Presentation on theme: "Sin, an offence against God 42 BOSCH, Hieronymus The Seven Deadly Sins (detail) c. 1480 Oil on panel, diameter of detail: 36,3 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid."— Presentation transcript:
Sin, an offence against God 42 BOSCH, Hieronymus The Seven Deadly Sins (detail) c Oil on panel, diameter of detail: 36,3 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid
Compendium of the Catechism 392. What is sin? Sin is “a word, an act, or a desire contrary to the eternal Law” (Saint Augustine). It is an offense against God in disobedience to his love. It wounds human nature and injures human solidarity. Christ in his passion fully revealed the seriousness of sin and overcame it with his mercy.
Introduction It is said of Saint John Chrysostom that “Arcadius, emperor of Constantinople, instigated by his wife Eudoxia, wanted to punish the saint. Five judges proposed five different punishments: (…) the last judge said to the emperor: If you banish him to the desert, he will be happy, knowing that he is with God wherever he goes; if you rid him of his property, you do not take it away from him, but from the poor; if you chain him up in prison, he will kiss the chains; if you condemn him to death, that would be opening the gates of heaven for him... Make him sin: There is nothing he fears more than sin». We ought to ask ourselves if, like Saint John Chrysostom, we fear sin as the worst evil. BOSCH, Hieronymus The Seven Deadly Sins - Envy (detail) c Oil on panel, width of detail 49 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid
1. We are born with the inclination to sin Man is born with original sin, deprived of grace; and although this sin is forgiven in baptism, the disordered inclination of concupiscence remains. The will is weakened and the intelligence darkened; and what is more, the world tries to seduce us with illusory goods, and the devil tempts us. These various instigations to evil – be it from within or from without – we call temptations. BOSCH, Hieronymus The Temptation of St Anthony Oil on panel, 70 x 51 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid
2. We can resist temptations God permits temptation in order to test us. Jesus Christ himself wanted to be tempted by the devil, but he fought the temptation off: "Get away from me, Satan..." (Mt 4:10). When temptation comes, we ought to pray and resist: to pray, following the advice Christ gave us, "Watch and pray so that you do not fall into temptation" (Mt 26:41); and resist courageously, fleeing away from occasions of sin and from people who provoke us to sin DUCCIO di Buoninsegna Temptation on the Mount Tempera on wood, 43 x 46 cm Frick Collection, New York
3. Sin is the result of consent Committing sin involves three essential elements: a) that the act in itself is bad (or is believed to be bad); b) knowledge that if one consents, it is an offence against God, because it goes against His will; c) consent to the evil – by doing what is bad, or omitting the good that ought to be done – although knowing that in so doing we offend God. Sin can be either internal (in thoughts and desires), or external (in words and deeds). MASOLINO da Panicale The Temptation ( ) Fresco, 208 x 88 cm Cappella Brancacci, Santa Maria del Carmine, Florence
4. Mortal sin is a grave offence against God When mortal sin is committed, one offends God gravely: He has declared his will for us, knowing what is best for us, and we despise it with full freedom. Mortal sin backfires upon man, because he loses the life of grace, ceases to be a son of God, and becomes worthy of hell. Therefore one has to get out of the condition of mortal sin by going to confession as soon as possible; meanwhile one ought to make a perfect act of contrition. ANTONELLO da Messina The Dead Christ Supported by an Angel Panel, 74 x 51 cm Museo del Prado, Madrid
5. Venial sin is a mild offence against God At times, without ceasing to love God, the Christian succumbs to his passions in matters that do not go completely against the commandments, yet are displeasing to God. Or, if a serious precept is transgressed, it may be done without full knowledge or without full consent. In this case, the sin is called venial, or a mild offence, because one does not lose the state of grace or of friendship with God. However, it does weaken one’s supernatural life, and puts one in danger of committing mortal sin. Although venial sin does not deserve the punishment of hell, it nonetheless requires purification in purgatory. We ought to be determined to avoid any venial sin. Above all, we must abhor deliberately committing a venial sin! CARAVAGGIO The Crowning with Thorns Oil on canvas, 127 x 165,5 cm Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
6. God pardons us in His mercy Knowing that God in His mercy does not abandon man – not even when we have offended Him– ought not to move us to take sin lightly, but rather it should give us hope and move us to convert. He waits for us patiently in the sacrament of Penance in order to forgive us, “not wishing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance,” as the Apostle St. Peter teaches (2 Pet 3:9). MASTER of Flémalle The Crucified Thief c Oil on wood, 33 x 92,5 cm Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt
Resolutions for Christian life
Resolutions to move forward Fight vigorously against sin, and against temptations that provoke one to sin. Pray the act of contrition – or a similar prayer – every night, asking for the forgiveness of one’s sins.