I didn't say a lot about it here, but 2016 was a year of spiritual change for me. Let's see-- I told you about some of the bits and pieces along the way. I told you about the retreat with old friends in May, without sharing details about how my friends had prayed for me. I told you about reading Understanding Scrupulosity, but not about my own struggles in this arena. And there's some other stuff I should really post about for the benefit of my future self, except the prospect leaves me feeling raw and vulnerable. But here is the bottom line, which is probably not a surprise to anybody who's been reading this blog for very long: I have always been a worried person: I might make a mistake. It might be a big mistake. It might be an unforgivable mistake. Perfectionism is not my friend, I know, and yet it has been so hard to shake off.
But reading the catechism and Understanding Scrupulosity, and having a conversation with my pastor about the things they stirred up for me-- that was huge. This is going to sound bizarre to those of you who aren't Catholic perfectionists, and maybe even to those of you are well-catechized Catholic perfectionists, but I let go of the idea of accidental sin. While I can commit an inadvertent blunder that might necessitate an apology or require me to provide compensation (or both), I can't sin against God inadvertently. Serious sin is chosen, freely and deliberately, in defiance of a clear understanding of what's right.
This afternoon in the Adoration chapel I was reading Leviticus. It has pages and pages of instructions about remedies for accidental sin. This is maybe the fourth or fifth time I've read it, but I have to say it's the first time Leviticus ever left me bursting to discuss important issues. Friends with theology training, can you help me out here? It seems like the new covenant has altered the very definition of transgression. I am intrigued. Can anybody tell me more?