Sin: The Individual Portrait

woman in painWe have begun to consider what sin looks like in the big picture. But that’s not enough. Sooner or later, I must take that slow and thoughtful look at my own life and identify where, in that life, God’s love is disrupted, ignored, or pushed aside.

Here are a few questions to help us with this difficult—and sometimes painful—task:

  • Where is the pain in my life? What is causing it? At what point was love disrupted and some lesser thing allowed to be central? (Please note: pain may come from my own actions/thoughts, but often it comes from sources I do not control—systems, people, circumstances.)
  • Whom have I hurt, and how did that happen?
  • What patterns in my thoughts tend to lead to behavior that is not loving?
  • What patterns in my behavior tend to make my wounds deeper and my life harder?
  • Where am I not free but somehow trapped or held back or stuck in unhealthy patterns?
  • At what points am I saying no to God’s efforts to love me?

We welcome your comments. However, please remember that this is a public site, and that some deeper issues of sin and pain may be better shared with a spiritual director or counselor.

This post is a part of An Ignatian Prayer Adventure, Week 3.


  1. Seeing the pattern from earliest childhood until early old age – that my sins and my unique path of repentance are inextricably linked to recurring moments when I have lost sight of God’s mercy and unconditional love, has been very enlightening.

  2. The moment I started to dig out my sins from childhood up, i feel heaviness inside, and picturing out an equipment that repair our water pipe line to a new one so that water can run freely from pipe to pipe. If only to replace the old one, an equiptment like that of a loader is needed to pull off the old pipe line that has been cemented over the years to a new one… I feel Sorrow for àll the sins, can’t help but cried deep inside. God, forgive me.

  3. God this is hard. To come face to face with my sins and to wonder what on earth came to me when I did those things?
    Thankfully I have a prodigal Father!


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