Saturday, September 24, 2005

Humanity and humility

Errare humanum est. For whatever reason that is the first form in which I encountered "to err is human." But this is not so much about error as it is about the particular form of error we call sin (I tend to believe that making a mistake on a math test isn't quite sin). I have seen many definitions of sin, but right now sin to me is, very intensely and concretely, not acting in God's love, causing pain to another by action or, in my case, inaction: I forgot to call my mother on her birthday.

I think about her every day, pray for her every day. I work every day at being a better person - more forgiving, less judgmental, more patient. I guess I was getting to the point where I was beginning to be satisfied with my efforts, perhaps even with my spiritual state. From there it's just a very small step to patting myself on the back and telling myself what a great job I have done, relaxing, taking a breather from the spiritual battle.

The most dangerous thing that we can do in our spiritual battle is to stop striving for a closer likeness to God. The Fathers have said that in the spiritual battle there is no stationary state: we either move forward or move backward. Just as in the material world, there is inertia. Sometimes it is a good thing, as when wee continue your prayer rule in times when prayer is difficult. Other times, bad habits are pulling us backwards and it requires years of hard efforts to overcome the inertia and start moving again towards God.

That being said, I needed a reminder that we are called to be vigilant, not to rest on our laurels, especially when they are more of an illusion than reality. So I was reminded. I failed in the most basic way that I could fail: I failed to love enough. Mind you, I am not saying I do not love my mother, because I do. Yet, true love, God's love, is the love that finds a way to not hurt others, but to soothe and comfort them. In that, I have failed to love.

May our Lord Jesus Christ teach me to love as He loved and may He guard my mother and grant her every blessing.

Pray for me, the sinner.


Blogger olympiada said...

Hi Virgil, it's Olympiada. How are you?
How are your studies?
I appreciate your post. I also hurt someone today. Someone I don't really know, only through the internet, but a real person. I hurt them by calling them an atheist and a drug addict and somehow given them the idea that God loved me and not them. How awful. A man 20+ years my senior. Lord have mercy. And he is not the first man I have hurt...
So I appreciate your honesty. It helps.
I have a new blog.

12:59 AM  

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