Tuesday, December 9, 2008

St. Thomas Aquinas - Forgiveness of Sin in the Next World

From Aquinas's Short Summa -

"But we should understand that those who are condemned to final misery cannot have after death what they craved as the best. Libertines in Hell will have no opportunity to gratify their passions; the wrathful and the envious will have no victims to offend or obstruct; and so of all the vices in turn.
But the condemned will be aware that men who have lived a virtuous life in conformity with the precepts of virtue obtain what they desire best. Therefore the wicked regret the sins they have committed, not because sin displeases them, for even in Hell they would rather commit those same sins, if they had the chance, than possess God; but they cannot have what they have chosen, and can only have what they have detested."

It's interesting, a different take on Hell than what I'd thought. I'd have thought, once condemned to Hell, souls would know, and regret, their sins, but, being condemned, their regrets would be too late. After all, after you've met God and been judged by Him, how much of a question is left?

This seems to say that even in Hell, those condemned do not hate their sins, rather, they only regret that those sins have kept them from being able to commit more sins.

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