Thursday, March 12, 2015

Rome v. Luther Today

A day or so ago I listen to Cardinal Timothy Dolan's sermon from this past Sunday. He used the reading from Exodus 20 as his text - the Ten Commandments. If you want to listen to it, click here. But let me just briefly tell you what he said: Law. All law. Nothing but law. It was "happy law" to be sure! He made it sound really good and that yup, you can do it!

Compare that to this following reading from Luther, based upon what Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 1: "This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief."

Luther: Ponder on this text and diligently arm yourself so that you will be prudent at all times - not only if your conscience is clear (apart from the struggle with your conscience), but also and particularly, when you have to contend with death and you are confronted with the greatest perils and dangers. This is when your conscience will be reminding you of the sins you have committed and it will be in a state of horror. Satan will appear before you as a mighty power and his intention will be to overwhelm you with the great burden of your sins flooding into your mind like a huge deluge. Satan will try to scare you away from Christ and will also try to chase you away from Him so that you will end up in despair. I say: "Remember that Christ did not offer Himself up for invented or exaggerated sins but for real sins - not for small insignificant sins but for great and coarse sins, and not just for a couple of sins here and there, but for all the sins of the world, not for sins that have been overcome and eliminated, but for scarlet and powerful sins that have still not been dispensed with."

Quite a difference!

1 comment:

Elizabeth Libby said...

what a great passage from Luther. Thank you for sharing!