Article by Boyd D. Cathey.
Of course, it is not at all fashionable to believe in a literal Hell these days. Yet, the imagery of such a state envisioned by a number of our greatest authors over the centuries describes a reality which is becoming all too palpable in our day, at least for those who care to notice.
As tiny individual specks in the Universe we are as atoms, at times self-important, but in the scheme of things, miniscule and falling back continually on our own very limited powers and abilities, with the great leveler, Death, our conclusion.
Has this not been the insight and wisdom of our Christian civilization, that without that spiritual understanding, life becomes a mere few short years of banging about until our time is up?
It is Hope, that belief in something beyond ourselves, eminently spiritual, which enables us to lead lives according to both the Natural Law and the Divine Positive Law, which properly and superbly fit, guide and measure our own human natures.
Dostoevsky, through Father Tikhon, reminds us that there is a way out of the fetid and poisonous bog we are drowning in. In his day it was not taken by the revolutionaries who eventually would have their way in Russia and later in the world, with the charnel house counting eventually 100 million victims.
Like Verkovensky, that frenzied youthful demonstrator against Confederate symbols back in March 2019 was possessed, incapable—unlike Stavrogin—of recognizing his diabolical possession.
Good and evil stand in eternal conflict; one must triumph and one must be extinguished. Dostoevsky fully understood that, and so must we.