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Sin Isn't A Foregone Conclusion

There are many myths surrounding sin. These myths are lies that we've either told ourselves or have entered into our mind in some other way, perhaps by way of a book we read or something we were told. I've believed, for too long, that sin will happen as a foregone conclusion. I'm human, I'm flawed, therefore despite my best efforts, I'll sin. Yet, that isn't entirely true. In fact, the belief that habitual sin is a foregone conclusion is false. One has only to look to the saints to recognize that reality. It isn't an easy place to get to, but it has been proven possible.

Confession frees us from the burden of sin and also from some of the inclination. When you leave the Sacrament, having been absolved, your defenses are completely intact. You're back up to full health and ready to take on the world. It's when you let that first sin occur that your defenses begin to weaken. As sin compounds on itself, your defenses are depleted until you make it back to Confession. It's our choice to sin, whether we like to admit it or not. Therefore, if we can choose to sin, so can we choose not to sin.

Along with Confession we have the Eucharist. If Confession frees us, the Eucharist perfects us. We take into ourselves the fullness of God and become living tabernacles. All of this is hard to see and recognize because there's no outward change, but inside, the game is completely different. The God who created everything in six days, who sustains life, is dwelling physically within us. Change is definite, if we accept it. I once heard a priest make a very startling, but telling analogy between the Eucharist and Tylenol. He said that we put more faith in Tylenol than we do in the Eucharist. When you take Tylenol, you expect something to happen. So when you receive the Eucharist, why wouldn't you expect even greater things to happen? Perhaps our lives and the choices that we make are the barrier to God doing tremendous things through us.

At the end of the day, it all comes back to trusting in God over trusting in ourselves. Jesus' message of mercy has been repeated throughout the centuries, and will again come into focus during the upcoming Jubilee year. We have the message of Divine Mercy and we have the powerful words of absolution in Confession. God is here, and He has come to lift us up from the base life that our bodies want us to live so that we can live in a state of true happiness. Again, we may be the only thing stopping ourselves from reaching that state of holiness today.

When we look at the lives of the saints, we tend to focus on where they ended, in Heaven. We overlook their struggles with rage, anger, gluttony, lust, pride, and many of the other sinful inclinations that we ourselves battle every day. Sainthood isn't an instant perfection. Rather, it's a life's work of tending the garden of your soul and painstakingly weeding out our sinful inclinations.

When you leave Confession believing that sin is inevitable, or when you choose to commit sin based on the belief that you're going to sin anyway, you undercut God's words and His promise. The graces are there, we just have to have the courage to change.