I know this is a very strange question, because in Heaven is everlasting bliss. All pain is supposed to end, or at least so I have believed. However, it seems as though in some sense, suffering still exists even among the saints in Heaven, and I want to know what this means or how it can be, or if I’m wrong . . . I’m confused, so any clarification on this point would help me.
1 Corinthians 12 says that all Catholics are one Body of Christ. When one part of the Body suffers, every part suffers, the Scripture says. The whole Body works and functions together as one . . . those parts on Earth and in Heaven. 1 Corinthians 12 says there is no division and suffering in one part is felt by every part.
Jesus expressed this very distinctly when He called out to Saul on the road to Damascus, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” He felt the suffering of His Body on Earth, even though He was in eternal bliss in Heaven, and He responded.
In Zecharaiah 1:12-13, we read of an angel feeling distress because of God’s wrath against Jerusalem. In what to me is one of the most touching parts of the Bible, the Scripture says that God spoke comforting words to the angel. I just love that image, God comforting an angel deeply distressed because of man’s suffering.
The apparition of Our Lady of La Salette, approved by the Church, presents a Virgin Mary suffering deeply because of mankind’s sufferings. There have been numerous other apparitions that parallel this, miraculously weeping statues and paintings, and sufferings described in Christ and Mary’s Hearts.
All of this suggests that even those in Heaven can suffer. I am puzzled as to how this connects with the passage that says that in Heaven, every tear shall be wiped away and every wound healed. Or is that referring to the New Heaven and New Earth that shall be formed at the end of time, and not to the joys of Heaven? I suspect it applies to both, though perhaps in its fullest sense in the New Heaven and New Earth.
This question of how people suffer in Heaven and how this differs from suffering on Earth is a puzzle to me. I wonder if any of you can enlighten me on it? I suspect the kind of suffering in Heaven is at least partly of a different kind from our suffering on Earth. But I don’t understand the theological answers to these questions.