Francis also spoke to the trees, the birds...I can sense the passion in your words and as Augustine said, 'it is far better to be lost in your passion than to have lost your passion'. I am however very saddened and a little angry (not with you) that at some point in your life the message you received about Catholicism/Christianity is one 'ultimately about punishment, and waiting on the final punishment to be handed out to others', if you are open to it I would recommend you read Luke's Gospel, chapter 15 verse 11, the parable of 'The Prodigal Son, it comes after the 'Lost Sheep' and 'The Lost Coin' This, I believe, this is the ultimate message of Christianity/Catholicism, the picture of the father/mother standing on the hill side day after day after day waiting for the daughter/son to return, as the author Paul Coutinho in 'How Big is your God' says, God waits for you to show up so he can show off!'And yes you are quite right about SVP and other charitable groups they could not function without you and others like you and the many women and men who down through the years embraced the core tenet of Jesus Christ's own teaching, 'To Love one another as I have loved you!' or to put it another way, the Golden Rule of many different beliefs 'To do unto others as you would wish done unto you', NOT 'do what you like so long as it does no harm to others', this sets up a system whereby someone needs to judge 'what is of harm to others' and dare I say that there in lies a problem?As to your last question, I see the inherent goodness in you and all humanity, because I believe we have all been created in the image and likeness of God, so to that end I don't believe you are going to hell or purgatory, I believe that you are as valued and loved, as I am!
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