Who has witnessed a funeral Mass in which Hell and Purgatory are preached? Almost no one. Catholic homilies at funerals are by and large superficial. There is little or no reflection on the four last things. And this is the one time in which there simply must be such reflection.
We come to pray for the rest of the deceased soul. And how often do we forget this? We think we come to console ourselves. But we do not come to console ourselves. That really is not the purpose. The purpose is to pray for our departed friend. Further, the purpose is for us to be reminded that we shall be pushing up daisies when our bodies decay into the ground. Our soul shall go on, to be judged immediately by God. And our fate: Either heaven or not heaven. If not heaven, either purgatory or hell.
If hell, there is no longer any hope. Those who enter hell never depart, despite the heretical nonsense purveyed by some recent Catholic theologians. Those who go to Purgatory go to suffer unspeakably. The pains of Purgatory dwarf any pains on earth. See the marvelous book by Fr. FX Schouppe, SJ, Purgatory. The greatest pains of earth do not compare to the least pains of purgatory.
Thus, all this funereal nonsense about, “Well, he is better of now” should stop. It is a lie. We do not know whether he is in heaven or not. If he is not in heaven, better for him if he had more deeply converted before he died. Better he suffered without morphine rather than die early, only to be undergoing even greater sufferings. And if he did not actually convert to God at all, he certainly is eternally worse off than he was on earth.
Thus, when we come to face our life’s darkest physical hour, let the reign of grace take hold our hearts. Let us go towards the light by taking the ordinary measures necessary to preserve our lives. After all, the living naturally desire to live. Thus, let us obey natural law and not welcome death as though it were a friend. The heresy of “He’s better of now” and “They’re all better off now” are anti-body heresies.
Where is the black? Where the preaching of the Four Last Things? Where is there sobriety? Everyone has gone astray. All are lost, like sheep without a true shepherd. No one preaches the truth. All muffle it, all blanket the Light that should speak from rooftops. Christ knocks. Let us open.