Notes Regarding Sin, to be Read Sharply and Mockingly to Myself in Times of Desolation

“I cannot pray after so great a sin.”
And are you too ill to see a doctor?
Too thirsty to drink?
Too dirty to take a shower?

*

It is better to risk being seen as a hypocrite by praying after sin
than to risk growing cold in God’s arms by refusing to.

*

From the perspective of despair,
sin is the end of prayer.
From the perspective of hope,
sin is the beginning.
Christ stands on the side of hope
when he describes the just prayer:
“God, have mercy on me, a sinner.”

*

Effing up
is the precondition
for being saved.
Therefore:
Stop being such a pansy
in regards to the effing up.

*

It is not remorse.
It is not piety.
What keeps you from praying
immediately after sin
is a secret love of sin.
You do not pray
because you want to leave a space
for sinning again –
sometime later,
when the pain is less acute.

*

You really want to undo the devil?
Thank God for allowing you to sin.
You now have a blindingly obvious opportunity
to call upon His mercy.

*

You want to conquer sin?
Recognize this:
Every sin is an opportunity to rejoice
in the marvelous grace of God,
without which you would have done
something far more miserable.

*

Do you think Jesus lied:
“There will be more rejoicing in heaven
over one sinner who repents
than over ninety-nine righteous persons
who do not need to repent?”
Why, then, are you wrapping yourself
in layers of self-loathing?
You have become the potential cause of song in Heaven,
a song brighter and louder
than if the entire world had never sinned –
and here you lie in bed.

*

Netflix is insufficient.
Feeling bad is insufficient.
Denying the existence of sin
is fun for about a week –
then abysmally insufficient.
Christ alone suffices.

*

“O Happy Fault,
O necessary sin of Adam,
that won for us so great a Redeemer!”
The sin that cursed the whole world is called “happy,”
and you grow despondent over your own?
What strange powers are granted you –
God, who sings redemption
out of mankind’s fall from grace,
is reduced to a mewling incompetent
over your idiotic sins.
But this is what it means to refuse to pray after sin –
to rate yourself as something infinitely darker
and beyond-help than Adam,
a thing whose faults
can never be happy faults.

*

If there is beauty,
there is redemption.

*

Now then:
Oh my God
I am heartily sorry
for having offended Thee.
I detest
of all my sins
because of Thy just punishment.
But most of all,
because it offends you,
My God,
who are all good
and deserving of all my love.
I firmly resolve
through the help of Thy grace
to sin no more
and to avoid the near occasion of sin.


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