moreover, we declare that according to the common arrangement of God, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin immediately after their death descend to hell where they are tortured by infernal punishments, and that nevertheless on the day of judgment all men with their bodies will make themselves ready to render an account of their own deeds before the tribunal of Christ, 'so that everyone may receive the proper things of the body according as he has done whether it be good or evil' [2 Cor. 5:10]." (Pope Benedict XII, 1336 A.D.)

"God, for His own part, has mercy on all. Since, however, His mercy is ruled by the order of His wisdom, the result is that it does not reach to certain people who render themselves unworthy of that mercy, as do the demons and the damned who are obstinate in wickedness. And yet we may say that even in them His mercy finds a place, in so far as they are punished less than they deserve condignly, but not that they are entirely delivered from punishment." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Even as in the blessed in heaven there will be most perfect charity, so in the damned there will be the most perfect hate. Wherefore as the saints will rejoice in all goods, so will the damned grieve for all goods. Consequently the sight of the happiness of the saints will give them very great pain; hence it is written (Isaiah 26:11): 'Let the envious people see and be confounded, and let fire devour Thy enemies.' Therefore they will wish all the good were damned." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The damned will pass from the most intense heat to the most intense cold without this giving them any respite: because they will suffer from external agencies, not by the transmutation of their body from its original natural disposition, and the contrary passion affording a respite by restoring an equable or moderate temperature, as happens now, but by a spiritual action, in the same way as sensible objects act on the senses being perceived by impressing the organ with their forms according to their spiritual and not their material being." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"That fire will be the instrument of Divine justice inflicting punishment. Now an instrument acts not only by its own power and in its own way, but also by the power of the principal agent, and as directed thereby. Wherefore although fire is not able, of its own power, to torture certain persons more or less, according to the measure of sin, it is able to do so nevertheless in so far as its action is regulated by the ordering of Divine justice: even so the fire of the furnace is regulated by the forethought of the smith, according as the effect of his art requires." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[A]ccording to the Philosopher (Ethica Nicomachea v, 5), punishment is meted according to the dignity of the person sinned against, so that a person who strikes one in authority receives a greater punishment than one who strikes anyone else. Now whoever sins mortally sins against God, Whose commandments he breaks, and Whose honor he gives another, by placing his end in some one other than God. But God's majesty is infinite. Therefore whoever sins mortally deserves infinite punishment; and consequently it seems just that for a mortal sin a man should be punished for ever." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"[W]hatever we may say of the fire that torments the separated souls, we must admit that the fire which will torment the bodies of the damned after the resurrection is corporeal, since one cannot fittingly apply a punishment to a body unless that punishment itself be bodily. Wherefore Gregory (Dialogorum iv) proves the fire of hell to be corporeal from the very fact that the wicked will be cast thither after the resurrection. Again Augustine, as quoted in the text of Sententiarum iv,44, clearly admits (De Civitate Dei xxi,10) that the fire by which the bodies are tormented is corporeal." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"They say that He held out empty terrors to deter them from sin. We answer, if He threatened falsely to check unrighteousness, then He promised falsely to promote good conduct. Thus while they go out of the way to prove God merciful, they are not afraid to charge Him with fraud. But, they urge, finite sin ought not to be visited with infinite punishment; we answer, that this argument would be just, if the righteous Judge considered men's actions, and not their hearts. Therefore it belongs to the righteousness of an impartial Judge, that those whose heart would never be without sin in this life, should never be without punishment." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

"How can eternal punishment be taken to mean a fire of long duration, and eternal life be believed to be without end, when it the very same place and in one and the same sentence Christ spoke of both together: 'Those shall go into eternal punishment, but the righteous into life eternal'? If both are eternal, certainly it must be understood either that both are of long duration but with an end, or both are perpetual and without end. For they are related as being equal: on the one hand, eternal punishment, and on the other, eternal life. But to say in this one and the same sense, eternal life will be without end and eternal punishment will have an end, is quite absurd." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"But, they assert, nobody can be at once capable of suffering pain, and incapable of death. It must be that one live in pain, but it need not be that pain kill him; for not even these mortal bodies die from every pain; but the reason that some pain causes their death is, that the connection between the soul and our present body is such that it gives way to extreme pain. But then the soul shall be united to such a body, and in such a way, that no pain shall be able to overcome the connection. There will not then be no death, but an everlasting death, the soul being unable to live, as being without God, and equally unable to rid itself of the pains of body by dying." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"But they say, no just man takes pleasure in cruelties, and the guilty servant was scourged to correct his fault. But when the wicked are given over to hell fire, to what purpose shall they burn there for ever? We reply, that Almighty God, seeing He is good, does not delight in the torments of the wretched; but forasmuch as He is righteous, He ceases not from taking vengeance on the wicked; yet do the wicked burn not without some purpose, namely, that the righteous may acknowledge how they are debtors for eternity to Divine grace, when they see the wicked suffering for eternity misery, which themselves have escaped only by the assistance of that Divine grace." (St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Doctor of the Church)

"Some say that the boy of whom Gregory tells this story was not lost [Gregory says (Dialogorum iv), a boy of five years of age was carried off by the devil on account of the sin of blasphemy], and that he did not sin mortally; and that this vision was for the purpose of making the father sorrowful, for he had sinned in the boy through failing to correct him. But this is contrary to the express intention of Gregory, who says (Dialogorum iv) that 'the boy's father having neglected the soul of his little son, fostered no little sinner for the flames of hell.' Consequently it must be said that for a mortal sin it is sufficient to give consent to something present" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"As Augustine (De Civitate Dei xxi,24) and Gregory (Moralium xxxiv) say, the saints in this life pray for their enemies, that they may be converted to God, while it is yet possible for them to be converted. For if we knew that they were foreknown to death, we should no more pray for them than for the demons. And since for those who depart this life without grace there will be no further time for conversion, no prayer will be offered for them, neither by the Church militant, nor by the Church triumphant. For that which we have to pray for them is, as the Apostle says (2 Timothy 2:25,26), that 'God may give them repentance to know the truth, and they may recover themselves from the snares of the devil.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"Since punishment is measured in two ways, namely according to the degree of its severity, and according to its length of time, the measure of punishment corresponds to the measure of fault, as regards the degree of severity, so that the more grievously a person sins the more grievously is he punished: 'As much as she hath glorified herself and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her' (Apocalypse 18:7). The duration of the punishment does not, however, correspond with the duration of the fault, as Augustine says (De Civitate Dei xxi,11), for adultery which is committed in a short space of time is not punished with a momentary penalty even according to human laws." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"But if one will examine somewhat closely, here are two punishments, to be cut down, and to be burned; and he that is burned is also altogether cut out of the kingdom; which is the harder punishment. Many indeed fear no more than hell; but I say that the fall of that glory is a far more bitter punishment, than the pains of hell itself. For what evil great or small would not a father undergo, that he might see and enjoy a most dear son? Let us then think the same of that glory; for there is no son so dear to his father as is the rest of the good, to be deceased and to be with Christ. The pain of hell is indeed intolerable, yet are ten thousand hells nothing to falling from that blessed glory, and being held in hate by Christ." (St. John Chrysostom, Doctor of the Church)

"The damned, before the judgment day, will see the blessed in glory, in such a way as to know, not what that glory is like, but only that they are in a state of glory that surpasses all thought. This will trouble them, both because they will, through envy, grieve for their happiness, and because they have forfeited that glory. Hence it is written (Wisdom 5:2) concerning the wicked: 'Seeing it' they 'shall be troubled with terrible fear.' After the judgment day, however, they will be altogether deprived of seeing the blessed: nor will this lessen their punishment, but will increase it; because they will bear in remembrance the glory of the blessed which they saw at or before the judgment: and this will torment them. Moreover they will be tormented by finding themselves deemed unworthy even to see the glory which the saints merit to have." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"As in the New Testament man's faith in God has been increased by the addition of the Son of God, whereby man becomes a partaker of God, so also is there an increase in diligence in our lives, since we are commanded to abstain not only from evil deeds, but even from the thoughts themselves and from wicked talk and empty language and scurrilous words. So also is the penalty increased of those who do not believe the Word of God and despise His coming and whose attention is directed to the past; for it is not merely temporal, but eternal. For to whomsoever the Lord shall say, 'Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the everlasting fire,' they will be damned forever; and to whomsoever He shall say, 'Come, blessed of My father, receive the inheritance of the kingdom which as been prepared from you in eternity,' they shall receive the kingdom forever." (St. Irenaeus, c. 180-199 A.D.)

"In one place the Lord declares that 'these shall go to eternal punishment,' and in another place He sends some 'to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels'; and speaks elsewhere of the fire of gehenna, specifying that it is a place 'where their worm dies not, and the fire is not extinguished'... Although these and the like declarations are to be found in numerous places of divinely inspired Scripture, it is one of the artifices of the devil, that many man...ascribe an end to punishment, so that they can sin the more boldly. If, however, there were going to be an end of eternal punishment, there would likewise be an end to eternal life. If we cannot conceive of an end to that life, who are we to suppose that there will be an end to eternal punishment? The qualification of 'eternal' is ascribed equally to both of them." (St. Basil the Great, Doctor of the Church)

"My children, we are afraid of death; I can well believe it. It is sin that makes us afraid of death; it is sin that renders death frightful, formidable; it is sin that terrifies the wicked at the hour of the fearful passage. Alas! O God! there is reason enough to be terrified, to think that one is accursed - accursed of God! It makes one tremble. Accursed of God! and why? for what do men expose themselves to be accursed of God? For a blasphemy, for a bad thought, for a bottle of wine, for two minutes of pleasure! For two minutes of pleasure to lose God, one's soul, Heaven forever! We shall see going up to Heaven, in body and soul, that father, that mother, that sister, that neighbor, who were here with us, with whom we have lived, but whom we have not imitated; while we shall go down body and soul to burn in Hell. The devils will rush to overwhelm us. All the devils whose advice we followed will come to torment us." (Catechism of the Cure de Ars)

"'But,' some may say, 'a fault that has a termination ought not be punished unendingly. Almighty God is undoubtedly just; and if what was committed was not an eternal sin, it ought not be punished by eternal torment.' We hasten to answer that they would be correct, if the severe and just Judge were coming to weight men's deeds and not their hearts. For the sinning of the wicked does have a termination, because their lives have a termination. They would have wished to live without end so that they might be able to continue in their iniquities without end. For they seek more to sin than to live. And they desire to live here always, because if they could continue to live they would never have to stop sinning. It pertains, therefore, to the justice of the strict judge that those who were of such a mind in this life, that they willed never to be without sin, shall never be without torment; and no end of punishment is given the wicked man, because, so long as it was possible, he did not want there to be any end to his crime." (Pope St. Gregory I the Great, Doctor of the Church, 6th century A.D.)

"But the duration of punishment regards the disposition of the sinner: for sometimes a person who commits an offense in a city is rendered by his very offense worthy of being cut off entirely from the fellowship of the citizens, either by perpetual exile or even by death: whereas sometimes he is not rendered worthy of being cut off entirely from the fellowship of the citizens; wherefore in order that he may become a fitting member of the State, his punishment is prolonged or curtailed, according as is expedient for his amendment, so that he may live in the city in a becoming and peaceful manner. So too, according to Divine justice, sin renders a person worthy to be altogether cut off from the fellowship of God's city, and this is the effect of every sin committed against charity, which is the bond uniting this same city together. Consequently, for mortal sin which is contrary to charity a person is expelled for ever from the fellowship of the saints and condemned to everlasting punishment, because as Augustine says (De Civitate Dei xxi,11), 'as men are cut off from this perishable city by the penalty of the first death, so are they excluded from that imperishable city by the punishment of the second death.'" (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"And the justice of no law is concerned to provide that the duration of each man's punishment should be the same with the sin which drew that punishment upon him. There never was any man, who held that the torment of him, who committed a murder or adultery, should be compressed within the same space of time as the commission of the act. And when for any enormous crime a man is punished with death, does the law estimate his punishment by the delay that takes place in putting him to death, and not rather by this, that they remove him forever from the society of the living? And fines, disgrace, exile, slavery, when they are inflicted without any hopes of mercy, do they not seem like eternal punishments in proportion to the length of this life? They are only therefore not eternal, because the life which suffers them is not itself eternal. But they say, flow then is that true which Christ says, With what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again, if temporal sin is punished with eternal pain? They do not observe that this is said with a view, not to the equality of the period of time, but of the retribution of evil, i.e. that he that has done evil should suffer evil. Man was made worthy of everlasting evil, because he destroyed in himself that good which might have been eternal." (St. Augustine, Doctor of the Church)

"Even as in the saints on account of the perfection of their glory, there will be nothing but what is a matter of joy so there will be nothing in the damned but what is a matter and cause of sorrow; nor will anything that can pertain to sorrow be lacking, so that their unhappiness is consummate. Now the consideration of certain things known brings us joy, in some respect, either on the part of the things known, because we love them, or on the part of the knowledge, because it is fitting and perfect. There may also be a reason for sorrow both on the part of the things known, because they are of a grievous nature, and on the part of the knowledge, if we consider its imperfection; for instance a person may consider his defective knowledge about a certain thing, which he would desire to know perfectly. Accordingly, in the damned there will be actual consideration of the things they knew heretofore as matters of sorrow, but not as a cause of pleasure. For they will consider both the evil they have done, and for which they were damned, and the delightful goods they have lost, and on both counts they will suffer torments. Likewise they will be tormented with the thought that the knowledge they had of speculative matters was imperfect, and that they missed its highest degree of perfection which they might have acquired." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"The disposition of hell will be such as to be adapted to the utmost unhappiness of the damned. Wherefore accordingly both light and darkness are there, in so far as they are most conducive to the unhappiness of the damned. Now seeing is in itself pleasant for, as stated in De Metaphysica i, 'the sense of sight is most esteemed, because thereby many things are known.' Yet it happens accidentally that seeing is painful, when we see things that are hurtful to us, or displeasing to our will. Consequently in hell the place must be so disposed for seeing as regards light and darkness, that nothing be seen clearly, and that only such things be dimly seen as are able to bring anguish to the heart. Wherefore, simply speaking, the place is dark. Yet by Divine disposition, there is a certain amount of light, as much as suffices for seeing those things which are capable of tormenting the soul. The natural situation of the place is enough for this, since in the centre of the earth, where hell is said to be, fire cannot be otherwise than thick and cloudy, and reeky as it were. Some hold that this darkness is caused by the massing together of the bodies of the damned, which will so fill the place of hell with their numbers, that no air will remain, so that there will be no translucid body that can be the subject of light and darkness, except the eyes of the damned, which will be darkened utterly." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"According to Augustine (De Civitate Dei xxi, 20,21), there have been some who predicted a delivery from eternal punishment not for all men, but only for Christians, although they stated the matter in different ways. For some said that whoever received the sacraments of faith would be immune from eternal punishment. But this is contrary to the truth, since some receive the sacraments of faith, and yet have not faith, without which 'it is impossible to please God' (Hebrews 11:6). Wherefore others said that those alone will be exempt from eternal punishment who have received the sacraments of faith, and professed the Catholic faith. But against this it would seem to be that at one time some people profess the Catholic faith, and afterwards abandon it, and these are deserving not of a lesser but of a greater punishment, since according to 2 Peter 2:21, 'it had been better for them not to have known the way of justice than, after they have known it, to turn back.' Moreover it is clear that heresiarchs who renounce the Catholic faith and invent new heresies sin more grievously than those who have conformed to some heresy from the first. And therefore some have maintained that those alone are exempt from eternal punishment, who persevere to the end in the Catholic faith, however guilty they may have been of other crimes. But this is clearly contrary to Holy Writ, for it is written (James 2:20): 'Faith without works is dead,' and (Matthew 7:21) 'Not every one that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven: but he that doth the will of My Father Who is in heaven': and in many other passages Holy Scripture threatens sinners with eternal punishment. Consequently those who persevere in the faith unto the end will not all be exempt from eternal punishment, unless in the end they prove to be free from other crimes." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

"We find also other reasons given by the saints why some are justly condemned to everlasting punishment for a temporal sin. One is because they sinned against an eternal good by despising eternal life. This is mentioned by Augustine (De Civitate Dei xii,12): 'He is become worthy of eternal evil, who destroyed in himself a good which could be eternal.' Another reason is because man sinned in his own eternity (FS,Q87,A3,r 1); wherefore Gregory says (Dialogorum iv), it belongs to the great justice of the judge that those should never cease to be punished, who in this life never ceased to desire sin. And if it be objected that some who sin mortally propose to amend their life at some time, and that these accordingly are seemingly not deserving of eternal punishment, it must be replied according to some that Gregory speaks of the will that is made manifest by the deed. For he who falls into mortal sin of his own will puts himself in a state whence he cannot be rescued, except God help him: wherefore from the very fact that he is willing to sin, he is willing to remain in sin for ever. For man is 'a wind that goeth,' namely to sin, 'and returneth not by his own power' (Psalm 78:39). Thus if a man were to throw himself into a pit whence he could not get out without help, one might say that he wished to remain there for ever, whatever else he may have thought himself. Another and a better answer is that from the very fact that he commits a mortal sin, he places his end in a creature; and since the whole of life is directed to its end, it follows that for this very reason he directs the whole of his life to that sin, and is willing to remain in sin for ever, if he could do so with impunity. This is what Gregory says on Job 41:23, 'He shall esteem the deep as growing old' (Moralium xxxiv): 'The wicked only put an end to sinning because their life came to an end: they would indeed have wished to live for ever, that they might continue in sin for ever for they desire rather to sin than to live.' Still another reason may be given why the punishment of mortal sin is eternal: because thereby one offends God Who is infinite. Wherefore since punishment cannot be infinite in intensity, because the creature is incapable of an infinite quality, it must needs be infinite at least in duration. And again there is a fourth reason for the same: because guilt remains for ever, since it cannot be remitted without grace, and men cannot receive grace after death; nor should punishment cease so long as guilt remains." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

Also See: All Are Tried / Those Who Are Lost Could Have Been Saved | The State of a Soul at Death Determines Its Eternity | A Single Unrepented Mortal Sin Is Sufficient to Condemn a Soul to Hell for All Eternity (Sacraments Section Reflections) | There is No Confession After Death (Sacraments Section Reflections) | Now is the Time for Repentance | Judgment | Fear of God | Sin | Mortal Sin | Original Sin | Salvation | Few Are Saved | Repentance | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section Reflections) | Penance / Confession (Sacraments Section) | Evil / Satan / Devil | Tough Love in the New Testament | Do All 'Good People' Go To Heaven? / No Salvation Outside the Church | Hell (Topical Scripture)  

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