In the last article, I wrote about the sacredness of each human being, created in the beauty and likeness of God, with intelligence and reason, with freedom to make the moral choice between love and sin. We are good, worthy, sacred, loving and lovable, immeasurable, and will live forever.
That being said, we also “suffer the impact of Original Sin which darkens our minds, weakens our wills, and inclines us to sin” (United States Catholic Catechism for Adults, p. 310). Concupiscence, the inclination to sin is very much a part of us. Baptism frees us from Original Sin, but not the inclination to sin.
So, we have two things, the push toward everything good and beautiful and intelligent because we are created out of love in God’s image, and the impulse toward evil. Simply put, while we are holy, we sometimes sin. The Catechism says that we are distinct from all other forms of life, since we alone are imprinted with the very image of our creator.
What can we make of this great mystery? We are blessed to have a wonderfully merciful God who forgives us our sin and desires to bring us to eternal happiness. Even though we have this inclination toward sin we have Jesus who through his dying and rising from the dead invites us to a new life in the Holy Spirit. We receive grace and power from the Holy Spirit that “delivers us from sin and heals sin’s damage within us.”
Human beings are a mystery of ultimate dignity, created in God’s image, out of love. We also have an inclination toward sin. Yet in our holiness we struggle with our imperfections as we journey together with God and each other toward heaven.
As noted above, this is tough stuff. None of us wants to face our imperfections and sinfulness. At the same time, how else do we explain the evil we see in the world and our own inclination toward sin? Blessed be God who has wonderfully and fearfully made us and given us life. It is a mystery.
“May the Lord bless and keep you. May he let his face shine upon you and give you his peace.”