You're a sinner and so am I. That's all there is to it.
Yesterday, my wife and I taught the remarriage class for the diocese. It's a mandatory class for couples who want to get married in the Church and have been married before. This time, an unusual number of couples were already civilly married, some for many years. They wanted to finally get right with the Church. In the eyes of our hateful Catholic rules, they were, as one couple said with a laugh, "living in sin."
We all pointed and screamed at them in a rage.
Actually we didn't. One of the advantages of being a sinner and recognizing that everyone else is, too, is the ability to have a little perspective on this stuff. Those rules and regulations aren't there to make you feel guilty. You can do that on your own. Those rules and regulations are there to provide an ideal to strive to achieve.
Everyone in the room had been around the block a few times, so to speak, and the conversations during the class were fairly deep and sophisticated. We all recognized that the atomic bomb blasts we had set off in our lives through divorce, infidelity, drugs, alcohol, abuse and so on were the result of not following the rules.
It's almost like God laid out those rules because He loves us or something. Crazy, I know. (Why hasn't anyone told us?)
In any case, the class was a lot of fun, we led them through discussions of the primary ways marriages fail and got the couples to have conversations about topics they may not have addressed. There was lots of laughter and no one pointed fingers of shame, despite the fact that the room was full of world-class sinners. Instead, we acknowledged the existence of objective rules, laid out by Someone Else for our own good. If any of us felt deservedly shameful, it was an added bonus.
* - No, not Reconciliation, it's Confession. You did wrong and now you must confess. Confess! Like so: