Why is sin so much fun? - Shameless papacy (2023)

ProJoe Heschmeyer
Why is sin so much fun? - Shameless papacy (1)

We are approaching Good Friday, the day Jesus died for our sins. So what's the problem with sin? It's all too easy to see sin as fun and virtue as a kind of loss of fun for some future reward: a sort of contrast between Mardi Gras and Lent. Why is it so (literally) fun? And how do we respond to the accusation that we're just anti-fun?

The day before Lent is called Mardi Gras ("Fat Tuesday") in America, but "Carnival" in much of the world. OEtymology of Carnivalis particularly revealing:

1540, "Feast before Lent," from Frenchcarnival, from the Italiancarnival"Fat Tuesday", from older Italian forms such as Milanese*Carnival, Very oldlift meat"remove the flesh", literally "lift the flesh", from LatinCaro"Meat" (originally "a piece of meat", from the root PIE*it happens-(1) “cut”) +take along"to erase, to lift, to remove" (from the root PIE*Perna-"not heavy, having little weight").

The popular etymology comes from medieval Latincarnival"'Meat, farewell!'" From 1590 pictorially "Feast or revelry in general". The meaning of "circus or fair" is attested in American English in 1926.

So it's easy to think of Mardi Gras as a last distraction before entering the dark, divine Lent. And more generally, we can think of the life of sin versus the life of virtue like this: sinful vs. pious carnivalAmerican Gothic🇧🇷 Billy Joel's song "Only the Good Die Young" captures this kind of attitude perfectly: "They say there's heaven for those who wait / Some say it's better but I say no / I'd rather go with laughing at sinners than at crying saints / sinners are so much more fun.” Why is sin fun?

The goodness of creation and the parasitic nature of evil

There is no "pure evil". No person or action is purely evil. It sounds crazy to say, but it's true. Evil is a parasite. Anything bad you can think of is a corruption or perversion of something good, or simply the absence of good. Think about it: food, drink, sexuality, and even outrage are well placedBoaThings. There's a reason we were built to enjoy these things. It's bad to be proud, but it's good to have self-esteem, and it's not inherently evil to strive for greatness. Gluttony and drunkenness are wrong, but it is no accident or trap that God's creation is full of things to delight our taste buds. It is conceivable that we are creatures who hate to eat, drink and reproduce, but do so out of compulsion: but in fact we live in a world where we humans are very fond of these things. This is the first point to realize: Creation is joyful because our Creator is enchanting.

So how do we understand evil? The devil is not a creator, and good and evil are not two equal forces in the universe. Sin is literally "missing the mark"—it can only be understood in terms of good. sin is onePerversiongood, and one way to understand sin is howmisuse of a gift🇧🇷 We receive intellectual gifts and find brilliant ways to get away with murder; we receive and use physical violence to harass innocent people; we are given sexuality and indulged in lust; etc.

That's why we can see something good even in a bad act: like when you can't help but laugh at a particularly funny insult. This is also why we sin. If sin weren't pleasant, it wouldn't be particularly tempting. Sin gives us a kind of joy (even taking out sins like our anger on others!) otherwise we wouldn't be sinning. But underlying this is the fact that sin perverts something really good. So sin is a bit like opening our Christmas presents early—it's wrong because we take what's good (rejoicing at a gift) and intentionally misuse it.

in connection with this,we always sin in search of good🇧🇷 We don't steal because we believe stealing makes us better people, but because we have an authentic (albeit distorted) appreciation of financial security or something. We trade all the time to just do the right thing or just to be happy. But no one does the opposite: do evilsimplebe bad or just be unhappy. Saint Thomas Aquinasuses this simple point to back up all morals:

Now, just as "being" is the first thing that falls under simple conception, so "good" comes first under practical reason, which is directed towards action: since every agent acts for an end. end in the aspect of good. Consequently, the first principle of practical reason is that which rests on the concept of the good, i. H. This"Good is what all things seek."

Therefore, this is the first commandment of the law, which"Good must be done and pursued, and evil must be avoided."All other imperatives of natural law are based on this: so that whatever practical reason naturally apprehends as good (or bad) for man is among the imperatives of natural law as something to be done or avoided.

You might object that some peopleTutThey talk about "wanting to be bad," but like Billy Joel's example above, because they believe bad will guarantee their happiness, momentary or lasting (which is actually a good!).

O Glamour do Mal

Everyone, from the greatest saint to the greatest sinner, wants to be happy. And this is where the "glare of evil" comes in: Because the goods of the world are real goods, it is easy to lie that our highest happiness lies in these things. It's not just big sinners who fall into this trap. In fact, the sinners are often theat leastvulnerable to this lie...at least once they hit rock bottom. When you are tempted to get drunk for the first time, imagine how much fun it will be. When debilitating alcoholism is destroying your life, the temptation is simply to have a little less pain or avoid the pain a little longer. The devil promises steak and feeds us cardboard after the first surge of desire has worn off.

Rather, they are often those who have avoided the life of sin and quietly yearn for it. I believe there is a reference to this in the parable of the father with two sons in Luke 15. The elder son's lament for his lost brother is: "When his son came,who devoured his life with whores, you slaughtered for him the fatted calf” (Luke 15:30). In fact, prostitutes are not mentioned anywhere in the parable. We come closest when we hear that the prodigal son "squandered his wealth in licentious living" (Luke 15:13). This wild life may or may not involve playing with whores, but it makes no sense that the older brother would have any sort of inside knowledge on the subject. Instead, he just seems jealous of the wild life he imagines his brother had. 🇧🇷

And when he had spent it all, there came a great famine in this land, and he began to suffer. So he went to one of the citizens of this country, who sent him to his fields to feed pigs. And he would gladly have fed on the pods that the pigs ate; and nobody gave him anything. But, coming to himself, he said: "How many of my father's servants have enough bread, but I am dying of hunger here!

The older brother is jealous that his younger brother "got away" from a life of sin and still manages to return to his father's house. But sin really made the youngest sonmiserableSo, Big Brother Jealousy is a bit like being jealous that the prodigal son “managed” to destroy his life and still come back to heal.

Saint Augustine is famousto the prayer "give me chastity and continence, but not yet". It's often thrown off as a laugh of sorts or a brilliant plan: sin now, pity later, sky-skate at the last minute. But in context, he shares how unhappy this prayer (and the lifestyle that followed) made him and how jealous he was of those who found God:

But the more I loved those whose wholesome tendencies I had heard devoting themselves to You for healing, the more I loathed them. For many of my years (perhaps twelve) have elapsed since I was nineteen, when, reading Cicero's Hortensius, I was awakened by a craving for wisdom; and yet I was slow to reject mere worldly happiness, and devoted myself to the quest for that which not mere discovery but simple seeking should be preferred to the treasures and kingdoms of this world, though they have already been found, and to pleasures the body, though I submit to my will. But I, miserable young man, exceedingly miserable in my early youth, begged Your chastity and said: "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet."For I feared you would soon hear me, and soon rid me of the sickness of lust that I wished to quench rather than quench.

Think of virtue and sin as a diet. Eating junk food is often more fun than eating smart, healthy, and in moderation. So it's easy to imagine that you have to choose between "being healthy" and "having fun". But if you choose the second option, after a while you will realize that you are having fun.less and lesswhen your health is declining, you don't have as much energy, etc.

All of us, saints and sinners, strive for happiness. And we all have a deep wound, an abyss of emptiness that canonly be full of God. No amount of mundane pleasure can fulfill that wish: at best, it can cover it up a little longer so we don't notice. Sin initially looks promising due to the initial joys. But in the end we end up like the miserable prodigal son or Saint Augustine on the brink of conversion: broken, empty, longing for more than sin and worldly pleasures can offer.

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The good gifts and the good gift giver

The things of this world areBoa, but they are not enough, and the lie of sin is to exchange the infinite good of God for a finite good. So how should our relationship to created goods be? How should we approach good wine, good friends, fast cars and a beautiful sunset? Do we strictly reject these things as temptations that draw us away from God or that we are too "spiritual" for? Of course I hope not.

Imagine you are in the desert, slowly dying of thirst and your friend is going on an expedition to try to find water. He returns with a bucket of cold water, which he claims comes from an oasis over the horizon. the temptation isNotGo to the oasis: Here you have water! And then you drink the water greedily until it's empty, and you're too exhausted to make the journey. And so is sin. God reveals His goodness through good gifts and we decide that since we have those gifts we have no need of the gift giver and so we indulge in earthly gifts until they are used up and we are exhausted. And we sinfully do this not only with God, but also with one another. Maybe it was a boy next door you dated just because he had a Nintendo, or a girl you dated for sex, or an older relative you dated for inheritance . In each of these cases, what was inherently good has become ugly through abuse. And if you've ever been used like this, you know how it feels. It doesn't seem right becauseis notRight.

But there is a better way. When your friend returns with the water, you must enjoy it, but in moderation, as you make your way from the bucket through the desert to the oasis itself. This approach is more difficult in the short term, but it is critical to your long-term happiness. To seepastthe bucket, so to speak: the bucket of cold water bears witness to something larger than itself, something that cannot be seen beyond the horizon. And so the good gifts of creation point beyond themselves to their invisible Creator. If you want to know what kind of God we have, remember that we have a God who thought that we should have beautiful sunsets just for joy. And so all these good gifts are to be enjoyed, including good gifts to one another... And how do we know how to enjoy the good things of creation? By listening to our Creator. After all, God designed not just us, but all good things in the world.

As humans, we are tempted to make idols out of worldly things. Pagans of ancient times worshiped sacred trees and stars. We tend to worship money. But God kindly shows us a better way: the Star of Bethlehem leads a band of pagan magicians to offer gold to the newborn king, the same king who will save the world tomorrow at the tree of the cross, sanctified by the blood for which he shed becomes our salvation. In these and countless other ways, God shows us that these created things point to Him beyond themselves, and invites us no longer to be content with anything less than God Himself. This is tenderly expressed in Isaiah 55:1-2: “O everyone who thirsts come to the waters; and those who have no money come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money on what is not bread and your labor on what is not satisfying? Listen to me, eat what is good and enjoy fat.”


I would like to close with four simple points which, taken seriously, will revolutionize our understanding of the spiritual life:

  1. Creation is good because God is good. The joys of earth are not here to deceive us, but to point beyond themselves to the Creator.
  2. Good gifts can be misused, and that is sin.
  3. Sin is deceptive, andNotlead to our long-term happiness.
  4. Properly enjoyed, all good gifts point beyond themselves to the giver. If we turn our attention to Him beyond these things, He will show us how to properly use these gifts in a way that best glorifies and pleases Him.
  1. I thought I read somewhere that sin thinks irrationally and then acts irrationally. We don't act rationally and that makes us animals and not what we were created to be. Is that too easy?


    1. Hallo Theo,

      I think it's... a little too easy.

      In my opinion, rationality is just an inherent aspect of virtue and sin. The virtue of courage is an example, as it is not reason but love that will make the hero risk his own life to enter a burning building to save others; or a man risking his life trying to stop a terrorist from carrying out his murderous task. Sometimes it is the very opposite of reason that prompts this virtuous behavior, for great love and charity are not always rational.

      But what you say about sinners becoming animalistic makes sense, and it reminds me of St. Francis' saying, "If you don't go forward, you go backwards." In my opinion, God wants us to relate to him in every way and in all that we do, approach in the time He gives us in this life. This is proved by the saying of Jesus: "For every empty word that you speak you will be called to account." So it implies that everything we do and say in our life should be directed upward to God our Father. At least, that is the goal taught in the gospel, as Jesus said, "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." And Jesus also gave the means to attain that end when He taught: "Pray always that ye shall not fall into temptation"; and ask the Father in prayer, "Lead us not into temptation." So when we don't do these things that Jesus teaches in His Gospel Exhortations, we begin to descend to the animal level (like Augustine's quote above) as symbolized by the image of the "serpent" in the scriptures. The “snake” is about as “animalistic” as you can imagine.

      I am just pointing out that it is not "ONLY rationality" but also other elements involved in avoiding sin and evil. And I think it's probably the virtue of charity that's more important than sanity. And Jesus implies this when he says: "Unless you become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven". The picture "Children" does not exactly stand for rationality, but for simplicity, humility and charity.

      But that was a great post Joe wrote above...full of so much truth and great spiritual ideas! I don't understand how he can create such excellent posts week after week, year after year?


  2. The innate desire to seek good is built into the spiritual and physical components of our nature, and both are affected by feedback processes from the choices we make. We see how the disordered pursuit of bodily pleasures leads the body to attempt to adjust and "normalize" the abnormal bodily pleasures, reducing bodily pleasures and requiring greater and greater stimuli to produce the same effects. Similarly, on the spiritual side, we increasingly try to justify our pursuit of the disordered/abnormal, darkening our intellect and conscience and hardening our hearts. Without the grace of God, both are pernicious graveyard spirals culminating in unhappiness and physical/spiritual death. The 10 Commandments and other moral teachings of the Church are not intended to negate the enjoyment of God's gifts, but are warning signs to avoid these pitfalls and thus enable us to enjoy them joyfully and draw us home as intended.


  3. Excellent Thoughts. I always said to my students: the apple always looks beautiful.


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  4. Furious! Joe Well done!


  5. Fantastic article.


  6. The only thing I would add is to clarify how original sin aggravates and corrodes our abilities and cuts us off (at least initially) from an initial relationship with God. I think that would also be a good topic for discussion because I fear many will fall into the trap of a false dichotomy between the Protestant doctrine of "total depravity" or the complete denial of the existence and effects of original sin.


    1. In Joe's post above, detailing the 'Prodigal Son' and his brother...doesn't this story also refute the Protestant teachings of "total depravity" and "once saved, always saved"?

      In the parable, the two sons begin as equals in the family, that is, loved by their father and endowed with riches and treasures that will be inherited to them in due time. This means that at one point in their lives, the two had a good relationship with "their father"; and thus would be comparable to 2 Christians who are at some point in their lives in a state of sanctifying grace (as the Catholic Church teaches) which is a right and loving relationship in union with God the Eternal Father.

      When the prodigal son turns away from his father, it means he has become a “slave to sin,” as Jesus describes when he says:

      “Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. Now the SERVANT will NOT stay in the house forever; but the SON abides forever.” (John 8:34)

      Thus we see that those who commit grave/mortal sins, as did the prodigal son, can lose the inheritance and family treasure provided by the 'Father' (sanctifying grace) and consequently find themselves in a state of 'bondage or slavery'' , as Jesus says, to these very sins. This means that the 'sons of the Father' can be justified/saved in a moment, but then lose that 'state of justification' (like the prodigal son) because of their newly chosen state of 'slavery to sin', like Jesus says: "The servant does not stay in the house forever".

      Thus the Protestant teachings of "once saved, always saved" and "total depravity" make no sense when viewed in light of Jesus' parable here. Furthermore, through the thought processes and reasoning provided by Jesus in the story, a description by Jesus of the nature of the "free will" decisions of the "sinful Son" is also revealed. These "free will" considerations cause him to return to his father, just as they caused him to "leave his father" at the beginning of the parable account. So in this part of Jesus' parable we see a possible restoration of original grace and a return to "union with the Father" because of the Son's right and true repentance, and we also note Jesus' description of the Father's great love, mercy and Acceptance of his son's true repentance. So this means that "justification" can be lost and found again while we are still here in this "Valley of Tears".

      This is just one example of many showing how the Protestant teachings of "OSAS" and "total depravity" become incomprehensible in the face of Jesus' parables and commandments found in His gospel message.


  7. I liked your opinion on the subject and the painting by Bosch


  8. To answer your question, committing a sin is forbidden in almost all religions and it is human nature to develop an interest in forbidden things. it is so easy.

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    1. Hallo Eric,
      But it is not God's nature to be interested in forbidden things. Therefore, we are given free will to choose whether we want what He does not want. Either we want to be like him or like what bears his false image. The forbidden things contain a distorted and misleading image of its good, with the essential good removed. The "attraction" is just a surface glimpse of God's goodness. "Seems" to be a fruit. According to Eve, "It looked good to eat." Immediately after that you see the truth, naked and shameful. To choose the forbidden fruit is to work with the sweat of one's brow to extract something good to eat from the dust, the sun, the rain and the seed. Choosing God brings all good things through Him alone. These are essential goods necessary for salvation.


  9. “Instead, they are often those who have avoided the life of sin and quietly yearn for it. 🇧🇷

    I identify with it. I've generally lived a "good" life, but I'm jealous of those who lived wilder lives. The reason I haven't lived a wilder life, however, is not because I'm good or wise, but because I'm too reluctant to strive for good—even false good. I would never have the courage, like the younger brother, to claim my inheritance and leave my father's fortune. After all, I could lose everything!

    But to call it virtuous would be dishonest. Cowardice is the opposite of virtue, even if it gives the appearance of virtue.

    In other words, I didn't waste my money burying my talent.


    1. James,

      Interesting and honest point. Consider the fate of the man in Scripture who buried his talent. Are there other points of comparison between his story and yours?

      The best of Easter for you and yours,


    2. As for "burying our talents," I think a lot of people are in the same boat, James. But that doesn't mean we can't decide to go back and dig up buried "talent" and try to put it to good use. And who knows that the little talent is like that which the old woman placed in the "temple collection," where it would be considered more precious than any other offering made by the most gifted or "gifted" servants? That is, even when talent is lost due to misinvestment, an appeal to the "master" with a declaration of "goodwill efforts" may be of some value to the same master. He might say, "Yes, you made a mistake on this investment, but you have been at least ten times more diligent and cautious with your investment strategy than those who received more capital/talent." So even if you don't have any dividends to repay me, surely by your goodwill, motives and intent you have shown that you have about ten times more love and devotion for me than so many other investors have even received more talent. And such good intentions, love and devotion will never be bought with money." That said, I believe that our effort is important too, and not just the result of our effort...because everyone knows that investments can go astray, which have nothing to do with our own shortcomings or the sins of others, etc.) .

      So I think we should all just love the Master who gives us all the talents we have and then just try the best we can with what we've been given. And then also trusting that the same generous Master is also very reasonable, and therefore will he understand the ardent intentions we have to "augment these talents" for Him?

      But surely the stupidity is to leave them buried and "do nothing"!


      1. The parable does not speak of a servant who misinvested and lost his master's talents.

        My greatest fear is giving myself completely and sacrificially to a very bad cause. Not only would I lose everything I had sacrificed, but I would make the world a worse place in the process. The worst of both worlds.

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        1. Well, the parable is a warning from Christ to all those who have actually buried their "talent" in the present to think again and dig it up and make something useful out of it. That's what parables are for, to encourage us to put our lives in order before it's too late. Yes, it was too late for the gospel lazy servant, for he was already on trial. But the parable is for those who are still able to change course, and so it encourages us all to redouble our efforts to heed Christ's words by going out and doing something about it. Jesus said, “I must start a fire, and what do I want but for it to be kindled?” And also: “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few, so pray to the Master of the Harvest that he will send laborers into the fields “. So, as we think of these words of Jesus, we will always try to think of better ways to be "fishers of men" for the Lord and His gospel message...and hopefully we can truly "bear fruit" that way. for the Lord who also 'uses our talents wisely and profitably'.

          (As an example of how to put the above teachings into practice, yesterday I went to a college campus in Northern California and distributed to interested students...35 packets, each 6 pages, front and back, of gospel stories derived from Archbsp. Alban Goodier, S.J. "The Public Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 1930." 3 pages Archbp Goodier is an incredibly good storyteller so these texts are great for anyone who wants to know very well "who Jesus is" So practically speaking...as I'm putting into practice right now Call "Go into all the world preaching the Good News"...so to speak.

          Better for you.


  10. “Creation is good because God is good. The joys of earth are not here to deceive us, but to point beyond themselves to the Creator.”

    Evil is the creation of mankind. Humanity is the creation of Yahweh Jesus. creation is good. Therefore, evil (and bacon) is good. The joys of earth, including the joys of evil, are not here to deceive us, but to point beyond themselves to the Creator, Exum, Orisha Almighty.” The health!


  11. Sin, at least of the "mortal" kind, can only be "amusing" to those who are unaware of it, or to those who vainly believe that another sinner who has been ordained is usurping the judgments of God and can "forgive". the sinner. So, blithely deceived, they keep going back to sinning, trusting that a few spells or a fair payment to the Church of Rome will "unhook" them. Why change your behavior when you think you really don't have to?


  12. Fun? It pleases those who ignore the nature of sin: those who sin unknowingly. For those who know it's a sin, it can only be "fun" if they believe that the next Friday and every Friday thereafter the priest will absolve them to infinity.

    For those who think that God keeps accounts, accounts that must be settled later, the fun can only last so long as they forget that no one leaves until they pay every penny.


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Who is the patron saint of gluttony? ›


St. Charles Borromeo showed great discipline in his efforts to stem back the rising tide of Protestantism during the Reformation. This same fortitude must have lead to him becoming one of the patron saints of gluttony.

What is sin in Christianity? ›

sin, moral evil as considered from a religious standpoint. Sin is regarded in Judaism and Christianity as the deliberate and purposeful violation of the will of God. See also deadly sin.

What is the most committed sin? ›

According to a 2009 study by the Jesuit scholar Fr. Roberto Busa, the most common deadly sin confessed by men is lust and the most common deadly sin confessed by women is pride.

What are sins that we commit everyday? ›

Actual sins are the sins we commit every day before we are saved, such as lying, swearing, stealing.

Is there a patron saint of drunks? ›

Maximilian Kolbe. Venerable Matt Talbot (1856–1925) is the patron saint of alcoholics. He was one of twelve children born into extreme poverty in the tenements of Dublin, Ireland. His father was a heavy drinker who could not provide for his family, and so he moved them from place to place.

Which saint was eaten by a lion? ›

Ignatius himself wrote that he would be thrown to the beasts, and in the fourth century Eusebius reports tradition that this came to pass, which is then repeated by Jerome who is the first to explicitly mention "lions." John Chrysostom is the first to allude to the Colosseum as the place of Ignatius' martyrdom.

Who is the most forgiving saint? ›

Saint Maria Goretti

What is the 1 unforgivable sin? ›

One eternal or unforgivable sin (blasphemy against the Holy Spirit), also known as the sin unto death, is specified in several passages of the Synoptic Gospels, including Mark 3:28–29, Matthew 12:31–32, and Luke 12:10, as well as other New Testament passages including Hebrews 6:4–6, Hebrews 10:26–31, and 1 John 5:16.

What is the least serious sin? ›

From least serious to most, were: lust, gluttony, sadness, avarice, anger, envy, and pride. Sadness would later be replaced by acedia (sloth), putting off or failing to do what God asks of you.

Is tattooing a sin? ›

Some Christians take issue with tattooing, upholding the Hebrew prohibition. The Hebrew prohibition is based on interpreting Leviticus 19:28—"Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you"—so as to prohibit tattoos.

What are the 2 kinds of actual sin? ›

There are sins of commission (what we do that we shouldn't) and sins of omission (what we didn't do that we should have).

Is it a sin to be angry? ›

Anger itself is not a sin, but the strong emotion, unrestrained, can lead very quickly to sin. As God said to Cain, “It's desire is for you, but you must rule over it” (Genesis 4:7).

What is considered the original sin? ›

Traditionally, the origin has been ascribed to the sin of the first man, Adam, who disobeyed God in eating the forbidden fruit (of knowledge of good and evil) and, in consequence, transmitted his sin and guilt by heredity to his descendants.

What is sin in simple words? ›

A sin is a deeply regrettable action. The most common definition of sin is religious: it's an immoral act against God or divine law.

What is the real meaning of sin? ›

: an offense against religious or moral law. : an action that is or is felt to be highly reprehensible.

What are some examples of sin? ›

An education law expert explained what they are and how to avoid them.
The seven 'deadly sins'
  • Sloth. One example of sloth is plagiarism. ...
  • Gluttony. ...
  • Lust. ...
  • Greed. ...
  • Pride. ...
  • Envy. ...
  • Wrath.
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What is sin and why do we sin? ›

According to James 1:13-15, sin comes from our own evil desires! That is a sobering thought. Christians have been washed in the blood and purified from sin and still have sin hiding in the deep, dark, recesses of our hearts because they are just something we have refused to let go of for one reason or another.


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3. Christianity's Obsession with Sex
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4. Bioethics with Fr. Thomas Davis
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5. Who is Ruling Your Heart?
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6. Father Spitzer’s Universe - 2016-04-20 - Why Would An All-loving God Allow Suffering?


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