I do not see how those two views conflict. I wrote an analogy of it in a blog. Think of it as the unwanted suitor. A man who loves a girl so much, so true, the man being God in this analogy. The girl, who is any human in sin, only sees the presence of the loving man as a source of pain for her because she doesn’t want to be loved by this man. No matter what the man does, send her flowers, write poems (do people do these things this day?), send her other precious gifts, all she feels is hatred for the man’s love.
Tell me, are they together or separated? I think this view is wonderful and shows a more faithful image that God never stops loving us even when we are in hell. It is those who are in hell are the ones who refuse to accept this love and have lost the ability to accept this love. Thus the separation.
Thank you. That analogy works for me because I was often the scorn lover prior to meeting my wife
But hey, if I got any of those women, I may not be as happy as I am today. God knows whats best for us
I actually got it from a quote from Mark of Ephesus so said that all souls upon death are exposed to the same fire of God’s divine love. Only that it depends on the state of our soul how we experience that fire. Bliss for those who are in communion with Him, purification for those who are defiled yet seek friendship with Him, and suffering for those who reject Him. That is a paraphrase
I’ve been reading up on St. Mark of Ephesus. Pardon that I call him a Saint, the Orthodox do and the Catholics don’t. I know he was hard on the Catholic Church, but I think his explanation of Orthodox faith was brilliant. I just wish he practiced more charity and didn’t have to call the Roman Catholics a bunch of heretics. But that tirade aside, I think he is a great defender of the faith.
Just a warning, he is Orthodox and is on the Orthodox side of a heated debate about Purgatory. As I mentioned in my previous post, I think his explanation of the faith is brilliant. But I think he needs a little bit more dose of charity. I don’t think reading his works is for the faint of heart, if one is Catholic. Just learn to filter stuff.
That was good reading, but I still can’t seem to reconcile the two fully.
The encyclopedia above states:
“It is further objected that the sole object of punishment must be to reform the evil-doer. This is not true. Besides punishments inflicted for correction, there are also punishments for the satisfaction of justice. But justice demands that whoever departs from the right way in his search for happiness shall not find his happiness, but lose it.” Encyclopedia
This is the Orthodox view:
Consequently, paradise and hell are not a reward or a punishment (condemnation), but the way that we individually experience the sight of Christ, depending on the condition of our heart. God doesn’t punish in essence, although, for educative purposes, the Scripture does mention punishment. The more spiritual that one becomes, the better he can comprehend the language of the Scripture and Sacred Tradition. Man’s condition (clean-unclean, repentant-unrepentant) is the factor that determines the acceptance of the Light as “paradise” or “hell”.
How can they be reconciled if one side believes it to be a punishment, and the other believes it is the individual experience of Christ?
If God punished for educational purposes, then that means that, once the “lesson” has been learned, the punishment will stop.
Eastern Orthodoxy doesn’t teach that “eternal damnation” will stop. So, the “discomfort” felt in eternal damnation is not for educational purposes, because (presumably) the person in eternal hell will never “learn”.
However, there is a widespread teaching in Eastern Orthodoxy (not universally accepted, though) that even “eternal hell” is a result of a person’s experience of the Love of God: God’s Love is experienced as pain and suffering, to those people who reject His Love.
Well, it seems to me that there is a lot of room for thought on the subject then. I believe the latter that you put forth. And that’s the teaching of the OCA. (At least from the priest I learned from.) It seems to be very widely held. I’d be interested on seeing how the Orthodox differ on the subject. Any good links?
I agree that most Orthodox I’ve met agree with the idea that eternal damnation is God’s Love being felt as painful.
I think we also have to be aware that for the Orthodox, the word “hell” can have two, very different meanings. “Hell” can mean “eternal damnation” – in which case, a more accurate word would be “gehenna”. “Hell” can also mean the place one exists after death, but before the Last Judgement – in which case, a more accurate word would be “hades”. (I actually prefer to not use “hell” at all, and just use one or the other of these two words.)
In Orthodoxy, everyone goes to “hades” at death, which is why Jesus went there, too, as described here.
In Orthodoxy, it commonly taught that it is only at the Last Judgement, that some persons enter into gehenna, and some into salvation. But what is common to both persons, is that they both enter into the presence of God’s Love, as described here. God’s Love is a “river of Fire”, and will be pleasant or painful, according to one’s spiritual state.
I suspect that most Eastern Catholics subscribe to the Orthodox perspective on these issues, a perspective, I might add, which is not inherently contradictory to the Latin perspective.
So are Catholics (Eastern and Western) permitted to hold the view that God’s presence is hell for the eternally damned? I only ask because I’ve been going back and forth between Eastern Catholicism and Orthodoxy. I love eastern spirituality, but I’m kind of confused on the role it plays in Catholicism. I would have no problem becoming an Eastern Catholic as long as I know that outside of papal authority and the filioque, my beliefs would be completely accepted. I see the filioque and papal authority to be a non-issue.