Commentary on the Gospel of
Descent into Hell
Abraham’s words about crossing over the chasm are strange. Well, we can understand, with genuine empathy, someone from the burning netherworld wanting to cross over to a place of heavenly bliss. But Abraham speaks of someone crossing over from his side to the netherworld! Who, in good sense, would want to cross over from a heavenly place to the fires of the netherworld? The saints would! Didn’t Mother Teresa say, “I will continually be absent from heaven, to light the light of those in darkness on earth”? If they could help one soul from hell to reach heaven, they would risk their heaven to jump into hell. In this, they are simply imitating their Master, who descended to hell after his death. Here lies the difference between us, ordinary Christians, and saints: Whereas we are obsessed with saving ourselves, the saints are “hell-bent” on saving others!