Sunday, August 07, 2005

Psalmus 130 and a reflection

Domine, non est exaltatum cor meum,
neque elati sunt oculi mei,
neque ambulavi in magnis,
neque in mirabilibus super me.

O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

We live in a society infected with satanic pride. All too many people (and often those who pride themselves on being "good Catholics") believe themselves to be morally and intellectually "superior" to those around them. For such hearts - hardened by the sin of pride much as the Pharisees were - there can be little or no spiritual growth. Such people may be seen engaging in argumentative and/or hateful rhetoric while denouncing people rather than just sin or error itself.

We must not allow ourselves to become puffed up with self-importance. While it is entirely acceptable, and even necessary, to condemn errors and sinful attitudes, it is never morally licit to judge another person's interior dispositions. Every one of us can benefit from a thorough read and meditation on Gaudium et Spes, No. 28, and what it has to say about judging persons.

Galatians Chapter 5 teaches us that: "People become enemies and they fight; they become jealous, angry, and ambitious. They separate into parties and groups; they are envious, get drunk, have orgies, and do other things like these. I warn you now as I have before: those who do these things WILL NOT POSSESS THE KINGDOM OF GOD. But the Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, humility, and self-control. There is no law against such things as these. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have put to death their human nature with all its passions and desires. The Spirit has given us life; he must also control our lives. WE MUST NOT BE PROUD OR IRRITATE ONE ANOTHER OR BE JEALOUS OF ONE ANOTHER." (Gal 5:20-26).

Again, it is one thing to engage in strong rhetoric while denouncing sin or error. It is quite another to engage in hateful name-calling, gossip or - God forbid - slander directed against another person created in the Imago Dei. We must all remember that Jesus never blesses infidelity. Perhaps this is why so many dioceses have been plagued with child abusers and dissent, because they have largely succumbed to pride? Perhaps this is why so many Catholics who should be working together against the various evils of our time instead choose to judge one another, slander one another and otherwise engage in hateful and hurtful gossip which has the goal of tearing others down while attempting to make one's own person appear morally superior?

I'll say it again, Jesus never blesses infidelity. If we are proud, He cannot work in us. He cannot - HE WILL NOT - dwell within a proud heart. Ever.

Until next time,
God love you all
Paul Anthony Melanson

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