Friday, May 30, 2008

'I do what I hate"

1) Eucharistic Adoration, tonight, 7-8 pm, SAA Church.

2) DC ‘Hood vs. Holy Redeemer, tonight, 6 pm. Last game of the season!
In response to my May 7 post, “Consecrate them in the truth”, Anon wrote the following: “Maybe I’m stuck on semantics, but, my first though when I read ‘so many are burdened by the slavery of sin” was, yahoo! I’m free. Doesn’t being captive or being a slave of something or someone remove the responsibility of one’s actions? I see slavery as a state of existence that is totally out of a person’s control. Sins may be committed, but the slave is not responsible for them. Or, in order not to be held responsible for their sin, does the slave have to hold onto their beliefs, even at the risk of a vicious beating or death? I know we are responsible for our reaction or choice when we are confronted with a sin. I’m wondering if the concept “slavery to sin” is meant to be interpreted in the context that we will always be slaves to sin because of the original sin Adam and Eve committed? Would you mind clarifying the intent? Thanks.”

Thanks, Anon. What you write about the institution of slavery is also true for “slavery of sin”. Once someone is in the slavery of sin in particular ways, then it “is totally out of a person’s control”. On their own, they are powerless over sin. This has been the human condition from the beginning (Adam and Eve, original sin). As St. Paul writes, “I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate…Now if I do what I what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me” (Romans 7:15, 20).

However, there is a difference: slavery of sin involves a choice on some level on the part of the individual. As the Catechism teaches, “The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin’ (Rom 6:17). The original choice of someone who is a slave of sin is the choice to disobey (God’s law). The person is not intentionally choosing slavery, but the reality of the choice of evil on any level is that it “leads to” slavery. Whether or not this choice is fully informed or fully free, it is a personal choice on the part of the individual. So, there is moral responsibility (culpability) on the part of the slave of sin. I guess this takes us from ‘yahoo!’ to ‘d’oh!’.

Here are some Scriptural passages which speak to us about the power of sin and that we are set free from the chains of sin by Christ Jesus:

- “Direct my steps according to thy word; and let no iniquity have dominion over me” (Psalm 119)
- “For wisdom will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body subject to sins” (Wis 1:4)
- “everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin” (Jn 8:34)
- “the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:32)
- “Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 7:24-25)

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