A spiritual journey with Fr. Antonio O Moreno
Opening Prayer: Psalm 67
These notes will cover last week and this week
The greatest sermon ever preached takes only fifteen minutes to read and can be printed on a single page; yet it has changed the world more than any other speech ever made.
We understand things best by contrast. Thus we understand supernatural virtue best by contrast with supernatural vice. For there is a parallel between the vices and virtues:
1. Pride is self-assertion, selfishness VS “poverty of spirit” is humility, selflessness
2. Avarice is greed; the centrifugal reach to grab and keep the world’s goods for oneself VS mercy is the centripetal reach to give, to share the world’s goods with others, even the undeserving.
3. Envy resents another’s happiness VS mourning shares another’s unhappiness.
4. Wrath wills harm and destruction VS meekness refuses to harm and peacemaking prevents destruction.
5. Sloth refuses to exert the will toward the good, toward the ideal VS “hunger and thirst for righteousness” does just that
6. Lust dissipates and divides the soul, desiring every attractive body VS “purity of heart” centers and unifies the soul, desiring God alone.
7. Gluttony needs to consume an inordinate amount of worldly goods VS “being persecuted” is being deprived of even ordinate necessities.
Vices: Pride, Avarice (greed), Envy, Wrath, Sloth, Lust, Gluttony,
Virtues: Humility, Mercy, Mourning, Meekness, righteousness, Purity of heart, bearing persecution
Poor of Spirit VS Proud of Heart:
-Pride is the greatest sin
-it comes not from the world or flesh but from the Devil
-It comes from Hell
-It was the Devil’s original sin
-Pride is original sin, the desire to be like God, over the law rather than under it.
-it is the first and greatest of sin because it is the violation of the first and greatest Commandment, “You shall have no other gods before me”.
-Pride puts self before God.
-it loves self with all your heart, and soul and mind and strength rather than God
-Pride says “my will be done”.
-it excludes not only God but also neighbor
-it is essentially competitive
-it is a lust for power and control
-Humility “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”
-Humility stares outward in self-forgetful ecstasy (Greek “ek-stasis” standing outside yourself).
-it is the greatest virtue because it is the fruit of virtue – love is that – but it is the root.
-it is detachment from the world and attachment to God
-it is thinking less about you, not thinking less of yourself
-it keeps us from despair
Story: In the Philippines, monkeys are caught by hollowing our coconuts and inserting sticky, aromatic candy to attract the monkeys, who put it in their hands to grab the candy and can’t get their fist out. They won’t let go, even when their captors approach and they end up as monkey stew. Jesus does not want us to be monkeys or monkey stew, he wants us to let go!
Blessed Mourning VS Envy
-Envy says I want you to be below me
-it is essentially competitive
-takes joy away from the person because it is the opposite of gratitude
-it leads to further sin- to hatred, lifelessness
-envy leads to hate the other because the other has something good
-it is demonic because it refuses our fundamental human situation of solidarity, neighborliness, and family
-it proceeds from the myopic view of goods as non-sharable
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”
Who are the blessed who mourn?
Those who mourn are not only those who express sorrow openly by tears, but all those who experience sorrow. Blessed are the sorrowful, blessed are the sufferers. This beatitude is about suffering, the thing we fear more than death itself.
Who are these mourners who are blessed?
All can be blessed by mourning. But we can distinguish levels and degrees. First, ordinary human suffering is blessed – any suffering, from a headache to dying. Every suffering can be blessed because it hollows out a place in us for God and his comfort, which is infinite joy. If even suffering for ourselves can be blessed, suffering for others, can be doubly blessed. For this reproduces the pattern of Christ’s suffering, the Vine patterning its branches, the Head pattering his body. Simply, the more you love the more you suffer.
Romans 8:8 “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”