Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Lenten Season - Day 19

BEADS OF JOY 3-14-12 “The Habit of Sin Blinds Us”
©2012 James Dacey, Jr. OFS

Lenten Season – Day 19
My Friends,

It is indeed so difficult for us to conquer such a habit. Of all the habits mankind has encountered, (habits: smoking, eating, nail biting, chocolate…) but "sin" in and of itself because it covers so many parts of who we are, it is impossible to completely avoid this habit. We are unfortunately infected by something called concupiscence. I have spoken of this before in other blogs. Concupiscence is kind of like that person you stop and ask directions from, you listen, think all is good and you proceed forward, and before you know you are going completely in the wrong direction. Life is like that, we are always looking for the "right" direction to be moving, and unfortunately because the father of sin (satan); he is deceitful and misleading and never rests or sleeps; he presents the wrong direction in a nice friendly way. That misrepresentation along with the blindness we attain from our sin, we find ourselves falling back into sin time and time again.

We all experience those one or two sins we just seem to never be able to get away from. You know what I am talking about, that one sin that if you can only stop it, you would never do it again and you'd be even more faithful in all things. I think we have all been there. We find ourselves just like this, "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good." Romans 7:14-16, Ah see, we are not the only ones struggling with trying to defeat that which we hate to do. We must not give up in this struggle of defeating the habit, the stakes are too high. We must try to break that bond our enemy (satan) has entangled into our lives and do our best to rid our lives of such vices. St. Bernardine of Sienna once said, "Entangled by a habit, they are bound by the enemy; and though flying, they are cast down into the same vices."

These undesirable habits become a part of our nature to some degree at times. We really need to keep watch over the very habits we have developed. Sometimes anger pushes into a certain sin, or certain kinds of movies or the way we see others dressed. Not everyone is strong is there testimony and focus on Jesus. And our lack of attentiveness of these bad habits only hinder us and drag us back into them, most of the time unknowingly, but unfortunately often times willingly. I hear many talks about this through the years. And it's been pointed out that everyone to some degree deals with this. Our weakness could be anger, or judging others, or pride, or lust, or selfishness. That's a mere speck of what many of us deal with. And we do know that just because we don't advertise our sin on cable or the internet God is well aware of our heart. "He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight." Luke 16:15, now that's a thought.

Let's not wallow in our sin and think oh pity on me. Instead let's do all we can to conquer these habits. I agree that sometimes even that is impossible, but how about looking at it this way; let's do all we can to lessen them and stop them dead in their tracks as much as we possibly can. That can be the new habit of defeating the one habit of sin that has venom that goes directly to our soul. Our best defense is going to be a good offense, and that offense is frequent confession. I will continue to speak frequently of this throughout Lent. This is the perfect time to get our hearts and soul clean before God. God knows we want to, let's use this time to show our sincerity and go to confession as often as time will allow. Think of it as a car wash for your soul.

Today's Challenge: Keep a log, of your habits. Every time you feel yourself going down that road of sin, write down what happened just before that. Was it an argument, was it anger, or was it someone? You'll be creative, then you will know when and how to stop or avoid certain sins. I'm praying for all of you.

Your brother in Christ Jesus & His Most Blessed Mother,
Jim (The Rosary Man) Dacey Jr OFS