Sunday, June 1, 2014

Ah yes, the homily that teaches how three things are needed to constitute mortal sin and if one of these things is lacking then the sin is not mortal; and, ah yes, let's see how we can run with this to make the commission of mortal sin look near impossible.

And ah yes, our venial sins are washed away in the Confiteor and the Agnus Dei and the reception of Holy Communion and one needs only open the sacrament of confession for mortal sin.

And ah yes, you wonder why the confessionals are empty but people are presenting themselves for Communion in droves.

It's called something: the wrong approach to sin.

God is offended by the least venial sin and the sacrament of confession is not a utility. Toilets are utilities. The sacrament of confession is not a utility.

Funnily, the regard for Confession as a utility is something common to both the loosey lefties and the tighty righties.


Julian Barkin said...

Hey Paul (Spike?), I was wondering what the context of this post is about. Did you hear this at Church today or is this in reference to a post online? Also, how to the righty righties make confession a utility? I'm familiar with lefty arguments (which you have done part of above) but not the right.

Terry Nelson said...

You are correct.

Paul Stilwell said...

Hi Julian, yes, the context was a homily I heard. I should be fair in saying the priest did talk about how venial sin disposes one to committing mortal sin...yet, if that's the only reason why venial sin is bad? It quite easily becomes casuistry, horizontalism, immanentism. It was one of those homilies where nothing wrong was said, per se, but the errors lay in what was not said.

The regard for confession as a utility by the trad persuasion is more subtle. At least I find it so. One can glean it from Fr. Z's combox when he talks about "GO TO CONFESSION". Yes, our sins are absolved in confession, but it's not to be regarded as a kind of toilet. They like to emphasize that it shouldn't take long, that one should get to the point, etc. All of it absolutely true. I agree. Yet they're talk of confession is lacking something, and I'm afraid there is an imbalance from their wont to "say the black and do the red" so to speak. In the context of confession this can lead to some serious errors. Presumption for one: the notion that one just go in and say the words and voila - good to go. But one needs resolve and contrition. One of the reasons why the term "reconciliation" was brought into use, as I understand. The left emphasizes the disposition of the penitent to the point of practical immanentism. The right emphasizes objective absolution to the point of practical impenitence (which also strangely becomes a lack of trust in God's forgiveness). Both end up turning confession into a utility. Which side would I rather err on? Obviously on the right with the emphasis on objective absolution. Of course, of course, God receives us in our imperfections including imperfect contrition and mixed motives and self-love; otherwise no one would ever be absolved. Anyhow, one could on.

Of course, I'm sure you will take this with a grain of salt. I'm not criticizing Fr. Z by the way, or anyone for that matter. I'm probably wrong. I would gladly be so.

And yeah, just Paul will work. Not Spike.