Monday, May 17, 2010

Understanding Original Sin as Explained in the Catholic Catechism

“When you make a decision, consult death.” That’s what I read last night in Imitation of Mary. At Mass yesterday the priest said in no uncertain terms, that what we do here today has consequences for how we will spend eternity later.  His was a message of hope pertaining to the Ascension of Jesus. In light of what I’ve been studying in the catechism, I took it rather hard.

You see for the past several days, I’ve been reading and rereading about how freedom was tested with the first original sin. Pride and self preference create barriers that make it impossible to be friends with God. “The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed; the control of the soul’s spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject “to its bondage to decay.” Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: “man will return to the ground,” for out of it he was taken. Death makes entrance into human history.” (CCC pg. 112)
We have no alternative but to accept the transgression of events as they happened. We know that through these events, God showed mercy on His people by sending His Son, Jesus for our salvation. But do we realize how precious the gift of Jesus is? Do we truly acknowledge Jesus present in each and every one of us? Do we grasp how much we must be loved by God to have been given an out for our own failures?
In light of the answers to these questions, our behavior toward one another should automatically be affected. God didn’t just say, “I’ll have mercy on you.” His actions proved it. His love for His creation is unfathomable! Our natural response should be one of humility, appreciation and love – not words uttered in haste as we say our prayers, but actions moved by faith as we live out our prayers each and every moment of our lives. It’s easier said than done, I know. But why should we let that prevent us from trying in the first place? Success really isn’t about taking home the gold. It’s about getting past the fear that keeps you from going for it, when the odds are clearly stacked against you.