Thursday, July 13, 2006

Rx for Catholic Guilt

Last night I was reading a meditation our Founder preached in 1935 on the topic of "Sorrow for Sin." You would think that something on those lines could really foster an unhealthy sense of remorse, the kind often called "Catholic guilt." Instead, it hinted at why so many of the saints, including our Founder himself and people of the stature of Pope John Paul, went to confession every day. They learned that our failures in life give Jesus the opportunity to show us his love. So instead of repressing their shortcomings in the life of grace (even things that would probably not qualify as sin, strictly speaking), they welcomed the occasion to show their poverty to Jesus and let Jesus shower them with mercy. It is as if, since Jesus has already won the ultimate victory, he sees our sin only as another place where he can bestow love on us.
That is so different from the approach to spirituality that would have us focus on "removing" sin (as if!), and which can lead to all sorts of neurotic behavior. Instead, it becomes a matter of "recognizing" the hold sin still  has on us, and "presenting" it to the Lord, who is delighted to bend toward us to take that sin away.

1 comment:

AveMaria1 said...

I really needed that, thanks.....