Another beautiful group tonight!We picked up with Hypothesis I, page 13. Again we are given multiple stories of individuals repenting from sin and turning back to God from states of depravity. The very movement of the mind and the heart brings down upon them a flood of God’s grace and mercy.
What is different in the stories we read tonight is the radical solidarity and empathy that we see in the minds and the hearts of the elders. They approach those in their charge not as masters but as servants; not condescending to them but rather seeing themselves sharing intimately in the sorrows and the woundedness of their sin. The responsibility was theirs’ to weep over these sins and seek to help others overcome them if possible. There is no such thing as an individual Christian; that is, a Christian separated from the body of Christ and from one another. Our own repentance should help to elevate and lift up the Church and the repentance of others can also help raise us up and strengthen us as well. God‘s desire is to heal us, not to punish us. We have lost this sense of the need for healing and understanding that the Church is a hospital and have instead turned the acknowledgment of one sins into a legalistic practice or rather a psychological and emotional release. Consciences can be so hardened - not only among individuals but among whole groups of people - that we can completely lose our way unless God and his great mercy and Providence does something to up-end the illusion. He will do anything to help us overcome what affects and afflicts us. Blessed be God forever.