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By Dr. Donald DeMarco, Catholic Exchange, April 15, 2022

Dr. Donald DeMarco is Professor Emeritus, St. Jerome’s University and Adjunct Professor at Holy Apostles College.  He is a regular columnist for St. Austin Review and is the author of forty books. …

On Sunday, November 30, 1986, Saint John Paul II reminded his audience in Australia of the great blessing that all Christians share and how they should carry it with joy: “Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah our song.” The word “abandon” is of special significance, for it appears in Dante’s Divine Comedy when he places at the gate of hell the words, “Abandon hope ye who enter here” (Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch’intrate). For very good reason, George Weigel’s definitive biography of Pope John Paul II is titled Witness to Hope.

John Paul, therefore, clearly delineates the line that separates Heaven from Hell. If we are without hope, we are already in Hell. The Resurrection, which Easter celebrates, strengthens our hope and paves our journey to heaven. …

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