Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Past is a Foreign Country

With Our Lord Jesus Christ, the past is a foreign country, but no ordinary foreign country. It is a country washed away, as if by a torrent of Blood and Water which gushed forth from His side for our redemption. When we go to Confession and receive Absolution, making us worthy to receive Him in the Holy Eucharist, our sins are like Atlantis, erased from the memory of God and man. As far as the East is from the West, that is how far God has removed our sins from us. Every time we go to Confession, every time we receive Holy Communion, we learn again that Christ makes all things new, for the 'former things have passed away'.

1 comment:

wl weber said...

Well, up to a point, Lord Copper. Almighty God also demands satisfaction for sin. All forgiven sins will be punished; either in this world or the next world (in Purgatory). So, yes, after absolution all sin is wiped away and there is no "awkwardness" with God. But He hasn't forgotten, and punishment is due. That's where Indulgencies come in handy: remission of punishment due for sins that have been forgiven (either partly remitted, or entirely remitted, depending on whether the indulgence is Plenary or Partial). So the Good News is total forgiveness in confession. The less comfortable news is we'll be required to pay for our forgiven sins sooner or later. And don't forget Good People, many Indulgencies can be applied to the Souls in Purgatory. When I was young we all learned the Catechism off by heart; it was in the form of simple questions and answers. I still remember much of it more than 40 years later; it gave a simple, but thorough grounding in Catholic belief. The question "What is an Indulgence?" required the simple answer "An Indulgence is a remission granted by Holy Church of temporal punishments which remain due to sin - after the guilt has been forgiven" Simples! What a pity children are no longer taught the simple Catechism. Nowadays Catholic children are taught nothing of our faith at school (try asking anyone under 40 to repeat the 10 commandments or the Spiritual Works of Mercy; or to name the seven sacraments). Any old how - the past might be a different country, my dear Bones, but it's still very much on Almighty God's very accurate map. William Weber

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