.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Monday, January 22, 2007

You Want to be a Saint? Watch out for this!

The devil has snares for everyone. A common snare for believers who actively seek God day by day is what I call avoiding God with God. It consists of avoiding the inspirations of grace by substituting religious activities of one's own choice. Only God can judge this sin since only He knows what inspirations were given, but a person who knows a person really well can also suspect it. An example is a person who is always starting new spiritual books or projects without finishing them (because just when it takes real committment she loses interest), or anther person who is praying or watching a spiritual program on tv while there is a crying child in the other room. To the outsider the person is constantly involved in spiritual activities and looking very busy. (But then the outsider will wonder why there is so little apparent fruit of all this devotion?) Or another example is the priest who always bases his homily on the easier of the 2 or 3 Scripture passages assigned to the mass of the day. Over time you will notice that controversial topics such as abortion or our sinfulness and need for repentance are never mentioned. This type of error is what divides the saint from the saint-like.

The essence of following God lies in obedience to His Will and not our works by themselves.
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.(Hosea 6:6)
Thus the spiritual life has to be a continual dying of our will in submission to His. The root of this error lies in continually choosing how we will follow God instead of what He has chosen for us, which is why I call it avoiding God with God. The activities in themselves are good, but they are out of place.

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
(Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8)

The way to avoid this is to develop our own rule of life. That is we set up a schedule for all our spiritual devotions, but be ready to respond to God's inspirations at the drop of a hat like a soldier awaiting deployment. Then we have to organize our priorities for any given moment. Basically the priorities are putting others ahead of ourselves, and asking God to help us to know when we are avoiding Him. A big help is to remember that usually the right thing to do is the thing we would rather avoid doing. Then if we remember to offer everything to God throughout the day we'll find we won't go too far wrong.

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?