Neri: Holy week reflections

REFLECTIONS from the little booklet “A Thought A Day” assembled by a Father of the Society of St. Paul.

Sin and Worldliness

The enemies of faith are two, and they are closely related to each other: sin and worldliness. All sin, but especially habits of sin, obscure spiritual vision; make it hard for the mind to see God's full truth. Sin is a thing of darkness, and it loves the darkness to hide its shame.

Worldliness, however, is perhaps the greatest enemy of a living faith because more common, more plausible, more insidious, seeing that its manifestations are not always obviously sinful.

Worldliness is a cast of mind and a habit of will that ignore divine adoption (sanctifying grace); the blight of a naturalism that vitiates one's habits of life as though one were not a son of God (destined to live a supernatural life for time and for eternity.)

Gradually but surely does it extinguish the light of the new knowledge of faith, to end in darkness and sin and disrelish for prayer and the beautiful realities of God.


One of the greatest dangers to the salvation of souls is inordinate attachment to the things this world can provide for one's comfort and seeming happiness. Money, position, power, luxuries, travel—these things can, if one is not careful, because the sole object of desire, so that for them one would be willing to sacrifice his soul. It is the spirit of detachment that alone can offset the danger.

To be truly detached from the good things of this world, a person must train himself to think often of heaven. No one can be detached from money and luxuries who is not attached to something else that is more valuable. The only things worthy of human attachment is heaven, where there will be “neither mourning nor grieving, where death and parting will be no more.” Unless a person thinks often, about heaven, he will not be attached to it, and will most probably become over-attached to the pleasures and riches of this world.

The Conquest of Self

The conquest of self is the grandest triumph that any man can achieve.

It is only imperfectiom that complains of what is imperfect.

The more perfect we are, the more gentle and quiet we become toward the defects of others.

Never tell others what has been said disparagingly of them.

To be silent, to suffer, to judge no one without actual necessity, and to listen to the voice of God within us—this will be a continued prayer and sacrifice of self.

God bears with imperfect beings even when they resist his goodness.

It should be our principal care in blaming anyone, to spare as much as possible the one in whom the fault is found.

Never say anything mortifying to your neighbor.


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