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In this video sermon given by a traditionalist priest the preacher claims that the souls in heaven, and God Himself, look down on the souls in Hell and laugh and rejoice at their torture. I wanted to get your opinions on this issue.

(02-05-2012, 06:49 AM)Aragon Wrote: [ -> ]In this video sermon given by a traditionalist priest the preacher claims that the souls in heaven, and God Himself, look down on the souls in Hell and laugh and rejoice at their torture. I wanted to get your opinions on this issue.

I didn't watch the video, but if it's not different than your description, it's utter bullshit.
If what you say is true, then it should not be understood in such human terms at rejoicing at the suffering of others.

The joy is from God in Heaven. Now, we are stuck with the idea of the effects of our sins and those who have fallen. Do people in Heaven feel sorrow? Not the way we would here. They only have God, and joy in the love of God, which includes His perfect justice.

So, looking down on the damned would, in a sense, be thought to bring sorrow, but that would be contrary to happiness. What then would it bring? Joy in the everlasting justice of God?

After all, in our way, we feel sorrow and pity for those in situations which are not good, even when the situation is their own fault. We may feel pity for those in prison, and want to go visit them, and send them books and letters. But is that a proper attitude for the eternal justice of God?
Fr Pfeiffer clearly states that he is quoting Scripture which is quite different from simply making a claim.

While the Psalms have their own "poetic license" way of putting it, in Catechism it is usually explained that the emphasis is not on rejoicing over another person's pain per se, but on rejoicing over God's Justice. Our understanding here on earth is very limited due to our own attachment to sin. We don't fully comprehend the evil involved in sin and we refuse to take God's word for it so hell is often seen as a bit excessive to say the least. Even if a person would never say that and fully commits themselves to trusting God on the issue, they may still feel a certain sadness over hell simply out of misplaced human compassion. But in heaven, once the intellect is enlightened to the full picture and attachment to sin is purified, that "sorrow" over hell goes away and one is able to rejoice in all aspects of God, even that of His Justice and the existence of hell and all its tortures. Every single soul in hell is there because that was their choice, period. Even they know that and would rejoice in it too if they could. I have vague memories (therefore no links) of stories of apparitions from hell who have admitted as much.

If we feel horror over the stark truth of it, we should. That is the horror of separating ourselves from God. A few selfish gratifications on earth is not worth it in the least and all we can do is pray for more grace to understand this in practice. 
While I agree with the premise, rejoicing in God's justice, the image of saints pointing their fingers at souls in hell, snickering and taunting, neener-neener-neener.. is kindergartenish and unedifying. Of course the Bible is the word of God, but there are athropomorphisms, you know?
I believe this is an exaggeration. When St. Peter says we exist to be made partakers of the divine nature, he means fully. The Christ, the Son of God, is incarnate for our sakes. The Incarnation is done by God for the whole of humanity, even knowing that some will die in sin. He is still incarnate for all men. If God says "my love, my dove, my beautiful one" to each soul, it is meant honestly and truly.

Those who get to Heaven will probably partake in something like sorrow over the damned, sharing the pain of loss over those dead souls with Christ: the God who cries, dies, and lives. Perhaps by justice we will rejoice, but by charity, which is God, we shall infinitely and eternally have compassionate sorrow for them, while yet retaining infinity and eternity as our joy. This is God, this is the divinity to which we are called ontologically by the Lord...
(02-05-2012, 12:17 PM)Laetare Wrote: [ -> ]I believe this is an exaggeration. When St. Peter says we exist to be made partakers of the divine nature, he means fully. The Christ, the Son of God, is incarnate for our sakes. The Incarnation is done by God for the whole of humanity, even knowing that some will die in sin. He is still incarnate for all men. If God says "my love, my dove, my beautiful one" to each soul, it is meant honestly and truly.

Those who get to Heaven will probably partake in something like sorrow over the damned, sharing the pain of loss over those dead souls with Christ: the God who cries, dies, and lives. Perhaps by justice we will rejoice, but by charity, which is God, we shall infinitely and eternally have compassionate sorrow for them, while yet retaining infinity and eternity as our joy. This is God, this is the divinity to which we are called ontologically by the Lord...

Yes, this is a good post. Also keep in mind that the blessed will "know even as we are known."
St. Thomas himself says as much.

It's a valid theological opinion, it's not "bullshit" but I've come to expect this kind of childish reactions from you, Melkite.
A priest I know once said that should we get to Heaven and see how holy God actually is we will realize that whoever is in hell deserves to be there. We will see that God is perfectly holy and perfectly just and be OK with it regardless of who is in hell. Everything will be made clear in Heaven. That much I trust even if I don't fully understand it right here and now.
(02-05-2012, 01:01 PM)Vetus Ordo Wrote: [ -> ]St. Thomas himself says as much.

It's a valid theological opinion, it's not "bullshit" but I've come to expect this kind of childish reactions from you, Melkite.

I'm sorry it bothers you so much that I'm not willing to show Aquinas the same unwavering deference as you, however, Scripture explicitly states that God wills none to perish.  If he does not will people to perish, then he is not in heaven eternally rejoicing at their suffering.  Insofar as Aquinas thought as much, he is wrong.  Anywhere that Aquinas contradicts Scripture, Aquinas is wrong.  Every.  Time.
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