EWTN Catholic Q&A
Christian joy with the knowledge of the damned in Hell
Question from TM on 02-18-2014:

How can one be a joyful Catholic Christian when there are so many souls in Hell, and many more on the way?

I find myself caught up into spiritual consolation because of a close personal sense of intimacy with God, and the delight of a clean conscience before Him (due to His grace received through Jesus) - but then I become profoundly saddened because of so many around me who couldn't care less about God, and living in objective grave sin, and knowing that there are so many poor souls already in Hell, and many people dying daily who tragically end up in that awful place forever, due to their own choices in this life.

I reach out as I can to those I can, but it all seems so overwhelmingly sad, so many slipping away.

How can I retain a deep sense of true joy with this knowledge?


Answer by Richard Geraghty on 03-02-2014:

Dear TM,

Ask yourself this question. Take for granted that God loves more than anyone else the angels and men he created. At the same time take for granted that there are angels and men in hell. Can God be infinitely happy? The answer of course is yes. We know that to be the truth but we cannot understand it. We do not have the all encompassing mind of God. And so we pray to God to relieve of the sadness that falls on us when we think about this mystery. For it is a mystery that allows of some human understand but never the understanding that God has of his own mind.

Dr. Geraghty