My plan for this evening was to read Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen for inspiration for a posting. I selected an essay of his entitled “The Loss of the Sense of Sin Endangers God’s World”. The first two paragraphs of his essay overwhelmed me. I would like to share some of Archbishop Sheen’s key points contained in those first two paragraphs.
The Archbishop posited that the gravest danger facing society is the loss of the sense of sin. He noted that previous civilizations collapsed due to such a loss. Unless our civilization maintains sense of sin we are destined to collapse under the weight of societal sin.
The loss of sense of sin is manifested in the lack of remorse and shame of the sinful, and the failure of the good to be shocked by the gross acts of the sinful. Good and evil are confused; good is seen as evil and evil as good. Love and truth are misunderstood; love is perceived hate and hate as love; there is no such thing as truth, nothing is right nor is anything wrong.
The last two sentences of his second opening paragraph are powerful: “It has always been the characteristic of a generation in decay to paint the gates of Hell with the gold of Paradise. In a word, much of the so-called wisdom of our day is made up of that which once nailed our Blessed Lord to the Cross.”
As in past, the Lord provides great prophets. Will they be heeded? Or, like in the past will the prophets of age be ignored, and those who follow wonder. Why did they not listen? Could they not see? Where their hearts that hardened by sin?