Hitchens, Hell, Helpers.
I do not like quoting from the CCC (a text that can be defined fallible in his worst parts, and sprinkled with populism and VII-ism in all his parts; google “Abbé de Nantes” for instructions on the matter ) but on this day it seems to me the CCC tells us in a concise and rather easy way what happens to those who die in mortal sin and without repentance.
CCC1033 […] “To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God’s merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.””
If you do not accept God’s love you remain separated from him forever. It is your choice. You have time for as long as you breathe. After that, time’s up.
CCC 1034 : “Jesus often speaks of “Gehenna” of “the unquenchable fire” reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that he “will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,”615 and that he will pronounce the condemnation: “Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!” “
Pretty clear, too. Hell is not a place where the wicked drink themselves to death before launching themselves in the next blasphemous rant; nor is it a place where soi-disant intellectuals can discuss all the shortcomings of creation whilst sipping cocktails, and explain what they would have done better or why this proves that there is no God. No, it is rather a place of serious physical and spiritual torment.
CCC 1035: “The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” ” […].
Yep, more of the same. Hell exists, and after death there is no “if” and no “but”. Immediately after death, one knows. Hitchens once said he liked surprises. I wonder if he would like this one.
CCC1037: “God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want “any to perish, but all to come to repentance” “
Willful turning away from God, and persistence until the end are sufficient – and actually, not so easy to achieve – to be punished with eternal damnation. Notice that it doesn’t say “unless of course you are famous and a lot of people like you”, or “unless you have said one or two phrases in your entire life which might lead someone to believe that one day you might, perhaps, repent”.
I could go on, but you get my drift: Hitchens was the very image of those who inflict hell on themselves. He did so insistently, violently, ruthlessly. His every action made clear that this was not one at risk of, so to speak, slipping into hell by giving in to his temptations, by being weak and frail. No, this was one clearly headed for hell head on, and at vicious speed. I shiver at the thought of how many souls he has contributed – and will contribute after death – to send to hell.
The simple fact is, Hitchens’ death didn’t improve any treat of him in any way. Apart from being dry now almost two days, nothing has changed in his moral state. The contrary is the case: death crystallises one’s moral state, and makes it permanent. When the wicked die, they do not become less wicked. Not a bit. They might see the consequences of their wickedness, but they will not repent of it. Unless Hitchens repented – which is, let’s face it, highly improbable – he is the same little son of a bitch now as he ever was, without the vodka.
It is, therefore, extremely surprising that this wicked, evil man be “adopted” by curious “helpers”, thinking that his own personal qualities (he certainly had some, and no one is completely wicked. Hitler loved Blondie, his dog, and was an extremely nice host and conversationalist with those whom he liked) might have helped him in the end even if he did not want to help himself.
Come on, this is not Christianity anymore. This is soppy “candle in the wind” Elton John-ism, kindergarten fables, and acute self-delusion.
Still more surprising is what you read in some corners, that for reasons unknown to us – or, as Protestants love to do, citing some Bible verse out of context and out of Catholic truth; which you can always do; always, without exception – Jesus would save a man who wants to be lost, who absolutely insists in being lost, because being a ruthless blasphemous bastard be in some way better than being a frail, somewhat lukewarm Christian as, alas, the vast majority of Christians are. The idea here is that the vast majority of frail people are less worthy of salvation than an unspeakably blasphemous, wickedly fanatical man, because the wicked man was passionate in his wickedness and a lot of people seem to have found this, in some way, entertaining. I found it disgusting but hey, I’m not the “nice” type.
This mentality, this “he will be saved because Christ loves blasphemous bastards who don’t do anything to save their soul more than weak believers” is pretty much the negation of everything Christianity is and stands for.
On the contrary, Hitchens’ death shows us how Satan tries to snatch souls through him even after his death, letting simple or deluded people believe they can be as wicked as he was, not repent, and get away with it.
Posted on December 17, 2011, in Catholicism and tagged Christopher Hitchens, Damnation, Hell. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.
Your comments about Hitchens reminds me of a story I heard many years ago. There was a man, who like Hitchens, was a drunk and a blasphemer. Yet this fellow had a couple of kids who were devout church going Christians. When the mother was asked why her children were 180 degrees away from their father in belief and morals, she said, “they live in mortal fear of trning out like him and going to hell!” LOL!
Sad but true I am afraid…
DO I agree with you about this modern heresy of “sola sinceritas”(dog latin)!
Still, who knows that in his, or ANYONE whatever’s dying inner thoughts he never muttered” Father forgive me, for I have sinned” OR “Jesus son of David etc” or even like the good thief” Im getting but what I deserve, remember me in your kingdom”?
There is silence about ‘tother thief….
What a silence……
“Of no man´s soul may judge, but of men´s acts , whether they be for good or for ill”
When was the last time there was a clear deathbed conversion with a priest in attendance reaching the media?
Where I write there’ve been cases where the media silenced the possibility of such.
They had all the last things clearer in the past – now us , WE,we’re shocked ! shocked! about bells ringing for military victory at lepanto.
Have you noticed the unbelievable way that in living memory(mine) a social way to refer to maximum public unforgivably sinful behaviour , MSM included , was to say killing or eating babies.
Now they put” kicking puppies!” Lor’love a duck!
And Faugh again!
we don’t know, and therefore we can’t be certain. It would be a sin of presumption for us to do so. Still, a Catholic is not allowed to pray for souls of whom he thinks they are very probably – very probably – in hell, because the Church doesn’t pray for the souls who are in hell.
The issue here is, I think, an issue of attitude: it can’t be that one behaves in that way and after he dies an army of people run to the keyboard to tell us that he was passionate, therefore he might have been saved. Well he was a great bastard and blasphemer enemy of God until the end of his public life, and therefore he very probably wasn’t.
Best wishes to him and to his guardian angel, but don’t bet your pint.
Hitchens must be mentioned as a cautionary tale, not as a way of showing that however wicked you are you can still make it. This would lead further soul to perdition, and he has already lost enough, and many more will his books lead to hell.
I wonder how many people write blog posts saying “Pray for the repose of Adolf Hitler”. To be coherent, they should. We can’t judge, the all-merciful God, and all that.
If they do, they are at least coherent.
I don’t, because I think so probable that Hitler (and Hitchens) are in Hell, that it would seem to me out of place to pray for them after the first two or three “eternal rest”.
If you want to know, my conduct when such bastards (oh sorry, let me rephrase it: bastards; he is dead after all) die is as follows:
a) Three “eternal rest” for the deceased, even if I think it very likely that he is in Hell. This both because the mercy of God and the efforts of his guardian angel might have fished him out of hell at the very last moment (improbable, unless we want to reducve ourselves to kindergarten level; but still possible), and because I think of how much his poor guardian angel must have prayed for him. I try to do my best on that, reflect that we all need God’s mercy, and all that. If you look my post when Obama died, I go more in detail there.
b) let the thing be a cautionary tale for me: that Hell is real, people really go there, and they don’t need to be a Pol Pot to do it; albeit, frankly, I can’t see a big difference between the two either, other than the fact Pol Pot had possibilities Hitchens never had.
It is my conviction that goodism and soppy theology lead people to hell as effectively as open blasphemous attacks. Hitchens specialised in the second, it is astonishing how many seem to want to specialise in the first. They must feel good, no doubt.
Think of the Church of 100 years ago, and tell me how many priests would have used this death to remind people of the concrete possibility of hell, and of the very concrete – though not certai, God pleasing – possibility of him having landed there, and how many to reassure his fans about his salvation chances.
Death + Mortal sin + no repentance = Hell.
I don’t think we’re in any disagreement: havent seen the video you posted above yet. Priests nowadays seldom mention hell at all, let alone give a “hellfire” sermon- they did once, you’re quite right, – I’ve never forgotten one from a Basque (very) priest at a friend’s wedding these near 35 years ago – despite beaming at the couple and giving them helpful sound christian advice on marriage at odd moments throughout the sermon, he roared at the congregation after each such remark” and as for the REST of you here……..”:” if divorce comes- and it will- anyone who divorces will commit a mortal sin and go to hell………………..” the description of hell, and how to get there,principly via divorce( not then on the agenda in Sapin, but not long in arriving), took a full twenty minutes, detail upon detail- a very very, real place: it certainly made the congregation feel in no hurry to discover if he’d got some of the details not quite right.!
Who dares say such a warning was not given out of love?
I suspect you’re right about prominent public figures with unexemplary and unrepentant lives figuring in such sermons way back when, but I don’t know.I quite agree we’ve lost strongmindedness for feelgood factors.
I don’t have the source for the victorian priest in Dublin, something of a socialite , quipping that he was sore tempted to opt for hell in the after life since that was where the majority of his friends, being protestants, would be!(said to sting, not as just a bon mot.)
Equally, there is the matter-of-fact acceptance that hell is a possible destination in such things as the musichall ditty several generations of my mothers family quoted quite regularly¨:
a maiden rebuffing an overardent suitor thus
…../…Then she said “go to father!”
For she knew that he knew that her father was dead
And she knew that he knew of the life he had lead
So she knew that he knew what she MEANT when she said :
“Go to father!”!!!!
Why is it that whenever someone dies who Christians don’t like, they start speculating about their eternal damnation before the funeral has even been held?
For several reasons, scout:
1) Because Christianity speaks about hell, and makes of it a concrete possibility.
2) Because false charity doesn’t in fact help anyone; rather, it encourages other to downplay the possibility of Hell.
3) Because it wouldn’t be logical to start discussing Hitchens’ very probable damnation only after the funeral. Judgment (the individual one) is immediately after death.
God doesn’t wait for one’s funeral, or give one time to get accustomed to the idea.
This rather sobering feature is what Christians have in mind when they talk of one’s (probable) eternal damnation at knowing of his death.