Guilt is Good
One of the many complaints that is frequently expressed by traditional Catholics and even Protestants is that our present society has lost a sense of sin and guilt. In fact, for the last 30 years guilt has been constantly portrayed by the liberal establishment as being not only negative but, to their minds, psychologically detrimental to their all important concept of "self-esteem". This bogus principle of self-esteem is so paramount to liberal anthropology that, to them, the only real "sins" are those that somehow violate it. Consequently, to feel guilty is a sin in itself and should be avoided at all cost. Thus millions and millions of dollars are spent every year on psychiatrists and psychologists who use modern techniques to convince their clients that they should feel good about themselves no matter what they have done. The atheistic liberal philosophy believes that the reason for the majority of the world's ills is the low self esteem of those who inflict those ills. According to the liberals the criminals are just as much victims of society as the victims that suffer at their hands. Therefore, they have no reason for guilt; in fact guilt only exacerbates the problem. The only solution is to try to establish a sense of self-esteem within these criminals and according to the liberals, you don't do this by punishing them.
Sadly, this same twisted view of reality has infected much of the Catholic Church today and has had terrible ramifications for the Faith. For the liberals within the Church, sin is merely sickness that must be healed psychologically. This follows their utopian view that man is simply in the process of evolving and will eventually come to the point where these spiritual ills will disappear and he will finally reach the "Omega Point". In this system of thought where psychology becomes a god there is no room for the self-destructive thought patterns of guilt. These men and women say that in the past the Church was too fond of "laying guilt trips" on people by judgmental condemnation of sins which were actually only symptoms of low self-worth and negative self-image. Thus a whole new approach came into being where the duty of the priest or spiritual director was not to concentrate upon the sin of the penitent and its consequences but rather to concentrate upon the "unhealthy" thought patterns that were the root cause of the negative self-destructive action. In some cases this went so far as to negate the sin entirely, as in the case of masturbation, where the priest would tell the penitent or even the classroom of young men and women that masturbation was neither bad nor good but just a natural function of the body to release sexual energy. These young men and women are told that to feel guilty over masturbation makes as much sense as feeling guilty over diarrhea.
When determining whether or not the implementation of a particular philosophical system has any merit surely 30 years should be enough time to see if it has been successful in achieving its intended goal of a better society. Once we determine this we are then capable of making the necessary decision to either adopt this system universally or to throw it upon the trash heap of history as a failed experiment in human progress. Has the anti-guilt self-esteem morality, implemented for the last 30 years by the liberals, been successful in its goal of creating a better and more healthy society? Let's look at the facts.
Since 1960 while the population of the United States has increased 41% the number of violent crimes has increased more than 550 percent. Violent crimes include murder, rape, robberies and aggravated assaults. This translates in raw figures as follows: 1960 there were 288,460 violent crimes committed per total US population, that is 16.1% out of every 100,000 people; in 1970 this increased to 738,820 per total population, 36.4% of 100,000 people; in 1980 this jumped to 1,344,520 per total population, 59.7% of 100,000 people; in 1992 this increased another 16%, 1,932,274 per total population, 75.8% of 100,000 people. In 1990 alone 90,000 people were murdered.
The fastest growing group of violent criminals is America's youth. From 1982-1991 arrest rates for murder for juvenile offenders increased by 93%. In 1960 the major problems in high school were tardiness, chewing gum, running in the halls and the occasional fist fight. Today, in 1996, 20% of high school students now carry a lethal weapon to school on a regular basis; this includes, guns, knives, razors, clubs or some other weapon.
Since 1960 the illegitimate birth rate has increased more than 400%. In 1960, out of the entire population, only 5.3% of all births that year were illegitimate. In 1970 that figure doubled to 10.7%. In 1980 it increased to 18.4% and finally, in 1991, 30% of all births in the United States were illegitimate. The most dramatic figures are revealed in the fact that among blacks this proportion is much greater. In 1991, 68% of all births to black mothers were illegitimate. This is a direct result of the welfare state and its consequent effects on the family. The above figures do not consider pregnancy. These figures are increases even after 1.6 million babies on average have already been murdered every year by abortion since 1972.
In regards to marriage, in 1960 there were 74 marriages to every 1000 unmarried women and only 9 marriages out of every 1000 ended in divorce. In 1991 there were only 54 marriages out of every 1000 unmarried women and 21 divorces per 1,000 married women.
From 1960 to 1991 the births of children to unwed teenagers has increased nearly 200 percent. Out of 1000 unwed teenage girls in 1960 only 15 had births. Over the last 30 years this has increased to 45 births per 1000 unmarried teenage girls. Now this must be weighted against the fact that from 1972 to 1990 abortion has had a tremendous increase within this category. Instead of births if we looked at teenage pregnancy and abortion the figure increases dramatically. From 1972 to 1990 the pregnancy rate has nearly doubled. In 1972 there were 49 pregnancies per 1000 unmarried teenagers; of these there were only 24 births, 20 abortions and 5 miscarriages. Teenagers have approximately 400,000 abortions per year.
From 1960 to 1990 the rate of teenagers committing suicide has more than tripled. According to the National Center for Health Statistics suicide is now the second leading cause of death among adolescents. Per every 100,000 15-19 year olds in 1960 there were 4 suicides in 1990 this had jumped to 11.3 per 100,000.
The Experiment Has Failed
Now I could go on and on with the statistics and cold hard facts but I think the point has been made. The anti-guilt and self-esteem advocates have failed to create a better society. In fact they have created a horrifyingly worse one. Liberalism is a totally bankrupt philosophy and pseudo-religion. It doesn't work because it has an unrealistic view of humanity. Liberalism is the modern Tower of Babel. They have tried to enter heaven by mere human effort, and with unmitigated pride they have shot an arrow into the sky as an act of defiance of God. Their efforts have ended in confusion, disunity, and division. Where once there was a moral consensus in this country, there is now only fractious, disintegration of the society's fabric. In every area where our culture was successful it is now in ruins. We see this not only in secular society but within the Church as well. Can anyone who reads this newsletter today in 1996 say that the Church is as healthy now as it was in the 1950's? Yet the liberals will do just that trying to convince us as we stand amidst the ruins of our Faith that everything is wonderful and we have progressed so much.
Guilt is a Natural Consequence of Sin
So we finally come to the main issue of this article, guilt. In denying guilt there are more people in mental institutions then ever before in history. Why? Because when you try to mess with the natural process of things it causes revolution within that process. To violate the natural law is to bring disorder and disharmony within oneself and one's environment. Guilt is good. Just as pain in the body signals injury or disease, so guilt is the pain of the soul as it is injured by sin and spiritual disease. Without the body's ability to have pain we would not realize when we were injured or needed the assistance of a physician. In like manner without guilt we cannot realize the magnitude and horror of sin.
The truth is, dear reader, that sin is the greatest evil in this life. All other sorrows find their root in sin and are the consequences of sin. Therefore, when we sin, the pain of guilt should be great enough to either warn us that we are too close to the fire of spiritual injury and death or the death scream of our own spiritual suicide. Unlike the physical nature death in the realm of the spirit is not permanent now that Jesus provided the means by which our dead souls can be resurrected to new life. By the application of the merits of His redemption in the sacrament of Confession our souls are healed both of injury and of spiritual death itself. But without a true horror for sin we will continually place ourselves in the dangerous position of falling continuously into sin again and again. Guilt, if highly attuned, can prevent this from happening. Confession is the only God-given remedy for the guilt of sin. In His infinite wisdom Jesus gave us this sacrament for both our spiritual and mental health. Our humble submission to the authority of Christ given to His Church is the ultimate cure of our pride which is the foundation of all sin. And love is the only means by which we can implement this humility of spirit. Love is the opposite of sin, just as good is the opposite of evil.
There are two things which are aberrations of the guilt process that can happen within the psychology of an individual . The first is what we call a "Seared Conscience". This means that after repeated sinning without repentance in a particular area the pain of guilt is lessened or almost entirely negated. The great sorrow for souls in this state is that it takes almost a miracle of grace to overcome their coldheartedness and bring them back to repentance. The second aberrant condition is that of scrupulosity. This unhealthy condition is an obsession with the feelings of guilt. It is a kind of spiritual hypochondria. For the scrupulous the least minor transgression of the law, even when it is not deliberate becomes a source of turmoil and obsession to the point of distraction.
Both of the above mentioned conditions come from pride, the first from the concept that there is no consequence to sin and the person becomes the arbiter of his own actions, usurping God's position. The second is pride because the person cannot accept the limitations of his own humanity. In both cases the sacrament of Confession is the necessary remedy. However, the scrupulous need the extra assistance of a good spiritual director who will not mitigate the true horror of sin and at the same time will direct the penitent to spiritual balance.
of the Blessed Trinity became man suffering death "once and for all..." to save all those who have human truth book upon book could be written based solely upon theological speculation concerning the existence of intelligent extraterrestrials and their place within the providence of God. As long as we realize that their souls would h