Daily Reflection May 10 2008: Saturday the Seventh Week of Easter


Joseph Being Sold by his Brothers, 1816

Collect of the Day:

Almighty Father, let the love we have celebrated in this Easter season be put into practice in our daily lives.

We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever One God world without end. Amen.

Today’s Readings:

The First Reading: Act of the Apostles: 28:16-20. 30-31: He remained at Rome, proclaiming the Kingdom of God.

The Gospel: John: 21:20-25: This is the disciple who has written these facts and his testimony is true.

The Seven Deadly Sins and the Seven Cardinal Virtues Part Five: ENVY.

Envy is the desire for the possessions, traits, status, abilities, or situation of other people. In “Summa Theologica” St. Thomas Aquinas describes this vice as:

“Envy according to the aspect of its object is contrary to charity, whence the soul derives its spiritual life… Charity rejoices in our neighbor’s good, while envy grieves over it.” (2, 36, ad 3)

Envy perhaps is the greatest problem one can have in regards to their self esteem, because it results from the comparison of ones self to others and finding yourself wanting.  The envious person often tries then to belittle the other, as if by making someone else seem not so good that we actually can improve our lot.

Theologically it is regarded as a very serious vice, because it can destroy relationships while disparaging the Grace of God, who is as we are told in Scripture is “No respecter of person’s” and gives His gifts to Humanity without discrimination. Although the major problem with envy is that it mainly affects the one suffering from it.

Most often the one we are envious of has no idea of our envy and continues to enjoy their life or perceived success regardless. The old proverb ‘that the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence’ is a good one to remember when we are envious of someone. We can never know the innermost workings of a person’s mind or their lives behind closed doors. We do not know their worries, phobia’s, problems etc, in fact we are often better of with what we have then if we had what we covet.

So we must learn to be content with what we can realistically achieve in our lives. This does not mean we cannot have ambition, but as Christians we must be always careful to scrutinise our motives for striving for more. Will it bring us closer to God? Can it help us benefit our neighbour as well as ourselves? And ultimately does it lead to the Greater Glory of God.

Msgr. Ian+

Closing Prayer:

Metta Sutta

This is what should be done by one who is skilled in goodness And who knows the path of peace: Let them be able and upright, straightforward and gentle in speech, Humble and not conceited, contented and easily satisfied. Unburdened with duties and frugal in their ways. Peaceful and calm, and wise and skilful, not proud and demanding in nature.

Let them not do the slightest thing that the wise would later reprove.
They should wish:

In gladness and in safety
May all beings be at ease.
Whatever living beings there may be,
Whether they are weak or strong, omitting none,
The great or the mighty, medium, short or small,
The seen and the unseen,
Those living near and far away,
Those born and to-be-born,
May all beings be at ease!

Let none deceive another, or despise any being in any state, Let none through anger or ill-will wish harm upon another.

Even as a mother protects with her life her child, her only child,
So with a boundless heart should one cherish all living beings,
Radiating kindness over the entire world,
Spreading upwards to the skies, and downwards to the depths,
Outwards and unbounded, freed from hatred and ill-will.

Whether standing or walking, seated or lying down,
Free from drowsiness, one should sustain this recollection.

(Siddhattha Gotama)

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