Sunday, August 5, 2012

Humility as Truth, Part III

We Are Sinners

...Sinfulness is not the whole truth about the human condition, but it is certainly a reality.  Nobody wants to admit bing a sinner, so must of us have to make a conscious effort to discover the reality of sin that is hidden beneath the surface of our well-meaning lives.  Otherwise we quickly slide into delusion.

Here it is important to realize that weare speaking of sin more as a theological reality and less as the experience of personal guilt.  WE are not identifying humanity or human weakness with sin.  Instinctual thoughts and desires, no matter how disreputable, are not sin.  Sin is the free preference for evil over goodness.  Itis the absurd choice we humans often make for what is intrinsically of less value.  Sin is the rejection of the human tendancy to see the good, the beautiful, and the true.  Sin is, fundamentally, the denial of our nature.

Sin concerns especially the breaking of relationships.  When we sin against God, it is not mearely a violation of the divine law, but it is a turning away  from the God who seeks us and call us to fuller life.  Like the Prodigal Son, we turn away from the warmth of paternal love and lose ourselves in searching for oblivion.  It is not a cosmic disaster on a grand scale, but simply a puzzle of personal tragedy.  No wonder God regards our aberation, as Julian of Norwich says, "more with pity than with blame."

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