There is a three letter word that many people do not like to hear. It is a small word, but it carries great meaning. Some people would say that we Catholics are obsessed with that word. Even some of our own brethren would say that the word is not a reality and that it doesn’t exist. Yet it does exist and it is called sin.
During Lent and Holy Week, we are asked to think about Christ’s sufferings for us and those personal sins that caused Him to suffer. Since Christ took on the sins of all people in every country, nation, and generation, our sins are also among those that He expiated. When He was scourged within an inch of His life, it was our sins that caused it. When He sweated blood in the Garden, it was because of our sins. When His side was pierced with a lance, we were all guilty.
The price that was paid for our redemption was great and yet so many of us seem to take it for granted. We live as if sin doesn’t exist. We act as if Christ’s glorious Passion was for others and not ourselves. Yet Christ died for us and He rose for us. That reality will not change as long as we live on this earth. It is an awesome reality and yet one that bears significant responsibility.
When we were baptized and confirmed, we made promises to God that we would renounce Satan and his pomps, that we would put on Christ. Those promises still hold true today even if we have stained our bridal garments or if we have lived a life unworthy of our baptism. In the Sacrament of Confession, our sins are washed away when the priest absolves us. If we make an act of sincere contrition, it also helps us.
I realized when I watched the movie I mentioned in a previous post that I was just as guilty as anyone else. Seeing young Marcelino hold the crown of thorns and ask, “Does it hurt?” Broke my heart in half. Of course, it hurt. It hurt because of what I have done and what countless other people have done. Our Lord’s suffering was so tremendous that no heart can comprehend it. Even as I write, my eyes are filling with tears.
My guilt is always before His Face and yet I continue to sin. I continue to live a life that is unworthy of Him. How can we live with ourselves in the sight of His sufferings for us? How can we continue to sin?
It seems to me that our society has been deadened to sin because our society does not believe that it actually exists. As the decades have rolled on, the reality of sin has been washed away. Few people know of its magnitude. Our Lady told Maximin and Melanie at La Salette that people’s sins directly affect the course of human affairs. If we ignore sin, then it is no small wonder that we are dancing on a volcano that is erupting. Yet the solution is for us to turn around! We must convert our own selves!
God will turn away His wrath from us if we beg His forgiveness. We must amend our lives. There is no other way for us to live. God did not spare Sodom and Gomorrah because Abraham couldn’t find ten just men. And us? In a world running rampant with abortion, violence, war, and murder, what we can we say for ourselves? Are we really any better than Sodom and Gomorrah? In fact, we are worse off. Yet there is still time for us to change.
This Holy Week, the holiest week of the ecclesiastical year, make it a point to beg God’s forgiveness. Tell Him that you are infinitely sorry for what Our Lord suffered. Meditate on the Passion and see if it doesn’t change your heart.
Our Lady of Sorrows, pray for us!