Religion and Spirituality

Is Hell reserved only for Satan and demons?

The question was asked, “Is Hell reserved only for Satan and demons?” The answer is in the negative. Hell is also reserved for human persons who die with mortal sin/s on their souls, for which they do not feel contrite. Hell is very real and everlasting.

A question to ponder

When is the last time you have been to confession – the sacrament of Reconciliation with God? How often do you go? If infrequently or not at all, why is that? What slowly led to that? Do you think you can truly live life to the full without the sanctifying grace of God? What do you think happens to you, in your daily life, when you lose sanctifying grace and remain unwilling to regain it?

Almighty God is Father not mother – 2

“There never was a time when the Father was and the Son was not, but always the Father and always the Son, Who was begotten of Him, existed together. For He could not have received the name Father apart from the Son: for if He were without the Son, He could not be the Father: and if He thereafter had the Son, thereafter He became the Father, not having been the Father prior to this, and He was changed from that which was not the Father and became the Father . . . [Moreover] He is also the Father of all His creatures, for God, who brought us into being out of nothing, is in a stricter sense our Father than are our parents who have derived both being and begetting from Him” (John of Damascus, De fide orthodoxa).

The Almighty God is Father not mother – 1

As some keep asking the same question, whether willfully or out of lack of sufficient knowledge, here is the first repost of some posts on why God the first Person of the Holy Trinity is Father and not mother:

Israel has not known Me and My people have not understood Me (Is 1:3)

It has become common these days, especially among modernists and feminists, to conceive of God the first Person of the Holy Trinity as mother rather than Father, even using the term “She” rather than “He.” However, regardless of who may write it, say it or claim it, such socio-theological revisionism is not based in fact, being therefore an implicit if not explicit distortion of both doctrine and the deposit of Faith, because “the Father therefore establishes the Son in eternity by His integral self-giving, while the Son continually affirms the Father as Father from all eternity by the fact that He both accepts His own coming into existence through the Father and also gives Himself to the Father as Son” (Staniloae, D. 1994. The experience of God: Revelation and knowledge of the Triune God, p. 257).

Jesus Christ specifically referred to God the first Person as Father and even Abba throughout Scripture (e.g., Mt 6:9-13, 11:27, 25:34, 26:39-42; Mk 14:36; Lk 2:49, 10:22, 11:2-4, 22:42, 23:46, 24:49; Jn 12:27, 17:1, 17:6, 17:25, 20:17) – in Aramaic tradition, an intimate name that only a natural son or daughter would use in relation to their father. Christ also referred specifically to the Virgin Mary as Mother whom She really was. Moreover, God the first Person Himself specifically expressed His desire to be known as and called Father by His human creatures, namely “I thought you would call me, ‘my Father’ (Jer 3:19) and as confirmed by the Apostle Paul (Gal 4:6; Rom 8:15, 8:29).

More on mortal sin

For whomever does not know, has forgotten, willingly or unwillingly; or just plain does not presently care, mortal sin is:

  • a sin of grave matter;
  • committed with full knowledge;
  • committed with deliberate consent.

1) Saint Paul on what mortal sins are:

“Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-20). Paul also tells the Corinthians, “know you not that the unjust shall not possess the kingdom of God? Do not err: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor the effeminate, nor liars with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards nor railers, nor extortioners shall possess the kingdom of God” (1 Cor 6:9-10).

2) Sins of anger, blasphemy, envy, hatred, malice, murder, neglect of Sunday obligation, sins against faith, sins against hope, and sins against love.

3) Voluntary murder (Gen 4:10); the sin of impurity, i.e., sodomy and homosexual relations (Gen 18:20); taking advantage of the poor (Ex 2:23); and defrauding the workingman of his wages (James 5:4).

4) Pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth.

Is Hell only for Satan? – Response to a question

The question was asked, “Is Hell reserved only for Satan?” The answer is in the negative. Hell is a place of pain and punishment for infinity that has been reserved not only for Satan and his demons, but also for all those of us who die in unrepented of and unabsolved mortal sin – that is why the latter is called “mortal.” You can learn more about mortal sin here and here, as well as about Hell here. You can also read about being in mortal sin and the great mercy, tenderness and love of God our Father.

In brief, when one has a mortal sin or sins on their soul, they may, to all intents and purposes, be alive in the flesh, but they are dead in the spirit. In other words, they are walking sepulchres. However, when one dies with even just a single mortal sin on the soul, they condemn themselves instantly to Hell, not Purgatory, because since the Holy Trinity is pure and immaculate, They cannot reside in and where the darkness of sin resides in full.

What the world needs – Holy Octave of Purification and Consecration to God our Father

Below is what the world really needs in our times, but Whom it keeps rejecting out of false wisdom. The Heavenly Father has promised to come and live with us and in us, restoring order in the world and granting it a period of true peace – His peace – when the world is re-consecrated to Him, to His Divine Heart. The infinitely beautiful, loving Father has been pleading for this, for years, now. And yet, so far His pleas, His cries of a Father, have fallen on deaf ears.

God Our Father-page-001

Will you please not be so hard-hearted and oblige your Father by returning to Him Who loves you? Sparing the world on your part from even more pain and suffering? What have you to lose by trying to find out Who your Eternal Father really Is? Click on the picture above or the link provided herewith to download the Holy Octave of Purification and Consecration to God our Father.

It is time – The relationship between the Father and the child

And everyone who has left houses, brothers, sisters, father, mother, children or land for the sake of My Name will be repaid a hundred times over, and also inherit eternal life (Mt 19:29).

Give Him everything. It is time. Give Him everything without the slightest hesitation: everything you are and everything you are not; everything you have and everything you have not, down to the slightest thing. The Almighty and incomparable Father will supply and repay you like none other. He will repay you with a joy beyond description and He will give you His very own Self.

Yes, the Father will give you Himself and everything that is His in the entire universe, including His only-begotten Son in like (but not identical) manner to how He had given Him to the Virgin Mary – the coming of the Kingdom. Give yourself to the Heavenly Father, therefore, no matter who you are; no matter where you are. Give yourself to Him without fear, from the bottom of your heart. You can never lose, you can only gain.

Purification and intimacy with the Father

As darkness increases all around the world in our times, we should recall that we are presently in the period of the purification of the earth. However, after purification comes illumination and deification. Intimacy with God our Father, in the very heart of our souls, will ensue after the purification and illumination, not just for the few but for the many – for all those who will accept His mercy during the illumination of consciences and return to Him. It will be an intimacy unknown since the fall of Adam except by the comparative few and it will be accepted and lived fully by the many. It is true that, presently, we can only see and feel the increasing darkness around us. However, what is coming soon – very soon – is the era of the reign of the Divine Heart of the Father; the era of peace, the era of the Kingdom of the Divine Will on earth.

On deification – 6

Deification and theology

Theology is theoria – the vision of God (Gregory Palamas).

All truly dogmatic work has a basis in mystical experience . . . all mystical work is connected to the realm of dogma, in that it expresses and exposes the content of the experiences of divine things (Lossky, 1967/1974).

To end, deification turns man into a theologian not because he has studied theology academically and intellectually, but because he attains theoria. At this stage of the spiritual life, man

communes with the angelic powers…approaches the uncreated Light and the depths of God are revealed to him through the Spirit. This man knows many things which are hidden from others, including mysteries that exist in Holy Scripture (N. Stithatos in Vlachos, 2010).

The Father of simplicity

God our Father is all-knowing and all-powerful; omnipotent, the Almighty. Yet, in His Divine Heart, He is the Father of simplicity. He wants only one thing and one thing alone – your love. Will you love Him? Will you say ‘yes’ to Him?

Discernment – Fear vs faith, restlessness vs peace

A brief response to many writings, encounters, and questions about what is of God and what is not of God:

There is no need to worry; but if there is anything you need, pray for it, asking God for it with prayer and thanksgiving, and that peace of God which is so much greater than we can understand, will guard your hearts and your thoughts, in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7).

Some in the Church, especially those who seem to adhere to a more traditionalist orientation, are presently attempting to instil fear in the people of God, knowingly or unknowingly, because of the current situation both in our world and in the Church Universal. Know that such an approach, albeit possibly correct in its technicalities, is never of God, because although the letter of the Law may be followed and propagated, it lacks the Spirit of the Law – love. And God is Love, God is Order, God is Peace.

God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – brings peace with Him wherever He goes, wherever He is invited, wherever He resides. Never does He bring fear or restlessness; never. Fear is a thief, a killer, and a murderer of peace; and we all know who the thief and murderer is from the beginning (Jn 8:44). Do not, therefore, let anyone – no matter who they may be – steal your peace, your hope, your trust, and your love from you; all given to you by God to enjoy. Fear, restlessness, and doomsday scenarios without hope are never of God, because God is Justice but He is also Love. And His love, wisdom, compassion, and mercy are infinite, even when we think or feel otherwise. Remember, God loves and love casts out fear.

We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God lives in him. Love will come to its perfection in us when we can face the day of Judgement without fear, because even in this world we have become as He is. In love there can be no fear, but fear is driven out by perfect love: because to fear is to expect punishment, and anyone who is afraid is still imperfect in love (1 Jn 4:16-18).

On deification – 5

Deification and Theosis

Suddenly the Almighty reveals Himself in boundless humility. The vision floods our entire being and instinctively we bow in adoration…Prayer to this God of love and humility rises from the depths of our being…Brought from nothingness into life, man is drawn by His Creator into the fullness of divine life (Arch. Sophrony, 1997).

Only those found worthy of seeing the uncreated Light are able to gain true knowledge of God (Vlachos, 2010).

When deification occurs, it is not solely the soul which takes part in theoria but also the body, for man sees the divine light and hears the voice of God after both his soul and the physical senses have been transformed by divine grace (Vlachos, 2010). Theoria is defined as seeing the glory of God through union with Him and deification.  (more…)

On deification – 4

Illumination and Deification

He who enjoys illumination is greater and receives more that he who only tastes, for he has within himself the assurance of his visions (Maximus the Confessor, Hom. 7,5-6, PG 34, col.527).

The Divine One purifies the man who desires Him: by this purification, He creates men of divine character, conversing as with friends with those who have attained this state; and uniting Himself as God with gods, and making Himself known to them perhaps to the same extent that He knows those who are known to Him (Gregory of Nazianzus, Hom, XLV.3, PG XXXVI, 625C-628A).

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God (Mt 5:8).

Union with God became discontinuous after the fall because man became imperfect. Therefore, man can become deified and attain theoria – start seeing God – only insofar as his nous has first been healed by the trials of purification and reopened by the illumination which occurs through baptism in the Holy Spirit (Vlachos, 2005, 2010). The phrase ‘baptism in the Spirit’ as used herewith refers to it as historically understood throughout Christian tradition (e.g., Kontzevich, 1989).  (more…)

How is God the Father if Jesus came from the Virgin Mary? – Response to a question

The question was asked, “How is God the Father if Jesus (Christ) came from the Virgin Mary?” The answer is simple and also refers to the previous post. Jesus Christ, the Eternal Word, was begotten by God the Father before any creature – human or otherwise – was created:

In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things came to be, not one thing had its being but through Him. All that came to be had life in Him and that life was the light of men (Jn 1:1-4).

Jesus was, in His divinity, in His Father’s Divine Heart before His human mother, the Virgin Mary was created in the flesh. In fact, in the very beginning there was God – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit (the Holy Trinity) – and silence. Nothing else; no one else. God the Father always was, is, and will be (more…)

Who is the Father of Jesus Christ? – Response to a question

God the Father2The question was asked, “Who is the Father of Jesus (Christ)?” The answer is simple. The Father of Jesus Christ is God the Father – Him who was, is and always will be; the Creator, the first Person of the Holy Trinity. God the Father is almighty, the Unbegotten who willed His own hypostasis and begot His only Son, Jesus – also God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity – from eternity. It is in the bosom, the Divine Heart of the Almighty Father that Jesus resides and has always resided since before the entire universe was created. It is to show us and enable us to know God the Father that Jesus came on earth in His humanity, as well as to redeem us and reconcile us with the beautiful Father who also becomes our Father when we are baptized. It is God the Father to whom Jesus points and leads us to, whenever we go to Him.

On deification – 3

Deification versus Salvation

He was made man that we might become god (Athanasius of Alexandria, De Inc, 54.3). 

Through Christ, the Word made flesh, man has access to the Father in the Holy Spirit and comes to share in the divine nature (Paul VI, 1965).

Many, especially in Western Christianity, tend to commingle the terms deification and salvation as though they have the same meaning, but this manifests poor understanding of the two terms as originally meant by the Fathers of the Church. In fact, when the language and context of deification and theosis are replaced with the language and context of salvation, Patristic theology becomes, in effect, displaced by Reformation language (Kharlamov, 2010), with the consequent loss of the original meanings. Salvation is part of deification, but

(more…)

On deification – 2

Is it not written in your Law: I said, you are gods? (Jn 10:34).

He has given us most great and precious promises: that by these you may be made partakers of the divine nature (2 P 1:4).

Two kinds of deification exist. The first kind refers to the

elevation of man to the highest level of his natural powers, or to the full realization of man…[when] the divine power of grace is active in him…[The second kind refers to the] progress which man makes beyond the limits of his natural powers, beyond the boundaries of his nature, to the divine and supernatural level (D. Staniloae, 2002, p. 363).

For man to pass from the first kind of deification which is well-known, to the second (more…)

On deification – 1

What is deification?

Deification is the attaining of likeness to God and union with Him so far as is possible (Dionysus the Aeropagite, EH 1.3, PG 3.376a).

God, you see, wants to make you a god; not by nature, of course, like the One whom He begot but by His gift and by adoption (Augustine of Hippo, Serm. 166.4).

Deification can be defined as “God’s perfect and full penetration of man” (Staniloae, 2002, p. 362). The deification or divinization of man is not “an identification with God; it is only an assimilation, a very eminent restoration of the original divine likeness…[whereby one] participates by grace in the perfections that God possesses by nature . . . (more…)

God the Father icon in Approaching the Divine – A Primer for Iconography

APPROACHING THE DIVINE FRONT COVERThe diptych ecumenical icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father Encompassing All Hearts has just been featured in the newly released book Approaching the Divine – A Primer for Iconography by the world-renowned iconographer and Villanova University professor of art, Fr. Richard G. Cannuli, O.S.A. (Hope & Life Press, 2014). The icon is featured in the section Icons of God the Father. The icon had been written by Fr. Cannuli based upon the original pencil drawing of the Divine HeartApproaching the Divine is available in hardback, paperback and ebook editions.

On God the Father – 3 – Thought for the Day

He comes in humility, without any fanfare – just like His Son came when He was born.

On God the Father’s Divine Heart – 11

“Everything has been entrusted to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, just as no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him” (Mt 11:27).

On God the Father’s Divine Heart – 10

“The great mystical tradition of the Church of both East and West has much to say in this regard. It shows how prayer can progress, as a genuine dialogue of love, to the point rendering the person wholly possessed by the divine Beloved, vibrating at the Spirit’s touch, resting filially within the Father’s Heart” – Saint John Paul II.

On God the Father’s Divine Heart – 9

“In Paradise the Son is residing within the Heart of the Father, conversing with the Father in the Garden over Adam” – Saint Hippolytus.