Stop for a moment and look at ourselves objectively rather than being subjective about everything that relates to our own existence.
Have I sinned? Of course I have. Does that make me an evil person? Absolutely not. Why? Because God did not create anything or anyone evil. “God looked at everything he had made, and he found it very good.” (Gen. 1: 31).
If we were created good then what is the need to reconcile ourselves with God. After all, since our initial essence had no evil content then how could an existence of evil corrupt our very being?
The CCC # 310 Chapter one; “But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it?” “With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world in a state of journeying towards its ultimate perfection.” “In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection.”
From “The Mystery of the Church” by John Powell, S. J., he writes about God’s plan to share his life and love with man is a gradual and progressive historical unfolding. There are three stages in what can be set as a theatrical play. The first act we see what can not be seen clearly with the actors behind a curtain and only silhouettes moving behind the curtain. It is the many years of God working through Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and Moses, and all the Prophets slowly unfolding His Plan which will lead to the Incarnation of His Son. This is where God’s plan is hidden from view as it gradually will emerge in the next act.
The second act we find the curtain slowly revealing this plan as Jesus is the last revelation of God, his Son entering our lives as the Mystery begins to unfold God’s plan of salvation.
Finally, the Mystery is realized in man. Paul tells the Colossians (1: 25) that the mystery is “Christ in you”. Through baptism we receive of his fullness the grace to become sons of God.
St. Paul calls God’s plan to share his life, and joy, and love with us through the formation of a community established by his Son, the mystery hidden for ages and generations. This is part and parcel the very essence of the Paschal Mystery in which all of God’s plans will come to fruition.
Here we can see that in spite of good and evil existing in the same world, and consequently within our own lives, the struggle to overcome personal sin is not a one time confession but a continual renewal of the elimination to the attraction of sin. This then becomes a very real effort as our journey to a beautiful and meaningful Easter will not appear as a dreadful walk, but a trek from the Via Dolorosa to the Cross and being cleansed by the Blood of Christ.
Ralph B. Hathaway, Lent 2019