I was reading yesterday about how at baptism, God forgives our original sin. Given that baptism, as a sacrament, is a sign of what has already happened or is going to happen, it makes sense that the sacrament itself functions as a tangible experience showing us that, indeed, God has already forgiven original sin.
But what is this “original sin”? Theology tells us that it is the act of defiance by Adam. Indeed, the human capacity to defy is something we are born with, because we all want autonomy and control. But are there not plenty of other “original sins”? It seems to me all of the “seven deadly sins” (greed, envy, sloth, anger, lust, gluttony, pride) are all very “original”. We are all born with the compulsions that underlie the acts (desire for lots of stuff, desire for what someone else has, desire for rest, etc.) whether we want them or not. We all resent the fact that we have these drives/desires because of the harm caused when we act on these desires, so all of these could be called “sin”. They are “original”: they are, in behavioral terms, innate. “Selfishness”, also, is certainly original, because like everything I have mentioned so far, it is our default mode.
What I am saying is that it makes a great deal of sense to say that all of these God-given compulsions are not only original, but as our baptismal theology states, they are forgiven. The question is, can WE forgive these compulsions? We could hear over and over again that God forgives us, but if we cannot forgive (reconcile with) our own compulsions, we are not any better off in a day-to-day-life-on-Earth happiness way. When we don’t forgive our compulsions, we remain divided and unreconciled within.
Maybe those in the early Church were better at incorporating this kind of reconciliation upon receiving the sacrament. It just seems to me that a lot of baptized people are really caught up in not being able to reconcile with their compulsions, and that Jesus wants us to forgive ourselves. If original sin does truly include all of the above, should we not be helping our Christian youth learn how to forgive themselves, all of our “original sins”, as Abba forgives?