“Hell”: a CTS Vintage Booklet

Lucifer imagined by Gustave Dore

Two words on Hell, still another of the now numerous CTS Vintage Booklets published on the excellent Shane’s Blog.

Already the title (only one word, and the right one) tells you what to expect from this truly excellent booklet. It is very short, but of stunning clarity. It literally demolishes all the misconceptions about hell but most importantly, it drives a big steamroller over the “goodism” so typical of our age.

As observed for other booklets of this series, there is no attempt whatsoever to engulf you in an atmosphere of emotional, easy self-justification. Things are said not only straight, but in such a concise way as to be surprising even for people already accustomed to such issues.

It is as if the author had decided to go straight against every prejudice of the modern era, head first and with no discounts applied. To the question “Is it just that a momentary sin should be punished timelessly?” he answers “Quite just”. To the question “Surely there comes a time when enough satisfaction has been paid?” he answers “No; not if the sin is mortal”. To the question “is it not all this talk about hell unreasonable?” he answers “it is not”.

At the same time, his delimitation and description of mortal sin is not only perfectly orthodox, but precisely and reassuringly circumscribed. This makes all his answers about Hell eminently reasonable and easy to follow and “digest” for those approaching or deepening their understanding of Catholicism.

This booklet should be given to every Catholic adolescent (or very bright child) with the instruction to read and re-read it until its content has been thoroughly assimilated (which, by the way, is no monumental task at all). Once this has happened, the reader would feel reassured about his chances of obtaining Salvation whilst being taught not to downplay the risks or the consequences of missing this all-important train.

A truly excellent product. I think everyone would profit from reading it. As all other booklets, it can be saved and forwarded with ease.


Posted on September 4, 2010, in Catholicism and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Irenaeus of New York

    Excellent resource! This will come in handy for a catechism tool I have been working on.

    “Hell is one of the eternal guarantees of human freedom, for it admits the right of a free man to cry out non-serviam through all eternity.”
    -Archbishop Fulton Sheen

  2. Irenaeus of New York

    Hi Mundabor,
    Yes, I am a new yorker. My frequent posts (all way in the past) on DT’s blog probably gave the impression I was local. Nope, I was born and raised in NY. My mother is from the European continent though.

    Thats a tough question to answer on Bishop Dolan. I dont want to be overly critical, but I always have high expectations for bishops and priests… which usually leaves me disappointed. He has very good people skills (which the priests under his care will love), I can tell that he is a genuinely good man, and he loves the Church. Outside of that, I think he suffers from the same issues most of the US bishops suffer from. They are generally too timid. Too afraid to “offend” with the Truth. In his case, just dealing with the NY media is a nightmare for any prelate. So like most metropolitan bishops, they tend to stay “non-confrontational” because it makes their life easier. He is no different in that respect.

    • Yes Irenaeus, from what I can see from here (see the scandal of the church of St. Francis Xavier) it would appear that the chap has good intentions, but too much concerns of being perceived as aggressive.

      How is it about TLM by you? Do you have difficulties in finding one?


  3. Irenaeus of New York

    Well its been challenging out here because I am outside of NYC in the suburbs of Long Island. So while NYC has several choices for the TLM, Long Island has but one choice if you live centrally. A few weeks ago, there were two choices, but one TLM was shutdown in Massapequa (as reported on Rorate Caeli). I still feel rather fortunate to be living close enough to one (40 min commute) in Dix Hills. The new pastor is well disposed to tradition. However, all the TLM celebrations are stuffed into a small chapel and not in the main church where others could be exposed to its beauty. But I expect that to change as time goes on.

    How about you? Any difficulties finding one? I think as far as countries go, the USA has probably exhibited the greatest growth in the number of TLM’s celebrated since the MP. Some countries have all but ignored it.

    • MIMI many thanks, have amended the error!

      I also have a hour long commute to get to my Latin Mass, but if I wanted alternatives I’d have several all in Central London.

      Still, only a minority of them seem to be TLM, up to now I have only found (outside of the Brompton Oratory where I attend) Novus ordo Masses in Latin where basically the priest himself decides what is in English and what is in Latin, everyone seems to do it in a different way.

      Every now and then I go to see some other mass, a curiosity to see how things are going. More often than not, I am disappointed. Still, in London we also have the SSPX in Wimbledon and if one really is ready to travel, one will find an arrangement which pleases him. I’m afraid if you go outside of London the situation changes radically.

      Just thinking out loud, but if the Pope had decided that during his visit everything has to be in Latin this would have been a very strong signal.



  4. Irenaeus of New York

    Yes, it would send a strong signal. But HH won’t even celibrate the TLM in public. I think other than a regularization of the SSPX, we will see no more surprises from the Holy Father with regard to tradition. I am more deeply worried about the ecumenical dialogue with the Russians. They are very ambitious and cunning since their revival after the fall of communism…. I would even say imperialistic (trying to assert themselves over Constantinople). They demanded concessions of Rome just to have an audience with the patriarch. I am curious what they will wind up being when it finally happens.

    • Yes you are absolutely right,
      it is the same “little brick by little brick” mentality which then persuades him to give important posts to the Nichols and Smiths of the world. I do not know what he will do with the TLM, but the three years observation period has now ended and I think we will end up with a sort of prescription of permanent presence of the TLM in the liturgy, of course with the usual fire escapes allowing the E & W to do nothing (if there are sufficiently trained priests in sufficient numer; if there are no other needs; if the sun shines, etc….).

      As to the Russians, I am not very informed. Whilst I do think that a reconciliation would be historical, I am not holding my breath.


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