I am not a status quo kind of person in regard to the faith and I often have a difficult time not correcting people. Usually I must control myself but once a week I get to be the “teacher” and so I can correct people.
Today we began our discussion on Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria and Origen. We are studying the Church Fathers. All of a sudden limbo comes up. How? I mentioned that Irenaeus was baptized when he was a child and someone chimed in with how important it is to baptize your baby or else…, and now someone else chimes in – the baby will go to limbo.
I stopped everyone’s chatter of agreement; everyone’s chatter except Sr.F(she’s in the class) I begin to explain that there is no limbo and I wish I had a picture of the incredulous looks, the comments; my favorite comment, “What, they took that away like they did St. Christopher?!”
We get back to the Fathers and discuss the often fervent desire some had for martyrdom. It is hard for us to grasp this idea to want to die or be willing to die for the faith. One person suggested if there was a gun to his head he would lie. I think a bullet I could possibly deal with, but the idea of torture or being eaten alive by animals, not so much. Another person asks, it’s not like they were committing suicide, was it? Before I can say anything, a voice says “well, then they couldn’t get into heaven, so it can’t be like suicide.” I then proceeded to explain why people who sadly take their own life can go to heaven.
The group seemed to be more accepting about the suicide discussion then the limbo discussion. I think it has to do with ‘sister’ teaching us about it when we were in grammar school; yes, grammar school is where all the sisters taught. It’s hard for them to imagine sister was mistaken!
I think I earned my pay today.
FYI, this is why teacher has quotation marks around it. I have no control; class is sometimes like a tennis match and ping pong game combined. Please know that I do not allow this when I work with children, usually 🙂
Links to Church teachings on
Limbo: The Catechism, #1261; CNS Story from The Vatican Commission
Suicide: New Advent