Oklahoma: In The Midst Of Life….

As I write this, the death count of the Oklahoma tornado is at 91. My and your prayers are, I am sure, with the deceased and their love ones.

As this is a Catholic blog, though, I would like to share some of the very politically incorrect thought that went through my mind as I heard the news. How many of the deceased believed in God? Did they have time to prepare themselves? How many of them are now saved, and how many condemned?

“But Mundabor, how can you have such insensitive thoughts when so many have died? How can you even think that this is the time to think about hell? How can you, come to that, think that God would send to hell even one of those whom he deprived of life in such a way? And the children, the children! How can you imagine God would send even one of them to hell??!!”.

Well, I have insensitive thoughts because I think the thought of salvation and damnation is not only never out of place, but actually very salutary in situations like this, reminding us in a very media effective way that in the midst of life we are in death. I also think that every day is the right day to think about hell, and that a day without a single thought of hell was probably a day that could have been better employed. I also, being a Catholic, do not think that dead people become heroes, or saints, just for being dead. Actually, I think the reality is far more sobering: after death the judgment.

Being a Catholic I also know that the cards of those children who died unbaptised are rather bad, with limbo to be generally expected for the little ones, and hell for many of the not so little anymore. It is important to be baptised. Actually, it is vital. Our forefathers knew these things, we are the only one who are so stupid to think we know better, and extend baptism by desire to pretty much everyone, probably including the cat and the dog if at all possible.

In the midst of life, we are in death. And if we didn't care two straws for God's laws in life, we will be very probably screwed forever in death. It's as insensitive as that.

You may think it cynical, or even wicked, to think (and remind others) of the fact that a number of those who died are probably in hell already. You may want to ask St. Thomas about the probability of damnation rates of less than 1%, but I won't insult your intelligence with such V II rubbish. Personally, I agree with Garrigou-Lagrange and many before him, whose tentative count would look rather different. Insensitive thoughts. But very salutary ones.

In your charity, pray for the dead; but as you pray, keep in mind there is one life, and after that the judgment. If you ask me, these are the days that can do most for us and the ones we love.



Posted on May 21, 2013, in Catholicism, Conservative Catholicism, Traditional Catholicism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. As a convert to Catholicism, very recent convert, I will say this. I would wager a good deal of them are not in hell. But I don’t know. I do know something about this region of the country, and it stymies Europeans like nothing else. In spite of the numerous denominations, there is an ethos in this part of the country which is Christian. Not the social justice kind, but the genuine shirt off your back kind. This is the region of the Bible Belt known as the Buckle. I am willing to bet that many of them were praying hard when the winds came bearing down. I lived through a number of tornadoes myself, and your eyes do flash before your eyes. These are people who have lost everything, many of them lost families. I am certain, regardless of whether or not they are Catholics, they are a little less worldly than I am right now.

    • Beautiful words, Jewel, and very reassuring.

      Yes I knew that part of the US is very conservative and very Christian, but having never lived there it is different to point out what this means in actual number: 20% do not care at all? 35%? 10%?

      Still, I am sure among those in imminent danger of death the number of atheists instantly reduces, another great sign of the working of the Holy Ghost.


  2. adsalvandasanimas

    “You may think it cynical, or even wicked, to think (and remind others) of the fact that a number of those who died are probably in hell already.”

    I wonder whether such people as think this ever consider that they are tacitly condemning the views of a great number of canonized saints and doctors of the Church, to take, at random, just one example, St. Remigius of Rheims, Apostle of France: “Among adults there are few saved because of sins of the flesh. […] With the exception of those who die in childhood, most men will be damned.”

    • I do not think they have to be in agreement with every saint, as how many are saved is not defined de fide and people will have different opinion on that. I have posted about Garrigou-Lagrange’s views on this, and they are far more reassuring.

      Still, it seems to me there comes a point where one is simply in denial, and I do not know of any great saint or theologian of the pre-V II past who minimised the problem.


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