Hell is a strange kind of mercy. Metaphysically, the turn to self, the choice to seek the wherewithal to sustain life within the self (which we call sin) rather than from the One Who in fact sustains our existence, ought naturally to lead to the dissolution of existence because it is impossible for that which is contingent to support its own existence. Hence sin and death are naturally linked.
By rights, therefore, the human race should have ceased to exist in the very moment of the Fall. But God in His mercy links the dissolution to time. So, whereas the turn to self ought to have caused us to instantly cease to exist, God has ordained that it should take time, leading from the corruption of the soul and body to their increased conflict and finally their separation in death.
But God never lets the process reach its natural conclusion- the end of existence. He allows the turn to self to extend itself so far, respecting our freedom thus far and no farther, never allowing its ultimate consequence.
This leads to a further question. What is achieved by the resurrection of the damned as well as the saved at the General Resurrection?
Fr. Murray on 1 year after ‘Amoris laetitia’: The state of the question. - My friend Fr. Gerald Murray, frequent contributor at The Catholic Thing and quite simply the best clerical TV commentator around (EWTN has to kick its game...
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