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• Common notion of Hell is…
- A place of fire , with Satan, the prince
of darkness, presiding over his minions
(the disobedient angels) and the lost
• Many people find the notion of hell
too difficult to reconcile with the
power of God’s love and mercy.

• Can a good and loving God allow

people to hell?
• God will not force us to love him, God will not
If it is not freely
given, it is not love. miraculously change our hearts if they are set
on evil. God will not save us unless we want it.
“He who made us without ourselves,
will not save us without ourselves
- St. Augustine
• If we withhold our love, if we surround
ourselves with a cocoon of selfishness, if we
freely choose not to respond to God’s call and
die in that state, then the state that we have
already created in our life will become
• It is that state of permanent estrangement from
God that we call hell.
The major so- called
“pain” of hell is the
irrevocable loss of • Hell in this life is loneliness, the loneliness of a
God. thoroughly selfish person.
• Hell is a total depression, the depression of
being not able to do anything and feel paralyzed
by hurt feelings.
• Hell is a total frustration, the frustration of
being called by God, of having experienced
God’s love and generosity and of not being able
reach the fulfilment of that call.
• Hell is horrible remorse. We on our
own free choice. As we say, we have
blown it.
• In the Scripture remorse is depicted
as a worm that constantly gnaws us
and eats away inside us.

And if your eyes causes you to stumble, tear it out; it is

better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye
that two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm
never dies, and the fire is never quenched.
Mk 9:48, Isaiah 66:24
Does God Punish? • Mt 13: 40-42
• Mark 9: 43
• Mark 13:41
• Mark 25: 41

• How literally can we take these

• God does not punish us, we punish ourselves.
• As a result of sin there is a web, a network of
evil in the world, and all of us are caught up in
• Hell is the culmination and sum of that evil. By
our sins we freely choose to be part of the evil
in the world and we suffer the consequences
of that choice.
• Therefore, hell is not something inflicted by
God; it is something we create for ourselves,
something that we begin to experience long
before our death.
• Hell is the symbol for all the despair,
frustrations, the physical and mental
pain, the remorse over lost
opportunities, the deep dissatisfaction
of pervasive selfishness that we impose
on ourselves during life.
• Hell is the failure to love, the failure to
love God and to love one another.
The “FIRE” • Mt 25 :40-42

of Hell 41 “Then he will say to those on his left,

‘Depart from me, you who are cursed,
into the eternal fire prepared for the
devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry
and you gave me nothing to eat, I was
thirsty and you gave me nothing to
The “FIRE” • In the Catholic teaching, the fire of hell must not be
taken literally. The fire of hell must be understood
of Hell symbolically.
• We know what happen when fire burns- it
consumes what it burns and effects chemical and
physical change.
What is consumed?
What change that takes place?
• If the fire of hell is in some way different from our
scientific fire so that it can cause misery of burning
without consuming what it burns, then we have
absolutely no experience of it and therefore cannot
speak about it.
The “FIRE” • Fire is a common and much used symbol in
human speech.
“consumed by the fire of love”
Tongues of fire – Pentecost
Burned up with anger
Thus, fire can be a symbol of “good” (love) or
“bad” (anger). It can be a symbol of the
presence of the Holy Spirit.
The “FIRE”
• A simple clue to the symbolism of fire may be this:

• It is the destiny of the human person to be consumed for

others; if it happens by way of willing self-gift it is ecstatic
joy, but if it happens against a self-serving and self-
centered life it is ultimate frustration.
The “Hell”
create our own hell by our
selfish withdrawal from
Fear of
• We should never fear God as someone who will
God inflict dire punishment if we do not measure up.
God is always our friend, our savior, our loving
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom
and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight”
Proverbs 9:10
Fear of Fear is perfectly natural human response to
God certain experiences and circumstances.

Fear of the Lord is a fear that must be rooted in

love. The fear of offending the one we love.

What we must genuinely be afraid of is the evil

our own free actions bring upon us and others.
• The word Satan comes from the Hebrew

Satan- The word adversary, the foe, the enemy.

• Devil- diabolos- one who confuses.
Devil • Cult of Satanism
• Devil worship
The experience of evil in the world is
attributed to the work of the devil.
The one who pulls our eyes to see that evil is
good. But remember the devil is the Father
of all lies.
Satan is the adversary of God, the enemy,
the deceiver.
Devil • When we say “tempted by Satan” we mean
that we are being lured into the evil of the
world by our own weakness and selfish

• When we pray the Our Father “not to be led

into temptation, we pray for God’s help to
resist the attractiveness of evil in the world.
Jesus vs.
Satan • We need to turn to our Lord Jesus Christ
because by his death and resurrection has
conquered the forces of evil. Because we
possess the power of his spirit, we have
nothing to fear from Satan. We have but to
prepare ourselves as best as we can for the
Day of the Lord. When his victory over evil
will fully manifest.