Tomorrow is the First Friday of June as well as the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.
Editor's note: Some Catholics may look upon solemnities which fall on a Friday as an excuse not to perform some penance or to abstain from meat - which is permitted - the obligation is removed. However, traditionally, religious people always fasted or abstained the day before a major feast day. Therefore, if you are really concerned, and really generous and pious, you can fast and or abstain today! (Big smiley face here.)
Sacred Heart of Jesus, cleanse us from all our impurities and all our idols!
Hopefully Pope Francis - and Elizabeth Scalia's book - can help some of us to examine ourselves and the strange gods or idols we pack away in our hearts. I've written about modern idols before, as have other more excellent bloggers. I was reading some of my older posts today and came upon something from John of the Cross, my favorite author on spirituality and faith.
"Avoid greed in all its forms." .
The real American idol seems to me to be greed... I've been reading St. John again, so I'll share some things he says about it. Something to think about.
"The greedy... their appetite and joy is already so extended and dispersed amongst creatures - and with such anxiety - that they cannot be satisfied. The more their appetite and thirst increases, the further they regress from God, the font which alone can satisfy them. God himself refers to these individuals through Jeremias: 'They have abandoned me, the font of living water, and dug for themselves leaky cisterns that cannot hold water.' [Jer. 2:13] The reason for this dissatisfaction is that creatures do not slake the thirst, but rather intensify it.
These greedy persons fall into all kinds of sins out of love for temporal goods, and the harm they suffer is indeterminable.
The avaricious man, because of temporal goods, is unconcerned about setting his heart on God's law, and consequently his will, memory, and intellect wander far from God, and he forgets him, as though he were not his God at all. The reason is that he has made gods out of temporal goods and money. St. Paul indicates this in declaring that avarice is a form of idolatry. [Col. 3:15]
Many in the world today, their reason darkened through covetousness, serve money and not God, and they are motivated by money rather than by God, and they give first consideration to the temporal price and not to the divine value and reward. In countless ways they make money their principal god and goal and give it precedence to God, their ultimate end.
Likewise included in this category are all those miserable souls who value earthly goods as their god and are so enamored of them that they do not hesitate to sacrifice their lives when they observe that this god of theirs undergoes some temporal loss. They despair and commit suicide for wretched reasons, and demonstrate with their own hands the miserable reward that comes from such a god. Since there is nothing to hope for from him, he gives despair and death." - John of the Cross, Ascent, Bk III, Ch 20
I think what we are witnessing today is envy and greed at work: Festering and oozing out all over - even religious people are not immune to it. - Archives
"For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh." - Ezekiel, 36