Bishop's Blog / A Very Special Christmas Blessing

By Bishop Strickland
Tuesday, December 22, 2020

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My Dear Flock,

I'm sure for many this may seem like a very strange Christmas blessing but it is my prayer that it will enhance our celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. As St. Faustina speaks of her vision of hell she reminds us that this is a destiny we can avoid because "God so loved the world that He gave us His only Begotten Son". Let us listen to Him, repent of our sins, seek reparation for our sins and embrace the fullness of His Mercy! 

May our celebration of Christmas this year be enhanced by a sober realization of what Jesus Christ God's Divine Son has saved us from!

I pray that you and all who are dear to you are greatly blessed this Christmas.

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland

An excerpt from St. Faustina’s “Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul”

Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw; the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one’s condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrated the soul without destroying it—a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin.

I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.

I, sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell.

Bishop Strickland

Bishop Joseph E. Strickland was named the fourth bishop of Tyler in September of 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI. Prior to being named bishop, he served a number of roles in the diocese, including vicar general, judicial vicar, and pastor of the Cathedral parish. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1985.
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