REFLECTION: Attracted by sin PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 03 September 2014 13:06

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

YES, in a sense we need to be attracted by sin. But not in the sense of committing it nor of approving or enjoying the perks that it gives. As much as possible, we should avoid sin like the Ebola plague. And if there’s anything that gives us a good reason to practice hatred, sin is it!

Better said, we have to be attracted by sin not because of it, but rather because of the sinner, who is still a child of God, a brother or sister of ours, who always deserves to be loved, pardoned, served, rescued.

Sin, together with all the forms of evil that it produces, should simply be the occasion to love others more, to be more thoughtful and concerned of them. It should not be the cause and object of our attraction.

We have to love the sinner but hate the sin. And since the two are together, at least for the time being, we need to be prudent, discreet and discerning so as not to get confused and carried away by the forces of evil rather than of the good.

To be sure, this is the attitude of Christ himself whom we should follow. All his teachings which he practiced all the way to the cross consistently point to this truth. He was merciful of the sinners, and gave special attention to them. And that’s practically all of us since we are all sinners.

We need to be clear about this point and skilled in handling this situation among ourselves. Sin, because of the sinner, should attract us if only to arouse in us desires to help, and to trigger the appropriate action. It should not turn us off.

In this context should we lose the fear of sin. That’s why we have to be strong and resistant to temptations and scandal, and properly inoculated, so to speak, so as not to be unduly affected by sin. We have to learn how to bear all the suffering and inconveniences involved here.

We have to willing to get wet and dirty in our effort to help others without compromising our spiritual life. If we have to follow the example of Christ, then we should be willing to go to the very gates of hell to save a soul. For this, we have to willing also to be ‘crucified.’

We have to see if we are developing the proper attitude, understanding and skill in attending to this need. It can happen that instead of growing in our concern for the others, especially in their great moment of need as when they are in sin, we run away.

We can rationalize that by getting involved in the problems of others, we would unduly complicate our life. This is a false reasoning. Complicating our life for the sake of saving a soul would actually unleash the merciful power of God through our hands. We would become instruments of divine mercy and at the same time would benefit greatly from it personally.

We just have to have faith in the all-powerful mercy of God, and play the little part Christ would be asking us to do. We have to keep that faith from being contaminated by the mere human estimations of things. Let’s always remember that what is impossible with us is always possible with God, who is also very respectful of our freedom.

Let’s see to it that we don’t get trapped by our initial, spontaneous reaction of anger, repulsion and complaint whenever we see or, worse, are affected by the sins of the others. We should try as quickly as possible to replicate Christ’s attitude of patience, compassion and mercy.

For this we need to practice magnanimity, a bigness of heart that not only can take on anything but also would motivate us to willingly suffer for the others. For this, we have to go beyond the limits of justice which, in the first place, cannot be perfect in our life here on earth. It will always be in need of charity and mercy.

All this can easily be done if we abandon ourselves completely in the hands of God, just as Christ abandoned himself to the will of his Father and faced his passion and death on the Cross with equanimity. This is how to think, reason and act with faith as primary principle, and not just with our human estimations of things.

Whenever we see sin and evil around, and unless prudence dictates otherwise, we should not run away, but rather face them for the sake of the souls involved.