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Essay on Sin

We all know essays are important if you want to write to express part of your thoughts into a paper or a document, and that’s why education centers always use essays as evaluation to find out  how their students think and many people are always writing essays about different subjects for their education or work, there are even services like huler1996 which help people with essays, since this is a great way all organizations use to express thoughts and feelings, and that’s why I wanted to write an essay about the perception of sin by the Catholic religion.

If you grow up Catholic, you can’t escape the concept of sin.  It’s ingrained in you early on, Venial Sin — minor but still offensive to God, and Mortal Sin — big, life-altering, a one-way ticket to Hell if you don’t confess it and accept forgiveness for it.

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As children we intellectualize sin and confession, acutely aware that when we sin, we reject God’s love.  So at Sts. Peter & Paul School in Miami, on our weekly Wednesday-morning march from classroom to church, I would rehearse my weekly confession:  “Bless me Father for I have sinned.  It has been one week (two, if you were absent the previous Wednesday) since my last confession.  These are my sins.”  I would then recite a laundry list of of sins, typical of elementary school children.  I disrespected my mother.  I failed to vacuum the rug.  I used foul language “bad words” in the playground, and so on.  I was good with protocol, and the protocol was simple.

That was my understanding of sin.  As far as I can tell, it was accurate, and, if I embraced it, would serve me well into adulthood.  And it has.

Names, labels, and categories always appealed to me, so the nuanced-nature of sin, from minor Venial sins to monstrous Mortal sins, made sense.  I understood sin, and still, like all of us, I kept sinning, kept on disrespecting my father, using foul language, and, in the 5th grade, relieving myself onanistically with thoughts of Alina, or Gloria, or Mercy, or Marta.  I did, however, keep this last thread of sin from the confessional ears of Father Trimbur, with the long white sideburns and Father Paniagua, with his slicked black hair, Spanish accent, and late-model Chevrolet.  They must have suspected, though, having been 5th grade boys themselves once.  I was usually dispatched with an admonition to love the Lord, along with a penance of two Our Fathers, ten Hail Marys, and an Act of Contrition.

As I remember, the Act of Contrition went like this:  “Oh my God, I am heartly sorry, for having offended Thee, and I detest of all my sins because of Thy just punishment, but most of all because they offend Thee my God, who art so good and deserving of all my love.  I firmly resolve with the help of thy grace, to sin no more and to avoid the near occasions of sin.  Amen.”  These words meant something to me.  I detested my sins.  God’s punishment was just.  God was good.  God deserved my love.  My sins offended God.  I saw, however, that I was prone to a pattern of sinful repetition.  I MEANT everything in the Act of Contrition, yet I still continued to sin, week in week out, with the chronic seed-spilling regularity of Tamar’s lovers (see Genesis 38).

It bothered me, I thought it hypocritical of me, that I wasn’t telling all, not coming clean, as it were, to my confessors.  In the Catholic liturgy there’s a passage that the entire congregation recites before receiving Holy Communion, literally, if one believes the dogma, ingesting the Body and Blood of Christ, usually in the form of a white wafer and a sip of wine.  Holy Communion wasn’t (and isn’t) receiving a symbol of the Body and Blood of Christ.  You ingested, after the transubstantiation of the wafers and the wine, the ACTUAL Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.

This was just a bit much for a brazen, lascivious young sinner like me.  So I took it upon myself to edit the Eucharistic liturgical passage like this:  “Lord, I am not worthy to receive You, so I won’t.”  I would mutter it, as others muttered the actual passage.  But while they stepped over me to receive the Blessed Sacrament, I remained in the pew, kneeling, looking around at the Alinas, Glorias, Mercys, and Martas who received Holy Communion from Father Trimbur.  There’s a name for this sin, I believe:   pride, hubris.

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