The Torments of Hell

  • Posted May 26, 2017

As you will soon read, remember it was Divine Providence that brought you to this post; that you may give up sin, and be preserved from hell.

When we sin, we offend God. The offenses come with just punishments. While sin, especially in these modernist times, may seem trivial to many people; they are actually of very grave matter. This sermon transcript by Father Desposito gives a few examples of the just punishments of sin in the torments of hell. Imagining the pain associated with the described torments of hell, and that these are just punishments, we can get a better realization of the seriousness of sin.

The Torments of Hell

“Gather up first the cockle, and bind into bundles to burn.”—Matt. 13:30

In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

The gospel of the day has given us an image of what is going to happen to the person who dies in the state of mortal sin. I will speak today about Hell, the pain of fire, and other pains that torment the senses of the damned. The final lot of sinners who abuse the Divine Mercy is to burn in the fire of hell. God threatens hell not to send us there, but to deliver us from that place of torment. When you hear a sermon about Hell, keep in mind that Divine Providence has ordered this to happen, that you may be preserved from Hell, and that you may give up sin, which alone can lead you to Hell.

Perhaps you have heard Anti-Pope Francis saying that evil people do not go to Hell, but are annihilated, destroyed….and that’s a heresy. It is certain and of faith that there is a Hell. After judgment, the just shall enjoy the eternal glory in paradise, and sinners shall be condemned to suffer the everlasting chastisement reserved for them in Hell. In Sacred Scripture we read, “And these shall go into everlasting punishment, but the just into life everlasting.” The same Scriptures tell us that Hell is a place of torments, it is a place of suffering where each of the senses and powers of the damned has its proper torment, and in which the torments of each person will be increased in proportion to the forbidden pleasures in which he indulged.

We read in the book of the Apocalypse, “As much as she hath glorified herself and lived in delicacies, so much torment and sorrow give ye to her.” In offending God the sinner does two evils…..he abandons God, deserving good, who is able to make him happy….. and turns to creatures who are incapable of giving any real happiness to the soul. Since the sinner turns his back on God, he shall be tormented in hell by the pain arising from the loss of God. And since in offending God, he turns to creatures, he shall be justly tormented by the same creatures and principally by fire.

The vengeance on the flesh of the ungodly is fire and worms. Fire and the remorse of conscience are the principal means by which God takes vengeance on the flesh of the wicked. Hence, in condemning the reprobate to Hell, Jesus Christ commands them to go into eternal Fire. We read in St Matthew, “Depart from Me you cursed into everlasting fire.” This fire then shall be one of the most cruel executioners of the damned. Even in this life, the pain of fire is the most terrible of all torments. But St. Augustine says that in comparison of the fire of Hell, the fire of this
earth is no more than a picture compared with reality.

St. Anselm teaches that the fire of Hell as far surpasses the fire of this world, and the fire of the real exceeds that of the painted fire. The pain then produced by the fire of hell is far greater than that which is produced by our fire, because God has made the fire of this earth for the use of man, but he has created the fire of hell purposely for the chastisement of sinners.

In St Luke we read, “And the rich man also died: and he was buried in Hell.” So the damned are buried in the fire of Hell. Hence, they have an abyss of fire below, and an abyss of fire above, and an abyss of fire on every side. St. Alphonsus says that as a fish in the sea is surrounded by water, so the unhappy reprobate are encompassed by the fire on every side.

This fire shall torment the damned not only externally, but also internally. It will burn in the bowels, the heart, the brains, the blood within the veins, and the marrow within the bones. St. Alphonsus points out that certain sinners can not bear to walk under a strong sun, or to remain before a large fire in a closed room. They cannot even enjoy a spark from a candle, but they do not fear the fire of Hell. A fire which, according to the prophet Isaias, not only burns, but devours the unhappy damned. Continue, says Saint Peter Damian, to the sinner who indulges in impurity, continue to satisfy your flesh. A day will come, or rather an eternal night, when your impurities like pitch, shall nourish a fire within your very bowels.

According to St. Cyprian, the impurities of the wicked shall boil in the very fat which will issue from their accursed bodies.

St. Jerome teaches that in this fire, sinners shall suffer not only the pain of the fire, but also all the pains which men endure on this earth. Many are so attached to the pleasures and comforts of this earth, that he does not even want to think about pain or suffering. He avoids even the thought of pain while on this earth. Imagine how much more he will suffer when faced with the reality of eternal torments.

Another consideration, the fire itself will bring with it the pain of darkness. Hell is called a land of darkness, covered with the shadow of death. The damned shall never see light. The fire of this world, as we know, gives light, but the fire of hell is utter darkness. St. Basil says that in Hell, the Lord separates the fire that burns from the flame which illuminates. And therefore, this fire burns, but gives no light. St. Albert the Great explains this passage more concisely by saying that God divides the heat from the Light. St. Thomas teaches that in Hell, there is only so much light as is necessary, to torment the damned by the sight of their associates and of the Devils. And according to St. Augustine, the mere sight of these infernal monsters, excites sufficient terror to cause the death of all the damned, if they were capable of dying.

To suffer a burning thirst without having a drop of water to quench it, is intolerably painful. In your spare time, Google the symptoms for dehydration….that’s nothing compared with the thirst suffered in Hell. So great is the thirst of the damned, that if one of them were offered all the water on this earth, he will exclaim, ‘All this water is not sufficient to extinguish the burning thirst which I endure.’ In the gospel of St. Luke, we read that rich man who was in Hell cried out and said, “Father Abraham have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this flame.” St. Alphonsus adds the rich glutton has not obtained, and shall never obtain this drop of water as long as God shall be God.

The reprobate shall be likewise tormented by the stench which pervades Hell. The stench shall arise from the very bodies of the damned. Out of their carcasses shall arise a stink. We read in Isaias that the bodies of the damned are called carcasses, not because they are dead, for they are living and shall be forever alive in pain, but because the stench which they exude. St. Bonaventure says that if the body of one of the damned were placed in the earth, it would by its stench, be sufficient to cause the death of all men. How intolerable then must it be to live forever in the dungeons of Hell, in the midst of the immense multitude of the damned.

Some people think that if they go to Hell, at least they will have the company of other people. But St. Thomas responds, in Hell, the society of the reprobate shall cause an increase, and not a diminution of misery. This society of the reprobate augments their misery, because each of the Damned is a source of suffering to all the others. They are tormented not only by the stench of their companions, but also by their screams, their lamentations.

You know how painful it is for a person who is trying to sleep to hear a barking of a dog, or the screams of a baby. The damned must listen unceasingly to the wailing and howling of their associates….not for a night, not for a thousand nights, but for all eternity, without the interruption of a single moment.

The damned are also tormented by the narrowness of the place in which they are confined. For although the dungeon of Hell is large, it will be too small for so many millions of the reprobate, who like sheep shall be heaped one over the other.

We learn from the Scriptures that they shall be pressed together like grapes in the wine press by the vengeance of an angry God. From this pressure shall arise the pain of immobility. And this is in the book of Exodus, let them become unmovable as a stone. In whatever position the damned shall fall into Hell, after the general judgment, whether on the side, or on the back, or with the head downwards….in that they must remain for eternity without being ever able to move foot, or hand, or finger, as long as God shall be God.

St. John Chrysostom says that all the pains of this life, however great they may be, are scarcely a shadow of the torments of the damned. The Reprobate then shall be tormented in all the senses of the body, they shall also be tormented in all the powers of the soul. Their memory shall be tormented by the remembrance of the years which they have received from God, for the salvation of their souls, and which they spent in laboring for their own damnation, by the remembrance of so many graces, and so many divine lights which they abused. Their understanding shall be tormented by the knowledge of the great happiness which they forfeited in losing their souls, heaven, and God, and by a conviction that this loss is irreparable.

They shall be tormented by seeing that whatsoever they ask or desire, shall be refused. In the Psalms we read, the desire of the wicked shall perish. In this life, however great may be the tribulations which we suffer, there is always some relief, some interruption. The damned must remain forever in a pit of fire, always in torture, always weeping, without ever enjoying a moments repose, and without any one showing them pity. At the very time that they are so much afflicted, the devils continually reproach them with the sins for which they are tormented, and they shall suffer, burn, live forever in despair. You yourselves have been the cause of your destruction.

Someone may ask whether the Saints, Our Lady, and God, who is called the Father of Mercies, take compassion on their miseries….and the answer is No.

The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven. The Saints, represented by the stars, not only do not pity the damned, but they even rejoice in the vengeance inflicted on the injuries offered to their God. Neither can the Divine Mother pity them, because they hate her son. And Jesus Christ, who died for the love of them, cannot pity them, because they have despised his love, and have voluntarily brought themselves to perdition.

God bless you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.