Guide to Goodness

Winning the Spiritual Battle of Lust with Chastity

How much time do you spend ensuring your heart is pure and emptying yourself from the spirit of the world? It is interesting to think about this notion in the context of virtue and sin. God is revealing much to me as I work my way through a consecration to Jesus through Mary to celebrate the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception on December 8th. When we examine our conscience, pray, renounce our own will, and practice subduing our bodily desires, we become more pure of heart. And this is crucial for contemplating God in heaven, seeing Him on earth and knowing Him by the light of faith.

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Guide to Goodness

Winning the Spiritual Battle of Gluttony with Temperance

Temperance from the Virtues, Philips Galle, The Met

I heard somewhere that we usually oscillate between two of the seven sins.  It took me many years to surrender my self-reliance (pride) and envy over to God.  Now it seems I struggle with worry (sloth) and the sin we will discuss today.  Over the past year, I have been contemplating the virtue of temperance, which is how I love my body, aligning it with God for His purpose.  When I keep my body clean and pure, moderate what I eat and drink, continent in my use of touch, chaste in all my senses, and cooperate with grace, I can bear the good fruit of modesty, self-control, and chastity.

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Guide to Goodness

Winning the Spiritual Battle of Greed with Generosity

Art by Melanie Boutiette Just Beloved

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Love your neighbor as yourself.  There are no greater commandments than these.  As the Gospel of Mark 12:28 reminds us, when Jesus was asked about the first commandment, he answered by linking these two commandments together.  We learn to love God by loving our neighbor.  The sin we dive into today destroys our ability to love in this way.  If we are driven by the culture which tells us to always acquire more, we lose sight of how to love our neighbor.  The Church, comprised of people, has historically provided for our neighbors in need in living out these commandments.  But the tides are turning in our culture as we turn from God, and replace it with the expectation that government should provide the solution.

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Guide to Goodness

Winning All Souls for God’s Glory. Winning the Spiritual Battle of Sloth with Diligence.

Sloth ad from Harper Magazine Seven Deadly Sin Series (1986)

This is a big week with our first Anniversary on All Saint’s Day yesterday and today’s celebration of All Soul’s Day. All Saints is a celebration of the communion of saints, those people we believe are in heaven. All Souls’ Day is a day where we pray for all souls. This includes those in purgatory, waiting to get into heaven. I love the Christian concept of the importance of the individual soul that underlies All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day. God’s goodness has shined a light on this importance for me over the years.

Continue reading “Winning All Souls for God’s Glory. Winning the Spiritual Battle of Sloth with Diligence.”
Guide to Goodness

Winning the Spiritual Battle of Envy and Anger with Kindness and Forgiveness

Last Sunday, we looked at the role pride plays in keeping us from living the good life and how humility is the cure for this dis-ease.   Today we look at the next two deadly sins, envy and anger and their cure, kindness, and forgiveness.  Envy and anger have a symbiotic relationship, as they create conflict within us and with others.  Where one is present, usually the other is there if we peel back the layers of our emotions.

Emotions can be tricky, but it is helpful to remind ourselves that they can be a good thing if we have awareness and use them as a tool to question what is really going on.  When we are in conflict, we often get stuck in thoughts of how difficult a person or situation is making us feel.  This is counterproductive because if we focus on the other person, we are not getting closer to resolving the issue.  By looking at our part in the situation, we can create a shift and work through our reactions and emotions towards a positive outcome. 

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