Tag Archives: confessor

Tell the Devil to go to Hell

faust_and_mephistopheles_by_meliagaunce-d5fjlimdr_faustus_costume

ell the devil to go to hell,” good advice given to me by a priest who heard my confession at St. Mary’s Cathedral when I was a student at Queen’s University and practicing Roman Catholic in the 1980s. My confessor was speaking figuratively, of course. Neither he nor I believed to “tell the devil to go to hell” involves addressing a creature sporting horns, a tail and cloven hooves. The devil in the context of our discussion was a metaphor for mankind’s evils. What my confessor told me is that I should heed the dictates of my conscience in choosing to go good and avoid doing evil. What made me think of this was thoughts shared by Pope Francis in a sermon, in which he intimated that atheists are redeemed, that is they do not face damnation when they choose to do good and avoid doing evil. This sermon raises an interesting point in that I understood that in practicing Roman Catholicism, while it is important to do good and avoid doing evil, redemption and sanctification is granted via the grace of God through faith in Christ. I am no longer a practicing Roman Catholic, though not an atheist. I am a Deist. I listen to the dictates of my conscience in trying to do good and avoid doing evil, in effect “telling the devil to go to hell,” and until hearing the news of Pope Francis’ homily, understood, from the perspective of Catholic teaching, I am putting my soul at risk of damnation. Continue reading

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