I am studying the notes of the annual CL retreat given by Fr. Julian Carron. This passage strikes me, because so many in our society today (ourselves included) try to justify or escape from sins, even to the point of enshrining them as "rights" in civil law. Why do we do this? I believe its a form of desperation, because we have not encountered (or else we have forgotten) the face and the gaze of the One who affirms us for what we truly are, and opens up the wonderful possibility of starting again, of being free.
"Man is never ultimately what he does, rather, he is that relationship with the Infinite that Christ affirmed by His gaze upon all those He encountered, particularly the sinners.... Precisely because we have encountered this same gaze, we can acknowledge our errors and mistakes without justifying them, because a person never ceases to be such, no matter what errors he commits....
"For this reason, acknowledging the objectivity of the error and the need for reparation (something that is always intrinsic to a position of truth) does not in any way mean rejecting the person. Christ introduced this gaze into history. Often we are the first to be scandalized by certain errors, ours or others ('How is it possible!?'). [But] it is not a matter of denying them, or censuring them, or justifying them; it is a matter of being able to face them in order to start anew.
"But what is the point of departure to begin again? 'Recovery for man, in any interest of his, in any expression, can only start from a renewal, full of pain at one's forgetfulness of the memory of Christ: the memory of Christ as normal content of the new self-awareness of the Christian' (Fr. Giussani). This memory is the source of morality as recovery, as a striving to always begin anew, untiringly, no matter what error has been committed.... [It] exists solely as a striving and an entreaty, if we turn as beggars, abashed and thus humble, with a certainty that is renewed every morning."
--Fr. Julian Carron