How can one enjoy heaven, knowing that a loved one is in hell?

How can the blessed in Heaven enjoy eternal bliss while at the same time knowing that other people and fallen angels, equally beloved by God, are suffering for eternity in Hell?

Dear P,

It is difficult for us to avoid projecting our earthly experience on to heaven. We tend to imagine experiencing ourselves in heaven as we experience ourselves here. Heaven is out of this world—in more ways than we can imagine!

The direct experience of infinite good, which is who God is, is so all-encompassing that nothing less will be able to have an effect on it. Also–it is important to remember that anyone who is in hell, has freely chosen to be there by his or her choice against God.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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