I once heard Franciscan Father Richard Rohr say that the pop psychology view of the human person is “I’m okay, you’re okay” but that the gospel message was “I’m not okay but that’s okay with God.” St. Paul said, “But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).
Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say that “it used to be that only Catholics believed in the Immaculate Conception; now everyone believes that he or she is immaculately conceived.” Dr. Karl Menninger penned a famous book with the title, Whatever Became of Sin?
The loss of the sense of personal sin greatly reduces our capacity to feel the necessity of being saved by Christ. We risk having to hit rock bottom before we realize how far we have fallen, if we do not regularly acknowledge our sinfulness and our need to be saved from ourselves.
Previous generations of Christians had a deeper understanding of the fallen nature from which Christ came to save us. When I recently mentioned the fallen nature of humanity in the course of writing another book, the editor queried me as to whether what I was stating was even “Catholic,” so foreign has the notion become to the modern follower of Christ.
If we want to get the most out of the Eucharist, we have to understand what Jesus, the Bread of Life, came to save us from, and how he can save us from our sins.