Hell

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Hell

Postby Kent » Mon Nov 09, 2015 8:32 pm

There will be no extensive discussion here about Hell. Artists like the Brueghels, and writers like Dante have quite vividly depicted imaginable horrors there. Briefly, though, we will note that in John 4:14 our Lord says "...whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Also, in John 6:35: "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.'" Thus, since the damned have definitively and perpetually rejected Him, then among their torments are unending thirst and hunger.

These in themselves make it extremely difficult for me to credit the idea of the existence of a place or state (limbo) of "perfect natural happiness" without God.

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Re: Hell

Postby com6063 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:13 pm

"Working out my salvation in fear and trembling." Andrew McAllister
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Re: Hell

Postby com6063 » Tue Nov 10, 2015 12:14 pm

"Working out my salvation in fear and trembling." Andrew McAllister
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Re: Hell

Postby Kent » Tue Nov 10, 2015 4:19 pm

As I said in the base note there have been many depictions of the horrors of Hell. Each one is necessarily related to us by someone who did not die, so that their perceptions are constrained by and filtered through their respective human limitations. (For instance, I personally doubt that God has any wrath for the damned soul, but if any human emotion is appropriate it would be extreme sorrow, for what that person did to himself, by his own free choice. Use of the word "wrath" with respect to God's actions appears to me to be due to limitations of understanding what people do to themselves by their sin.) It is my considered opinion that the utter enormity of Hell, or the transcendent complexities of Life Everlasting, are well beyond the comprehension of anyone still in mortal life, so any such presentations must be "filtered" through those mortal limitations.

At most we can only really speak of abstracted qualities of the afterlife, and the resulting implications. That is what I an doing above, with "thirst" and "hunger".

I plan later, after some postings on Life Everlasting, to post a bit more on Hell with respect to comparisons with some of the Eternal blessings of of saints.
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Re: Hell

Postby Kent » Tue May 08, 2018 12:00 pm

(Following is a revision of this section:)

Hell

We will now briefly discuss Hell and why its pains are necessitated by the reprobates’ definitive refection of God. Artists like the Brueghels, and writers like Dante have quite vividly depicted imaginable horrors there. We note that in John 4:14 our Lord says "...whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." Also, in John 6:35: "Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.'" Thus, since the damned have definitively and perpetually rejected Him, then among their torments are an unending thirst and hunger. This succinctly encapsulates the two chief pains of Hell, the pain of loss and the pain of sense.

These in themselves make it extremely difficult for me to credit the idea of the existence of a place or state (limbo) of "perfect natural happiness" without God. How can there be any happiness with that unending hunger and thirst?

The Pain of Loss

We must first understand that this pain is not like that of loss in our mortal lives, where we are simply deprived of something which we desire but might obtain again sometime in the future. Here the damned sinner is deprived of an absolute necessity by his own choice and will never obtain it.
To appreciate just how painful this can be consider 1 Corinthians 3: 13, “the work of each will come to light, for the Day will disclose it. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire [itself] will test the quality of each one’s work.” Pope Benedict XVI mentions this in Spe Salvi [47]: “Some recent theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour.” We continue with 1 Corinthians 3:15: “But if someone’s work is burned up, that one will suffer loss; the person will be saved, but only as through fire.” But in Spe Salvi [45] we have, “There can be people who have totally destroyed their desire for truth and readiness to love, people for whom everything has become a lie, people who have lived for hatred and have suppressed all love within themselves.” In other words, Christ’s love (and He is Love Itself) burns away the encrustations of sin until it is all gone and only the good remains, upon which purgation ceases. But for the damned, as Pope Benedict XVI notes, there is no good. So the burning never ceases. And this burning constitutes the pain of loss.
Thus we have that the pain of loss is not so much a pain of having something missing but a “positive” pain, a pain of constantly experiencing God’s burning, searing (for them) love which they have twisted into an unending torment.

The Pain of Sense

We are inherently both soul and body. In mortal life our soul informs the body, and after death it seems reasonable to suppose that our soul needs to - must - inform our resurrected body. Now "reality" and "truth" are actually synonyms. Even the least of the saints have the Beatific Vision, which we know is Truth itself, so they have the benefit of their souls being able to inform their resurrections guided by Truth to the reality of their glorified bodies.
The damned, on the other hand (the left), have definitively cut themselves off from Truth. They would seem to have nothing left but their memories, mortal and imperfect, and their imaginations, debased by their sinfulness. Given this, it is not difficult to suppose the souls of the damned, conditioned by their respective sins, inform their resurrections as depicted by Dante in The Inferno or as stated by the mystics who have reported visions of Hell.
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