Saturday, February 20, 2010

Lenten Self-Defense Against Spiritual Leprosy - Part 2

Cynicism, or distrust, or self-centeredness should have no place in the mind and heart of a person committed to living our Catholic Faith.   Because, spiritually, these attitudes are poisonous, dangerous!  They infect us with spiritual leprosy!  The symptoms emerge slowly:
  • We stop trusting God and human beings.
  • We stop expecting goodness or justice.
  • We even lose our desire for these.
  • We stop planning, we stop setting goals for ourselves.
  • We lose our sense of purpose.
  • We refuse to believe promises.
  • We abandon faith and belief and convictions.
Cynicism, distrust and self-centeredness are spiritual leprosies which starve our souls, misguide us, drag us away!
And we willingly allow them to — until they drag us right up to the crumbling edge of a gaping pit called, despair: where we realize that we have completely lost our hope — because we allowed it to be taken from us.

How do we refill our souls with hope?  How can we defend ourselves against spiritual leprosy and despair?  Thanks be to God!  Exactly! Thanks be to God! Through His Son, Our Lord Jesus, and with the Power of the Holy Spirit, we have a spiritual weapon: gratitude!

Gratitude is a conscious, intentional, moment-to-moment awareness of every blessing and goodness that God is pouring into our lives,  and other people’s lives, and into our world.

Gratitude is the spiritual equivalent of DNA.  It is the building block that our lives as Catholics is fastened to:
  • Our faith begins with gratitude.
  • Our faith deepens and grows stronger with gratitude.

Each one of us has been given so much by God.  And when we recognize any of those gifts, and appreciate them, we become filled with gratitude.  We must have gratitude to survive.
Because, the only spiritual weapon we have to defend ourselves against cynicism and despair is gratitude!
Our gratitude transforms cynicism and despair into optimism and hope!  
Our gratitude transforms whatever good we do for other people into experiences of Christ's grace.
His grace is what firmly anchors us in hope and love.

When that tenth Leper was healed, his healing did not mean that all of his problems were now over.
We have to remember:  He lived 2000 years ago. When no one understood Leprosy and no one could cure it.  As soon as he showed the symptoms of Leprosy, he lost his entire life! 
He had no house to return to, no  property, no money or clothing –  they were all burned when he was discovered to be Leprous. 
Also, the governing Authorities forced his wife, children, and relatives to abandon him and shun him because he was a Leper. And, now, he will have to convince everyone that he is no longer Leprous.

And yet, despite the problems he knew that he would face in the future, that tenth former-leper ran back   to thank Our Lord Jesus for healing him!
Likewise, you and I must constantly remind ourselves that our blessings far outweigh our struggles. 
Because of Our Lord Jesus’ love for us, we always have reasons to be thankful and to be hopeful –  despite any crosses, or sadness, or anxieties we must cope with.

          As they were going they were cleansed.
          And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; 
         and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him.
         He was a Samaritan.
          Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not?  
       Where are the other nine?  

Are you one of the nine?

No comments:

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
Take a moment and visit the MOSJ website.