Intentions of the Holy Father for April

Ecology and Justice. That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick. That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.

Most of the Evil in the World

It occurs to me that most of the evil in the world is not mass-murdering and other "sociopathic" behavior. It's little things that we minimize or rationalize: corner-cutting, white lies that aren't so white, fierce tempers indulged and left unchecked. Of course, there are bigger "little" sins, "little" only because socially acceptable in moderation: fornication, petty embezzlement, misrepresentation of oneself, etc. These sins only become socially unacceptable in gross quantity or grotesque manifestations: prostitution, multimillion dollar graft, defrauding droves of workers of their retirement funds, etc. These bigger sins, it should be obvious, have littler sins as their stepping stones, and often times are no more than conglomerations, sum totals of "little sins." After all, Enron executives didn't swindle anybody in one fell stroke, but by a thousand signatures on little documents that few people bothered to read.

When we read of these "bigger" sins in the newspapers, we run the risk of self-righteousness because we would "never do such a thing," we think. We fail to realize that those big sins aren't the sins of bigger sinners than ourselves, but only of slobs like ourselves with bigger opportunities to sin. In self-righteousness we also fail to realize that the seeds of sin, fully sprouted and flowering in another, are also planted in our soul. "So-and-so cheated on his wife. What a creep!" we think. Oh, really? Our Blessed Lord said, "You have heard that it was said, `You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that every one who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart," (Mt 5:27-28). Many of the sins we blame in others, we care about in our own heart.

Beware of "little" sins.


Marisa said...

So True!

I can not tell you how many times my little ones' simple faith saved me! They turn to Jesus far more quickly, while we adults tend to over complicate things and try to fix them on our own first. Then, when we really screw things up, we turn to Christ.

Marisa said...

Oops! Clicked the wrong comment button - this last comment really belongs with The Merest of Babes.