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On the Ideal of Reparation

Ave Maria Meditations

(There is a) basic teaching of the Church that is rarely mentioned today:  That Christ came to the world to repair our sins.  Many within the Church today preach an easy Christianity where the Cross of Christ is emptied of its meaning or of the demands it places on Christians.  In truth Christ came to earth to repair His divine work which sin had ruined and to restore to man his supernatural life.  He came to expiate by His own suffering the consequences of human sinfulness which began with the fall and have continued during the whole history of mankind.

Christ, Who in His divine nature could have performed this work alone, wished to associate every Christian with this work. This is why St. Paul affirms that “we fill up those things that are wanting in the sufferings of Christ” (Col.1:24).  He associated all Christians with His work and Passion, not because they were insufficient in themselves but because He wanted to elevate us to the rank of co-redeemers of His Mystical Body.  So, as a consequence, all Christians are called to participate in the redemptive sufferings of Christ.

Mankind particularly needs reparation in this day of growing offences against God.  The manifold growth (of which)…demands reparation…think of abortion, euthanasia, and the legalization of homosexual “unions”.  In contemporary society blatant offences against God are defended as “human rights”, like the non-existent right of a woman to kill her baby or the abomination of the same sex “marriage”.

One example of the many sacrilegious offences were must atone for is the one perpetrated in Rome, when a group of demonstrators entered a church and profaned a Crucifix and destroyed a statue of Our Lady.  It was so sad to see the photos of this lovely statue lying in broken pieces in the middle of the road.  It brought sad memories of the divested churches of Spain in the 1930s.  Among those offences against God that we have to repair we should include the many sins of ordinary Christians, the active sins that violate most of God’s commandments and the sins of omission wherein Christians do not fulfill the duties of their station in live.

In the process of filling what is wanting in the Cross of Christ we have a scale. First and foremost is conscience and our individual dedication to Christ and the sense of sacrifices we need to perform. The duties of our state of life are our duties as parents, in our professional lives, our social and political duties, and our priestly or religious duties, if the Lord in His generosity has given us these particular vocations.

Second, we must accept all the sufferings that we have to endure in our lives as a consequence of doing the duties well, like frustrations at work, disappointments with our family, personal illness or illness in the family and trials of all kinds. At the same time the performance of these duties and the acceptance of the involuntary crosses have to be accompanied with a series of small voluntary sacrifices.

Third, we can ask for additional crosses from the Lord, if that is His will, remembering, at the same time that the most profitable crosses are those that God imposes and not the ones we choose ourselves.  We should remember that we do not have the right to take up voluntary crosses that would be harmful to our duties. We also have to be aware that if we do not fulfill well the first two steps, asking for additional crosses could be a form of dangerous empty rhetoric that could delude us into thinking that we are holier than we are!  Keep in mind what happened to St. Peter when on the eve of the Passion he boasted that he was ready to die for Christ and a few hours later he denied knowing Him.

Only after satisfying the first two obligations will the soul be ready to give herself to God without measure, without holding anything away from the Lord.

Msgr. Ignacio Barreiro Carambula