Sin makes us sad

Sin looks better in prospect than in retrospect, I have heard it said, and part of the maturing process for humans should be mastery of this truism.

It is hard, I know, for I am still trying to learn it myself. The ideas of “forward” and “backward” are much confused in our culture. We easily reverse them. That is why I keep pointing backward: because I think it might actually be forward, morally and intellectually and spiritually. Only technology is running “forward” the other way: towards Hell, so far as I can see.

But yes, we all agree on cause and effect, or at least give it lip service. We only disagree on the examples. Let me take sin for my example.

In a piece I wrote for Catholic Thing tomorrow (now here), I touch on this truism: that sin makes us sad. Curiously, the knowledge that our sin is the cause of our unhappiness, is often lacking. We think there must be some other cause; that we are victims of oppression. This, for most people, is a pretty long stretch. Our political economy is now based on whining, as means to a reward. This is a direct effect of the loss and twisting of religion, in both our public and our private lives.

True, we can be oppressed by the sins of others, including sins that are passed down generations, but this problem is seldom correctly sourced. Take the suicide pacts among the young on the Indian reservation of Attawapiskat, big news just now in Canada. It triggered an emergency session of our Parliament. Curiously, while large numbers are reported to be “attempting suicide,” none seem to be succeeding. More curiously, the “right” to assisted suicide has just come before the same Parliament.

I doubt very much government underfunding is the source of this misery, although that is what every report in the media implies. Billions upon billions have been poured into Canada’s Indian reservations — remarkable amounts per head — yet conditions do not seem to improve on them. Squalor persists, partly of course from fiscal corruption on a massive scale. But worse is bad living, as a small minority of truly persecuted, but brave Indians continue to insist. These suicidal kids have parents who are bounders, encouraged in every wickedness by government largesse.

You can’t say, incidentally, what I just said, in any mainstream media.

You can’t say, anywhere, a lot of things, that challenge nanny-state lies and distortions, unless you are willing to face some hysteria. (The entire, dominant, liberal-progressive worldview is founded on the vapours.)

And ultimately, you can’t say that sin makes you sad. It is an affront to the amour-propre of those who deny, especially to themselves, that they live in sin. Having denied the cause, they must then find some other explanation for their unhappiness, external to themselves.

The Christian demand that people be cheerful, and cultivate the virtue of Hope, itself then becomes part of the oppression.

“How dare they demand that we exhibit Hope, when we are living like this? When instead of paying out, again, they tell us to get our lives together? Who do those Christians think that they are?”

Unfortunately, at the moment, there is no such complaint, because the Christians don’t dare tell anyone what is what.

Politicians — and I think our current pope is an accomplished one — know better than to experiment with tough love on their “clients.” Success comes with “empathy” for them; and constant pay-outs in one form or another; and by indulging what amounts to their own voting fodder. But this is not love, any more than fattening the beast for the kill is love.

Sin makes us sad. That is what I think our Church should be teaching, rather than what it is teaching now, in many documents, including the latest, Amoris Laetitia. But authentic, as opposed to fake empathy, does not abandon a friend to his vices.

“You have made a mess, and the only way out is to unmake it. This may require considerable sacrifice. But there is joy in the sacrifice you must make, and in the redemption towards which you are called, by the Grace of God.

“This leaves you with two choices. One is to kneel before Our Lord on His Cross, and comprehend His Passion. The other is to scamp off whining to your death. It is the choice between joy and sadness.”

Correct me if I’m wrong. There is nothing like that in the apostolic exhortation. Instead we read e.g. demands that the State increase the pay-outs.