Oh Lord, purify me, make me a chalice in which you dwell, offer your sacrifice in me and spread your love through me. Let me shine like gold, adorn me with the jewels of virtue that I may always be open to you. Fill me. Overflow me. Let me be like that most perfect vessel, the Singular Vessel of Devotion, She to whom I cry for protection against the Evil One. I ask this for your glory, for the vessel is nothing without the sustenance inside, the cup nothing unless it is filled. Oh Lord, purify me.

Give me a word, Abba

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sin and Beauty

I'm sure I've written about this before, but I guess it bears repeating (like the words "I" and "Love" and "You" and similar sentiments).

Of course, this is specifically connected to what I wrote yesterday, so here goes.

Our slavery to sin doesn't not make sense. As I mentioned yesterday, the Israelites certainly had a point. They did have food in Egypt, even if they were in chains. They knew that the food was something good that they needed, or at least wanted and wasn't bad for them. In the same way, our anger over injustice, our pride for our accomplishments and our desires for sexual union are all good things, in the right relationship with our love of Christ.

When our anger turns in on itself and festers becoming a form of insanity of hatred, then it becomes dangerous and harmful. When the "pride that my mama has" turns into the "kind in the Bible that turns you bad" (Avett Brothers, 2009) you can start to look down on fellow man as an inferior species and believe that your needs are more important than theirs....your rights trump theirs. When your sexual desires become so strong that they lead to sin with others or with yourself, you start to devalue other people, whether of the opposite sex or the same sex.

It's sometimes hard not to hate the sinner along with the sin, especially when the sin is against a whole community or even a highly offensive sin against one person. Another reason it's hard not to hate the sinner is a sense of hate for yourself. We are all more intimately knowledgeable of our sinfulness than anyone but God himself and it becomes easy to despair of ourselves and hate ourselves. How much easier it becomes to hate someone who struggles as we do!

But then, remember, God knows our sinfulness better than we do ourselves, and he continues to love us and decided to come save us from our sins. He brought us out of the slavery that sometimes makes so much sense. Our anger, pride and lust are all rooted in something he made for our good, corrupted almost beyond recognition. God sometimes has to remove us from this sin and even the goods from which they were corrupted so that he can provide something even greater.

He wants to say: "This is going to be legen---wait for it---dary!"

And believe me, it is.

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