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The Gate is Narrow


  God dignifies us with free will, the power to make decisions of our own rather than having God or fate predetermine what we do.


  Consider what the Bible teaches: "God created humans in his image." (Genesis 1:26)  Unlike animals, which act mainly on instinct, we resemble our Creator in our capacity to display such qualities as love and justice, and like our Creator, we have free will.


  Our success or failure is not determined by fate. If we want to succeed at an endeavor, we must work hard. The Bible says: “Whatever your hand is able to do, do it earnestly. For neither work, nor reason, nor wisdom, nor knowledge will exist in death, toward which you are hurrying.” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) The Bible also says: “The intentions of the robust continually bring forth abundance. But all the lazy are continually in need..” (Proverbs 21:5)


  Free will is a precious gift from God, for it lets us love him with our “whole heart”—because we want to.  (Mt 22:37)

  Whether or not we spend eternity in Heaven or Hell depends upon how we use our free will! However, we must realize Satan will try to convince us otherwise.

  Likewise, we must never forget these important words of Jesus Christ, our Savior: “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.” (Mt 7:13)

  Thankfully, the Bible, the Catholic Catechism, and Our Lady Queen of Peace in her apparitions to the 6 visionaries of Medjugorje, Herzecovina, (Ivan, Marija, Vicka, Jakov, Mirjana, and Ivanka), tell us what is behind the Narrow Gate and what we need to do to get through it, as follows:


  The Catholic Catechism tells us the following about Heaven:


1024 This perfect life with the Most Holy Trinity - this communion of life and love with the Trinity, with the Virgin Mary, the angels and all the blessed - is called "Heaven." Heaven is the ultimate end and fulfillment of the deepest human longings, the state of supreme, definitive happiness.


1026 By his death and Resurrection, Jesus Christ has "opened" Heaven to us. The life of the blessed consists in the full and perfect possession of the fruits of the redemption accomplished by Christ. He makes partners in His heavenly glorification those who have believed in Him and remained faithful to His will. Heaven is the blessed community of all who are perfectly incorporated into Christ.


  All six of the Medjugorje visionaries have seen Heaven. Only Vicka and Jakov were actually taken there; the others saw Heaven in a vision. They all have said that there are no words to describe the beauty of Heaven and if we knew what awaits us in Heaven, there are no difficulties or trials that we experience that won’t be worth eternal life in Heaven.


  Mirjana didn’t physically go to Heaven, but saw Heaven during an apparition. The following is her description of what she saw: “I saw Heaven as if it were a movie. The first thing I noticed was the faces of the people there; they were radiating a type of inner light which showed how immensely happy they were.” Mirjana also said: “The trees, the meadows, the sky are totally different from anything we know on the earth. And the light is much more brilliant. Heaven is beautiful beyond any possible comparison with anything I know of on the earth.” When Mirjana was asked why Our Lady showed her Heaven. she answered: “She told me many people on earth today do not believe Heaven exists. She said God has chosen us six visionaries to be instruments of His love and mercy. I have personally seen Heaven. It exists! I’ve seen it! Those who stay faithful to God to the end will see Heaven as a reward for their faithfulness.”


  Ivanka shared the following about Heaven: “Heaven is a place that is very, very beautiful. Everyone I saw was filled with a happiness I can’t explain – and I can’t forget.”


  The New Testament also gives us these beautiful words of Jesus who referred to Himself as the Good Shepherd: “I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.” (John 10:9)




  The Catholic Catechism tells us the following about Purgatory:


1030 - All who die in God’s grace and friendship, but still imperfectly purified, are indeed assured of their eternal salvation; but after death they undergo purification, so as to achieve the holiness necessary to enter the joy of heaven.

1031 - The Church gives the name Purgatory to this final purification of the elect, which is entirely different from the punishment of the damned.604 The Church formulated her doctrine of faith on Purgatory especially at the Councils of Florence and Trent. The tradition of the Church, by reference to certain texts of Scripture, speaks of a cleansing fire.605 From the beginning the Church has honored the memory of the dead and offered prayers in suffrage for them, above all the Eucharistic sacrifice, so that, thus purified, they may attain the beatific vision of God.608


  In Medjugorje, the Virgin Mary showed Purgatory to the children visionaries. After their experiences with Purgatory, the responsibility of praying for the souls in Purgatory was placed very strongly in their hearts. Our Lady showed them how much the souls in Purgatory suffer and how much they depend upon our prayers.


  Ivan shared the following about Purgatory: “The Blessed Mother told me that those who go to Purgatory are those who prayed and believed only occasionally. They were filled with doubt. They were not certain that God exists. They did not know how to pray while on earth, or if they did know how, they did not pray. Souls in Purgatory suffer. If no one prays for them, they suffer even more.”


  Marija shared the following about Purgatory: “The Blessed Mother asks us to pray for the poor souls in Purgatory, because during their life here, one moment they thought there was no God, then they recognized Him, then they went to Purgatory where they saw there is a God, and now they need our prayers. With our prayers we can send them to Heaven. The biggest suffering that souls in Purgatory have is that they see there is a God, but they did not accept Him here on earth. Now they long so much to come close to God. Now they suffer so intensely, because they recognize how much they have hurt God, how many chances they had on earth, and how many times they disregarded God.”

  We learn about Purgatory from the Old Testament: “Thus He made atonement for the dead that they might be freed from sin.” (2 Maccabees 12:46)




  The Catholic Catechism tells us the following about Hell:


1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves. "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him."612 Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from Him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are His brethren.613 To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from Him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."

1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost.614 Jesus solemnly proclaims that He "will send his angels, and they will gather all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire,"615 and that He will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from Me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"616


  At her apparitions in Medjugorje, Herzecovina, four of the six visionaries saw hell. Our Lady gave Mirjana and Ivanka the choice whether or not to see hell and they chose against it. Ivan and Marija both saw a vision of hell and all that Ivan will state is that he prefers not to discuss it. Vicka and Jakov were physically taken to hell by Our Lady.

The following, through several interviews of the visionaries, is a detailed description of hell:

  Vicka shared the following about Hell: “In the center of this place is a great fire, like an ocean of raging flames. We could see people before they went into the fire, and then we could see them coming out of the fire. Before they go into the fire, they look like normal people. The more they are against God’s will, the deeper they enter into the fire, and the deeper they go, the more they rage against Him. When they come out of the fire, they don’t have human shape anymore; they are more like grotesque animals, but unlike anything on earth. It’s as if they were never human beings before. They were horrible. Ugly.”

  Jakov shared the following about Hell: “Very seldom do I talk about hell. I choose not to think about hell. The self-chosen suffering there is beyond your ability to comprehend.”
Question: “Does it cause you pain? Jakov: “More than you can understand because no one needs to go to hell. It is the ultimate waste.”

  In her third appiration at Fatima, Portugal on July 13, 1917, Our Lady showed Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta a vision of Hell as here described by Lucia: “As she opened her hands, the light reflecting from them seemed to penetrate into the earth, as if into a sea of fire, and we saw immersed in that fire devils and souls with human forms, as if they were transparet black or bronze embers floating in the fire and swayed by the flames that issued from within themselves along with great clouds of smoke, falling upon every side just like the falling of sparks in great fires, without weight or equilibrium, amidst wailing and cries of pain and despair, that horrified and shook us with terror. We could distinguish the devils by their horrible and impulsive figures of rightful and unknown animals, but transparent as the black coals in a fire.”


From the Bible, we find these references to hell:


Old Testament - “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.” (2 Thessalonians:1-9)


New Testament - “If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out.” (Mark 9:43)










Prayer: I pray that I always use my God-given free will, in accordance with God’s will, as I strive to earn a place in Heaven by always obeying God’s Ten Commandments:


1. I am the Lord your God. You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve.

2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain.

3. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day.

4. Honor your father and your mother.

5. You shall not kill.

6. You shall not commit adultery.

7. You shall not steal.

8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.








"My strength and my refuge  is the Lord, and He has become my Savior.

This is my God, I praise Him; the God of my father, I extol Him."

__Exodus 15:2




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