“Out, Damned Spot!”
After having fallen to Temptation…
How do you get better?
Do you just stop? Quit cold turkey?
Let’s say you do. What then? Are we free to go on as if nothing happened?
Mr. Stiles begins his post with a practical joke played by one of my all time Favourite Authors, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
You can read it here.
Though a joke, it caused twelve individuals to change their lives in an instant.
But it is Mr. Stiles’ use of Macbeth that truly drives home just how powerful guilt, a guilty conscience, can be:
Do you remember Lady Macbeth’s famous sleepwalking plea?
“Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”
And when the spying doctor heard her say this, and saw her trying to wash the imaginary spots of blood off her hands (really, off her conscience), he made this statement:
“Unnatural deeds do breed unnatural troubles; infected minds to their deaf pillows will discharge their secrets. More needs she the divine than the physician. God, God, forgive us all!”
—Macbeth, Act V, Scene I
Shakespeare nailed it here. A guilty conscience isn’t something any earthly doctor can fix. Only God can wash the blood off our hands.
Now, Mr. Stiles does not leave us hanging though, he offers a couple of things that WILL clear our consciences.
Personally, the most powerful is Confession.
To have to Utter your acts to another…
To Hear yourself say what you have done, thought, or not done…
To have to take Responsibility for your actions…
And then to receive His Grace…to receive Absolution…
It just Boggles my Mind!!
But…as Father Mario has many a time pointed out, God is not like us. We cannot reduce Him. We cannot comprehend His ways. His Ways are not Our Ways…
And my favourite, I am NOT the Fourth Person of the Holy Trinity 😕
This is a good place to start to deal with our Temptation…
But…what if you have??
I know how that goes too….