Pope: losing awareness of sin is an evil of our time
Slowly one comes to think that "everything is allowed”. “May the Lord give us the grace to always send us a prophet; it can be the neighbour, a son, a mom, a dad, who slaps us a little when we are drifting into a state where everything seems permissible.”
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In his homily during the Mass he celebrated this morning at Casa Santa Marta, Pope Francis focused on the loss of the sense of sin as one of the evils of our time, taking inspiration from the passage in the Second Book of Samuel, centred on the evil done by David, “Holy King David”, who forgot that he was God’s chosen one as he got used to a life of comfort.
David was like many people today, who seem good, “who go to Mass every Sunday, who say they are Christian" but who have lost "the awareness of sin,” one of the evils of our time, as Pius XII put it.
Nowadays, everything is allowed, a “spiritual atmosphere" is provided from which to repent, perhaps thanks to someone's rebuke or a "slap" from life.
David, who killed Uriah after getting his wife Bathsheba pregnant, “went on with his normal, quiet life,” said Francis. His “heart did not budge.”
“But how could the great David, who was holy, who did so many good things, who was so united with God, do that? This is not something done overnight. The Great David slowly, slowly, drifted.
“There are momentary sins: the sin of anger, an insult, which I cannot control. Yet there are sins towards which one drifts slowly, with the spirit of worldliness. It is the spirit of the world that leads one to do things as if they were normal. A murder ...”.
Slowly, the Pope said, sin slowly takes possession of some by taking advantage of their comfort. “We are all sinners, but sometimes we sin suddenly. I get angry, insult; then I regret it.”
Sometimes instead "we let ourselves drift towards a state of life where ... it seems normal": normal, for example, like "not paying the maid as one ought to,” or pay half what is due to farmworkers.
“It seems good people do this, go to Mass on Sundays, say they are Christian. But how come one does this? What about other sins? I only say this ... because you have drifted into a state where you have lost awareness of sin. This is one of the evils of our time. Pius XII” described it as Losing awareness of sin. “We can do everything [. . .] and in the end spend a lifetime solving a problem.”
This is not ancient stuff, the Pope said again. Citing a recent case in Argentina, he reported that young rugby players killed a teammate after a night of on the town, like “a pack of wolves”.
This raises questions about the education of young people, about society. “Many times, a slap from life” is needed to stop, to stop that slow drift towards sin. Someone like the prophet Nathan, whom God sent to David to make him see his error.
“Let's think a little about the spiritual atmosphere of life?” said Francis. “Am I careful, do I always need someone to tell me the truth? Do I think not? Does heeding the rebuke of friends, my confessor, husband, wife, children help me a little?
“Looking at David’s story, that of the Holy King David, let us ask ourselves: if a saint could fall like that, then, brothers and sisters, it can happen to us too. Let us also ask ourselves: in what atmosphere do I live?
“May the Lord give us the grace to always send us a prophet; it could be a neighbour, a son, a mom, a dad, who slaps us a little when we drift into a state where everything seems permissible.”