Monday, December 11, 2006

Is guilt such a bad thing?

Spero news has a commentary on 'Catholic Guilt,' which raises some interesting questions. What I can't help but ask is if we might all be better off with a healthy dose of guilt, recognizing that we make mistakes and we need to come to God for forgiveness and guidance.

Mind you, I do not mean or advocate scrupulosity, but a healthy awareness that we need God's presence in our lives, and that the moral code set by the Church actually leads to freedom, not oppression.

3 comments:

Kelly Benjey said...

Hi Fr. Kyle!

That reminds me of what Amanda said as we were preparing her for her first reconciliation... "I'll be embarassed to tell my sins to the priest!" Obviously a big deterrent for many in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, but it brought up a good discussion about pride vs humility. Am I too proud to admit that I fall short and need God's forgiveness and grace?

That embarassment within her - a small conscious that has felt guilt - if led in the direction of humility and repentance, can learn the freedom of reconciliation with God. The look on her face after her first Reconciliation told me that she got it! Now we just have to reinforce it a few thousand times....

Rich Leonardi said...

People -- specifically Catholics -- indeed do feel the pull of guilt. Yet rather than address it sacramentally through an encounter with Christ, I fear many use an assortment of vices, from booze to pornography to consumerism, to suppress it. In the long run (and not-so-long run), the vice alternatives aren't very effective.

Father Kyle said...

That's why there is also such a proliferation of psychobabble, Dr. Phil type 'self-help' goofiness. There is something about hearing the words of forgiveness that people do not realize. As a priest, it is always a priviledge to say the prayer of absolution.