Thursday, August 13, 2020

 Thursday of the Nineteenth Week in Ordinary Time

 (Ezekiel 12:1-12, Matthew 18:21-19:1)

 A spiritual virus has plagued the world in recent years.  With the advent of the Internet, pornography attacks mass numbers of men and, to a lesser extent, women.  Pornography corrupts the soul by making one ever more desirous of illicit sexual union.  Many men come to confession regularly with the guilt of having watched pornography weighing on their conscience.  They are wise to seek forgiveness and help in the Sacrament of Penance.

The gospel today sounds a bit simplistic.  Who commits the same sin seventy-seven times?  People who are addicted to pornography do as well as most of us with our picadilloes, be they flattery or over-eating.  Jesus assures these sinners that they are neither hopelessly damned nor needlessly worried.  They are God’s beloved sons and daughters ripe for forgiveness and growth in holiness.  He expects his Church to forgive and to assist them.

Sin has a subjective element.  It may be that those who are addicted to pornography or alcohol do not commit a mortal sin with every failure to forego the pleasure.  But this should not be used as an excuse to go on sinning.  People inclined to excess of pleasurable goods should seek consolation and reinforcement through frequent reception of the Sacrament of Penance.  They will not only save their souls but probably find their human relations vastly improved.