19 March 2012

The Look of a Sinner


There are some Catholics who will tell you that in some, or many cases even, one can tell that one is a (grave) sinner because of certain visible characteristics.  These characteristics are not even manifest sins themselves, but rather, certain traits that usually prove to be either due to or a sign of the person's gravel sinful life.

Judging what is a manifestly grave sin is always a grave sin, and one cannot have the light of  Truth if they do not obey the Commandments, as God the Son explained, "He who says he loves me yet fails to keep the commandments is a liar and the TRUTH is not in him."  But to judge the state of a soul who is not in manifest (either by their own words or actions) grave sin is, a grave sin in itself.

Please understand, that what you are about to read, should you go any further, is not intended as evangelism, for as this blogger is a woman, and has not that calling.  Nor do I claim to be a teacher, but I do consider myself a spiritual mother and by that state I feel compelled to write to those spiritual children that always benefit, as I know myself, from spiritual exhortation.

God hears everyone's heart, and when one starts to judge the interior life of another, not knowing, as only God Himself knows, what graces have been given to the person and what have been held back, and the purpose God has for having chosen to give and hold back.  If we are to call ourselves Christians, however, we can only be assured of having known God's mercy by bringing us to the Church and the Sacraments given to her by Christ.

If you want to know who appeared to be the biggest sinner, having taken on the appearance of even directly offending God and taking the punishment for his crimes, look to Christ on the Cross.

If you want to know what sinner would put an innocent man to die on a cross, look in the mirror.  Remember God's mercy.   Now, ask yourself, "Was all this for then you to judge the grace of your neighbor?"   Christ took on the appearance of a tremendous criminal to be given the ultimate punishment, yet he was Innocence itself.

WHENEVER one judges the interior life of another, they judge also Christ.  Since one does not know the crosses, much less the graces God has given to a soul or the grace God has chosen to withhold, or the reasons of either mystery, it is impossible for us to know such a thing, and God warns us not to judge in such a way, for the penalty of this is that same way that we judge will be judged of us.  What does that mean?   It certainly does not mean that which is evil becomes good --- as that which is sinful is objectively sinful, but this isn't about judging what is objectively sinful, but judging that which is unknowable and unseen.   The rash judgment of a person's soul, interior life or destiny is judgement of Christ because Christ is who died for the sinner.  Not only did Christ die for the sinner that he who is repentant might be saved, Christ did so by taking upon himself every sin and even the appearance and pain --- both direct and indirect --- of every sin committed by man.  This is why we judge Christ when we judge our neighbor, because he took on sin to himself.

Still, it is good to concern ourselves with the spiritual welfare of our neighbor* (*remember who our Lord said was our neighbor) as we should concern ourselves with our own soul.  In holy prudence and charity, do what you can to save souls --- especially with prayer and penance --- that you might save, in this way, your own soul.

He Took Upon Himself the Appearance of a Sinner

(...and please pray for me.)

"For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross. For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names: That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation. For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will. And do ye all things without murmurings and hesitations; That you may be blameless, and sincere children of God, without reproof, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation; among whom you shine as lights in the world."    Philippians 2:5-15

Lord, Jesus Christ, Son of God the Father, have mercy on us.+