Hell is a mercy.
Most people don’t understand that. When God created the angels, he made them outside of time and complete, with full knowledge and free will so they could make one decision: Will they serve God?
Without free will we are slaves and God did not make them, or us, to be slaves. He made us to have the choice to love him, to obey him and to do his will.
Yet, a third of the angels, led by Lucifer, said no.
No matter how much it hurt him, he respected their decision and created something that had never existed before, a place where he would hide his existence. A place where those who chose to separate themselves from God could exist.
God could have destroyed them. Erased them from existence. Obliterated them. Started over. But he didn’t.
He showed mercy, even in creating Hell.
That’s how much God loves us. He respects our decisions, even when they offend him. Even when we sin.
Our relationship with God is like a rope. Every time we sin we cut into that rope. If it is small sin, a venial sin, we cut through some of the twine. If it is a mortal sin, what Paul and John called a deadly sin, we sever the rope completely and lose all connection to God.
Not out of God’s punishment, but out of our free will, our choices.
It is only through God’s mercy, as in the sacrament of confession, that God repairs the rope or replaces it with a new one.
If we die with our rope severed, then we have chosen to spend eternity in a place where he is not present, an awful, horrendous, vile and abhorred place called Hell.
If we die with our rope frayed and weak, even with only a single twine left, then God will help us repair that rope back to its fullest state in Purgatory.
And if we die with a full rope, uncut, holy and saintly, then we are pulled directly into heaven to spend timelessness in God’s divine, perfect and loving presence.
God loves us so much that he respects any decision we make. So make the right ones. Cherish the connection between you and God and don’t let sin weaken it or, worse yet, sever it completely.
God made us to spend eternity with him. Let him pull you home.