Can people in heaven see people in hell?

In my reading I came across a quote from Thomas Aquinas the medieval theologian. He said, “That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell.”

I’m not at all comfortable with this. How can heaven be enjoyable if you can see people, even friends and relatives maybe, burning in hell?

Does the knowledge that there are people starving to death stop you from enjoying a juicy steak?

When you are in the Beatific Vision you will understand God’s perfect plan which we cannot do now. So if that is the case that we see suffering we will be able to bear it through the grace of God.
St. Thomas may have speculated on that but I’m not sure that the church teaches that as a matter de fide.

The souls in Heaven know that the souls in Hell are suffering from the just punishments of God. They might even have some knowledge of particular persons and their just punishments, such as those who harmed them in their life. But the souls in Heaven do not wish to know anything inordinately, so they do not dwell on the just punishments of Hell, but on the goodness of God and of Heaven.

The souls in heaven know that the souls in hell freely chose to go to hell and they understand that God is just and honors their decision.

Even so, it breaks my heart to think that some people are suffering that punishment. Choice or not, forever is a mighty long time.

To be relevant to the original post, the question should be: “Does the knowledge that there are people starving to death increase your enjoyment of a juicy steak?”

Can people in heaven see people in hell?

Luke 16 would say that they can.

I’m curious-why would anyone want to see that much horror and suffering?

Right now, we think of it through a cloudy haze of this world, as St Paul said, we see through a glass darkly.

When we are in Heaven, we will see with clarity all of God’s plan. We do NOT know what heaven will be like. We do know that we will have perfect happiness. If we need to see those separated from God to be perfectly happy, we will. If we need not to see that, we will not.

Well I couldn’t eat a juicy steak if I had to see people starving to death while I was eating it. Especially if the starving person was a loved one.

You make it sound like God allows people in heaven to get vindictive pleasure from seeing others suffer in hell.

Well, whatever works.

I still think that most people don’t want to see this degree of suffering. It’s sort of like walking into a cancer ward and thinking, “Those people smoked-hahahaha! They deserve this! Hahahahah!”

For the record, I don’t smoke, I wouldn’t reccomend it, but dying a slow death of cancer doesn’t fit the “punishement” of smoking.

Very good.

But what if the one starving is doing so of their own free will?

There is food in abundance, but they want no part of it.

Does it continue to interfere?

In fact the quote is even more disturbing, since it suggests that part of the enjoyment of being in heaven comes from seeing people in hell.

larf :o

This should just make us pray and mortify ourselves so that our friends **and ourselves :eek: **won’t be there. Personally I can’t imagine sitting in heaven with binoculars zooming into circle 23 of the Inferno and laughing while An Old Boss (who fired us??!) is being roasted slowly alive. Humanly I cannot even begin to imagine this scenario with anyone (even him!) let alone my loved ones. But and its a big **But **I am not God and his Wisdom is infinitely greater than mine

Can I state the obvious here based on the original post. NOBODY KNOWS THE ANSWER to this question.

God Himself desires no one to go to Hell. He let’s them freely choose such, but it does not bring Him any joy. If it brought Him joy, why would He send His only Son to save us and give us a chance to be with Him?

Therefore, while I do greatly respect St. Thomas Aquinas and consider him to be quite brilliant, I must disagree with him. If seeing people in Hell does not bring joy to God, why would it bring joy to us?

Yes, actually.

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