Katharine Trauger

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Jerilyn The little boy is thinking to himself, realizing that his uncle, who doesn't believe in God, seems to hate people who do believe in God. He is trying to work it out. The uncle obviously hates the priest for the way he treated the grieving widow, but don't we all feel that way? The boy is a little reassured that it must be okay to feel this way, since it was also his own reaction, even though he couldn't understand a word that was said behind closed doors. Then the boy thinks it goes deeper. His uncle doubts his own doubting faith, wonders if there is a God, if there is life after death, but he sees the uncle even rejecting these thoughts. People often hate what they fear, and many fear and reject religious faith in this way. It then manifests itself in hate for those who do believe. This uncle loves his mother, but his mother believes fervently, perhaps blindly, in ways that deepen her own pain and grief, adding the weight of guilt and regret. This angers her brother, the boy's uncle. It's really too bad he isn't a true believer who can comfort her with words of love and mercy from Jesus who came to save, to lift all burdens, to bring light in darkness. Of course, that should be the role of the priest; instead his rigidity and lack of compassion bring scandal, repelling doubters instead of drawing them to Christ. None of this is comprehensible to this very young child. Most of it is incomprehensible to many adults.
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