ROME, MARCH 26, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Hell consists in closing oneself off from the love of God, and sin is the true enemy of the human person, Benedict XVI says.
The Pope made that comment on Sunday when celebrating Mass at the Parish of St. Felicity and Martyred Sons in the northern sector of the Diocese of Rome.
“If it is true that God is justice, then we should not forget that he is above all love; if he hates sin it is because he has an infinite love for all human beings,” the Holy Father explained.
The Pontiff reflected on the Gospel account of the day’s liturgy. It dealt with the adulterous woman who was to be stoned to death, but who was saved and forgiven by Jesus.
Benedict XVI stated: “Jesus does not start a theological debate about the law of Moses; he is not interested in winning an academic dispute on an interpretation of the Mosaic laws. His objective is to save a soul and reveal that salvation can be found only in the love of God.
“Jesus came to tell us that he wants us all in heaven and that hell, of which so little is said in our time, exists and is eternal for those who close their hearts to his love.
“Therefore even in this episode, we understand that our true enemy is our attachment to sin, which can lead us to failing our existence.”
Recalling that Jesus sent the adulterous woman away with the words, “go and sin no more,” the Pope explained, “Only God’s forgiveness and his love, received with an open and sincere heart, give us the strength to resist evil and to sin no more, to let us be touched by God’s love which becomes our strength.”
Benedict XVI concluded, “Jesus’ attitude thus becomes a model to be followed by all communities, called to make love and forgiveness the pulsating heart of their lives.”