Taming Our Passions
“I constantly pack my pockets full of worthless trinkets, and in such misguided gorging I leave my heart empty and my soul emaciated because I have forgotten everything but trinkets.” ~ Craig Lounsbrough
Today’s 1st Reading (James 4:1-10) speaks of the dangerous consequences of unbridled and disordered passions while asking us to reflect upon the age old question, one posed by rocker George Thorogood and countless others: “Who do you love?”
“Do you not know that to be a lover of the world means enmity with God?” James asks, going on to assert that “.....whoever wants to be a lover of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”
This is a recurring theme in scripture, one that I have written about on a number of occasions, most recently a mere 3 or 4 days ago https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/The-Gospel-According-to-George-Costanza. To pick up your cross and follow Jesus in this day and age is the quintessential against-the-grain play, and with the Lenten Season but a few hours away, a time when even the most devout of believers look to ratchet up their game, prayer, fasting and almsgiving take on an even more prominent role in the life of the vibrant and genuine Catholic. It is through the ardent practice of these virtues that we will grow exponentially in our faith.
Yet if we do nothing else during this Lenten Season, we should strive to develop an amazing friendship with Jesus. For through this friendship, all virtue will inevitably flow. Prayer will become second nature, for it will simply evolve into a conversation between two dear friends. Fasting will allow us to grow in self control and even wisdom, for we will quickly come to learn that it has virtually nothing to do with suffering, but instead draws us closer to Jesus, is an outward and corporal act of penance, and will guard against the onset of gluttony and impure thoughts, deeds and words. Or if you already struggle with any of these afflictions, it will serve to combat them. For it is only through God’s Grace that we can and will conquer any vice. Almsgiving becomes a reflection of our love of neighbor, our brothers and sisters really, for Jesus teaches us that brothers and sisters are precisely what we are.
Lent affords us the opportunity to walk in Jesus’ footsteps and in doing so, our friendship with him will naturally blossom and flourish. May this Lenten Season be a time of spiritual newness, repentance, generosity and quiet reflection, so that we may all revel in the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.