Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Why "better" is so often a dirty word.

In this world, in this life, we are often accustomed to viewing things in terms of "better" or "worse."  Which choice is better, which would be worse to do.  It's just the way of navigating a nasty, sinful world where the "best" rarely if ever happens.

I saw a discussion on line that got me thinking about this - it involved the discussion of St. Augustine's "divorce".  I put divorce in quotation marks because the assertion was made that Augustine separated from his concubine - and so therefore didn't really divorce.  Therefore, he's not an evil divorcer.

See... it's better that way.  We aren't supposed to divorce, and since he wasn't really married (although a concubine was a recognized status) that separation wasn't really a divorce.


"Better" is all too often an attempt to excuse sin, to work around it, to justify it.  The situation was not right, it was not good, it was not best.  Period.  And while in the world we can categorize and rank and such... it's sinful.  Full of sin.

Augustine was well aware of this - his Confessions pull no punches. 

But here's the danger.  While in the world we can talk about "better" - when it comes down spiritually, we don't talk "better" -- we talk "maxima"... mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa... my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault.

I don't need to show that my sin is better than it could have been.  I don't need to show how it could have been worse.  That's nice and all... seriously, for the world, it's nice.  But within the Church, as regards my spiritual health... that's dangerous.  That leads away from confession, that leads away from relying upon Christ to be my righteousness, that lead to pride. 

So what if what I have done is "better" than other options... it is still my sin, my most grievous sin... I will confess it, and rejoice that Christ has borne it for me upon the Cross.

Anything else is, well, damning with faint praise.  Thanks be to God for His great love to me in Christ Jesus!

1 comment:

Steve Martin said...

Amen, Rev..

"ALL our righteous deeds are as filthy rags."