Mrs. Lot looked back
because she loved fireworks.
July 4, 2017
Today's first reading from Genesis told the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and how Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt because she looked back at the destruction of the Sodomites. The reading, be it read for the Mass today or substituted with another, remains providential. The Liturgy of the Word is Christ speaking to the Church. I often think of this reading, and the Precautions of St. John of the Cross.
Perhaps Lot's wife was suffering from acedia?
I was reading about acedia in this month's Magnificat. Acedia is a sin against memory. Fr. Cameron says 'it is therefore essential to be ever mindful and attentive - to recollect the particular marvels that God has accomplished in our personal history.' Maybe it's a stretch, Mrs. Lot was maybe just curious. But I think acedia may be epidemic these days. I may be wrong.
Anyway - for my personal meditation, I returned to St. John of the Cross again. No matter how often I read him, I continue to learn, and someday hope to put into practice. I keep trying.
"Take Lot's wife as an example, because she was troubled at the destruction of the Sodomites and turned her head to watch what was happening, God punished her by converting her into a pillar of salt. You are thus to understand God's will: that even though you live among devils you should not turn the head of your thoughts to their affairs, but forget these things entirely and strive to keep your soul occupied purely and entirely in God, and not let the thought of this thing or that hinder you from doing so." - St. John of the Cross
Just remember, Catholic doctrine cannot change.
St. John of the Cross wrote several precautions on how to be a good religious. Though they are directed more or less to cloistered religious, the 'spirit' of his doctrine may be helpful for ordinary Catholics to consider. Especially for those of us who can be distracted by sensationalized stories regarding the Pope and what he purportedly said in public or private conversations. The following precaution pertains to the attitude the subject should have towards his superior.
The second precaution
12. Let the second precaution be that you always look on the superior as though on God, no matter who he happens to be, for he takes God's place. And note that the devil, humility's enemy, is a great and crafty meddler in this area. Much profit and gain come from considering the superior in this light, but serious loss and harm lie in not doing so. Watch, therefore, with singular care that you not dwell on your superior's character, mode of behavior, ability, or any other methods of procedure, for you will so harm yourself as to change your obedience from divine to human, being motivated only by the visible traits of the superior, and not by the invisible God whom you serve through him.
Your obedience is vain and all the more fruitless in the measure that you allow the superior's unpleasant character to annoy you or his good and pleasing manners to make you happy. For I tell you that by inducing religious to consider these modes of conduct, the devil has ruined a vast number of them in their journey toward perfection. Their acts of obedience are worth little in God's sight, since they allow these considerations to interfere with obedience.
If you do not strive, with respect to your personal feelings, to be unconcerned about whether this one or another be superior, you will by no means be a spiritual person, nor will you keep your vows well. - Collected Works
"Never be scandalized or astonished at anything you happen to see or learn of, endeavoring to preserve your soul in forgetfulness of all of that. For should you desire to pay heed to things, many will seem wrong, even though you live amongst angels, because of your not understanding the nature of them." - St. John of the Cross
4th of July apocalypse bonus ...
Though late for the launch,
Mrs. Wallace survived the Flood
by surfing to the ark
only to be picked out of
the water by a giraffe.