Sunday, March 11, 2007

Attachment to Sin

We all have them, however much we may not like to think about it. Recently, having read the first four chapters of St. Teresa of Avila's Interior Castle, my friend Marcia and I have had frequent conversations about Teresa's insistence that our souls are so glorious and immense that if we could see them clearly then we would understand just what damage sin does to us.

Cathy from Recovering Dissident Catholic and I have been having a little chat via comments boxes about the need to be aware of the damage done by venial sin. Indeed, this is often a problem for me. I attribute it to my entirely secular background, perhaps wrongly. I know venial sins are a problem but have trouble getting all worked up over them. When it is time for confession I am usually brought to it by having to ask the Holy Spirit to show me what is a problem. Thankfully (though I always regret it), He always comes through, usually immediately. I then have one problem after another with a hasty temper or some other thing I have managed to forget about. And off I go to the confessional ...

God seems to have been working on me lately through books (no surprise there, right?). Having read Inferno (a Dante-lite of sorts) I was brought to a new awareness of venial sin in my own life. Darwin's Lenten series on Dante's Divine Comedy has also been of immense help in keeping these sins before my eyes. Unlike some friends who have a problem with feeling guilty and letting go of sins, I suffer (and I use "suffer" advisedly) from the opposite problem of feeling as if my sins are so small that they seem as if they don't really matter. I know intellectually that this is not the case, however, knowing is not the same as feeling which is often what sends me to confession. Hence, these constant reminders are very good indeed for me.

This post was prompted by reading Adoro te Devote's recounting of a dream. Reading it from the outside the meaning seemed crystal clear and I again was sent back to considering my own soul. The images are vivid and disturbing (though not gory or unnecessarily disturbing) and just what I need to keep in mind. Her comments about complacency hit home as if she'd been aiming for a target on my forehead.
I woke up then, shuddering, wondering why I had been so complacent in that dream?

I often pray the rosary on my way to work, and that morning, as I prayed, the images from that dream pulverized me...and so I let the images come, praying all the while, asking God what I was supposed to gain from this?

And He answered.
Go read the whole thing at Adoro te Devote. Confession anyone? I'll be in line next Saturday for sure.

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