Many Protestants say that the Jesus took our shame on the cross for sin therefore we dont have to experience it or we need to give it to Jesus and not hold onto it. I have never heard Catholic teaching state that Jesus took our shame with him on the cross and therefore that I don’t need to live in it anymore. What is the correct and specific Catholic teaching on shame and the redemption? Any references would be greatly appreciated.
He felt the full complete weight of every sin of every person. He willingly took it on Himself and died for our sins.
I take it personally so yes I do say he took my shame on the cross
Catholic guilt. A certain amount of it is spiritually healthy, I think, but I think it’s true some of us take it too heavily. Jesus will carry whatever we give him, and gladly so. We should rejoice in that and feel peace in it. However, we should be mindful that this isn’t an excuse to keep on sinning. If we’re too attached to sin to give it up, how can Jesus carry it for us?
Our part in this commitment, this covenant, is to follow Jesus, to conform ourselves to him. Jesus will help carry our sins, but that doesn’t mean we’re entirely burden free. It’s difficult to give up our sins, both because of our attachment to them and because the world often mocks and ridicules us for doing so.
I feel like my mixed analogies are conflicting. Does that make sense?
There’s repentance and then there’s constant worry and anxiety and feeling bad. The former is good, the latter is bad.
Shame is an emotion. When we commit sin, if we have a well formed conscience we will feel remorse, guilt, maybe shame.
Jesus died for our sins. Our conscience is not a sin, remorse is the natural reaction to sin (as long as we have well formed consciences). That is what moves us to repentance.
In Fr. Mike Schmitz’s CD Love - Sacrifice - Trust, he talks about this concept of Christ as Shame Bearer
"When He gets to the top of the mountain, Mt. Calvary, Jesus is stripped. Jesus is stripped naked. You know, when we look at a crucifix, there’s a loin cloth on Jesus, and that is for our benefit; but when the Romans crucified someone, they often crucified them absolutely naked, to expose them to shame.
In Genesis Ch. 2, the very last verse, it says that the man and his woman were naked yet they knew no shame, they felt no shame and then shame enters the world and they have to clothe themselves; shame enters the world and they have to protect themselves, they have to clothe themselves. Why? Because they feel ashamed.
And imagine that, we’ve often felt that shame. We know what we’ve done wrong, maybe we’ve hurt other people, we’ve used other people, we’ve been used by other people; we experience this shame. And here is Jesus on the cross, and what is He?
Matt Maher is a friend and he writes music, and at one point I was praying with him and he used this phrase; he used this name to talk to Jesus and he said, “Jesus, you are my Shame Bearer,” and it just stuck with me.
“Jesus you are the Shame Bearer.”
So many of us can be filled with shame. Maybe it has something to do with nakedness; but Jesus says, “No. I’m taking that on me. I’m gonna bear your shame; I am the Shame Bearer.”
Adam and Eve were naked yet felt no shame, Jesus is naked to bear our shame. In fact, this story is the opposite of the prodigal son story. I mean, this story is almost the entire opposite of the prodigal son story.
You have the son who is faithful to the father, but what happens? He is driven out; and as he is driven out the robe that the father gives the prodigal son, he is stripped of that. The sandals that the son is given by the father, he is made barefoot. The ring, the authority, the power? He is stripped of all of these things. The feast? There is not a fatted-calf slaughtered; He is the one who is being slaughtered. And all these things are being taken away, stripped away from Jesus. Why?
Because so many people find themselves in that exact spot: stripped, filled with shame, feeling unloved, like they can’t trust, and that their pains are not a sacrifice, but their pains are meaningless.
And this, this is the last piece…
Because Jesus allowed our pain, Jesus allowed our sin to overwhelm Him on the Cross. And when I say overwhelm, I do not simply mean physically overwhelm; Jesus allowed our emptiness, our poverty, Jesus allowed our loneliness, Jesus allowed our struggles, Jesus allowed the darkness that so many of us face, He allowed it all to overwhelm Him.
That’s why He cries out from the Cross, “My God, My God! Why have you abandoned me?” Not because the Father had abandoned Him, but because Jesus allowed Himself to go to the absolute depths; the depths of saying “What if the Father abandoned me? This is exactly how it feels.”
I know so many people who are listening to this, you know exactly how that feels. When it feels like the Father has abandoned you, when it feels like the Father has abandoned you has given up on you. When it seems like there is only darkness, my one companion is darkness.
Jesus allowed that to overwhelm Him; He allowed that darkness to overwhelm Him. “My God, My God! Why have you forsaken me?”
The Cross is God’s answer; the Cross is God’s answer, but it’s the answer for virtually every question.
Here’s what I mean…
For 1500 years, maybe more, all Christians believed that the Cross is God’s answer. For what? God’s answer for our sin. The Cross of Jesus is what expiates our guilt; that at one point, we stood condemned, that we deserved death for our sins, and yet Jesus steps in and says, “No, no. I’ll take that on me.”
It’s expiation for our guilt, it’s a sacrifice for our guilt, it removes our guilt. Again, for 1500 years, the image has been here we are on trial in front of God, and God is completely just and God is completely good and here we are, we stand condemned because we are guilty.
And so the Cross becomes God’s answer for our guilt…
And yet something happened in the last number of years, where the issue is not that modern man looks at our sins and says “oh man, I’m guilty, thank God for the Cross!”
What we do is we look at suffering and say “God, you’re guilty.” That’s how it is, right? How many people look around this world and we see all this suffering, and we say “God, if you were good, if you were all powerful, you would do something about this suffering. You’re guilty.”
We put God on the stand and we say that He is the one who needs to give us an answer. Again, think about this: for 1500 years or more, it was “no, I’m guilty, but God’s Cross, the Cross of Christ is an answer for my sin. It’s expiation of my sin.”
And now what we’ve done is flip this around and said, “actually God, you’re the one who’s guilty. You’re the one who’s silent in the face of suffering, you’re the one who’s inactive in the face of death, you’re the one who needs to answer for yourself. You’re on trial God.”
And remarkably, the Cross is God’s answer for that as well. See, the Cross is where Jesus allows all of our suffering to overwhelm Him. The Cross is where Jesus proves to us that God is on our side. The Cross is where God, Himself, proves to us that He is not unmoved by our sin. that He is not unmoved by our suffering. That He is so powerfully moved that He leaves paradise, lives in this world, and is willing to be completely crushed in this Gethsemane; completely drained, completely shamed, completely stripped, and completely broken on the Cross.
We hate God so much. Right? I mean, that’s the reason for many people being Athiests. Not because we’re convinced that God exists, but because we are angry at Him. We experience pain, and we’re angry at Him. I mean, when you think about it, God is invulnerable, right? God can’t be hurt, God can’t suffer.
If you think about the story of Jesus, from the first moment when God made Himself vulnerable, we started trying to kill Him…
… So God gives us the Cross, why? Because the Cross is the answer. Not only is God willing to give us the Cross as an expiation for our sin, God is willing to embrace the Cross to win our trust.
It is an excellent talk and I highly recommend getting the CD or if you have access Formed.org, listen to it there.
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