24 February 2011
The Great Sacrament of Reconciliation
Now, God created the human soul in its purest form. Original Sin was/is present from the very moment of conception, but God did not create Original Sin. We inherit Original Sin from our first parents, Adam and Eve. God created our souls a dazzling white but they are immediately tainted with Original Sin. The life-saving waters of Baptism remove Original Sin and the soul achieves its highest state purity: the original plan God has for our souls. In fact, should a person die the very moment after baptism, he would immediately enter heaven.
Here is where I form my opinions. God knows us by reading our souls. He, therefore, recognizes us the most when our souls are in their purest form. Imagine you have painted a masterpiece, a painting unlike any other painting in the world. Upon its completion, you know it is perfect and unique. This painting belongs to you and you alone. Now suppose this painting were to be marred and damaged: scratches, holes, other paint splatters - anything that would take away from the original creation. When you were to look at it again, you wouldn't recognize it. Of course you would know it is your painting, albeit with much damage, but you wouldn't recognize it. It has been changed for the worse. To me, this is how God views us when we sin. When we tarnish our souls - the masterpiece painting of God - we make ourselves less recognizable to Him.
Consider the first fall of Adam and Eve. The book of Genesis says that the man and woman disobeyed God, and their eyes were opened with shame. "When they heard the sound of the Lord God moving about in the garden at the breezy time of day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. The Lord God then called to the man and said, 'Where are you?'" (Gen. 3:8-9).
The all-knowing God asked His creature, "Where are you?" Now, surely God knew where Adam was, for God knows everything. But Genesis goes deeper than that. Upon my own reflection, Genesis tells us that God did not recognize Adam because his soul changed due to sin. Again, the soul is what our Lord God reads. Adam's and Eve's souls became unrecognizable to their Creator because of sin, which is why the Lord asked, "Where are you?"
Furthermore, we read in the Gospels that Christ was asked who would be saved. "Someone asked him, 'Lord, will only a few people be saved?' He answered them, 'Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough. After the master of the house has arisen and locked the door, then you will stand outside knocking and saying, 'Lord, open the door for us.' He will say to you in reply, 'I do not know where you are from.' And you will say, 'We ate and drank in your company and you taught in our streets.' Then he will say to you, 'I do not know where you are from. Depart from me, all you evildoers!'" (Luke 13:23-27). Once again, we see the Master of the House - our Father in Heaven - does not know the sinners who knock on his door asking for entrance. They try and show their faces to him, thinking that he would surely recognize them. They dined with him and they listened to his teaching; surely they would be his friends. Yet, he does not recognize them.
Again, this is the same with our souls. Our Father will not recognize us if we fall into mortal sin.
We long for recognition. In one way or another, we want to be known. This recognition has different degrees for many people. However, I have found that one common, universal joy one receives in recognition is simply when someone uses his name. By the same token, how much more should we long for God, the Almighty Creator of the universe, to recognize us! The Lord walks with us at all times. When we sin, we turn away from the Lord, not He from us. He stays on the narrow path, yet we run away from Him. The farther away we get, the harder we are to see. He calls our name, but we cannot hear Him because we have distanced ourselves from Him. The best way to stick close with our Lord is frequent reception of the Sacrament of Confession and frequent reception of our Lord in the Eucharist.
Is this an easy task? No. Carrying the Cross of Christ is never an easy task. But if the Cross is the way I will be recognized by my Lord, then I will carry it with me all the days of my life.