From a reader…
Husband had a 2 yr+ affair all the while receiving The Eucharist each Sunday. He says he did nothing wrong; I say he has committed many mortal sins. He won’t go to confession. Your thoughts, please on what I can do besides pray.
We are, each of us, responsible for our own souls.
When we die and stand before that awesome Judgment Seat, we will not have the benefit of counsel. We will not be able to use others as an excuse for our wrongdoing. We will not be able to deceive the Just Judge. We will have to answer for our sins – each and every one of us – each and every sin.
While there are ways in which we can be held responsible for the sins of others, for example, through scandal (as we see often in the pages of the Fishwrap), we are generally not responsible for the sins of others which they choose to commit on their own without our help or irresponsible neglect. We are responsible if we do not caution those whose sins we are aware of. Ezechiel writes, “If you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you have saved yourself” (3:19). Once we have admonished the sinner (a spiritual work of mercy), he is responsible for his actions and inactions.
Other than prayer, there is not much else you can do. Be patient and loving, of course. Gently urge and give a good example. But don’t denigrate prayer!
More things are wrought by prayer
Than this world dreams of. Wherefore, let thy voice
Rise like a fountain for me night and day.
For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend?
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God.
Tennyson, Morte d’Arthur, ll. 247-255