(Click here for readings)
The Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus answered them, "...If I do not perform my Father's works, do not believe me; but if I perform them, even if you do not believe me, believe the works, so that you may realize and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father." They tried again to arrest him; but he escaped from their power. ...[But] many began to believe in him.
The three root sins. Violent acts have been committed because of them. Family members and friends have not spoken to one another because of them. Good people have been overlooked because of them. Foolish and deadly deeds have been performed because of them. Life for many has become unbearable because of them. What are they? The three root sins: pride, vanity and sensuality.
This is the last week before Holy Week. It's that time of year when we need to do a Program of Life.
Since the goal of every baptized Christian is to be "transformed into Christ," then it's important we get to know ourselves as quickly as possible, accept the brutal facts about ourselves and get to work to improve ourselves. A Program of Life aims to do just that.
Pride, vanity and sensuality - like poor eating habits, a lack of sleep and not enough exercise - are sucking the very life out of us. They may not be shortening our life span, but they are definitely not allowing us to live life to the full.
Get to know yourself. We all suffer from pride, vanity and sensuality, but one of these three sticks out its ugly head a bit more than the others. Which one is it?
PRIDE: My security and self-esteem depend on me.
- Am I highly critical of others?
- Do I get annoyed with those who disagree with me?
- Am I judgmental?
- Do I put others down?
- Do I love to gossip about others?
- Do I have a hard time admitting my mistakes?
- Do I hide my faults?
- Do I "feel" like I don't need to pray?
- Am I calculating in my prayers (for example: If you do this, Lord, then I will do this...).
- Am I constantly making excuses for myself?
- Do I get enraged when others do not thank me?
- Do I hold on to grudges?
- Do I put myself first?
- Do I think I am the only one who can do it right?
- Am I constantly seeking admiration?
- Do I often talk about myself to others?
- Do I stretch the truth?
- Do I find it difficult to saying "No"?
- Do I sacrifice my principles in order to fit in?
- Am I afraid to stand up for what I believe?
- Am I easily discouraged by failure?
- Am I always asking others for their opinion? "How did I do?" or "How do I look?"
- Do I get easily crushed by a negative comment?
- Do I seek the most comfortable state of being?
- Do I seek the path of least resistance?
- Do I run and hide from difficulties?
- Do I complain about the slightest amount of pain or discomfort?
- Do I find it difficult to make a sacrifice?
- Am I doing shoddy job at work and complain about it as well?
- Do I wait for others to serve me?
- Do my feelings rule me?
- Do I do and/or eat only what I like?
- Am I constantly seeking pleasure? Is it like a drug?
- Do I only work with those I like?
So which of these three stand out above the crowd? Is it your pride, your vanity or your sensuality? Pick a root sin, any root sin.
Get to work. 1st step. The first thing you need to do is pick a motto. Yep. You will need a heavy duty motivational quote. Below are some suggestions: [Remember to only pick one root sin.]
PRIDE: Jesus meek and humble of heart.
VANITY: It is no longer I who live in me but Christ.
SENSUALITY: Thy Will be done!
2nd step. How does this root sin manifest itself in your life? How does it make its appearance in your life? List only four or five examples. Name names when appropriate and be specific in your examples. Don't hold back on anything. This list is for your eyes only.
3rd step. Now write down some very specific things you can do to address and correct these problems. List four or five concrete things you can do on a daily or weekly basis. Be specific. This is your medication. Don't hold back. Again, this list is for your eyes only.
This is your Program of Life. Take a look at it in the morning. Examine your conscience in the afternoon. Ask yourself how you did at the end of the day.
May God be with you.