It’s pride and fear that keeps us away from God, God’s Christ, the bridegroom, and His Church, the bride.
Everything starts and ends with prayer or lack of prayer.
When we cease to pray we become slothful, which is simply laziness in faith and prayer.
The more we pray the more our faith grows, the more our faith grows the more we pray.
What happens though is the devil, the world and the flesh is constantly working on our minds and emotions to pull us away from God.
Thankfully, the Holy Spirit of God never rests either. We simply need to cooperate with God’s grace in our life and allow Jesus the Christ to possess us.
It takes work, discipline and sacrifice much like when you want to keep your body in shape it takes work; you must go to a gym and exercise or run or walk regularly and a lot. You must also include strength training with weights to shape your body and you must put the proper ingredients which we call nutritional food into your body and hydrate properly with water and get sleep and NOT use drugs and don’t smoke and limit alcohol.
A professional athlete for instance must do even way more than this.
A musician must practice on his/her instrument often or singer with voice.
An artist, scientist, anything else really must go above and beyond to be good at what he or her does and wants to be better at.
How much time and effort goes into building a relationship?
Why do you expect it to be any different with growing in your faith and relationship with God?
It’s you who has to put in the time, effort, prayer, study and work to grow in faith and in relationship with God.
So what are you doing about it? Do you really think going to Church for one hour a week accomplishes this? Do you even do that, go to Church one hour a week on Sunday?
You don’t because of pride and fear.
What happens is you get tied up into the things of the world, even your family.
Put God and Church first, yes, even before your marriage and family and everything else will be added.
You must spend time alone with God as you do with spouse, child, parent, friend.
Go to Eucharistic adoration alone and just sit with our Lord. Kneeling is better.
But no, you let other things get in the way because of pride and then you rationalize and justify yourself.
Here is what I mean…
I am tired now, I just cooked or cleaned so God will understand if I miss Sunday mass.
I have to go to my child’s game or recital instead of Church.
Even worse, and in the case of many children, they say or think, because they are addicted to their phone or tablet, “I can’t be away from my phone for an hour, shudder the thought so I will just lay in bed and watch this makeup video or sports video or show or movie and God will understand. God knows I love him.”
Or even worse he or she does not even think about God. God does not even enter the equation.
So, then you think I don’t have to give of my time , talent or treasure because you think I am a good person anyway.
That baby being slaughtered in the womb, here is what you think – that’s really a shame and I don’t like it but it’s not for me to stand up or say anything as I might offend the mother; or maybe I just don’t care.
Folks, more likely than not that mother considering abortion is in real crisis and has no where or no one to turn to and is being coerced to abort by a loved one.
Contraception? Are you crazy, every one uses artificial contraception, what’s the big deal?
I have some homework for you; research NaPro or natural family planning or Theology of the Body. Put in the time to learn and study. Read Humana Vitae, it’s only 15 pages, that is not long and worth the read.
Ditto for pornography, masterbation, strip clubs, prostitution and human sex trafficking.
Believe me , all these issues are a big deal and has ripped apart family, marriage and life in our society since 1960, when the PILL came on the market.
The homeless, starving or addicted people, again you think – it’s so sad but what can I do? Or maybe you just don’t even give a hoot.
Do you think about being a good steward toward the environment?! Oh yeah, you think YES! I recycle, there ya go, see I am a good person. Forgive me but I am laughing now.
Just a few more things that you say or think misguidedly…
I am divorced and remarried without annulment. Screw the Church, I am not getting an annulment.
I am single and want to have sex, screw the Church. It feels okay to me so why not.
I am living the homosexual lifestyle, God made me this way. Screw the Church, gonna do what I want.
I look like a man but I feel like a woman so I want to look like a woman now or vice versa.
I will confess my sin to God, why do I need to go to a man to confess my sins? Do you really confess your sin to God? C’mon man, let’s manup and womanup!
I think I covered enough ground and you get the idea.
All of the above stems from original sin coming from our first parents, Adam and Eve, and the reason we do it is because of pride. The serpent whispered so they did it. The serpent whispers to you so you do it.
Yes, it takes courage, discipline and sacrifice to go against everything I write above. It’s a cross really; did not Jesus tell us this?
You don’t want to be challenged, you don’t want to hear it from the pulpit or anyone really so you stop going to Church and praying and you feel like things are going okay so that makes it even easier to distance yourself from the Church, God and the Truth.
Then you rationalize by saying, hey, things seem pretty good so I can just worship God on my own in my own way, but by this time, you are lost and do not even realize you are lost.
It’s too hard, you say, to lay down your life and live the way God and Church calls you to live.
Yes, it is hard if you don’t surrender, total surrender to the love of God and teaching of the Church. if you do it’s not only easy but truly JOYFUL!
Cooperate with God’s grace! Do not resist Happiness! Let it go and let God!
Just like a parent who will not let the child run into the street or play with fire to protect the child, God provides wisdom to The Church to protect the children. At some point the child has to trust the parent just as the church’s children must trust the Church.
It’s about THE SACRAMENTS!!! We need the Sacraments! All of them, run to them!
The reason you do not or will not trust the Church is because of pride so that is why PRIDE is worse than any other sin.
If you re-read everything above there are many I’s, which stands for pride, hence we leave the Church and in doing so we leave God because of I, because I want to do this or that.
Change your thoughts to, Not My will be done, thy will be done! Trust me, you will become happier.
I could write much more but I hope this was enough to help you understand how pride works and why it’s the worst sin.
Finally, have no fear and let nothing steal your joy because we have GOOD NEWS! Jesus Christ has already conquered sin and death and because of Him and through Him we can too!
No matter what you are thinking now or what you believe about God and Church, know this – God loves you and believes in you and waits patiently for you to return to Him and His Church and so does the Church! The Church will always be there and never turn you away when you repent and change your ways.
You, and I, must change and go another way.
Today is January 7, 2018, the Feast of The Epiphany, a Solemnity or Holy Day in the Church.
The Magi, or three Wise men, after visiting the Christ child, PROSTRATING themselves and giving Him their gifts, returned by a different way! Their lives were never the same and the Church now calls the three saints!
Herod was prideful and fearful because he did not have the true God in Him.
Let us be the three wise men and not Herod.
Notice the key words here – PROSTRATED BEFORE GOD, DID HIM HOMAGE AND RETURNED A DIFFERENT WAY!!!
If they can do it, you can do it, If I can do it, you can do it!!!
You can’t do it on your own! You and I need God and His Church.
Start praying now and go another way; I am praying for you. Pray for me!
God bless you and may 2018 be the year to send you on your way, another way; the happy, joyful and peaceful way that will provide the everlasting light and truth.