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Sep 29th
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Wednesday, 22 July 2009 19:29
BROKEN CISTERNS. THE EFFECTS OF SIN Sin is the greatest deception to which man can fall prey. After their long and difficult experience in the desert the Jewish people were well aware of the importance of water. To discover water in the desert was to come across a great treasure. Wells were guarded more closely than jewels. Lives depended upon their security. It is fitting, therefore, that Holy Scripture should refer to God as a fountain of living waters. The just man is described as a tree planted by streams of water (Ps 1:3), which bears fruit in the year of drought (Jer 17:5-8). In his conversation with the Samaritan woman Jesus reveals that He is capable of giving souls living water (John 4:10-15). During the feast of the Tabernacles or Tents, when the Jews commemorated their passage through the desert, Jesus once again spoke of himself as water. On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, 'If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’ (John 7:37-38). Only Christ can satisfy man’s thirst for eternity, a thirst which God has placed in our heart. Only Christ can give fulfilment to our life. Many of the Fathers of the Church considered the open side of Christ, that gave forth blood and water, as the origin of the sacraments which impart supernatural life (cf Roman Missal, Preface to the Mass of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). It is in this context that the words of the Prophet Jeremiah carry a special force in today’s prayer. The Prophet laments how the chosen people have abandoned their Lord. In a more symbolic reading, he is speaking about sin, about the effect of our sins. Be appalled, 0 heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living waters, and hewed out cisterns for them selves, broken cisterns, that can hold no water (First Reading, Year II, Jer 2:12-13). Every sinful act involves a separation from God. Sin means making a choice between nothing and the living water that springs up to eternal life. This is the greatest deception a man can fall prey to. This is true evil. Sin takes away sanctifying grace, the life of God in the soul, that which is the most precious gift we possess. Sin always entails the squandering of our most precious values. This is the hard reality, even though sin may occasionally allow us to achieve successes. Our distancing ourselves from the Father brings with it great harm to those involved, to those who give their consent. Sin leads to the dissipation of our inheritance, which is the dignity proper to each human person, the inheritance of grace (John Paul II, Homily, 16 March 1980). Sin converts the soul into stony ground where it is impossible for grace to take root or human virtues to develop. This is the parched ground, the beaten-down ground full of thorns which we heard about in yesterday’s Gospel, which we shall consider again tomorrow. Sin constitutes the ruin of man, the abandonment of the fountain of living waters for the sake of broken cisterns. With permission from Scepter UK. Short excerpt from IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD by Francis Fernandez. Available at SinagTala or Totus Bookstore 723-4326 or at www.totusbookstore. com (info@totusbookstore .com) To subscribe or unsubscribe, please email info@defensoresfide The DEFENSORES FIDEI FOUNDATION actively spreads Ecclesial Information, Catechetical Instructions and Apologetics in pursuit of making good Catholics better Catholics. Any contribution to help this apostolate is heaven-sent and now TAX-DEDUCTIBLE (in USA). Please visit us at www.defensoresfidei .com.

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