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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

hell

My Ma, a Catholic, used to say to my Dad, a Lutheran, "Al, you're not going to be allowed on the same side of heaven as me if you don't become Catholic." Amidst her teasing, but nonetheless scolding, tone of voice, I think there was a part of Ma that truly believed this. BTW, Dad never did become a Catholic.

When I was around 7 years old I remember thinking on more than one occasion why God would send those who weren't Catholic to hell? My young mind grappled with the horror that a loving and caring God would doom folks at all, let alone to fire and damnation. Even then I couldn't comprehend that just because a person was born Buddhist in China, or Muslim in Egypt, or grew up Native American or African or, or, or, or even atheist...they wouldn't have the same chance to reach heaven, or wherever we went, as I did. And what about Judaism? Jesus himself was a Jew! I mean, how could God condemn an otherwise good and just person? I used to think, "Was I just lucky that I was born into the "right" religion?" Such thoughts swirled around my young head for years, no doubt keeping me up way past my bedtime and causing the "circles" below my eyes that photos from that time period cannot hide. Sagittarius Suns are known to philosophize, and are often particularly interested in religion. I guess I'm no exception.

I knew better than to overly ask my Ma or the nuns at school such questions. Similar questions had Ma say, "Just because. You need to have faith. Stop asking questions." Then Ma would remind me of "Doubting Thomas," and how wrong he was. This attitude of Ma's led me to the conclusion that I was young and surely the priests and my Ma knew what was correct. Perhaps this is why I felt sooooo betrayed when account upon account of priests molesting children came to the fore in the news. And as for Ma, well she was a good girl who did what she was told, apparently without question. Why couldn't I stop the questions in my head from forming? Sigh.

By the time I was a late teen, I was truly becoming disenchanted with the Catholic church. I started visiting various denominations of Christian churches. Part of me just wanted to piss my Ma off. No temples or Hari Krishna or anything. I didn't want to rock the boat too much. When Dad found out I was church shopping he said, "Jeannine, you're going to drive your mother crazy. Can we just keep the peace, please?" For Dad's sake, I stopped blatantly looking outside the Catholic church...for awhile, anyways.

Recently a cute joke was sent to me. Instead of printing the entire joke, here's what's pertinent to this post:
Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in hell to increase exponentially.
Just goes to show you other folks ponder religion and hell like us Sag Suns.

I'll offer no answers in this post to any of the questions posed. Guess I am my mother's daughter, after all...LOL.

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