Friday, December 23, 2011

On original Sin and redemption

This is not so much an apologetics post as some musing on my part in light of the Immaculate Conception and the upcoming holy day of the Birth of Our Lord.  It is as such open to critique from a logical standpoint.  Nevertheless it is good to stretch the mental legs a bit.

As I stated in my article for Ignitum Today on the Immaculate Conception Mary is a sign of who Man was supposed to be before the Fall of Man.  We as a race were once sinless.  We had complete control over ourselves and our inclinations.  The Fall and Original Sin destroys this harmony.

If there is anything I believe about the Catholic Faith is that there is a brokenness about Man.  Our capacity for self-destruction has quite an impressive historical record.  We seem to have a knack for acting against our own best interests, even when we agree on what those are.  Even when we are convinced about what we should be doing we fail to do it and sometimes fail to even try.

C.S. Lewis states in Mere Christianity something that I've found to be most profound.  He proposes two indisputable facts (reproduced here from memory as I'm too lazy to find the citation):
  1. We all believe in some kind of moral standard.
  2. We all fail to live up to that standard.  
So what happens when we realize this and we try to save ourselves?  Well we get such winners as the French Revolution and the Communist Revolution.  Millions of bodies later we may think (if our pride hasn't completely blinded us by then) that the last Final Solution wasn't all that hot.  We then take those same bad ideas, give it a new name, some new technology, and repeat.

Let's face it, fellow humans.  If it is up to us to save humanity from this cycle of self-destruction, we are screwed.  The fact that we can't even agree on what it means to be human let alone how to go about ordering a just society seems to indicate that left to our own devices either we or our children are going to mess things up down the line.  We need help.  Now.

And wonder of wonders, God answers.  He sends His Son not just to save us, but He shares in our humanity.  He is our Savior.  He points us back to our origin and says not only will He restore us but we will now be more than what we were supposed to be.  And this is why we celebrate the 25th of December.  To commemorate the day Our Lord was born into this world.  The light of the star in the sky against the black of night announces the Light that came into the world of darkness.  And with that, what can one do but Rejoice?

Merry Christmas to all.

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