”You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.” ~ Winston Churchill
”Be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ,” Saint Paul says to kick off today’s 1st Reading (Ephesians 4:32-5:8), the perfect follow up to yesterday’s Sunday Gospel Message (Matthew 22:34-40) wherein Jesus teaches the Pharisees that, in addition to loving the Lord with all of our heart, mind and soul, we must strive to love our neighbor as ourselves. “Let us love,” once proclaimed the Little Flower Saint Terese of Lisieux, “since that is what our hearts were made for.”
Saint Paul goes on to speak out against what he calls “obscenity“ and “silly or suggestive talk” which, he concludes, is out of place. In this day and age of largely anonymous Comment Sections on Social Media and other assorted on-line publications coupled with the never-ending litany of smarmy Memes, an assortment of which appear to exist for every possible situation, we as a society have clearly become desensitized to what passes for decent and civil discourse. Saint Charles Borromeo would often urge those in his midst to “Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter.” If this legendary Saint were to get so much as a glance at my Facebook Feed, particularly as we bear down on the eve of a seemingly impossibly contentious election, he’d no doubt be at a loss. Is it really necessary to react to everything we hear or notice?
“Behave like God as his very dear children,” proclaims today’s Responsorial Psalm, Psalm 1 as fate would have it. Perhaps there’s a reason why this Psalm was chosen to be the first one?
All throughout Scripture the virtue of self-control Is espoused. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law,” Saint Paul tells the people of Galatia (Galatians 5:22-23). In his 1st Letter, Saint Peter urges those in his midst to “prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” (1:13). The Book of Proverbs tells us that “the heart of the wise instructs his mouth and adds persuasiveness to his lips,” (16:23) going on to say “He who guards his mouth and his tongue, guards his soul from troubles.“ (21-23).
Yesterday we spoke about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit, gifts that are given to all those who ardently seek them https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Contemplating-the-Mystery-of-Christs-Generosity. Self-control would appear to be a Spiritual Gift that is no longer coveted or admired, yet we know it is critical to all genuine Catholics. I leave you with a prayer authored by Doctor Charles Stanley wherein it’s seeks the virtue of self control and I invite you to add it to your repertoire. And to remember the words of the prolific English Poet and intellectual John Milton, who said “He who reigns within himself, and rules passions, desires, and fears, is more than a king.”
“Heavenly Father, we live in a world which encourages us to indulge in every whim, but you are calling us to rise above us. Please, teach us the virtue of self-control.“ ~ Amen
Jeshurun from Nellore AP India on November 01, 2020:
Dear Brother, Glory to be God....
Behaving like God is joying His kingdom on earth...Good perception.....