It’s caused many accidents in aviation. It was also the cause of this particular accident in 2007 off the coast of Florida. Normally pilots of small aircraft have to make sure that there’s no water in their fuel. Condensation can take place inside fuel tanks and this water can get in the fuel and then cause the engine to quit. The pilot in this situation didn’t bother to check if his fuel was contaminated. As he was flying over the Gulf of Mexico, the engine suddenly quit and he was forced to ditch. Unfortunately, the pilot didn’t survive.
Now why did that man die? He died because he didn’t know that there was a problem with his aircraft. If he’d known that there was water in his fuel, he’d probably never have gone out over the Gulf waters. He could have been saved. Knowledge would have made all the difference. If he’d only known the bad news about his aircraft, the man might still be alive today.
It’s the same with us as we face a holy and just God. Left to ourselves, we are in serious trouble. And while we know deep down that we are to be judged by a holy God — we deceive ourselves into thinking it will be okay. We tell ourselves that everything will be fine. God loves us no matter what we do or something to that effect. Then we find out that we were wrong, but by then it’s too late.
Knowing our sin and misery is a good thing for us. If we know that there is a problem, then we might also be led to look for a solution. Following the teaching of Scripture, the Catechism points us to Jesus Christ as the solution for the problem of our sin and misery. But before it can do that, it has to first show us how bad our problem really is. You see, loved ones, the Catechism works with the notion that the good news is only so good because the bad news is so bad.