A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Love the sinner

We often hear the admonition: “Hate the sin, love the sinner.” This of course applies to any sin and any sinner.

Truly living up to this admonition is sometimes difficult: most especially when the sinners insist that the sin (the activity) is a dominant or otherwise inextricable aspect of their identity (essence) or when the words “love” and “hate” are being twisted (“what you call ‘sin’, I call ‘love’ and it is really ‘hate’ to call it ‘sin’).

So, how do we “hate the sin, but love the sinner”? First, by refusing to let others twist the meaning of what we say and of what we believe or to hijack the language of public discourse in an Orwellian way.

Second, by being clear in what we teach, faithful in what we do, and exceedingly charitable in how we both speak and act.

Thirdly and most importantly, we must keep firmly in our minds and hearts the example of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, most especially (as we hear in today’s second readingRomans 5:5b-11) “in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us.”

That is the depth of the love we are to have for sinners, even as we speak the truth about sin.

For we too are sinners, called to truth, to repentance, and to love.

The love of God
has been poured out into our hearts
through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.

For Christ,
while we were still helpless,
died at the appointed time for the ungodly.

Indeed, only with difficulty
does one die for a just person,
though perhaps for a good person
one might even find courage to die.

But God proves his love for us
in that while we were still sinners
Christ died for us.

How much more then,
since we are now justified by his blood,
will we be saved through him from the wrath.

Indeed, if, while we were enemies,
we were reconciled to God
through the death of his Son,
how much more, once reconciled,
will we be saved by his life.