I went to Jail today to here confession of a parishioner’s brother. I had to wait a long long time to finally see him. While waiting, I was able to pray many Holy Rosaries. It is always good to have the Holy Rosary on you at all times, because you can use up any waiting time, praying. When waiting, it is hard to concentrate on prayer. So the Holy Rosary easily keeps you praying no matter what is going on around you.
Time: We all know and think in the terms of 60 seconds making up a minute, 60 minutes making up a hour, 24 hours making up a day, 7 days making up a week, 4 weeks + making up a month and 12 months making up a year. 80 years making up a normal human life span. That is a logical way of looking at and calculating time.
But it is different when you are actually living and experience the passing of time. The real passing of time can be more accurately experienced by a sequence of events that happen as we actually live life, than measure by seconds, minutes and hours. These event are actually something we are involved with, or watching happen or waiting for them to happen.
Time can also be experienced and measured by the absences of events, like being in jail with absolutely nothing to do. It is like time experience while waiting and in boredom. It seems to never pass. An hour is still 60 minutes. But it is a very long hour when you are waiting, with nothing to do, and very short, when you are very busy doing something you love.
So most prisoners are waiting for their first trial. Then, once they have their first trial they wait to be sentenced. Then they wait to get out. And in the mean time they suffer, waiting and waiting, to finally have their freedom again.
The Bible says that for those who are strong, LIFE can be up to 80 years. Then we will die. We will then, against our will, begin eternity which is outside of time. We will just be in the ever present, the is. And that is why we want to look at the waiting time to get out of jail in comparison with the endless eternity of Hell. There, the waiting is over. There will be no release date. It is over. It is decided. Eternity is without end.
Most people do not believe they will end up in hell. Most people ignore it or wish it away. It is somewhat like how criminals live. They actually live life believing they will never be arrested for the crimes they are committing. They have made up a nice belief system that suits their way of life. But, most of them, will eventually be arrested and lose their freedom in jail or prison.
I also had time to observe everything in the jail. Hand cuffs. Doors with no handles on them to let someone leave. It made me reflect on the doors in hell. There is no exits, only entrances. There it is not like being in a jail. Jail is paradise in comparison. Hell is filled with demons, fire, stench, other evil people and remorse.
Remorse: I have been visiting jails and juvenile halls for 32 years. One very common sentiment is that of remorse (sorrow and regret for having broken the law) once the person has been incarcerated. They begin to pray and want to get out. They begin to miss their parents and family. The family is usually the only one who really cares enough about them to pay the lawyers to help them get out. Their other “friends”, other than girl friends, usually are too busy to visit them.
So while in jail or prison there is a lot of remorse and reading the Bible. But once they are released, they quickly forget their remorse for having sinned and are usually right back at getting pleasure, or in other words, sinning. They quickly forget the consequences of their past sins and fall right back into the same sinful lifestyle they were in before. It won’t be long before they are right back in juvenile hall, jail or prison.
Most of us have had many chances of God forgiving us in Holy Confession. We have a bit of remorse. But it does not take long before we forget the consequences of our sins and we fall right back into our sinful pleasure seeking. But our final judgement and sentencing is not that far away and is eternal. Are we ready for the eternal decision of the merciful, but also just judge?
I actually saw a group of around 30 men, crossing the street, who had been divided into 4 chain gang groups in striped suits. They were actually chained together with a thick chain as they walked. The devil has some very nice chains planned for us to be put in too.
Time is very very slow when we have nothing to do. It reminds us that eternity in hell will be very very slow with out end. We have all sorts of reminders by God and His people to avoid hell and to go to heaven. We can spend our time seeking pleasure and reaping the consequences. Or we can use our time to help out at church and have a strong prayer life.
We traditional Catholics live life knowing that this life is beautiful and to be lived obeying God and helping others out of love. We are so blessed to be traditional Catholics.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.