Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bless Me, Ultima

Antonio and his friends are afraid to break customs and traditions within the Church because, "I knew that eternity lasted forever, and a soul because of one mistake could spend that eternity in hell." (3313) They learn their catechism by rote and it makes no sense to them as anything meaningful.  It is about obeying rules to stay out of hell for all of eternity.  They all follow the traditions and are excited to make their first confession. They are looking forward to being a more active part of the church.  The way the children pretend to go to confession, with Antonio as the priest, is their way of relieving the anxiety of making their first confession.  But it turns into a violent conflict when Florence says he does not have any sins.  The children act out what they have been taught all their lives.  The Catholic Church is the authority and everyone must agree with it or suffer at her hands. The children have not been taught to feel compassion for one another.  But to judge one another according to what the Church says is true.  After the mock confession the children beg  for Antonia to give him a hard penance.  They get caught up in the frenzy and at one point they shout, "Stone him!" "Beat him!" "Kill him!" (3319) Antonio is the only one who seems to realize the hypocrisy of this and turns to the crowd of children and says, "No!" I shouted, "there will be no punishment, there will be no penance! His sins are forgiven!" (3319) Antonio is compassionate enough to see that Florence is upset with God and needs some leniency. Children should be taught that the Church is there to help guide them spiritually and that all people sin and God is merciful and is forgiving.  Not that God is harsh and punitive.  Waiting to catch you messing up so he can send you to hell for eternity. Children also need to be taught that all people are accepted in God's eyes, not shunned. 

No comments:

Post a Comment