Hell is not the opposite of Heaven, but rather the absence of it. If that is so, and the kingdom of heaven is right now for us to absorb into our human nature, then would it not be true that hell is also right now? Right or wrong, that is the topic of my Lectio Divina presented to me by the Holy Spirit. So, what does all this mean as I make my way down the rocky road of existence until I die? Is Hell just a place where those who die in alienation from God live forever, a place of eternal fire? Probably. I had this next thought as I contemplated that Heaven is right now, and we accumulate all those good actions and thoughts and take them to Heaven with us.

St. Benedict says in Chapter 4 of the Rule to:

41 Place your hope in God alone.
42 If you notice something good in yourself, give credit to God, not to yourself,
43 but be certain that the evil you commit is always your own and yours to acknowledge.

44 Live in fear of judgment day
45 and have a great horror of hell.”

Contrast Chapter 4 and what is Heaven on Earth with what is below.


Living with someone who hates your God, your Church, your practice of Lay Cistercian precepts yet not responding in anger to their anger towards you.

Chapter 4: 29 Do not repay one bad turn with another (1 Thess 5:15; 1 Pet 3:9).
30 Do not injure anyone, but bear injuries patiently.
31 Love your enemies (Matt 5:44; Luke 6:27).
32 If people curse you, do not curse them back but bless them instead.
33 Endure persecution for the sake of justice (Matt 5:10).


Seeing clergy and professed Catholics who say one thing but do another. This would lead those weak in their Faith to disown Christ or make up a Christ based on their own imperfect image and likeness.

Chapter 4:

59 Do not gratify the promptings of the flesh (Gal 5:16);
60 hate the urgings of self-will.
61 Obey the orders of the abbot unreservedly, even if his own conduct–which God forbid–be at odds with what he says. Remember the teaching of the Lord: Do what they say, not what they do (Matt 23:3).


Hatred for others who do not practice religion as you think it should be done. Coveting evil in your mind and so in your heart for others while professing to love others as Jesus loved us. Hell is in your heart, and your bad works betray what your center is. Having a choice between what is easy and right (Abortion, Marriage, Social Justice not based on race). Laughing at chastity if you are a clergy or consecrated religious, and placing sex at your center instead of love that Christ told us to have for one another.

Chapter 4:

62 Do not aspire to be called holy before you really are, but first be holy that you may more truly be called so.
63 Live by God’s commandments every day;
64 treasure chastity,
65 harbor neither hatred
66 nor jealousy of anyone,
67 and do nothing out of envy.
68 Do not love quarreling;
69 shun arrogance.
70 Respect the elders
71 and love the young.
72 Pray for your enemies out of love for Christ.
73 If you have a dispute with someone, make peace with him before the sun goes down.

74 And finally, never lose hope in God’s mercy.


Living as though you are god and the center of all reality. Morality is what you think it is. There is no denying yourself to follow Christ. God is dead (and so are you to the Way, the Truth, and Life).

Chapter 4:

10 Renounce yourself in order to follow Christ (Matt 16:24; Luke 9:23);
11 discipline your body (1 Cor 9:27);
12 do not pamper yourself,
13 but love fasting.
14 You must relieve the lot of the poor,
15 clothe the naked,
16 visit the sick (Matt 25:36),
17 and bury the dead.
18 Go to help the troubled
19 and console the sorrowing.

20 Your way of acting should be different from the world’s way;
21 the love of Christ must come before all else.

The struggle to have in you the mind of Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5) is the kingdom of heaven at this very moment, moment to moment, if you will. Failure to see Jesus through faith, hope and love, is the beginning of hell on earth. Hell on earth may not be full of fire and brimstone or the absence of God. The effects of Hell will be our judgment before the Throne of the Lamb. We will measure ourselves against pure energy (none of us, even if we are saved and sanctified), can stand in the presence of the Light without Christ to help us.

Later on, Satan will claim those who have declared themselves to hate God. He will take them to Hell and thus begins the torment of having the chance to have it all, be happy with God in heaven, as our final step of evolution in human nature. The Devil will stand one inch away from our face (like a Drill Seargent) and laugh at us for making the wrong choice…forever. When you do evil in your laugh, you will have heard the Devil’s laugh.

Hell is real. It happens right now for those who do not recognize the Christ Principle as transforming them from their false self to their true self. May God have mercy on all of us, those marked with the sign of the cross and those who still have a chance to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior.

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