I remember reading a book in seminary “Dare We Hope” by Hans Urs von Balthasar which gave us food for thought – who is saved and who is not? Although some people may think it’s a “cop out” for a Catholic priest to have little to say about this – I have little to say. The reason is that while I seek to abide in God’s infinite love (and try daily not to put limitations on my own love for others) and His infinite mercy gives me authority to preach on our need to forgive without limitations – I speak very little of God’s judgment. It’s not that I don’t believe or accept God’s judgment but I really do believe that this is the area that any thought, opinion or reflection I have on God’s judgment will be more what I think and less about what God’s judgment actually looks like. In a recent homily I gave to our seminarians, where I offered some thoughts on how to speak about hope when Jesus speaks to us about righteousness and judgment I put it this way: “The righteous (and unrighteous) will be judged by God but we have to remember first and always that God judged us worthy of giving us His Son, worthy of salvation, worthy of redemption and He makes a pretty good argument to leave the judging to Him and Him alone”.
I may have my personal opinions and beliefs about someone’s bad actions landing them in hell as opposed to going to heaven – but that is 100% up to God and I don’t hope hell for anyone! If I did, that would stand directly against what I am called to live my life for as a Christian and as a priest: to get to heaven and to bring AS MANY people with me as I can. Dare we hope that all by the Grace of God will be saved!