Sin can open the path to sanctity PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 18 July 2017 12:10

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

TO be sure, sin does not cause sanctity. It, in fact, is cause of the loss of sanctity. But if handled well, it can occasion the way to holiness. It can trigger a strong impulse toward developing a greater love for God and for others, which is what holiness is all about.

It’s really a matter of how we react to our sinfulness. If we are sorry for our sins and try to make up for them, then sanctity would be at our reach. God, always a loving father to us, will never deny his mercy. Neither will he deny his grace to make us as we ought to be—true image and likeness of his, and a good child of his.

In fact, if we go by the reasoning of St. Paul, God seems to have the habit of choosing the foolish things of the world, the weak, the low and the despised, in order to confound and shame the wise, the strong and the proud of this world. (cfr 1 Cor 1,27-28) Along this line, He can also choose a sinner to confound those who pride themselves in a worldly way as saints.

The reason for this, as St. Paul himself said, was “so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Cor 1,29) As we all know, we have the tendency to replace God with our own selves. And so God chooses the unlikely ones to put the proud in their proper places.

Besides, if there’s such a principle as “the corruption of the best is the worst,” I suppose the reverse is also true: “the conversion of the worst is the best.” It would seem that the very experience or exposure that one has of evil and malice can be a rich source of precious lessons once the conversion takes place. It can serve as a fertilizer that quickens the growth in his spiritual life.

This is what happened to saints like St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Mary Magdalene, St. Norbert, and many others who have become great saints in spite of or because of their very colorful past. As St. Augustine once said: “There is no saint without a past, no sinner without a future.”

There is always hope for everyone. God’s mercy, as we are told in the Psalms, endures forever. It is not God’s delight to see the death of a sinner but rather his conversion. (cfr Ez 18,23) And God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (cfr Jn 3,17)

Again, it is the way one handles his sinfulness that would make the difference. If out of love for God he truly repents from his sins and tries to make up for them with all sincerity, he can easily catapult himself to holiness.

Christ himself made this point when, commenting on the behavior of the sinful woman who gate-crashed at the party of a Pharisee to render homage to Christ, he said: “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” (Lk 7, 47)