As one tries to grow in holiness and leave the sinful life behind, one notices that the flesh and mind keep on inclining toward sin. This is because every sin that we do in our life, has left a wound in our soul and flesh. Just like Adam and Eve, once we soil our baptismal purity with a mortal sin, we are never the same. Every sin committed comes back to haunt us and plaque us.
This morning I listen to a man who approached me because he can not sleep at night. He even had to leave his work because of the fatigue. He told me about his brother’s death from an unresolved sickness. The doctors could not figure out what he had, and he got weaker and skinnier until he died. This man thought that someone had done a spell on his brother. When ever someone comes to me with a problem, I look to the cause, which usually is some sin, either their own personal sin or someone around them. I do not look for someone doing harm to them from spells.
In the course of speaking with him, he tells me that his brother had never gotten married and had just lived together with his woman. (There is the problem) Then he proceeds to tell me about his own life of drinking and using drugs when he was young. He got very ill and stopped for awhile till he got better (as usually is the case). But again started up with substance abuse.
He also told me about the numerous times he went to see people he paid to heal him from spells. In spanish they are called curanderos. They use prayers, candles and saints, but also do cleansing with eggs and energy. This is not from God.
Finally he began to go to retreats where he began to get close to God and go to confession.
Now, here he is praying, going to confession and trying to live a holy life, and he is still having problems. Why? Because his past sins will always be with him and their consequences. He is married and has a son. Now his son is smoking marijuana. He smoked marijuana before, and now his son is.
I try to let the youth know that every sin they commit will, for the rest of their life, cause them problems. Let us take pornography as an example. A child is happy playing and running around. Then all of a sudden someone shows this child pornography and takes away his innocence. From that day on, the child will want to see more and will remember the pictures he saw. Now, say he continues to see pornography until one day he decides to stop seeing it. All those images he saw in the past will continue to tempt him in the present. He will have so many sexual temptations just because of the pictures he has seen for the rest of his life. Not only that, if people know about this, they will later on throw that in his face when he tries to tell them about being a good Catholic.
Every sexual experience, outside of marriage and for the purpose of having children, is sinful. All these sinful experiences will have consequences for the rest of our lives in our marriages or living a chaste single life.
It is like this. Say I am drunk and get in an accident which causes me to be paralyzed. The sin was getting drunk and endangering myself and others by driving. I go to confession and am extremely repentant of this terrible sin. No matter how sorry I am, I still will be paralyzed. God forgives our sins sincerely confessed. But our bodies and sub conscience can not.
Another example is killing a baby in the womb by abortion. No matter how sorry I am for that terrible crime and sin, it will never get back the child or take away the memory of the abortion. I have to live with that horrible remorse all the days of my life.
And it is not only our own lives that are effected by our sins, but also those around us. Until death, the trauma received by the children in a violent marriage, goes on into their future lives.
1) We go to God and beg His forgiveness in confession. God is more merciful than any sin we can commit. God forgives even when everyone else still remembers our sins of our youth and since. And we keep going to confession. I recommend every month. And if a sin of our past keeps bothering us, confess it again in all humility.
2) We learn from our sins. Been there, done that, no more repeats.
3) We tell other people to avoid offending God and that they will suffer for the rest of their lives for these sins. We tell them out of love for God and for them.
4) We keep on praying when we are tempted because of our exposure to evil when we first sinned. God and Mary are able to help us recover some of our innocence again.
5) Stay very humble. We opened the box of temptation and fell in. Now we know we are very weak and sinful. In all humility, we acknowledge our weakness and put our trust in God’s graces to not sin again. Any one of us are capable of sinning gravely at any time. As the saying goes; “Pride goes before the fall.”
Anyone one of us have sinned or is capable of sinning. If people bring these past sins of ours up when they are angry with us, remember that we deserve the bad that they are spreading and worse. On the final return of Jesus, everyone’s sins will be known. If we have confessed them, tried our best to make up for these sins and are doing good things for God and others with our lives, we need not be ashamed. We admit the sins we committed with humility, take the blame and praise God for His loving mercy for having forgiven them.
No matter how great of a sinner we have been or how perfect we have been, we boast in Jesus Christ and Him alone. Jesus is our savior from sin and from eternal damnation. We are so fortunate to know this and be traditional Catholics.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.