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Old 10th November 2007, 04:40 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Default TS 8e: More on Hell

1. Christ descended into Hell.

"He descended into Hell." (The Apostles' Creed).

Therefore, the sufferings in Hell are just punishments directly from God, and not merely the suffering of souls and devils left to themselves to torment one another. If the punishments in Hell are not directly from the power of God, then Christ would not have descended there. For Christ acts with power and authority, over Heaven, earth, Purgatory, and even Hell. If Christ did not have power and authority over Hell, then Scripture would not have said:

[Romans]
{14:9} For Christ died and rose again for this purpose: that he might be the ruler of both the dead and the living.
{14:11} For it is written: "As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bend to me, and every tongue shall confess to God."

[Philippians 2]
{2:8} He humbled himself, becoming obedient even unto death, even the death of the Cross.
{2:9} Because of this, God has also exalted him and has given him a name which is above every name,
{2:10} so that, at the name of Jesus, every knee would bend, of those in heaven, of those on earth, and of those in hell,
{2:11} and so that every tongue would confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

If Christ is the ruler over all the living and all the dead, and if every knee shall bend to him, and every tongue confess his Lordship, even "those in Hell," then God does not abandon the devils and souls in Hell to themselves, but instead directly wills and causes the active sufferings of the damned in Hell.

2. Hell is prepared in advance by God

[Matthew]
{25:41} Then he shall also say, to those who will be on his left: 'Depart from me, you accursed ones, into the eternal fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels.'

"I acknowledge, too, that the eternal fires and the infernal flames have been prepared in advance for capital deeds, because divine judgment, which they deservedly incur, who have not believed these [truths] with their whole heart, justly follows those who persist in human sins." (Denzinger, 160b; Council of Arles)

Therefore, the just punishments of Hell are not merely punishments inflicted by the devils and souls in Hell upon one another, nor are the punishments of Hell a mere abandonment of God, leaving the damned unattended, but instead the just punishments of Hell are inflicted by God directly, for He prepared the place and the fires of that infliction in advance.

3. After the general Resurrection, human persons condemned to Hell will also suffer bodily punishments.

"For I confess that all men … will then rise again and stand before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one may receive the proper things of the body, according as he has done, whether it be good or bad [Rom. 9:23; II Cor. 5:10]; and indeed by the very bountiful grace of God he will present the just, as vessels of mercy prepared beforehand for glory [Rom. 9:23], with the rewards of eternal life; namely, they will live without end in the society of the angels without any fear now of their own fall; the wicked, however, remaining by choice of their own with vessels of wrath fit for destruction [Rom. 9:22], who either did not know the way of the Lord, or knowing it left it when seized by various transgressions, He will give over by a very just judgment to the punishment of eternal and inextinguishable fire, that they may burn without end." (Denzinger, 228a; letter 'Humani Generis' 557 A.D.)

[Acts]
{24:15} having a hope in God, which these others themselves also expect, that there will be a future resurrection of the just and the unjust.

Now it is God himself who give the resurrected unjust bodies befitting of their wicked lives, and this is forever thereafter a part of their just punishment, given to them by God miraculously. Therefore, God chooses and directly will the punishment of the unjust in Hell, even going so far as to resurrect the unjust, miraculously, in order that they might be punished in both body and soul thereafter. The punishments of Hell after the Resurrection of the unjust include tortures of the body as well as the soul.

4. The punishments of Hell include passive deprivation, as well as active torments.

"The punishment of original sin is deprivation of the vision of God, but the punishment of actual sin is the torments of everlasting Hell…." (Denzinger 410; Pope Innocent III)

Hell includes three types of punishments: what is absent, what is present, and the character of what is present.

a. The primary suffering of Hell is deprivation of the Beatific Vision of God, but also deprivation of the communion of the saints and all the joys and blessings of Heaven.

b. The secondary suffering of Hell is the active punishments, which are properly and accurately referred to as torments and tortures, and which are directly inflicted by the will of God, in just and measured proportion to the kind and degree of the sin being punished. These punishments are exemplified by the expression 'fires of Hell,' but they include various types of directly willed and directly inflicted sufferings in soul and (after the general Resurrection) in body.

c. The tertiary suffering of Hell is the character of the suffering, which is in accord, not merely with the degree of the sins being punished, but with the kind of sin. Thus, two sinners in Hell might suffer the same degree of punishment, but with different types of punishment according to the type of sin. This character of suffering also is affected by the other persons in Hell, both human and angelic. Now the joys of Heaven have a certain character, in addition to the degree of happiness, which flows both from the particular virtues and good deeds of each one's life, as well as from the particular unique individuals, human and angelic, who share those joys in the communion of the saints. But the torments of Hell also have a certain character, which flows both from the particular vices and wicked deeds of each one's life, as well as from the particular unique individuals, human and angelic, who share those torments within a type of communion of the damned.

5. Hell is both a torture and a just punishment from God

"Moreover, we declare that according to the common arrangement of God, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin immediately after their death descend to hell where they are tortured by infernal punishments, and that nevertheless on the day of judgment all men with their bodies will make themselves ready to render an account of their own deeds before the tribunal of Christ, 'so that everyone may receive the proper things of the body according as he has done whether it be good or evil' [II Cor. 5:10]." (Denzinger 531; Pope Benedict XII, On the Beatific Vision of God).

Hell includes torture and just punishments, and, after the general Resurrection, these will include tortures of the body as well as of the soul.
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Old 11th November 2007, 01:46 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Here is a good article on Hell from catholic.com
with many quotes from Church fathers.
http://www.catholic.com/library/Hell_There_Is.asp



Ron
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Old 11th November 2007, 02:09 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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As I have previously stated in another thread on Hell,
Hell is a place of both justice and mercy. For in God,
Justice and Mercy are exactly the same.

"In the darkness of Hell Your Mercy shines, for the damned do not receive the pains they deserve; with Your Mercy You temper Justice."
St. Catherine of Siena, the Dialogue

But if the just punishments of Hell are both just and merciful,
then these punishments must be directly willed and caused by
God. For the unjust in Hell have no justice and no mercy in themselves;
otherwise, they would not be condemned to Hell.

other quotes from the Dialogue:
"[the soul] arrives at eternal damnation. And then she is reproved cruelly by My Justice...."
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Old 11th November 2007, 05:03 PM
Climacus Areopagite Climacus Areopagite is offline
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thank you,

perhaps another sign that the tribulation is about to fall upon us is that in general the inhabitants of the earth today either explicitly or implicitly deny the existence of Hell. And even those who believe in Hell, choose not to consider it and dwell upon it.

This is pathetic since throughout history even religions not lead by Tradition, Scripture and Magisterium tended to acknowledge some sort of place in the after life where evil people are punished and suffer.
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Old 11th November 2007, 06:47 PM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default Does mercy extend to hell?

Ron, how is hell merciful? Is it merely a case that "it could be worse"?

If one is tortured for all eternity and knows with certainty that one will never see God, where is the mercy there?

I know and accept that God is merciful and just, but I have trouble seeing how this mercy extends to those damned forever.
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Old 11th November 2007, 07:01 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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See my explanation of the mercy and justice of Hell:
http://catholicplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1343

to summarize, the punishments of Hell are just, and are never ending, and are severe, but they are significantly less than what mere justice untempered by mercy would measure out. Also, any truly good acts done by the soul in this life will further temper the sufferings of Hell for that person forever. Also the punishments of Hell are exactly tailored to the sins of the individual.

Only God could dispense such perfect, just, and merciful punishments forever.
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Old 13th November 2007, 12:54 PM
garabandalg garabandalg is offline
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Default Truly we are blind or myopic to such moral accuracy and precision

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Conte View Post
See my explanation of the mercy and justice of Hell:
http://catholicplanet.net/forum/showthread.php?t=1343

to summarize, the punishments of Hell are just, and are never ending, and are severe, but they are significantly less than what mere justice untempered by mercy would measure out. Also, any truly good acts done by the soul in this life will further temper the sufferings of Hell for that person forever. Also the punishments of Hell are exactly tailored to the sins of the individual.

Only God could dispense such perfect, just, and merciful punishments forever.

I guess it is fair to say that God's moral precisison is such that no mere human such as we are could ever truly conceive of it. Our moral perception is so blurred, superficial and clumsy as to be incapable of understanding the kind of moral accuracy you describe. Only the true Master of Moral Justice could exact such precision.
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Old 13th June 2008, 12:41 AM
Shane Shane is offline
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Do prayers for a soul in Hell benefit them in any way, just as one might pray for the souls in Purgatory?
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Old 13th June 2008, 12:49 AM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shane View Post
Do prayers for a soul in Hell benefit them in any way, just as one might pray for the souls in Purgatory?

There is no benefit at all from our prayers to any soul or spirit in Hell.
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Old 13th June 2008, 12:51 AM
Angela Angela is offline
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And that's because hell is final. There is no going back for that individual. There are no 'second chances' once a soul has chosen to reject the Savior.
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