September 2019- A Most Common Sin


September 2019- A Most Common Sin

 

Let us consider five verses from Sacred Scripture on the sins of our own times. After this, we will consider one of these sins, although each one could have a whole book devoted to it.

 

Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked, Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness, Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God: Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid. 1

 

As we read these verses, we recognize our own selves in some of these sins, and may be hoping that our pet sin will not be chosen today. Aren't we lovers of our own selves and lovers of pleasures more than of God? And yet, that is not our subject today. In fact, most likely there is one sin we have all decided we haven't committed, and yet we all have. Sacred Scripture is full of stories of these kinds of sinners. One priest ventures that eighty-five percent of the saints committed this sin, and the lives of the saints is full of these kind of sinners. Indeed, we focus on two people, who committed this sin on the first Good Friday. And so, just what is this sin we think we have not and are not committing?

 

“Judas Iscariot, who was the traitor.” 2 Yes, my friends, we are all traitors. However, let us not lose hope, for there were two traitors on Good Friday.

 

“And he said: I say to thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, till thou thrice deniest that thou knowest me.” 3 And yet we know that Peter became a Saint, but on this day this prophecy of Jesus was fulfilled.

 

“And the Lord turning looked on Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, as he had said: Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter going out, wept bitterly.” 4

 

Have we gone out and wept bitterly? No, we haven't even admitted that we are traitors, and yet all of us are. What bigger betrayal is there than sin, and we are all sinners. What we try to do is minimize our betrayal of Almighty God. We think to our-self: "We aren't really that bad," and yet this is simply not true. We are far worse than we want to admit. It is said that Peter wept over his betrayal the rest of his life. Do we weep over our own betrayal?

 

Of our own times we read: "And then shall many be scandalized: and shall betray one another: and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall seduce many." (Matthew 24:10-11) There are four terms we need to understand in here, which are often misunderstood.

 

Scandal means an action which is likely to lead another into sin. Many are led into sin today. Often we see an action and say that it scandalizes us, when this is not true. We are not edified by the action, but we are not led into sin either.

 

Scripture exhorts us to love and not to hate. We are even told to love our enemies. And yet today, what do we read of? Hatred, which often goes into action in other sins. Do we love everyone? We love God with our whole heart, soul, mind, body and strength. Then do we love each other for the love of God. In other words, out of love, we want what is most likely to bring all to salvation, which often means conversion from their current life of sin to a life of virtue. Let us consider someone, who has wronged us and has called us all manner of evil everywhere they can. There are many places to call someone evil today. Let us consider that the stories they are spreading are outright lies, they have made up. What are we praying for? Are we praying for their conversion or for their destruction? We should be praying for their conversion and ready to do anything God may ask us to to help them become fervent Christians.

 

Seduce means to deceive or to lead astray. Jesus warns us of these times: "For there shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect." (Matthew 24:24)

 

Let us return to our sin of treachery. We have also been considering the fruits of treachery, which are scandal and seduction. When we are sinners, we lead others to join us in our sins and attempt to seduce others. Sin doesn't seem so bad, when we are in the company of sinners. The book of Psalms begins with the admonition: "Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the chair of pestilence." We should stay in the company of people who are striving to become saints, who heed the next admonition in the first Psalm: "But his will is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he shall meditate day and night."

 

A man advised his son to stay around those who knew more than he did, because he just might learn something. We should surround ourselves with those who know more about the Science of the Saints than we do. This is the only class we must pass with flying colors. We can no longer be traitors, betraying Almighty God and those around us.

 

1 II Timothy 3:1-4

2 Luke 6:16

3 Luke 22:34

4 Luke 22:61-2



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