July 13, 2015
GLEN ARGAN
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER

LAC ST. ANNE – Spiritual death is far worse than physical death, and the sacrament of Reconciliation is the way to restore the supernatural life God breathed on Adam at the moment of creation, says Scott Hahn.

"God wants to heal us more than we can imagine he is capable of doing," Hahn, a well-known author and Scripture scholar, told the annual Catholic Family Life Conference July 1.

Catholics are not sure what to do with the sacrament of Reconciliation, he said. "The more you need it, the less you want it. The greater your sin, the greater your distance from God."

But Reconciliation offers "the medicine of mercy," Hahn told a crowd of thousands at the Lac St. Anne pilgrimage site. "It is not primarily a court appearance; it's not primarily sitting down with your accountant. It's going to the Divine Physician and receiving the medicine of mercy."

Hahn reflected on the story of creation and the first sin told in Genesis 2 and 3.

God formed Adam from the dust of the ground and breathed into him a life that is divine and eternal. The first breath that the first man drew was the breath of God, he said.

God permitted the man to eat of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "In the day that you eat of it, you shall surely die," the Lord warned Adam.

"It's a solemn pledge," said Hahn. God did not say that Adam would deserve to die or would be sentenced to death for eating of the tree; he said, "You will surely die."

Yet after the first woman was created, the serpent told the couple they would not die if they ate from the tree. The two did eat the forbidden fruit, and they did not drop dead. "On the surface, it looks like the serpent got it right," Hahn said.

LIFE SNUFFED OUT

However, it was supernatural life that Adam and Eve lost, the life that God had breathed upon Adam, he said. The only way to snuff out that life is to give consent to mortal sin, "the sin unto death."

"They lost divine life. It's the death of the soul; it's spiritual suicide."

Today, Hahn said, many people "have snuffed out the life of God in their souls by giving consent to mortal sin." They are spiritually dead and don't even know it.

BE CLEANSED

More people are concerned about their physical health and bodily lives than are concerned with their spiritual health and eternal life, he said.

"For the sake of your eternity, give yourself a checkup and then go to the physician, the doctors of our souls and come clean, and let God cleanse you."

God gives the medicine of the sacrament of Reconciliation to give us eternal life, he said. God says to us, "There is nothing you can do that is too much for my mercy except misuse your freedom and not come clean."