This is in response to the Purgatory Thread which got derail to the subject of hell.
How can His Presence be separate from His knowledge (awareness)?
A poster wrote:
Those in Hell have freely chosen to separate themselves from God; He is present to them, however, for His love for all He has created never changes. The separation the damned have chosen is from their side and thus His love of them can only be experienced as eternal fire and torment. There is nothing in them that corresponds to His love. Consider Scripture’s words that “our God is a consuming fire” - in order to survive in and find joy and salvation in that fire one must himself (by correspondence to His grace) become one with the fire of Divine Love - this the damned cannot do.
“I say,” writes Saint Isaac the Syrian, “that those who are suffering in hell, are suffering in being scourged by love… It is totally false to think that the sinners in hell are deprived of God’s love. Love is a child of the knowledge of truth, and is unquestionably given commonly to all. But love’s power acts in two ways: it torments sinners, while at the same time it delights those who have lived in accord with it,” (Homily 84).
By this he implies that God is in hell. Saint Isaac’s statement doesn’t bare any truth that the Catholic teaches.
Let me quote what the Catechism has to say about God and Hell.
1057 Hell’s principal punishment consists of **eternal separation **from God in whom alone man can have the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, “eternal fire.” The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.
In otherwords, there is no God in Hell. To claim that he is, is heresy.