Saturday, May 17, 2014
FALLING SHORT OF THE GLORY OF GOD BUT IN A HUMBLE WAY
All of us, including this blogger, believe it or not, are sinners. We all fall short of the glory of God.
Some of us sinners are racists and bigots neither loving God completely nor our neighbor as ourselves.
Some of us sinners , worship at the altar of the false god of materialism and take the Lord's name in vain, work on Sunday, miss Mass, dishonor our parents, steal, lie, cheat, kill, gossip and ruin others reputations, and covet others spouses and goods.
Some of us are fornicators, adulterers, sodomites and self abusers. Others do nothing about their disordered sexual desires and compulsions and act on them to the harm of others and self.
The sinner who knows what sin is and how it damages and destroys one's relationship with God by our turning away from God in these sins, knows that the only way to repair the damage and restore the relationship is through acknowledgement of one's sin, true sorrow and repentance, confession, absolution, penance and a firm purpose of amendment.
One never identifies oneself as more than or less than a creature of God created in His likeness and image. So our identity and self-worth isn't based upon our sexuality or sexual orientation nor is it based upon our sexual desires and habits. It isn't based upon our materialism, lack of love or concern for the poor and marginalized, dishonesty, adulterous, cheating hearts or our bigotry and hatred of others. Our identity is based upon the perfection of God created in His image and likeness. Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.
So the sinner comes before God as a poor, miserable sinner seeking God's mercy because he knows that without God's mercy he is condemned to the fires of hell. He does not gloss over his sins small or large. He does not make his sin the basis of his identity and way of relating to others. He does not glory in making public his sin or institutionalizing his sin by seeking the approval of others for the sin or the state's recognition of the sin in a public forum such as illicit marriage.
How do we treat each other as sinners? We love each other and admonish each other and support each other in repenting and seeking God's grace to avoid sin in the future. But for our sins that are only known to us, we seek God's mercy under the seal of the Sacrament of Penance, with a firm purpose of amendment.
Should we ever encourage sinners to sin no matter how nice, good looking, pleasing, effervescent, kind and good in other ways the sinner is? No, only enablers do that! Thou shall not enable people who are alcoholics to drink. Thou shall not place money in a place where thieves are enabled to take. Thou shall not provide pornography to enable someone's sexual compulsions. Thou shall not allow your unmarried children to be enabled to have sex in your home. Thou shall not look the other way when stolen goods are brought to you and enable the thief. Thou shall not participate in ceremonies of marriage that aren't really marriages as the Church teaches and thus enable a mockery of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. Thou shall not encourage thy children to live together prior to marriage and thus enable them to fornicate all they like. Thou shall not encourage adultery no matter how nice and well suited to each other the couple is and thus enable the destruction of the marriage vows.
Mortal sin is mortal sin. Do we make public our mortal sins and glory in them? Do we wear tee shirts to Mass that proclaim I'm an abortionist; I support abortion; I slept with my significant other last night; I'm a single heterosexual and active sexually; I'm a nymphomaniac and love it; promiscuity is my middle name; I shoplift; I drink till I throw-up; I shoot up drugs and proud of it.I have sex with anyone; I'm married but my girl friend doesn't know it.
We keep our sins in darkness because these are acts of darkness. We only bring these sins to the light in the Sacrament of Confession and when we ask for forgiveness in the secret of our hearts.We do not want to give public bad example and lead others into sin.
We compound the seriousness of our sins when we make them public, enable public sins and fail to admonish the sinner. We are corrupt when we live a public life of institutionalized sin that is not of the perfection of God and of us created in His image and likeness.