From the website, Catholic Harbor of Faith and Morals…
by St. Thomas Aquinas
Why our Lord went down to Limbo
From the descent of Christ to hell we may learn, for our instruction, four things:
1. Firm hope in God. No matter what the trouble in which a man finds himself, he should always put trust in God’s help and rely on it. There is no trouble greater than to find oneself in hell. If then Christ freed those who were in hell, any man who is a friend of God cannot but have great confidence that he too shall be freed from what-ever anxiety holds him. Wisdom forsook not the just when he was sold, but delivered him from sinners; she went down with him into the pit and in bands she left him not (Wis. x. 13-14). And since to His servants God gives a special assistance, he who serves God should have still greater confidence. He that fear eth the Lord shall tremble at nothing and shall not be afraid: for he is his hope (Ecclus. xxxiv. 16).
2. We ought to conceive fear and to rid our selves of presumption. For although Christ suffered for sinners, and went down into hell to set them free, he did not set all sinners free, but only those who were free of mortal sin. Those who had died in mortal sin He left there. Wherefore for those who have gone down to hell in mortal sin there remains no hope of pardon. They shall be in hell as the holy Fathers are in heaven, that is for ever.
3. We ought to be full of care. Christ went down into hell for our salvation, and we should be careful frequently to go down there too, turning over in our minds hell’s pain and penalties, as did the holy king Ezechias as we read in the prophecy of Isaias, I said : In the midst of my days I shall go to the gates of hell (Isaias xxxviii. 10).< ?blockquote>