I always wonder what it must be like to be a non-believer, or a fallen away Catholic, and to stumble on a ‘catholic’ blog like mine.
With this in mind, Jesus said:
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,
it would be better for him if a great millstone
were put around his neck
and he were thrown into the sea.
If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.”
Far too many prejudicial stereotypes of Catholics portray us as blood thirsty, hell threatening psychopaths, foaming God’s threats from hypocritical mouths. The problem with this false picture of true Catholicism is that there have been more than a few foolish Catholics who have behaved this way.
But this is not true Catholicism.
Let’s start from the ground floor, and work our way upward in Truth.
‘God is Love.’ ‘God so loved the world’ as to die for it. God, as reflected in documents of Vatican II, has the power to save atheists, agnostics, and people of other faith, by reading their hearts and minds, and knowing their true level of culpability in all things; though this is no excuse for a baptized, fully evangelized Christian.
In other words, God desires everyone with Him in the Beatific Vision; in layman’s terms, heaven.
God doesn’t send anyone to hell. God, rather, respects our free will in an amazing fashion. And though God graces in manifold ways, daily, pulling us in love toward Him, ultimately hell is our own choice. After all, hell is not so much a place of fire, as it is the place where our fire, our passion, our desires, and our will is all we are left with. Hell is the place for those of us so full of ourselves that we reject anything and everyone else.
The Catholic Church, moreover, offers sacramental confession every week, and every day if requested. The Church knows herself intimately as a hospital for the wayward. After all, baptism initiates us into the Life of Christ, and His Body the Church, and initiates a life of repentance, conversion, and participation in the Paschal Mystery, incarnate in repeatable sacraments of confession and Holy Communion.
The Church is on one big mission to thwart the desire of the devil, and deprive him of as many souls as possible.
Now, the dilemma of the everyday Catholic.
Catholicism is the fullness of Christian Truth. Anyone with a shred of honesty, a morsel of integrity, and the fortune of a Traditional Catholic theological education, can see this as plain as day. More so, many people of childlike faith, the rosary crew, the daily devotional crew, without the burden of the abstract thoughts of higher education, see Jesus in prayer, in charity, and in the poor.
Real Catholics don’t damn anyone. They are too busy working out their own salvation ‘with fear and trembling;’ real Catholics, like St. Francis, are too busy loving, serving, and praising God to be in the damning business.
So to anyone who stumbles on my humble blog, peace be with you. May God guide you on His good terms to heaven. And if I can be of any assistance…