Thursday, February 24, 2011

The sin we don't talk about

The first reading from Sirach today regards a sin about which we rarely speak any more, the sin of presumption.

Sirach warns us not only against trusting too much in our own wealth and power, but that it is also possible to trust too much in the mercy of God. At first, you may being asking how can we trust too much in the mercy of God.

What he is referring to is telling ourselves that because God loves us we don't have to worry about our sins. It is true that God's love and mercy are infinite and he will forgive any sin that we commit, but..

We must first of all have some contrition for the sin, which requires that we acknowledge that we have sinned. The sin of presumption is to go forward with our sin simply telling ourselves, "God loves me. God Is merciful. I can do whatever, and God will forgive me,"

Which of us would have ever believed that about our own mother or father? And what do we think of parents who let their kids get away with anything?

The Talmud captures the balance that we Christians continue to share. 'If I create the world with the attribute of mercy, sin will abound; and if I create it with the attribute of justice, how can the world survive? Therefore I create it with both attributes, mercy and justice, and may it thus endure'"