Monday, September 15, 2014

The Judge Of All Is Very Near (Some Thoughts On CCC, 1858-1862)

I need to tell you up front that I'm a worrier. I'm what we call "scrupulous." So this is pretty scary stuff, but at the same time, realize that a former Calvinist looks at the Ten Commandments very differently than the bishops likely do when they wrote paragraph 1858. I simply imbibed the notion that we are guilty of all of these daily. This is why Christ had to "die in our place"; we had no shot at keeping the law, or so we thought.

So let me say that I don't want to minimize any sins that are committed, especially if they are particularly grave. Abortion, other kinds of murder, large-scale theft and deception, fornication, adultery, and who knows what else are committed all the time, sometimes by us.

Mortal sin is real, and it is a possibility of human freedom. But also realize that the One who will judge us is the same one who died for us when we cared nothing for him. And He comes to us in the Eucharist. He loves us! He's looking right at us, and into our souls. Recalling the book of Leviticus, the people could eat the meat of the sacrifice once they had been pardoned. It represented that what had been broken had been restored. The eating was fellowship with God, and his priest. How much more the Eucharist, the thanksgiving of a new and better covenant! He is both victim and priest; if we can say the Confiteor with contrition, if indeed we are honest when we say, "Lord, I am not worthy, that You should enter under my roof,..." and yet, there is no reason to be downcast at the celebration of Mass, assembled in His presence, then let us eat without fear.

Friends overlook countless oversights and mistakes in their enjoyment and love of one another. It's no different here, even though Jesus does all the overlooking and forgetting. If you can look him in the eye, as it were, then eat. We of all people should know and believe that God is not an ogre, delighting to cast us out at the earliest opportunity. It's quite the opposite!

 He saved us, and made us friends. He made us family. There is a certain amount of unworthiness we all feel, especially if we have been very loved. But wouldn't we hurt our family, if, though they told us repeatedly they had nothing against us, we refused to come and eat with them?

Count me as one more likely to harshly accuse himself more than I have ever been accused. There is danger in this, also. Let us not accuse ourselves more than the Law and conscience requires.

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