No sin is trifling
The Early Church Fathers wrote strongly on repentance and how could they have been wrong, they were closer in time and probably holiness, one could say to the fountain of life, our Lord Jesus Christ, than us. They were far closer in time and therefore less likely to err. We count sin today through indifference and tepidity,if it exists for us at all, as a trifling matter.
We hold thoughts in our minds and in some cases we treasure those thoughts that are lustful and not necessarily for sex, but also for power and money. These thoughts I might say without a need for contradiction are adulterous from the idea they are seductive thoughts that will or if we are fortunate might only lead to an act of fornication. An act, as the scriptures and the fathers defined, of a sinful embrace with the enemy.
We are or can be either deified by grace or defiled by sin. It is only a short journey between them and to the creature who, if he remembers Paul’s confession will only be saddened by his or her performance. I am carnal wrote Paul I do the things I do want to do but never the things I should (want to) do.
Off course the cry goes up, a vilifying cry that lacks charity that I should tell such lies. I say in answer to my critics of which in today’s catholic world there will be many I use the words of Symeon the New Theologian of the Byzantine Church in 960 or thereabouts.
“Be not deceived my brothers. God loves mankind, He is merciful and compassionate. Of this, I bear witness and this I confess, for it is by His compassion that I am confident that I will be saved. But, know this, that it will be of no avail for those who are impenitent (Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit) and do not keep His commandments with all exactitude and with much fear; they will be punished more severely than the unbelieving and un-baptized heathen. Be not deceived; let not any of your offenses appear insignificant to you, nor dismiss them with contempt as though they do not greatly damage your souls”.
Further more as Paul wrote in Romans, the evil that was restrained in ignorance revived, and sin was found dwelling in me and I became dead and alien to goodness. Rom 7: 9… 7:20… 7:10.
What of repentance, are we really capable of true repentance in the depths of our hearts, in our shadowy minds and in the very marrow of our bones? Only if we can see the great separation of us from God, the distance that sin causes. When we do, then tears must flow as we begin to understand the great separation that sin will cause for all eternity. Denial of this as a fact is the habit in the Church today. Luther’s words are very acceptable in Catholicism today. Evagrius wrote pray for tears, and when they come, remember why you cry. Why deny the veracity of his words. St Anthony of Padua wrote, it is the brine of tears that preserves our soul.
A question for the reader, What are commandments to you?