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2 posted on 03/14/2019 11:54:28 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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From: Ezekiel 18:21-28

The Good Effects of Conversion


[21] But if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has committed
and keeps all my statutes and does what is lawful and right, he shall surely live;
he shall not die. [22] None of the transgressions which he has committed shall
be remembered against him; for the righteousness which he has done he shall
live. [23] Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, says the LORD God,
and not rather that he should turn from his way and live? [24] But when a righ-
teous man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity and does
the same abominable things that the wicked man does, shall he live? None of
the righteous deeds which he has done shall be remembered; for the treachery
of which he is guilty and the sin he has committed, he shall die.

[25] “Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not just.’ Hear now, O house of Israel:
Is my way not just? Is it not your ways that are not just? [26] When a righteous
man turns away from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die for it;
for the iniquity which he has committed he shall die. [27] Again, when a wicked
man turns away from the wickedness he has committed and does what is lawful
and right, he shall save his life. [28] Because he considered and turned away
from all the transgressions which he had committed, he shall surely live, he
shall not die.”

*********************************************************************************************
Commentary:

18:21-32. These verses reply to a question that may arise from the doctrine of per-
sonal retribution: If the sinner must live with the consequences of his sins, what is
the purpose of repentance? Ezekiel takes the question very much to heart, and
his reply includes one of the most beautiful summaries of divine mercy: “Have I
any pleasure in the death of the wicked..., and not rather that he should turn from
his way and live?’ (v. 23; cf. 33:11). It is true that the explanation of divine justice
and punishment develops over a long period until the New Testament is reached;
even so, from the very beginning of divine Revelation, there is never any doubt but
that God is always ready to forgive. Over the centuries, Christian spirituality has
written beautiful pages filled to overflowing with heartfelt trust in God’s mercy. As
an example, we will quote a prayer by a Christian writer of the Armenian Church:
“You are the Lord of Mercy. Have mercy on me, a sinner, who beseeches you
with sighs and tears. [...] O kind and merciful Lord! You are patient with sinners,
for you have said: “if a wicked man turns away from all his sins which he has com-
mitted none of the transgressions which he has committed shall be remembered
against him” (Ezek 18:21-22). Look, see how I have come before you and fallen
at your feet: your guilty servant pleads for your mercy. Do not recall my sins, nor
spurn me because of my wickedness [...] You are the Lord of goodness and mer-
cy; you forgive all sin” (John Mandakuni, “Oratio”, 2-3).

Of course, God’s forgiveness is closely interwoven with personal conversion.
Therefore, it is not surprising to find these verses of Ezekiel being quoted in con-
nection with the need for the sacrament of penance: “at all times, the practice of
penance in order to obtain grace and attain righteousness was necessary for all
those who fell into mortal sin, even those who sought to be washed clean by the
waters of baptism, so that, when sinfulness had been purged and set to rights,
they would detest any offense against God through their hatred of sin and the
sorrow of their souls. Thus says the Prophet: ‘Repent and turn from all your trans-
gressions, lest iniquity be your ruin’ (Ezek 18:30)” (Council of Trent, Session 14,
1). There is also a need for genuine contrition: “Contrition, which is the most im-
portant element of penance, is a sorrow of the soul, a hatred of all the sins that
have been committed, and a desire not to sin again in the future. This sense of
contrition has always been a fundamental condition of forgiveness; the man who
falls into sin after his baptism can only receive pardon if he is contrite, trusts in
the mercy of God, and fulfills all the other conditions that are binding in this sac-
rament. This Council declares that contrition encompasses not only the end of
sin and the beginning of new life, but the reparation of the old, sinful life, as it
was written: ‘Cast away from you all the transgressions which you have commit-
ted against me, and get yourselves a new heart and a new spirit!’ (Ezek 18:31)”
(Council of Trent Session 14, 4).

*********************************************************************************************
Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.


3 posted on 03/14/2019 11:55:44 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ Ping

Please FReepmail me to get on/off the Lenten Ping List.


5 posted on 03/15/2019 12:43:56 AM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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