Sin should be avoided at all costs

There is something that radically distinguishes us today from those who came before us, especially during the 2,000 years since the coming of Christ. This is the loss of the sense of sin, which is now often  not only glorified but even held up as being worthy of imitation and applause.

Many Christians, overwhelmed by all this, shy away from mentioning the word ‘sin’ and lack the courage to call sin and its consequences by their name, perhaps under the pious illusion that this would attract back those who have strayed away from the faith.

Unfortunately the opposite is true because, since in the heart of man there is a mysterious yearning for the absolute, truth carefully diluted does attract but only for a short time and soon loses its lustre, leaving people deeply unsatisfied. Certainly there is a price to pay when people are made to face the unpalatable truth about their spiritual life. John the Baptist is the prime example of what befalls those who dare speak the truth, even to the powerful.

We seem to have forgotten what Christ’s primary mission was. It was not to give us a code to make us feel better or to make life more bearable. In the words of consecration at Mass we are clearly told that He shed His blood “for the forgiveness of sins”. Sin is to be avoided at all costs because, like drugs, it enslaves.

Stumble we surely do but in His infinite mercy He has left us the sacrament of confession where our sins can be washed away again and again. However, to confess one’s sins one has to repent for having committed them. Here lies the problem with many of us who often wilfully choose to ignore the Lord’s words or to interpret them to suit our own convenience.

Christ was relentless in His demands that sin should be avoided at all costs, even metaphorically telling us that it is better to lose an eye, a foot or a hand and thus gain heaven rather than retaining them and losing one’s life for all eternity.

Let Christians believe that no matter our mistakes, our life situations or our inclinations, we can still aspire to live a life free from sin, despite the occasional falls, thus enjoying that peace of heart promised by Jesus and alas so lacking in our society.

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