Preparing for some Holy Week Chapters:
Facing Sins, Evils and “Stauros”
Next week is Holy Week and we will be writing four chapters which lend themselves to consideration during Holy week – What does it mean to carry a cross? What does it mean to face evils and suffering? What does it mean to be in Glory?
Today, mull over these quotations on sin and evil. What would your chapters look like on these subjects? A Rule of Life needs to face, squarely, the realities we face so that we can face them with courage. Our Rule of Life is designed to lend ourselves the courage we need to face and engage our life. So leaving out chapters on suffering, evil or sin makes no sense at all unless you want a fairy-tale spirituality. And many do. But I hope you, dear reader, do not. I hope you want a real spiritual life.
For the past two weeks the Daily Sip have faces some hard Chapters. Holy Week would be a good time to re-read them and to do some editing of your own Rule.
Think on these quotations. Find some of your own. The MNMonday we will begin building models for these chapters which will be our way of the Cross.
“You will always be fond of me. I represent to you all the sins you never had the courage to commit.” Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
“There is no sinner like a young saint.”Aphra Behn
“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”Nelson Mandela
“When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing if not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.”Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
“Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”Martin Luther
“The story goes that a public sinner was excommunicated and forbidden entry to the church. He took his woes to God. ‘They won’t let me in, Lord, because I am a sinner.’
‘What are you complaining about?’ said God. ‘They won’t let Me in either.”Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out
“The word ‘sin’ is derived from the Indo-European root ‘es-,’ meaning ‘to be.’ When I discovered this etymology, I intuitively understood that for a [person] trapped in patriarchy, which is the religion of the entire planet, ‘to be’ in the fullest sense is ‘to sin’.” Mary Daly
“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (see Revelation 7:9), I shall see the prostitute from the Kit-Kat Ranch in Carson City, Nevada, who tearfully told me that she could find no other employment to support her two-year-old son. I shall see the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transactions; the insecure clergyman addicted to being liked, who never challenged his people from the pulpit and longed for unconditional love; the sexually abused teen molested by his father and now selling his body on the street, who, as he falls asleep each night after his last ‘trick’, whispers the name of the unknown God he learned about in Sunday school.
‘But how?’ we ask.
Then the voice says, ‘They have washed their robes and have made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’
There they are. There *we* are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to faith.
My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.” Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out
“Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!” Martin Luther
“You will say that these are very small sins; and doubtless, like all young tempters, you are anxious to be able to report spectacular wickedness. But do remember, the only thing that matters is the extent to which you separate the man from the Enemy. It does not matter how small the sins are provided that their cumulative effect is to edge the man away from the Light and out into the Nothing. Murder is no better than cards if cards can do the trick. Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one-the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.” C.S. Lewis
“The greatest temptations are not those that solicit our consent to obvious sin, but those that offer us great evils masking as the greatest goods.” Thomas Merton, No Man Is an Island
“It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.” Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes: The Complete Novels and Stories, Volume I
“The sin underneath all our sins is to trust the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ and must take matters into our own hands” Martin Luther
I do not think you should get rid of your sin until you have learned what it has to teach you.” Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life