How can you find happiness in Heaven


#1

when you know you have family in Hell? I know God will be our source of happiness and love, but how can we feel happy when we know someone we love or someone who is close to us, is in eternal torment in Hell? I know we can pray and try to get that person to come to God, but what if a person doesn’t listen or something happens that they do not reach Heaven?


#2

[quote=Shinobu]when you know you have family in Hell? I know God will be our source of happiness and love, but how can we feel happy when we know someone we love or someone who is close to us, is in eternal torment in Hell? I know we can pray and try to get that person to come to God, but what if a person doesn’t listen or something happens that they do not reach Heaven?
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St. Thomas Aquinas and many of the fathers and saints hold that we will rejoice when we see the damned suffering in hell because we will see God vindicated and his justice glorified. Look at the book of Revelation and see how the martyrs cry out for the blood of their murderers. In heaven, we will not see things from the point of view of partisan interest but we will see things from God’s point of view. Since God is supremely blessed he cannot be unhappy with souls being damned in hell, since to be unhappy would be to experience pain. In the divine substance, where there is no passing or change, there cannot be such a motion as pain.


#3

[quote=byzmelkite]St. Thomas Aquinas and many of the fathers and saints hold that we will rejoice when we see the damned suffering in hell because we will see God vindicated and his justice glorified. Look at the book of Revelation and see how the martyrs cry out for the blood of their murderers. In heaven, we will not see things from the point of view of partisan interest but we will see things from God’s point of view. Since God is supremely blessed he cannot be unhappy with souls being damned in hell, since to be unhappy would be to experience pain. In the divine substance, where there is no passing or change, there cannot be such a motion as pain.
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Amen! We will be removed of all pride and closed mindedness. We will consider everyone in Heaven with us as family. The family and friends we had on Earth will mean nothing. We will all be equal, no favorites among us.


#4

Another way to look at it is that if we couldn’t be happy in Heaven knowing that friends or family were in Hell, that would ultimately give Hell victory because it would be able to deprive Heaven of joy. Hell cannot hold Heaven hostage.


#5

[quote=byzmelkite]Since God is supremely blessed he cannot be unhappy with souls being damned in hell, since to be unhappy would be to experience pain. In the divine substance, where there is no passing or change, there cannot be such a motion as pain.
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Sounds interesting, but I’m not following all the way yet.

Why can’t God feel pain? Wasn’t that was Jesus did?

Regardless of the fact that God doesn’t let hell bum Him out, why would we, in heaven, care about such a petty thing as seeing God’s justice implemented and the guilty punished. I know God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, but this seems pretty OT as far as the mindset involved, and I wonder why all of a sudden when a Christian loses ties to earth, he derives pleasure from watching evil punished?

Hmmm, I’ve thought about how to turn evil into good. Maybe it’s something like that; feed off evil energy to drive the world into acceptance of the Truth, or something like that I guess.

Gosh I dunno. I don’t know what I’m saying. My wonderful, sainted father used to say, “Al, you just talk to hear your head rattle.” Here’s to you, Dad. :love:

Time for my medicine.

Alan


#6

Why can’t God feel pain? Wasn’t that was Jesus did?

Jesus had to become man in order to feel pain, just as He had to become man in order to die, because pain and death could not be experienced by God unless He united himself to a human nature.

I agree that it’s a mystery, because we don’t understand how we will be happy without our loved ones if our loved ones don’t make it to Heaven. That’s why I kind of look at it as Hell holding Heaven hostage. It doesn’t really help me understand how we’ll find happiness, but it helps me see why.


#7

[quote=AlanFromWichita]Sounds interesting, but I’m not following all the way yet.

Why can’t God feel pain? Wasn’t that was Jesus did?

Regardless of the fact that God doesn’t let hell bum Him out, why would we, in heaven, care about such a petty thing as seeing God’s justice implemented and the guilty punished. I know God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, but this seems pretty OT as far as the mindset involved, and I wonder why all of a sudden when a Christian loses ties to earth, he derives pleasure from watching evil punished?

Hmmm, I’ve thought about how to turn evil into good. Maybe it’s something like that; feed off evil energy to drive the world into acceptance of the Truth, or something like that I guess.

Gosh I dunno. I don’t know what I’m saying. My wonderful, sainted father used to say, “Al, you just talk to hear your head rattle.” Here’s to you, Dad. :love:

Time for my medicine.

Alan
[/quote]

Just two comments. First, you say that seeing God’s justice implemented is “petty.” Well, tell that to the victims of injustice and tell that to God. Second, divine wrath and judgment is not exclusively OT and divine mercy is not exclusively NT. One of the most false, gnostic, notions that has gotten into people’s heads is the idea that the OT is about wrath and the NT is about love. Most of the explicit teachings about eternal torment come from Jesus himself. Read the book of Revelation, which closes the New Testament, and you will see that the early Church was all for God’s wrath coming and destroying the wicked. God is not “Barney the dinosaur” and he isn’t just interested in giving everyone a big hug and a smile.


#8

[quote=Grace and Glory]Jesus had to become man in order to feel pain, just as He had to become man in order to die, because pain and death could not be experienced by God unless He united himself to a human nature.

I agree that it’s a mystery, because we don’t understand how we will be happy without our loved ones if our loved ones don’t make it to Heaven. That’s why I kind of look at it as Hell holding Heaven hostage. It doesn’t really help me understand how we’ll find happiness, but it helps me see why.
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Amen. Christ suffered in his humanity, not in his divinity. That is the teaching of the Church fathers. I would say that in heaven, we will be so consumed with the divine love and the beatific vision of God that we won’t have time to worry too much about what is going on in hell.


#9

I have often surmised that while on earth, all men are impugned with God’s grace to such a degree that all those things that you love about your loved ones are merely manifestations of Jesus Christ.

In other words, what you are really attracted to in the people you love is really just Jesus Christ coming to the surface. Take that presence and that grace away, and you are left with something that is dark and unattractive. What’s left is something less than a person, something akin to a shadow of person.

Remember the parable of the man who entrusted three of his servants a share of his property while he went on a journey (Mathew 25:14-30)? Five talents to one, two to another, and one to the last. The talents represent God’s grace, a free gift given to each “according to his ability” (v 15). The first two doubled the money given them such that upon the master’s return he said to them “Well done, good and faithful servant” to each (vv 21, 23). But to the last who simply buried the money and returned the exact amount he had received, the master says, “You wicked and slothful servant!” (v. 26).

Except that you amplify the God’s free gift of grace in your life, God may well reclaim His gift at the Judgment such that you are left with nothing.

What is the gift that will be revoked? What form does this grace take? Is someone thoughtful? If so it is grace from God. Courageous? If so a grace from God. Generous, pious, diligent? All grace from God. In fact, all righteous traits are of God and every good deed we perform is Christ working in us such that is more Him than us.

Indeed, if you take away all grace from God, what is left to a man to love, even be it a relative of yours? This is why we labor and pray for the living, because they are still recipients of God’s grace, still with time to increase the value of God’s investment in them.


#10

thank you …I was only thinking about my dad the other night and feeling a lot of pain that he has committed mortal sins and yet is a good man and just…and how to bring him back so that there is a chance he will be inheaven at the end…your reply gave me more comfort than the ones which talked about us being pleased to see the ones in hell being tortured

Thea


#11

[quote=Shinobu]when you know you have family in Hell? I know God will be our source of happiness and love, but how can we feel happy when we know someone we love or someone who is close to us, is in eternal torment in Hell? I know we can pray and try to get that person to come to God, but what if a person doesn’t listen or something happens that they do not reach Heaven?
[/quote]

our happiness in heaven is not a feeling or emotion, it is an ontological state of union with God. God alone completes us, not our families or any creatures we loved while on earth. on the other hand, as Father said today in his brief homily at a wedding, even though marriage as it exists on earth does not exist in heaven (as Christ said) the love that is the basis of the marriage (and family) never dies and the love, whose source is God, is part of our happiness in heaven. I am willing to bet that a lot of people we “know” to be in hell may just surprise us when we enter the pearly gates, and a lot of people we expect to see there might be missing.


#12

I’ve taken a great deal of effort to take to heart the teachings of Jesus, which IMO do not include rejoicing to see my enemies suffer.

From a worldly point of view, I have to say I have felt satisfaction a few times. The only person in high school who ever threatened me, James “piggy” Pope, is dead. I literally found out when I happened to be in the morgue and checked out the toe tags on the bodies to see if there was anyone I knew – he died from a motorcycle accident. Recently I learned that the bully who picked on me nearly every day in the locker room in high school, Marty Pitts, is also dead but don’t know from what.

Christ taught us to focus on things eternal, and I thought that meant love your enemy, and forgive him as you would like to be forgiven. All of a sudden we go to heaven and get into gloating. Maybe that’s all right and everything but somehow it just doesn’t compute. It sound like precisely the worldly attitudes that Christ tried to drive out of us, which would be satisfied to see this kind of torment.

The mind of God is not like mine, or I think I’d scratch the bit about rejoicing to see enemies suffer. Maybe we’re just really relieved that the person has been taken out of circulation, I don’t know.

Alan


#13

Thank you all kindly for your answers. This question just popped into my head last night after I spent time with my family. I love them very much and just would never want to see them suffering.

[quote=Roman_Army]Amen! We will be removed of all pride and closed mindedness. We will consider everyone in Heaven with us as family. The family and friends we had on Earth will mean nothing. We will all be equal, no favorites among us.
[/quote]

While I can understand what you are saying, I disagree that love is prideful or close-minded. Though I don’t think you were talking about love.

[quote=RodK]I have often surmised that while on earth, all men are impugned with God’s grace to such a degree that all those things that you love about your loved ones are merely manifestations of Jesus Christ.

In other words, what you are really attracted to in the people you love is really just Jesus Christ coming to the surface. Take that presence and that grace away, and you are left with something that is dark and unattractive. What’s left is something less than a person, something akin to a shadow of person.
[/quote]

That’s an interesting idea. It makes quite a bit of sense too. Thank you

[quote=Thea]thank you …I was only thinking about my dad the other night and feeling a lot of pain that he has committed mortal sins and yet is a good man and just…and how to bring him back so that there is a chance he will be inheaven at the end…your reply gave me more comfort than the ones which talked about us being pleased to see the ones in hell being tortured
[/quote]

I’m sorry to hear that. I know it isn’t much to make you feel better but I will keep your Father in my prayers.

Alan, I think we are kinda in the same path of thinking.


#14

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