Mortal v. Venial

Mortal sin is like a bomb blast: the damage to one’s soul is immediate and catastrophic.

Venial sin is like a termite infestation. It may not seem like much at first, but if you don’t deal with it quickly and decisively, that one or two wee little bugs you almost don’t even notice are going to multiply, and become a colony; and that colony has the capability of doing some serious long-term damage to the structure it inhabits: your soul.

When someone we love is in mortal sin –

It doesn’t matter who it is, or how much we love them, or how “good” that person is:

Our affection doesn’t sanctify that person’s sin.

Okay – it’s understandable that people want to minimize and whitewash their loved one’s flaws. But when someone we love is engaged in acts of mortal sin, we must have the courage to look at those acts and to name them for what they are. I don’t care what your son or daughter or nephew or best friend is doing – if you can’t recognize that their mortal sin is just that, then you’re not loving their immortal soul.

This is called cooperation with grave matter, and it’s also a sin, by the way.

One of the most courageous couples I know did something incredibly hard and risky: they sat their lesbian daughter down and told her in no uncertain terms, “As long as you are involved in the lifestyle, you aren’t welcome here. We cannot, we will not tolerate your engaging in sin as if it were of no consequence.”

It might have been horrible – the daughter might have rebelled, she might have chosen her partner over her family, she might have estranged herself from her family for years and years. Instead, she chose her family – and because they loved her enough to tell her that sin is sin, she is now out of the lifestyle and able to look back objectively and with admirable honesty at what she left behind. At the ugly and manipulative community she escaped.

In any event, she told me, some time later, her parents had made sure that there would be someone who loved her enough to tell her the truth – that what she was doing was morally wrong, unacceptable in a Christian, and dangerous. If she ever struggled or vacillated in her choice, she had the truth echoing in her mind the whole time.

Love cannot – must not! lose sight of the fact that those we love possess a soul that is immortal, that we all will face a particular Judgment and pay the penalties – the just penalties – for our sins. And when we ourselves prevaricate, rather than facing head-on our duty to the Truth, then we compound the wrong; we take guilt to ourselves and we prolong and deepen our loved one’s slavery to sin.

from Facebook, and resulting thoughts

A friend posted this on Facebook, and it’s been copied by a few people (including me). It’s generated some very animated and good discussion:

To everyone who is calling for stricter gun laws in light of the tragedy in Tucson, may I offer this little tidbit: If guns kill people, then pencils misspell words, cars drive drunk, and spoons make people fat. Remember: Hold the person accountable for their actions, not the means they chose to utilize!!!

Yes, I know, guns can inflict a lot more damage in a short time. But if someone is determined to hurt someone, any object will do.

There are far more beneficial discussions to be having about the Tucson tragedy – beginning with how we handle the mentally ill. It’s a fine balance – we don’t want to get like totalitarian regimes throughout history where you can report me for some spurious crime just because you don’t like me, and I get hauled away on the basis of your false report. However, it’s just not right to family and neighbors that nothing can be done to get a manifestly disturbed individual in for evaluation and treatment – until it can be proven that the individual is a danger to himself or others. By that point, you’ve got a Tucson event all over again.

Popping in for a few minutes… hello!

I know I have several people who “follow” this blog, through various email notifications, etc. I appreciate you and thank you.

I’m not at all sure I’m “back.” Fact is, I find blogging a tedious business. I might post this today and not be back for a few months, or I might post every day for a few months and then get bored by the process and bug out again. Who knows? (who cares?)

Anyway, I have a couple things to share for your consideration, so I’m posting today.

Thanks for your patience and your affectionate indulgence.