The Hells: A Different Set Than Those Already Mentioned (Continued)

People who considered themselves saintly during bodily life are in an underground region in front of the left foot. There it sometimes seems to them that they have shining faces—an effect that stems from their picture of sainthood. The outcome for them, however, is that they remain there in the grip of a strong urge to climb to heaven, which they think is up high. Their desire swells and is gradually transformed into anxiety, which increases beyond all measure, until at last they acknowledge that they are not saints.

When released from there, they are allowed to smell their own stench, which is disgusting.

One individual felt he had lived a holy life in the world, his purpose being to win public admiration for his piety and in this way earn heaven. He said he had led a devout life and made time for prayer, believing that it was enough for us each to take care of ourselves and our own welfare. He added that he was a sinner and wanted to suffer, even to the point of being trampled underfoot by others (which he called Christian patience), and that he wanted to be the humblest person there was, in order to be the greatest in heaven.

Questioned as to whether he had done or wished to do anyone any good—to perform works of charity, in other words—he declared that he had no idea what these were, that he had simply lived a holy life. Because this man’s goal was to be better than others, whom he consequently deemed his inferiors, and most of all because he viewed himself as a saint, he appeared at first in a shining white human form that was visible down to the pelvis. Then he turned a dusky shade of blue and finally black. Since he wished to domineer over other people and held them in contempt, he ended up blacker than others.

from Secrets of Heaven, Volume 2, Sections 951, 952

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