A TRUST BETRAYED
“Cum haec dixisset Iesus,
turbatus est spiritu et protestatus est et dixit:
‘Amen, amen dico vobis:
unus ex vobis tradit me.’ （「你們中有一個要出賣我。」）”
“When Jesus had thus spoken,
he was troubled in spirit, and testified,
‘Truly, truly I say to you,
one of you will betray me.’” (Jn 13:21)
“If my enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne with it.
And if he that hated me had spoken great things against me,
I would perhaps have hidden myself from him.
But thou, a man of one mind, my guide, and my familiar,
who didst take sweet meats together with me;
in the house of God we walked with consent.” (Ps 54:13-16)
TWO KINDS OF LOVE
“Two different kinds of love have given origin to two cities,
a heavenly city and an earthly one.
Self love, even unto contempt of God,
gave origin to the earthly one;
love of God, even unto contempt of self,
gave origin to the heavenly one.” (St Augustine, De Civitate Dei, 14,28)
INORDINATE SELF-LOVE AND GOD’S CURE
“We must love ourselves: our very nature demands that we do so;
the desire for happiness is innate in us. …
Yes, this rightly ordered love of ourselves
is the natural prerequisite and foundation for our love of God.
We might quite lawfully desire natural gifts for ourselves:
talents, knowledge, strength of character, a resolute will,
all noble human qualities.
We may also lawfully love our body
and be solicitous for it,
always however preserving a right order.
Our self-love is perfectly ordered
if we love ourselves for God’s sake
[in the way God loves us, and in the way God loves us to be!],
that is if we love ourselves as creatures,
as children of God, as the instruments of his glory,
called to serve him, to work for him, to suffer for him,
to receive and use his gifts and graces,
to do his adorable will in all things.
[his wonderful will, his awesome plans…]
Inordinate self-love, …
also called selfishness or self-seeking …
is the deepest and the ultimate root of all the sins and faults in our lives.
Already in the Garden of Eden self-seeking caused sin.
And the whole catalogue of men’s crimes,
of their wars and dissensions and hatreds,
from the beginning right up to the present day,
is really nothing else but the continual manifestation
of the self-seeking and self-love
that is so deeply seated in the human heart.
Self-love is the root of all evil passions;
it causes great suffering to mankind:
in the community, the family, in the hearts of individuals.
The world, the flesh and the devil can harm us
only when they find within us an enemy
with whom they can form an alliance.
Self-love is the enemy of God.
Indeed, for that matter, self-love is the enemy of all noble human qualities
and of all genuine affection.
It makes us insincere, unprincipled, two-faced, moody, dissembling, mean;
and it is often the source from which hysterical behavior originates.
‘Genuine fraternal charity lives with a thousand souls;
self-love lives with only one soul
and that is narrow, small and wretched,’ says a recent writer.
Most of the work in the campaign against self-love, let us remember,
must be done by God himself.
He takes us into his own loving care
and trains us in his own school,
the school of suffering and humiliation:
of exterior sufferings, difficulties, failures, disappointments, illness;
of interior sufferings and trials, aridity, temptations of every kind.
In this way he gives us a deep, salutary, experimental knowledge
of our own nothingness and sinfulness and instability
and he frees us gradually
of self-admiration, of inordinate self-confidence,
of conceit and secret pride.
It is a painful process,
but it is necessary if we are to be formed
into true and perfect men and wholehearted Christians.”
(B Baur, Frequent Confession)
“It is so easy to detect the lack of humility in other people—
and so damnably hard to recognize the same defect in ourselves. …
We do want to be humble, and we do try to be.
But the vice of pride, humility’s lack,
is such an insidious enemy,
and can creep into our lives like the parasites
from which many tropical peoples suffer;
parasites which sap their energy,
without any localized pain to tell of the evil’s presence.
So too pride can penetrate to our own spiritual vitals,
providing its own anesthetic as it enters.
One sure sign of a lack of humility
is an unwillingness to give honest praise
where praise is deserved.” (Trese, A Man Approved, 92-95)
AN ACT OF CONTRITION
“Have mercy upon me, O God,
according to thy great mercy.
And according to the multitude of thy tender mercies,
blot out my iniquity.
Wash me yet more from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my iniquity,
and my sin is always before me.
To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee.
Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop,
and I shall be cleansed;
thou shalt wash me
and I shall be made whiter than snow.
Turn away thy face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquities.
Create a clean heart in me, O God,
and renew a right spirit within my bowels.
Cast me not away from thy face,
and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation,
and strengthen me with a perfect spirit.”
CALLING ALL SINNERS!
[Our Lord in Matthew’s house]
“I came not to call the righteous [nice people]
but sinners [nasty].” (Mt 9:13)
“Et cum amicitiam tuam, non oboediens, amisísset,
non eum dereliquisti in mortis imperio.” (Eucharistic Prayer IV)
GOD’S FATHERLY GOODNESS AND MERCY IN CONTRAST
“Passio Domini nostri Iesu Christi,
intercessio Beatae Mariae Virginis et omnium sanctorum,
quidquid boni féceris et mali sustinúeris,
sint tibi in remedium peccatorum,
et praemium vitae aeternae.”
“May the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the intercession of the Most Blessed Virgin and of all the saints,
whatever good you do and suffering you endure
heal your sins,
help you grow in holiness,
and reward you with eternal life.”
(Dismissal of penitent in the Formula for Absolution)
C:\Documents and Settings\user\My Documents\jmom RETREAT\crt_04Sin.rtf
Revised 25 March 2005