A sinner can be tried

Sin -


All seven trucks together ...

What the church fathers, theologians of the first centuries, called "the seven vices" has lost none of its relevance to this day: pride, greed, envy, anger, unchastity, intemperance, indolence or weariness: an envious look at the neighbour's new car or a curse, because as soon as you get up everything seems to go wrong again - that's all too human and part of life. But envy or anger also poison people, so that they can no longer see anything other than themselves. And then it is the way is free to a “mortal sin” that cuts off man's life: “Tempted by the devil, man let the trust in his Creator die in his heart. In disobedience to him he wanted to be 'like God' (Genesis 3: 5), but without God and not according to God ", writes the Compendium of the Catechism (No. 75).

Sin is a condition

Sin is not just an act, an event, a moment. Sin, in theology, means above all a condition: that man puts himself first, contests God for his place and considers himself to be the measure of all things. Where there is no longer any place for God, man lives far from God. He cannot turn God off or push him away. He can only decide for his life that he apparently wants to live without God. That is the possibility of freedom, but also a way to abuse freedom. This is what sin means: a willful decision against God's order. So the "original sin" of Adam and Eve in the biblical testimonies is not a historical event, but the condition: self-arrogance. And that continues in people - until today.

But God does not leave man alone: ​​“God does not watch how man gradually destroys himself and his fellow world through the chain reaction of sin. He sends us Jesus Christ, the Savior and Redeemer, who snatches us from the power of sin ", formulates the youth catechism" YouCat ". When Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God, died for our sins (à redemption), he has thereby abolished the state of distance from God, he has restored the order of creation by filling up the trench that man dug between himself and God : As a person, he meets people at eye level and yet remains completely God. In his Incarnation, Jesus once and for all strengthened, renewed and strengthened the connection between God and man.

"Sinful World"?

And yet we discover a "sinful world" around us, we are part of it and contribute to the fact that there is suffering and injustice that God does not like. Yet the world cannot be bad and sinful in itself; it remains God's good creation. Human failure and sin obscures and obscures the good of the world, but it cannot extinguish it. The will of God to reconcile the world with himself is too strong again and again - sealed and guaranteed by the saving act of Christ .

In the sacrament of reconciliation, in confession and sacramental absolution, the Church has given this God's will to reconcile a place that can be experienced. Through her service, the Church gives man the promise of God by acting on his behalf, according to the word of the Lord, "Whom you forgive sins, they are forgiven" (Jn 20:23).

"Sorry" is different from excuse me

So can one wash away the sin, "get" a white vest, as it were, when one has confessed? Is the guilt gone and everything all right again? Perhaps an everyday experience can help: The sentence "Please excuse me!" - It almost sounds a bit like saying "Sorry". Quickly said and maybe quickly forgotten again. Nothing changes in the situation. Real guilt and real excuse are different. When I'm careless or even malicious and so on It is a shame for another if I deliberately refuse to help or let someone run into a trap. Then that is guilt that cannot be answered with a mere "sorry". If I notice that something has gone wrong, that I am guilty and that I am sorry for myself in the truest sense of the word, then to ask for "excuse me": That is good - with the good intention of doing it To do better next time and to take my own mistakes seriously. This is how I can learn. To do this, I must first recognize and regret my mistake - and then follow my insight into concrete actions, or at least try to do better in the future. And the most important thing: my counterpart has to apologize, I can't do that myself, he does that when he notices that I'm serious and that I don't use empty phrases.

So it is with sin, which has disordered the order of God. Through atonement and exculpation, the relationship between man and fellow man is clarified in order to restore the community; but it also needs the clarification of the relationship between man and God, against whose order man stood in sin.

To this end, the church knows the sacrament of penance and reconciliation. “The effects of the sacrament of penance are: reconciliation with God and consequently the forgiveness of sins; reconciliation with the Church; regaining grace if lost; the remission of perpetual punishment earned by mortal sins and the remission, at least in part, of the temporal punishments that result from sin; the peace and tranquility of conscience and spiritual comfort; the growth of spiritual strength for the Christian struggle, "writes the Compendium of the Catechism.

"Repentance" and "Reconciliation", "Eternal punishments earned through deadly sins" and "Christian struggle" - that may sound old-fashioned, but it is probably more topical than expected: everyone knows peace and tranquility of conscience, especially when they are not there are. Sometimes these experiences may have different names but mean the same thing.

The way to reconciliation is open

For example, sacramental absolution at confession always includes atonement and the obligation not only to regret the injustice committed, but also to put it right again to the best of our ability, insofar as this is still possible.

Man cannot do much more. But less is not enough either. The rest is God's grace and his will to be reconciled with his beloved creation: In this faith and trust everyone can dare to start again and again, which is expressed in the confession before the Eucharist: “Lord, I am not worthy of you enter under my roof, but just speak one word and my soul will be healed! "(cf. Gospel of Matthew, chapter 8, verse 8).

The task of the church is to continually strengthen people in their relationship with God, to give them orientation and to accompany them. Even wanting to play God cannot go well, no matter how successful it may appear at first glance. In the long run it leads to confusion. That needs clarification. A rethink helps to find a new closeness to God - that is the "forgiveness of sins", which Christians confess in the Creed, the creed and hope when they pray: "I believe ... forgiveness of sins and eternal life".

Author (s): Michael Kinnen