(c)Mary TV 2014
June 7, 2018
Dear Family of Mary!
Fr. Leon, the chaplain to the English speaking pilgrims in Medjugorje, gives what he calls “Sanctuary Snippets” every day before English Mass. (https://marytv.tv/sanctuary-snippets-2/ ) These “Snippets” are short teachings on our Catholic faith, and they are brilliant! Here is the Snippet for June 4, 2018:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
Sometimes to know what we truly believe, we have to ask questions, and ask good questions! And expect an answer. And the sort of questions that children ask are usually very good. For example, children will ask things like, “Does God love the devil?” What’s your answer? Anyone for yes? Anyone for no? Ok! Undecided!
Now, does God love the devil? That is a very important question. The short answer is, yes! Of course He does. I knew someone who always used to say, “I can’t reconcile the idea of a God of love with the existence of Hell.” So I said to him, “Well, look, if there is no Hell, it means we are forced to go to Heaven. And if we are forced to go to Heaven against our will, then God is some kind of despot, or He is not love.” Right? Because we are forced, and if we are forced it is not love. So Hell exists because God is love.
And I will put it to you this way. The cause of all three things, Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, is God’s love. In Hell the damned are love by God, and they don’t want to be loved. So they experience it as shear torture. In Purgatory, the Holy Souls are loved by God. And they see how they have held back from His love. How they have been selfish. And this pain purifies them. In Heaven the Blessed are loved by God, and they delight in being loved. And this is the cause of their Beatific State, seeing God as He is, face to face. Becoming like Him, living by His Divine Life. Ok, so all three are caused by God.
In the Narnia Chronicles, the last book – you know those children’s books by C.S. Lewis – the last book is called “The Last Battle”. Near the end, there is a scene in which the heroes, the children, end up in a barn with all the bad guys. And the heroes, the children, experience the barn as all lit up beautifully, with all these wonderful silver candlesticks holding candles, and a wonderful meal set out on silver platters. And they drink fine red wine out of crystal goblets. But meanwhile, the baddies think they are in a dark barn, eating and drinking swill. And they tread on each other and they curse each other, and they hate everything and everyone including themselves.
This is a powerful image of both Heaven and Hell, both caused by God’s love. To the extent you are open to God’s love and mercy, you receive it. To the extent that you are closed, you receive His justice. There is a gentleman, a friend of mine now, who was a pilgrim like you. And he said, “Father I used to struggle to believe that God loved me, but ever since you said that God loves the devil, I think I can believe it now!”
But remember God is love, God is not sentimentality. We must be open to that love. And if we are not open, then He will lovingly send us to Hell.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Mirjana once asked Our Lady why people go to Hell. Our Lady’s answer was the same as Fr. Leon’s:
Monday, January 10, 1983
Confidences from Mirjana to Fr. Tomislav Vlasic: During the 18 months that I saw the Gospa, a great intimacy was established between us. I felt her maternal love. I could ask her all kinds of questions. Thus I asked her why God was so merciless in sending sinners to Hell for eternity.
“Men who go to Hell no longer want to receive any benefit from God. They do not repent nor do they cease to swear and to blaspheme. They make up their mind to live in Hell and do not at all contemplate leaving it.” (Man’s refusal is an irreversible choice.)
God’s love for us requires that He have a profound reverence for our free will. So He causes Himself great sorrow, in that He will not force us to join Him in Heaven. He does not want the loss of any soul for eternity. May we learn to love like our Father in Heaven. Maybe then we will help others to choose God and Heaven, rather than choose eternal separation from God.
In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!
© Mary TV 2018