There is so much talk and so much debate going on in the Church right now. Some people want to push for women priests. Others want priests to marry. Still others want same-sex marriage to be accepted by the Catholic Church. The list goes on to include things about contraception, about the kind of music that we want to play in Church, even about how we want our Pope to behave. We want so many things to happen that we couldn’t even agree with each other. But how about what God wants? Isn’t this supposed to be the most important thing of all?
“I am very glad to have come here. But if I must express a wish, it is that in church you not shout out, that you not clap your hands, and that you not greet even the Pope, because ‘templum Dei, templum Dei.’ (‘The temple of God is the temple of God.’) – St. Pope John XXIII
I wish I were wrong in my most sorrowful observation that the temple of God is now so profaned and disrespected, not only by those who do not believe but by those who profess to believe. It’s as though we do not know anymore what the temple of God is, what the presence of God is. Will our children still be able to know how holy God’s Temple is?
“…Take your sandals off of your feet, for the place you are standing on is holy ground.” – Exodus 3:5, WEB
I’ve realized that one reason we should really avoid anger is that we often lack the love needed to mitigate the harshness of anger. Yes, God gets angry, and He can be angry and righteous at the same time. However, because of our fallen human nature, it is so difficult for us to do that. When we get angry, we often get more focused on ourselves, on how we got hurt or offended rather than on the situation of the other person. Most often, we don’t even care about the other person. To us, that person is simply someone who got in the way and who prevented us from achieving what we wanted to do. Indeed, God is love, and His love does not disappear even when He is angry. Truth is, He gets angry because He loves us so and He doesn’t want us to fall away from good.
“It is better to cry than to be angry,because anger hurts others, while tears flow silently through the soul and cleanses the heart.” – St. Pope John Paul II
I have often had intense emotions of anger. By nature, it is something that I struggle hard with and can’t immediately do away with especially when I believe that my anger is just. Trying to repress anger is like being suffocated. On the other hand, trying to express it could only bring worse consequences. What do I do with a burden that has suddenly been thrown to me? In this, I found great light with the quote from Pope John Paul II. I may not be able to cast away anger immediately, but with prayer and God’s grace, I can try to turn my anger into grief. Grief for whatever injustice or evil that has been done. Grief for the good that has been disrespected and ignored. Grief for the pain caused by the offender. With tears of grief, I can pray that anger may finally find its way out of my heart and soul without causing greater harm.
It is often the small sins that humiliate my soul most. An unexpected moment of irritation, a word that hurt someone close to me, a task negligently done.
They are most humiliating because of their smallness. If they are indeed small, how could they have tested me and have me fail? Why couldn’t I avoid them? Am I really ready to overcome the greater temptations when I am easily overcome by the smallest ones?
Quote from St. Maximilian Kolbe:
My beloved, may every fall, even if it is serious and habitual sin, always become for us a small step toward a higher degree of perfection.
In fact, the only reason why the Immaculate permits us to fall is to cure us from our self-conceit, from our pride, to make us humble and thus make us docile to the divine graces.
The devil, instead, tries to inject in us discouragement and internal depression in those circumstances, which is, in fact, nothing else than our pride surfacing again.
If we knew the depth of our poverty, we would not be at all surprised by our falls, but rather astonished, and we would thank God, after sinning, for not allowing us to fall even deeper and still more frequently.