Michael Novak on Hell:

The Gospels picture Jesus warning that some people are casting themselves into the fires of Gehenna. Note: it is not fair to say that Jesus cast them there. Rather, no one goes to hell who does not reflectively and deliberately choose to turn away from God of her own free choice. And the real fire of hell is the acute consciousness, too late dawning, that you alone have chosen to be where you are, banished, as you chose, from His presence. …

To my way of thinking… the most terrifying and bitter punishment that could await me in hell is the deep, deep regret that I have chosen my own banishment from the source of all beauty, all joy, all goodness, all truth. To have deliberately and consciously separated myself from all the pleasures and good things of life – from laughter and good red wine. To have sundered myself from communion with all brothers and sisters in the travails and blisses of human life. Not even Macbeth felt such bitter remorse. Hell is being trapped inside oneself. Or as Dante showed in his Inferno, trapped and immobile in the frozen ice of one’s own self-centeredness.