The Desire for God and One Another
Why do so many American politicians -- from Bill Clinton to Mark Sanford -- use religious language when they make public confessions of marital infidelity? Are they truly penitent or just pandering? How can we tell the difference?
Only God knows when any of us is 'truly penitent', and anyone who reckons they can pin that down with accuracy across the board is probably guilty of the sin of pride.
It doesn't surprise me when Americans say things like this (a) because Americans are much more likely to have some strong Christian influence in their lives than Europeans (can you imagine Berlusconi, Sarkozy or for that matter John Major saying such a thing?) and (b) because when someone is not only confronted with evidence of their marital infidelity but also convinced that this was morally wrong that actually puts them in touch with some very deep parts of their human selves where, as well as questions of sexuality, one also meets questions of spirituality.
Desire for one another and desire for God, as all spiritual directors know, are intimately linked, which is of course why so-called 'sexual sin' (I say 'so-called' not because I don't think there is such a thing but because actually it's linked to so many other things that it's misleading to isolate that area) raises so many questions about where the person is in relation to God.
Posted by: colinnicholas | July 5, 2009 10:12 PM
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