Tuesday, February 7, 2017
ON SECOND THOUGHT, ALTHOUGH HIS HOLINESS SHOULD BE CLEARER, HIS HOLINESS WAS RIGHT ON THE MARK ABOUT HIS COMMANDMENTS STATEMENT AND RIGIDITY
Much of what we were taught came from South America, the Jesuits and liberation theology as well as Vatican II as a clean break from what the Church was in the awful bad-old days when more than 90% of Catholics practiced their faith by attending Mass (of course it was purely on the fear of Hell and breaking the Church's law on the obligation to attend Mass under the pain of mortal sin and eternal damnation.)
But, what the heck, if that gets people to Mass, so be it, if hellfire and damnation work for you.
But one of the things I appreciated from my 1970's theology was that the 10 Commandments, in fact all religious law, is based upon the "LEAST YOU CAN DO" not the most. What can I get by with and still be a good Catholic and go to heaven.
The least you can do is not take God's name in vain and worship idols.
The least you can do is not kill, steal, bear false witness and so on. You get the picture.
What Jesus does is not to supplant the minimum of any law let alone the 10 Commandments, but to call people to do more, to do the maximum which is based upon love and do the most, not the least in order to squeak by.
So I go to Mass not just to fulfill my obligation but because I love God and neighbor as Jesus taught and want to be with other Catholics to thank God for Jesus' Sacrifice that saves me from Hell by hearing God's Word, being challenged to live a holy life every day and repenting of that which is unholy.
I think this is what Pope Francis' is teaching although English translations of His Holiness Italian homilies might betray what His Holiness is saying. And of course reading what someone says can be completely different from hear how someone says something important. There are nuances in voice inflection, eye contact and facial features missing in the written.