Last week I suffered through a humiliating experience that completely blindsided me. In hindsight, I probably should have seen it coming, but I didn’t. I ordinarily don’t have any problems sleeping, but this particular experience left me so shell-shocked that I had trouble sleeping for several nights after it occurred. All I could do was lie in bed, rosary beads in hand, and alternate between praying the mysteries of the Rosary and the Divine Mercy Chaplet.
Do you know the first words of Jesus Christ that were recorded in the Bible? His mother asked Him why He had not told her where He had been for three days, and the twelve-year-old Son of God responded, “How is it that you sought Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49)
As you know, two of the Ten Commandments deal with covetousness: “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s wife,” and “Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s goods.” Covetousness is defined as an inordinately strong desire for possessing someone or something. In his book Victory Over Vice, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said:
If pride is the mother of all sins, anger is the father. While all sins are born from pride, those same sins are often supported by anger. Pride nurtures sin, and anger defends it.
In her book The Way of Perfection, St. Teresa of Avila wrote, “…but it remains for us to become detached from our own selves and it is a hard thing to withdraw from ourselves and oppose ourselves, because we are very close to ourselves and love ourselves very dearly…It is here that true humility can enter.”
Of the seven root passions or sins – pride, lust, anger, avarice, envy, gluttony, and sloth – the most deadly is pride. It was an appeal to pride that persuaded Eve to defy her Creator: “…you shall be as Gods, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:6)
Over the past year I’ve gotten to know a young man who works at a local restaurant. (For the purposes of this discussion, I’m going to call him Rusty.) I see Rusty at least once a week when I pick up something to eat at the restaurant. Rusty is a devout Christian. He’s 36 years old, married, and has three children. He works hard, is honest, has a good attitude, and appears to get along well with everyone he comes into contact with.