Conscience, Sin, and Suffering

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Conscience,Sin, and Suffering

Conscience,Sin, and Suffering

Manytheologians discuss religious issues from the perspective of moralwisdom. This paper will provide a reflection on chapter three andfour of the book “Moral wisdom: Lessons and texts from the Catholictradition”. The paper will address a reflection as well as thepersonal understanding of two themes, including subject matters ofsin and suffering.


Sinis the main theme that is presented in chapter three of Keenan’sbook. Keenan (2010) compares the perception of sin among the modernand earlier Christians. Earlier Christians took sin quite seriouslyand they understood that it could subject them to the risk of goingto hell. The modern Christians, on the other hand, refuse to takeresponsibility for their sins. For example, the confession was takenseriously by early Christians. For example, people could feel worriedin case they forgot to mention some sins during a confession (Keenan,2010). Modern Christians trivialize sin and package it into differentcategories. For example, some Christians hold that it is difficult tocommit mortal sins since it involves the full consent and knowledge.

Inmy view, chapter three of Keenan’s book provides a criticalanalysis of the behavior as well as the wrong perception held by themodern society with regard to issues that affect the relationshipbetween human beings and God. The objective of trivializing sin andcategorizing it into different classes is to avoid facing the realityof how morally bad people are. The increase in the prevalence of sinin the society can be attributed to the fact that many people defendtheir sinful acts by claiming that it is difficult for them to engagein mortal transgressions. However, this tendency can be considered asan act of escapism. Therefore, the measure of sin has not changed,but people have been trying to avoid the correct definition of sin.


Chapterfour of Keenan’s book addresses the theme of suffering. The authorholds that the concept of suffering can be addressed using two majorapproaches. The first approach is academic and it focuses on the wayof reconciling a providential and a merciful God with the idea ofsuffering. Secondly, suffering can be viewed from an intellectualperspective, where people question a trend in which affliction affectpeople selectively (Keenan, 2010). Most importantly, Keenan (2010)argues that the ability of the sufferers to tell about theirexperience initiates the process of healing.

Chapterfour provides a suitable piece of advice to the modern society, wherepeople believe that suffering is part of life, but they do not knowhow to get out of it. From chapter 4, listening to the people who aresuffering helps them recover their lost voice and embark on theprocess of healing. On the contrary, the intellectual perspectivethat encourages people to ask why they are suffering does not bring asolution.


Manypeople hold that it is quite difficult to commit mortaltransgressions, but this is a way of trying to hide their sinfulnature. In addition, modern Christians have trivialized sin, but itsactual definition remains constant. Moreover, surfing is part ofhuman life, but it can be addressed when other people listen to thesufferers. The act of giving sufferers a chance to speak outintroduces them to the process of recovery.


Keenan,F. (2010). Moralwisdom: Lessons and texts from the Catholic tradition (2ndEd.).Lanham: Rowman &amp Littlefield.

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