Monday, March 26, 2007

Hell is Real

I can't remember the last time I heard a homily that mentioned the reality of hell, but at least the Pope isn't afraid to talk about it. Isn't it the duty of the Church to remind us of the existence of hell? It seems all we hear about is the mercy of God, which of course is paramount to our faith, but a little fear of hellfire goes a long way towards reminding us that the devil is real; something that seems to have been overlooked in recent years.

If the only exposure to the Catholic faith you get is going to Church on Sundays, and you don't read the writings of the saints or other Catholic authors, where are you going to get educated about the temptations and powers of the devil? Certainly not from the homilies I have heard. The average Novus Ordo homily I hear never mentions the devil, and it kind of makes one wonder about the complacency of the modern Church in overlooking this very important teaching element of the faith. The devil is more powerful now than ever. Just look at the evils of society, with abortion, divorce, euthanasia, gay marriage and the acceptance of all kinds of sin that used to be frowned upon. Why aren't our priests expounding upon these societal pitfalls and using the homilies as an opportunity to educate and instruct the faithful to a fuller knowledge of their faith? After all, they have a huge responsibility before God to bring as many souls as they can to eternal life. A little preaching on eternal damnation might just be the right balance to the homilies on "God is love." After all, we are all sinners in need of salvation.


318@NICE said...

Last Sunday during the sermon our Priest played for us a real Exorcism that took place in Germany.
But he did it to remind us that the Devil is still around and to show our young people the realities of heaven and hell.
He explained that God allows demon possession like this to show us just how evil, evil is.
Many times when we toy with the thought of the homosexual sin, not really to be sin, we are no different than the one who has a demon in them and is screaming blasphemous things at God. Satan, the great deciever presents sin to us in a way that our flesh does not see the harm in it, or just how gross it is. When a Catholic has come to that point, you wonder whether or not they are still in the faith?
That's probably why at many Novus Ordo Churches the Confessional line (if they even offer confession before Mass) is very short, if there is a line.
The Church I attend, St. Anthony's, the line extends all the way down the whole wall of the Nave. While this is going on the Alter boys are upfront at the kneeling rail praying the Rosary with the rest of the congregation as they finish with their confessions and go into the pews.
At St. Anthony's Mass never starts on time becuase Father Novak will hear all confessions and will not start the Mass until all those who want to confess their sins have done so. Even on Saturday, the line is very long before the Saturday Mass.
Many call St. Anthony's "Old Fashioned." Yet, is the Devil, our sin, God, heaven, and hell outdated?

paramedicgirl said...

Sounds like my kind of priest, Dave! If only the Masses of Pope Paul VI would follow suit.

Shirley said...

I hope that the men whose vocations we are praying for become this kind of preist! (and I'll add an extra prayer to Our Lady for that)