Monday, January 24, 2011

Sin--moving away from God

I have been very busy lately.  I had a brilliant idea for my blog this morning over tea, but like a wonderful dream it faded away over the course of my crazy day.  Oh well...I thought I'd share a less brilliant thought.

by W. Bouguereau (1897)
 Yesterday, my second grade class learned about the Sacrament of Penance.  I mean the actual mechanics of it, so to speak.  We went inside the little room where they will meet Jesus in the person of our priest, Father F.  I have to admit, I find Fr. F rather intimidating myself at times.  We are almost the same age, he is very military (he is in the Air Force reserves) so he reminds me of the officers I worked under in the military, and he is a little of  a perfectionist from what I can see.  I think I am always afraid of disappointing him.  Anyway, I am doing my best to make sure the children are not afraid of him when he goes into the confessional.  Afterwards, all but one of my students said they were less scared to enter that little room.  They all behaved well and seemed to take it seriously.

Well, after our brief tour in the tiny room, I decided to help them understand what is sin.  I had them line up shoulder to shoulder facing the crucifix on the wall of the Our Lady of Fatima chapel.  I had them take one step backwards for a venial sin, of which we tried to think up examples, and two steps back for mortal sins, also with examples.  Once they had traveled to nearly the back of the room, I explained to them that that is what sin does; it causes us to move away from God (illustrated by God the Son on the crucifix).  He doesn't move.  God never changes.  We are the ones who change because of sin. 

Then we talked about contrition.  Imperfect contrition--saying we're sorry because we're supposed to do so--brings us part of the way back to God.  We illustrated this be taking a couple of steps forward.  However, when we have perfect contrition--in other words, we are truly sorry for our sins from our hearts--we come all the way back to God.  The children came all the way back to the front of the room. 

Sin moves us away from God.  God never moves, changes, or turns away from us.  He waits for our confession and our perfect contrition and welcomes us back to Himself with open arms.

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