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Thursday, July 18, 2013

Day 406: Let your Sins be Forgiven

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indulgence#Catholic_teaching

According to the teachings outlined in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, two distinct types of consequences follow when a person sins: eternal and temporal. A mortal sin (one that is grave and is committed knowingly and freely) is equivalent to refusing friendship with God and communion with the only source of eternal life. The loss of eternal life with God, and the eternal death of hell that is the effect of this rejection, is called the "eternal punishment" of sin. In addition to this eternal punishment due to mortal sin, every sin, including venial sin, is a turning away from God through what the Catechism of the Catholic Church calls an unhealthy attachment to creatures, an attachment that must be purified either here on earth, or after death in the state called purgatory. The resulting need to break this attachment to creatures is another punishment for sin, referred to as "temporal punishment", because, not being a total rejection of God, it is not eternal and can be overcome in time. Even when the sin is forgiven, the associated attachment to creatures may remain.
The temporal punishment that follows sin is thus undergone either during life on earth or in purgatory. In this life, as well as by patient acceptance of sufferings and trials, the necessary cleansing from attachment to creatures may, at least in part, be achieved by turning to God in prayer and penance and by works of mercy and charity. - Wikipedia

Religion is weird. Seriously. Different religions each have their various rules and laws, which are often contradictory, but the most common factor is the God factor. Religions revolve around the idea that there is a Creator, sometimes all-powerful, sometimes omnipotent and omnipresent, but mostly known as the man/woman/entity in charge of all of our lives.

Let's use Christianity as an example, specifically Catholicism. There are a whole lot of things you can and cannot do according to God, and then some more things that are not overly clear. Then there's the whole "well the bible was written quite a long time after Jesus was alive" thing, so it's probably not true anyway. But you've gotta have faith. Because, who are we without faith? Rational people who have a good sense of self responsibility? Please, who wants to live like that? Not me, for sure. So we have to believe that the bible is God's word/law/whatever. It's not like we can admit to possibly being wrong about this, how stupid would that make us look? Seriously.

So now we try to live according to these contradictory and unclear laws, but we all know that there is a whole hell of a lot of room for wiggling, because God forgives (except when he is in wrath-mode, which is, like, most of the time. I dunno, it's not really clear. It depends what part of the book you're reading. So yeah) - so you can pretty much do whatever you want without too much guilt, because you can just call up or go to a priest and he'll (or she, but not likely) give you some prayers to say or money to donate to the church (lollers) that will make God forgive you. Don't question. The priest knows. The priest spent time learning how to communicate with God and read his/her/it's mind.

So we can all live how we wanna, because we essentially are not going to be held accountable for our actions (at least not in our own eyes), because only God holds us accountable, and he/she/it is a merciful God. How do I know this? I have faith. I believe. Also I have not been struck down by lightning, which is one of those pesky little points of not so much clarity in the big book of God words. Hopefully you have money enough to take long leave of absence's to go on pilgrimages to have your sins forgiven - if you feel guilty enough. I suppose it can be quite hard feeling guilty for doing things you know in your heart you're not really responsible for - this is certainly a challenge given to us straight from the big G.

Oh man, it totally makes sense why people believe in God and stuff. Totally.

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