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Do The Elect Delight In The Torments Of The Damned?


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Dostoevsky places the greatest question in literature on Ivan’s lips in The Brothers Karamazov: “What do I care for a hell for oppressors?”

When confronted by that question, we see what kind of Christian we really are. We can only be a Christian who imagines Heaven to be a sort of cosmic Disneyland if we somehow want there to be people in Hell.

But if we conceive of Heaven as more of a state of being, grounded in absolute and pure love, then we wouldn’t really be in Heaven if we were fine and dandy with the sufferings of others. 
St. Catherine of Siena wanted to be so united with Christ that she would stand at the gates of Hell blocking the way. Aquinas was much more right than wrong, but he was absolutely wrong on this. Balthasar’s old book “Dare We Hope That All Men Be Saved” is a great book to shape our thinking here.


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The elect will delight in God's Justice, which is Holy and Goor. His Justice is meted out both to the Elect, in their salvation, and to the damned, in their torment. This is Justice and will be met with great Joy by those who love God. This is not the same as delighting in their torment; the object of delight is always Justice, never torment.

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