Many Catholic saints over the centuries have received revelations about hell and St John Bosco had a very detailed dream or journey there. He walked down the wide road that led there; an easy stroll at first although sloping down in a progressively steeper gradient until it dropped off altogether into the abyss. He saw so many of the young people he loved stumbling and falling there.
It progressed much the same way that sin and separation from God can be seen in our day. Where sins may give pleasure to the senses for example, this leads to giving reasons for sin, defending one’s actions as habits and then addictions are formed. Eventually they are claimed as rights as they become an integral part of lifestyle. The road in Don Bosco’s dream becomes so steep that those on it run uncontrollably for their destination in the end.
So many young people leave God and the church behind and of those, I wonder how many would return if they felt there was a way back. The bondage of sin is hard to break, but worse when people conclude that their sins are too numerous or too grievous. They don’t realise that God’s Ocean of Mercy, obtained by the death and Resurrection of Jesus, is unfathomable (as revealed to St Faustina) and that every sin since the beginning until the end of time can be washed away by it.
Others may be put off because they believe that their weakness is such that, even if they repented and were reconciled with God, that they would quickly return to former habits as they are too weak to resist temptation. This is also ‘fake news’ because mercy and forgiveness come with a tag-team partner which is supernatural grace or strength. If a person is sincere with a deep sorrow for sin, grace can vanquish even the worst addictions, sometimes immediately.
Intercession is needed too as Our Lady reminded the seers in Fatima:- “Pray much and make sacrifices for sinners, for many souls go to hell because there is no one to make sacrifices for them.”
The good news is not only forgiveness & mercy but also strength to carry on and to be victorious in the Spiritual life. Sometimes the greatest sinners become the greatest saints if they change direction and go ‘all in’ for God.