Friday, May 22, 2015
CALLING PEOPLE TO REPENT OR CONTROLING PEOPLE?
Some in the clergy and not a few laity want to control people's moral lives as though they could usurp their free will in these matters. Rather than offer the medicine of mercy and God's grace that can eventually touch and change even the most hardened heart, they demand compliance. There are cases where absolution is denied because the compliance sought isn't quite present.
Who of us does not have habitual sins of differing degrees that needs the Sacrament of Penance? What good confessor has denied absolution in these cases? And yet in other cases absolution is denied because the penitent who by God's grace is actually going to confession can't seem to overcome whatever habitual sin he has. Why not just leave it to God and the individual and others who know him to help him come to some eventual resolution even if if be on his deathbed?
Pope Francis more than any recent pope is calling people to go to confession, to take the medicine of mercy the Church offers, yet there is carping here and there that the pope wants to enable sin while at the same time offering the medicine of mercy. How can this be?
Pope Francis more than any recent pope is calling people to believe in the devil and his temptations, oppressions and even possessions. Who of us hasn't been under the devil's influence in one way or another, some minor and some major? All the more reason to go to Confession.
Can we control governments and judicial systems and those who vote from allowing for same sex so-called marital unions? No, not even the threat of excommunication will work today in this regard.
Once a new and difficult period begins for the Church, the Church has to deal with it. We have done so with the divorce mentality throughout the world. No one gets hysterical that in their own parishes are many who are divorced and remarried without the benefit of a Church annulment. We coexist as friends and family all the while upholding the Church's teaching about the sanctity of sacramental marriage. At least I do in a parish with many parishioners in invalid marriages as the Church would understand and teach about invalidity.
We can't control sinners; we can only invite them to the Truth who is God and the mercy of repentance and absolution with a firm purpose of amendment.