I hope it’s ok to post here. So:
-we know that God is everywhere and everything exists in him. But this means that he is also present in hell?
-can God suffer? I mean, I understand it’s difficult to transpose our emotions on God, but some say that he is perfectly and eternally happy. So our sins make him suffer or not? Or they only made him suffer while he was still on earth during his passion?
I hope it’s ok to post here. So:
I’ll answer the first question, but I’ll have to pause to think about how best to answer the second question.
Hell is not so much a physical place that takes up space as it is a state for those who are in it. As the Catechism describes it:
This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called “hell.”
God is everywhere, but He does not force His way into our hearts. We have to choose to let Him in. And when we choose to keep Him out, that is hell.
The Divine Nature is incapable of suffering. The human nature of Jesus no longer suffers since the end of his passion, but presently enjoys the same level of beatitude as the Divine Nature. Our sins caused his Crucifixtion and death.
I don’t agree, with all due respect to you. I think the “human” nature (not His GOD nature) of Jesus does suffer, with us, for us. It must, how could it be otherwise? He is still Human (glorified body, as we will all one day have, hopefully) and God, so He knows all and how can this not hurt at times?
In the same way that those in Heaven do not suffer for knowledge of our sufferings.
If God doesn’t suffer, then why would our sins anger or hurt Him?
Our sins caused him to be crucified. One must be careful not to anthropomorphize God.
So is He now indifferent? I’m not arguing, I’m looking for answer. I realize our sins caused him to be crucified. That wasn’t the question of either myself or the OP (sorry for hijacking OP)
He certainly isn’t indifferent. God wills our good and therefore is displeased by our sin (which is bad for us), however, God doesn’t need us as he is completely fulfilled in himself. Therefore, God doesn’t suffer or have his happiness disturbed as a result of being displeased.
In regards to number one, I heard an analogy about this in a video that I can’t seem to find as of right now. The analogy mentioned about the different about being present in mind and being present in essence. The analogy speaks of a child’s spacial relation to his parents. A parent can be physically out of the house, but their “presence” can still be felt if you do something wrong. In the same way the parent can be physically (spatially) present, but not in your view, such as if you did something you knew was wrong expecting your parent not to be there, but they are right there and call you out on it, or if your attention is elsewhere while your parent is right in front of you.
I wish I could find the video because it was explained so much better.
God can be said to be present in five ways:
- He is present as the creator and sustainer of what exists. In this sense he is present everywhere, even in hell.
- He is present as Providence, as the “universal traffic cop” or “community organizer”. In this way he is present in the universe which would be chaos without him.
- He is present as the lawgiver. The Ten Commandments.
- He is present physically in the Eucharist and his earthly ministry as Christ.
- He is present personally as the sanctifier and helper in our souls in the person of the Holy Spirit.
I don’t agree here, either. :shrug:
We don’t know what goes on in Paradise. We just conjecture. Why would the saints respond to our suffering with compassion and intercession on our behalf if they could not connect with our suffering? Perhaps, because they have the big picture (so to speak), they have an understanding of God’s plan, but they also have an understanding of suffering. While they may not suffer in the same enduring sense as they did on earth, this does not prevent them from suffering with us. Also, there have been credible instances where statues of the Blessed Mother were weeping and, if I remember correctly, during apparitions (approved by the church), also. This is true compassion and that requires suffering. God is not, imho, a remote, unavailable, untouchable in “the sky” who cares not for our suffering, far from it. I cannot agree that even the Father suffers since He must have while Jesus was in the Garden, went through his torturous suffering at the hands of humans, and hung on the cross in agony. Jesus Himself told us that the Father cares for us more than we care for our children. I think there is room in Paradise for great empathy and compassion. Let’s compare it, as a simple analogy, to us watching a movie we’ve seen before. We know the ending is good, wonderful in fact, but the characters suffer and we suffer with them, even knowing it will all “turn out fine”. So must Jesus, even the Father, and everyone in Paradise have such a perspective and ability. Just a guess, really.
God is, in his Divine Nature, absolutely self-fulfilled. Therefore our good fortune is not a condition of his beatitude. God certainly cares about us and wants good things to happen to us, but he is capable of desiring something, without having his joy infringed on if the thing does not happen as he desires. So also, the saints, while desiring our good, do not have their joy infringed on by our misfortune (many theologians state that reception by others of salvation causes accidental increases in the joy of the saints, but they would not suffer due to the non-occurrence of the good of others).
A God who is not capable of suffering is a God we cannot have a relationship with. Hence the Incarnation.
And to say that Jesus qua God did not suffer is to act as if Jesus was not a unity.
Being in unity does not mean that everything which happens to his human nature happens to his Divine Nature. To make a rough analogy, if I stub my toe then I will experience physical suffering, yet I will not experience any spiritual suffering. This is true, even though my body and my soul are united. Therefore, it is perfectly reasonable for God (who is ontologically self-fulfilled) to not experience suffering in his Divine Nature.
God is everywhere even in hell; which may be that way because He sees its residents for whom they have chosen to become.
God is transcendent. This is what the cross is about: a humiliated, naked man, powerless and in pain, has even His life taken from Him; He is resurrected and is God. He knows every possible suffering that we may endure - that is the nature of compassion.
It’s all total conjecture. What we know about God, really know, we discover in Jesus Christ who said that, seeing Him, we are seeing the Father. And Jesus suffered. He wept for many, for Jerusalem, etc. He also had great joy on earth (and has, still, of course).
To say that God is complete in Himself and needs nothing implies that His creation - that act of will or whatever it was that formed the universe and everything in it - was capricious, at best, experimental, at worst - especially given His omniscience and His ability to see the enormous suffering in this creation. We are created “in his likeness”, there is something of Him in us, something that transcends the flesh and not merely the ruach hakodesh but far more than that. Compassion, sympathy, grief, joy, these are universal feelings found in other species, not just our own! And everything is of God so therefor these things must be of God, also. This means God can suffer. It means He can feel wrath (aren’t we WARNED by the Blessed Mother at Fatima about this??) So it isn’t all a picnic in the sky up in Paradise, it would be impossible and it would mean that God really cares little (actually, nothing) other than to remain in a state of perfect happiness and so we mean nothing to Him. And you know that’s not true, haven’t you felt His love and mercy?
It is a dogma of the faith that God is completely self-fulfilled. And it is insulting to God to claim that he needs to feel bad in order to care about us. The Church condemns anthropomorphism.
When you address me in this manner, you are essentially calling me a heretic, worse, a blasphemer of the Holy Spirit. This self fulfillment of which you speak now contains us and the rest of His creation. Once set into motion, we/them/it became part of Him. It is not insulting to God: JESUS felt bad, JESUS wept (even for Lazarus, whom He knew He was about to raise!), JESUS said when we see HIM we see the FATHER. He did not say, “Well I’m in human form and the Father is self fulfilled so what can I tell ya…” “Dogma” of the church - your misinterpretation of that dogma, which is extremely complex.
“As in the East Activity is a task or property of something else and energy does not stand alone (there is no activity, energy by itself (per se). The “being” and “the action(s) of God” without the distinction, then would appear identical, leading to the teaching of Pantheism. This removal of distinction meaning that the universe or material world and God are one and the same. For God’s action (creation) and God’s being or essence is one and the same in actus purus and not the result of his creating activity. This leads to the denial of the transcendent and apophatic, incomprehensible definition of the essence of God. By stating that God’s being and energies are the same thing, one is stating that God in Trinity is the same as man (i.e. created or a creature as part of creation, anthropomorphic in contrast to theanthropic), meaning that man as a finite being would be able to conceive the infinite, and that mankind could be God in essence (implying pantheism), as man is a creation of God, as an activity an act of God.”
Eastern Orthodox - Roman Catholic Theological Differences
To extinguish anthropomorphism from Human thought/action is tantamount to extinguishing psychological aspects of complete and normal brain and mind as these contribute so heavily to our nature that, without them, we cease to be Human.
“Anthropomorphism is a natural and strong human way of trying to make sense of the world. Some embrace it, consciously or unconsciously. But it can interfere with the search for truth, and needs critical detachment to prevent its limiting control of thought or belief. Critics who seek to eliminate anthropomorphism entirely should acknowledge the difficulty of knowing nature and ultimate reality behind the images of unconscious mythic dramas. Psychological personification and meditative wisdom point beyond literalism and abstract rationalism to poetic and pre-linguistic experiences that may ring with echoes of a far but near power.”
Lee W. Baley, Ph.D.
Professor David E. Leeming
Here is the definition of anthropomorphism:
"Definition of ANTHROPOMORPHIC
1: described or thought of as having a human form or human attributes (anthropomorphic deities)
2: ascribing human characteristics to nonhuman things (anthropomorphic supernaturalism)"
Jesus shows us what God the Father is like. He shows us the Father’s love, his compassion and mercy, his righteousness, humility, authority, words, work and truth — even his glory. In Jesus Christ, the Father is made visible so that we can know him. We worship a Father who is very much like his Son.
“Although the Father is greater than the Son, they are also one. They have a reciprocal relationship: the Son is in the Father, and the Father is in the Son. Jesus brings glory to the Father, and the Father gives glory to the Son. The Son testifies concerning the Father, and the Father testifies concerning the Son…”
What the Gospels Teach Us About God
So beware the words that pass through your fingertips and any such judgment you make upon another. I am neither a blasphemer nor a heretic. I am the mouse on the space station, as are you. The designer of the space station is so far beyond my comprehension as to make it totally impossible, even though he left me “food for thought” (pun intended) in a copy of the design left on the counter top. I barely understand/know myself. I barely comprehend the space station around me, I do so only insofar as it relates to me (and, if human, that is anthropomorphic). I cannot design a space station; I cannot describe the genius who built it.
Jesus is the only way we know anything at all about the Father outside of the Old Testament which is allegorical, as you must know. We speak of the Trinity and we may have some sort of intuitive comprehension of it from our Human standpoint (anthropomorphic), but this, too, is fully beyond our ability to comprehend, which is why it is called a “mystery”.
If I raise chickens and love them as companions/pets (not for food), I watch them hatch, I watch them grow, I feed them and protect them (as Jesus tells us the Father does for us), if the fox gets into my hen house how can I not suffer? If I am so empathic, and much greater than I is God Almighty, then how is it possible I have such abilities He does not have? If He is, as you suggest, the self fulfilled, unfeeling “man in the sky”, why then we are all wrong, Jesus was wrong, what other conclusion is there to make? And pretty much these are conclusions made by other religions, and that, my friend, is blasphemy and heresy.
Let us refrain from judging one another. I thank you for that.
I’ve never understood the parallel philosophers and theologians have drawn between “being lacking in nothing” and “not feeling emotion.” Why couldn’t you lack in nothing, and yet feel emotion?
(I’m not even sure that this question is relevant, however. In my mind, God **is **lacking in something that He wants: our obedience and love. This is blatantly clear from the parables Jesus told about the Father.) :shrug: