How can we find happiness in heaven?

How can we find happiness in Heaven if someone we love/know goes to Hell? Some people say we will be satisfied with God’s justice, but this sounds rather cruel and cold. I can’t say I’d be happy for anyone to go to Hell because it’s a lost soul. We can pray and try to get people to our faith but ultimately it is their decision and in the end the judgement is God’s alone.

Dear Shin,

You are thinking very much inside the box. You can’t do that when you think of heaven. It’s not just another earth-like human situation with clouds and pastel cherubs added.

What do you need to do is ask yourself what you really think heaven is for God’s sake? I mean this literally. It’s all about God. God is infinite goodness; goodness without limit; pure unlimited love. This is something beyond any experience we are capable of imagining at this time.

Our every desire is at its root a desire for God. As St. Augustine reminds us, we hunger and pant for Him. The closest we can come to getting a handle on His infinite love is, of course, His passion and death. This is the greatest communication the human race has ever witnessed. That God who created us from absolutely nothing would join us in our humanity and suffer such agony for our sake gives us some insight into the depth of His love. To fully appreciate what this means IS heaven—and no other concern can come close to it—not because we don’t love the people who aren’t there, but because we are overwhelmed with the ultimate Good.

Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.

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