Guilt, Remorse, and Shame

I thought I’d cheer you all up by getting you to do some work for yourselves! Also, I am feeling knackered, this Friday afternoon, after a week of being subject to those outrageous slings and arrows etc. I have a secret passion to be a teacher, like dear rabit, of fond memory, actually is. Thus, I shall put on my mortarboard and cloak and address you all.

This looks nothing like me


So, class, here is your reading material. (Please read to the bottom of the post before you go and do your homework, like the good little students you are 🙂 ):

The words of this post’s title are unpopular when applied to one’s self, but very popular when applied to other’s selves. Interesting, innit.

There seem to me to be two schools of thought about dealing with these difficult concepts:

1) Guilt, remorse, and shame are bad, because they make you feel bad about yourself, so therefore ABOLISH THEM. Therefore, do what you like, and sod the consequences, and given the unfairness of life, you will probably get away with it.

2) Guilt, remorse, and shame are bad, because they make you feel bad about yourself, so take steps to not incur them. Therefore, tread carefully, be happy to apologise when wrong, follow good exemplars, and have hope that you will stumble upwards to a state where you are free of these bugbears.

Which of these two schools would produce the pupils that you would like roaming your neighbourhood?

Happy reading. Class dismissed.


About Brother Burrito

A sinner who hopes in God's Mercy, and who cannot stop smiling since realizing that Christ IS the Way , the Truth and the Life. Alleluia!
This entry was posted in Living Catholic lives, Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Guilt, Remorse, and Shame

  1. toadspittle says:

    A man called, amazingly, Elbert Hubbard, once said,

    “We are punished by our sins, not for them.”

    You may not agree.

    (The pedagogue pictured may not look like Burro, but he looks mighty like Father Doyle, who, now I come to think of it, used to punish my for my sins, all right.)


  2. toadspittle says:

    Guilt, Remorse and Shame

    Sounds like a firm of solicitors.


  3. Frere Rabit says:

    To be honest I have begun to find that anything involving Catholicism on the internet presents such a devastatingly negative image of the Church that I cannot see it being remotely useful. While there are occasional moments of enlightenment, most of the time it is disappointing, disillusioning and dreadfully dreary. What non-Catholic outsiders must make of it I dare not imagine. At least you haven’t become as bad as DT’s blog… The monsters roaming there in the name of Catholicism make Goya’s ghouls look tame!

    I decided today to take the final step in distancing myself from all this. I’m calling in for the last time just before deleting all my Catholic blog and website bookmarks.

    Pax et Bonum.


  4. Brother Burrito says:


    Pax et Bonum.


  5. Brother Burrito says:

    I just looked at that picture again, and noticed the ‘birch’ on the wall behind ‘Sir’.

    I got that once, for the crime of dropping to the bottom of the class (from near the top) in the course of a single school term. I was 13. I fell into bad company, you see, and became a disruptive clever-dick. From my present viewpoint, I deserved all that I got. The birch, and six months of Saturday morning detention soon put me right. My only regret is towards my own silly fault.

    The problem with corporal punishment is the potential for inducing sadism in the discipline master. The ideal instrument of punishment would be one which caused equal pain to both parties. Some kind of static electric discharge device perhaps? Ouch!


  6. toadspittle says:

    Imagine having to teach 13-year old boys!
    One would sooner be shovelling excrement on the Isle of Capri.

    But even I was never ‘birched.’ In England? In the 20th century? In Borstal, perhaps?

    I did get pasted by a big leather strap called the ‘tawse’ though. Fairly often.


  7. kathleen says:

    A great reminder Burrito, of our need to have an abiding sorrow for our sins. If one feels that a hurriedly prayed “act of contrition” is all that is necessary for any misdemeanour (or worse), how easy it would be to fall again and again into the same things, and probably without any true feeling of guilt or remorse.

    Shane has this great little booklet by Father Faber on his blog:
    It is as relevant now as when it was written all those years ago – perhaps even more so as in the world today having an acute consciousness of sin is often derided and considered a bad thing!

    Abiding sorrow for sin is not being in a constant state of over scrupulosity, melancholy or sadness, but a reminder that we are all sinners, without bringing up to remembrance definite and particular sins. It is forgiven sin for which we mourn….. and this very fact makes it a fountain of love. It prompts us to love Our Lord and Saviour with an increase of gratitude for His Sacrifice for our redemption. We love because much has been forgiven, and we always remember how much it was.


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