So here’s a quick question: If someone offered you $5 million to take a knife and make a small cut in your finger, would you do it? No tricks, everything straightforward, no deception. Just make a small cut, like a paper cut, the type that heals by the next couple of hours. Would you do it? $5 million — even tax free.
Seems pretty obvious, right? Of course. You get a heckuva lot in exchange for practically nothing besides a little temporary suffering. That's how easy it is to get to Heaven. Just that easy. Of course, the suffering part is ramped up because the reward is infinitely ramped up — but nonetheless, the same principle applies.
You sacrifice here in this life to have eternity as your reward. There is nothing in this life we have to undergo that is not worth Heaven. The martyrs show us that. So too do others who live brave lives carrying their crosses for love of God, the One True Faith and their salvation. As a very wise priest once said to me, "Whatever ends can be lived through."Those are Catholic words to live by right there.
And yet, given the ease of getting to Heaven, the saints and Fathers and Doctors and mystics of the Church all tell us the vast majority of humanity is damned. How can this be? If Heaven is sooo easy to attain, why are most damned? Simple conclusion: because most are not willing to part with their sin in this life.
They do not want to give up or make the little sacrifice necessary in order to achieve salvation. And whatever the sacrifice, it is small, miniscule, compared to everlasting life in Heaven. In fact, once they have died and passed into eternity, the knowledge of the ease with which they could have achieved salvation will torment them forever. They will be in Hell, and it will be their own fault — and the alternative would have been so incredibly easy for them that they will suffer everlasting regret, remorse and torture over it.
They will torment themselves forever with the knowledge that with just a minor, now-forgotten amount of self-sacrifice, they could have forever avoided the neverending fires of Hell. All they had to do was walk away from the adultery, give up that lust, avert their eyes. Now their eyes will burn forever.
The pains and sufferings that the saints endure are not remembered by them any longer — at least, not as pain. They are now counted toward them as righteousness and merit. God asks that we give our all for him. No matter how painful that might be, no matter how demanding and calling for sacrifice it summons forth, it ends.
God is infinite, so His reward for those who gave their all for and to Him is to give His all, which is infinite. The damned at the moment of their particular judgment will have their intellects completely illumined with all this. What the Catholic Church has been saying clearly in this life, they will now hear and experience forever. They will see how beautiful the glory of God is, how attractive and loving God is — and then they will never see Him or His glory again.
They will reject Him because they cannot bear to be in the presence of that which they cannot possess. It will be like a spurned lover who cannot stand the presence of their former beloved and now plots evil against them. Just to think of the person brings forth rage. Such is the lot of those in the society of the damned in reference to the Holy Trinity and all the angels and all those humans who escaped and were saved. A comparison could be one of the unfortunates on the Titanic who watched those in the lifeboats pull away as he is drowning. All he had to do was get in the boat.
And the added pain of knowing it did not have to be this way increases their torment. What pains on this earth are not worth enduring to avoid Hell and secure Heaven? But too many, the vast majority, choose happiness in this life and forsake it in the next. And their happiness in this life comes with a price in this life.
It isn't even real happiness; it is momentary pleasure, transient pleasure, exchanged for everlasting joy. Joy resides in the soul, but pleasure takes up residence in the flesh. Since the flesh is always craving, always wanting, whatever pleasures it participates in soon pass. Yet the exchange was made for pleasure in place of joy.
Consider the first moment a soul is damned. Consider the horror that overtakes that human as demons seize hold of him and drag him into his place of torment prepared for him by demons since his conception. The awareness that comes over him, no longer encumbered by time and space that limit our intellects, the complete and total awareness and cognition that he now has, that this new agency will be forever new to him, neverending, an eternity of torture in the soul.
And on the Last Day his body which was so lustful and in need of pleasure in this life will rejoin his soul and undergo the same intensity of pains. And that will be that — forever. No end. Everlasting. Forever and ever. No succession of days. No respite. No break. No cessation. No end.
All of this comes to the awareness of that frightful ugly damned soul at the first instant of his judgment — and that moment is locked for eternity. It's what theologians call the "Eternal Now" — a frozen moment when there are no other moments. There is just one everlasting moment.
An analogy might be a photograph. Think of a picture you have from many many years ago. You look at it now and nothing has changed — same faces, same poses, same event, same everything. No matter how many times in the future the damned will be "viewed," they will always be the same. And to think — it would have been so easy for them to give up their sin and be in Heaven.
Our Blessed Mother said at Fatima the majority of the damned are such because they had no one to pray for them. We need to pray and work for the salvation of souls. Nothing in life matters except this because nothing else in life lasts forever.