Catechism of the Catholic Church

Life in Christ 453 through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 119 Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God, by his Word and by his Spirit, casts a living light on sin: Conversion requires convincing of sin; it includes the interior judgment of conscience, and this, being a proof of the action of the Spirit of truth in man’s inmost being, becomes at the same time the start of a new grant of grace and love: “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Thus in this “convincing concerning sin” we discover a double gift: the gift of the truth of conscience and the gift of the certainty of redemption. The Spirit of truth is the Consoler. 120 II. T he D efinition of S in 1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right con- science; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as “an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.” 121 1850 Sin is an offense against God: “Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight.” 122 Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become “like gods,” 123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus “love of oneself even to contempt of God.” 124 In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation. 125 1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mock­ ery by the leaders and the people, Pilate’s cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas’ betrayal—so bitter to Jesus, Peter’s denial and the disciples’ flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world, 126 the sacrifice of 119 Rom 5:21. 120 John Paul II, DeV 31 § 2. 121 St. Augustine, Contra Faustum 22: PL 42, 418; St. Thomas Aquinas, STh I-II, 71, 6. 122 Ps 51:4. 123 Gen 3:5. 124 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 14, 28: PL 41, 436. 125 Cf. Phil 2:6-9. 126 Cf. Jn 14:30. 1433 311 1952 1440 397 615 598 2746, 616