Christ salvation

Perdition and Salvation | Henry Karlson

Lawrence OP: The Tearing of Hell by Benvenuto di Giovanni /flickr

Malice hurts and threatens to destroy the one who holds it. Wickedness turns us away from love, and therefore, since God is love, as long as we cling to wickedness, we cut ourselves off from God. Our wickedness, our hatred, our rejection of love creates a barrier between us and God, and thus, we close ourselves to all that God would like to give us, including and above all the grace that we need to live bliss. For heaven, the kingdom of God, is the kingdom of love; love abounds in grace. God, who loves us, is ready to lift us up, not only to perfect us according to our nature, but to help us transcend it, but God does so in such a way as to make room for us and for our own choices. God does not force us to accept the love and grace offered to us. Love is not love if it imposes itself on us in this way. That doesn’t mean that God doesn’t want what can be done to entice us to receive all that love, because God will do anything to entice us to accept that love, but God still made room for us. make the choice for ourselves. And as long as we deny God’s love, we deny ourselves the goodness and glory that we can have if we accept it into our lives. To the extent that we reject that love, we reject all the good that is meant for us, and so we therefore create our own little private hell.

Nevertheless, love is greater than hate; love is endless, indeed, it is eternal. Hatred can and will end, and when it does, love can take over, cleansing those who once clung to wickedness of all its remnants, healing them from the wounds it has caused them, so that in the end the evil of wickedness will be extinguished and only the good that evil has tried to destroy will remain. So, as Saint Jerome explained, perdition is real, but it should never be understood as annihilating what is good; it is about ending the evil, so that what remains can be saved:

Note also what he says in the following verse: “Let them be confounded and routed forever, let them be confounded and perish”; let them cease to exist as far as their evil is concerned, but let the good in them be saved. Notice that this perdition does not mean annihilation but salvation. [1]

Sin tries to corrupt and destroy all things. It is important for us to understand what sin is and what it is not. It is not a thing in itself, but rather the result of a faulty moral act on our part. Once established, it continues to have no substance of its own; it acts more like a parasite, participating in the good of a host which it slowly corrupts and destroys, until at last, if it is not stopped, the good from which it sprang is eliminated, and then sin no longer has anything to consume and destroy. therefore ends up being annihilated. Thus, sin leads to its own destruction; it is like a snake which turns on its tail and devours itself. Eventually, then, sin will end, either by being resisted and overcome in this way, or by its own self-destruction. What remains of the wake of its elimination will be freed from its grip, from its contamination; that remnant, then, can receive the grace of God, so that by that grace that which has been wounded by sin can be restored to the state it was in before sin came upon it. Thus, as there remains good, there remains for God something to save.

As long as one clings to sin, he clings to wickedness, for sin is the violation of love; and through this malice they will experience for themselves the corruption of sin, an experience which will appear to them as a punishment. For the truth is that every sin has its own consequences, its own path to destruction, and therefore its own “punishment”, either in this life or in the “hereafter”:

Now God foresees in His compassion that a man shall taste this chastisement either while he is traveling on the road, or when he comes to the end; then, because of his rich mercies, a man will pass through chastisement as a reward; but by rest [only] as a pledge, so that the interest on the property [deeds done] does not eat away at his own capital: but for evil [deeds]yea – as it is said: He who is chastised here gnaws his own Gehenna. [2]

All mankind suffers for what they have done contrary to the dictates of love, but love does not let mankind perish because of their wickedness, and therefore, because we have fallen into error and wounded by our own sins, Jesus the Good Samaritan comes to us and lifts us all out of the abyss of hell we have made for ourselves:

But the Samaritan picked him up. For the Samaritan is the Son of God, incarnated in the sanctuary of the Holy Spirit, that is, in the Immaculate Virgin, without any of the blindness of Adam, which human nature has because of sin. And He raised Adam and all his race out of the pit of hell. [3]

Since it is wickedness that leads us to our own experience of hell, we must avoid wickedness. This means that we must hope for the salvation of all. If we don’t, if we wish to send someone to hell, for whatever reason we give for doing so, we have wickedness in our hearts and so we will eventually experience, insofar as we let’s cling to this wickedness, the one we wish others:

And so a truly prudent man is eager to help all he can so that he may increase his fruits by the merits of all who are won to God through him. But if he projects the damnation of someone or rejoices in the fate of one who perishes, a man necessarily perishes himself before causing the loss of another; and the perdition he wishes for another begins with his own ruin.[4]

This does not mean that we have to accept injustices. Of course, we have to fight against them and condemn them when we see them. But we must do so with the hope that we can put an end to it and that all who are affected by it, including those who held them back and promoted them, can be freed from their grip and saved. In other words, we should hope that all injustice will end, so that the good they have corrupted and tried to destroy can be released and restored. This is why we can wish for all evil to come to its own perdition, that is, we can hope that all such evil, all such injustice in the world, will end. But we must wish for more than that. That’s only half of the equation. It is to be hoped that all the wounds that injustices have inflicted on creation will be covered and healed by grace; because in this way, evil will not have the last word. It is to be hoped, not only for others, but for ourselves; for the hope of salvation includes the hope of our own transformation, the hope that we will be freed from whatever evil is in our hearts. We should seek to be made pure, that is, to truly embrace love, so that we can then receive the goodness of love, the goodness of the kingdom of God.

Evil will perish, it will come to an end, but love never ends; wickedness will suffer perdition of its own making, and when that happens, he who was a slave to it will find himself free, free to love and to be loved, that is, to know the glory of eternal life, the life of eternal love itself.

[1] Saint Jerome, The Homilies of Saint Jerome: Volume I (1-59 On the Psalms). Trans. Marie Liguori Ewald, IHM (Washington, DC: CUA Press, 1963), 119 [Homily 16].

[2] Saint Isaac the Syrian, Ascetic Homilies of Saint Isaac the Syrian. Trans. Monks of the Monastery of the Holy Transfiguration. Rev. 2n/a ed (Boston, MA: Holy Transfiguration Monastery, 2011), 278 [Homily 32].

[3] Saint Hildegard of Bingen, “Letter 164r” in The Letters of Hildegard of Bingen. Volume II. Trans. Joseph L Baird and Radd K Ehrman (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 116,

[4] Julianus Pomerius, contemplative life. Trans. Mary Josephine Suelzer, PhD (Westminster, MD: The Newman Bookshop, 1947), 159.

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