Today I thought about those of us who sin greatly but are blind to its wrongness and its bad effects. When we sin, we prefer to indulge in it and find ways and means to try and bend the laws of physics to make 2+2 = 5. Politicians and dissident theologians happily try to find ways in which to help us along in our journey towards that end but it’s always out of self interest on their part because they don’t care either way once they get the pat on the back and the few votes. The media also encourage us to indulge also.
The alcoholic will never recover if he doesn’t take the first step of acknowledging that what he is doing is destroying him, not only physically but spiritually also. In fact I’ve heard it said that there is no such thing as an alcoholic who is cured and I guess that’s right, once an alcoholic always an alcoholic but it’s the same with sin, once a sinner always a sinner. But look how greatly life improves for the alcoholic who acknowledges his/her problem and takes remedial steps to diminish this weakness he/she has towards the bottle.
Sin is like this. We get high when we sin, but like alcohol we get what’s known as the spiritual hangover and the very thing we think makes us high does in fact make us depressed and has the opposite effect. It isn’t until we accept that what we are doing is to no benefit to our physical and mental state can we actually take the remedial steps necessary to a road of forgiveness, Grace and a cure, not just a cure here and now but for eternity.
I’m no great Christian myself but I have met Catholics who reject certain dogmas of the faith, even Catholics who reject the priesthood ( yes it gets that complicated ) and I think its due to the culture that if something doesn’t fit our views, then we get to decide reality and reality doesn’t get to decide us ( moral relativism I.e what’s right is right for me and what’s right is right for you ). If -lets say- I find myself struggling with masturbation, then instead of seeking to understand its bad effects I will perceive it as a normal thing to do and will look for someone to verify that for me. That seems to be the worlds way that if we fail in being capable of controlling our anger, rather than seeking to acknowledge it as wrong and coming to an understanding of it, we instead indulge in the anger. That is how it is In countries today that have legalised gay marriage and abortion. Or how about in Sweden where they have legalised prostitution and masturbating in public spaces. These countries are blind to the sin but rather than ban it and understanding why it is wrong, prefer to take the easy root of shoving their fingers in their ears, closing their eyes and refusing to take a peek or listen to the voice of common sense.
What mathematician in his right mind, if he had a student who was telling him 2+2 =5 would just allow the student to bend the laws of physics allowing him to arrive at such a warped conclusion? Would he not come down to the child’s level and do his best to teach the child he is wrong? This is what’s happening in the church today. She is continuously ready to explain the sum of her mission and teachings but if we are not willing to listen, if we are not willing to acknowledge our wrong doing then we will continue to live like thirsty fishes in the ocean looking for a drink. God is all around us but unless we sinaholics addicted to sin and Franks sinatras “my way” take the first step to recovery and admit we are really unhappy and need help, we will never make it. This may sound odd but I think its better to be a habitual sinner aware of ones faults, remaining close to God and His sacraments than one who is unaware he is doing wrong and heading for ruin. I think it was St.Austine who said there is is nothing worse than a sinner without temptation and he is right. I would like to believe what he means is that there’s nothing worse being both unaware and unwilling to to admit we are wrong. The devil has no need to destroy a soul willing to destroy himself. He’s more interested in tempting the ones who have by the Grace of God figured it out and are trying to lead lives close to Jesus Christ.
That’s why I always advise Catholics that if your failing to practice the churches teachings doesn’t mean you should reject them altogether and indulge in the sin. Likewise repression of the sin doesn’t work either, only understanding the sin and its bad effects coupled with the Grace of God and prayer etc etc will see you through it all. You’ll always be a sinner but at least the opportunity to improve and live a fuller and happier life is there for the taking not to mention an eternal home all made up for you in heaven.