Tuesday, January 17, 2006

What? No Limbo?

Of all of the changes I've hoped to see as a Catholic adult, this was not one of them.

The Vatican's recent announcement that Limbo is, well, in limbo has been well documented on the web and in the blogosphere. Lee at From the Back Pew provided fun coverage. I know I'm a little late to this party, but I'm telling you, this hits me particularly hard.

Over the course of my Catholic schoolgirl life, I paid a lot of time and attention to limbo. I prayed hours for the lost souls in purgatory. I collected more nickels and dimes than I could ever count to collect Holy Childhood stamps to save pagan babies. I personally saved a lot of pagan babies!

And, where, I ask, are they now that limbo is no longer?

Were they actually hanging out in heaven all along? To which department were my lost souls prayers redirected? Where, exactly, were my nickels and dimes and Holy Childhood stamps deposited?

While I will (eventually) recover from this lost part of my Catholic childhood, now my attention turns to my limbo-less life as a Catholic adult.

Today, while chatting with a friend on the phone, I made a metaphorical reference to a situation being "in limbo". I instantly corrected myself, saying, "Actually, I take that back, as limbo is no longer."

Upon hearing the news, my friend made a most powerful observation, which I had not yet considered.

"What do you suppose that means for us?" she said. "Is this good news or bad?"

The two of us realized that, over the years, we had found a great deal of comfort knowing that if we screwed up our earthly lives, a waystation on the road to heaven was there waiting for us.

How low can you go?


At 2:05 PM, January 18, 2006, Blogger Talmida said...

Well, at least we have purgatory to fall back on. Maybe the babies can hang out there?

*completely tongue in cheek*

PS. I remember the pagan babies too!! Soeur Gaetane would pick one of us girls in first grade, and she had a set of cards with saints' names that she would fan out and you got to pick the name that they would baptize the baby with! Man, that takes me back.

At 7:31 AM, January 20, 2006, Blogger The Unseen One said...

Although it is not canon, read the Apocolypse of Peter if you get the chance. It speaks of the souls of these babies being raised to "spiritual adulthood", so to speak, by angels.

At 9:21 PM, January 27, 2006, Blogger Kiwi Nomad 2006 said...

I thought limbo was for the unbaptised babies anyhow and the rest of us got stuck with purgatory?
I just went to a funeral for a young (non-religious) woman who died of a degenerative disease. Her death notice referred to a song about walking and dancing with the angels. Whereever you do that, her life was a hard one and she deserves to be dancing her heart out.

At 10:04 PM, February 20, 2006, Blogger Laura said...

There's still purgatory. As far as I can tell the only ones going to limbo were the unborn babies, and I guess now they get to go to heaven. Or at least that's what my priest says...I guess all the nuns from grade school with their home-made rosary beads will have to pray for something else.

Love your blog, by the way. I guess some would call me a cafeteria Catholic, as well.


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