Let me put this plainly: Sin is ugly.
When we commit sins we are ugly too. God is beautiful, true and good. When we strive for a virtuous life we reflect God’s goodness and become beautiful too.
So if sin is ugly and goodness, beautiful, why would any of us choose evil outright? How do any of us fall into a sin?
The devil is tricky. We start with the small sins. We justify that it is no big deal and we try to ignore that voice of warning in our heads.
The next time we commit bigger sins and slowly numb our consciences. Soon, it is easier to choose wrongly and we get used to living in sin and acting against the will of God. When this happens, the intellect is darkened and the will is weakened. We find it harder to resist temptation and we might even question why this act is a sin at all. Sin becomes habitual and the light (or making good choices) becomes too painful. The ugliness is actually more attractive than the beauty.
The man who struggles with a pornography addiction allows his longing to consume him. He lacks motivation and is devoid of any real relationships. He prefers pleasure to any lasting happiness. The corrosive addiction separates him from God and he doubts whether he can ever resist his selfish desires.
Is there hope for someone so steeped in ugliness?
God did not leave us to die in our sins. Christ gained the right to forgive us of all of our sins through his suffering and death on the cross. No matter how heinous the crime, Christ stands in the position to forgive and redeem mankind.
No matter how great or small, we are all sinners. As Catholics we have the opportunity of renewal in the sacrament of confession. Christ is waiting for us to take that step back to him. The priest is the person of Christ, so as you kneel in that confessional, believe that you are whispering your sins into the ear of Christ himself! When the priest gives you absolution you are completely forgiven of your sins and your soul reflects Beauty Itself. By following God’s will, we become icons of God’s beauty.
There are those who die to self for the love of Christ and sacrifice the things of the world for the things of heaven. Mother Teresa worked tirelessly with the poor, but never sought recognition or praise. She gave generously because she saw Christ in each person. As single Catholics, we have great opportunity to serve others and offer up our own gifts.
The beauty of living a Christian life is powerful. We become evangelizers of beauty just by living our Christian lives. People start to notice something different about us and ask: Why do you go to Mass on Sunday? What would provoke someone to pray outside an abortion clinic while being mocked and persecuted? Why do Christians continue to believe in a God when there is so much suffering in the world? What is different about them? Why are they so joyful?
The Lord beautifies the life of a Christian to attract others to the Beauty within. This beauty gives rise to joy and delight and draws those who are seeking peace, attracts those who are seeking happiness and captivates those who are seeking real love. The world needs to see Christ’s face. Let Christ reflect through you.