Originally Posted by Astroboy
For that matter you have taken upon yourself to redefine or update the understanding amongst common Christian beliefs. Good job, Vouthon.
My dear brother Astro
Well you can thank Saint Isaac the Syrian (7th century AD), Saint Mechthild of Magdeburg (1200s), Saint Thomas Aquinas (1200s), Meister Eckhart (1200s), Sister Catherine Treatise (1300s), the Theologia Germanica (1300s) Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman (1845), Pope Saint Pius X (1910) and Pope John Paul II (died 2005) for that since all of these great Catholic thinkers all regarded Hell and Heaven as states of being and not places. There are many others.
There is more to Christianity than the "boob-tube" version as my dear brother Ambarsaria excellently put it.
The Sister Catherine Treatise is a work of Catholic mysticism from the 1300s, composed by a disciple of Meister Eckhart and the view espoused here - 800 years ago - is that heaven and hell are states of being, and this is the official view still in modern Catholicism with some development in understanding and tweaking: "...We speak of hell, of purgatory, and of heaven...God is in all things and all things are in God...Hell is nothing but a state. Whatever is anyone's state of being [here on earth] remains their being [after death], if they are found in this state [when they die]...The people who adhere to their creatureliness must remain in that mode of being which is called hell. In the same manner the ones who do not let anything else but God reside in their being retain their being as it is. God becomes their being...One says of Judgement Day that God will preside over it. One also says that he will give judgement...But it is not the way people envision it. Every human being judges himself; as he appears there in his being, so will he remain..." - The Sister Catherine Treatise (written 1300s AD), Catholic mystic [of Eckhart School]
In Catholic Christianity:
"...Incorporeal things [ie spirits] are not in place
after a manner known and familiar to us, in which way we say that bodies are properly in place
; but they are in place
after a manner befitting spiritual substances, a manner that cannot be fully manifest to us..." - Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274), Summa Theologiae, Supplement, Q69, a1, reply 1, Doctor of the Catholic Church
As an EWTN article explains:
"...Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential
characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states
of being of a spirit or human soul, rather than places
, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place
is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him..."
As quoted earlier in this thread: "...The images of hell that Sacred Scripture presents to us must be correctly interpreted. They show the complete frustration and emptiness of life without God. Rather than a place, hell indicates the state of those who freely and definitively separate themselves from God, the source of all life and joy...[It is] a condition resulting from attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life...The thought of hell — and even less the improper use of biblical images — must not create anxiety or despair..." - Blessed Pope John Paul II (General Audience, July 28, 1999)
That is OFFICIAL Catholic teaching since the 1200s, first in theologians and thinkers and now in the Magisterium itself, it is even in our Catechism. Heaven and Hell are not places, that is metaphorical language, rather they are states of being. Catholics are bound to believe this.
That is Catholic doctrine but the popular imagination and Evangelical Protestant Christianity teach literal heaven and hell I am saddened to admit.
I asure you it is not I who is so intelligent