Reflection on 1Cor 11:31-32Post date: 2019-05-04
Reflection on 1Cor 11:31-32
During our previous prayer stops we let God’s word from the Epistle to the Romans, chapter 7, work on us which speaks about the law of God and also about another law, the law of sin. The law of God is holy; we do respect it and yet we break it. What is the solution? There is only one solution – repentance. What does repentance consist in? In admitting my sin. The First Epistle to the Corinthians says that if we judge ourselves, we will not be judged. However, with this judgment, this true self-criticism, we cannot stop halfway. Judas judged himself but ended up committing suicide in despair. True judgment of myself must be connected with the faith that Jesus Christ paid for my sins. So I give my sins to Him and have them covered under His blood. Then it is true: “If we walk in the light, the blood of Christ cleanses us from all sin.”
An example of true repentance is the penitent criminal on the cross. He admitted his sin, saying: we suffer justly. But then he turned to Jesus, confessed Him as Saviour, and asked Him to receive him into His kingdom.
If we endure whatever suffering, let us accept it with thankfulness, even if we suffer unjustly. Let us be aware that it is our purgatory for other sins which we have not yet atoned for. God does forgive our sins when we repent, but it is not enough to say a short prayer after the confession. The sin is forgiven, but it has wounded our soul and our relationship to God. Jesus said: “Whoever commits sin is a slave of sin.” (Jn 8:34) To be delivered from sins and to renew our relationship to God, we need to compensate for them by patiently enduring suffering, by doing good deeds, and by following Christ. Otherwise, if we died and our sins were forgiven but not compensated for, we would have to be purified through suffering in purgatory. For when we sin, we open ourselves to a spirit, e.g. of self-pity, envy, revenge, impurity, mammon, greed, pride. Union with such a spirit deceives and wounds the soul. So that our soul may be healed, we need not only the forgiveness of guilt but we need to go through the process of healing. This happens when we patiently bear our crosses and suffering, which also strengthens our relationship with Jesus. If we do not do so, but only go to confession without fighting against sin, sin proliferates and keeps us in inner bondage so that we get used to it and become blind to it. Thus, as Scripture says, whom God loves He chastens, in order to spare us the torment of purgatory. St Augustine says: “Lord, here cut, here burn and spare me not, but spare me in eternity!” So if God judges us, He does so because He seeks our good and loves us, though we may not understand it. God’s judgments, therefore, are the greatest good for us. After all, we stop seven times every day and make an act of perfect contrition. The words of the psalm tell us that we should give thanks to God seven times a day for His righteous judgments: “Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous judgments.” (Ps 119:164)
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