Thursday, 15 November 2012

Divali and the Catholic with a love for sweets

Some indian sweets comon in Trinidad

At this time of Devali, many Catholics in Trinidad partake of the Hindu foods and sweets. Some of these sweets are offered to idols. One particular sweet which cannot be purchased is Prasad. The word Prasad means "gracious gift" in Hindi and really is a gift offered to the god/godess. This food and others are then shared with all as a gift from their god. The prasad is considered to have the deity's blessing residing within it. So the blessing of prosperity is given to those who eat food offered to Lakshmi on Divali day.

Now how do we as Catholics reconcile ourselves to eating these foods. Well the bible gives us a clear reasoning in 1 Corinthians:
Now, concerning what you wrote about food offered to idols.

It is true, of course, that “all of us have knowledge,” as they say. Such knowledge, however, puffs a person up with pride; but love builds up. Those who think they know something really don't know as they ought to know. But the person who loves God is known by him.

So then, about eating the food offered to idols: we know that an idol stands for something that does not really exist; we know that there is only the one God. Even if there are so-called “gods,” whether in heaven or on earth, and even though there are many of these “gods” and “lords,”  yet there is for us only one God, the Father, who is the Creator of all things and for whom we live; and there is only one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things were created and through whom we live.
But not everyone knows this truth. Some people have been so used to idols that to this day when they eat such food they still think of it as food that belongs to an idol; their conscience is weak, and they feel they are defiled by the food. Food, however, will not improve our relation with God; we shall not lose anything if we do not eat, nor shall we gain anything if we do eat.
Be careful, however, not to let your freedom of action make those who are weak in the faith fall into sin. Suppose a person whose conscience is weak in this matter sees you, who have so-called “knowledge,” eating in the temple of an idol; will not this encourage him to eat food offered to idols? And so this weak person, your brother for whom Christ died, will perish because of your “knowledge”! And in this way you will be sinning against Christ by sinning against other Christians and wounding their weak conscience. So then, if food makes a believer sin, I will never eat meat again, so as not to make a believer fall into sin.

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