From the autobiography of a saint which I just finished reading, I would like to share one of the scenes which has lasted longer in my mind than the rest.
“One day when I was at prayer, I found myself, without knowing how, plunged, as I thought, into hell. (…) The entrance seemed to me like a very long, narrow passage, or a very low, dark, and constricted furnace. The ground appeared to be covered with a filthy wet mud, which smelt abominably and contained many wicked reptiles. At the end was a cavity scooped out of the wall, like a cupboard, and I found myself closely confined in it. But the sight of all this was pleasant compared with my feelings. There is no exaggeration in what I am saying. (…) I felt a fire inside my soul, the nature of which is beyond my powers of description, and my physical tortures were intolerable. I have endured the severest bodily pains in the course of my life, the worst, so the doctors say, that it is possible to suffer and live. (…) But none of them was in any way comparable to the pains I felt at that time, especially when I realized that they would be endless and unceasing. But even this was nothing to my agony of soul, an oppression, a suffocation, and an affliction so agonizing, and accompanied by such a hopeless and distressing misery that no words I could find would adequately describe it. To say that is was as if my soul were being continuously torn from my body is as nothing. The fact is that I can find no means of describing that inward fire and that despair which is greater than the severest torments or pains. (…) In that pestilent spot, deprived of all hope of comfort, it was impossible for me to sit or lie down; there was no room to do so. I had been put in what seemed a hole in the wall, and the very walls, which are hideous to behold, pressed in on me and completely stifled me. There is no light there, only the deepest darkness.”
Yep, it is hell, and it is really frightening. Teresa of Ávila said that she was brought there for merely several seconds. Can you imagine how will it feel to be there forever? It really made me want to go to a confession right away; but instead…well…I flipped through many pages of the book, kept reading… :) But seriously, I wish to stick this picture in my mind, to remind me everytime I seem to be falling into sin.
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