Sunday, June 13, 2021

Spiritual Quote of the Day (Kathleen Norris, Redefining Sin)

“Like many Americans of my baby-boom generation, I had thought that religion was a constraint that I had overcome by dint of reason, learning, artistic creativity, sexual liberation. Church was for little kids or grandmas, a small-town phenomenon that one grew out of or left behind. It was a shock to realize that, to paraphrase Paul Simon, all the crap I learned in Sunday school was still alive and kicking inside me.  I was also astonished to discover how ignorant I was about my own religion.  Apart from a few Bible stories and hymns remembered from childhood I had little with which to start to build a mature faith.  I was still that child in The Snow Queen, asking, ‘What is sin?’ but not knowing how to find out.  Fortunately a Benedictine friend provided one answer: ‘Sin, in the New Testament,’ he told me, ‘is the failure to do concrete acts of love.’ That is something I can live with, a guide in my conversation.  It’s also a much better definition of sin than I learned as a child: sin as breaking rules.”— American poet, essayist and memoirist Kathleen Norris, Dakota: A Spiritual Geography (1993)

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