You are a busy mom. You go to Church. You try your best. You don’t commit any of the “big” sins, like murder or adultery. So, you go to Confession, maybe weekly, monthly or a couple times a year. And every Confession sounds the same: lost patience with my children, was grouchy to my husband, told a white lie, gossiped about a friend or co-worker, had impure thoughts about Channing Tatum, etc.

Some of us have committed one of the “big” sins. Many times it isn’t a matter of trying to sin, but justifying it to ourselves. Check out former Planned Parenthood clinic director, Abby Johnson’s, website for an amazing story of someone justifying evil and believing it to be good. When someone justifies abortion, an affair, pornography, etc., most of us find it incomprehensible. But, instead of judging others, let this be an opportunity to examine our own conscience more deeply. What sin are we justifying or refusing to acknowledge?

Here is a simple example that has hit close to home. Almost all of us have likely committed intellectual theft. It is easy to do online and easy to justify.

I’m just using this photo for our family newsletter.

This dinosaur illustration is just for a 4th grade Social Studies report.

This CD is for the youth group.

It’s OK to copy this music for the church.

Somehow, when it’s for kids or school or church, we don’t seem to believe the copyrights apply. We will pay to go to a movie, but not to give copyright royalties to people who have a career dedicated to composing music for Church liturgy. I used to do this, and then I met the people who depend on the sale of images, music and writing for their living. Then I became one of those people with Making Music Praying Twice.

I have known many charitable, Christian men and women who work very hard to achieve good, holy lives who strangely assume that copying and printing copyrighted work is OK, especially if it’s for church use. Often, I’ve explained that there are people depending on royalties from CDs and music and books to feed their families. How much money do you think people make providing educational and religious materials? Do you think we should steal their work for “God”? Is God’s work not important enough for our own money? Most people immediately convert in their thinking when challenged with these questions and correct this practice. However, just a little thought and common sense is all it takes to realize that this is wrong.

In this Year of Mercy, in the wake of Divine Mercy Sunday, let’s all take a little time to dig a little deeper and find the sins that we have been justifying. It takes some prayer and thought and a good deal of honesty and common sense.

What are some sins you’ve justified in the past or see others justifying? Let’s all help each other grow with the help of the Divine Mercy.

Copyright 2016 Kate Daneluk