Reflections On The Journey 



Reflections From Faye

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Posted on April 27, 2020 at 7:20 AM Comments comments (0)

While pondering the gospels since Easter Sunday, I decided to place myself into the scenes. What would I have seen or felt if I had been there? I would have probably been scared, wondering, and unsure about what was going to happen next. I may have played over in my mind various scenes from the previous three years, trying to recall exactly what Jesus said in all those huge gatherings with the crowds and in the intimate gathering with just the disciples, and how that all fit in with His death.


And I wonder – If I had been Mary Magdalene on that Easter morning, in shock that the body of my Lord was missing but not yet understanding, I’m sure I would have failed to recognize Jesus right away. Or had I been one of the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, I can envision myself being so confused and grief-stricken that I would not have recognized Jesus during that walk. And if I had been locked in that Upper Room wondering what was going to happen, I surely would have been startled when Jesus appeared.


It was only when Jesus plainly showed himself to the Magdalene, to the disciples on the road and to the Apostles huddled in the Upper Room that they recognized Jesus. But once they did recognize Him, what joy they had! These people were forever changed by that encounter with Jesus, by the recognition that He truly was risen and was with them once again!


I don’t have the privilege of being one of those disciples who were able to see Jesus in the flesh after He rose. I am separated from them by two thousand years, trying to keep my faith alive in an era where I cannot even attend mass! How easy is it for me to fail to recognize Jesus, especially when I am preoccupied with the virus and my own life, and some days it seems I feel only fear. We live in difficult times.


What I have learned, though, is that despite the world’s situation I must continue to be proactive with my faith. I need to use every resource available to be able to recognize Jesus. And boy, do I have the resources! In addition to the many Christian books I own or can borrow, there are many in-depth bible studies and commentaries available on the internet and through my church. Even though I cannot attend mass in person, my church and others live-stream masses daily and many of these services can be accessed via video at a later time. I also am blessed to have several trusted people in my life that I can call on if I have a question about the meaning of a biblical passage or a tenet of my faith.


I also know that it is crucial for me to set regular times during the week when I will attend to my daily prayer and studies. I can’t just wait “until I have time” – things will invariably get in the way. When I choose to watch movies when I need a break, now I often select those with religious themes. There are many excellent ones out there! I need these regular times when I purposely seek out Jesus to get to know Him better. This helps me to be able to recognize Him quicker!


How is your recognition of Jesus? Do you know Him well? If not, perhaps you could take a little time this week to chat with Him for a while or read something about Him to strengthen that bond between the two of you. Spending time with Him will enable you to recognize where Jesus is in your life. This could be just the blessing you need to perk up your week!


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Posted on April 20, 2020 at 8:15 AM Comments comments (0)

I don’t know about you, but it’s hard for me to see many blessings in our world today. The news reports are filled with sad things about illness, death and jobs being lost. There is a lot of conflicting information, too, about the virus and plans to re-open our society, and scammers are taking advantage of our fears to try new ways to cheat people out of their money.


Fortunately my husband and I are in a fairly decent position. We did get our stimulus check, we have an adequate amount of money stored away for retirement (and we hope it doesn’t deplete too quickly!), and we have a strong faith community to support us. Our church is reaching out to every parishioner via phone and email to see if they are okay and if they need any resources. I’m part of the calling team, and it’s gratifying to hear that so far most of our people are okay.


But I know that not everyone is in a good position right now. I know people whose work hours have been reduced and others who are furloughed. Some are having a hard time financially and I’ve heard concerns from others who severely distrust the ability of our government to help them. I do not personally know of anyone who has the virus, but my family and friends are rightfully concerned. People are not feeling blessed, and I can’t blame them for doubting or being angry and upset.


But there is One whom I can trust to provide for us – and that is God. Although it is hard to understand why God might allow the unfavorable impacts of the pandemic to occur, I still have to trust that God has everything under control and that somehow blessings will come out of this situation.


And I do think that blessings are here, if I just look for them. Perhaps I have been taking too many things for granted, and the blessing is that I now appreciate these things more. Perhaps (probably!) my faith life has sagged, and the blessing is that I am re-igniting that faith. And maybe I had slacked off in engaging with my friends and family, and now the blessing is that I am more deliberate about reaching out.


It’s not often that I include an entire song in my reflection, but today I want to share one that has held a lot of comfort for me in these past several weeks. Written and sung by Laura Story, the song “Blessings” helps me to look at challenges as possible blessings, even though I might not realize it yet.


I pray that this week you will muse upon these words and see how you can look at your life and current trials and see what blessings are there for you.



We pray for blessings, we pray for peace

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep

We pray for healing, for prosperity

We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering


All the while, You hear each spoken need

Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things


'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops

What if Your healing comes through tears

What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near

What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise


We pray for wisdom, Your voice to hear

We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near

We doubt your goodness, we doubt Your love

As if every promise from Your Word is not enough


All the while, You hear each desperate plea

And long that we'd have faith to believe


When friends betray us, when darkness seems to win

We know that pain reminds this heart, that this is not our home


What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life

Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy

What if trials of this life

The rain, the storms, the hardest nights

Are your mercies in disguise


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020

An Easter Reflection

Posted on April 13, 2020 at 8:55 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday we celebrated Easter Sunday. Jesus was in the tomb, dead, and yet he rose! He had spent time in the tomb from Good Friday afternoon to Easter morning. Many scholars say he had gone down into hell during this time. I believe this to be true because of his mission – to free us from the bondage of sin and death. And I know that he emerged, triumphant over death and the grave!


The whole week leading up to this Easter has meant so much to me. I knew what was going to happen, as it does during Holy Week every year, but this week was different. This year I spent most of my Holy Week alone, though my husband and I met up for meals and viewing of on-line services. I did spend time working on a home project, but I also had much more time than I usually do during Holy Week to think and pray. I could study the readings of the Passion in-depth, pray the rosary more often and just in general quiet myself to prepare for Triduum.


I was blessed to be able to participate in the Easter Vigil at our church as one of the cantors. One person was confirmed while hundreds of people (from across the USA, I’m told) watched our service which was streamed online. Then on Easter Sunday my husband and I connected online or via phone to greet family and friends.


Although we couldn’t exchange hugs this year, we could express our affection through our words and messages. Emojis I had never seen before were flying across my computer screen regularly. Despite our lockdown we were still connected – we could still encourage each other and share the Good News.


Now that it is Easter Monday, what am I going to do? I don’t want to let God drop into the background while I resume my old behavior. No, I’m going to try to keep up my studying, praying and reflecting. I’m going to continue to reach out to people via phone, text and Facebook. I’m going to try to keep the Good News alive!


What are you going to do?


Have a blessed Easter Monday!


© 2020

What Matters

Posted on April 6, 2020 at 7:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Yesterday was Palm Sunday. Usually I spend Palm Sunday in church, waving palm branches as we sing commemorating Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem. But yesterday, I drove over to my church to collect palm branches while remaining in my car, then I drove back home to watch the live stream of the small service held inside my church. It was just not the same, but it was still a worship service, and reminded me that we have begun Holy Week. It’s going to be a Holy Week like no other!


This is the holiest of weeks – on Thursday we celebrate the Institution of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and on Friday we remember the crucifixion and death of our Lord. Then we will wait in anticipation until Sunday Morning, when He will rise triumphant from the grave. It will be so different this year, as my husband and I sit in our living room, doing the best we can to pray and “attend” these services through the computer.


Although this whole week is important, today I’d like to look at Good Friday. I attended an on-line webinar on Saturday, and discussion turned to the events of Good Friday. (By the way, The Passion of the Christ is a great movie to watch this week.) During His hours of torture, Jesus took on all our sins. He endured the most horrific of deaths to atone for those sins. I can’t imagine what that must have been like - I can handle some pain, but when it gets really bad, I become a big wimp. Yet Jesus endured it all, without complaint, a gentle Lamb led to the slaughter.


Have you ever read anything about what it is like to be crucified? To be hung upon a cross, with your arms outstretched and the weight of your body pulling you down onto your pierced feet? I have read that crucifixion victims experience excruciating pain as their lungs collapse, and they must push up with their feet to try to get some air into their starving airways. When they become so weak they are unable to do this any longer, they suffocate. What a harsh and painful way to die.


But here is something else to think about. In the past several weeks, thousands of people have literally suffocated due to the coronavirus pandemic. People with severe cases of Covid-19 have a rapid and progressive shortness of breath, which I understand is very painful. The inability to get enough oxygen into their lungs is a major factor causing death.


When I look back at the death of Jesus, I notice that He hung alone on the cross during his suffocation. Oh, yes, His mother and John were there, but they could not touch him. Even the two thieves next to him were unreachable. Jesus was kept at least six feet from everyone else, and he suffered and died alone. Just like the coronavirus patients.


This was an eye-opening comparison for me! Here we are in Holy Week, the week we recall so intimately how Jesus suffered and died. And so many people are dying each day from the virus. We may wonder why God has allowed this virus to affect so many in our world. I do not know, but I do know that Jesus understands exactly what these patients are feeling. He lived it, and He died it. For us.


Could this perhaps be a wake-up call? Maybe I have been laisse-faire about my church attendance or attentiveness at mass, or I have not taken much time lately to get a better understanding of my faith. Have I been focusing too much on concerts, sporting events, shopping or other worldly things and not paying attention to what really matters?


This week I encourage you to take a look at your life: look at what used to matter before the virus hit and what matters to you now. Perhaps, like me, you can see some ways in which you were not focused on your faith before, and that is changing now. Maybe this week you can start to see what really matters in your life and in your faith.


I know there will be an end sometime to the suffering of the Holy Week in which we live. God will somehow bring us through, and there will be a Resurrection. This is the hope that I will cling to. I pray that you too will be able to find hope as you ride out this storm, looking for what truly matters in your life.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Posted on March 30, 2020 at 9:35 AM Comments comments (0)

The new buzz phrase these days is “social distancing.” With the COVID-19 pandemic in progress, we are encouraged to stay at home and if we must be out (for essentials) then we are to maintain as much as possible a distance of six feet from others. Hundreds of videos are out there showing how to sanitize things we buy and how to keep our homes clean.


I understand the necessity for the precautions – this virus is so easily spread from person to person, and it takes days before symptoms show up. It’s only prudent that we protect ourselves and others by following the guidelines presented to us and keep away from others as much as possible.


It hasn’t been too bad for me so far. I have my husband to converse with and share chores and meals. Our home is large enough that I can distance myself from him if needed, for my sanity or for his! We head out for walks and take the car only to pick up essentials and to get takeout to support our local restaurants. The copious news reports fill the airwaves all day, but I only pay attention to them once in the morning and once in the evening. That’s enough news for me. And we have several cleaning and repair projects we are tackling which help pass the time.


But sadly, some people, especially older ones, aren’t doing as well as we are. Many live alone – maybe in a house or condo but often in a senior living facility. For them it can get pretty lonely. These people no longer are able to meet their friends for coffee or a meal, nor even pass time in the dining room or social room of their building. For those who do not have computers, their main forms of connection are the television, radio and their phone. They are seriously feeling the downsides of social distancing.


To help alleviate some of the stress of social distancing for these folks, I have made it a priority to check in with some people every day. I make phone calls, write texts and send messages using Facebook, video chat with Messenger and Duo, and even say hello to my neighbors when I go out for walks. When I do this, so often I hear they are so grateful that I reached out. Even though they may have their children or building staff checking on them, it’s always nice to hear from other people.


I have also offered to go out to get things if they need something. We have to make trips out anyway, and I can certainly pick up something extra. No one has taken me up on that offer yet, but it may happen. It seems we may have many weeks of the stay-at-home situation ahead of us.


Another idea I heard about was (on a nice day) getting a few friends to each drive to a drive-through, get meals, then go to a parking lot where you can park your cars 6 feet apart with the windows open. You can eat your meal and chat a little bit. I haven’t tried this yet – but if someone is interested in experimenting with me using this concept, let me know!


This week, if you have the ability to connect with others during this time of social distancing, I encourage you to do so. Call, text, email or even write a letter. Set up a video chat. Family and friends will be grateful to hear from you, and your connection could be just what they need to stay encouraged. And if the people are willing, say a prayer with them too. Remind them that God is with us, even if we are a bit uncertain about what our future holds.


Be a friend to someone today – reach out across the social distance. You will bless them, and yourself, too.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Posted on March 23, 2020 at 9:25 AM Comments comments (0)

I am taking a break from my run through the Seven Deadly Sins to talk about the pandemic faced by Minnesotans and everyone across the globe. I am sure you are all aware that the coronavirus has the world turned on its head right now. So many things have been cancelled like concerts and church services, restaurants and stores have closed, and most people are only venturing out to get essentials. My husband and I, too, are staying home except for the necessary errand runs and getting some take-out to help local businesses.


Thank God for the hospital workers, grocery store clerks, restaurant employees, truck drivers, delivery persons and many others who are still attending to their necessary business. May God bless them for continuing their work. I spoke to one friend who is a hospital nurse, and although she has not come in contact with someone having the virus, there is one case at her hospital. It’s close and scary.


A sense of isolation right now is felt by many. Fortunately, I was able to attend mass on-line yesterday. It was hard, though. I am so used to being with my friends in church and singing together to celebrate the greatest feast we have, but since all in-person masses have been cancelled I had no other choice. At least I was able to connect by email with some of our church friends to confirm they were okay.


I also connected via video chat yesterday with my cousins in Sweden, who are faced with sorting out my Aunt’s possessions after her death. I had planned to go over to assist, but that became impossible when flights out of the country were cancelled. As I am now unable to be there, the task now rests solely on them. I feel so sad that I cannot help, but there is nothing I can do about it. I am sure that most of you too are unable to do something that you had planned. But it is a good thing that we are maintaining “social distancing” to help reduce the spread of the virus.


It’s easy to become distraught or in a panic when we cannot see the outcome of this situation. We may start to have a very narrow vision - becoming blind to others’ situations, focusing instead on our own needs. Sadly, many people see a need to hoard supplies and attempt to turn politicians and other leaders into scapegoats for the crisis facing our world.


This Sunday’s Gospel reading actually addresses this. The story of the blind man who was healed by Jesus on the Sabbath showed how Jesus restored this man’s physical vision, giving the man a new outlook on his life. What a blessing for him! He not only was able to see physically, but he also gained a new sight – a vision of faith. He became a believer that Jesus was truly God.


While any story of healing is a good one, I think this was an especially appropriate one for me this week. I have often heard the words that “God is in control,” but like many of you, I can look at our world and feel that God is NOT in control. It seems like chaos out there! But God sees the whole picture and I do not. My vision is so limited that I can only see a tiny piece of what lies in front of me. I do not know what plans God has for me or others, but now more than ever I must trust that GOD is the one who has the complete vision for my life and for our world, and He will lead us through.


And so today I pray: God, please help me steer away from my poor vision of what the coronavirus’ impact might be. Lead me forward on the path You have chosen for me. Help me trust that You will guide all of us through this challenging time. Please, God, give us better vision to help us to see the things that are truly important and ignore the rest.


I encourage you to join me in this prayer this week. May God restore in us a better vision of our world and each other.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Posted on March 16, 2020 at 8:50 AM Comments comments (0)

Today’s reflection continues my review of the Seven Deadly Sins. Today I look at the sin of Lust. The Bible speaks of lust and greed in very similar ways. It does so because lust is a particular manifestation of greed – one directed towards the desire to possess and use another person or thing. So, in the Ten Commandments, God warns Israel not to “covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant” (Exodus 20:17).


Jesus had no patience for lust. He didn’t mince words about how one should deal with it: in Matt. 5:29-30 Jesus says “If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you…if your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you.” Jesus takes lust seriously, more seriously I’d say than most of us. It’s not that Jesus is in favor of self-mutilation: after all, one-eyed and one-handed people can still lust, yet his words do direct us towards drastic action against sin in our own hearts and lives.


Our bodies are designed by God to recognize beauty, to be attracted, and even to be aroused. They do this by a natural impulse which is apart from any lustful intent. But when we go beyond simple admiration for something and there becomes a flaming desire within us to have the item, that’s when we need to be very careful.


I believe lust is essentially selfishness and is related to last week’s sin of Greed. Lust wants to take, keep, and use whatever it finds most desirable. It’s a desire to possess, to have for yourself what does not rightly belong to you. Yes, it can be sexual, but it can be much more than that. I could look at my neighbor’s Tesla and lust after it.


Here is my self-examination this week: I will admit that at a certain point in my younger life, I fought sexual lust. I was young, and I didn’t even realize at first that it was lust – I just thought I wanted to be desirable to the opposite sex. This desire caused me to make some poor relationship choices, and I will not share the details here. But I knew that some of the actions that resulted from my desires were sinful, and that’s where my problem was. It was only later that I learned I needed to value myself for who I was, NOT for the opinions of others. The best step I took to alleviate this sin was to make a good confession.


Today I am still tempted by lust - the devil seems to know exactly what tempts me! But I have learned how to remain vigilant so I am able to recognize when a want could turn into lust, and to let the temptation go before I act on it.  And then to get to confession!


How about you? Have you had a problem with lust in your life? Perhaps this week you can examine your life to see if lust is lurking. If you find a problem, I suggest confession, and then see what you might be able to do to curb the lust in your life.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Posted on March 9, 2020 at 6:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Today’s meditation deals with the sin of Greed, another of the Seven Deadly Sins. We all face this sin our lives. We are bombarded daily with ads touting the greatest new product… and we are encouraged to always “keep up with the Joneses.” For centuries, men have given in to greed, especially those with the ability to control. They were constantly fighting battles to gain more land and continually taxing the people to acquire more wealth.


Greed for money can also lead someone to commit sin just to get more money or possessions – people may steal or cheat to get what they want.


Money in itself it not necessarily evil. You need money to survive and to help others. But when people think that money will make things better or that it will make them happier, that’s when greed can creep in. It’s the love of money (i.e. Greed for money) is evil. That is why we have heard Jesus telling us that it is so difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven - not because they are rich, but because they often love their money too much.


We can read in Luke 12:14-15 that we must “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”


So how have I been doing with Greed in my life? You can bet I am tempted by things! Mostly I think I do pretty well. For example, when I replaced my car in 2018 I purchased a used model. I still wear clothes that I bought years ago, and I shop at Savers or Goodwill often, although I must admit I do have too many items. My next task had better be to “Marie-Kondo” my closet and drawers.


I recently got a new smartphone. I truly did need a new, reliable phone to replace my older one that was slowing down and in constant need of charging. But I admit that I was lured in by the top-of-the-line models when I could have settled for something less. A little greed here, I think.


As a result of my review, I can clearly see that God is reminding me to not focus on material things. At any time, God could take me or take away the “wealth” I have worked hard for. I need to remember that “things” are not the most important items of life. In my travels I have met people in foreign lands who have MUCH less than me, but are still happy. Why? Because they have their family and their faith and they understand that these are the “things” that matter.


The questions I must keep asking myself, and I suggest you ask yourself as well are: What is my attitude towards money and things? Am I detached to them, only using them for what their were intended to be used for, or do I work so hard to get a lot of things? Do I realize that genuine blessings can only come to me if I share what I have to others? Do I continually compare myself with others and end up envying them and wanting more money or things? What prevents me from letting go of my blessings so they can bless others? I will ponder these questions this week in addition to getting to confession as soon as I can!


May you be blessed as you look at the sin of Greed this week.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Posted on March 2, 2020 at 9:05 AM Comments comments (0)

Continuing on my journey this Lent through the Seven Deadly sins, I chose this week to talk about Sloth. Although it may seem to be a sin to be slow (especially those drivers ahead of you!), I’m not referring to that really slow creature that hangs around in trees.


Sloth (also known as acedia) is the potentially the most difficult sin to define and credit as sin, since it refers to a jumble of notions dating from antiquity and includes mental, spiritual, pathological, and physical states. The definition I like is a habitual disinclination to exertion, or in other words, laziness. Perhaps you could say that sloth is the sin that requires no effort!


Unlike the other deadly sins in which the sinner commits immoral acts, sloth is a sin of omission of desire and/or performance. Being indifferent to or neglecting one’s duties can result in a person becoming sluggish and then less charitable towards their fellow man. And procrastination can lead to sloth, too.


My personal review this week was to see if sloth has encroached in my own life. At first it didn’t seem like I had a problem. I often take short breaks from my tasks, to work a crossword puzzle, or scroll through a few Facebook posts, and that’s not a bad thing - everyone needs breaks from their work. I am rejuvenated after my breaks and I am able to return refreshed to tackle my pile of “to-dos.”


But unfortunately I found that a pattern of sloth HAS crept in. There is an amazing amount of interesting things on Facebook – helpful hints videos, cute dog and cat photos and ads for new products. It’s easy for me to get sucked into mindless scrolling, and this just happened to me a few days ago – I wasted about 45 minutes of time when I should have been doing something else. When I realized my mistake I had to scramble to complete my REAL task.


Then there are books. A well-written mystery novel really draws me in, and it is very easy for me to become so engrossed in the story line that I lose complete track of time. I realized that this, too, happened a few times in the past couple of weeks! One day I forgot to get groceries, I blew off making dinner (twice!), and I failed to honor a promise I made to someone because I forgot about it. Yes, I think that was sloth.


I knew I needed to do something to prevent me from continuing (even accidentally) to neglect my responsibilities. I don’t want to give up Facebook - I post things there myself and I love keeping up with what my friends are doing - and working crosswords and pleasurable reading are nice diversions that also keep my mind sharp. So I prayed about it, and, not surprisingly, a solution popped up. I now set a timer when I read or do a little scrolling! When the timer rings, I allow myself just a few more minutes to finish the page, but then I must put away the crossword or exit out of Facebook. I also am using reading as a “reward.” When I finish that important project (like writing this week’s blog!) THEN I can do a little reading, with my timer set, of course!


It’s hard to break bad habits, especially when they are enjoyable and not necessarily a “bad” thing. And God does command us to rest periodically. But the danger comes when we take too long a break, and especially if it interferes with our prayer or spiritual life. In this Lenten period it may actually be good for me to fast from some of my breaks, to allow me more time for prayer and to take care of my responsibilities. I must make the effort to curb my tendency to be a bit lazy.


Would you be willing to look at your life this week as I have done and see if maybe you have been a bit slothful? Are there some responsibilities you may have neglected – whether by doing something mindless for too long, or procrastinating? If you find maybe you need to make a correction in your life, I encourage you to pray about it and see if there is some step you can take to help you overcome your problem. God may bless you in an unexpected way.


Have a blessed Monday!


© 2020


Posted on February 24, 2020 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)

What? It’s almost Lent? I’d better get moving!


Each year during Lent I try to do something related to my spiritual life. Often, this means I may give up something that I enjoy or do something extra, above and beyond what I normally do.


This year I am going to do something different. I have decided to focus on something that will force me to look closely at my own life to see if I am failing in some area that perhaps I have been ignoring. So for the next few weeks I will review the Seven Deadly Sins, also known as the capital vices or cardinal sins. This is a grouping and classification of vices within Christian teachings. The list itself does not appear explicitly in the Bible, but many biblical passages refer to these sins and their effects.


The Seven Deadly Sins are pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath and sloth. For this first week I’m going to review pride.


On just about every list I’ve seen, pride is considered the original and most serious of the seven deadly sins: the perversion of the faculties that make humans seem to be more like God. It is also thought to be the source of the other capital sins. It is identified as dangerously corrupt selfishness, the putting of one's own desires, urges, wants, and whims before the welfare of other people.


In more destructive cases, it is irrationally believing that one is essentially and necessarily superior or more important than others, failing to acknowledge the accomplishments of others, and excessive admiration of the personal image or self (especially forgetting one's own lack of divinity, and refusing to acknowledge one's own limits, faults, or wrongs as a human being). Pride is generally associated with an absence of humility.


Many authors speak about pride – you can find references all over the internet. Benjamin Franklin said "In reality there is, perhaps no one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it, struggle with it, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive and will every now and then peep out and show itself; you will see it, perhaps, often in this history."


Pride is referenced in a few places in the Bible. Sirach 10:12-13a (NAB) says “The beginning of pride is man’s stubbornness in withdrawing his heart from his Maker; for pride is the reservoir of sin, a source which runs over with vice.” Proverbs 16:18 (NAB) also references pride with the famous quote "pride goes before disaster, and a haughty spirit before a fall," which is often shorted to “pride goeth before the fall.”


While it’s okay to be proud of our own accomplishments or that of others, we sin when that pride becomes consuming and we over-inflate our value. It also may result in vanity, self-idolatry, ignoring others or only seeking our own status.


We can probably easily name people who have lived in the past century who likely had a problem with pride - Adolf Hitler comes to mind - and you may be able to spot people in your own life. But beware - it’s very easy to point our fingers at others who may have this deadly sin, but not so easy to see it in ourselves.


Therefore, what about ME? As part of my preparation for Lent I examined my own life this week specifically around the issue of pride. And I’m sad to say I found several instances of wrongful pride. For example, it was fine when I felt a sense of accomplishment when I hit the “Publish” button for last week's blog post, but NOT when I read that other blog and thought that my blog was better.


I have been doing a daily examen for some months now. But on the last few nights when I have done this, I initially thought either that I hadn’t sinned or my sins were so small that I needn’t worry about them. In reality, though, I realized that pride had snuck in and said “Nope, I got this. I don’t need any help; I’m God.”  I actually HAD sinned but had glossed over it. Oops.


Then there was the day last week when I was following a driver who made several unlawful moves. What was my reaction? I patted myself on the back, congratulating myself that I was a MUCH better driver. Yep, some pride in that one, too. And then ten minutes later I erroneously turned on a red light. Oh boy.


What was my takeaway from this review? Realizing that there were several times (more than the ones I mentioned above!) when pride had snuck in during the past several weeks, the first thing I did was to schedule an appointment for confession!


But I also had to think about what will happen when I get into those situations again. If I do not take actions to stop this, pride could become even more of a problem in my life. In order to be better prepared, I prayed for the graces I will need to respond appropriately in those situations when they happen again. I may even want to think about other situations where pride could rear its ugly head. Hopefully with this preparation I will gain more awareness and be able to shut down pride sooner.


Have you had some trouble with pride lately? Perhaps you could take a little time this week to look at this first deadly sin to see if it has surreptitiously crept into your life. Take action to shut down your pride, if needed. A blessing may be waiting for you....


Have a blessed Monday!


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