And my people, upon whom my name is called, being converted, shall make supplication to me, and seek out my face, and do penance for their most wicked ways: then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
For the good of the local economy and public schools, the demons have opened a lottery in hell. Participation is, of course, voluntary. The stakes of the lottery are such that the winning ticket allows the damned soul to move up a higher circle of hell. The losing tickets get the other damned souls tossed into a lower circle of hell where even worse never-ending torments await. The damned can play indefinitely. Now, like any good lottery, the House always wins. And, like any good lottery, the players don’t care or even (want to) know what that means, so long as they get to participate. One of the bummers of refusing to play – other than being a major grumpypants everyone hates – is missing out on the “fun” of awaiting to lose and be tossed into a lower circle of hell with even worse torments for eternity. The upshot of non-participation – other than not being tossed into a lower circle of hell – is realizing that this is all insane. Because from the non-participating outside of the lottery, you start realizing that – instead of giving the damned some hope – “playing indefinitely” is a curse designed to bring worse and worse torment – the more one plays the more one descends further into the abyss.
Now, on the one hand this is all play-pretend. I assume there’s no local economy in hell (I’ll leave similar assumptions regarding public schools to more charitable people.). But on the other hand, the more one looks around the more one sees the lottery being played in all sorts of places. Here and there we see people buying tickets, just hoping to hit the jackpot of a higher circle of hell. Here and there we see “well meaning” people lining up at the ATM for cash to buy tickets. I suppose at first, participation gets hidden behind all those good intentions – only a crazy person wouldn’t want to go up a higher rung in hell! Of course, the further into the abyss one sinks the less is participation about “playing” and “fun.” The stakes haven’t changed – they never will – it’s just that the sense of urgency sinks in. The lottery continues to be played – MUST be played – because hey I never signed up for this 9th circle of hell business. The other interesting thing, psychologically, is that the more one plays – and loses – the more and more one blames the consequences on the lottery itself. On allllll those other people who are playing and taking my winning ticket. And the less and less does one realize the consequences are directly a result of playing the lottery at all.
It is said that Satan has been quite successful convincing modern pagans he doesn’t exist. Well perhaps Satan has been equally successful convincing modern Christians too much that he does exist. Living in a fallen world doesn’t require trading with hell. Living unchastely with your girl, hoping she’ll be the jackpot one that you’ll surely make an honest gal out of and hey after long enough no one will even remember all that. Refreshing the tree of liberty with the blood of babies, hoping we’ll pray the gay away enough to fix all that bad liberty. Its all lottery tickets in hell. For what reward? For a higher rung? I suppose the demons do let us play indefinitely.
Roman Catholicism is the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church.
To not be Roman Catholic is to be in an objectively inferior position (as regards both temporal and eternal rewards) than to be Roman Catholic.
But it is not the case that to be Roman Catholic is always and everywhere to be in a superior moral position than to be non Catholic.
In fact, quite the opposite may be the case.
So why don’t we just stop all this objective position mumbo jumbo.
Becasue it’s not just mumbo jumbo, although there are different senses in which it is true. The most wretched Roman Catholic has – presumably – heard the truth and has a greater chance of hearing the Truth again as well as having greater access to the ordinary means of grace and repentance (i.e. The sacraments, the sacramentals, etc). We have no idea what Providence has in store for – even after the greatest of future falls – a tender hearted 10 year old devoutly praying the Hail Mary in a moment of love.
The non-Catholic, possibly even becasue of his very piety and fervency, may be less likely to hear the Truth and have access to the ordinary means of grace and repentance. And has likely never said a Hail Mary.
We love you, Dear Mother.