The Pontiff drew his inspiration from today’s first reading, which raccounted the story of David and Bathsheba. David committed adultery with Bathsheba, and when he learned she was pregnant, he tried to cover it up, including having arranged the death of Basheba’s husband, an army officer and good man, in battle.
“David is a saint, but also a sinner,” the Pope stressed, who fell on account of lust, but who God still loves him very much.
However, he pointed, we observe that when he arranges this murder, we see “a moment through which we all can pass in our life: it is the passage from sin to corruption.”
Corruption, the Pope acknowledged, “is a very easy sin for all of us who have some power, whether it be ecclesiastical, religious, economic, political… Because the devil makes us feel certain: ‘I can do it.’”
The Holy Father went on to warn against this moment in which the “attitude of sin, or a moment where our situation is so secure and we see well and we have so much power’ that sin ‘stops’ and becomes ‘corruption.’”
“One of the ugliest things” about corruption, the Pontiff underscored, is that the one who becomes corrupt thinks he has “no need for forgiveness.”
Pope Francis in his book ‘The Way of Humility’ writes ” Corrupt people do not notice their own corruption. It is the same as when people have bad breath: they seldom realize it themselves. Other people can smell it and need to tell them. Hence, also, it would be hard for someone who is corrupt to escape from that state through inner repentance. Their good spirit in this regard is anesthetized. Generally, our Lord saves them through means of trials that come from situations they experience (illness, loss of money, loss of loved ones, and so forth), and these are what pierce the armor of their corruption and enables grace to enter. Then they need to be cured.”
As Pope Francis says “From this it is apparent that corruption needs to be cured rather than forgiven.”
Some points to consider. Firstly, the corrupt person is blind to their own corruption. They don’t smell their own bad breath but other do. Also, the corrupt person is usually unable to escape through inner repentance. I think this one of the reason that some people can go to confession even weekly, but nothing happens. There is a saying in counseling that is largely true ‘People only change when they have to.’ The addict will only change when they have hit rock bottom. The corrupt person is unable to change even tho some part of him/her wants to change. Because God Loves us he allows illness, loss of money, loss of loved one, loss of reputation to allow grace into our hearts so that we might be healed. This is what Pope Francis means when he says ‘ corruption needs to be cured rather than forgiven.’
One of the worst things that can happen to us is for God to allow our corruption to go unpunished. Because God loves us he allow the corrupt person to experience great pain through life difficult circumstance so that our hearts might be healed. God wants to prevent the corrupt person from going to hell. How many famous people and not so famous people have had their whole life collapse? God often allow this so that grace might heal our harden and corrupt hearts.