Friday, July 13, 2012

Sin hurts

Way back when I was in high school (WAY back), I remember a moral discussion in a senior theology class.

One of my classmates argued, with a smirk, that, "You're not guilty unless your caught." The sister teaching the class could not counter his arguments. (She later left the congregation.)

I don't know if that fellow ended up in jail or running for office, but his view was and is a common one.

When we are not morally mature, we tend to use the same method used by children in making moral decisions. Something is wrong not because it is wrong, but because if I'm caught I might be punished. That punishment might be physical - a punch in the nose, getting arrested, etc. - or social - people will look at me funny, not trust me, avoid me, and so on.

A higher level of thinking is that the thing is wrong because it IS wrong. One simply does not do something that is wrong. Doing the right thing is important because it is important for the moral or social order.

But while I was sitting at Mass this morning saying an act of contrition, I was struck by a line about being sorry for all the wrong things I've done because they hurt God. My actions, my thoughts, my inaction all potentially cause the Lord pain.

I thought of my wife. There are days that I am mad, in a bad mood, whatever, and she suffers because of my words, action, or inaction. I often stop whatever I am doing because I realize I love her, but I am hurting her.

Then I thought of Jesus on the cross. He is outside of time, which means that His suffering because of my sins did not just happen 2,000 years ago: It is still happening, and will continue to happen, and my deeds now and in the future add to the burden He is bearing. I love Him, but I am hurting him.

That's wrong.

Forgive me, Lord. I am sorry for the pain my sins cause you.  

Pax et bonum

No comments: