Sin abounds, but how best to approach it? At any given moment a person may benefit from a different angle on sin—a theological definition, a consideration of a particular fault, a portrayal of the horror of sin, or a reflection on God's infinite mercy.Perhaps it makes most sense to begin with The Catechism of the Catholic Church which gives us an overview of the nature of sin, its categories, and its implications, all in a relatively short space for such a vast topic!After gaining a basic understanding, we will wish to become more personally aware of our own sinfulness. Psalm 51 (or 50, depending on the numbering system in your Bible) is the famous Miserere, a sinner's plea to God for mercy. Meditate on it along with Pope John Paul II's brief commentary listed below.Then you can go one of two ways. Interested in compelling spiritual reading? Try St. Francis de Sales' Introduction to the Devout Life, available for sale in our store. Or, for a more thorough academic exploration of the Church's standard theology of sin, turn to the extensive article on Sin in the early twentieth-century Catholic Encylopedia.
If you only have time to look at three things, LOOK AT THESE.
- Brief Instruction on the Nature of Sin (from the Catechism)
- Meditation on the Miserere (Psalm 51)
- An Academic Exploration
And if you've got more time...
If you can take time for a longer study, search for "Sin Consequences" on this web site and, from the results, choose the eight chapters of Henry Edward Manning's 1986 book Sin and Its Consequences. This covers not only sin but temptation, grace and the sacrament of penance, Christ's abandonment to sin on the Cross, and the joys of the Resurrection.