As we enter into this season of Lent, it is important to remember what these next 40 days are truly about. Lent is about love, and love requires sacrifice. Making sacrifices looks different for every person, yet at the root of sacrifice is a desire to, as St. Catherine of Siena says, “root out vice and plant virtue”. In other words, when we make sacrifices, we purify our souls, and that purification allows us to acknowledge our shortcomings, confess them, and be reminded that we are simply dust, and to dust we shall return. During these next forty days, let us remember that the confessional offers freedom – the freedom to hand over our sins and vices to Christ, and unite them to His cross – and in turn, plant virtue.
The confessional is where we retreat to when we commit a mortal sin; the greatest offense that we do to God. In this confessional, we admit to all the things we have done against Him to the preacher, where we then are forgiven for our sins and can continue our lives in a state of grace until the next time we sin. It is no secret that the good Christian feels like a fool when they sin, often asking themselves why did they do it when they knew it was wrong? The answer to that is that humans will act like humans; meaning that no matter how devoted we are to God, on occasion we put our pleasures first before anything else. Why do we do such a silly thing like that?
If all could see the eternal glory of Heaven, then we would understand that no drink or drug or any pleasure of the flesh would be worth the loss of Heaven. Unfortunately, we cannot see Heaven until our time comes, so until that day, we see Heaven through the Mass and the Eucharist. But even though we recognize Heavens existence, we still continue committing sins. So why is it that we put a short period of pleasure in front of eternal salvation?
As I have said before, it’s no secret that Christians feel like fools when we sin, and that foolishness can make us mad at ourselves or even hate ourselves. It is beyond pointless to beat ourselves up for things we’ve done and even in this nihilistic society, people still recognize this belief. So really, what is the point of sin?
Even the most fire and brimstone preacher would tell you that the point of sin is to give us a sense of euphoria and he wouldn’t be wrong. But let us find the point of sin using mathematics and common sense. Heaven is an eternal salvation given to us by God when we have shown that we gave him our unquestionable loyalty to Him during our life on Earth. The only thing that could prevent us from reaching Heaven is by committing a mortal sin; an act of selfish pleasure. When one dies with the burden of mortal sin on his or her soul, they are casted into eternal damnation or, if they’re lucky, sent into purgatory. Therefore, if the pleasure of Heaven lasts longer than any mortal sin, and the consequence for such a sin is either temporary or eternal pain, then the logical conclusion to the point of sin is that there is no point.
Indeed, that is the simple truth. There is no great philosophical dissection needed for the subject. Looking back at the sins you have previously committed, could you have done something more productive? You had to take out time in your schedule to go to a confessional and confess your sins when you could’ve been giving glory to God in a different form such as prayer, studying religious text, helping those in need, exercising, etc. Am I saying that confession is bad? Absolutely not! In fact, the act of contrition brings much glory to God because you are recognizing your own mistakes and wanting to return to Him, which is why I said previously, “giving glory to God in a different form.” So, the next time a mortal sin appears, and it will, ask yourself before committing it, “What the hell is the point?”