THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH
Her Doctrine and Morals
Third Sunday in Lent
24 March 2019
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Jesus has instructed us in a very simple principle: A divided kingdom cannot stand. Ever since the fall of Adam and Eve, the human world has been divided and falling. We are constantly drawing ever closer to our end, both individually and collectively.
There was peace and happiness in the Garden of Paradise before sin. Adam and Eve's curiosity to know evil alongside the good (They had only experienced good up to this time.) caused them to open the door to division and failure. Vain and empty knowledge brought forth destruction. Sin is nothingness and knowing nothingness is empty or vain. God has made everything and everything that God has made is good. Sin is the absence of some goodness or virtue that should be there but is not. By turning away from God we turn to nothingness. By turning away from virtue we turn to emptiness. All pleasure outside of virtue is empty or hollow. Sin is, therefore, the division that enters into the kingdom of our soul and begins tearing down everything until we fall into Hell.
In Heaven, there is no division. Everything and everyone in Heaven is good and there is nothing of evil there at all. In Hell, there is no division. Everything and everyone in Hell is bad and there is never any goodness in Hell. Only here on earth do we find a mixture of good and evil. In our lives we find division. We vacillate between being good and being bad. We desire the happiness that comes with being good, and then there are times when we are tempted to taste of sin not very different from what Adam and Eve went through. In those moments, even though we have not given ourselves completely to evil, the Devils have won. A house divided cannot stand. One devil is driven out only to return with seven others more evil than the first.
What is required of us is that we completely renounce the devils and sin. We cannot do this half-heartedly. It is truly an all or nothing situation. Either we are with Jesus or we are against Him. We should be striving day by day to draw ever closer to this undivided love of God. The world and the devils offer us countless distractions and diversions enticing us to give our love to something other than God. They are seeking to cause division and ultimately destruction within our souls.
This division or sin within us brings about spiritual blindness which makes us unable to see or appreciate the truth and all that is good. Closely aligned with spiritual blindness is spiritual deafness or the inability to hear the voice of God or anything that is good. This, in turn, causes dumbness or an inability to speak correctly of anything that is good. In this situation, there is no longer a division but all is corrupted. The kingdom of the devils is united and has taken full possession of such a person.
The devils do not try to conquer us all at once. They achieve their goals gradually one step at a time. If they can insert just a tiny wedge they are almost guaranteed success in taking over this soul. The tiny opening is the first division which allows in ever greater division or corruption. In this situation, it is like the one rotten apple which corrupts the entire barrel.
This season of Lent has been given to us to take an account of the state of our souls. When we find the rotten apples of sin in our souls we should throw them out without any hesitation. Sin cannot be tolerated if we wish to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. We must have unity in our souls if we wish to partake of the unity of Heaven.
The time for cleaning house is now, we have no promise of tomorrow. God has created us to work out our salvation. It is the devil that suggests to us that we can put off throwing out the bad apples because he knows that the longer the corruption stays in our hearts no matter how small it may be, it will eventually take over everything. We must truly strive to hate and detest sin and work constantly to rid our hearts and souls of it. One devil soon turns into eight devils the original one plus seven worse than the first.
The time to build up treasures of grace is now. We must not only strive to keep out sin, but we must also strive to hold onto and add virtue upon virtue. Resting is reserved to eternity, now is the time of labor. It does not matter that we have done nothing or very little up to this time. What is of importance is that we start or continue now this week, this day, this hour, this very moment not any later.
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