Saturday, October 25, 2014

Penance: Reconstructing of Youth

As the doors open, children race to be first into the church hall. A building seemingly encompassed with peace and forgiveness is simply a fallacy, a game. Antonio and his friends are taught in a means of fear. For every sin, there is a punishment. The children delight in their sins as they desire to see who will receive the largest penance. After Florence depicted his view the children bellowed “make his penance hard... make him kneel and we’ll beat him... yeah, beat him.. stone him!... beat him!... kill him”(Anaya3319). In all the chaos of sin, the children lose the true meaning of eternal salvation. As they desire a penance for the sins of another, they overlook their own. Within the confinements of the dark box the children forgot the purpose of the penance. It is to assure that one reconnects with the Lord after entailing their sins. Penance should never become a punishment, yet it has become more than that. Penance for the children as turned into a game. Who has the worst sin? Who receives the highest punishment? Religion must not only be taught within the church, but lived. The children merely hear the age old stories of an ancient book. They do not feel the words beat into their own souls. The Bible is nothing more than a literal tool of punishment and exactitude for the children. They do not understand that to become a true Catholic, one must live the words of the Lord not fear them. Show compassion. Help a fellow man. Are Catholic practices learned effectively by youth or are they merely a means of fear to intimidate children to act appropriately? Do strict religions have the opposite effect on children? Do they cause them to act out? 

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