See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mercy, mercy, mercy me.

"No Adam, you aren't being punished - look on it as a career opportunity.  Now get out!"
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Why do we sometimes bend over backwards to say God does not punish or chastise sinners or nations?  Why when someone says something concerning God's wrath do most contemporary Catholics quickly jump in to make excuses for God, as if the scriptures were untrue?  Why do we try to soft-peddle God's justice?

11 comments:

  1. Doesn't a lot of it depend on who is saying it and how it's said? I'd love to hear priests and bishops talk about it more often, but usually the people who talk about it are the ones who make it sound like God is just sitting around waiting to smack the crap out of people who mess up. Or they think that one of the precepts of the Church is to have 51% beeswax candles for the "three days or darkness," and believe almost dogmatically that 99.9% of all people will go to hell.

    I kind of just think that we reap our own punishment for sin. Europe has abandoned God and stopped reproducing for example, and their countries WILL die for it. France will soon no longer exist as France. But then you have people who claim crap like "Hurricane Katrina was God's Wrath against the sinful city of New Orleans," never mind the fact that they're basing that on the tourist in the tiny French Quarter crap they see on TV, and that the New Orleans area is one of the more devoutly Catholic areas of the country, and that everyone down here hates the debauchery in the French Quarter (and the most "sin-areas" of the city weren't even affected).

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  2. But we do live in age where people deny God's judgment in the extreme. And the almost to be expected response are the people who focus on His judgment to the exclusion of His Mercy. Both positions are dangerously wrong.

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  3. I don't really know...unless we're "projecting ourselves" onto God; but then, again, we can be a pretty judgmental lot, yeah?
    May it's projecting our "wish" that we won't have to be accountable for all the words and deeds that we do without giving it a thought.
    Justice is more than "retribution"; it's putting things right...and that's pretty scary.

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  4. This unorthodoxy is not the sole domain of Catholic Christians (former prot minister guy me can attest to this). Hello rationalism and relativism gone mad. If Decartes lived today he might say, "I stink therefore I am" and he'd not be far off the truth.

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  5. Owen: Right on...but unfortunately, many protestants and Catholics think that "all is covered over" by an "I'm sorry"...
    does that work with Mum and Da...
    with brothers and sisters...
    with a spouse?
    I don't think so.
    There's a lot more involved than "I'm sorry"...
    and that's the problem with Protestant and modernist Catholics...
    oh boy!

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  6. Note to self: Terry - this is LOL funny! A 'career opportunity'! You are funny man!

    What e-v-e-r!

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  7. Terry: Youse always LOL!!
    ALWAY!

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  8. Terry, here's a good question that's appropriate here: How do we know? How do we know when we're being punished for something, or when God's testing our faith, or when s*** just happens?

    A comment Pablo made on that long war thread I was having with him made me think of this. He talked about God "testing us, or punishing us by having our families fall apart or with serious illness".

    I can believe that God chastises people, but, for example, two of the most saintly people I know just went through bad bouts with cancer. I am going through an annulment partially based on my turning to the Catholic faith in full, my parents suffer chronically from financial problems. But should we ever think "oh, no, what did I do wrong that God punishes me like this?"

    Or does it matter? Is the most important thing to simply cling to Him regardless of how it came about? I'm just reminded of poor teenage Catherine of Siena who though God struck her beloved sister dead because Catherine gave in to pressure to put on some make up and go on like the medieval version of a group date.

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  9. Long story short. I have been told "Thou shalt not use the word sinner because it has a negative connotation & will make people feel bad." Never mind what the Bible or the Catholic Catechism say to the contrary about the need to admit that.

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  10. 'Why when someone says something concerning God's wrath do most contemporary Catholics quickly jump in to make excuses for God, as if the scriptures were untrue? Why do we try to soft-peddle God's justice?'

    In my case, it's because Jesus said; 'Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone'

    I do judge people, but more often than not, it's not God's justice I'm trying to peddle, it's an inner resentment or anger towards the person, caused by something unacknowledged inside my head or heart.

    Regarding issues such as abortion for example, I try and follow the Church's advice. Left to my own devices, I would lock most people up. according to how I perceived them, on any given day.

    Personally, I need Church guidlines to exist in any sort of harmony within my own being, let alone regarding others behaviours, although that doesn't stop me noticing when folks are acting out and sometimes telling them.

    Heck, I'm a work in progress. You're not looking at the finished art yet!!

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  11. I just wanna know where Adam's figleaf is! Eve is demurely covering herself, but Adam's got it all hanging out! What's up with this artist?? Ace

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