Converting those who have strayed

In the Evening Prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours for the Friday after Ash Wednesday, there’s this passage from the Letter of James:

James 5:19-20 “My brothers, if anyone of you strays from the truth, and if someone converts him, he ought to know that whoever causes a sinner to be converted from the error of his ways will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.”

Courtesy: Sacred Bible: Catholic Public Domain Version

Although we all work out our own salvation in fear and trembling, we also are our brother’s keeper. Therefore we should take a keen interest in the salvation of those around us; for, as St. James clearly indicates, if we can turn them away from the path of sin, our own sins are ‘covered up.’ Makes sense, for if we can gain Heaven for another and spare them from damnation, we shall be rewarded in kind.

So, during this Lent and beyond, try and admonish your family and friends. In a kind and charitable manner speak to others about their actions that you observe that are objectively wrong. If you see a loved one engaging in sinful behaviour, lovingly approach them and draw them out. You would know the best manner in which to do this; knowing them and how they might react, engage them and sound them out about what they are doing; they might not even be aware that certain behaviours are sins, given the state of catechesis and homiletics in the Church.

Remember, we do not judge. Judging is determining the final outcome of a life; admonishing is making a value determination of an observable action.

Know someone, perhaps yourself, who might like Catholic devotionals for alcoholics? Please take a look at my books! "The Stations of the Cross for Alcoholics" and "The Recovery Rosary: Reflections for Alcoholics and Addicts" (Thank you!!)