I appreciate truly all of you who contributed your own knowledge and ideas to my 3 questions about Christianity, I enjoyed your answers and respect every one of you for boldly sharing of your hearts, minds, and souls. I’ll leave that thread open for anyone who wants to offer further thoughts.
My conversation with Deacon Robert Mitchell https://remitchelljr.com/ the other night was particularly enlightening. I learned much about Catholicism from him and he offered me perspective on the church of things I had no idea of. Here’s what I have gathered as far as my questions are concerned: (Please correct me if I’m wrong at least in my assertions, and I welcome your thoughts on my interpretations.)
Universal salvation is something many believe in and it is possible from the Catholic perspective. I can get on board with this. Deacon Robert suggested eternal may only mean a period of time and other religious texts suggest Jesus, while dead, descended to hell (perhaps for universal salvation)
Below includes information I found on Google to help explain my new knowledge.
Fathers of the Alexandrian Church maintained the doctrine of universal salvation in the second and third centuries and various of the Church Fathers followed them in the doctrine. The teaching of Plato who maintained reincarnation influenced them. It was a minority opinion.
The doctrine of universal salvation (also known as Apokatastasis or Apocatastasis ) has usually been considered through the centuries to be heterodox but has become orthodox. It was maintained by the Second Vatican Council and by Pope John Paul II and it is promoted in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church and in the post-Vatican II liturgy.
- 1 Maccabees
- 2 Maccabees
- Wisdom of Solomon
- Wisdom of Sirach (also called Ecclesiasticus)
- Baruch including the Letter of Jeremiah
- Additions to Esther
- Additions to Daniel:Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children (Septuagint Daniel 3:24–90)Susanna (Septuagint prologue, Vulgate Daniel 13)Bel and the Dragon (Septuagint epilogue, Vulgate Daniel 14)
I didn’t know about all these other books Catholics also hold as religious texts that were taken out of earlier versions of the bible.
When Adam and Eve eat they interiorize that potential and make it real. This creates a new relationship between man and Creation. Suddenly, all of the things that were “good” in the beginning have potential for evil. Every field of human endeavor is poisoned because humanity now knows not only how to use knowledge for the greater glory of God, but also how to use it in disordered and damaging ways.
The second tree is the antidote to this problem, but it is also dangerous. When God banishes Adam and Eve from the garden and the tree of life, bodily immortality is no longer possible. It was an act of mercy that he did so. Those who choose to love and serve God could hardly find endless life in a valley of sorrows desirable; those who reject God must not be allowed to grow in their evil indefinitely or to continually inflict harm on others without ever being subjected to justice.
If we have universal salvation and if there is a hell, it is likely not forever and is merely used for karmic penance, I could get on board with this. I didn’t know Plato believed in reincarnation, that is something I do as well. While the perverse abuses of a minutely small percentage of Catholic priests have tainted perspectives of Catholicism, what they stand for endures in holiness, charity. Charity is how we show kindness to others and fills our ocean of karmic goodness.
This jibes with my beliefs, both spiritual and experiential. I believe God is loving and wouldn’t create a forever place of eternal suffering just for not being able to accept a belief though I do believe justice awaits those deserving its gavel.
I have some direction for readings queued in the future, I still have questions, I’ll post more soon.