The stinginess of God

God’s mercy has an infuriating quality for the very proud. For some of us , there is almost a perverse desire to be paid your fair wages for your sins, even if it means the eternal death.

Like the old E.F. Hutton commercial, we acquired our sins the old fashioned way, we earned them. Much time, effort and learning went into these achievements. And yet here comes our Redeemer, refusing to pay out, like some Scrooge of justice. He clearly has never heard of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Its writ apparently does not extend beyond the atmosphere.

Can’t I even hold onto the guilt of one little sin, I ask, and wear it around Heaven like a medal to show everyone what a bad boy I was? Me and my fellow sin veterans could sit in some Heavenly dive bar pointing to our scars, like Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw in Jaws.

Apparently not. We are to be deprived of the strange satisfaction of being able to feel that God still owes us something, that he harbors the slightest grudge against us, or that our sins are almost a little too much for him. That pride of accomplishment may be the last thing some of us have to let go before achieving the Beatific Vision. Be thankful if you do not recognize yourself at all in the above … you are way ahead of me.





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