Francis and Sin

While I was traveling, the Holy Father delivered another one of his very profound sermons in which he said that "the privileged place for an encounter with Christ are our sins." This is, I think, critical to understanding his entire pontificate. He does not view sin the way a Pelagian views sin. He does not think that we get rewarded for good behavior with the sacraments. He sees sin as the human condition, not only as a discrete act, and is always, always viewing sin in the light of Christ's cross and resurrection. He is not exhorting us to be good little boys and girls, but mature adults, capable of recognizing the many ways we do not keep our promises, the many ways our indifference blinds us to our unmet obligations to the poor, and even the enormous amounts of pride we can pack into even our good deeds, and looking to Christ as the One who fulfilled - already - the promise contained in the beautiful offertory prayer over the gifts we heard yesterday: "May this oblation, O Lord, which on the altar of the Cross canceled the offense of the whole world, cleanse us, we pray, of all our sins." The phrase "canceled the offense of the whole world" is stunningly beautiful. It is what we believe. The implications of this line of thought for the upcoming Synod on the Family are obvious. 

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