For me, one of the greatest gifts of this papacy is the Pope's exposition on the mercy of God - God's love for sinners ... and sin itself.
Today the Pope spoke of King David again - and his grave crimes - his mortal sins - arranging for the killing of Uriah. Astonishingly, David's sin did not harden his heart or lead to total 'corruption' as the Holy Father points out:
“David is a saint, but also a sinner.” He falls on account of lust, the Pope said, and yet God still loves him very much. However, the Pope notes, “the great, the noble David” feels so secure – “because the kingdom was strong” – that after having committed adultery he does everything in his power to arrange the death of a loyal man, falsely passing it off as an accidental death in battle.
“This is a moment in David’s life that makes us see a moment through which we all can pass in our life: it is the passage from sin to corruption. This is where David begins, taking the first step towards corruption. He has the power, he has the strength. And for this reason, corruption is a very easy sin for all of us who have some power, whether it be ecclesiastical, religious, economic, political… Because the devil makes us feel certain: ‘I can do it’.”
Corruption – from which David was saved by the grace of God – had wounded the heart of that “courageous youth” who had faced the Philistine with a sling and five small stones. “Today I want to emphasize only one thing,” the Pope concluded. “There is a moment where the attitude of sin, or a moment where our situation is so secure and we see well and we have so much power” that sin “stops” and becomes “corruption.” And “one of the ugliest things” about corruption is that the one who becomes corrupt thinks he has “no need for forgiveness.” - Chris Wells, Vatican Radio
The Holy Father has really helped me to examine my conscience in a new light, from a completely different perspective - perhaps even how God sees me.
... for he knows of what we are made,
he remembers that we are dust. -Ps. 103:14
That's how the Pope makes me feel.
(And my parish priests as well.)