Thursday, December 16, 2004

Hating Satan

I know that doesn't sound very Christmas-y or Advent-y, but follow my point here: during this pentitential season, I am alarmed at how little I hate my sins.

Sure, I'm aware of my sins and my sinful tendencies. Coming back to the Sacrament of Reconciliation after many years, I've grown in my sensitivity to my sinfulness, at least in regard to how unattractive it is, how unbecoming to a child of God. I do exercise more patience and restraint and tolerance of others around me, I have reduced my exposure to vulgarity and obscenity, and I'm more generous. Well, yay for me, but I know that I have a hugely long way to go to be aware of how my pride and willfulness offends the Christ in others.

But do I really, really hate my sins? I have a creepy feeling that I mostly accommodate them, reduce them at some convenient, bearable rate to a smaller place in my life, so as not to cause too much discomfort in my life, or to look too obvious.

If I really hated my sins, then I would have to hate the Father of Sin himself, Satan, wouldn't I? And shouldn't I be fearing him?

Fear! Another holy emotion we've largely lost. I know I don't fear God near enough, except as a giver-out of punishments (think of the old Act of Contrition "I detest all my sins because of Thy just punishments.....") because I think that *I* have control of my destiny. I don't fear Satan either, for the same reason. I think that *I* can control my sins, and I'm just fine controlling my own good and evil impulses, right?

When I get this figured out, I'll let you know. It's probably the big next step towards growing in a walk with Christ.


Rosalind said...

Interesting what you say about fear. Lacking fear is not my problem; fearing, being cautious about, acknowleging as powerful the right things -- now there's the challenge. I'm ashamed to admit that I sometimes exhibit cockiness in the face of the Almighty. How stupid! Turning from Him and choosing my own way is bad, wrong, kaput, and incidentally a pretty good definition of "sin".

I love the strong language of the Act of Contrition. "I 'detest' all my sins . . ." That's good. Detest. May God help me wrinkle up my nose in distaste and destestation at the thought of offending him or harming those He loves.

TS said...

What bothers me is that sorrow for my sins is usually not out of sorrow for offending Christ but that I've hurt myself, that I've taken back a step, like I'm running a race and I made a misstep and now I'm behind.



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