There are no churches in heaven; no shrines to Jesus, no bibles, no tables set with tribute to our heavenly father. So in a way, Father Eugene felt a little out of place when he ascended to have his fate determined at the pearly gates. Nonetheless, he strode forward, pompous and confident, to have his eternal fate determined when his name was called.
“Well, here’s where this all pays off,” he sighed. “I can finally share in the never- ending overflowing bounty that is the Lord.”
“Next!” called St. Peter. His voice sounded weary as if he had had a long day at the office. “Name!” he ordered.
“Father Eugene Wallace” the Priest replied, puffing out his chest as if this statement of his name was all he needed for eternal glory.
“Well, Father “,he said sarcastically, “What makes you think that a place is reserved for you in the house of the lord our God?”
“Well, I was faithful to God for all my 67 years and preached every Sunday at Assumption Church.”
“Not impressed” droned Peter. “Any other credentials that you think might save you?”
The priest was taken aback. Not only did he think that this would get him in hands, down but he thought it would make him an important heavenly figure as well.
“Well… I am completely free of sin!” he replied.
“Can it, Baldy!” St. Peter cut him off, “We’ll see about that.” He pulled a large, dusty book off the podium. “You see this, Wally? Can I call you Wally, by the way?”
“Ummm… I guess so…”
“Great! So anyway Wally, this little book of ours keeps track of all the sins that you have done in your life, and as you can see, it’s pretty hefty.” He took out a pen. “And by the looks of things looks like you lied to me right there so… I got to put that one down, too.” He turned to the last page and scribbled a note.
“Now wait just a minute! What are you accusing me of doing! Do you mean that I stayed abstinent for my entire life for nothing?”
“Not that you could have gotten any anyway.” Peter chuckled under his breath.
Eugene’s face was turning a beautiful shade of magenta. “No need to get mad now, big guy,.” Peter comforted him. “Let’s go over your sins now, shall we? Ok, let’s start first with the big seven. Let’s see…” He thumbed through the large book, stopping on a page labeled Avarice.
“Oh! Tut tut Eugene, looks like you’ve been siphoning funds from the collection plate! Greed does not do well my friend,” he said, as if speaking to a two year old caught in a wrongdoing. “Wow, there are a good number of sins in this category that could be fatal. But let’s move on, before I get too worked up.”
He flipped to the next page, entitled Pride.
“Well, we can see here just by the way that you looked at the people in the line out there that you are a pretty pompous person.”
Eugene looked dumbstruck. When he finally opened his mouth to argue Peter glared at him with a look that said without words, “Shut up if you know what’s good for you.”
He turned the page to a page so filled with ink that it looked as if it was merely a black piece of paper. The header was barely visible: Lust.
“Eugene, Eugene, Eugene! Look at this page! I can hardly even read this page! Shame on you! All these impure thoughts… What do you have to say for yourself?”
“I mean, hey, I mean…” he stammered.
“That’s what I thought,” said Peter “You have nothing to say for yourself. And you call yourself a priest!” He shook his head and turned to the next page, entitled Sloth. At this point he just looked disgusted.
“Well, well, well, having the altar boys do all the work for us are we?”
“Just the distribution of communion!”
“Another lie Wally, you’re really digging yourself into a ditch here. It says right here that sometimes you even have them do the homilies for you! That’s pretty slothful right there.”
Eugene’s face turned from its previous magenta to a terrific shade of violet. Peter slammed the book and threw it into the large garbage bin sitting next to him.
“Well, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve seen enough here,” he stated bluntly. “Too bad, Wally; I’m sorry, but now you’ll have to burn in the fires of hell right alongside Lucifer for the rest of eternity. Next!”
He pressed a button and a large pit opened up under the priest’s feet. And as he stood there with a dumbstruck look on his face it seemed almost comical; he seemed to be standing in midair for a few seconds before finally falling.