Is God in hell?

Since ever we are taugh that God is everywhere. He does infiltrate every inch of the visible and the invisible world. That there isn't a place where God isn't. Then I have just read on a Bible calendar that God isn't in hell. And that anyone ending up in hell will be cut from God for eternity. How is it possible that God isn't in hell since he's everywhere?

Firstly, it should be noted that God is Spirit–a non-corporeal being (His Incarnate body of Christ excepted). As such, non-corporeal (spiritual) beings are not “present” in the same manner as we speak of corporeal beings (ie. material bodies) being in a place. Non-corporeal substances are not “contained” by the place they are in, but more correctly said to virtually contain the thing or place by their their power.

God is present by the application of his power in two ways: 1) the application of His power per suum effectum (through His effect), and 2) the application of His power per suum essentiam (through His essence). God applies his power in one or both of these ways. So, he can said to be present in one or both of these ways.

In heaven, God is present by the application of His power both through his effect and through His essence. His presence in the Holy Eucharist is by they application of His power both through His effect and through His essence.

However, in hell, God is present by *the application of His power through its effect only, not present through the His essence. *

All of the above is summarized from the teachings described in the Summa Theologica of St. Thomas Aquinas.

God, “through his effect” is omnipresent, that his present in every part of the visible and the invisible world. However, God is not omnipresent “through his essence,” but is present in the Holy Eucharist and heaven “through his effect and essence.”

Those in hell will forever be separated from that presence of God which derives from the applicaiton of His power “through His essence,” but will forever endure that presence of God which derives from the application of His power “through His effect,” which for the wicked will be torment.

Hi Dave,

If I understand you correctly, it really is hell to always know God Is but to not want any part of Him.

[quote="simple_soul, post:3, topic:180255"]
Hi Dave,

If I understand you correctly, it really is hell to always know God Is but to not want any part of Him.

[/quote]

Yes, and it is especially hellish given that God is caritas (love, charity). Wanting no part of such love can only derive from a heart so hardened and tormented that they imprison themselves forever.

I think Dave's got it right :)

But isn't the definition of hell, a permanent separation from God? It's sure not a "place" it's a "state"

Yay St Thomas! :D:D:D

Hmm, in retrospect my last post was too ebullient for a thread about hell. :frowning: Sorry. I just love St Thomas Aquinas and how he’s able to answer difficult questions like this by making subtle distinctions that I would never ever have thought of (which is why I’m not a doctor of the church and he is). I guess for a moment I sort of forgot what the actual topic was.

[quote="itsjustdave1988, post:4, topic:180255"]
Yes, and it is especially hellish given that God is caritas (love, charity). Wanting no part of such love can only derive from a heart so hardened and tormented that they imprison themselves forever.

[/quote]

I pray all the time that He spare me and others from that hell.
I believe that it was also in understanding this that I learned Heaven can actually begin here on Earth just as Hell can.

Remember that Eastern Catholics (and the Eastern Orthodox) would say that God is in Hell or more correctly, that Hell and Heaven are not distinct locations, but that they are about how one experiences God in the afterlife. Thus, the person in Heaven and in Hell are both before God and experiencing His love and presence, but for the Heavenly individual, it is pleasant, for the Hellish individual, it is distinctly less so (to put it mildly).

[quote="simple_soul, post:8, topic:180255"]
I pray all the time that He spare me and others from that hell.
I believe that it was also in understanding this that I learned Heaven can actually begin here on Earth just as Hell can.

[/quote]

It is not God who sends people to Hell. People choose to go there by committing mortal sins which is the rejection of God's love. Dying unrepentant means such a person condemns his/her self to Hell.

See the Church's teaching:

HELL

CCC 1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."

CCC 1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire," and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"

CCC 1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

CCC 1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."

CCC 1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance"

[quote="thistle, post:10, topic:180255"]
It is not God who sends people to Hell. People choose to go there by committing mortal sins which is the rejection of God's love. Dying unrepentant means such a person condemns his/her self to Hell.

See the Church's teaching:

HELL

CCC 1033 We cannot be united with God unless we freely choose to love him. But we cannot love God if we sin gravely against him, against our neighbor or against ourselves: "He who does not love remains in death. Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him." Our Lord warns us that we shall be separated from him if we fail to meet the serious needs of the poor and the little ones who are his brethren. To die in mortal sin without repenting and accepting God's merciful love means remaining separated from him for ever by our own free choice. This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called "hell."

CCC 1034 Jesus often speaks of "Gehenna" of "the unquenchable fire" reserved for those who to the end of their lives refuse to believe and be converted, where both soul and body can be lost. Jesus solemnly proclaims that he "will send his angels, and they will gather . . . all evil doers, and throw them into the furnace of fire," and that he will pronounce the condemnation: "Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire!"

CCC 1035 The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity. Immediately after death the souls of those who die in a state of mortal sin descend into hell, where they suffer the punishments of hell, "eternal fire." The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God, in whom alone man can possess the life and happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.

CCC 1036 The affirmations of Sacred Scripture and the teachings of the Church on the subject of hell are a call to the responsibility incumbent upon man to make use of his freedom in view of his eternal destiny. They are at the same time an urgent call to conversion: "Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few."

Since we know neither the day nor the hour, we should follow the advice of the Lord and watch constantly so that, when the single course of our earthly life is completed, we may merit to enter with him into the marriage feast and be numbered among the blessed, and not, like the wicked and slothful servants, be ordered to depart into the eternal fire, into the outer darkness where "men will weep and gnash their teeth."

CCC 1037 God predestines no one to go to hell; for this, a willful turning away from God (a mortal sin) is necessary, and persistence in it until the end. In the Eucharistic liturgy and in the daily prayers of her faithful, the Church implores the mercy of God, who does not want "any to perish, but all to come to repentance"

[/quote]

Ummm... I did not mean to even imply that God sends people to hell. I was just asking for Him to help me and others to freely choose to love Him instead of rejecting Him.

Saint John of the Cross came up with the explanation that God is present in three ways. One way is through His power. Since God holds whatever exists in existence, he is present by His power where hell exists. But God is present in the just in a special way, obviously, as a matter of grace. He is not present in such a way.
God too lives outside space and time, and so we cannot say that God is here or there, since He exists outside the categories of time and space. This gets into something hard to comprehend.

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