Advent is the perfect time to wonder whether or not you're going to make it into heaven. I'm not surprised about these two questions from readers:
I'm a bit confused by the inclusion of my friend Rahm's photo here as an example in the paragraph on Hell. (And it's Rahm, not Rohm). Is the point that he's missing a finger? Or that he's Jewish? How does the latter figure into his fate in the personal or general judgement? Is that why he's in the paragraph on Hell? Please explain. I doubt he'll see this but in case he does, I'd like to be able to explain it. Many thanks!!! Love the site!
I was referring to his finger only and what would happen to it if he went to Hell, or Heaven, for that matter. He would also be reunited with his finger in Heaven, so that his finger can experience Heavenly bliss. Where your buddy ends up is entirely up to him.
I have also mentioned more than once that in the Catholic church we never, ever say that anyone is definitely in Hell. Not even Hitler. At the last moment, the person could have had a huge epiphany and thought, "What was I thinking!!!!" and been forgiven and gone to a pretty long stint in Purgatory.
I am not comparing your friend with Hitler. I'm just stating a worse case scenario. We imagine Hitler is indeed in Hell, but we will never say for a fact that he is there because we simply don't know.
One of the nuns I had as a teacher in grade school solemnly told us that Pontius Pilate was in Purgatory until the end of time. I always believed that Pontius Pilate was in Purgatory until the end of time. I used to tell people that Pontius Pilate was in Purgatory until the end of time, until one day it suddenly hit me that it was another one of those things that nuns say in classrooms that has absolutely nothing to do with reality.
Pontius Pilate may have made it to heaven by now, or still be in Purgatory, or be in Hell with Hitler, if Hitler is even there. No one knows.
As for what Mr. Emanuel's chances are of missing out on heaven because he is Jewish, the Catholic Church does state that Jesus mentioned that one can only get to Heaven through Him and since the Catholic Church is the one True Church founded by Jesus while was He was alive on earth, the Catholic Church is obviously the way to go. But, as I mentioned, in the end it's between the person and God and it's just none of our beeswax, except for us to all pray for the salvation of all. Even Hitler.
I've said that before, that we should all hope that somehow Hitler saw the light and made it to heaven. Boy, does that make people mad. It shouldn't. We should hope for salvation for everyone. Eternity is a lot longer than you think. Even if you kept Hitler in Hell for a million years for each person he so much as made a little uncomfortable, let alone killed, that would just be a speck on the eternity clock. Even two million years per person. Even twenty million years per person that he so much as blinked at, a drop in the bucket of eternity. Even if you went up to government bail out figures, per person, a sliver of eternity.
If Hitler ends up in Hell for all eternity, it will have been his own choice. That doesn't mean I shouldn't feel bad because we lost one. I always feel bad when we lose one.
My hope is that your friend gets the rest of his finger back in Heaven for a blissful finger reunion.
Sister, who is the patron saint of women who are abused by their husbands? Another question (I emailed this to an "ask a priest" website and didn't get a response) I was married in the church (definitely a valid marriage, I could not have gotten it anulled) then we stupidly divorced and I got remarried to a man who ended up being a nightmare. My first husband later passed away from cancer, but I did not want to "remarry" my current husband in the church because the marriage is so abusive. Finally, only because I confessed all his physical abuse to our marriage counselor and she told me I was endangering all 5 of my children by letting him live here and I could lose the kids for that, I got the courage to at least separate from him. Is it WRONG to end this marriage, since we were not married in the church and because of all this abuse and fear we were living with? If we are no longer living together, would I be able to start receiving sacraments again, like go to confession and communion?
This is an easy breezy one to answer, ironically, since it was no picnic for you.
St. Rita is the patron saint of rotten marriages. St. Rita had a lousy husband who was so rotten that the Mafia, or something like the Mafia, bumped him off.
You are not married in the eyes of the Church to the second husband. Your other marriage is all over with because your spouse has passed away. You are an unmarried woman. You'll have to get a civil divorce for the sake of the state, but that's it. You'll have to go to confession because you were actually ....this is going to sound harsh given all that's happened....living in sin, since you were living with a man to whome you were not married. But the sacraments will get you right out of that mess in one fell swoop. One good confession and it's all over with.
You have been very brave. You had a mess and you stood up to it and straightened it all out. May I suggest another patron saint for you? St. John the Baptist, a great patron saint for wiping the slate clean. That patron saint of a fresh start.
And the patron saint of headaches. I'm sure you've had many.