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Life is tough. Nuns are tougher.

Monday, September 30, 2013

No Harm, No Foul

I think we're settling into the school year nicely.  We're navigating the glacial changes in our routine wrought by Sister Mary Fiacre, who is now completely bed ridden. It makes some things easier and some things harder. I do miss hauling her around with us. She still seems to enjoy television. Of course, having a bed ridden person is more work in other ways. She can no longer feed herself. But her appetite in unabated. This tickles me no end. And it thrills Sister St. Aloysuis, who does all the cooking. It's the little things, like enjoying a meal, that make all the difference.

So, I have time to cull through the comments and see if there are questions I missed. Here's one:
Sister Mary Martha, if you know that someone is deliberately sinning against you, or you're family, and yet, it's almost like there's no harm meant, what would you say God would want you to do?

A person can't sin against you if they don't mean any harm. They may be bone-headed or tin eared and doing stupid things that are harmful to you. But if they don't mean it to harm you, they aren't sinning. 

Sin is all about intent.

It sounds like someone is hurting your feelings? And are they just pan headed about it? But you're not sure if they realize they're hurting your feelings or not? 

There are soooo many ways they could sin against you: slander you, steal your money, shove pornography at you, post your 'girls gone wild' pictures that were taken of you at Mardi Gras when you had too much to drink on Facebook (which would be slander, again), tell lies about you, undermine your loving relationships, or just say things to make you feel lousy.

But if they don't think they're saying it to make you feel lousy, as in "that dress is way too short", they may just be doing things they think will help in their own gummed up way.

So without further information, we can't help. They're not sinning if they don't know they're sinning. That's the first rule of "is it a sin?".  You have to know it's a sin and do it anyhow. And frankly, if you think it's a sin and do it anyhow, guess what?  That's a sin, because you thought you were sinning, and you did it anyhow.

What would God want you to do? Surely, you already know the answer to that. Forgive them. "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us."  Have you been missing Mass or something? Not saying any rosaries? Because this sentence should have been coming up with a fair amount of frequency.

It sounds to me that what you're actually asking is "How do I make these people stop doing what they're doing, whether it's a sin or no?."  But we don't know what they're doing.

There is this, though:  Have you tried talking with them? Writing them a note?

Talking is always better, even though it takes a fair amount of bravery sometimes. But writing the note might help you put your thoughts in order, take out accusations of their possible motivations and anger so that you can not fly off the handle when you try to speak with them.

Whatever you do, in heaven's name, don't text them. Even innocuous comments come off badly with so few words, and no inflection or facial expression.

1 comment:

nebula said...

Morning sister. Question: Do people pray to St Paul ever to intercede for them? Also, he didn't seem to like women much - a bit off putting :) However I do understand that much of what we believe comes from his inspired writings.