Friday, February 27, 2015

Repentance and Justice

"Love your enemies" is a very difficult command. However, seeking a universal-level understanding of sin and repentance, this becomes easier.

We are sometimes admonished as children to put ourselves in others shoes, so as to avoid victimizing others. Perhaps we can do so though too with our enemies.

Justice calls for repentance of sins, either in this life, or perhaps by God's grace after death. Church teaching suggests to do so after death is very difficult, perhaps impossible.

So we can assume a sinner, or our enemy, has three possibilities:
  1. Truly repent in this life for the evil they have done.
  2. Perhaps, by God's grace, repent after death.
  3. Allow their sin to eternally separate themselves from God, and suffer for it.
The first option means to face suffering and regret in this life, and perhaps after death in purgatory. Justice would presume the second would also entail suffering after death, and is far more difficult to do. The third is, of course, a horrible outcome.

Now, thinking of your enemy, you know their sin and injustice of course entails suffering. We should not feel happiness at this, but sympathy - for you and I are also sinners who must face the same struggle with our own sins and some degree of suffering as a result of those sins.

Many of our enemies, being not Christian and denying God, face a far more difficult road than ours to repentance. They cringe or chafe under the thought of our love of God for them. This being though the very reason for greater sympathy, and prayer for them on our behalf.

God, out of personal love for each, desires us to all repent and seek His love and forgiveness.

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