A Saint I Ain't

Posted July 7, 2008

You’ve heard about the crook who made counterfeit pennies. He was caught because he put the heads and tails on the wrong sides.

We often don’t know which side is which; sinners are often saintly and saints are often “sinnerly.” Yet all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). From the cradle we’re known as sinners, but from the casket we may seem like saints.

But if you think saints are hard to find today, just try to find someone who acknowledges himself as a sinner! Acknowledged sinners are an endangered species – perhaps because so few sins are any longer acknowledged. Yet sin by any other name is still sin in God’s eyes. “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Prv 28:13).

Suppose the Prodigal Son, on his return, had said, “Well you know how it is, Dad. Everyone has a fling once in a while.” Without anesthetizing his guilt, he simply said remorsefully, “Father, I have sinned” (Lk 15:21).

How refreshingly honest-and cleansing! “If we confess our sins, he … will purify us from all unrighteousess” (1 Jn 1:9).

Fr. John Hampsch “One-Minute Meditations for Busy People