I am currently going through RCIA and, though I agree with all of what the Church teaches, I am a little concerned at the legalistic way that many Catholics treat Church teachings and precepts. I understand that Love is the fulfilment of the law, as Jesus taught and as St. Paul reminds us.
Do you really believe that God will care on the last day when the books of life are opened, whether somebody had an ectopic pregnancy aborted or had a tubal ligation with the foetus inside, given that both were undertaken with the intention of saving the mother’s life and life-giving potential, and with the understanding that it would kill the foetus? Do you really think that God draws a distinction between somebody who marries carelessly and then goes through a Church annulment and somebody who gets a civil divorce, comes to terms with their past failures then remarries? Will somebody who goes to Confession and prays the Divine Mercy chaplet on Divine Mercy Sunday really gain a greater indulgence thant somebody who walks into a darkened Church at some random hour of the night, convicted of sin in their heart and pours out their tears before the altar, not praying any particular prayer but just begging God’s mercy from their heart?
I don’t have a problem with all these practices and guidelines, I just don’t see that following the practices alone is enough to make you a ‘good’ Christian or Catholic, only that it will help your spiritual development. How do I deal with this kind of legalism when I encounter it or am tempted to be legalistic about my own faith?