During Lent we often do a bit of spiritual housecleaning. It shouldn’t surprise us when we find some dirt and grime in our lives. That’s an important part of the process, but we need to be careful and not get stuck there. In Ignatian spirituality we frequently use the term “loved sinner.” There is an important tension in that phrase and if we focus too much on one part at the expense of the other, we can run into problems. We need to hold them both together.

We need God. We are sinners. We are also loved. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved.” At this midpoint in the season of Lent, as we find ourselves scrubbing all that dirt and grime, it is really important to check ourselves and remember that the loved part is just as important as the sinner part.

—Fr. Eric Sundrup, S.J., a Jesuit of the Chicago-Detroit Province, serves in campus ministry for the University of Michigan at St. Mary Student Parish, Ann Arbor, MI.