Tag Archives: 7 Deadly Sins

​The Forgiveness of Sins

 

Christ taught about the forgiveness of sins in the parable of the Prodigal Son (1). He instituted the Sacrament of Penance for the forgiveness of sins when He said to the Apostles: (4) “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall retain they are retained.”

    What is meant in the Apostles’ Creed by “the forgiveness of sins”? –By “the forgiveness of sins” in the Apostles’ Creed is meant that God has given to the Church, through Jesus Christ, the power to forgive sins, no matter how great or how many they are, if sinners truly repent. 

  1. In the Old Law, sins were forgiven through the merits of the Redeemer that was to come. In the New Law they are forgiven through the merits of the Redeemer Who has come.Pointing to Christ, St. John the Baptist said: “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” 
  2. We can obtain forgiveness of sin, because Christ the Redeemer merited forgiveness for us by His death. The Church has power to remit sins through the merits of Jesus Christ, “in whom we have our redemption, the remission of our sins” (Col. 1:14).During life, Christ actually forgave sin. For example, He forgave Mary Magdalen, the paralytic, and the good thief. In curing the paralytic, He said, “But that you may know that the Son of Man has power on earth to forgive sins -then he said to the paralytic –“Arise, take up thy pallet and go to thy house” (Matt. 9:6). 
  3. Christ gave to His Apostles and disciples and their successors power to forgive sins. He said: “Receive the Holy Spirit; whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained” (John 20:22-23).This power to forgive sins was not given to the Apostles alone, since men of later ages would need forgiveness as much as men of Apostolic times. The power, therefore, must also remain in the successors of the Apostles. 
  4. It is true, as the enemies of the Church assert, that man cannot forgive sins. Man, by his own individual power, can never forgive the smallest sin. But he can forgive all sins, with the power and authority God gave him, as minister of God, acting in God’s place. Or is God limited because man is sinful? “These things I write to you in order that you may not sin. But if anyone sins, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the just” (1 John 2:1).From the very beginning the Church has exercised this power, through the sacraments of Penance and Baptism, and even through Extreme Unction.
    How may sins be remitted or forgiven? –Sins may be remitted or forgiven by various means, according to the kind and gravity of the sin: by Baptism, by Penance, and by good works. 

  1. Original sin is remitted through Baptism. When we are baptized, we become children of God, and heirs of heaven.None but children of God, the baptized, can have a pass to God’s eternal home. 
  2. Actual sin is remitted by Baptism, by Penance, by Extreme Unction, and by good works. Such good works are: prayer, fasting, and alms-deeds.Good works cannot remit grave or mortal sin; they can only dispose a person to the state of mind which leads him to the Sacrament of Penance. 
  3. The guilt of forgiven sins never returns. Once forgiven, a sin is forgiven forever. If after our sins have been forgiven we commit a new sin, or sins like the ones already forgiven, we are guilty of new sins.A man tells five lies. He repents and confessing his sin, obtains forgiveness. After a month he tells five lies again. He is guilty of having told only five lies, not ten.
    What is vice? –Vice is a habit of sin formed by repeated acts of sin. 

  1. One who makes a practice of stealing has the vice of theft. One who habitually drinks to intoxication has the vice of drunkenness. One who frequently sins against chastity has the vice of impurity.If one commits robbery and ever after avoids that sin, he has committed the mortal sin of robbery, but he has no vice. Similarly one may be completely intoxicated once, but if he resolves never again to drink, and sticks to his resolution, he has no vice. 
  2. A vice is easily acquired. This is one reason why we must be very careful not to commit sin. If we should be so unhappy as to fall into sin, we must at once cut off the possibility of forming vice by contrition, penance, and a resolution not to sin again.After the first fall, one more readily yields to the next temptation. Each yielding weakens the will for the next. Thus step by step one who starts a sin will soon find himself the slave of a vicious habit. “He that contemneth small things shall fall by little and little” (Ecclus 19:1). 
  3. A vice is easy to break off in the beginning, difficult to break when fully formed, but always capable of being overcome by a resolute will with God’s grace.It is easy enough to uproot a very young tree. But when it has grown into a mighty tree, it becomes extremely difficult. The vice having been firmly formed, it becomes a necessity and is impossible to break without extraordinary grace. This impossibility often leads many vicious persons to despair and to final impenitence. But God can do all things. One therefore who has contracted a habit of sin must have recourse to God, who will strengthen him, so that he can conquer his vice, by patient acts of virtue and a constant exertion of the will.
    Can all sins be forgiven? –Yes, all sins, however great, can be forgiven, through the infinite merits of Christ, Who is God.The repentant sinner is told in Scripture: “If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made white as snow” (Is. 1:17) 

  1. God is always ready to forgive our sins, no matter how great or how many they are, if we are truly sorry for them. No actual sin can be forgiven without sorrow and repentance on the part of the sinner.Our Lord said: “I say to you that, even so, there will be joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, more than over ninety-nine just who have no need of repentance” (Luke 15:7). 
  2. The sin against the Holy Ghost which Christ warned us would not be forgiven in heaven or on earth is persistent impenitence, the sin of one who rejects conversion and dies in mortal sin. One guilty of this sin can never obtain forgiveness of God, because at the hour of death he continues to thrust God away from him.A man mortally wounded cannot have any hope of cure if he not only refuses to listen to his doctors, but shuts his mouth against all medicines, and kicks away all medical instruments and help. Even Judas would have been pardoned if he had asked for forgiveness and made a sincere act of contrition before his death.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.God Bless BJS!!

Advertisements

Anger, Gluttony, Envy, Sloth

 

Our Lord showed how hateful gluttony is in the parable of the rich man, Dives, and the poor Lazarus (1). Dives was so greedy that he would not even give scraps to Lazarus, who sat at his gate. But when Dives died, he went to hell, while Lazarus went to heaven. The brothers of Joseph (2), were so envious of him that they sold him to some merchants going to Egypt. God rebuked their sin by blessing Joseph in Egypt, and causing him to be in a position to help his envious brothers later.

 

    What is anger? –Anger is a strong feeling of displeasure, combined with a desire to inflict punishment on the offender.

     

  1. An angry man loses his reason. In anger a man will do what he afterwards regrets. From anger arise hatred, revenge, (quarreling, blasphemy, contumely, and murder. The virtues of patience and meekness are opposed to anger. 

    Anger, or wrath, is a temporary madness. A man with this vice flies into a rage at every little thing. He always puts the blame of his anger on others, and even when he is alone be gets angry. “The wrath of man does not work the justice of God” (Jas. 1:20).

    Wilful murder, one of the “sins that cry to heaven for vengeance,” arises from anger.

    When the first willful murder took place, and Cain killed his brother Abel, God said to Cain, “The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth to me from the earth” (Gen. 4:10).

     

  2. He who indulges in anger injures his health, becomes hated, incurs damnation.

    Many men have had a stroke of paralysis brought on by anger; some have even died. If anger is so hurtful to the body, how much more to the soul!

     

  3. When we feel ourselves becoming angry, we should never speak or act, but try to calm ourselves by prayer.

    St. Francis de Sales said: “I have made an agreement with my tongue never to utter a word while my heart is excited.” “Let every man be slow to speakand slow to wrath” (Jas. 1:19).

     

  4. If we should be so unhappy as to have offended anyone by our anger, we should hasten to apologize.

    “Do not let the sun go down upon your anger” (Ephes. 4:26)

     

  5. just anger against sin and injustice is praiseworthy. We may hate the sin, but not the sinner.

    Christ had this just wrath when He drove the sellers from the Temple. Holy Scripture says, “Be angry and do not sin” (Ephes. 4:26).

    What is gluttony? –Gluttony is an excessive desire for or indulgence in food or drink.

     

  1. Gluttony is greediness, intemperance in eating and drinking. Of the gluttonous, St. Paul said that “their god is the belly ” (Phil 3:19). We should not be either too greedy or too dainty about the nourishment we take. The virtue opposed to gluttony is temperance.

    We should not eat more than we need to support life. “We do not live to eat, but eat to live.” We must not take what is injurious to health, even if its taste is pleasing. We must have regular hours for our meals. We should not be too particular about food, eat what is set before us, and not get angry when a dish is not very appetizing. The purpose of food is to give strength for the work we do while still on earth preparing for our final end.

     

  2. Gluttony produces dullness of mind, laziness, and sensuality. The vice of drunkenness is a terrible evil, leading to worse sins. A man when drunk loses his reason, and often makes a fool of himself. If reason is the chief difference between man and the beast, why should one extinguish it by drunkenness?

    “The sensual man does not perceive the things that are of the Spirit of God” (1 Cor. 2:14). “He who sows in his flesh, from the flesh also he will reap corruption” (Gal. 6:8). It is well for young people to abstain from drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking till after they are twenty years of age. If they do this, the likehood is that they will not contract vice.

    Note: Smoking is against the 5th commandment: “Thou shalt not kill.” (RMO) Saint Maximilian Kolbe is the patron Saint of SUBSTANCE ABUSE which includes alcohol, tobacco, heroin, marijuana. crack, cocaine, and any other substances that are abused.

    What is envy? –Envy is a bitter feeling at the excellence or good fortune of those who are better or happier, with a desire to rob them of what they have.

     

  1. Envy consists in discontent or anger at the success of another, as though it were evil to oneself. It also consists in rejoicing over another’s misfortune, as if it were a good to oneself.

    Envy is against the commandment of God to love our neighbor. It is the mark of the petty mind and the hard heart. The devil envied Adam and Eve in Paradise; Cain envied Abel, whose offering was pleasing to God. Some are, so envious that they even envy the holiness of others, but without any desire or attempt at imitation. This was the case with the Pharisees, and their envy led them to plot the death of Jesus Christ.

     

  2. Envy leads to calumny, gossip, detraction, hatred, scandal, and other sins. An envious man looks on everything with malice; as a result his envy does not even make himself happy, but destroys his peace of heart.

    The sons of Jacob were envious of their brother Joseph because he was the favorite son. Their envy led them to sell him into Egypt. Often the envy in a man’s heart causes him to be so soured on the world that he sells himself for nothing to the devil.

     

  3. A form of envy, one of the greatest sins, is envy at another’s spiritual good. This is a most diabolical sin; it shows that the sinner has closed his heart against the charity of God, and instead houses God’s enemy, Satan. The virtue opposed to envy is charity, or brotherly love.

    What is sloth? –Sloth is the neglect of one’s duties, spiritual or temporal, through laziness.

     

  1. The rule of the universe is activity; life and movement may be found in all nature. The slothful man is the exception; and he by his laziness goes against nature.

    “Go to the ant, O sluggard, and consider her ways, and learn wisdom” (Prov. 6:6). The slothful keep putting off doing anything till tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, which often never comes.

     

  2. Many complain of hard luck, but often misfortunes come from laziness. The virtues of diligence and zeal are opposed to sloth.

    Even on earth, most rewards go only to the industrious and energetic.

     

  3. Spiritual sloth is called lukewarmness. It is also called tepidity.

    The lukewarm person would like to have the rewards given by God, but will not move a finger to serve Him. As soon as it is necessary to exert himself, he shrinks from the effort. Great Sinners have been known to become great saints, but the lukewarm, never. Holy Scripture says: “I would that thou wert cold or hot. But because thou an lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to vomit thee out of my mouth” (Apoc. 3:15,16).

     

  4. Sloth leads to many sins; idleness begets vice. The lazy neglect good works.

    If man has no useful occupation, his natural activity turns to all kinds of mischief. A busy person avoids many temptations.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

Pride, Covetousness, Lust

 

Pride makes one admire himself, in the belief that his excellence, imagined or real, is the result of his own worth. Our Lord condemned pride in the parable of the Pharisee and the Publican (1). Jesus said that the humble and repentant publican was justified in the eyes of God, while the proud Pharisee went home unjustified. Covetousness is one of the ugliest of sins. It was a sin of Judas. He loved money so much that he even betrayed Our Lord for thirty pieces of silver(2).

 

What is pride? –Pride is an inordinate love of one’s own excellence, an excessive self-esteem.

    Our Lord is the best example of meekness and patience. Did He use His almighty power to punish those who did Him evil? For hours He hung meekly on the cross, until He died. Every day God is patient with sinners, giving them time to change their ways. God, the Supreme One, is not proud.

     

  1. The proud man overestimates himself, and believes himself the source of his own excellence. The virtue of humility, which disposes us to acknowledge our limitations, is opposed to pride.

    Some are proud of their appearance; others of their family, talents, position, money, and the virtues they imagine, they possess. Even if we do have excellent abilities or possessions, we should not be proud of them, remembering that they all come from God. Instead, we should be humbly thankful, and see in what way we can make a return to God for such gifts. “Every proud man is an abomination to the Lord” (Prov. 16:5).

     

  2. Pride may be called the mother of all vices, for most sins can be traced to it. From pride arise ambition, vanity, presumption, disobedience, hypocrisy, obstinacy in sin.

    “For pride is the beginning of all sin: he that holdeth it shall be filled with maledictions and it shall ruin him in the end” (Ecclus. 10:15). “Never suffer pride to reign in thy mind or in thy words, for from it all perdition took its beginning” (Tob. 4:14). Pride was the sin of our First Parents, who wanted to be as great as God. It was the sin of King Pharaoh; he was so proud that in spite of the miracles Moses worked, he refused to be convinced. For this God “hardened his heart” (Exod. 9:12); that is, God permitted him to close the window of his soul against the grace of the Holy Ghost, “Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, the Lord has rejected thee” (1 Kings 15:26).

     

  3. The proud man tries to attract notice and praise, strives after honors, distinctions, and other worldly favors.

    He is over-confident in himself, and despises the assistance of God. Pride was the sin of Lucifer. The proud man pretends to be greater than he is, and tries by all manner of means to attract the praise of others, even using false humility to do so.

     

  4. God hates pride, and punishes it severely, He often punishes secret pride by withdrawing His assistance from the proud man. And deprived of God’s aid, the proud man often falls into grievous sins leading to his humiliation.

    “The beginning of the pride of man is to fall off from God” (Ecclus. 10:14). “God resists the proud” (1 Pet. 5:5). “Everyone who exalts himself shall be humbled” (Luke 14:11). Thus the proud King Herod was eaten up by worms and died. Thus, the proud Roman Empire fell and became nothing. Our Lord pointed out the pride in the heart of the Pharisee, and praised the humble publican.

     

  5. If we, however, despise sin as beneath us, that is not pride, but a virtuous self respect.

    A decent regard for cleanliness and neatness is not vanity. The ambition to exceed in good things, as in studies, in order to make the best use of God’s gifts, is to be commended. God wishes us to be His excellent children.

    What is covetousness? –Covetousness is the excessive love for, and seeking after, wealth and other worldly possessions.

     

  1. Covetousness is also called avarice. A covetous person strives for more riches than he requires, and is never content, however much he already possesses.

    He greedily clings to what he has, and is stingy and hates to give anything away. For money Judas betrayed the Lord. “There is not a more wicked thing than to love money; for such a one setteth even his own soul to sale” (Ecclus. 10:10). “Take heed and guard yourselves from all covetousness, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

    We meet with covetous persons among both rich and poor. Often among the rich there is money without avarice, and among the poor, avarice without money.

     

  2. From covetousness arise hard-heartedness towards the poor, lying, cheating, usury, defrauding laborers of wages, and other sins.

    “Those who seek to become rich fall into temptation and a snare . . . For covetousness is the root of all evils” (1 Tim. 6:9-10). It destroys faith, for the avaricious are so absorbed in money-getting that they have no time for their spiritual welfare.

     

  3. To provide for one’s future and that of one’s family is praiseworthy. To avoid waste and extravagance is a virtue.

    To accumulate even considerable wealth, by proper means, is not wrong. The rich, however, must remember their obligation to use their wealth for the glory of God, not for their own pride.

     

  4. Liberality, which disposes us rightly to use worldly goods, is opposed to covetousness. 

    The avaricious man is very foolish. He works hard all his life and becomes hated by men: he earns besides eternal damnation after death and all for nothing. When he dies all he has are a few feet of earth for his grave; his money is left to heirs who most probably ridicule his miserliness or waste the money to gain which he lost his soul. “For when he shall die, he shall take nothing away; nor shall his glory descend with him” (Ps. 48:18).

    What is lust? –Lust is the inordinate seeking of the pleasures of the flesh.

     

  1. Lust defiles a man as no other sin does. It degrades man to the level of the beast. Pride is the sin commited by Lucifer, avarice by Judas, and lust by the brute.

    Of all vices, lust is most severely punished on earth. It leads to loss of health and reason. It was the cause of the Deluge. It was the cause for the destruction with fire and brimstone of Sodom and Gomorrha. “But immorality and every uncleanness or covetousness, let it not even be named among you, as becomes saints” (Ephes. 5:3).

     

  2. Those tempted to lust should remember that man was made to the image and likeness of God. Will they so rashly destroy that image, to make themselves like to beasts? In fact, beasts are better than lustful men, for beasts act in that manner from instinct; they have no soul like God.

    Impurity weakens the will and darkens the understanding. For this reason amendment is very difficult, and the sinner falls into many other sins. So Solomon, who yielded to lust, finally lost all his wisdom and turned to worship false gods.

     

  3. From lust spring jealousy, hatred, murder, loss of faith, despair, instability, worldliness, selfishness, and other sins.

    The consequences of lust are seen in the case of Henry VIII. It was the cause of his apostasy, and his apostasy dragged an entire nation into similar apostasy. “For know this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (for that is idolatry) has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God” (Ephes. 5:5)

     

  4. Sodomy, or sins against purity by persons of the same sex, is a form of lust.

This article has been taken from “My Catholic Faith” I am not the author merely the distributor.
God Bless BJS!!

Lust/Impurity

“For many have perished by the beauty of a woman, and hereby lust is enkindled as a fire.” Ecclesiasticus 9:9

Thou shalt not commit adultry” Exodus 20:14

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house: neither shalt thou desire his wife, nor his servant, nor his handmaid, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is his” Exodus 20:17



Nothing impedes our vision of God more than impurity.

God has seen fit to attach a certain amount of pleasure, as he has with eating, to the propagation of the human race so that humans will procreate.  Our Blessed Mother Mary informed the children of Fatima; Lucia Santos, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, that the vice of impurity is the reason why people end up in Hell the most.  The pleasures meant for pro-creation are to be utilized in marriage, and marriage alone.  The tendency to use these pleasures outside of marriage is called lust.  These tendencies include impure actions, thoughts, and desires.  Interior surrender and complacency to these things often result in exterior actions and are always present before these actions. 

The majority of the world would disagree with the above statements about thoughts and desires.  The reason impurity is such a grievous offense against God is because it is His domain we partake in to not only create a human life, but bring an immortal soul into this world that will one day have to answer before his Creator.  We as humans have no part in the creation of the immortal soul but work with God in supplying the vessel in which that soul will be placed. Anything used outside these intended plans of God is not only contrary to moral and natural law but ultimately a slap in the face of the Almighty.

It is also well to note, that when these actions are used for the intended purpose between a man and a woman for the pro-creation of children, in order that they may glorify God, the pleasures attached are for us to enjoy.  As well, when things happen, such as impure thoughts, or in the job of a doctor seeing someone naked, or being shown some filth from a supermarket magazine, movie, or television, that we do not give consent to, we are not held at fault.  The key factor in determining whether or not one commits a mortal sin in this vice is full knowledge and consent. If the action is good and necessary, as with most everything else, then it is within it’s ordered use.  Things such as dirty books or movies, bad conversations with peers, lewd dancing, determine the extent and the gravity of the sin. “But I say to you, that whosoever shall look upon a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultry with her in his heart.” Matthew 5:28

As stated, consent is where the sin lies, God knows that ideas and thoughts often times show themselves without any direct control of them.  The effects from lust are quite disastrious, unbeknownst to many, as today the world makes it a part of daily life, and impurity is everywhere you look.  The first effect is a strong formation of the habit of sin. Impure thoughts and actions make us slaves to impurity, and when left unchecked often follow one from their teenage years all the way to their death beds, where they will perish and go to Hell for eternity.  Any relish for prayer disappears, lust and selfishness prevail over the things of God.

With lust men become soft interiorly, and are incapable of courage and uprightness.  Women lose their sweetness and innocence, often dressing shamelessly in order that they may snare another boyfriend for their desires. Souls lose interest in everything once loved, such as their parents and friends. People come to know only lust and satisfaction, and keep inconsistency as their most stable relationship.  They end up going from person to person destroying lives, there is no more self-sacrificing love, no true interest, they love others only for themselves and when they are bored or no longer satisfied they move on from person to person like a bee does flower to flower until another selfish desire comes along.

With lust the interior peace of the soul is destroyed, these pleasures that are most in common with animals make us act like animals.  Souls become ashamed and past actions gnaw at our conscious. People feel sick and wrong about themselves, darkness enters the soul and there is no peace, they seek distractions (music in bathrooms/restaurants, television, entertainment, the world has plenty to keep you from thinking about God), in order that the mind not think or look at your soul in relation to God.  This world HATES recollection, noise is everywhere.

Secondly, these habits of sin take a major toll on physical and mental health.  People who become slaves of lust, often look to other false remedies such as addiction, drugs, suicide, when people they cared for leave them for someone else.  People break up with them because of lust, and this causes interior pain and anguish, there is no more spiritual life, all taste for higher things is lost.  The intellect becomes dull and weak, students fail at school, cold-heartedness sets in, they become slaves that can consider nothing else.  Henry VIII (who broke away from the Catholic Church because the Pope would not approve of marriage anullment and started the Anglican/Episcopal Church of England), married one wife after another, he had 6 wives three of which he ultimately beheaded, as well he beheaded his friends St. Thomas Moore, and St. John Fischer the Bishop of Rochester, because they did not approve of his lustful life.

Thirdly, people become willing to hurt everyone because of lust.  Their families, long time spouses, or little children, lives are destroyed because of this vice. Lust professes to be love, but is really disguised, cold, self-love.  Children end up with emotional problems, it is unnatural for parents to split up but most of the time it is for lustful impure reasons.  Men of the household become angry, they have no self control or patience, they lash out at family members. Vanity takes hold and people become obsessed with their appearances for gain of their selfish desires.  The impure become hardened and inconsiderate of others, their is no true love anymore and couples become two furnaces of self-love instead of being united in their love for God, the things of God, and for each other in the sacrifical love that marriage is supposed to be.

In order that we remedy lust we must have deep convictions that impurity is evil, and must be avoided at all costs, even death, DEATH BUT NOT SIN!!  We must also convince ourselves of the mercy of God (without being presumptious of it), that we can obtain the grace to be pure despite our past transgressions, you can overcome it!  It is possible, to hold on to that conviction. St. Paul states that we are temples of the Holy Ghost, our bodies are sacred when they are in the state of sanctifying grace. When not in this state, we are called to be by our Catholic Baptism, we cannot and must not defile ourselves if we wish for God to dwell within us.  Members of the Mystical Body of Christ (His Church), must act accordingly.

We must avoid any and all occasions, be it persons, places, or things, that will tempt us to sin (yes living together unwed is included). “A hard heart shall fear evil at the last: and he that loveth danger shall perish in it.” Ecclesiasticus 3:27 Television is horrible and is like having a sewerpipe in your living room, there is a very very small amount of decent things to watch, and having cable TV for the good programs is like diving into a cesspool to retrieve a dime.  Movies are dirty and often PG movies are filthy.  The world has completely leveled its standards of purity, and is forcing you to play along.  God is watching you watch these programs and you will have to account for them on your day of judgement. Bars are nothing but filth and outposts of Hell.  They are the den of the devil and we must do everything we can to make the dangers of impurity remote. Punishments will come.

We must practice self-mortification. Obey the Catholic rule and DO NOT be under the same roof alone with someone you are dating.  Never put yourself in a position where you will be comfortable to be impure.  If the person you are dating can agree to this then they are worth keeping.  Keep custody of the eyes, keep a guard over the sense of touch, avoid long hot showers, and comfortable soft beds, avoid steady dating and know the reason and purpose for seeking a mate.  Stay busy with chores and prayer, idleness is the devils workshop.  Pray fervently to overcome these temptations, and go to confession and recieve the Sacraments often whether you need to or not.

DO NOT give the Devil a way in, do not play with thoughts or temptations. Resist the beginning of temptation, because after remedies come too late. God does not command the impossible (unlike teachings of Martin Luther and John Calvin), He will give us sufficient grace to conquor or the inspiration to ask for more grace IF we want it!  Remember the devil mocks us, being a fallen angel he himself was not subject to flesh and the problems that come with it.  If we can become masters over our fallen natures however, then we can be as angels in the eyes of God.

God Bless BJS!!

Greed/Avarice

“For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.”  Matthew 6:21

“He that is greedy of gain troubleth his own house: but he that hateth bribes shall live.  By mercy and faith sins are purged away: and by the fear of the Lord every one declineth from evil.” Proverbs 15:21

Greed is defined as the inordinate desire of temporal goods. It does not have to concern possession, as even a poor man who desires much can do so enviously of the rich, to his own destruction.  All things belong to God and when things are not used for the purpose of obtaining salvation and to glorify God, they are used in a disordered fashion. Greed is based on a lack of confidence in the Divine Providence of God.  People cling to earthly and temporal goods because they lack the Faith that God will supply them with what they need for their states in life.

Our Lord, the greatest example of being poor in spirit, did not require that His disciples be completely poor.  He only wishes us to have a type of moderation to the possesion and use of things in this material world.  The spirit of poverty is a requirement of Heaven because without it our hearts and minds are elsewhere, taking our souls with them.  The saints practiced a life of unattachment to earthly things because they were ready at any moment to give up their lives and go before the Judge, without any material love to stand in between.

There is nothing wrong with striving for the basic needs of this life.  Everyone needs food, clothing, shelter, transportation, communication, etc.  There is also nothing incompatible with Holy Scripture in enjoying the use of things in moderation; you only run the risk of getting too attached or having these things in excess if you do not remain poor in spirit and emotionally unattached to these things. Reason should be our judgement for such things. “Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth: where the rust, and moth consume, and where thieves break through and steal.” Matthew 6:19

Material things will leave us, or we will leave them.  Money will inevietably be spent, but people put a lot of emphasis on it because it affords us objects that we want and need.  Money is a medium of exchange, people love it according to what they can purchase with it often creating its disordered use.  A good thing to ask yourself when you see something you wish to purchase is whether you want it, or you need it.  If you need it and can afford it, then buy it.  If you want it, ask yourself why and if it is affordable not just for your budget but will it take the attention away from your duties of state in life?

Often times things are purchased out of impulse.  People forget about God and live pennyless due to impulsive buying.  They become cold hearted, mean-spirited, worldly, unspiritual, envious, and dishonest.  These things lead to lying, cheating people, and stealing, or even worse.  There becomes no room for pity on others, not just financially but in general one becomes selfish and will not help others.  They may complain about the price or quality of things given to them and eventually become unable to live in a modest environment, having to be lavish in their everyday lives. As stated however, there is a moderation concerning your state in life, such an example would be a president. Because of the dignity of such a position, it would not be advantageous for a president to drive around in the cheapest car he can find, or wear ragged clothes as a representative or head of a nation.

Men often come to a love of money, toys such as video games, guns, cars, things they truly believe they need when they do not.  Women can be extremely excessive with clothing, makeup, and shopping in general.  It is not wrong for one to have vacations or amusements, it is a part of life to have these things.  The more our focus stays on these things however, the less it is on God.  Nothing in this world is truly ours to own forever, people become so attached to things that they lose focus on what really matters.

To remedy such feelings we need to have an overall trust and confidence in the Divine Providence of God.  We need to pray for the things we need to fulfill our duties according to our states in life, as a child asking their parents for something.  We need to reasonably spend and save and not be so avaricious with our money especially when there are needs to take care of, it will be spent at some point anyway.  A good exercise is to frequently give away something dear to you to keep yourself from being too attached to material things.  If we have excessive amounts of money, it is because God wants us to have the courage to give it to those who are in need.  If we are lacking what we need, then we need to ask God for what we need with faith and confidence and thank Him for making us closer to the poverty, and humility that Jesus displayed while on this Earth.

“But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven: where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through, nor steal.” Matthew 6:20

God Bless BJS!!