Listers, the following saintly quotes focus on the narrow path of salvation and the fewness of those who will apparently achieve the heavenly reward. In an era that consistently opines a broad if not universal path to salvation, it is difficult but necessary to remind ourselves of the grim reality of hell.
While thinking of hell, let us call to mind the Fatima prayer:
Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy.
The Small Number
St. Louis Marie de Montfort
Be one of the small number who find the way to life, and enter by the narrow gate into Heaven. Take care not to follow the majority and the common herd, so many of whom are lost. Do not be deceived; there are only two roads: one that leads to life and is narrow; the other that leads to death and is wide. There is no middle way.
Falling into Hell Like Snowflakes
St. Teresa of Avila
I had the greatest sorrow for the many souls that condemned themselves to Hell, especially those Lutherans. [...] I saw souls falling into hell like snowflakes.
Wheat & Chaff
The Lord called the world a “field” and all the faithful who draw near to him “wheat.” All through the field, and around the threshing-floor, there is both wheat and chaff. But the greater part is chaff; the lesser part is wheat, for which is prepared a barn not a fire. [...] The good also are many, but in comparison with the wicked the good are few. Many are the grains of wheat, but compared with the chaff, the grains are few.
The Burning Wicked
Pope St. Gregory the Great
The more the wicked abound, so much the more must we suffer with them in patience; for on the threshing floor few are the grains carried into the barns, but high are the piles of chaff burned with fire.
St. Francis Xavier
How many souls turn away from the road to glory, and go to hell!
Even Those Within Our Walls
Pope St. Gregory the Great
There are many who arrive at the faith, but few who are led into the heavenly kingdom. Behold how many are gathered here for today’s Feast-Day: we fill the church from wall to wall. Yet who knows how few they are who shall be numbered in that chosen company of the Elect?
Slaves of the Devil
St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori
The greater number of men still say to God: Lord we will not serve Thee; we would rather be slaves of the devil, and condemned to Hell, than be Thy servants. Alas! The greatest number, my Jesus – we may say nearly all – not only do not love Thee, but offend Thee and despise Thee. How many countries there are in which there are scarcely any Catholics, and all the rest either infidels or heretics! And all of them are certainly on the way to being lost.
St. Anthony Mary Claret
A multitude of souls fall into the depths of Hell, and it is of the faith that all who die in mortal sin are condemned for ever and ever. According to statistics, approximately 80,000 persons die every day. How many of these will die in mortal sin, and how many will be condemned! For, as their lives have been, so also will be their end.
As a man lives, so shall he die.
The Living Damned
St. Vincent de Paul
Ah! A great many persons live constantly in the state of damnation!