Thomas Aquinas says that God can reduce the pains of the damned if He wishes. Is this something we should pray for? The Old Catholic Encyclopedia says that the Church hasn’t ruled on whether there can be natural goodness in the reprobates. Could this mean possible natural happiness eventually? At the end of the article it mentions a Catholic who argued that their lot is not too terrible in the end. Could God’s mercy extend even there? It has been the tradition of the Church to believe that the damned suffer sense pain physically in fire until recently. St. Faustina even speaks about it, as does Our Lady of Fatima, showing human embers. The new Catechism speaks of the fire as pain of loss. The thought of eternal, neverceasing torture is beyond imagination. Perhaps this world we are born into isn’t as scary as all that…
Has the Church dropped the teaching of pain of sense?
The souls in Hell are lost. We cannot help them; the Church disapproves of praying for them; they are not objects of charity; they have freely chosen to reject God forever. Right now there are souls suffering in Hell, after the Final Judgement, we will be reunited with our bodies, and then they will suffer in body and soul. It is truly beyond anyone’s imagination, the torments waiting there for the damned for eternity; the time to pray for them is in this world.
The Church hasn’t really decided these questions. JW’s for example believe they suffer physical fire for a time, then are annihilated. In the Bible Jude mentions sodam and gomarah as “examples of those who suffer eternal fire”, so the fire is real. But the CCC says that God doesn’t inflict the punishment, even though the Bible also says they are God will cast them into hell. Why doesn’t God just annihilate them. I think maybe because He will have mercy on them one day even though they deserve fire, but not grant them the Beatific Vision
People in hell are exactly where they **chose **to be. Nobody is dragged into hell kicking and screaming that there must be some mistake. Nobody in hell thinks they screwed up and is remorseful and wishes he was in heaven. They don’t WANT to be with God. They REJECTED God.
To them, hell is preferable to heaven. It might not be great, but (to their minds) it’s better than the alternative of being forced to be in the presence of a God whom they have rejected.
I think that it’s always better to pray for someone than not. It cannot hurt either those poor souls suffering or you. You are displaying admirable compassion and sympathy, virtues that we should all try to cultivate. There is nothing wrong with hearing about those in pain and wishing to help them— it is GOOD to have that reaction.
This is kind of what Ive thought for awhile, People that live their earthly lives without God in it, without going to mass, no praying, no confession, no thoughts about religion, God, or the afterlife, will basically just go into the afterlife that is pretty close to their earthly lives, no God there either, so I doubt they would want out of Hell…For a Christian, that type of life or afterlife would be HELL…but for a NON-Christian, it is just an extension of their earthly lives.
But how actual suffering plays into it is beyond me, as I know PLENTY of people that live for the world, and do not even think about God, yet they appear to live good lives, and are happy and content, not to say they are evil people, they are not, they are just not religious, they dont seem to be suffering though.
Yes, they are there because they chose it. They will not and cannot change they’re minds. As to the above question as to why they suffer (not speaking of the very likely literal flames that will burn), they have rejected the Source of all blessings and comfort. They go to hell with their natural passions intact. They hunger but receive no food, ever. Thirst, there is no water there. They still crave love (though in a disordered way, hell only has hate to give. They desire perverted sexual unions, they have no means of satisfying themselves. It’s as if a man is crawling in the desert, dying of thirst and someone offers him a drink of water if only he is willing to thank him for the gift. The dying man, won’t drink it given this one condition. This is hell.
This is rubbish. Absolute rubbish. Nobody knowingly signs up for an eternity of torture.
Not so sure about this.
Demons ask to be excused in the presence of Christ. They can’t stand the light.
Those are demons but as far as humans go. St. Augustine said that the doors of hell were locked from the inside.
So, I’m not really sure.
I heard that some saint was praying for the souls in hell and had a vision. One of the souls begged her to stop, as the prays of the saint only added to their pain.
open each of these 16 entries. ccc.scborromeo.org.master.com/texis/master/search/?sufs=0&q=hell&xsubmit=Search&s=SS
the link above is what the CCC says on hell
It is not torture for them:
The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God [CCC 1035, emphasis mine]
That’s EXACTLY what they WANT. You and I might consider this torture, but the damned do not! They REJECTED God, and WANT to be eternally separated from him.
For an expanded understanding of hell, I recommend the short novel, “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis (the title is somewhat misleading - it has nothing to do with marital divorce). It describes a bus ride through hell on its way to heaven. It’s a modernized version of Dante’s Inferno.
You’re correct. Hell is horrible. No joy, no peace, only never ending suffering. Souls who are there are sent there by God’s judgement.