SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY #368
"Now there was a certain rich man, and he was clothed in purple and fine linen, faring sumptuously every day: and a certain beggar named Lazarus was laid at his gate, full of sores, and desiring to be fed with the crumbs that fell from the rich man’s table; yea, even the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and that he was carried away by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: and the rich man also died, and was buried. And in Hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, 'Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am in anguish in this flame.' But Abraham said, 'Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and Lazarus in like manner evil things: but now here he is comforted, and thou art in anguish. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they which would pass from hence to you may not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us.' And he said, 'I pray thee therefore, father, that thou wouldest send him to my father’s house; for I have five brethren; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.' But Abraham saith, 'They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.' And he said, 'Nay, father Abraham: but if one go to them from the dead, they will repent.' And he said unto him, 'If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, if one rise from the dead.' " (Luke 16:19-31)
HELL: The parable gives us a description of hell. It is a place of torment in which the soul is completely buried. The torment is caused by the flames of a supernatural fire, kindled by the anger of God. There is, therefore, no relief, no hope for the lost soul. It is separated from the abode of the just by a great chaos; it can never get to them, but must remain for ever and without hope in the torment of hell. An unbearable thirst was the principal torment of the lost glutton: his throat and tongue were burnt up with it. He thought that one little drop of water, such as could hand from the tip of man's finger, would be an alleviation; but he could not get even that. He who had so sinned by gluttony was now consumed by an everlasting thirst. He who had refused to Lazarus even the crumbs which fell from his table, now vainly implored for one little drop of water to cool his burning tongue.
[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]
(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)