How could a mother be happy in heaven with her child in hell?

The Catholic Answers

She could not, were her view of things limited by her present inadequate ideas. But with an unclouded view of what really constitutes goodness, and of what really constitutes evil, she will have very different estimates in heaven which will render happiness not only possible but a fact. Let us try to grasp it. Hell being a fact, our lack of understanding makes no difference. And in any case, Christ loved the child more than did the mother herself, yet He is happy in heaven. So there must be some way out. You see, we cannot interpret heaven in terms of this life. Here we are natural beings, our natural love directly awakened by our fellow beings. But in heaven God Himself will be the direct object of our love. We shall love God, what God loves, and as God loves. All other beings will be loved in God. Thus Christ said concerning the difference of human love in heaven that marriage shall not exist, but that men will be “as the angels of God in heaven.” Matt. XXII., 30. Merely natural love will change to supernatural love in and through God, and people will be lovable in so far as they resemble God. If a son dies unrepentant, having identified himself with wickedness, then he will be the opposite of God. The mother will experience an absolute necessity to love God, who is pure, just, holy, and truth itself. And she will find complete happiness in doing so. Her natural love for her son gives way to a supernatural love for him if he is pure, just, holy, and truthful. But it gives way to her love for God if her child is impure, unjust, wicked, and essentially a liar, as is the father of lies himself. Her transfer to heaven has changed her reasons for loving her son, and if he dies in such evil dispositions she has no supernatural reason to love him. All her happiness is in God, and that happiness cannot be disturbed. This may sound difficult. It must. For we are trying to explain conditions of heaven by ideas drawn from our earthly experience, ideas which do not go far enough. The explanation gives a solution as far as the limited mind of man can go. And if it astonishes human reason, we should be more astonished still if our limited powers could fully grasp the matter.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty

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