I went out the other night leaving the Princess and Mr. Waffle watching University Challenge [you think that you’re hothousing]. As I went out the door I heard Jeremy say to the contestants “The atheist bus campaign had the following slogan: There’s probably no God so…” The Princess interjected excitedly “If there’s no God, does that mean I don’t have to go to Mass on Sunday”. I stuck my head back around the door and said, “Yes, there is a God and you do have to go to mass on Sunday”.
I was able to escape into the night but this morning and this evening I have had to field a series of questions beginning with the subject of Hell. My daughter is an old-fashioned catholic.
Her: Is it hot in Hell?
Me: I believe it is.
Me: Well, nobody knows really but people sometimes say it’s just bad because you are so sad there.
Me: Because you realise that you will never see God.
Her: But what about people who don’t believe in God?
Me: Well, I suppose they believe in him once they’re in Hell.
Her: Does everyone who doesn’t believe in God go to Hell?
Me: No, of course, not, there are some very good, kind people who don’t believe in God and they won’t go to Hell and some people who believe in God can be very bad and they might go to Hell though we don’t really know who goes to Hell.
Her: Could I bring water to the people in Hell, if it’s very hot.
Me: No, I don’t think it works like that.
Her: Do angels exist?
Me: Yes, I think so.
Her: So, Cupid exists.
Me: No, he’s a different kind of angel, a mythological angel.
Her: How do you know that the angel Gabriel isn’t mythological?
Me: Your father went to a Jesuit school; he is answering all theological questions in future.
Her: What’s theological?