During the Lenten season, conversion is a watchword that is used, to try to get to the central issue of the seasons meaning. The meaning of the word ‘conversion’ is to turn away from one thing, towards another. I suppose the word could have negative as well as positive connotations. Mortal and venial sin are concepts that Catholics are aware of and play a role in how the word conversion is understood. For instance, to sin mortally is turn towards something as a ‘good’, at the expense of all else. So mortally sinning is also a conversion, from one thing towards another. I guess if you use marriage as an example of this kind of thing; adultery would be a mortal wound to a marriage, a sin towards the wife, children, and yes in some way the culture lived in also. For the destruction of a marriage, have consequences that go far beyond just the act itself. It is life changing, and in its wake great harm is done to more than one person. It is a ripple effect that can have repercussions that extend for well over one generation. No act is really done in isolation, for our connections are deep and meaningful, so they have the power to hurt deeply or even heal even deeper. Of course adultery is an easy example for the harm done is there for all to see, however others ‘sins’ can do their damage in ways that are more hidden, but none the less harmful.
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