Epistle to the Hebrews #1 Bp Keith Ackerman

Epistle to the Hebrews #2

Epistle to the Hebrews #3

Epistle to the Hebrews #4

Epistle to the Hebrews #5

Epistle to the Hebrews #6



  • Anyone who has ever attended a Catechism class, a First Holy Communion Class, a Confirmation Class, or an Enquirers’ Class knows all about the category of sins entitled “The Seven Deadly Sins.” When I am “sitting in the box” hearing Confessions I often can hear the rattling of papers on the other side of the screen as the Penitent reviews and then comments on the Seven Deadly Sins as they relate to their own Confession. Admittedly it is sometimes difficult to remember all Seven, and so I have always asked people to remember the two words “Pale Gas.” This mnemonic device was actually taught to me nearly 50 years ago by my friend Peter Funk, a well-known linguist and author who had a regular column in the Readers’ Digest entitled “It Pays to Enrich Your Word Power.” Pride. Anger. Lust. Envy. Gluttony. Avarice. Sloth. Although other words are often used for the Seven Deadly sins, this device helps us remember the words not uncommonly used. The various lists of the Seven Deadly sins, sometimes called “cardinal sins” or “capital vices” are first discovered in the Fourth Century, with particular reference to the Desert Fathers.
  • Although the Seven Deadly Sins do not usually need explanation, nonetheless given the world in which we live, the manifestations and expressions of the sins are a bit different from what they were in the pre-Industrial, pre-Technology, pre-Vehicular ages. Sin is sin, and there is no new sin, but rather there are new manifestations. During this Lenten Season I will offer some thoughts about some of those contemporary manifestations. Remember every sermon, every letter, and every teaching is all about YOU! (Actually, that’s the sin of Pride, where we think that everything is all about me - including the sermon!) Therefore, that will be where I will begin. The sin of Pride.


A “Seven Deadly Sins” Postscript

It would be odd for someone to read about The Seven Deadly Sins and then say, “Gee...that was depressing!” Well, sin IS depressing, but forgiveness is Divine. Even though we are sinful human beings, our Savior died for our sins, and He did so because He loves us. The Message of Jesus to us is quite specific and direct, and all He wants from us is us

Sometimes people ask the wrong question about sin. People will often ask me, knowing that missing Mass on Sunday is a sin, “Is missing Mass on Sunday a mortal or a venial sin?” It really does not matter, in one sense. The real question is, “How does Jesus feel about us not being with His gathered community receiving His Body and Blood?” The Seven Deadly Sins are not about sharpening up our Confession skills to impress the Confessor, it’s about sitting across from Jesus and simply answering His question: “Why did you do..........?” or “Why did you fail to do.......?” 

If we really love Jesus and if we really care about what He “thinks or feels” about us, then it is a simple matter - Talk to Jesus about it. Let’s think about whether our rationalizations and excuses are acceptable or not. Thinking about those matters before we die, and before Judgment Day be helpful. After all, it’s all about whether Jesus is first in our lives or not. We need to be honest, because He already knows.