Here at the 'Post, we write a great deal about how Christianity is true because it works and works because it's true. God didn't design a world that would screw over people living the way He commands. I've just run a real gauntlet that was, in part, caused by my own failures to live the Word.
I've always had a problem with wrath. I've blogged about it a lot. In fact, when I searched "anger" on this site, I was surprised how many vows of charity and patience I'd taken. In any case, wrath and pride are real trouble spots for me with wrath ahead by a nose while sloth is 4 lengths back, making a move through the pack, passing gluttony and lust. Envy and greed are far behind, out of the running.
If you've got a $20 exacta box bet on wrath and pride, you're going to clean up when I die.
Where was I? Oh yes, reading my own blog.
Looking back at the events that led to a recent crisis, I saw that it all could have been averted by living the Gospel. Not only that, during earlier stages of this crisis, I'd discovered that such a life was the most important thing to me. In a post that I unpublished to defuse things, I wrote,
I had an epiphany recently and came to understand Psalm 146. The things I've done for the Church have never let me down. Yes, there are political struggles and scandals in the Church, but that's not what I'm talking about. When I've surrendered myself to God's will and worked at the food bank or supported my wife as she volunteers at Hospice or when I've gone to Adoration, it's never like this."This" refers to being on the receiving end of mounds of irrational abuse. Abuse or not, my responses were mine and I chose wrath and pride willingly. That pair of impostors failed me as they always have, leading to all kinds of problems.
Christianity is true because it works and works because it's true. Had I responded as Fra Chris would surely have advised, I'd have been able to spend this last weekend relaxed and comfortable instead of stressed out to the max. In the end, everything seems to have worked out, despite my best efforts. My submission to sin didn't contribute anything at all to the resolution of the crisis. All I did was throw gasoline on the fire. Well, gasoline and some sticks of dynamite. And a thermite grenade or two. OK, a whole box, but I wasn't going to do anything else with them and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
There's an analysis of where my stress came from and how unnecessary that was, but I'll leave that to another time. Perhaps never. Going down that road is guaranteed to tempt me with my two favorite sins. Making a long post even longer, it's evolutions like these that help me understand Mark 9:47.
And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out. It's better to enter the Kingdom of God with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellIt's not about self-mutilation, it's about avoiding things that tempt you to sin, what my kung fu teachers called "positioning." Yes, you can protect yourself, but you'd be far better off not to put yourself into a situation where you're called to do it.
So there you have it. A vague, cautionary tale so devoid of details as to make you wonder why you read it in the first place. Since you've gotten this far, I might as well reward you with the traditional blog post photo.
|A tiny wildflower seen on Mt. Laguna this weekend.|