Wednesday, April 12, 2006

holy week recovers celebration of penance

Read the whole thing here. The whole thing is very short. I especially like the following point made by Cardinal Stafford:
The cardinal pointed out that this is the answer for the many people who wonder if it is possible to forgive, especially when it is a question of wicked crimes, such as violence against children or the mass killing of innocents.
Don't ever let anyone tell you that Jesus's message is that sin isn't real, or that it doesn't matter. What the cross shows is the horrible and extreme reality of sin. Otherwise where is the victory? Where is the power of the cross, if not in its triumph over sin? If there is no sin, then why did our Lord suffer and die? Why is he now and forever "Jesus, who was crucified" (Matthew 28.5)? If sin is false, then the cross is a false victory.

And, along with what Cardinal Stafford said, it is cruel to deny sin. How can you tell some poor twelve year old Rwandan girl, whose family was hacked to death in front of her, who was raped and left for dead, that there is no such thing as sin? Saying such a thing would be laughable if it weren't so cruel to those victimized by sin, who have become (like Jesus) intimately acquainted with sin's horrible reality, who have been "made perfect through suffering" (Hebrews 2.10f). MM has said this many times, and I believe it.


J-Tron said...

I wish I could remembed the exact quote, but somewhere towards the beginning of Chesterton's _Orthodoxy_ he says that the modernist idea of attacking sin as impossible is preposterous since the doctrine of sin is the only completely verifiable doctrine in the Christian faith. He says that the fact that there are people who delight in skinning a cat proves the existence of sin. Some have historically wished to deny that the person takes real delight or to deny other aspects of the experience. But the modernist, in a paraphrase of Chesterton's words, "wants to deny the existence of the cat."

Sin is very real, any way you slice it. To deny its existence is brutal and ridiculous. Any objective, rational person must admit that there is evil in the world that is caused by human willfulness. What the Christian perspective offers that many others don't is forgiveness and salvation. When we reject the existence of sin we also reject forgiveness and salvation. Why forgive when there's nothing to be forgiven? What do we need to be saved from if sin and evil are simply constructs of social fiction?

What a strange place the world is these days.

MM said...

- nice reference to Chesterton on point, J-Tron. I always go back to that little statement of his...