..."and a highway shall be there, and it shall be called the way of holiness; evil minded people shall not travel on it, but it shall be for those wayfarers who are traveling toward God. (Isaiah 35:8, adapted)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Seven Deadly Sins or What I Can't Bear to Face about Myself X7

During the season of  lent, traditionally a time of self-examining and turning to God,
it behooves us to discuss things that one rarely ever hears preached on, usually
because they would make the preacher unpopular, or because the truth is not
something everyone wants to hear.

Human beings are quite predictable. Patterns develop in our lives quite
easily without our recognizing it. Think about how we always gravitate
toward the same seat at church; always seem to pick the same snacks
at the store; always seem to follow a certain series of tasks when we
get out of bed, and when we get ready for bed!

The enemy of our souls takes advantage of our predictability and
once we our enslaved to a bad habit, we are seriously held back
from entering fully into our freedom as sons and daughters of God.
Sin entrenches our direction down a path that we don't want to go,
and those sins start with bad attitudes.

Remember two words: inclination and  repetition. We have underlying
attitudes that incline us toward sin, and once we have gone down
that rode a few times repetitively, we forget that there are holier
and happier routes. We repeat our sins over and over until
they are firmly entrenched.  But how to be rid of them?

Underlying all sin, never mind the seven deadly ones, are
deadly attitudes. When we start to think about this it gets
uncomfortable really quickly and we can say we don't care (?),
we can say that our sins are forgiven (they are); we can say that all this is too
negative and discouraging, (as if denying the problem will make it
go away?) or we can use what we learn to find out where
are souls are leaking righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost.
Wise spiritual guides down through the centuries have
recognized that these seven players are what most often
keep us from entering the World Series of  Truly Loving Jesus
on Team "Christ in Us the Hope of Glory."

If we understand where we fall short, we are that much closer to
knowing what we need to put on the altar of God. We are sinners:
not just before we are Christians, but after, also! God is not
surprised by the state of our souls, so seeing our self as He sees
us, and  knowing that His grace is big enough to fix us, should not
be cause for us to want to back away from a deep inward journey.

The point is not to navel-gaze, but to be set free so that
we might more unself-consciously gaze at Him! Sin is a fat
man in a room full of lithe spiritual worshippers! It keeps us
from decreasing and thus makes it harder for Him to increase.
He is a Gentleman and will not evict our sinful "alters" and
altars  unless we allow Him, too. He deserves all our spiritual space.

When we invite Jesus in, we should not make Him live with
the seven deadlies seated on seven thrones within us!

So let us begin by naming the 7 deadly sins: Pride, greed,
envy, anger, lust, gluttony and sloth. Throughout history,
there have been slightly different variations, but these
are ripe to begin with. See how the mention of them,
immediately starts an interesting inner process? :)

Tomorrow we launch in!

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