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Jun 02nd
Home Sections The Daily B.R.E.A.D. Advent: In Expectation of Our Lord
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Saturday, 01 December 2007 04:30

The principal enemies of our sanctity: The three concupiscences – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. Confession is a way of preparing for Christmas.


As we really do want, not vaguely but seriously, to draw and be drawn closer to God at this time, let us look down into our souls in depth. There we will find the real enemies that sustain their unremitting warfare to keep us away from Him. There, in one form or another, are the main obstacles that obstruct and hinder the growth of our Christian life: the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (1 John2:16).

The lust of the flesh is not confined only to the disordered tendencies of the senses in general or to the disorder of sensuality in particular. It also refers to that love of comfort, to that reluctance to stir ourselves or even to be alert, which drives us to seek that which is least uncomfortable, what is most pleasurable, the path offered us that seems the shorter and less arduous, even at the cost of our failing in faithfulness to God.

The eyes of the soul are dulled; reason thinks itself to be self-sufficient, dispensing with God as unnecessary. It is a subtle temptation supported by the dignity of the very intelligence our Father God has given us that we may know and love him freely. Seduced by this temptation, the human intelligence regards itself as the centre of the universe, reverting with delight to the words of the serpent in Gene sis, ‘you shall be like Gods ’(Gen 3:5) and, being filled with love of self, turns its back on God’s love.

Our existence can, in this way, surrender itself unconditionally into the hands of the third enemy, ‘pride of life’. This is not merely a matter of ephemeral fantasies, the fanciful products of vanity or self-love: it is an all-embracing presumption. Let us not fool ourselves; this is the worst of all evils, the root of every conceivable deviation (J. Escrivá, Christ is passing by, 5-6).

Since God is coming to us, we have to get ready for Him, to prepare ourselves. When Christmas arrives, Our Lord should find us with everything in order and our soul fit to receive Him, just as He ought to find us in our final encounter with Him. We have to make what adjustment is required to correct the course of our lives and turn ourselves to God who also comes to us. Man’s whole existence is a constant preparing to see God, who draws ever closer. We have an appointment. But in Advent the Church helps us with this solemn consideration in mind to ask in a special way: Lord, make me know your ways. Lord, teach me your paths. Make me walk in your truth, and teach me: for you are God my Saviour (Responsorial Psalm, Cycle C. Ps 24).

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

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Last Updated on Saturday, 01 December 2007 04:31

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