Thursday, October 17, 2013

Fire and Brimstone Be Damned!

By M. J. Joachim

With thoughts to post more on my Catholic Pope series, something that is far too long overdue, I started doing investigative research on Pope Anicetus; he also happens to be a saint in the Church. Much to my chagrin, some of the resources I happened on were full of fire and brimstone – the likes that shame anyone on their journey of faith, accusing all of us of being complete failures in this life, for not living the lives of saints like we are called to do. 

This is one place where I take issue with the Institution of the Catholic Church. Jesus, the second person in the Holy Trinity, was born a man and died on a cross as our Savior, not to condemn us for living, but to offer us the hope of salvation. This cannot be the same God who would cast us into Hell for doing so. 

I’m not denying the power of temptation and sin here. I’m simply struggling with the idea that we are to live our lives as hermits, who dismiss the many gifts we, and this world, has been given by God, to chastise ourselves for not being good enough in the first place. 

Living is part of life. Fear is of the devil. God is all loving, knowing and good. If we are afraid to live, are we not encouraging the temptation to doubt God and all His goodness? Who knows the heart and mind of God? Hey, who really knows his own heart and mind, for that matter? Lest we be arrogant enough to claim we know the heart and mind of another?

Sin is sin. I get that. But God is God too. He died for us, not to send us into the depths of hell, but to save us from ourselves. Do whatever love requires, and keep those guilt trips that prevent me from living the life God alone gave me, as far away as possible. I don’t want to sin and offend God anymore than the next guy, but if and when I do, I know God won’t be the enemy trying to send me into hell for it. 

Pope Anicetus post coming soon.

Thank you for visiting Being Catholic,

M. J. 

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