I’m an especially strong-willed particular person. I’m not practically as sturdy willed as after I was youthful, however it’s nonetheless an ongoing battle. Our Lord, in His mercy, has needed to break me repeatedly. Strong-willed individuals are extremely impartial and we regularly suppose we will go it alone or do it ourselves. This makes us susceptible to deep-seated sins in relation to satisfaction. Pride is the heaviest of sins and is a serious stumbling block on the trail to holiness, which is why Christ does certainly have to interrupt down sure souls, together with me.
The path to holiness can’t be received by satisfaction. We solely attain it by the humility present in a willingness to put God on the middle of our lives and to undergo His will above our personal. For willful individuals this can be a wrestle, since so typically we need to do it our personal manner or to know why God is asking us to do one thing earlier than we do it. The Holy Spirit can not work freely inside us and thru us, so long as we’re in search of to stay in management and to put our will on the middle of every thing. At some level all of us need to say, as Our Lord did within the Garden of Gethsemane, “not as I’ll, however as You will.”
All of us are weak. Every single particular person is able to unimaginable darkness. Part of what results in turning into judgmental of the sins of others is the false perception that we might by no means commit the grievous sins one other particular person commits. We neglect that in the suitable circumstances, we’re all able to horrible sins. The perception that we might by no means enter into such darkness comes from satisfaction and the false perception that we’re in command of every thing.
Fr. Ignatius of the Side of Jesus in The School of Jesus Crucified states:
It virtually all the time occurs that inside sentiments of satisfaction precede the fee of grievous sins. Peter was not conscious of his personal weak point. He most well-liked himself earlier than others; he trusted in himself as if he have been incapable of sinning, boasting that no temptation would separate him from Jesus. He wouldn’t even imagine the reassurance of his Divine Master, that he would deny him thrice. Deceived by this useless confidence in his personal energy, he neglects to wish, and to have recourse to God; and God, in His justice, permits him to fall, in punishment of his satisfaction. There is nothing extra harmful than to open up to our personal energy, and belief to emotions of fervor. We are filled with malice, and able to committing essentially the most huge crimes, until God helps us.
It is true that we might not be susceptible to the sins of others, however we’re nonetheless susceptible to sin. Relying on our personal energy and forgetting our personal weaknesses all the time results in the sin of satisfaction, which then opens us as much as a complete host of different sins. Pride results in non secular blindness and retains us from remaining docile to the workings of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
This is why it’s the truth is merciful and simply when God permits us to fall because of our sins, particularly satisfaction. Finding ourselves face down within the filth re-orients us again to the Way of the Cross and the trail to holiness we’re all known as to stroll. Even if we’re positive of the trail God is looking us to stroll, we very simply can fall into satisfaction when deciding how greatest to answer God’s name. How we stroll the trail is as important as the trail itself. This is why sturdy willed individuals so typically must fall repeatedly. Each fall acts as the required refinement and detachment from our personal will we’d like. Every fall results in higher humility.
Lent is a chance to ask God to divulge to us the place we’re failing to undergo His will over our personal. It’s a time to enter into the darkness that dwells inside every one in all us and permit Christ to shine His therapeutic gentle into the locations we conceal away out of worry and disgrace. The Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving free us from the distractions or self-deceptions that we regularly use to flee from God.
In some ways, Lent ought to break us down. It needs to be troublesome. This season is a time of confronting ourselves and the evil one so we will dedicate ourselves totally to following Christ. I’ve discovered through the years that being damaged down shouldn’t be simple; the truth is, it’s brutal. We typically keep away from this course of or search counterfeits that preserve us from the difficulties required of us to develop in holiness. There is not any different manner, nevertheless, if we actually want sanctity and the guarantees of everlasting life.
We need to die-to-self and which means—by the Holy Spirit’s steering—coming to know ourselves, particularly our weaknesses and persona flaws. In my case, being sturdy willed is a good reward solely when it’s ordered to God, in any other case strong-willed individuals are inclined to destroy the individuals closest to them. All of us are willful at occasions and we see the damaging wake it leaves behind. Even although the method of self-awareness is brutal, we all know it’s completed within the fires of God’s love. We can belief that if we undergo Him, pleasure will await us on the opposite aspect of the darkness we should undergo within the interim.
One of the methods I’ve discovered to assist in readability of imaginative and prescient about myself and the non secular battles raging round me is to ask Our Lady of Sorrows for steering. Since we spend a lot of Lent specializing in Our Lord’s Passion, now’s a time to enter the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary the place we will discover refuge and true information about ourselves and all that God is asking of us. She walks into the darkness with us. As Our Sorrowful Mother, She is with us within the desert. She is our humble mom who will assist lead us away from satisfaction in direction of submitting to the need of God and His path for every one in all our lives.
This Lent is a chance for us to be emptied of our personal willfulness and satisfaction, in order that we will be trustworthy disciples of Jesus Christ. It received’t be a simple course of, however with Our Sorrowful Mother main us deeper into union with God by the use of our personal darkness, we’ll discover the trail of pleasure and peace. We will come out of this Lent freer from the sins, weaknesses, and character flaws that weigh us down. May Our Lady of Sorrows lead us on the trail to higher holiness within the desert locations we discover ourselves in within the coming weeks.
Photo by Yousef Salhamoud on Unsplash
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