There is, as we all know, personal sin. We all know our faults—or suspect them. They are the causes of our individual, psychological hell—the domain of the false self. However painful, they present no great obstacle to the love of God welling up through our cracks to heal us and give us always another chance. But there is something else in the realm of sin that affects us because it conditions us through the culture we live in. It is more collective and impersonal than our personal faults. This sin possesses not just individuals but whole groups. It gives an ersatz sense of community—a perverse and self-destructive version of the solidarity that all human beings seek. Sin, personal or collective, is sticky. Even when we try to detach ourselves from it, it becomes more attached. How can we extricate ourselves and our world from the horrible stickiness of sin? Heavy injections of the reality serum. The work of meditation, according to the fourteenth-century Cloud of Unknowing, dries up the root of sin. A big claim. But true. And it won’t make you popular. Meditation is a powerful dissolvent of the glue of illusion and selfishness. Like a great product we discover that does a household job we have not been able to complete, meditation does what it promises. Provided we use it. Lent is the time to get these jobs done. Keep going—it’s worth it.