Whoever does not willingly serve My goodness in
time shall unwillingly serve My justice in eternity.
No one goes to the torments of hell against his will:
all the reprobate rush thither of their own free choice;
therefore, they complain of no one, except themselves.
1.) The Voice of Jesus
My Child, so long as men live, I do, in some manner, love them all; the good I cherish with a divine affection; the wicked I tolerate, because I await their conversion; and I go in search of those that are straying.
My Heart, wherein I bear them all written, devises and uses a thousand ways and means to save all.
But, if there are any who disappoint the hopes of My mercy, if they come to judgment laden with the guilt of grievous sin, confirmed in their obstinacy; I will blot them altogether out of My Heart, and, with the thunderbolts of My justice, I will hurl them into the depths of hell.
2.) There, they are bereft of heaven and all its delights, and never shall they behold My countenance in the kingdom of My glory.
They endure an infinite punishment: because they have lost an infinite good.
Plunged in a shoreless lake of fire, they burn and suffer for evermore; and the smoke of their tortures mounts up unendingly.
All evils rush upon them. There, every sense of the body, every power of the soul, shall have its own and proper punishment.
In that, whereby each has sinned, shall he be specially tormented: as much as he has delighted in evil, so much is he tortured with pain.
There, the unclean are forever devoured with a burning heat, overwhelmed with intolerable stench, gnawed by never-dying worms.
There, the wickedly rich are oppressed by extreme want; and suffer a most frightful hunger and thirst, nor shall they find relief forever.
There, they that wrongly sought after honors, are infinitely debased, and despised and trodden under foot by the very demons.
There, no interruption is felt in torments, not even for a moment; but they continue, and shall continue forever and ever.
There, every one receives according to his desserts.
3.) The place, the masters, the company, everything superadds to the punishments, in an inconceivable manner.
What can there be more terrible than the dungeons of hell, where no ray of light, no order, but continued darkness and everlasting horror dwell?
What more cruel than the demons, who exhaust their arts to invent new tortures, and their strength to inflict them?
What more gloomy than that wretched throng of sufferers, howling endlessly, hopelessly? As many companions as there are suffering, so many new torments are experienced.
4.) Behold! So shall he be punished, who is unwilling to serve Me, his God, his Creator, his Redeemer, his unwearied Benefactor.
As I live, every knee shall be bent to Me, and all nations shall serve Me.
Whoever does not willingly serve My goodness in time, shall unwillingly serve My justice in eternity.
Be not amazed, My Child, at the punishment of the damned: they themselves are not astounded, but confess that they receive things worthy of their deeds.
No one goes to the torments of hell against his will: all the reprobate rush thither of their own free choice; therefore, they complain of no one, except themselves.
They confess, that I am infinitely bountiful, and acknowledge, that they are exceedingly wicked.
5.) The gate of hell is sin; the paths that lead to the same are whatever allures man to sin.
How many have perished by an unlawful desire for pleasure, by an inordinate love of riches, by a wicked pursuit of honors!
Long thou for naught, My Child, which may entangle thee in its toils, and afterwards hurl thee into the abyss.
Nor is it less dangerous, in all things to seek thyself. How many, alas! there are, who seem to begin well, but who, because they do not abandon self, relapse at length – are thrust into deeper evils, and, finally, are miserably lost!
To escape hell, therefore, it is not enough to have begun well, but it is necessary to have persevered in well-doing.
Forsake sin and the world forever, lest thou be in the end forsaken by Me: forsake, moreover, thy self, lest by thy own weight, thou be dragged down to the lowest depths.
Do all, dearly beloved, endure all, that thou mayst avoid never-ending torments. All the labors and afflictions of this life, are as naught, when compared with the sufferings of hell.
Here upon earth, in a short time, there shall be an end to labors and sorrows: but there is no being redeemed out of hell.
6.) The Voice of the Disciple
O Lord, our God! How awful is Thy justice in eternity! Nevertheless, Thy judgments are just, yea, acknowledged just by the reprobate themselves.
But, although nothing terrifies me more than hell, yet, I know of nothing better adapted to awaken in my heart a love for Thee.
How, indeed, O Lord Jesus, can I think of the fire of hell, without being inflamed with love for Thee?
What is there, that manifests, in a more sensible manner, the bounty of Thy Heart towards me? What is there, that presses me more forcibly to love Thee in return?
Behold! If Thou shouldst free some reprobate soul from the torments of hell, and if to her, thus restored to this life, Thou shouldst give most plentiful means, whereby she might not only save herself, in an easy manner but also gain an everlasting throne of glory in heaven, O how would that soul love Thee! Would she think that she could ever be able to show Thee sufficient thankfulness? Could she ever think of hell, without wholly melting with love for Thee? O how pure would she keep her heart for Thee! How saint-like would she live for Thee!
Now, O Lord, I am indebted to Thee for much more than that soul should be. By preserving me from the pains of hell, Thou didst far greater and better things for me. For, is it not a greater and better blessing to be entirely kept from an evil, than to be released from it, after having undergone its pangs?
Yet, these things, so astonishing, so wonderful, so sweet, Thou didst do for me; not once, not twice, not thrice, but as often as I committed mortal sin.
Had I committed no mortal sin, my obligation should still be greater, my debt of gratitude should be increased, as well as my reasons for loving Thee. For I should be infinitely more obliged to Thee.
Had not the infinite goodness of Thy Heart preserved me by grace, how long ago might I have fallen into a sin deserving of hell! For there is no sin which one commits, which another may not also commit, unless Thou prevent him by a special grace.
Whatever, then, I may have been, this most O sweet Jesus, this I owe, first of all, to Thee, that I am not now in hell, that I am still able to gain heaven. Thou hast freed me from destruction: Thou hast freed me, according to the multitude and greatness of the goodness of Thy Heart, from the depth of hell, from the hands of them that lay in wait for my soul.
Come ye, therefore, and I will tell you all ye that fear the Lord, what great things He has done for my soul.
Should I, then, not love Thee, O Jesus, infinite Goodness! Should I not cherish Thee! Yea, I love Thee, I love Thee above all things; and I will continue to love Thee thus, as long as I have being, forever and ever. Thou alone shalt possess all my affections: for Thee, Jesus, will I live, for Thee alone, to whom I owe my all.
“Voice of Jesus” is taken from Arnoudt’s “Imitation of the Sacred Heart”, translated from the Latin of J.M. Fastre; Benziger Bros. Copyright 1866