Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sin, Sacrament, Forgiveness

Earlier here at COA I lifted up a post at Catholics United for the Faith entitled, "Heart of a Father." Below I quote the same author at CUF on the topic of sin and the Sacrament of Reconciliation ('Confession', etc.). He writes:
(P)aragraph no. 1792 is one of the most enlightening entries in the entire Catechism. It lists some of the main reasons why we go astray. Here’s what it says:

“Ignorance of Christ and His Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one’s passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church’s authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.”

Several of these items jump off the page to me. Doctrinal dissent has consequences in the moral life. My bad example (known as “scandal”) can lead others to sin. Ignorance is not “bliss” when it comes to the Gospel.

And this Catechism quote makes abundantly clear that an erroneous approach to conscience leads to errors in moral judgment.

Conscience is vitally important. It’s God’s way of revealing His truth to us in concrete circumstances, so that we can choose the good He desires for us. So having a well-formed conscience is about doing what God wants, not what “I want.” There are many voices–internal (for example, our own preferences, memories, motivations, and disordered desires) and external (for example, family, friends, and the media)–competing for our attention. We need a certain interiority to be able to hear the Shepherd’s voice, to discern God’s law that is already on our hearts.

Read all of Taking Our Medicine.

Since the so-called "reformation", all reductio ad absurdum efforts to minimize the faith, life, and practices of the Catholic Church founded by Christ himself have led to the present-day crisis in which we live. The removal of the Sacrament of Reconciliation from the lives of believers, for example, has accounted for untold recidivism in venial and grave sin. Sadly, wrong-headed notions like "I don't need a (Catholic) priest to forgive my sins. I can go directly to God" work against what Our Lord provided us for our life and salvation.

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