Seeking Harmony

Seeking Harmony


There are actually three wounds that ravage souls and bring spiritual death to them by turning away from God. St. John speaks of these evils when he says: “For all that is in the world — the lust of the flesh [craving for sensual gratification] and the lust of the eyes [greedy longings of the mind] and the pride of life [assurance in one’s own resources or in the stability of earthly things] — these do not come from the Father but are from the world [itself]” (1 Jn 2:16). This triple slavery, which replaces the original harmony, is order overthrown. Christ came to restore the order that had been destroyed; with this end in view, he gave us the three evangelical counsels (or counsels of perfection).

Those who have read my writings know that God seems to always demonstrate, after each time I go to Confession, that “order has been restored.” God does funny things like allow me to look at a digital clock after Confession and see 11:11 or 2:22 or 5:55. Also, I may see my birth date 6:24, or my anniversary date 5:27. I seem to get the first parking spot at the store, right after Confession … I’ve come to call it my “Confession Parking Spot.” I’ve understood that God, in His humorous way, is showing me He is the God of order, and when we draw near to Him, He draws near to us, with His order. Away from Him, we suffer chaos and anarchy.

The Counsels of Perfection are the way of remaining in His order; His harmony. God wants peace to reign in our hearts. The next time you go to Mass, notice how many times the word “peace” is spoken. Stay with God … stay in His peace.

Here’s how …

Poverty (counters lust of the eyes): To be poor in spirit is to realize that nothing we have is worth more than the kingdom of God. Knowing this, we become willing to part with anything we have if it hinders us from receiving the kingdom. Being poor in spirit does not always mean taking vows of poverty or despising the blessings God has given us. Instead, it is a condition of the heart. The main point is always “detachment.” It’s not whether you have it or not, it’s how you have it.

Chastity (counters lust of the flesh): Chastity is a commitment to purity and fidelity no matter what your state in life, whether married, single, or consecrated. Chastity reminds us of the deeper meaning of sexuality. Many in society treat people like animals and detach the “marital act” from the reverence it deserves. They accept it and promote it in the wrong context and thus betray its sacredness.

Obedience (counters pride of life): Obedience is a commitment to listen to God through the mediation of Sacred Scripture and through the teaching of Christ’s Bride, the Church. We choose obedience to indicate a preference for the common good over personal desire. Obedience demonstrates that the most perfect form of freedom is that which makes a commitment to another person (divine or human) or a cause. (Excerpt from Church Militant Field Manual).

Impressive warrior saints like St. Francis of Assisi taught these counsels of perfection by wearing a rope around their waist with three knots in it; each knot would denote poverty, chastity, and obedience. Today, some have followed their lead by wearing a small rope around their wrists with these three knots, reminding them how to be free, no longer tied to the world but to God. Are you free to enlist in Christ’s elite fighting force and be the warrior saint He is calling you to be?

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