This past week, there was a great quick reflection in The Magis Institute’s Daily Ignatian Reflection:
Friday 2 July 2010
In the early 1980’s, when the Solidarity movement was attacked in Poland, many people fled to the US. I was a young Jesuit scholastic who spoke some Polish, so I tried to help them, especially spiritually. After awhile, they would ask me questions about their new country. They asked: why is it that in Poland, people go to confession, and not everyone goes to Holy Communion, but in America, no one seems to go to confession, and everyone goes to Communion? I couldn’t resist answering: “because in America no one sins anymore.”
Our sense of sin has been weakened on every side, not least by the entire culture of victimization. If I sin, well, it’s someone else’s fault: my parents, the educational system, some apparently great social injustice – even the Church herself. And then of course, what after all is sin? Who’s to say? Isn’t everything relative? Who knows? The important thing is – to be nice, don’t make waves. Do what the TV tells you to do.
The Spirit of God lays bare such illusions, if we are at all open to the Spirit. And the Spirit has been powerfully at work combating the spirit of such lies. The sacrament of confession is alive and well in much of the Church. In our own land, many have awoken as never before to a sense of individual and corporate sin. “Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more.” (Rom. 5:20)
Which is wonderful, since Jesus came to “call sinners, not the righteous.” If we acknowledge our sin, we have a savior: if we do not, we do not need a savior, because we will have “saved” ourselves from God and the life He offers. So let us rejoice in so great a salvation, let us mourn our sins and rejoice that we can be sinners so loved by Jesus, the one who alone saves us from our sins.
Fr. Raymond Gawronski, S.J.