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...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The body part that causes sin

You know which one it is.

Every man has one.

Every woman has one too.

It is right between our ears.

Yes, we may have physiological impulses to do this or that, but the cause of sin is ultimately in the mind, for it is the mind that chooses to sin.

People sometimes forget this when they hear our Lord's words in today's Gospel (Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48).

If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off.
It is better for you to enter into life maimed
than with two hands to go into Gehenna,
into the unquenchable fire.
And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off.
It is better for you to enter into life crippled
than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna.
And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out.
Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye
than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna,
where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'

But it is never one's eye that causes sin nor does a hand cause sin, nor even a particular lobe of the brain: sin in caused in the mind of the sinner.

Our Lord is not saying here that eyes and hands cause sin: what he is saying is that our response to sin in our lives must be as drastic as ripping out one’s eye or chopping off one’s hand.

We must look at ourselves and our lives with great precision and clarity.

What habits of thought, habits of speech or habits of action lead us astray or cause us to fall?

Tear them off, cut them out, and throw them away.

If emotional, intellectual or lifestyle changes - even drastic ones - are necessary to pull us out of spiritually unhealthy places, then we should do them (mindful of our solemn responsibilities).

It is better that than the alternative.

Lord Jesus Christ, son of the living God, be merciful to me, a sinner.

(adapted from an earlier post)