Sunday, September 21, 2014

On Saints and Sinners

A friend, let's call him George for want of a name, was heading for a monastery. My reaction, expressed privately and not to George, was: "It's a fucking crime!!!!! Such a fucking waste. So fucking selfish. Given this broken world."
But O.K. let him live quietly and be always with the Lord. I envy God and I envy him. Lucky buggers. God help the rest of us who have to endure ! ! !
So I prayed about it and God seemed to say: "If you ask me whether I am easier with my other children than with you. Is there a scale of fault in your eyes? So where would you place yourself and where George - on that scale?"
There are few absolutes. Absolute love is arguably the best of them. So in a spirit of absolute love I have to confess my own sins as being greater than George's.
So here's a question - not unrelated in my mind - though you may find it hard to trace the parallel: If you propose to act in a way which God and the world view as wrong - But are prevented, though your intention was to do something which went against the will of God (in my case to a great degree and in George's case to a particularly small degree) - Have you sinned?
Jesus would imply that you had - that the mere inclination was enough - at least when the object in mind was adultery. But I differ from Jesus here. So many of us are consumed with bad intentions. And those that are not can as easily be caught be circumstance as those that are. Purity of heart is fine for those who live in a monastery. What matters are our deeds.
And here's another quasi-related point: We don't always say what we want (or what we think). We behave thus in a spirit of diffidence tinged with an element of consideration for the other. Which can be a good thing.
However, I resolve to attempt to change that in myself. Perhaps because I grow older and life is too short for dissembling. A little more of the Absolute Honesty perhaps - just a smattering - to go alongside the Absolute Love. Just don't expect perfectly Absolute Purity or Absolute Unselfishness. Well OK expect it if you must. Just remember a little compassion for those that fail.

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