Questions about Hell

I was talking to my friend about the visions of the church about Hell.

I said to him that Hell is a “State”, a “Condition”, where the souls rejects definetely and forever God. Wherever the soul is, that’s gonna be his hell.

Now, he said to me that it was new to him, because he always thought that Hell was the classical vision, of fire, demons of horns and tridents burning souls in cauldrons, and all that stuff.

But now, i was looking to the internet, about the miracle of Fatima in 1917 at Portugal.

It was about the three secrets of Fatima.

The first secret says:
Our Lady showed us a great sea of fire which seemed to be under the earth. Plunged in this fire were demons and souls in human form, like transparent burning embers, all blackened or burnished bronze, floating about in the conflagration, now raised into the air by the flames that issued from within themselves together with great clouds of smoke, now falling back on every side like sparks in a huge fire, without weight or equilibrium, and amid shrieks and groans of pain and despair, which horrified us and made us tremble with fear. The demons could be distinguished by their terrifying and repulsive likeness to frightful and unknown animals, all black and transparent. This vision lasted but an instant. How can we ever be grateful enough to our kind heavenly Mother, who had already prepared us by promising, in the first Apparition, to take us to heaven. Otherwise, I think we would have died of fear and terror.

And then i was reading about Saint Teresa of Avila, I read one of her writings:

"While I was at prayer one day, I found myself in a moment, without knowing how, plunged apparently into Hell. I understood that it was Our Lord’s will that I should see the place which the devils kept in readiness for me, and which I had deserved by my sins. It lasted but for a moment, but it seems to me impossible that I should ever forget it even if I were to live many years.

"The entrance seemed to be by a long narrow pass, like a furnace, very low, dark, and close. The ground seemed to be saturated with water, mere mud, exceedingly foul, sending forth pestilential odors, and covered with loathsome vermin. At the end was a hollow place in the wall like a closet, and in that I saw myself confined. All this was ever pleasant to behold in comparison with what I felt there. There is no exaggeration in what I am saying.

"But as to what I then felt, I do not know where to begin if I were to describe it; it is utterly inexplicable. I felt a fire in my soul but such that I am still unable to describe it. My bodily sufferings were unendurable. I have undergone most painful sufferings in this life, and, as the physicians say, the greatest that can be borne, such as the contraction of my sinews when I was paralyzed, without speaking of other ills of different types - yet, even those of which I have spoken, inflicted on me by Satan; yet all these were as nothing in comparison with what I then felt, especially when I saw that there would be no intermission nor any end to them.

Now I’m confused, can someone help me? It is just a “state” of soul or it is really literally this things?

How about that we just say that it is either a place or a state where we do not want to be. Does that do it for you?

Hell sucks - what else do we need to know?:confused:

Hell is both a state and a place. On earth Hell can be a state of the soul like when Cain slew Able and ran from the face of God. Sinners who live in the world unrepentent live in their own Hell, until they die and go to Hell.

What i really want to know, if after death there is a PLACE which is LITERALLY like it is classical shown, by fire, and cauldrons, and demons with tridents, and this stuff.

Yes there is such a place.

The Fatima visions are legitamite so it’s exactly as the children saw and as the Blessed Virgin Mary explained. (I mean, as she explained it to them.)

Hell has to be defined in a way which we can relate to. A human soul does not occupy a space (as we know it) per se, initially after death - which is the separation of the soul from the body. But the general consensus would seem to be that after the *particular judgement *where our souls are already at their final destination, we shall receive a body just prior to the general judgement at the Resurrection of all the dead.

Quotes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

990 The term “flesh” refers to man in his state of weakness and mortality. The “resurrection of the flesh” (the literal formulation of the Apostles’ Creed) means not only that the immortal soul will live on after death, but that even our “mortal body” will come to life again.

1022 Each man receives his eternal retribution in his immortal soul at the very moment of his death, in a particular judgment that refers his life to Christ: either entrance into the blessedness of heaven-through a purification or immediately, – or immediate and everlasting damnation.

1038 The resurrection of all the dead, “of both the just and the unjust,” will precede the Last Judgment. This will be “the hour when all who are in the tombs will hear [the Son of man’s] voice and come forth, those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment.” Then Christ will come “in his glory, and all the angels with him. . . . Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate them one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will place the sheep at his right hand, but the goats at the left. . . . And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

In these two facets then, Hell makes sense as both a state for the soul, and a place for the body.

St. Faustina’s visit to “the abysses of Hell” recorded in her diary is just as sobering as the vision given to the children of Fatima :

From the Diary of St. Faustina, Divine Mercy in My Soul ; 741

"Today, I was led by an Angel to the chasms of hell. It is a place of great torture; how awesomely large and extensive it is! The kinds of tortures I saw: the first torture that constitutes hell is the loss of God; the second is perpetual remorse of conscience; the third is that one’s condition will never change; the fourth is the fire that will penetrate the soul without destroying it-a terrible suffering, since it is a purely spiritual fire, lit by God’s anger; the fifth torture is continual darkness and a terrible suffocating smell, and, despite the darkness, the devils and the souls of the damned see each other and all the evil, both of others and their own; the sixth torture is the constant company of Satan; the seventh torture is horrible despair, hatred of God, vile words, curses and blasphemies. These are the tortures suffered by all the damned together, but that is not the end of the sufferings. There are special tortures destined for particular souls. These are the torments of the senses. Each soul undergoes terrible and indescribable sufferings, related to the manner in which it has sinned. There are caverns and pits of torture where one form of agony differs from another. I would have died at the very sight of these tortures if the omnipotence of God had not supported me. Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like.

I, Sister Faustina, by the order of God, have visited the abysses of hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence. I cannot speak about it now; but I have received a command from God to leave it in writing. The devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God. What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: that most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell. When I came to, I could hardly recover from the fright. How terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God’s mercy upon them. O my Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend You by the least sin."

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 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.

Modern Catholic Dictionary:

HELL. The place and state of eternal punishment for the fallen angels and human beings who die deliberately estranged from the love of God. There is a twofold punishment in hell: the pain of loss, which consists in the deprivation of the vision of God, and the pain of sense, which consists in the suffering caused by outside material things. The punishment of hell is eternal, as declared by Christ in his prediction of the last day (Matthew 25:46), and as defined by the Fourth Lateran Council, stating that the wicked will “receive a perpetual punishment with the devil” (Denzinger 801). The existence of hell is consistent with divine justice, since God respects human freedom and those who are lost actually condemn themselves by their resistance to the grace of God.

Ok, I asked this of my highschool theo teacher several times and never got a strait answer. The Catholic Idea of hell is compleat and total separation from god, but why would that be a lake of fire??? Why would Satan PUNISH those whe side with him? Wouldn’t a more logical depiction of your hell be some sort of giant sinful rave? I mean obviousely they would bever use that as an example as it is much more attractive than a lake of fire, but it just dosn’t seam to ad up.

I here this often enough from Atheists, so I thought I’d respond specifically to it.

Wouldn’t a more logical depiction of your hell be some sort of giant sinful rave?

It goes like this…

God is not just ‘all-good’ he is the SOURCE of Goodness itself.
This means that by being separated from him… you are LITERALLY separated from GOODness itself.
There can be NOTHING good in hell. If there was anything pleasurable there at all… then God would have to be part of it.

So there can’t be a rave, can’t be ‘allies’ or ‘friends’ can’t be anything fun… for that would be good.

Why would Satan PUNISH those whe side with him?

You misunderstand or underestimate Satan.

  1. You assume he is logical, and not completely evil and psychotic.

  2. You assume that total evil can HAVE allies or appreciate companionship.
    I think both of those are mistakes and show your human preference to goodness and friendship. – which is a good thing, don’t get me wrong.

But who says that Satan has that ability or desires for any of that?

  1. You assume that Satan would like anyone who rejects God. But in doing so, that would show SOME goodness, by portraying the principle or character trait of friendship. Satan can not feel that.

  2. Satan HATES human beings as much as he hates God. God created us, and in Satan’s mind, preferred us over the Angels. He wants nothing more then to seek the ruin of the soul. He’d probably want to destroy the soul, if he had that power, but souls are eternal and Satan can’t destroy one, so his alternative is to cause it pain and torture for all of eternity.
    Doing so not ONLY hurts God but also us as well. WHY would he suddenly side with us and like us once we are in hell? This would show a positive character trait… which he has none.

Then why is sin and evil pleasurable? Wouldn’t it make sense that all the pleasures associated with sin be present in hell?

Haha well I don’t beleave in him sooo… I’m just (no pun intended) playing devils advocate.:stuck_out_tongue:
I’m not suggesting like theistic satanist would that Satan is the good guy because I don’t beleave a singularity of ultimate evil exists.

If you want to know about Hell then listened to Jesus: He says “there will be wailing and knashing of teeth”–He also says “the fire will not be quenched.”

The last time I checked–what Jesus said about Hell is more TRUE than what any theologian who thinks he is wise thinks.

And let us not forget: Satan isn’t the king or ruler of hell, a being set up as an opposite EQUAL of our Lord and Creator. He is, in many ways, hell’s number 1 prisoner.

Sin is ‘sin’ because it misuses moral goods, things which God created for one purpose for another.
In other words it is a misuse of some good.

Sin is ALSO rebellion from God. Putting ourselves in that role (as a god) and claiming that we know better then him.

So sin is NOT hell… They are two different things. Sin is an act. Hell is a place devoid of good.

Sins can seem pleasurable in the short term for the flesh or the mind. But they do not satisfy us long term. Thus we tend to do them over and over again.

Drugs, for instance, can be temporarily pleasurable, but they do not fulfill us, long term. We crave more… we do all sorts of terrible things which the drug addict him/herself would agree are bad… in order to satisfy the craving or stop the withdrawal.

The drug itself may have a legit use… or may be a combination of OTHER chemicals that have legit uses (meth) Therefore, in all cases… illedgal drug addiction is a mis use of a legitimate good.

Hell is the absense of good. - A totally different thing. Sin may lead you down a path that ultimately results in total rejection of God. But there is no “sin” in Hell… just terrible evil devoid of God.

Ultimately, it is possible for us to get temporary pleasure from a sin only because God IS in this world. We are not totally separate from him. So good exists in this universe.

Hell, unfortunately is not like that.

Haha well I don’t beleave in him sooo… I’m just (no pun intended) playing devils advocate.:stuck_out_tongue:
I’m not suggesting like theistic satanist would that Satan is the good guy because I don’t beleave a singularity of ultimate evil exists.

Be careful… especially when you laugh at sincere responses. It is one thing to seek understanding… it is another to poke holes in an idea or an effort that you don’t care about or aren’t actually vested in.

For instance… for me to argue with a Sports fanatic is kinda immature and insincere because I really don’t care about sports, therefore are not vested in anyway with the argument. The sports fanatic takes it seriously… as for me… I’m just TROLLING and upsetting a person for no reason.

It’s a finer line then most realize. A subjective thing. So be careful.

You can argue that Satan is or isn’t a true being. I’m open to that idea. However, a state of total rejection to “Good” is logically possible, and so in a philosophical sense… the concepts do have merit.

What I am categorically opposed to is the idea that a place of total anarchy and debauchery would be like a ‘rave’
What’s funny is that so many atheists all use the same imagery of a ‘rave’ environment as what they suggest Hell might be like.
I’ve never gone to a rave…but I hear this all the time.

IF there is debauchery and wildness… it is aimed at the OTHERS in Hell. Meaning the very people who inhabit it.
If it is all about SIN… then there will be sins being committed AGAINST each other. Does that sound like fun?
For instance… “rape” is a sin… So in hell… people are getting raped.

I’m sorry I wasn’t trying to be disrespectful, I wasn’t laughing at anyone but just in general. I’m not here to troll, that was actualy a lag it question my thei teachers alwase dodged back in highschool so I was wondering if anyone had a better answer about the Christian version of Hell.

:slight_smile: thanks, then no offense taken Just hard to tell on the inter-web. :smiley:

I think Agnostics and non-theists are a good addition to this forum, along with our Protestant brethren. It challenges us as well as allows us an opportunity to practice Apologetics. Which, at the end of the day, is why I am here.

Hell in itself is a temporary prison for the soul, with no good. In Hell you can’t touch each other, so it is just basically stand there and be tormented, and you can’t do anything about it.

Ok, I asked this of my highschool theo teacher several times and never got a strait answer. The Catholic Idea of hell is compleat and total separation from god, but why would that be a lake of fire??? Why would Satan PUNISH those whe side with him? Wouldn’t a more logical depiction of your hell be some sort of giant sinful rave? I mean obviousely they would bever use that as an example as it is much more attractive than a lake of fire, but it just dosn’t seam to ad up.

The lake of fire that is described in the Bible is the same thing as the molten lava that is under your feet, just miles down. When the resurection acures the damned are let out of the prison of Hell and reunited with body, the body will still have the same injuries and same problems(with the same pain) with it as it was in the life they had plus the molestation done to it, as in the cutting up of the body that is done when they remove the organs and embomb u at the correnors, so if your body was sliced open in a morge to find out your cause of death, then you keep those scares for all eternety. Once you are and you aren’t judged by God, because you lost him, you are judged by Peter and the rest of the people that made it, you are then thrown into the molten lava that sits under the crust of the earth.

Sorry but I don’t understand what you mean by “Hell in itself is a temporary prison for the soul”. Souls that go to Hell are there forever. It is not temporary. There is no release.

As for the fires of Hell see this from the Modern Catholic Dictionary:

FIRE OF HELL. The physical reality, outside the person, by which those in hell are punished besides their loss of the vision of God. It is called fire in the Scriptures to emphasize the excruciating pain it causes, and to identify it as some external agent tormenting the lost. But it is not ordinary fire, since it does not consume what it burns, and, although material, it can affect the purely spiritual substance of the soul.

The body needs to be resurected for it to be judged, meaning that the soul reunites with the body, meaning that isn’t in hell anymore, but now it is back in the physical plain of existance where you are judged in the physical world, then thrown into the Lake of Fire or the molten lave under the earths’ crust. If Hell was forever, then there wouldn’t be a resurection of the body, or a judgement of the dead.

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