Tag: heaven

Do The Saints In Heaven Suffer Emotionally If Their Loved Ones Are In Hell? 

Do The Saints In Heaven Suffer Emotionally If Their Loved Ones Are In Hell? 

A theologian responds: Our relationship with God prevails over bonds of affection.

In Christian theology, the beatific vision (Latin: visio beatifica) is the ultimate direct self communication of God to the individual person. A person possessing the beatific vision reaches, as a member of redeemed humanity in the communion of saints, perfect salvation in its entirety, i.e. heaven.

Now, While enjoying the beatific vision, will the blessed in Heaven suffer, if they have loved ones in Hell?

For an answer to this question, we turn to Giacomo Canobbio, a professor of systematic theology at the Theology School of Northern Italy. “The question,” Canobbio told Aleteia, “presupposes that relationships after death are like those in our present life. It’s inevitable that we think that way: it’s the only way we know, because we have no experience at all of life after death, and the accounts of those who claim to have arrived at the threshold of Heaven and to have returned then to this world are totally unfounded. Affective relationships are pillars of human existence and bring with them joy or suffering, according to how the people we love rejoice or suffer.”

Full or empty?

The question, Canobbio continues, “also presupposes that there are people in Hell. In past years, some people have disseminated the idea that Hell is empty because God, who loves His children, could not bear to see them suffer forever. We need to clarify that no one can say if Hell is empty or full. It’s worth remembering that the Church can proclaim someone to be a saint, but cannot declare whether anyone is damned. Therefore, we cannot state with certainty that Hell is purely imaginary. What is in play is the seriousness of our relationship with God, which entails responsibility, the twin sister of freedom.”

Like when a sick person isn’t at a wedding.

Therefore, that being said, supposing that someone I love were in Hell and I were in Heaven, how could I be happy, knowing that the person is in a situation of terrible suffering? “The question brings another along with it: How can God be in the fullness of beatitude if some of His children, for whom Jesus Christ gave His life, do not come to participate in the beatitude for which He destined them? To use an example: Could we imagine a wedding banquet made joyless because someone connected to the spouses by ties of affection is sick in the hospital? This is just an example that helps us to understand that, as important as affective relationships are, they are not the source of beatitude; rather, our relationship with God is.”

The damned

Moreover, the theologian continues, “any description of Hell must specify that those who are damned are cut off from any and every affective relationship: their decision to build their life without accepting a loving relationship with God deprives them of every other relationship, and therefore also of that with their loved ones who are in heaven.”

In fact, if such relationships were to remain, “they would not be deprived of all consolation, and therefore, they would not be in Hell.”

Relationship with God

“What I have said,” Canobbio warns, “are merely a few hesitant words regarding hypothetical situations. What it would seem could be said with fair plausibility is that the source of beatitude in Heaven does not depend on the relationships we had during our earthly life; rather, it arises from our relationship with God.”

Just one, all-satisfying emotion.

Consequently, are the souls that are in Heaven able to perceive and to experience emotions in response to what happens to them? Here, the theologian is clear: “In the description of beatitude, we must include all aspects of human existence. Regarding emotions, we most certainly cannot deny their existence. Still, a clarification is needed: there is only one emotion in Heaven, namely that of fullness and satisfaction, because [people in Heaven] have reached the goal for which human persons are destined.”

“We will see and we will love”

Lastly, in the scholastic tradition, Canobbio concludes, “the accent was placed on ‘vision’ and therefore the satisfaction of the intellect. However, there was also a line of thought—of Augustinian origin—that placed the accent on the affective aspect, joining it to the intellectual dimension: we will see, and we will love. And, there is no satisfaction that does not include emotion, even if that emotion isn’t conceived of as an alternation of moods.”



A Study Of The Doctrine Of Hell: Proportionate Gifts For Those In Heaven And Proportionate Sufferings For Those In Hell 

A Study Of The Doctrine Of Hell: Proportionate Gifts For Those In Heaven And Proportionate Sufferings For Those In Hell 


Proportionate Gifts For Those in Heaven AND Proportionate Sufferings For Those in Hell

The Catholic Catechism states:

Again at the Last Judgment all men get their bodies back and each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare and it is revealed to all even to its furthest consequences, the good each person has done or failed to do (CCC 1039). 

At this time the saved will enjoy the Blessed or Beatific Vision proportionate to how they lived their lives. In other words people who had a higher degree of holiness attained in their life (through the grace of God), will enjoy Heaven for all eternity more than if they would have attained a lower degree of holiness in their lifetime. 

St. Therese of Lesieux used the famous analogy that all in Heaven have their own drinking cup completely full. She stated some have a full large drinking mug while others have a full thimble to illustrate this point of proportionate heavenly blessings. 

Likewise, the people who are condemned to hell and rejected God in a more complete fashion, will undergo greater punishments and torments in hell for all eternity than someone who rejected God, but to a lesser extent. The punishment of the damned is proportioned to each one’s guilt. There is not equality of pain for those in hell but rather a disparity based on their guilt in this life, or as the Council of Lyons and Florence asserted: 

The souls of the damned are punished with unequal punishments (‘poenis tamen disparibus puniendas‘). 

St. Augustine in the 400’s A.D. affirmed that justice demands that punishment be proportional to the guilt of a person: ‘In their wretchedness the lot of some of the damned will be more tolerable than that of others.’ We will look at this in more detail later, including things that our Lord Jesus said about this in the Gospels and St. Paul’s reaffirmations of these warnings in Romans 2:5-9, 2 Corinthians 5:10, and elsewhere.

…to be continued

30 Questions And Answers On The Last Judgement, The Resurrection, Heaven, Hell And Purgatory 

30 Questions And Answers On The Last Judgement, The Resurrection, Heaven, Hell And Purgatory 

Q. 1371. When will Christ judge us?

A. Christ will judge us immediately after our death, and on the last day.


Q. 1372. What is the judgment called which we have to undergo immediately after death?

A. The judgment we have to undergo immediately after death is called the Particular Judgment.


Q. 1373. Where will the particular judgment be held?

A. The particular judgment will be held in the place where each person dies, and the soul will go immediately to its reward or punishment.


Q. 1374. What is the judgment called which all men have to undergo on the last day?

A. The judgment which all men have to undergo on the last day is called the General Judgment.


Q. 1375. Will the sentence given at the particular judgment be changed at the general judgment?

A. The sentence given at the particular judgment will not be changed at the general judgment, but it will be repeated and made public to all.


Q. 1376. Why does Christ judge men immediately after death?

A. Christ judges men immediately after death to reward or punish them according to their deeds.


Q. 1377. How may we daily prepare for our judgment?

A. We may daily prepare for our judgment by a good examination of conscience, in which we will discover our sins and learn to fear the punishment they deserve.


Q. 1378. What are the rewards or punishments appointed for men’s souls after the Particular Judgment?

A. The rewards or punishments appointed for men’s souls after the Particular Judgment are Heaven, Purgatory, and Hell.


Q. 1379. What is Hell?

A. Hell is a state to which the wicked are condemned, and in which they are deprived of the sight of God for all eternity, and are in dreadful torments.


Q. 1380. Will the damned suffer in both mind and body?

A. The damned will suffer in both mind and body, because both mind and body had a share in their sins. The mind suffers the “pain of loss” in which it is tortured by the thought of having lost God forever, and the body suffers the “pain of sense” by which it is tortured in all its members and senses.


Q. 1381. What is Purgatory?

A. Purgatory is the state in which those suffer for a time who die guilty of venial sins, or without having satisfied for the punishment due to their sins.


Q. 1382. Why is this state called Purgatory?

A. This state is called Purgatory because in it the souls are purged or purified from all their stains; and it is not, therefore, a permanent or lasting state for the soul.


Q. 1383. Are the souls in Purgatory sure of their salvation?

A. The souls in Purgatory are sure of their salvation, and they will enter heaven as soon as they are completely purified and made worthy to enjoy that presence of God which is called the Beatific Vision.


Q. 1384. Do we know what souls are in Purgatory, and how long they have to remain there?

A. We do not know what souls are in Purgatory nor how long they have to remain there; hence we continue to pray for all persons who have died apparently in the true faith and free from mortal sin. They are called the faithful departed.


Q. 1385. Can the faithful on earth help the souls in Purgatory?

A. The faithful on earth can help the souls in Purgatory by their prayers, fasts, alms, deeds; by indulgences, and by having Masses said for them.


Q. 1386. Since God loves the souls in Purgatory, why does He punish them?

A. Though God loves the souls in Purgatory, He punishes them because His holiness requires that nothing defiled may enter heaven and His justice requires that everyone be punished or rewarded according to what he deserves.


Q. 1387. If every one is judged immediately after death, what need is there of a general judgment?

A. There is need of a general judgment, though every one is judged immediately after death, that the providence of God, which, on earth, often permits the good to suffer and the wicked to prosper, may in the end appear just before all men.


Q. 1388. What is meant by “the Providence of God”?

A. By “the Providence of God” is meant the manner in which He preserves, provides for, rules and governs the world and directs all things by His infinite Will.


Q. 1389. Are there other reasons for the general judgment?

A. There are other reasons for the general judgment, and especially that Christ Our Lord may receive from the whole world the honor denied Him at His first coming, and that all may be forced to acknowledge Him their God and Redeemer.


Q. 1390. Will our bodies share in the reward or punishment of our souls?

A. Our bodies will share in the reward or punishment of our souls, because through the resurrection they will again be united to them.


Q. 1391. When will the general resurrection or rising of all the dead take place?

A. The general resurrection or rising of all the dead will take place at the general judgment, when the same bodies in which we lived on earth will come forth from the grave and be united to our souls and remain united with them forever either in heaven or in hell.


Q. 1392. In what state will the bodies of the just rise?

A. The bodies of the just will rise glorious and immortal.


Q. 1393. Will the bodies of the damned also rise?

A. The bodies of the damned will also rise, but they will be condemned to eternal punishment.


Q. 1394. Why do we show respect for the bodies of the dead?

A. We show respect for the bodies of the dead because they were the dwelling-place of the soul, the medium through which it received the Sacraments, and because they were created to occupy a place in heaven.


Q. 1395. What is Heaven?

A. Heaven is the state of everlasting life in which we see God face to face, are made like unto Him in glory, and enjoy eternal happiness.


Q. 1396. In what does the happiness in heaven consist?

A. The happiness in heaven consists in seeing the beauty of God, in knowing Him as He is, and in having every desire fully satisfied.


Q. 1397. What does St. Paul say of heaven?

A. St. Paul says of heaven, “That eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man what things God hath prepared for them that love Him.” (I. Cor. ii., 9).


Q. 1398. Are the rewards in heaven and the punishments in hell the same for all who enter into either of these states?

A. The rewards of heaven and the punishments in hell are not the same for all who enter into either of these states, because each one’s reward or punishment is in proportion to the amount of good or evil he has done in this world. But as heaven and hell are everlasting, each one will enjoy his reward or suffer his punishment forever.


Q. 1399. What words should we bear always in mind?

A. We should bear always in mind these words of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul, or what exchange shall a man give for his soul? For the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then will He render to every man according to his works.”


Q. 1400. Name some of the more essential religious truths we must know and believe.

A. Some of the more essential religious truths we must know and believe are:

1. That there is but one God, and He will reward the good and punish the wicked.

2. That in God there are three Divine Persons: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and these Divine Persons are called the Blessed Trinity.

3. That Jesus Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, became man and died for our redemption.

4. That the grace of God is necessary for our salvation.

5.That the human soul is immortal.

Texas Doctor Dies And Meets Jesus In Heaven – Comes Back To Life A Second Time. 

Texas Doctor Dies And Meets Jesus In Heaven – Comes Back To Life A Second Time. 

Man Meets Jesus in the After Life …”Gerry, you are healed. You will have no more pain, no anxiety, no shame, no guilt, but I want you to go back. “

Dr. Gerry was an anesthesiologist at the University of Texas Health Center he was well acquainted with the symptoms of a heart attack. But this time, the M.D. wasn’t examining someone else – he was grappling with troubling signs of his own.

At home, Dr. Gerry Landry, 55, felt overwhelming fatigue and crushing pain in his chest for more than an hour.

Dennis! This is serious! Please pray!” he called out to his wife.

His wife began to pray after she called an ambulance. She also called Christian friends to pray. “We committed the situation to Almighty God and asked Him to heal me,” he says.

In spite of the excruciating pain, a wave of peace washed over the doctor and his wife after they prayed, a peace that defies understanding. (Phil. 4:7)

“All I remember during the ride to the hospital was calling out the name of Jesus, over and over again,” the doctor recalled.

A few years earlier, praying for God’s help would have been last on his to-do list. He was a nominal Christian, devoted to his church, but praying for his patients was not part of his life.

But that changed one day. “I witnessed a young couple praying for a patient of mine, I actually felt God’s presence in the room and was strangely moved. They prayed as though God was their closest friend. I envied them. It started me on a journey, a search for a true, deep, personal relationship with God,” he said.

“Before long, I met Christians who taught and prayed for me to receive the Holy Spirit. After that, Jesus became real to me, and the words of the Bible suddenly came to life.”

Dr. Landry entered the same Emergency Room where he had treated hundreds of patients. The doctor in charge showed him his EKG: His inferior coronary artery was completely knocked out.

“The cold clamminess of my hands warned me of collapsing veins,” he noted. “Yet, the sweet presence of Jesus continued to enfold me with His peace.

But as his wife prayed quietly by his side, his heart suddenly stopped beating. “I became acutely aware of my spirit separating from my body and I died – pronounced ‘clinically dead’ at 4:13pm.”

Immediately he found himself transported to heaven — a place of dazzling beauty!

“A multitude of radiantly beautiful people surrounded me. In spite of the crowd, I looked around and actually recognized some of my late relatives, as well as some historical figures who had preceded me a long time ago. We were in the Eternal Now, without past or future and I was perfectly at ease, full of joy.

He felt like he belonged there and it was more real than being on earth.

Somehow, he spoke telepathically to the people around him. “Who are you? What are you doing here?”

“We are those who went on before you, and we welcome you here.”

He soon was overcome by their rapturous adoration of God and was touched by their inexpressible joy, welcoming him into the heavenly realm.

Suddenly, a shaft of light pierced the crowd. In the center of the light, a vision of Jesus appeared to him, alive on the cross of Calvary, with the nails through His hands and feet and the wound in His side. His face was bloody from the crown of thorns.

This perplexed him, because he knew positively that Jesus rose from the dead, ascended to heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God (Hebrews 12:2).

With eyes full of love and compassion, Jesus looked at him and said, “Gerry, My peace be with you.”

Dr. Landry was overwhelmed by the thought that out of the billions God created, He still knew him by name!

“In that moment, for the first time, I understood the essence, the completeness, the fullness of the love of God!” he said.

Then the Lord impressed on his heart, Gerry, you are healed. You will have no more pain, no anxiety, no shame, no guilt. I want you to go back. You’ll be home from the hospital in one week. I want you to tell your family, your friends, your fellowships, everyone I will put you in contact with, about My love.

Then Jesus instructed him to study the Gospel of John, the first two letters of John and all of Revelation.

John is My friend. He knows all about My love, He said.

Dr. Landry did not want to leave His presence. “But even as I protested that I did not want to go back to earth, I sensed my spirit return to my body.” His heart had stopped beating a total of four minutes.

According to the attending doctors, Dr. Landry remained in ICU, and during the next 10 hours drifted in and out of a coma. “At times, I was aware of other people, but was unable to respond, except for one time when Denise came in. I awoke and wept when I told her I had seen the Lord Jesus face to face,” he recounted.

He finally woke up completely from the coma at 3 am. At that same moment, a man from Dr. Landry’s prayer group was awakened and God impressed on him: He (Gerry) shall live and not die, for I shall raise him up to tell many about My love.”

“Exactly as Jesus told me, one week later I was home and, to the amazement of my physicians, completely healed. Soon after this, I received a letter from a Christian brother halfway around the world – an Arab we had met in Israel. He had had a vision of me appearing pale and sickly. At the precise time I was rushed to the ER, he prayed for me, over 7,000 miles away!”

Five weeks later, Dr. Landry resumed his work as an anesthesiologist at the University of Texas Health Center in Tyler. “There, I shared Jesus’ love with many critically ill patients and their families,” he said.

“Also, just as He promised and because I was a medical doctor, God opened doors to me in many foreign countries to share my testimony of heaven and to speak with medical colleagues about the importance of caring for the whole person and sharing God’s love.

“Under God’s guidance, I traveled to many countries in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Canada, even China and other so-called restricted countries.

“I thank God that He allowed me the privilege of seeing first-hand the reality of John 11:25-26 where Jesus says: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me will live, even though he dies and whosoever lives and believes in Me will never die.”

Twenty-three years after his heart attack and near death experience on March 24, 1979, Dr. Gerry Landry went back to heaven after he suffered a stroke. This time he stayed…


This story is adapted from Dr. Landry’s first-person account, “Tell Them About My Love,” printed in A New Heart Magazine, published by Hospital Christian Fellowship.

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