Tuesday, 9 December 2008

The World is a Place of a Myriad Addictions

I've just been reading a piece on BBC News about a sex addiction clinic in the UK and I can say with my hand on my heart that I am a poor addict to many things, blogging being the least harmful. Programmes and courses which encourage people to change their lives and overcome addictions are a good thing, of that there can be no doubt, but if a man were an alcoholic, a sex addict, a romantic love addict and a nicotine addict (am I giving too much away!?) and wanted to go to a class to overcome all of these things, he would never get a night in at home in front of the TV.

The very fact that we want to change is a wonderful insight into our innate moral desire for Goodness. The Church does not and has never said that people are born bad, just that through Original Sin, that people are born wounded, but infinitely loveable and wonderful. The Sacramental Grace of Baptism and the life of Grace in the Church helps us to aim our lives towards Heaven, but God is not surprised by our sinfulness because we continue to struggle to choose Good over Evil. Our Lord does not make Saints overnight, but we look to the lives of the Saints as models for us to follow.

The Sacrament of Confession is where penitent sinners go to hand over their sins to God, to be healed and to once again resolve to 'sin no more', with the help of God's Grace. It seems to me that although all of these programmes are very good, they are lacking in one thing, which is the true healing and unconditional love and Grace that comes from Christ. For this is what every human heart really yearns for...the love, healing and forgiveness of God who has made us for Himself.

Here is a simple Act of Contrition which I pray every night and which is used in the Confessional before or while the Priest gives the Absolution.

O my God
I am very sorry that I have sinned against You
Because You are so good
And with Your help I will not sin again

The Church is a Hospital for Sinners and just like a hospital, if you're a bit ill, like all of us are, you're bound to be in and out every now and then. Like many sicknesses, some sins are mortal with the deadly potential to kill the soul. In hospital the remedy is medicine, in the Church the medicine is Confession.

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