Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Sometimes, I delight in hell...

Sometimes I am glad there’s a hell.

Isn’t that awful? But it’s true. I understand we have a God of justice, who will not force people to live in heaven with Him if they don’t want to.  But, that’s not why I am glad there’s a hell.

Sometimes I am glad there is a hell because I know that bad people will go there.  When awful things happen, and people seem to be sheer evil, I am so thankful there is a hell they will be doomed to live out eternity in. I actually take comfort in this. And it’s not okay.

I was talking to someone yesterday and ended up sharing this.  Hell brings me great comfort when I don’t know what to do with people who I perceive to be truly evil. In particular, people who hurt children.  And even more specifically, people who hurt children and are never caught people who get away with it. The comfort it brings me is a problem, I said, because I know it isn't right. And I know we have a God who longs desperately for every single one of us.  So, delighting in hell really isn't an option. 

The person I was talking to said, “But we know we know Jesus got angry too, and I think he’d understand why we are so disgusted by some people, people who hurt children”.

And then the Holy Spirit slammed me. 
“Yes, but we know that almost always those who hurt children, were hurt as children, hurt people hurt people”. 

And for some reason it all clicked.

The reason our God is so good is because He knows us.  He has an intimate knowledge of every joy and every hurt.  He has engaged in the movie of our lives. He is passionately in love with each one of us, and when we are hurt and act out because of hurt, He understands.  He doesn't excuse, but he understands in a profound way you and I never could. 

Yes, our God is a God of Justice and his Justice is important, but his mercy flows so freely because, I think, He truly understands the story of our lives. He also gives us the tremendous gift of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, not only so we can reconcile ourselves, but because there is a communal aspect to sin.  Hurt people, hurt people.

Because I am fly like that, I was watching a documentary on Eminem the other night (thanks Netflix).  It was fascinating watching the generational abuse/neglect and pain in his family.  It made me think of this lyric from his song, “Rap God”

They’re asking me to eliminate some of the hate
But if you take into consideration the bitter hatred I had
Then you may be a little patient and more sympathetic to the situation
And understand the discrimination

That lyric made me feel a little sad for Marshall Mathers, for his lived experience and for the pain he was subjected to as a young child.  But it also again helped me connect the dots. 

Jesus' Divine Mercy of Blood and Grace
I guess what I am trying to say, is that when we strive to see with the eyes of God, we have much more mercy and compassion for people.  Even people who do truly awful things.  Even people who seem beyond forgiveness.  It’s easier, when looking through God’s eyes, to know that people are GOOD, even those that partake in truly evil things. 

 I think I’m going to pray with that more, because it will help me understand God’s love for me and the mercy he extends.  And hopefully, it will help me be a more loving and merciful person.


  1. Although I understand where you are coming from I am so sad that hell exists and that anyone could be in there. I don't want anyone to go to hell, not even the worst ppl in the world...I just wish they all would repent at the last second or something. I remember when ppl were cheering and celebrating that Saddam Hussein was "in hell". I was sad the day he died because another soul might be lost forever. Surely God doesn't want any of his children to chose evil and wishes us all to chose him. I just imagine the most evil person, even someone like Hussein as an infant with the same potential for good as everyone and every saint. It makes me sad that somehow he chose to reject goodness...just my thoughts.

  2. This is so honest. I kind of take the opposite approach and struggle with the reality of hell. I just think how can anyone with FULL knowledge and consent choose an eternity of that? As I was reading the first part I was just thinking but those people who hurt are SO hurt. Wounded so deeply. And then you said it :) It's so sad but so true and I've learned that so many times. And often it just takes someone with the light of Christ to break the cycle. I also have been reminded so often as I've learned and battled my own weaknesses and wounds that "there but for the grace of God, go I." Thank God for His mercy.

  3. This was beautiful Mary, really beautiful. I think we all feel this way sometimes. I even catch myself yearning for the end days...for judgement, so others will be judged too...isn't that stupid?