Jesus then said to the Twelve, “Do you also want to leave?”
Simon Peter answered Him, “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that You are the Holy One of God.”
Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you twelve? Yet is not one of you a devil?” He was referring to Judas, son of Simon the Iscariot; it was he who would betray Him, one of the Twelve. (John 6:67-71)
This scripture passage has been on my mind ever since Father José Antonio Fortea pointed it out during a conference talk. That Jesus Himself mentions that it’s possible for a human being to become the equivalent of a devil is a frightening concept. Someone chosen by God, and yet the failure to cooperate with the Divine Will causes an opposite transformation. Instead of becoming a loving being in the image of God, a person can choose to become hateful and accursed, in the image of a demon.
An online friend recommended that I finish reading Maria Valtorta’s writings. It’s been hard because the Passion narratives were so intense. The pain of our Lord and Blessed Mother knows no comparison. But my friend is right… I should press on, because the Resurrection gives meaning to all the suffering.
In her 1944 Notebook, dated January 15 of that year, Maria Valtorta receives some private revelation from our Lord about the state of souls in hell. I’m going to share an excerpt, because it may help people to understand how this life really is a choice between eternal beatitude and eternal destruction.
(Jesus is speaking to Maria Valtorta)
The dead soul, in the midst of those flames, like the bodies thrown onto pyres or into a crematory furnace, twists and shrieks, as if animated again by living movement and reawakens to understand its error, and dies and is reborn in every instant with atrocious sufferings, for remorse kills it in a curse, and killing brings it back to life again for a new torment. The whole crime of having betrayed God in time stands before the soul in eternity; the whole error of having refused God in time remains present for it forever for its torment.
In the fire the flames simulate the specters of what they adored in life; the passions are painted with burning brushstrokes with the most appealing appearance, and they shriek and shriek their memento: “You wanted the fire of the passions. Now receive the fire set aflame by God, Whose holy Fire you derided.”
Fire responds to fire. In Paradise it is the fire of perfect love. In Purgatory it is the fire of purifying love. In Hell it is the fire of offended love. Since the elect loved to perfection, Love gives itself to them in its Perfection. Since those being purged loved in lukewarm fashion, Love becomes a flame to take them to Perfection. Since the accursed burned with all fires—except with the Fire of God—the Fire of God’s wrath burns them eternally. And in the fire there is ice.
Oh, you cannot imagine what Hell is! Take everything that is man’s torment on earth—fire, flame, ice, submerging waters, hunger, sleeplessness, thirst, wounds, illnesses, sores, and death—sum it up into a single amount and multiply it millions of times. You will have only a shadow of that tremendous truth.
Sidereal cold will be mixed with the unbearable burning. The damned burned with all human fires, having only spiritual iciness for their Lord God. And ice awaits them to freeze them after fire has salted them like fish set upon a flame to roast. A torment in the torment is this passing from the burning which dissolves to the cold which condenses.
Oh, this is not metaphorical language! For God can make souls, burdened by the sins committed, have a sensitivity equal to that of flesh, even before they take on that flesh. You do not know and do not believe. But in truth I tell you that it would be better for you to undergo all the torments of My martyrs rather than one hour of those infernal tortures.
Darkness will be the third torment. Material darkness and spiritual darkness. To be in darkness forever after having seen the light of paradise and to be in the embrace of Darkness after having seen the Light that is God! To writhe in that dark horror where, in the glare of the burnt spirit, there is illuminated only the name of their sin for which they are nailed to that horror! To find no other support in that continuous agitation of spirits hating and harming each other but the desperation making them crazed and increasingly accursed. To feed on it, base themselves on it, and kill themselves with it. It is said that death will nourish death. Despair is death and shall nourish these dead ones in eternity.
Even I, Who created that place, tell you that when I descended into it to bring out of Limbo those who awaited My coming, I, God, experienced horror at that horror; and if something made by God were not immutable, on account of being perfect, I would have wanted to make it less atrocious, for I am Love, and I was pained by that horror.
And you want to go there.
Meditate, O children, on these words of Mine. The sick are given bitter medicine; the diseased areas of cancer patients are cauterized and cut out. For you, sick and suffering from cancer, this is a surgeon’s medicine and cauterization. Do not refuse it. Use it to heal yourselves. The duration of life is not these few days on earth. Life begins when it seems to you to be ending, and it no longer has an end.
Have it flow on for you in the place where God’s light and joy make eternity beautiful and not where Satan is the eternal Torturer.