Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Sunday 24 January |
Saint of the Day: St. Francis de Sales
home iconSpirituality
line break icon

Want a better Lent? Go to Hell!

HELL IMAGE

RondellMelling | CCO

Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ - published on 03/07/18

Meditation on Hell is an essential practice, especially during this season.

What kind of Lent are you having so far? Keeping your resolutions? Falling, but getting up again? Given up? Not even bothered with Lent this year?

No matter what your Lent’s been like so far, it’s incomplete without a meditation on Hell.

Meditations on “The Four Last Things” (Death, Judgment, Heaven and Hell) are not as common in Christian discourse and the arts as they once were. Perhaps that’s because some depictions of Hell and its occupants are so lurid and grotesque that they invite mockery rather than a kind of holy horror that could lead to repentance. Some say that “a loving God wouldn’t condemn people to eternal damnation.” And that’s almost right, but not quite—we damn ourselves, by our stubborn rejection of God.

Is it really possible to make such an appalling rejection of God and his gifts? Do we truly have the power to act so decisively and comprehensively against our own interests? Consider these words from the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning, from her A Drama of Exile: “I too have strength – Strength to behold him and not worship him, Strength to fall from him and not to cry to him.”

She puts these words in the mouth of Lucifer, who is the role model for sin—a rebellion against and rejection of the authority and love of God. That terrible strength—the strength “to behold him and not worship him,” “to fall from him and not cry to him”—is a strength that every human has, one every honest sinner knows that he’s exercised. What are the consequences of that chosen rebellion and final rejection of God?




Read more:
Pope says God’s pardon is at the ready, but it comes with a difficult pre-req

  • 1
  • 2
Tags:
Lent
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in eight languages: English, French, Arabic, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
LUXOR FILM FESTIVAL
Zoe Romanowsky
20-year-old filmmaker wins award for powerful 1-minute film about...
2
DAD, HOW DO I?
Cerith Gardiner
Meet the dad who's teaching basic skills on YouTube for kids with...
3
Philip Kosloski
What are the corporal works of mercy?
4
Philip Kosloski
When did Christians start praying the Hail Mary?
5
PHILIP RIVERS
Cerith Gardiner
Quarterback Philip Rivers' retirement announcement reflects his s...
6
CONSOLE
Philip Kosloski
What are the spiritual works of mercy?
7
EMOTIONAL
Bret Thoman, OFS
Need healing? An exorcist recommends this 12-word prayer
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.