Posts Tagged ‘11-6-2016’

Worshiping at our own altars 11-6-2016

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

A writer had a dream in which she visited hell.
To her surprise, this hell had no infinite fire or bottomless burning chasms of tormented souls. It was not like the hell she had pictured at all; in fact, it was rather “church-like.” She was led through some dark passages lined with the doors to many cells. Each cell she passed was identical. The central piece of furniture in each cell was an altar and before each

altar knelt a sickly, weak, greenish-gray, ghostly figure in intense prayer and adoration.
“But whom are they worshipping?” the visitor asked her guide.
“Themselves,” was the reply. “This is pure self-worship. In their worship of their own beings, in placing their hopes and dependence on themselves and their own dreams alone, they are feeding on themselves and exhausting their own spirits. That is why they look so sickly and emaciated.”
The writer was appalled and saddened by row upon row of cells, small prisons for their pathetic, non-communicating inmates, who were doomed to spend eternity in solitary confinement, themselves their first, last and only object of worship.
God, as revealed by Christ, is not the vengeful Judge or cosmic Tyrant who takes cruel delight in our failures; the God taught by Jesus in our Gospel is the God of life, a God whose limitless love put us and all of creation in motion. God will love us for all eternity – but there always exists the possibility that we will refuse that love. That refusal to accept God’s love, the refusal to respond to God’s love, is precisely the meaning of hell. Hell is not a place where God puts us – it’s a place where we put ourselves. But to become “children of the God of life” is to dismantle the hells we create and set in their places the justice, peace and forgiveness that are the building stones of the kingdom of God.
Worshiping at our own altars. Lord have mercy!