Tuesday, May 7, 2013

"Not at first blush...."

From the Role of sacraments section in Wikipedia's entry for Ascetical Theology - most of which comes from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913 (although this section doesn't).  I added the bolding:
The Sacraments (Catholic Church), according to dogmatic theology, both symbolize and confer grace. The two sacraments that are routinely encountered by the faithful are Eucharist and confessionGrace is a rather complicated subject; see References below. The Eucharist affords a real and transforming union with God; see for example Jn.[4] It is spiritual as well as real, and transformative. For a discussion of the spiritual implications of Eucharist, see historical roots of Catholic Eucharistic theology. Confession is purifying if the penitent is well-disposed, i.e. sorry for having offended God. It is considered essential to undertake this purifying act before receiving the Eucharist. As one progresses toward union with God, more and more problems within the soul become apparent. Habits that didn't seem sinful at first blush suddenly stand out as harmful to charity. Once confessed, new problems emerge. In this way the penitent embarks on a program of purgation, developing greater sensitivity as to what is most conducive to Christian love.

They call this "the peeling of the onion" in A.A.   And it's built right in to the process, as far as I can tell....

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