A Sense of Sin

I was asked to speak to a group of elderly ladies who meet weekly for scripture study and fellowship. During my talk, I discussed the effects of sin and the sacrament of confession. When I mentioned confession, a few of the ladies looked at each other and whispered “confession?” It was as if I had begun speaking in a foreign language. I took the oppurtunity to promote the great sacrament of confession and also to point out that for the last 40 years, our society’s sense of sin has been eroded to the point of people actually believing that they do not sin and do not need to enter the tribunal of God’s mercy in the confessional. This is very troubling and it represents the encroachment of evil in our society. Satan has been successful in convincing many souls that he doesn’t exist and that sin has no real effect in the life of the sinner. He is filled with malice but he is very adept at disguising himself so that we are not on guard against his tactics. The casual attitude in the Church, especially among the clergy, provides plenty of oppurtunity for the enemy to do his work.
A friend of mine was counseling a young couple who were living together outside the sacrament of holy matrimony and they appeared to see nothing wrong with what they were doing. He asked them the following questions to get them to see the seriousness of their ways: “Do you believe in sin?” “Do you believe that sin hurts the sinner?” “Do you see that what you are doing is sinful and hurts you both?” His questions were intended to stimulate a new way of looking at a sinful lifestyle.
A sad development in the Church is the concept of excusing or ignoring serious sin in the name of charity. We don’t want to upset people or make them mad and drive them away. There is no charity in allowing people to remain in sinful ways that can cause the damnation of their eternal soul.
We cannot be happy and live far from God – sin means we lose our God and we lose our happiness. If we saw our child preparing to cross a busy highway without carefully looking both ways we would rush to prevent them from leaving the curb – why are we not equally alarmed at the possible loss of sanctifying grace in their soul and the eternal reward of heaven? It is amazing to see supposedly devout Catholics, pillars of the Church, condoning the sins of their adult children in the name of love. Tough love is just that – tough – but it will hopefully lead, after some tension and conflict, to a return to virtuous living on the part of those who have strayed.
We should read the lives of the saints and pray as they did for a hatred, a horror for sin. God Bless.