Original Sin? Fuhgeddaboudit

I believe in original sin, but I don’t believe sin is original.

What I mean is that there is nothing fresh or creative or new or positive or profound about sin. Evil is always derivative. The devil cannot create anything. All he can do is destroy or distort what is good.

And that’s why evil is evil–because it is the destruction or the distortion of something good.

A lie is the distortion of the truth. Lust is the distortion of love. Stealing is the destruction of proper ownership. So you may go on and never once find a sin that is original.

This is the Catholic view: Evil is to Good what Darkness is to Light and what Cold is to Heat. Does that mean evil does not exist? No, it exists, but it exists as a negative. I may punch you in the nose in anger. The pain is real. The anger is real, but it is not something positive. It is the destruction of something positive–even if that positive thing is simply a nose.

The negativity of sin, therefore, is a lost opportunity. It is a chance of goodness that was lost, a chance for holiness that was thrown away, a chance for light that was darkened, a chance for love that was wasted.


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  • Patty

    How about….instead of ‘original’….it was the ‘first’ sin… The depth of this particular conversation is
    beyond what we now know. I love this stuff. Brings out the Goodness of our God….and makes for myriad
    questions about His Will….Oy Vey!

  • Tom S.

    Thanks for that, Father. I needed this, and needed it right now. Thanks.

  • http://www.mycatholicblog.com Erin Pascal

    Thank you for this post! This is a very good explanation of what a sin really is and how it came to being. It opened up my mind and heart and I hope the people reading this article will also feel the goodness of the Lord.

  • sam harris

    i am glad that i am able to talk about sin here. i also believe in sin, but the origin of sin is not clear i guess. if you are christian the sin is different than of the Buddhist sin. and therefore Hinduism has a completely different opinion about it . but the bottom line is Evil vs Good, thats where i agree. anyhow, i found this article about What sin is. it may interest you