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Full Version: Souls in heaven rejoicing at the sight of the damned?
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(02-06-2012, 11:29 AM)StrictCatholicGirl Wrote: [ -> ]
(02-06-2012, 02:34 AM)Mithrandylan Wrote: [ -> ]I think part of the problem is the wording.  "Rejoicing at the sight of the damned" and "Rejoicing over God's justice" can be construed as the same thing, but the latter is a better description.  We are not rejoicing because people are suffering for eternity (their suffering is not the cause of our rejoicing) but we are rejoicing in God's justice, and God is the cause of our rejoicing.  In Heaven our souls are completely uniformed to God's will and we would bask and revel in His glory, and part of His glory is His justice, which is no better manifested than by the souls of Hell.  But God is the cause of that rejoicing, the souls in Hell are not per se.

BUT.. and here I go repeating myself  again…. that is what I was saying too. I agree with everything you say. Part of the problem is the wording, but I objected also to the "reality" of God and the saints “laughing at the damned” and “rejoicing at every torture” as the priest in the video described. We don't delight in the existence of hell, even though hell is an act of God's justice.. We would rather there be no hell at all in the sense that Adam and Eve never sinned to begin with, or in the sense that everyone came to salvation. Maybe this is too hard for us (me) to take in. When you take the Bible as a whole – and especially when Jesus intervenes in human history – you get a complete picture. Our Lord had harsh words for the Pharisees and warnings for the unrepentant. I never got the impression, however, that Jesus took glee in the punishment of lost souls, though their punishments are just. What I object to, really, is the preaching method of this priest and his literal interpretation of scripture. Yes, it's a good old fashioned hellfire and brimstone, and maybe we need more of that these days, but not to the distraction of the rest of scripture. I could read Jonathan Edwards' "Sinners in the hands of an angry God"and come away with the same reaction. Different stroke for different folks, I guess.
:shrug:

I didn't watch the video, so I can't really respond to that part.

By and large, it's impossible to fully understand because we're talking about a potential situation that can only be experienced by God himself, His angels and those who are saved.  And once we are in Heaven, it's not just a locality of a reality but a state.  One cannot "leave" Heaven, so as someone pointed out above, we couldn't see Hell from Heaven and suddenly be overcome with sorrow.  At that point, we are consumed by Heaven, by God. 

When I think of being in Heaven rejoicing at the sight of the damned, I have an impossible time trying to envision it.  The best I can get to is being in Heaven and rejoicing at God's justice, and rejoicing at God-- it seems like a perfectly empty and stupid thing to do, to be in Heaven spending your time looking into Hell.  But what do I know?  (seriously).  I have serious doubts that those in Heaven spend any real time (of course they don't, it's eternity, I know) looking at the damned.  They will look at God instead.

I think you might be picturing the elect leaning over a cloud and laughing tauntingly at the souls in Hell.  That is not how I picture it, in fact, I can't really picture people in Heaven looking into Hell at all.
Speaking of looking over clouds, I have also heard (and again I can't remember where so I can't say if it's fact, fiction, legend, speculation or what, so take from it what you will) that God allows the damned to see the triumphant as another form of punishment. If this is true it is possible that it is a more passive "mockery" on the parts of the triumphant, that their simple presence in heaven mocks the damned and tortures them. In that sense the mockery in the mean sense that we think of it would be in the minds of the damned because as we all agree the saints would be focused on the Beatific Vision and aren't literally laughing over the clouds at the damned.

Even here on earth, if you're the observant type, you've noticed occasions when the mere good example of another is a thorn and huge source of irritation to those who have chosen otherwise. Not only that but if they can, they take a special kind of delight in ruining that good in the other person. I've experienced it myself (being irritated by a good example) to a lesser degree and I can imagine and have seen in others that multiplying that by eternity would be an immense source of gnashing of teeth. Not because they regret their choice and want a do-over but because they can no longer spread their evil and take the good down with them. Just seeing that innocence and not being able to act on their hatred of it would be hell for them in itself.

I think when anyone has difficulty imagining being happy over hell it's truly because there's an underestimation of evil. If we don't have it in our hearts it's hard to imagine anyone having it in theirs and we tend to want to think they just don't know better or make other excuses (especially with modern psychology). But we have many real world monsters in the past and present who show us otherwise on a daily basis. I don't delve into it in detail because as overwhelmingly beautiful as it is to contemplate the good that God must be, so it is that overwhelmingly horrible (in the true sense of horror) to contemplate the depths of evil. But I think it is wise to harden one's heart against it and its followers and fully entrust what we don't completely understand about it to God.
An interesting few stanzas from St. Ephrem the Syrian's first Hymn on Paradise.  It is important to note that in Ephrem's poetic imagination, Paradise is atop a mountain, separated from Gehenna by an impassable chasm, yet the denizens of both can see the other.
Quote:The children of light
  dwell on the heights of Paradise,
and beyond the Abyss
  they espy the rich man;
he too, as he raises his eyes,
  beholds Lazarus,
and calls out to Abraham
  to have pity on him.
But Abraham, that man so full of pity,
  who even had pity on Sodom,
has no pity yonder
  for him who showed no pity.

The Abyss severs any love
  which might act as a mediary,
thus preventing the love of the just
  from being bound to the wicked,
so that the good should not be tortured
  by their sight, in Gehenna,
of their children or brothers
  or family--
a mother, who had denied Christ,
  imploring mercy from her son
or her maid or her daughter,
  who all had suffered affliction for the sake of Christ's teaching.

There the persecuted laugh
  at their persecutors,
the afflicted at those who had caused them affliction,
  the slain at those who had put them to death,
the Prophets at those who had stoned them,
  the Apostles at those who had crucified them.
The children of light reside
  in their lofty abode
and, as they gaze on the wicked
  and count their evil actions,
they are amazed to what extent these people
  have cut off all hope by committing such iniquity.
Perhaps this part of Apocalypse 18 is what the traditionalist priest in the video is thinking of.  Heaven, and the holy apostles and prophets will rejoice over the fall of Babylon but I doubt they will laugh and rejoice at the tortured damned in hell.  The damned might think they are being laughed at by those in heaven because the damned know they will never get to heaven or see God.

Quote:[16] And saying: Alas! alas! that great city, which was clothed with fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and was gilt with gold, and precious stones, and pearls. [17] For in one hour are so great riches come to nought; and every shipmaster, and all that sail into the lake, and mariners, and as many as work in the sea, stood afar off. [18] And cried, seeing the place of her burning, saying: What city is like to this great city? [19] And they cast dust upon their heads, and cried, weeping and mourning, saying: Alas! alas! that great city, wherein all were made rich, that had ships at sea, by reason of her prices: for in one hour she is made desolate. [20] Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath judged your judgment on her.

[21] And a mighty angel took up a stone, as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying: With such violence as this shall Babylon, that great city, be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. [22] And the voice of harpers, and of musicians, and of them that play on the pipe, and on the trumpet, shall no more be heard at all in thee; and no craftsman of any art whatsoever shall be found any more at all in thee; and the sound of the mill shall be heard no more at all in thee; [23] And the light of the lamp shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth, for all nations have been deceived by thy enchantments. [24] And in her was found the blood of prophets and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth.
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