Tag Archives: fomes peccati

Sunday Devotional: Fear no one

Matthew 10:26-33

Jesus said to the Twelve:
“Fear no one.
Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed,
nor secret that will not be known.
What I say to you in the darkness, speak in the light;
what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
And do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul;
rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy
both soul and body in Gehenna.
Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin?
Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge.
Even all the hairs of your head are counted.
So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
Everyone who acknowledges me before others
I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.
But whoever denies me before others,
I will deny before my heavenly Father.”

I don’t know how it came to be that so many view Jesus the Christ as an effeminate wimp.

Is it because He allowed Himself to be tortured and crucified, without protest or fighting back?

But do they not know that Jesus’ suffering and death were redemptive and restitutory?

The dictionary defines “restitution” as reparation made by giving an equivalent as compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused.

Every wrong must be rectified. But our first parents’ fall was so cataclysmic that  not only was human nature itself perverted so that all of Adam and Eve’s progeny would be born with the stain of Original Sin with an inclination to evil (fomes peccati: tinder for sin), no man could restitute for that first sin. Only God Himself, in the person of the Son, could make amends — by becoming incarnate, and to be tortured, suffer and die on a cross.

As Jesus explained in Luke 22:22: “for the Son of Man indeed goes as it has been determined.” 

Jesus couldn’t be further from being an effeminate wimp.

A physical laborer — carpenter — by trade, Jesus must have been brawny and strong. He would have to be strong to withstand being whipped until the flesh on His back was stripped, have 1″-2″ long thorns pierced into his head (try piercing your scalp with just a pin), carry a cross weighing 75-125 lbs, then be nailed to a cross by 5″-7″ long iron spikes. (See “Good Friday: Remembering His Passion and Sacrificial Love“)

Nor does Jesus expect us to be wimps.

He instructed us in Luke 22:36: “if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.” 

He didn’t mean a spiritual sword. By “sword,” He meant it literally.

Furthermore, why would He tell us to acquire a sword if He doesn’t expect and want us to use it in self defense?

The equivalent of a sword today is a gun. Molon labe!

Just be sure you acknowledge Him before others because if you don’t, He will not acknowledge you before the Father.

And may the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Lent and the Fall of Adam & Eve

Genesis 2:7-9, 3:1-7

The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground
and blew into his nostrils the breath of life,
and so man became a living being.

Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east,
and placed there the man whom he had formed.
Out of the ground the Lord God made various trees grow
that were delightful to look at and good for food,
with the tree of life in the middle of the garden
and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the animals
that the Lord God had made.
The serpent asked the woman,
“Did God really tell you not to eat
from any of the trees in the garden?”
The woman answered the serpent:
“We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden;
it is only about the fruit of the tree
in the middle of the garden that God said,
‘You shall not eat it or even touch it, lest you die.'”
But the serpent said to the woman:
“You certainly will not die!
No, God knows well that the moment you eat of it
your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods
who know what is good and what is evil.”
The woman saw that the tree was good for food,
pleasing to the eyes, and desirable for gaining wisdom.
So she took some of its fruit and ate it;
and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her,
and he ate it.
Then the eyes of both of them were opened,
and they realized that they were naked;
so they sewed fig leaves together
and made loincloths for themselves.

The Fall of Adam and Eve is a mystery wrapped in a conundrum. For, having everything in that bucolic first garden, including and especially the unimaginably sublime gift of seeing and conversing with the Creator (Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day” –Genesis 3:8), they still chose disobedience and betrayal.

All because of the sin of grandiose narcissism — of wanting to be “like gods,” so as to determine for themselves “what is good and what is evil” although Adam and Eve already knew right from wrong. As the Book of Jeremiah 31:33 says, when God created humans, He placed His law within each of us, written in our very hearts:

[D]eclares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

But our first parents wanted to be their own gods, that is, with their own notions of right and wrong, which is nothing other than a contravention of the First Commandment (“You shall have no other gods before me.” –Exodus 20:3). Another way to say “wanting to be their own gods” is “Do as thou wilt” — the motto of satanist Aleister Crowley and the church of Satan, and the zeitgeist of our time.

That first sin by our first parents was so cataclysmic that it fundamentally changed the natural order of the world.

A door was opened to chaos; henceforth a price must be paid for being human. Where once was joy and ease, there would be banishment, toil, pain, hardship, sickness, disease, and eventual death (with painful labor you will give birth to children; “by the sweat of your brow”; for dust you are and to dust you will return”). Humankind’s relation with other creatures and the physical environment turned askew as “visible creation has become alien and hostile to man”.

So cataclysmic is the breach that human nature itself became perverted. Henceforth, all of Adam’s progeny would be born with the stain of Original Sin — tinder for sin (fomes peccati) with an inclination to evil. As St. Anselm lamented¹:

I fell before my mother conceived me. Truly, in darkness I was conceived, and in the cover of darkness I was born. Truly, in him we all fell, in whom we all sinned. In him we all lost.

¹St. Anselm: Basic Writings, translated by S. N. Deane (La Salle, Illinois: Open Court, 1961), p. 24.

Wrongs require restitution.

The dictionary defines “restitution” as reparation made by giving an equivalent as compensation for loss, damage, or injury caused; indemnification.

So immense was our first parents’ Fall that no man could make amends. Only God Himself, in the person of the Son, could make restitution — by becoming incarnate, only to be tortured, to suffer, and to die on a cross.

And so we come to Lent.

Since Jesus prepared Himself for His public ministry in 40 days, Christians imitate Him with prayer and fasting during this time of Lent to prepare for Holy Week. In remembrance of how Christ our Lord was tortured, suffered, and died for our sins, we are asked to make small sacrifices during Lent:

  • Abstinence: Refrain from eating meat on the Fridays of Lent for all age 14 and older. Why Friday? – because Jesus died for our sins on (Good) Friday.
  • Fasting: Eating one full meal and two small meals for age 18 through age 59, exempting persons with special dietary needs or medical conditions that require a greater or more regular food intake.
  • Surrender something that gives us pleasure, and/or do something good that we don’t ordinarily do.

Most of all, tell Jesus that you love Him with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

May the love and peace of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you, always,

~Éowyn

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