Pride is one of the deadly sins and the root of all evil. Many of us struggle with this. I know I have and really didn't even realize it. I also struggle with trusting God. I tend to want to control everything. But I am slowly getting it through my thick head that I am really not in control of very much. Basically, I am in control of how I think and act. But I cannot control others. So, back to the pride issue. I have been re-reading Enjoy the Lord: A path to Contemplation by Rev. John Catoir. It is such a powerful book. Short and sweet but very profound. As I was reading the chapter on trust for the umpteenth time, several things jumped out at me. Screamed at me, really, and the Holy Spirit prompted me to write about it. Here are the things that impressed me:
"Religion can deteriorate into a struggle to demonstrate (primarily to oneself) one's constancy, one's integrity, one's thoughtfulness, one's willingness to serve, one's piety. It becomes "I must do this"; "I will do that"; " I must not do the other thing." Please notice the use of the word "I"---I,I,I. Religion becomes self-centered. This is why good people become ashamed when they fail to improve. They have not yet learned "abandonment." They have tried to do too much on their own." p. 68 (there is that control thing again)
"We can begin by examining our lives thoughtfully to see if we have fallen into any of the traps that the ego sets for us. For instance, it is an all too human fault to make believe the Father's will for us coincides with our own desires. The more we want something, i.e., the more we depend on it for our own happiness, the more we tend to assume that it is surely what God must also want. When this happens, we may not be listening; we may be dictating." p.71.
"Abandonment will surely lead to the fragrant flower of humility and love." p. 78
Wow, these are so me. The "I" is so much a part of my spriitual vocabulary that I didn't even realize it. And the funny (yet sad) thing about pride, is that we don't usually recognize it for what it is. Pride can have good intentions. What I mean by that is that the desire can be noble. I want to be holy. It is such a noble desire, what we all should want. But the problem comes in when we simply use reason to decide what will lead to holiness. Many people hear ideas or see others doing something that appears to make them holy and conclude that they need to do that thing. But sometimes people forget to ask the Holy Spirit what is God's will for them and to check it out against Church teaching.
I truly have been humbled as I have journeyed through the land of traditionalism and out again. I didn't really seek God's will; many issues were just outward and not an inward conversion, and God is slowly showing me that His will can lead us in very different places than we expect or want. But I am learning ever so slowly and painfully that God can work through many situations, and that there is no one way to holiness.
About Rest for the Weary
I hope you will find this little spot a place of rest and refreshment for your soul. My intention is to build up women in the trenches of homeschooling. This includes veterans who are burned out and former homeschooling moms who have decided for one reason or another to put some or all of their children in school. Thanks for stopping by. Take a deep breath of refreshment for your weary soul.