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...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Faking sin

In today’s first reading (2 Maccabees 6:18-31), a devout and venerable man is encouraged to fake a sin: to pretend that he is eating pork in violation of the Mosaic Law when he is really eating kosher.

He refuses to do it, knowing that by his pretense he would lead others astray, even though that pretense would save his life.

There are times in our own lives when we may do things that we know are perfectly innocent but might look sinful to others, such as staying overnight chastely with someone with whom a sexual relationship is possible, spending a lot of time in bars albeit without drinking alcohol, or working virtuously in an specific environment notorious for evildoing.

There may be nothing sinful in any of these things (although we may be fooling ourselves about the occasion of sin they may be for us) but these things may nevertheless cause scandal to others, leading them astray and even leading them to commit the sin we had avoided.

The problem of scandal increases with our relative prominence as people of faith, of course, but the problem of scandal is not limited to priests and other high-profile believers.

Each one of us need to set a good example, by our words and deeds: taking care that we should lead no one astray.

We are all sinners, of course, and so we sometimes will fall short and even fall into sin (Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, be merciful to me – a sinner) and so as we strive to live lives of virtue we should also strive to live lives of penitence, communicating by our words and deeds that we are imperfect and dependent upon the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

By the grace of God, may we always live the truth of Christ for all to see.