Sunday, August 23, 2009

Numbering your sins

Wisdom 11: 21 ...But thou hast ordered all things in measure, and number, and weight.

Tomorrow on my day off, I have to work an eleven hour shift for free. That's right; I have to get up early, drive to work and put in eleven hours for free. Why? It's some kind of a scheduling anomoly where I was assigned ten hour shifts instead of the usual twelve, (through no fault of my own) so now I have to pay back the hours that I "owe" to my employer. Most of my co-workers show up and then book off sick without ever having to turn a wheel when this happens to them. That way, they still get credited for the "owed" hours, (after all they did show up for the shift). Then they go home and enjoy what was supposed to be their day off to begn with.

I think that is stealing as well as lying, and I will not be following their example. As much as I don't want to work for free for an employer that:
1) claws back seventeen cents on every dollar I make
2) makes me work an eighty hour work week but pays me for only seventy hours
3) claws back a good portion of my overtime earnings (ie. I get paid 1.5% for OT but only see 1.2% of it because they keep the rest in a process they call "factoring"

I still, in spite of the above unfair practices, I will not be "sick" tomorrow. Why not? Sure, it would be a sin, but I could just go to confession after, right? Wrong!

According to Scripture and many of the saints, God has fixed for each of us the number of our days, the degrees of health and talent which will be given to us, and so has He determined the number of sins He will pardon; when this number is completed, He will pardon no more. Citing Scripture, Saint Alphonsus Liguori tells us in his book Preparation for Death that God witheld His vengeance against the Amorrhites (Genesis 15:16) "for as yet the iniquities of the Amorrhites are not at the full ." Saint Alphonsus compares the number of our sins to a harvest, that when it is ripe, God will pluck it. Then the holy Doctor goes on to warn us that one more sin may be the one that causes us to reach that pre-determined limit that God has set upon us and cause God to remove His mercy from us:
Ecclesiasticus 5:4 Say not: I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me? for the most High is a patient rewarder. 5 Be not without fear about sin forgiven, and add not sin upon sin.

It's tough to be Catholic. We always have to take the high road, but that is the surest way to heaven.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Very well said. I loved the way you present the truths of our Faith. Sadly, so few understand this and follow the example of your co-workers. The world is in such a mixed-up state, where sin is the norm and virtues the oddity.
I hope you had a nice retreat.
Thanks for posting this.

Elizabeth

Marilena said...

if i were you i'd be looking into the legality of the wages your boss is skimming off your checks. doesn't sound legal to me. i'd refuse to work an 80 hr shift if i was you. don't let them railroad you.

paramedicgirl said...

Marilena, these issues are why we are on strike, (Though our strike is limited because we are an essential service)

Elizabeth, thanks for your comment. The retreat was very nice. Our priest gave three really good talks, and the Deacon read to us from Archbishop Fulton Sheen at lunch. There was no talking permitted though, not even at lunch time, so I still didn't get to meet anyone from our parish!

Marilena said...

perhaps, but they can't keep my sister working 80 hour shifts and skimming your paycheck. it isn't right. you work to much:( don't put in an 80 hour week:( not even a doctor can work an emerg shift that long. they aren't treating you right and i don't like it!!!!

paramedicgirl said...

Marilena, it's 80 hours over a two week period. We get paid for 70 hours of salaried pay, but we always work 80. The government refuses to pay us for actual time worked because they save so much by having several thousand paramedics working ten hours for free every pay period. It's a contentious issue and one that is making many paramedics leave in droves.

Marilena said...

ok well still you shouldn't be working 80 hours in a two week period. its to much. its also not right or legal to pay you 70 hours when by law they owe you 80. you could go to the employment standards branch. i know i would. but that's me. i love you, and i hope it works out. i read mom your post and she thinks you work too hard. she also was interested in your point about sin. neither one of us knew that. glad you posted it! good for all Catholics and non to know about it!

Shirley said...

Sometimes it is hard to do the right thing; meditating on the Agony in the Garden might help. I sure hope paramedics get some justice out of this strike.Hope you post on your retreat.

Anita Moore said...

I suppose you could at least hope nothing much happens during your free shift...

...then again, every time I entertain such a hope, I get exactly the opposite.

Marilena said...

i spoke to father h. about the sin. he said its a fact. he told me if you die with hate when Jesus asks you, do you love Me? you cannot say yes because you don't. you go to hell. i for one do not want to end up in hell. he also told me that indeed, God does number your sins, then after that, there is no forgiveness. he told me to live sin free. he also told me that if you deliberately take God's name in vain, its a mortal sin. therefore because sin is so deplorable to God, we must not sin.

Jan Baker said...

Dear Heart, It is legal, but it might be unjust. Still, your bravery for Christ is really touching and I hope you don't change. If you have to go out on strike, don't yield to stirring up any kind of class hatred. May God repay you for your sacrifice. Dios le pague, may God repay you.

Marilena said...

hi jan, in canada the law states that if you work 80 hours, you get over time as well. you cannot be under paid. they have to pay my sister for 80hours:D that is our law.

paramedicgirl said...

Marilena, that is not entirely true. Each province has their own labour standards act, and my employer is the provincial government. They are doing nothing that wasn't agreed to by my union. My union has been trying to negotiate these changes for years, though, and the employer won't budge. Factoring is definitely illegal, but since my union agreed to it, that makes it permissable. That was thirty years ago and they have never been able to get rid of it in any round of contract negotiations since.

Marilena said...

wow, glad you corrected me:D i forgot that you were in a union! stupid me:D

Smiley said...

noooooo
thats scary