Tuesday, December 16, 2014
THE PROBLEM WITH RIGID LEGALISM IN THE CHURCH AND THE QUICK DAMNATION OF OUR SOULS
In fact, when I was in the second grade and brought my bag lunch to school on a Friday, I found a hamburger sandwich in the bag which I proceeded to eat publicly in the school cafeteria. I was promptly reporter to Sr. Angela by a so-called friend of mine sitting next to me that I was eating a hamburger sandwich on Friday and to save my soul from going to hell, I was mercifully reported.
Of course I told Sister that I had a dispensation. She thought I was being smart! I was of course. But Sister did not know the privileges of being an army brat and dependent. So the principal called my father to find out why I was giving such poor example to the other second graders at the school. He assure her that military dependents had the dispensation and that no one in the army was going to hell for eating meat on Friday.
She suggested to prevent scandal in the future that I not be given a meat lunch on Friday!
These sorts of laws carried to an extreme do no one any good and distract us from the law of love.
If a hotdog on Friday can send us to hell, why not then do something that really deserves it.
I'm not opposed to ascetical practicing such as fasting and abstinence. I think these are great and should be presented as leading to a great good. We should follow the Eastern Church's philosophy on it which is not to turn it into a sin if one fails to do so and a cause for eternal damnation.
But on Friday, if I know that I'm eating with friends who might not fix fish, then I should be able to substitute some other kind of ascetical penance or forgo it altogether and not worry about the eternal damnation of my soul. It shouldn't be classified a mortal sin!
But with that said, legalism of the 1950's and 60's in the Church has been overcome. We have more serious issues to mend and legalism isn't one of them.