I was reading a book last night called “Peace of the Soul” by the late Bishop Fulton Sheen. It’s a marvelous book, full of insight about the human physcy and particularly about what sin has done to mankind. The particular chapter I was on was with regard to modern psychiatry. How Fruedianism in his day (and even still today) tried to write sin off as a product of our societal inhibitions. One psychologist, Nitzshky, even went so far as to say sin until your conscience is seared and you are no longer inhibited by societal moores that hold you back and it does happen. That is how people like Jeffrey Dahmer were able to do the horrors that we read about in the paper.
He spoke that what was lacking is a healthy, what we Catholics call “Examination of Conscience” and I guess if I had to pinpoint my objection to OSAS doctrine that would be my objection. I believe that it neglects a healthy daily reflectoin on what we do in our lives that needs to be rooted out. We are no longer under the law so we no longer have to obey it and even our future sins are fogiven. David speaks of the withering of his soul. Psalm 51 is called the penitential Psalm. It is a great reflection on our sinfulness.
3: For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.
4: Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in thy sight, so that thou art justified in thy sentence and blameless in thy judgment.
5: Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6: Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.
7: Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8: Fill me with joy and gladness; let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice.
9: Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities.
10: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.
11: Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy holy Spirit from me.
12: Restore to me the joy of thy salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
I have not lived OSAS but I do believe that it neglects a heartfelt examination of our daily lives and a refelction on our sinfulness much like the Fruedian pychoanlysis that is essentially a running away from our fallen nature, rather than truly understanding it and getting to the root of our faults and failings, so that rather than being in bondage we can TRULY be FREED of our sins. These We can root out the things in the garden of our hearts that keeps us in bondage. It is not a negative thing as you might think to acknowledge that we sin and to reflect on those sins. Rather it is a great vehicle of freedom by which we come to acknoledge the abhorence of God to sin. (“God hates sin”) and how he has given us the grace through the sacraments to OVERCOME it. That is what God wants and why he gave us the sacraments, especially the Eucharist and confession to root out the sin in our lives. These are sacraments of mercy, not bondage by which God wants to free us from what truely limits our ability to do his will. Confession is good for the soul and Bishop Sheen lingers on that point. Psychoanlysis fails because of neglect of a heathy view of physchology, that acknowledges sin. It has been show that those who regularly attend confessoin actually have a much healthier life, with less physical problems, and a much smaller rate of suicide. This has evened out some over the last 20 or 30 years because of the neglect of the sacrament of confession in Catholic Churches. Something thta I hope is coming back and that JP II emphasized in the later years of his papacy. What a loving and kind God who truly wants to restore our fallen natures. There is much more that I should say scripturally on this but I will perhaps address that later. I highly recommend Bishop Sheen’s book which would help greatly in understanding why we Catholics cannot acknowledge the doctrine of OSAS and why we have such abhorence for it.