7 April 2014
Today’s introit, from Psalm 55, gives voice to Christ as He finds Himself surrounded by His enemies, by those who seek to destroy Him. Little do they know, however, that Christ came into the world to redeem us from sin and its effects by surrendering Himself to His enemies — to suffer, and die, so as to conquer sin and death. For this reason, we may regard the Passion of Christ as a remedy against the chief evils incurred through sin. What are these evils? The first is that sin stains the soul. Second, sin offends God. Third, sin weakens man. Fourth, sin incurs punishment. Fifth, sin exiles man from the kingdom of heaven.
To remember these five effects, think of a bar of soap. If we have dirty hands, we wash them with water and soap. If we throw a bar of soap in someone’s face, we will offend him. If we ingest soap, it will weaken us. A child who uses foul language might be punished by being forced to use soap as mouthwash. A man who never uses soap might find himself exiled from polite society. And if you remember that Sin, Offense, Weakness, Punishment, and Exile spell S.O.W.P.E., then you’ll be able to remember these five effects of sin. Let’s now turn to these effects and, relying not a little on the Angelic Doctor, consider them one by one.