Monday of the Fourth Week in Ordinary Time

“He, then, who is quickly roused by wrong makes himself seem deserving of insult, even while he wishes to be shown not to deserve it. He who despises wrongs is better off than he who grieves over them. For he who despises them looks down on them, as though he doesn’t feel them; but he who grieves over them is tormented, just as though he actually felt them.” (Ambrose, DUTIES OF THE CLERGY 1.6.21–22.)

We are conscious of the ones in our lives who accuse us from without.  It is easy to feel ourselves becoming defensive and angry when we are unjustly (or even justly) blamed or accused for doing wrong.  David provides an incredible example of the precept given by St. Peter. Enduring external insult and condemnation humbly while trusting fully in God’s providence and forgiveness train the inner man to stand firm in the face of the inner voices that shame and accuse us.  “Resist the devil and he will flee from you.”  “The accuser of our brothers has been cast out.” read more

Saturday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

David, whose very name describes the perfection of intimacy possible with God, also fully demonstrates the radical imperfection and depravity of sin.  What makes David particularly unique, however, is not the fact that he is loved by God (something that is true of every creature), nor the fact that he has committed grave sin, but that his love for God prompted a powerful act of repentance with great humility.  We know that pride is the root of all sin, and David’s life makes it evident that while God is offended by our moral imperfections and sins, He forgives and saves the one whose repentance is full of humility. read more

Friday of the Second Week in Ordinary Time

Anger is the noblest human emotion.  Its nobility does not stem from its expression however, but from its proximity with reason.  In fact, anger is only truly noble when it quickly and effectively corrects injustice – and injustice has more to do with what is due to others than to oneself.  The anger of animals exhibits itself mostly through violent acts of self-preservation.  Righteous anger exhibits itself through fervent but reasoned acts that result in the restoration of the dignity and freedom of others.  The scriptures themselves do not clarify the subject of anger: on the one hand sometimes God is angry, on the other hand we are warned against being angry. read more