What Windshields Can Teach Us About Sin

"Sin" is a term we often hear. Talk show hosts, spiritual leaders, philosophers, psychologists, and musicians all speak and sing about it.  But what is sin? Let me illustrate with a simple analogy.

Have you ever noticed how your windshield looks when it's exposed to the sun? In the sunlight, you can see all of your wind shield's imperfections, smudges, cracks, etc. Have you also noticed how your windshield looks in the dark? In the dark, the windshield seems cleaner. Is this because the dirt magically disappears? Of course not.  The only reason why the windshield appears cleaner is because all of its imperfections are covered up the darkness. Sin can be viewed in this way.  The closer one is to the light (God) the more that person sees their sins. Conversely, the further a person is away from the light the less that person sees their sins.

Sin according to Christian teaching is separation from God, who is the source of all good.  The key to sinning less is not some slavish adherence to an inflexible moral standard. The dirt from your car's windshield is only removed through cleaning it. The way to clean the windshield is through regular and frequent confession.  Confession, like Pope Francis, beautifully stated isn't supposed "be a torture chamber", a place of never-ending scrupulosity. Confession, when practiced in the right way can be both healing and transformative. Once a person's "windshield" is cleaned then that person can fully appreciate the beauty of the world.


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