The Original sin and Its Effects

In its Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Vatican II states: “Although he was made by God in a state of Holiness, from the very dawn of history man abused his liberty, at the urging of Personified Evil. Man set himself against God and sought to find fulfillment apart from God” (Church in the modern world, 13).

In attractive form, chapters I through 1 l of the book of Genesis depict this somber fact about humankind. Chapters 1 and 2 of Genesis tell the story of creation by God. God crated all things, including man and women, and saw that they were good.

But into this good world entered sin. In chapter 3 of Genesis, the man’ Adam rejects God and tries to become his equal. As a result of this original sin, the man feels alienated from God. He hides, when God confronts him. Adam blames the women eve for his sin, and she in turn blames the serpent. Point is the simple and tragic; the man’s guilt has distorted all his relationships. Sin has turned life into a harsh burden.

Chapters 4 through 1 l of Genesis depict the escalation of sin in the world, rippling out from Adam’s original sin. Chain murders his brother Abel. Sin reaches such proportions that God send a Great flood that covers the Earth – a Symbol of the chaos and destruction sin brought to creation. In chapter 1 l human folly reaches its peak: man tries again to become God’s equal by building a tower reaching to the heavens. This rejection of God spills over into man’s rejection of his fellow man. There is now division and complete lack of communication among nations.

According to Genesis, a world of beauty was deformed by sin. The ongoing result has been division, Pain, bloodshed, loneliness and death. This tragic narrative has a familiar feel to it. They really it points to is a basic part of human experience It is no surprise that this reality – fact of original sin and its effects in us all – is a teaching.

With the expectation of Jesus Christ and his mother Marry every human being born into this world is affected by the original sin. As Saint Paul declared in Romans 5:12, “Sin came in to the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all man because all men sinned.”

While continuing to point out there is evil in this world, the Church does not suggest that human nature is corrupt. Rather, humankind is capable of much good. While experiencing a “downward pull,” we still maintain essential control over our decisions. Free will remains. And –most importantly – Christ our Redeemer has conquered sin and Death by his death and Resurrection. This victory has swallowed up not only our personal sins but the original sin and its widespread effects. The doctrine of original sin, then, is best viewed as a dark backdrop against which can be contrasted the brilliant redemption won for us by Christ our Lord.

Personal Sin

In addition to the effects of original sin, there is a personal sin – sin committed by an individual. We sin personally whenever we knowingly and deliberately violet the moral law. By singing we fail to love God. We turn aside from- or even back away from – our life time goal of doing God’s will.

A mortal sin is a fundamental rejection of God’s love. By it God’s grace presence is driven from the sinner .Mortal means “death-dealing.” This sin kills God’s life and love in the person sinning, for a sin to be mortal there must be

  • serious matter,
  • sufficient reflection,
  • full consent of the will.

A venial sin is a less serious rejection of God’s love. Venial means “easily forgiven,” A sin is a venial “if the offense is not serious, or – of the matter is serious – the person is not sufficiently aware of the evil involved, or does not fully consent to the sin.

Venial sin is like a spiritual sickness which hurts but does not kill God’s grace – presence with in the person. There can be decrease of seriousness in signing just as different sickness can be more or less serious. Even less serious sins should not be taken lightly. People in love do not want to offend each other in any way, even the slightness.

Sins, of whatever seriousness, do not have to be actions. A person can sin by thought or desire or by failing to do something that should be done.

God will forgive any sin – even the most serious – over and over, if the person is truly sorry.

A person who judges himself or herself to be in mortal sin must confess that sin be reconciled to Christ and the Church before he or she receives Holy Communion       (1 Cor 11:27-28 ).

Personal Sin and Social Evil

Patterns of evil can be institutionalized, Injustice, for example, can become part of a group’s way of life, embedded in laws and social customs. Such patterns, In a ripple effect, contaminate the attitudes and actions of people in that environment. Influence of these patterns can be so subtle that people enmeshed in them may literally be unaware of the evil they promote.

The mystery of original sin has a social dimension, and cooperation in evil patterns deepens the presence of evil in the world. It contributes to human suffering, thus, Vatican II makes a point of focusing – especially during the penitential season of Lent – on “ the social consequences of sin” (Constitution on the liturgy, 109).

To go along with institutional evil makes a person “ part of the problem” – an active descendant of the Old man, Adam, To resist or confront social evil makes you “part of the answer “ –a person alive with the life won for us by the New Man, Jesus Christ.

Formation of a Correct Conscience

Speaking out for the dignity of human beings, Vatican II says: “In the depths of his Conscience, man detects a law which he does not impose upon himself, but which holds him to obedience. Always summoning him to love good and avoid evil, the voice of conscience can when necessary speak to his heart more specially: do this, shun that. For man has in his heart a law written by God. To obey it is the very dignity of men; according to it he will be judged. Conscience is the most secret core and sanctuary of a man. There he is alone with God, whose voice echoes in his depth.

We are all morally bound to follow our conscience. But this does not mean that what our Conscience tell us in infallibly correct,. As Vatican II says, “Conscience frequently errs from invincible ignorance for which a person is not morally responsible. Seeking a correct conscience is part of our dignity and responsibility.

Speaking of a correct conscience, Vatican II states: “Hence the more that a correct conscience holds sway, the more persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and strive to be guided by objective norms of morality” (Church in the modern World, 16).

Regarding the crucial matter of how to develop a right conscience, the council says: “In the formation of their consciences, the Christian faithful ought carefully to attend to the sacred and certain doctrine of the Church. The Church is, by the will of Christ, the teacher of the truth. It is her duty to give utterance to, the authoritatively to teach, that truth which is Christ himself, and to declare and confirm by her authority those principles of the moral order which have their origin in human nature itself” (Declaration on Religious Freedom, 14).

In personal matters of conscience, “carefully attend to the scared and certain doctrine of the Church.” Then, in “the most secret of sanctuary” of your heart where you are “alone with God” seek his well. Seek and you will find.