We are not, most of us, blessed by the good fortune of having been born into families with parents who are or were spiritually awakened beings. Some are so born, and they are greatly blessed, spiritually in the way that children born into a wealth family are blessed materially and financially. When Prince William was born to Prince Charles and Princess Diana, there was generally considered to be material bounty in his future regardless of whatever else he might have to endure.
Our Hebrew scriptures (“Keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 34:7)
OUr religious superstitions about quilt and shame abound, commingled with real theology of grace and judgement. But of course, for the carpenter with a hammer, everything tends to be a nail and for the Christian with an overly shame-based self-view, everything looks like an angry finger-pointer, including and perhaps especially God. Some people actually enjoy their anger and others their shame and others their guilt. It is the way of the world and the way of the church.
The question is simply this. Can we choose pathways and practices which lead to an awakening of our goodness? Can we wake up to self-compassion such that it makes possible compassion for others or are we going to simply repeat our proclivities over and over again in an endless loop of anxiety, shame, guilt and ever-tightening closing inward? Choosing pathways of awakening between worship is what makes us good and joyful. The worship is the envelope, not the letter.