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What is sin?

If we cant understand sin we wont understand grace. And if we dont understand grace we remain locked in the Newtonian God of cause and effect. Fortunately, sin and grace illuminate each other. Firstly we need to separate sin from the law. In other words, we need to see that sin is more than the breaking of a rule that will incur punishment from outside ourselves. Sin contains its own punishment. If there is another punisher, it is only our introverted image of a divine parent, priest, teacher or feared stranger. After all God is like the sun who is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked - at least in the way Jesus understood God. Maybe we know better and remain convinced that plain common sense demands that any God we can understand rewards the good and punishes the bad. So what is sin then? Is it that universal rift in human nature that makes us see everything in twos? That crack in the window pane that skews whatever we observe because we observe it. Where did this crack come from? Where does the guilt lie if, in fact, there is guilt involved? We will not know the answer to this oldest riddle until we are touched by grace. Laurence Freeman OSB This guy knows more than what he lets out. His putting 'sin' and 'grace' by way of common platitudes does not help the reader if he or is is a novice in spiritual matters. His ending is tinged with futility and hopelessness in purpose or intended goodwill. In spiritual terms there is neither 'sin' nor 'grace' in absolute terms or definition or meaning. They are always and will always remain 'provisional' terms that take their 'relative' meaning from the context they are found in. They are just road signs or guideposts in a territory for which we do not have a map. The reason is each of us are at different locations on this uncharted map and we are neither equipped with a compass or the GPS of our final destination. We have to rely on our spiritual instinct and intuition to get there. There is no common blueprint and there is no one size gloves that fits all! Sin is and encompasses whatever that takes us further away from God and Grace is and encompasses whatever that brings us closer to God. In characterisation or post analysis we deem some factor to be a sin against God or conversely a grace of God; and our simple mind draws up a tally as to whether something is a merit or demerit. But when we take our worldly mind and our worldly self-ego out of the equation we will realise that there is no guilt and no sin and conversely no grace that was predicated on justification. God realises that we are all sinners and that when we sinned, we sinned because we were lost in sin. God's grace is not something dispensed at his will or discretion or based on merit. We are always by birthright perpetual postulants of the grace of his fatherly covenant of unconditional love. The moment we return home to our Spirit Father out of repentance and filial piety and reconcile with him we are recipients of his grace. Grace is simply the insurance policy we can cash in if we want to get out of jail. But if we choose to continue to be mired in sin it is not because we do not understand grace as the author suggested, nor do we feel guilty. We just remain sinners! It is not a matter of self-judgment nor a matter subject to God's punishment or wrath. It is simply that we are still quaqmired in our self-ego and selfconsciousness. God has no control of that! It is our own 'proverbial' cross that we have to carry! Like a balloon we feel good being inflated with self-ego. We will either burst when we get overly inflated or when someone pricks our bloated self-ego prematurely. Either way, that is the point we 'wake up' to the fact that self-ego is all 'hot air' or bad 'spirit'. If we are just ordinary air, just selfless 'spirit', we will find our way back to our Spirit Father, the open air that is always out there, always waiting for us. Vince 7/4/14

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