The month of May invites us to think about the Blessed Virgin, because this is the month devoted to Her.
Therefore let us dwell on a particular event: Mary’s apparition at Fatima, and what she made the three Little Shepherds see and speaking to them of the necessity to pray for the salvation of souls. The Blessed Virgin showed them hell and the souls that had fallen into the abyss of fire.
Jesus speaks many times of hell, and above all he says that unfortunately many fall in it. Let’s read what is written in the Gospel of Matthew: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.. ”(Mt 7: 13). That indeed hell exists and that in it there is fire, is again written about in the Gospel of Matthew: “If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire” (Mt. 18: 8). And in the Gospel of Mark it is also written: “And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.” (Mk 9: 47-48).
In the parable of The Rich Man and poor Lazarus, we read: “Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.” (Lk 16, 24). When Jesus speaks of the Universal Judgment, here is what he says to those people that have never done charity in their life, but has thought only to accumulate treasures on earth: “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.” (Mt 25: 41-43). And he finishes saying: “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
In order not to go to hell, it is necessary first of all, to believe that it exists, and that there is also the danger of going in, as unfortunately many go there everyday. We don’t have to be afraid and think seriously of hell all the time, because, when we find ourselves in the midst of temptation, and we are about to consent to it, this is really the moment to remind ourselves of that sin we are committing, also that it could be the last and even the cause of our eternal damnation. That’s why in the biblical book of the Ecclesiasticus it is written: “In all of your works, remember the Four Last Things, and so you won’t sin for ever” (Ecclesiasticus 7: 40).
The Four Last Things are: Death, Judgment, Hell, Heaven.
If we don’t want to run into ugly surprises after death, it is necessary to think often of them. Their memory will hold us not only away from the sin, and therefore from the danger of eternal damnation, but above all it will help us to complete good works of charity. In the book of Tobias it is written: “For alms delivers from death, and the same is that which purges away sins, and makes to find mercy and life everlasting” (Tobias 12: 9).
Therefore, what do we need to do to avoid hell and to earn Heaven? To love our neighbor, and to help him according to our own possibilities, because, whatever one does to another, Jesus considers it done to himself. You read in fact in the Gospel: “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me” (Mt 25: 40).
Our eternity, happy or unhappy, depends on how we will have lived our years on this earth. Unfortunately a lot of people live as if they will never to die, and above all as if, after death, there is not anything. Yet Jesus warned us, telling us always to be ready, because death could suddenly arrive, as after all it happens every day to so many people. Jesus says in fact: “This is why you also must be ready, because the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Mt 24: 44; Lk 12: 40). Do all those people that suddenly die on the roads or in other ways, have their souls in God’s Grace to be able to win Heaven? Here then, Jesus points out to us a way to earn it: “Don’t collect for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But collect for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mt 6: 19-21).
Many are the means to accumulate treasures in Heaven, and to earn eternal life: to confess at least once a year; to make alms; to forgive the offences received; to make some bodily penitence; to be assiduous to daily prayer; to participate in the Holy Mass at least on Sunday and Holy Days; to avoid dangerous and exaggerated amusements; to be faithful to your own duties on the job and of matrimonial duty; to have patience and goodness with all; to never raise scandal, above all to the small ones; to turn many times our thoughts to God during the day. But there is a surer way than everything else: devotion to the Blessed Virgin. Those people that love Mary, honor her, and petition her every day, I am convinced that they won’t go to the hell, because, when they will be introduced to Divine Justice, she will put in front of His Child Jesus, and will say: “This soul belongs to Me, and I bring her in Heaven.”
Courage therefore. Let’s implore her often, this good Mother of ours, and one day we will be with her for all eternity.
I greet you and I bless you all from my heart.
Padre Luigi Duilio Graziotti
A little note from the administrator of this web site:
In the Liturgy of the Hours: Saturday Memorial of the Blessed Virgin Mary, one of the closing prayers we would do well to remember often:
“Lord, take away the sins of your people.
May the prayers of Mary the mother of your Son help
us, for alone and unaided we cannot hope to please you.”