“When you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. So what advantage did you then get from the things of which you now are ashamed? The end of those things is death. But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Sin: “The purposeful disobedience of a creature to the known will of God”. That which separates us from others and from the Holy One. That which imprisons us, which sentences us to dead end living. The ‘thou shalt nots’ are many, beginning with the Ten Commandments. (Remember those? see Deuteronomy 5:1-22) But human beings have evolved over the centuries to so many more perverse, harmful, vicious, destructive actions and attitudes that inflict pain and suffering on others, on ourselves and on our ‘fragile island home’. It doesn’t take deep reflection to assume that God isn’t impressed with the ‘status quo’.
And so when we ‘fall into sin’, we are called to ‘repent and return to the Lord’.
Bird on the Wire by Leonard Cohen
Like a bird on the wire
Like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free…
Mea culpa is a Latin phrase that means “through my fault” and is an acknowledgement of having done wrong. The phrase comes from a prayer of confession of sinfulness, known as the Confiteor, traditionally used when engaging in the sacrament of confession.
The expression is used also as an admission of having made a mistake that should, or could, have been avoided, and may be accompanied by beating the breast three times intoning ‘mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa’. Try it. After some thought, acknowledge some aspect of your life, something you have done or left undone(sins of commission or omission) and confess that ugliness to God, aloud. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Mea culpa. Then just, listen…