struggling with sin, part two

I’m still pondering the topic of my  last blog post, struggling with sin. It was an attempt to share my own personal struggles and questions. I didn’t mean to discredit or minimize my belief in sin. My worst fear was that I would come across sounding delusional about my own sinfulness. Did she just say that she’s NOT a sinner???

After I published the post, I was reminded of a saying that I referred to often, in my far away past as a catechist.

The greatest sin of the 20th century, is the loss of the sense of sin. (St. John Paul II)

Have I lost this sense of sin? Have I rationalized my own innocence in order to avoid those horrible feelings of guilt and fear of bygone days? Am I falling into what-aboutism, the current mode of avoiding guilt? I might have done wrong, but what about all those others who are much greater sinners than I? 

The topic of sin and guilt prompted thoughtful comments, which you can read here.  Instead of responding on the comments board, I’d like to include them in this reflection.

What does it mean to say that I am a sinner? According to Gilles, it is

…before all else saying that I am striving for unity, congruence, relationship, communion (which is Love, by the way)…and that I’m not there yet.

AMEN! I really like this. It emphasizes the journey aspect of our lives. It ties in nicely, I think, with Dennis’s approach to feast days like Ash Wednesday as “symbols-in-time”, reminders of realities that that are always present. The liturgical calendar nudges us, as individuals and as a community, to stop and ponder what is already there.

Jerry mentioned a title by Thomas Merton, “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander”, reminding us of the sins of omission as well as commission. We sin by doing and NOT doing.

Marceta further expanded our view of sin. Our seemingly small actions, added together, contribute to inequities and injustices around the world,

Maybe thinking about our global impact is a way to understand our connectedness as our contribution to sinfulness in the world.

Like Joanne, I get overwhelmed with the thought that I’m not “doing enough”. This week has been especially heavy with sadness in the news. We are told that sometimes “thoughts and prayers” are not enough. We must act. But, what can we do? What can I do? How much am I can I be responsible for? It is overwhelming!

Prayer might not cure all the evils of the world, but it connects us to the divine goodness, love and peace that is God. And, God knows that we need more goodness, love and peace in our lives and in our world!

A special thank you to a new friend to the dialogue, Perpetua! Your words had me giggling. All wet noodles should be covered with Alfredo. Yum! 🙂

Thanks to all for helping write this post!

Lenten peace and blessings…


P.S. Check out Perpetua’s blog, Life Is Like That.