When the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the children of Fatima over one hundred years ago, there were many problems in the world, but rampant heresy within the Church was not one of them. Whereas today almost the entire Church hierarchy has at least tacitly accepted the proliferation of the most baneful lies to ever be preached from Catholic pulpits — that all Protestant religions please God; that hell might be empty; and that all souls may go to heaven — Our Lady of Fatima appeared at a time when Catholics knew that they must be good Catholics to save their souls.
At that time, Catholics who loved God and their neighbors tried to encourage each other to always consider the “four last things”: death, judgment, hell, and heaven. A brief excerpt from Fr. Martin von Cochen’s 1899 book The Four Last Things emphasizes why we must live our lives with our last end in mind:
“How many are now in Hell, who for a time were remarkable for their piety and virtue, but who gradually grew careless in the service of God, and finally fell into mortal sin and died without having become reconciled with God. Even the great St. Teresa was in danger of damnation, for God showed her the place destined for her in Hell, if she did not give up certain faults.”
If even pious Catholics can fall into sin and go to hell where they will suffer eternal torments, we can see why the Church always sought to encourage souls to stay close to the sacraments and far from occasions of sin.
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