When people think of Hell, fire is the first image that comes to mind. Indeed, it should be the first because that is what Our Lord presented to us. Of all the pains on earth a man can undergo, nothing is worse than burning. So, Our Lord is telling us that the pains of Hell are to be compared with the greatest pain you can experience on earth. But there is an even more sobering reality about Hell, and that is the capacity for pain actually increases in the next life and to be fair, so does our capacity for joy. This is owing to the fact that in our current temporal reality, being confined to time and space, there are limits on us — extreme pain would cause us to pass out or die. But in the next life, there are no limits. The soul is catapulted into the realm where the limits of the temporal world no longer hold any power.
Earthly existence with all its inherent limitations will have come to an end. You will never sleep again, for example, because the soul doesn’t need sleep and when our bodies are reunited to our souls after the Last Judgment, they also will not need “rest.” The manner, the very manner of how we will exist, will be something completely foreign to our time here in temporal reality. We will be in the realm of the everlasting, the immortal and for the damned, it will be Hell, literally. So the pains of Hell, the actual fires of Hell, have no comparable reality to fire here on earth. They will be flames, which do not give off light. They will burn in, through and around the damned but they will not consume them. And there are other aspects of damnation to meditate on.
In his book, originally written in the 17th century, Fr. Martin von Cochem offers some considerations about Hell that Catholics would be well advised to think on. Stop listening to that ridiculous Church of Nice “everyone goes to Heaven because they aren’t serial killers” theology and get with the program. The standard for avoiding Hell is not that you weren’t a serial killer!
Here are some helpful thoughts from Fr. Martin on the stench of Hell:
- “The prophecy of Isaias will thus be fulfilled: ‘Instead of a sweet smell, there shall be a stench’ (Is. 3:24). Decaying animal matter emits so horrible an odor that no one likes to go near it.”
- “But if we imagine not one tainted carcass but hundreds of thousands heaped together, the air for miles ’round would be so infected that it would cause the death of all in the vicinity.”
- “Even this stench, however, when compared with the stench of Hell, seems as nothing or rather as a pleasant odor. The effluvium of Hell arises primarily from the place itself, which is by its nature a most horrible and foul region.”
- “No breath of pure air can ever penetrate the closely-shut walls of that prison. Moreover, the whole of Hell is a lake of burning brimstone and pitch and everyone knows how offensive are the fumes they give out.”
- “The unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters and all liars shall have their portion in the pool burning with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” (Apoc. 21:8)
- “[St. John] here speaks of a pool, full of stagnant, foul, stinking water, for which there is no outlet. He adds that this pool is filled with burning brimstone from which a dense smoke ascends, as he says elsewhere: ‘The smoke of their torments shall ascend up forever and ever.'”
- “The very bodies of the reprobate are so foul and disgusting that they emit a most offensive odor, worse than any stench in this world. According to St. Bonaventure, the body of a single reprobate would so taint the air on earth as to cause the death of all living beings coming near it.”
- “If one single body emits so horrible a stench, what can the exhalation be that rises from many millions of these wretched beings?”
- “It is related of the tyrant Maxentius that he was wont, as a punishment, to cause a living man to be bound to a corpse, face to face and limb to limb until the unhappy victim fainted or even died through contact with the dead and decomposing body.”
- “That is indeed a torture of which no one can think without shuddering. How much worse will it be in Hell, where the bodies will lie close to one another, without any hope of being separated.”
- “Bad as this stench is, it is greatly increased by the presence of the devils, who naturally are far more offensive to the nostrils than the bodies of the lost.”
- “We read in the life of St. Martin that the evil one appeared to him upon one occasion, and the stench that filled the room was so overwhelming that the saint said to himself: ‘If one single devil has so disgusting an odor, what can the stench be in Hell, where there are thousands of devils all together?'”
- “How much suffering this abominable stench must cause to the damned! How it must aggravate their distress and pain!”
- “For it must be pestilential beyond description, arising as it does from so many different sources in Hell itself, the bodies of the damned, the devils, the worms and reptiles, the fire of pitch and brimstone, each and all of which stink in the nostrils of the lost.”
- “Judge by what has been said how insupportable the combined odors of all these things must be.”
The idea that practically everybody goes to Heaven is a flat-out lie inspired by the Demon to have everyone let their guard down. But these realities we have been speaking of this week are the truths of Hell and the damned. Do not listen to the lies emanating from the Church of Nice.
Get a copy of this book from us or any other source. Read it, meditate on it and live your life for Heaven.