I recently criticized the Nuns on the Bus in a post and included a warning that maybe...just maybe their souls were in danger. Somebody commented on how she feared for my soul for daring to say such a thing. Apparently no one can ever carry out the spiritual work of mercy, to admonish the sinner, without jeopardizing his own soul. (I think the only mortal sin some people believe in is "being judgmental." Forget it that our intelligence is called the "seat of judgment." The only judgments we may make in their minds is what to have for dinner...as long as it's low fat, low sodium, and meets the USDA health guidelines.) Well, I wonder if my commentator has seen one of Fr. Z's latest posts.
Hell and the Enemy exist. Priests and bishops who don’t teach about them will probably wind up there:
If you don’t believe in Hell, you will probably wind up there. And if you chose that fate, it would be better for you had you never been born (cf Matthew 26:24).
STOP. Spend a moment to examine your conscience.
NOW. Try to imagine what goes through the mind of the damned soul
during his first 30 seconds in Hell.
I remind you of these harsh realities because I don’t want to go to Hell.
Priests and bishops who don’t teach about Hell will probably wind up there.
It is my job to keep as many of you as possible out of Hell.
I will therefore tell you about Hell and then echo St. Augustine, who told his flock “Nolo salvus esse sine vobis! … I don’t want to be saved without you!” (s. 17.2)Goodness, how politically incorrect of Fr. Z. to mention the H word. It's the only four letter word some people never want to hear. Well, I agree with Fr. Z, only I would take it further. Parents who prefer the human respect of their children to making them mad by warning them about their sinful behavior may very well end up there. (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), take note). Fathers who take no responsibility for the spiritual upbringing of their children may very well end up there. (Dads, you father a child, you sure better lead that child to God or risk hell!) And I'd say that Catholic laity as well as clergy have the duty to warn those committing scandal about the consequences of their actions. (Remember the millstone?) And who better to warn heretical Catholics like those in Catholics for Obama, Catholics United, and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good than faithful Catholic laity?
Some people think we are called to sit in the Church 24 hours a day passively waiting for Jesus to come back and clean up this mess. No effort on our part is necessary except to wait for Jesus to take care of all the evil. That smacks of quietism, a heresy. Don't get me wrong. I'm a firm believer in prayer, but the Church has always taught about the necessity of Catholic ACTION. We center our lives on the liturgy, the Sacraments, and devotions like the rosary and use the grace flowing from those heavenly gifts to battle for souls, especially those in serious danger of hell fire. So pray and fast for souls, but fight for them in the marketplace as well.
And here's a final note to my anonymous friend. How awful to think that someone went to hell because you or I failed to sound the warning. Let's pray and sacrifice and then speak the truth in charity.