A LOST CONCEPT AMONG HUMANITY
Are You a Good Person?
We all know that we are sinners. But at the same time, we like to think of ourselves as good people. When we do wrong, we might cry in sadness over what we have done, since we are ashamed and humiliated over our sins. Then to feel good about ourselves again, we look for people to tell us how it is okay, that God forgives us… that we are still a good person.
Of course, God forgives us, and we can accept His forgiveness if our sorrow for our sins is actually true sorrow, a sorrow driven because we are devastated that we have offended God, whom we can’t bear to not Love, not from a sorrow because of some other reason, like being sorry since we are embarrassed or disappointed in ourselves–which is “worldly sorrow” (2 Corinthians 7:10)–a sorrow based from love of self (wanting to do good to love ourselves), not wanting to do good to love God (to never offend Him again). To learn more please read, “What is True Sorrow?” But regardless of whether our sorrow for offending God is true or not, are we really a “good person?”
Most of us sure like to think of ourselves as good. We do good things… right? But are we really good? Let’s see what God and the saints say.
Who is The Worst of All Sinners?
We know, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners” as St. Paul said… but we surely don’t have the humility of St. Paul to understand “of whom I am the foremost” (1 Timothy 1:15). No. We don’t consider ourselves the worst of the sinners. That is some other guy… right?
From our pride, we don’t want to consider ourselves as the most horrible unfathomable sinner, so instead of focusing our own sins, we focus on others, who appear to have greater sins. This causes us to not understand how we are the worst sinner of them all.
Frankly, we like to think of ourselves as good, since we live for our pride.
Oh, we have endless praises and pride boosting things we think about, that have been told about ourselves, that we have been feeding ourselves with ever since we were children. We do this so we can feel good about who we are. But the saints, who we should be following, have learned how to reject all of that and only seek the glory of God.
“For they preferred human praise to the glory of God” (John 12:43).
There are really endless ways we seek out and use praise for ourselves and others to obtain what we want. Many poor authors, wanting to do what is right but not knowing what that is, have written entire books on how to boost our and another’s pride, so we can build up our self-esteem to find happiness, or to become successful in influencing others and winning friends. And their suggestions work… since we live for our pride.
Yes, our happiness comes from thinking we are right, successful, appreciated, and good… among the many other pride swelling notions.
But do we think God has the same opinion of us as we have of ourselves? Does God think of us as “good people?”
“The Lord saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:7).
Wow! That is just horrible… every thought is one of evil, all of the time. Oh, know! Do we think that statement from Moses is about us? Or someone else? Let’s really examine this truth, so we don’t live blind and die from our pride.
What Happened After the Fall?
Please know, God made man good. He made us wonderful, fully united with Him, perfect without sin. We are His beautiful creation.
“I praise you, because I am wonderfully made; wonderful are your works!” (Psalm 139:14).
Isn’t it amazing how God created us and all of creation? His design is truly a marvel beyond human comprehension. But what happened to us after the fall of Adam and Eve? What happened to God’s wonderful creation? Are we still good, fully united with God and beautiful in His sight?
Do you know that after Adam and Eve’s sin, the whole human race (their offspring) was not able to enter into Heaven, since Adam and Eve’s sin rejected God’s sanctifying grace for evil. Sanctifying (saving) grace is the grace that makes us united with God and able to enter into Heaven. This grace was supposed to be inheritedly passed down from generation to generation. But now, from their sin, it is gone. We are no longer born with this grace.
Yes, from Adam and Eve’s rejection of God, we all lost unity with God, who is good, and became united with the devil, who is bad… and became under his control?
“The whole world is under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19).
Sadly, the world is not being moved by God but the evil one. Therefore, if we want God to move us and to regain our unity with Him, so when we die we will be with God for eternity and not the evil one, we need to grow in faith to obtain true contrition for each and every one of our sins (come to truly hate all sin), so we can embrace God’s saving forgiving grace that Jesus died to give us. We must seek and seek Jesus to give us this kind of faith, since a lack of true sorrow for any sin rejects God’s life saving forgiveness.
Also, from the fall, we did not only become united with the devil and lose saving grace, being rejected from Heaven, we also obtained a stain on our soul that inclines us towards evil, with each person receiving greater or lesser inclinations towards different sins. “All the parts of the soul are… corrupted by original sin… [which] inclines to actual sins” as St. Thomas Aquinas said in his Summa Theological (Forth Article, Q. 83. Art. 4, Reply).
This is why we see little children, even before they obtain full knowledge of right from wrong (before they can truly sin), choose to do what their parents tell them not to do… even finding it fun to do what is wrong.
Oh, humanity is far from good. We are united to sin, wanting to do evil and liking it.
Frankly, our hearts are torn. Part of us wants to do good. To some degree we want God, since God made us. We are actually made for Him and Him alone. We have an innate desire for Him. But on the other hand, due to the fall of Adam and Eve, parts of us are so greatly being influenced by our pride (evil) that we are constantly rejecting God for sin. We do this even though Our Lord is always coming to us, calling us, and trying to touch us… wanting to help us leave sin for Him. To learn more please read, “God is Constantly Calling Us.”
Some of us can reject God so greatly, we can even completely lose our desire for Him. Sadly, despite God’s vast efforts to help us, most of the time, we don’t hear or respond to Him at all. We just keep on doing what we (sinners) want, without God moving us, being moved by sin (ourselves) instead… not being moved towards Life (a saving faith: true contrition for every sin).
“I know, O Lord, that the way of human beings [which leads to Heaven] is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot [correctly] direct their steps [they need God’s grace]” (Jeremiah 10:23).
In the beginning, humanity had the fullness of God (His grace) in us, with no stain of original sin on our souls, which was similar to what the Mother of God possessed on earth. Of course, she and all of us still incurred the stain of needing a Savior to open the gates of Heaven to forgive and atone for humanity’s sins, since we all incurred the debt… but in the beginning, we were all good… or should I say, God (His grace) was fully good in us.
But now, even at our best, we are tainted. Therefore, since the fall, the entire human race is no longer good but bad. Yes, despite our desire to be good, despite how much “good” we do, unless God, who is truly good, is doing the “good”, what we are doing it’s actually good. Humanity on its own is nothing but sin.
“No one is good but God alone” (Mark 10:18).
Yes, without God’s grace fully moving what we are doing… no matter how “good” it looks, it isn’t fully good. The more grace we have moving us, the more truly good we will be doing.
Plus, even if God is fully in us, meaning we have grown in faith to obtain Christian perfection becoming “full of grace” (Acts 6:8), like some saints have acquired, as long as we have this human body, we still have the taint of original sin on our souls (the inclination towards sin). This makes us still not perfectly good/immaculate, since our soul is still not restored to its original state. It is not until our soul leaves this body and enters into Heaven that God perfectly restores our soul to its natural beauty.
Therefore, we are not “good.” Nothing about us is good. We are pride… self-love… a lover of sin. It is only God and His grace–which our free will allows to dwell in us–that makes any part of us good.
If we want to have God doing everything through us so sin (pride & evil) are not moving any part of us, we need to make sure we have God–His grace–and a lot of it in us. Because every part of us–any thought we think, word we speak or action we make–that is without God (His grace moving us), is being moved by us: sin (not God).
Please know, there is only good or bad. There is no third option. Of course, we can have some amount of good moving what we do and some amount of bad influencing us, but there is either grace (what is good, driven by God) or sin (what is bad, driven by pride/evil) that moves all we think, speak or do. Please don’t be deceived.
Oh, we greatly need Our Savior to change us, because if we want salvation, we need to grow in faith though knowing our nothingness (our sinfulness) to TRULY hate each and every one of our sins–especially our self-love (our pride), which is loving ourselves/our sinfulness and doing things to love ourselves, who is sin and not God alone, who is truly good–so we can accept His forgiveness and become reunited with Him and saved.
Humanity Has Gotten Worse
Sadly, with the progression of time, humanity has actually gotten worse. Oh, we might like to think since the coming of Christ, we are now united with God and with much of His grace doing far better than the people of old… since we see ourselves as “good” people. But as God the Father told St. Catherine of Sienna, since the death of His Son, man has actually gone from bad to worse.
“I wish you to know… that although I have re-created and restored to life of grace, the human race, through the Blood of My only begotten Son, as I have said, men are not grateful [for Me giving them saving grace and opening the gates of Heaven (removing the debt) to mankind], but [are] going from bad to worse, and from guilt to guilt, even persecuting Me with many injuries, taking so little account of the graces which I have given them and continue to give them [to help them grow into a faith that can accept the saving grace I gave them].”
–God the Father to St, Catherine of Siena (Treatise of Discretion, #32)
Yes, believe it or not, the human race that was simply horrible–with “great wickedness”–has become WORSE. Please don’t let our pride think, since we see others in the world doing so poorly, God the Father is talking about those others. Let’s humble ourselves and look for how God The Father is speaking about us… that is, if we want to repent and change, so we can allow God to save us (to humble us and give us a saving faith of true contrition/true hatred for each and every sin).
Please know, rejecting God–especially remaining unchanged in ANY of our sins (having consistent habitual sins)–even after Our Lord sent us saving grace, even after Our Lord sent and sends endless helping grace (especially through the sacraments, His Mother and the saints assistants, and vast devotions, such as Divine Mercy), and even after Our Lord sent and sends so much enlightening grace (especially through The Word and The Paraclete), is so much more grievous than any sin (any rejection of God) before Christ… before all of these gifts… gifts we reject. The increase in injury to God is incalculable.
Therefore, our wickedness is far greater, our rejection of grace is far worse, and our blindness is far more blinding. Today, because of our unrepented/unchanged sins (our rejection of grace), we understand such fragmented parts of The Truth. It is all being warped by our pride (sin). Now, we do not know The Way to Heaven, but from this blinding pride, most think we do. This leaves us living blind to our horrible state of death we are living in… never humbly seeking Our Savior to save us (to give us a saving faith, a faith that can accept God’s forgiveness of our sins).
So please don’t boast and think in this time of darkness we, who are part of this fallen human race, are surely one of “few [who] are chosen [saved]” (Matthew 22:14). Truly, we are worse than of old.
“Only a remnant [until this darkness ends] will be saved” (Romans 9:27).
If we don’t hear God calling us to change, we will not be with the “few” but with the many.
The “good” most of us see ourselves doing is an illusion of the evil one, so we can remain blind and not see how it is actually OUR PRIDE moving us blindly to our doom.
“The world is on the road to perdition [Hell. Grace is not guiding us].”
–St. Padrie Pio (Letter to the Seers of Garabandal 1962)
Reality is, most don’t have enough humility to know our nothingness–our GREAT NEED for God to do EVERYTHING. We think we can do good without Him.
“Without me you can do nothing [truly good]” (John 15:5).
Oh, we might do what seems to be “good”: preaching The Word, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, saving the babies, and many other “good” deeds, but from our blindness to our great need for God (His grace) to be moving us, so something truly good can be done, we have neglected to SEEK GOD’S GRACE TO DO EVERYTHING THROUGH US.
Most don’t seek God for grace to guide even part of a single thought, word or action that is being made.
Oh, we might “say” God is number one and the center of everything but that is as far as our seeking God goes. It is just a nice thought in our mind… not a reality in our actions.
Sadly, we don’t constantly seek God–His grace–so we can do His will/what is truly good in every one of our thoughts, words and actions, so He can actually be the center and what moves everything.
We just think whatever we want, blurt out whatever we feel like and do whatever we desire… most of which are not being moved by the slightest bit of grace (God). We are being move by ourselves (sin)… by our desires and passions, and it is for everything else except God and His will. For if our heart was really for God, we would be constantly–for every second–be seeking Him, so He, and He alone, and not ourselves, was doing everything… not giving a second to the evil one (sin).
But our hearts and minds are not constantly focused on God (to love Him)–seeking to know His will and for the strength to do what is truly good for every thought, word and action. Sadly, our minds are on endless other things instead.
Oh, we might be doing some things that seem to be very good–that are helping others–perhaps with whatever talents and gifts we have (that are gifts from God). But tragically, for most of us, we simply don’t have God’s grace using those gifts. Our pride is moving us instead.
“Unless the Lord builds the house [does the good work], those who build it labor in vain” (Psalm 27:1).
Our temples of the Holy Spirit–which is ourselves–should have God, His grace, living in and moving us. But if we don’t allow God’s Spirit to dwell in us, all we labor for is in vain.
Some of us start good, well, at least with some goodness (God) moving something that we are doing. We are able to hear some of God’s will. We accept some of His grace and begin doing, at least, part of what He wants. But then, we don’t accept more of God’s grace and wind up continuing in the works being moved by our pride instead. Yet, since we don’t see ourselves doing anything wrong, we think we are doing everything right… but grace isn’t even moving what we are doing… we (sin) is.
Some of us know we need help, so we pray–for a moment–looking for God’s guidance, but then that is it. We lack the humility to know we need God’s CONSTANT guidance–for literally every thought we think, word we speak and act we do, for it to not be moved by sin. Yes, we need God for EVERYTHING.
We should be constantly seeking God, like a little child, who doesn’t know what or how to do anything, because we want Him to enlighten and help us with everything. But our pride tricks us and we think we know what is good and right and don’t need help, so endless things we think, say and do are simply only being moved by ourselves (sin).
Sadly, we don’t really understand that the only way we are to do anything truly good–anything that truly LOVE’S GOD–is to “be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). I don’t mean necessarily constantly talking with God (even though this is a big part), but we must be constantly united with Him, or we will be trying to love God but loving sin instead.
The way we break this unity is through having a lack of hatred for sin… through self-love… through not really caring about our sins or what we do… through not loving God… especially through our unrepented/unchanged sins… through not hating our sinfulness and neglecting to seek God to do good in every thought, word or action. It is how, from our pride, we actually idolize ourselves.
Yes, we break our unity with God through loving sin and not Our Savoir. Sadly, instead of truly hating our sins (the wrong we do and our sinfulness) so we can love God, who is truly good, we do what we want. We sin in so many ways, and we just don’t care. And for those of us who do have some care for some sins, sadly it is all for the wrong reasons–reasons based on self-love–not love of God.
Frankly, our love for sin is so great and our contrition is so broken, I could write an entire book on the deceits of the devil in regard to this.
Also, please know, the more we continue in our sins without TRUE contrition, no matter what they are, the more we reject grace… of course the greater the sin the greater the grace that we reject. But all sin rejects God and His grace, the grace we need to move towards obtaining a saving faith of TRUE hatred for every sin so we can gain a faith to accept God’s forgiving saving mercy for the salvation of our souls.
Plus, the more knowledge we have of our wickedness, but still persist in it, the more grace we push away… leaving ourselves weaker and weaker (making it easier to commit very grave sin and lose our desire for God and what is truly good)… becoming further and further away from what God wants us to be doing, going deeper onto the path of death, not Life.
Therefore, if we want God’s grace to guide us, so we don’t have everything we think, say or do being moved by evil, so we can begin to allow God to save us (to lead us towards having true contrition for all of our sins)–we must constantly humbly seek God for grace (help) and work hard to not disobey God (reject the grace) so we can avoid the path of death and remain on the path to Life.
Strive to Sanctify Our Souls
The closer we are to being a saint, someone who has gained true contrition for every sin and atoned for all their sins, the more innate grace we will have within us, since our sins–the ones we lack true contrition for–are no longer rejecting God’s mercy.
Saints are humble. They know their nothingness. They are not complacent with their sins and do all they can to try to never sin. Also when they do sin, they don’t wallow in self-pity over their wrongs. They know their misery (inability to do anything good without God). Through their guilt, they seek God for mercy (grace to not fall again and forgiveness).
From humbly seeking God for grace, the saints, who began like us (full of self-love, and love of sin) grew into true hatred and atonement for all their sins. Now they have much grace living in them and if they remain with that grace until their death, they will be saved and sanctified by their Savior.
So if we want God to help save and sanctify us, we MUST be striving to become a true saint… not someone who loves and remains in our sins (anything a true saint wouldn’t do). But someone who seeks the power of God to hate them and take them away… at least our love for them away.
Of course we can’t strive to be a worldly saint (a false saint), who perhaps seeks to be greatly “good” and charitable to others, doing great works but, still has no problem with many of their sins and ignores them perhaps thinking they are just venial or refusing to see they are not actualy living for God and His will but their own. For, that lack of hatred for a sin now makes any sin mortal.
Nor can we seek to be a saint, who still seeks out the world–its people, power or pleasures–to make us happy… or one who seeking to love ourselves with worldly pleasures and not God alone. Nor can we seek to be a saint, who “says” we trust in God, but frets when things go wrong or might go wrong, who really hates the cross and wants our will.
We must seek to become a true self-sacrificing saint, who gives praise to God for all the grace He sends, and who constantly prays seeking God for help (mercy/grace) to:
- Never sin again–to PERFECTLY DO GOD’S WILL in every thought, word and action–so to one day perfectly LOVE HIM (as perfect as we can on earth); “be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48),
- Hate sin so greatly we would gladly suffer anything than offend God, so we can gain true hatred for our sins and true love for God (true contrition a saving faith); “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted [temptation] to the point of shedding your blood [rather than offending God]” (Hebrews 12:4),
- Hate the world–our idols: the people, power, pleasure that we run to for happiness–that is not God or His will–that we go to so to love ourselves and not God; “Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).
- LOVE THE CROSS, which is all of the suffering and challenges God allows, offering it up to God for our sins and the sins of the world, as we trust in all that is allowed by God as needed to help move us to a saving faith, so we can grow in humility, come to see our sins and develop a hatred for them, so we can leave them and then sanctity (to atone for our sins).
- Live a life of intentional self-denial of what we sinful beings want: like getting our way or anything self-indulgent (things that aren’t needed), as an act of penance, in contrition for our sins, since we know our sinfulness, are sorry for them and no longer want to reward ourselves, so we can love God and not ourselves. Then God can use our act of love (this cross) to send grace for the salvation of souls (ours and others),
- Hate ourselves–our self-love (pride)–so we will stop living for our pride, doing things to love ourselves and come to truly live for God and love what is truly good… which is GOD and His will alone; “Anyone who loves their life [their sinfulness] will lose it [won’t have God for eternity], while anyone who hates their life in this world [allowing God to fill them] will keep it for eternal life [will be with God for eternity]” (John 12:25).
If believe we are seeking sanctity, by simply praying, trying to improve and doing good works, we have been greatly deceived. If we are blind and not doing any ONE of these above things, we are NOT on the correct path towards even gaining enough grace for God to help us grow into a saving faith. Failure in any part of The Way to Heaven, rejects much grace… grace we very well might need so God can move us towards Salvation (a saving faith).
Please don’t be deceived. Obtaining salvation is much harder than the devil has tricked us into believing. The devil wants us blind and complacent with our life of sin, not living The Word (our directions to Salvation) nor correctly seeking Our Savior to save us.
Also, when we pray, we can’t pray selfish prayers only seeking God to assist ourselves. We must seek God’s assistance to help US (ourselves and others). We must do all the above for the salvation of souls (so God can use us to help save souls) and in doing so, we trust God will send us the grace to save us.
Please notice, I didn’t say to strive to become a saint by praying all the time for what we want, giving praise to God for answering our prayers and giving us what we desire. That is NOT the path of a true saint. That is the path of one who seeks His will and is only happy when we receive it. The path of sanctity is one of praying for what we think we need, as we seek God’s will, which is what we truly need, trusting in that and giving praise to God for ALL He allows…. especially the cross of Christ. Oh, how far from the path of Life are we!
Therefore, since we are far from being a true self-sacrificing saint (to learn more please read, “What Makes Someone a Saint”), we need to know that the desires of our heart that we might think are good and correct are far from being moved by grace. We simply aren’t doing the things that accept and keep grace.
Of course there might be a slight bit of grace moving somethings in us–for most have some ability to accept small amounts of grace–but most of us are so far from the humility and actions of a true saint that embrace much grace.
Therefore, we greatly lack grace: God guiding our thoughts, words and actions. For we are not doing the above. We have many many unrepented/unchanged sins, great love and pampering of ourselves and little love for the cross. We seek to do what we want (to make our lives great) and not what God wants (seeking the salvation of souls by way of the cross) at endless moments of our day… all of which rejects grace, the grace we need for God to do good through us.
So, what we desire, no matter how “good” it looks, no matter how “right” we think we are–since we are rejecting most of God’s grace (not living like a real saint), the desires of our hearts are most likely far from truly good, making us BLIND and LOST.
Most tragically, most of our wills are being moved wholly by pride, which means our intentions for what we do, even if it is something actually good (which means we accepted some grace to know good from bad), are very wrong. There is simply no other possibility. This is because sin (a life opposed to sanctity) refutes grace. The only reason we are far from being a true saint is from our sins. Lose the sin–live like a true saint–gain the grace. Then we will begin to do what we do without much sin (grace will be doing it) and we will be become saints.
Learning how to leave sin (self-love), so God’s grace can move us is done by praying the above unceasingly, that is–with great humility… knowing we are a misery of sin and greatly needing Our Savior to chainge us, as more fully addressed later.
Please know, unceasing prayer that is much more than most understand, or I just explained. To learn more please read, “How to Pray Unceasingly”.
When we correctly humbly seek Mercy for help, accept and keep His grace, we will have the strength and guidance of God to live the faith and then God will truly be everything. His grace will be moving all our thoughts, words and actions. Praise God!
“The Lord is my portion [my everything]; I promise to keep your words” (Psalm 119:57).
Therefore, please ask ourselves, is wanting to be in “unceasing prayer” (1 Thessalonians 5:17)… being CONSTANTLY united with God and His will, in our hearts and minds?
Is this the burning desire of our hearts that causes us to take constant action to see we obtain and keep God’s grace always is us? Are we truly striving to not rely of ourselves for anything, so God’s grace can enlighten, strengthen and move us?
Is striving to always be in prayer–to not let our thoughts wonder off so to have every thought united with God––to see we never sin in any of our thoughts, words or actions–even our goal?
“Bring every thought into captivity ‘[with God’s love] to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Are we really humbly seeking this kind of love and obedience to God? Or do we, being move by our pride, ignore this and endless other commands that are given to help lead us into a saving faith. Do we have no problem with living in disobedience (sin)… rejecting The Way to Heaven?
“He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him” (Hebrews 5:9).
Sadly, everything we think, say or do is done with some kind of disobedience… some kind of sin.. that is until we obtain Christian Perfection, since we aren’t full of grace. We are not being perfectly moved by God. This is a horrible reality of our human nature, without grace, as Moses said, “Every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time” (Genesis 6:7).
Please know, since God and God alone knows The Way to Heaven, anything we want or do that isn’t being guided by grace (God) is leading us away from Heaven. It is only through obedience to Him that God leads us to Life… just guessing what we should do and following the desires of our heart, without seeking Him, won’t save us.
Being in constant humble prayer is how we allow God’s grace to see we actually obey Him–do what He wants and why He wants us to do it–in everything… so sin in no longer moving us. Then, He can lead us to a saving faith and then sanctity. Please don’t be deceived.
We Don’t Understand Sin
Sadly, we have never really understood our nothingness and the importance of obeying God (doing His will) in every thought, word and action. So, we have not sought God for grace nor worked hard to avoid sinning in our thoughts, words or deeds.
Frankly, from our blinding pride, most think we hardly sin. We just live our lives doing whatever we want, thinking it is all good.
Even if we want to stop sinning, most do it without seeking God for assistance. We might even make plans and resolutions, but we do it like we are an atheist reading a self-improvement book… as if we can do anything truly good without asking God what we should be doing. Oh, we might even improve like the atheist, from our own personal conviction, but it will be without grace moving us. We will be driven by our pride instead (as addressed later).
Sadly, our pride has also given us such a shallow understanding of what sin actually is. It has greatly blinded us. Tragically, most are clueless that sins are anything we think, say or do that God’s grace is not moving.
Without grace moving us, what we think is the right thing to do much of the time is not even close to what Jesus would want us to do if we knew His will. Plus, without God’s grace moving us, our intentions for what we do are all wrong too.
For example: Lying is sinful but telling the truth can be sinful too… not the same kind of sinful like lying, but sinful nonetheless. This is because with each thought, word or action there are two components which make something sinful (not moved by grace).
The two components to sin:
- The action… the actual thought, word or deed that was done outside of grace moving us
- The will… the motive behind the action that grace was not moving
These two parts must be good (moved by grace) for any thought, word or deed to be truly good.
So when we examine our conscience, if we really want to see our sins, we need to look into not only the obvious “bad” things we have done (the action), but into why we did the bad and the good things too (the will). They are both of equal importance.
So, if we tell the truth, since we have enough knowledge of right from wrong and know the truth is good, which is moved by grace or even if we sought God for help to know what to do, which is also moved by grace (if we can hear correctly), but our motive for doing it isn’t moved by grace, all is still for nothing… making nothing pleasing to God… since nothing truly good was done. Please don’t be deceived.
Even though, if the will has a slight good intention, having some part of it moved by grace (since our intentions are complicated and not done for one reason alone), the soul can accept some transforming grace (grace that helps move us towards a saving faith), which is dependent on the amount of “goodness (grace)” that was in our thought, word or deed.
On top of that, we don’t know that sins are anything Jesus or an actual self-sacrificing saint wouldn’t think, speak or do. What I mean is, we don’t really know what Jesus or a true self-sacrificing saint would think, speak or do. So we don’t know what is sinful and what isn’t.
Sadly, for many thoughts, words and actions we have, that we think are good, are far from it. This is because we don’t have enough grace to know what is truly the right thing we should be thinking, speaking or doing. Even if we seek God for guidance, from our proud hearts, we still won’t know… for our pride blocks much if not all of The Truth.
This is why we need the Cross of Christ… it destroys pride, if we allow it.
The Healing Cross of Christ
Please know, the greatest sin we are blinded to is our rejection of the cross. Oh, the most important part of our faith… the NEED for the cross, since we are full of self-love (pride) having ourselves move our thoughts, words and deeds, the evil one has removed from our understanding, and has us blindly committing over and over again.
Yet, the cross–the greatest gift of Christ and I do mean the greatest… even above all of the other gifts that were mentioned earlier, is meant to heal and save us. Sure obeying all of the Word is meant to bring us into a saving faith, but the “Cross of Our Lord stands revealed as the tree of Life” since this is how we are transformed into a saving faith. Yes, salvation is through our suffering and sacrificing, the cross, that Jesus. so clearly showed us as The Way.
But we constantly reject the healing cross of Christ, causing our lives to be in much sin and disobedience.
Horribly, we don’t really understand that Christ and the real saints, LIVED FOR THE CROSS–for the grace it sends through their suffering and sacrificing. So, we don’t follow them… we follow the self-loving world instead.
Yet, we are supposed to be following Christ, and not what our self-loving desires, driven by pride want, so we won’t be sinning and allowing God to save us. But tragically, since grace isn’t moving us, we are following the world and allowing sin to move us, as we run from suffering and sacrificing, so we can do what we (sinners driven by pride) want, so we can live the good life, which is not at all like Jesus and the true saints have done, which is leading us to death not Life.
Yes, horribly, we want a cross free life and have become haters of the cross.
Yet, the only way we can accept God’s grace, which can transform our self-loving hearts, so God (grace) can lead us into a saving faith, is by growing in humility and hatred for sin, which is done through THE CROSS. Yes, if we want to accept some of God’s grace through all of the other gifts He has sent us to obtain grace, we need to be FIRST healed (at least a little) through the Cross of Christ… so we can begin to be healed (at least a little).
Please know, if we want God to transform us all they way into a saving faith and then into sanctity, we will NEED GREAT CROSSES… for it will take great grace. Not necessarily, great as far as intensity goes (even though that might be God’s will to heal us), or necessarily many crosses, but we will need the exact ones God has planned for us… for we are very broken and in need of much healing.
The healing cross of Christ, when embraced with faith (trust in Jesus) has so many blessings:
- Gives us a desire to seek Jesus for help (so, if we hear God correctly, we can begin our life of conversion and seeking unceasing prayer),
- Awakens us to our need for Jesus (so, if we hear God correctly, He can help us grow in understanding of our need for Him in everything for the salvation of our soul),
- Enlightens us to our sins (so, if we can hear God correctly, we can see what is killing us, so to work hard to change),
- Humbles the proud (helps us proud beings grow in humility, so we can stop seeking self-love),
- Helps us come to hate our sins, the world and ourselves (removes our desire for our self-loving idols),
- Trains us in endurance (so we can carry more challenging healing crosses in the future for the salvation of souls),
- Helps us grow in trust (so we will never hate or doubt in the good God has planned through the cross),
- Strengthens us to leave our idols (all the sins, the word’s pleasures and self-love we seek for happiness),
- Consoles God, shows our sorrow for our sins and desire to suffer (be punished) to make right our wrongs,
- Sends grace to help save ourselves and others: so God won’t lose His children–for the salvation of souls (so we can grow in love for Him and contrition for our sins, into a saving faith),
- Helps atone (pay the price) for our sins committed after our baptism (makes those with a saving faith into saints),
- Assists in the atonement of the souls in purgatory (helps to send grace to the saved in purgatory so the can become purified and enter into heaven).
This is why the saints loved the cross. This is how we love God and follow Jesus. This is how He saves us.
For example, many of us have heard the tragic news of a 10 year old child, whom God wants in Heaven, being raped and conceiving a child. Both of events are crosses, crosses that God allowed, which He desires to use, for the good of her soul, so to lead her into a saving faith and then sanctity.
Yes, these crosses, if this child embraces them as a true Christian, TRUSTING IN JESUS, are to help save and sanctify her through them. If she does trust and allows God to transform her, then God will provide all of the above healing for her soul.
Yes, these crosses, especially since they take great love and trust to correctly bear, are what God intends to use for her salvation and sanctification, which should be the goal of her life. If she was raised correctly in the faith, this is what she should desire and be fixed on spending her life seeking, which makes these crosses her greatest gift from God. And to have them at such a young age is even more wonderful… for someone to become saved and sanctified when they are still a youth is an unfathomable blessing.
If she sought God for grace and learned how to forgive her rapist–acquired a heart of true love and forgiveness, like Christ truly loves and forgives us no matter what we do and began to pray for his conversion and salvation (wanting what was good for him… like Christ seeks our conversion and salvation no matter what we do)–these acts of love would cause her to increase her grace of God in her, which is accepted all from living the faith.
Then when finding out she was pregnant, she will be able to more easily respond with faith–rather die than commit murder–from having much grace of God in her, since she is now loving, praying and forgiving him who hurt her. She will easily not place her life above that of another (the child in her), thinking something good could come to her from doing something evil, even if it means for herself to die. She would happily “shed blood” ( ) and suffer anything God permitted, rather than offend God, whom she wants to perfectly love.
This is the correct response to this cross, of a true Christian, who grace is moving, who loves and trusts in God and has allowed God to move her into a saving faith (true love for God and true hatred/contrition for sin).
However, I do want to mention, even if this child didn’t obtain enough grace from forgiving the man, who hurt her, to have enough faith to rather die than sin (meaning she still didn’t have a saving faith), if she was guided in the correct direction–to what a true Christian would do–she could hear what is good (instead of thinking evil as good) and still choose to not take the life of the child God loves and allowed to grow in her. Then she would accept even more grace from, that act of obedience, even if it wasn’t perfectly good (not all the intentions were driven by grace), so from that action alone and part of the will to do what God desired, she could grow towards a saving faith and then sanctity from every moment of trust, obedience and suffering she would bear.
Yes, from the correct discipleship of another, even if her faith wasn’t that strong yet through the act of forgiveness, if she could have been directed towards love of God not love of self, choosing life could have eventually moved her into obtaining a saving faith (desire death rather than sin against God). Then from whatever suffering she would bear (cross), if she carried it well, with love and trust, she could easily obtained enough grace to atone for her sins and become a true self-sacrificing saint.
Then if she were to die, so to love God and live the faith that saves, she would be delivered directly into Heaven. Wanting salvation and sanctification should be the only thing we desire in this life, so a young death (of someone truly living the faith) would be a most wonderful blessing. Yes, what a blessing our crosses are meant to be! Oh, if we only had faith and the correct guidance from others, so they would not all be in vain.
Sadly, instead of correctly living the faith and trusting in Jesus, the deceiver has us doing the opposite. He uses the mis-guided love of our hearts–the love we have in our hearts for others that is not being moved by grace–to see that this poor girl receives an abortion, so she won’t have to suffer anymore. Tragic!
The cross that is meant to save and sanctify this child and many other people is lost because of our lack of faith. We must change and obtain FAITH IN JESUS… Faith in the CROSS OF CHRIST… for it is waiting to save us.
From the love for the cross, Jesus and the true saints didn’t run from any cross God allowed them to bear. They didn’t seek to do anything for self-benefit, and gave their bodies (left all their worldly self-loving desires) to live as a living sacrifice for the salvation of souls. They left all of their world, self-loving desires so God could us them to help save souls (theirs and others).
Their hearts were set on sending grace to God’s children through the cross of Christ, since they wanted Jesus to spend eternity with His children in Heaven. Yes, the saints, who correctly followed Christ, were self-less and have showed us that living a life of loving the cross of Christ–embracing all God allows and living a life of denying ourselves of what we (sinners) want–anything that is our will–is The Way to Life.
Therefore, anything we do for the benefit of ourselves–not to love God or for the salvation of souls–is driven by pride, sin and leads to death, not Life. Please stop for a moment and ponder this truth. Anything.. anything at all the we think, speak or do that isn’t done to love God (that is not His will), for the salvation of souls, is being moved by pride and not grace.
Yes, anything we do for self-love, for self-glory, for self-gratification… anything that isn’t done with discipline, being moved by grace, to love God, to please Him, to give Him glory and praise… that doesn’t help save souls, that is simply being used to make ourselves happy, is not being moved by God but ourselves/sin.
Let Go of Ourselves–Our Want for Anything
Tragically, most are so unaware of sin… what a true Christian is… we are not seeking God to help us rid ourselves of ourselves, so God can consume our everything, so we can stop living for ourselves and change and live for Him. Sadly, our goal is to live our best life… a cross free life… to love ourselves. We are so deceived.
Some of us are trying to be “good” people… but our pride not God’s grace is moving our actions (as explained later). But even if we do something that actually has God’s grace moving us–is at least partly good–once we are done, we are back to living fully for the world… living for ourselves… seeking some worldly pleasure–from good food, to great hobbies, to fun trips, to loving friends, to nice things, to comfortable living and to endless others self-indulgent things–which is far from how true saints chose to live. Any moment we choose any one of those things to bring us happiness, is not how we love God or saving souls, but how we love ourselves, proving we are being moved by sin.
The saints, who accepted much of God’s grace, didn’t want a “fun” life. The saints lived for Heaven, not for all of the self-loving desires we have in this world. They lived to SACRIFICE-deny themselves of what their self-loving (prideful) flesh wanted, so NO MOMENT was given to self-love and gratification. They did this, because they loved God, so God could use them–through the cross–to help send grace to others for the salvation of souls. Yes, the saints loved the cross and lived happily carrying it and choosing it so God could transform them and others through it for the salvation of souls.
The saints didn’t pray proud prayers (prayers lacking understanding of their nothingness) thinking from their vast prayers and works (faith) they were saved. No. The saints humbly accepted the cross (all God allowed) and ran to the cross (self-denial), so God could help them and others grow in faith, grow in hatred for offending Him (gain true sorrow for their sins), through the cross, so they and others could lose our great attachments to sin, the world and themselves (our vast idols). Then from their sacrifice, souls could attach to their Savior (obtain a saving faith) and even grow in atonment for their sins, so to one day become saints. Yes, the saints (true Christians) lived for the cross to help save and sanctify souls. But most tragically, we don’t do this.
If we can look honestly into ourselves, we can see most of what we think, speak and do–is for self-benefit (self-love/pride) and is far from what a true saint would be thinking, speaking or doing… far from really following Christ, who thought, spoke and did ALL to Love the Farther for the salvation of our souls, who did nothing from self-love. Yes, sin is much more than just not being kind.
Oh, the devil has deceived us so greatly, we have lost sight of the complexity of sin and what we should be spending our lives doing: which is seeking God (His grace) so we never think, speak or do anything sinful, anything without grace moving us, so we can do all to love God (not offend Him) and save His children. Sadly, we have spent our lives living for ourselves… not really following Jesus or the saints, who actually obtained Heaven. Why do we think the world is such a mess…. we Christians are not doing this… grace that make us truly good is not being sent from our sacrifice of love, and the world is dying.
Yes, our lives should be spent seeking God’s grace, so He can teach us how to love Him–to not offend Him in the slightest way (leave all self-love), so God can use us to save souls (to send grace to others) like the real saints before us have done. For we are “called to be saints” (Romans 1:7)… not unrepented sinners.
We Must Seek to Love God… Not Ourselves
From not knowing our nothingness, we have neglected to seek Mercy (grace) to help us LOVE HIM. From our blindness, we think we love Him. When we are actually loving ourselves with endless sins, worldly pleasures and the boosting of our egos.
Sadly, we aren’t seeking grace to increase our hatred for sin so we would rather shed blood than offend Him, with any of those things, because we can’t bear to not love Him, which is true hatred for sin. This is a faith that finally truly loves God and not our sins, the world or ourselves (a saving faith). This isn’t a goal.
We think sinning against Him is fine… that God forgives, so they don’t really matter. We are really clueless on how to obtain a saving faith. Sadly, seeking grace so we can only seek to love God and not ourselves to live as a true self-sacrificing life–is far from our thoughts.
We do everything, even when we seek God for help to remove our sin, for some selfish, self-seeking desire and reason instead… like trying to become a better or more successful person, so we can be a good Christian to feel accomplished and good about ourselves, is the pride (evil) not grace (good) that drives us.
Oh, the devil has deceived us so greatly, since pride is moving us, we are our number one concern… not God. Being horrified to offend God, since we can’t bear to increase His suffering is simply isn’t a concern. We lack this kind of saving grace.
But if we sought God for grace and worked hard through His grace and our free will to change, then in time, depending on our desier for grace, all our thoughts, words and actions would be driven by God’s grace–doing what Our Lord wants (His will) and not our own. This is how He leads us and others into a saving faith and perfect sanctity.
But, through our pride, we have become so deceived–even those who want to become saints do not understand the true goals we should have. From this blindness, wven though we want Jesus, we are still rejecting Him from our unknown love for sin (habitual sins), the world (self-indulgences) and ourselves (self-esteem boosting), which are all our idols, causing us to not be attached to Our Savior. Yes, despite our love for the faith, from our pride, we are not even obtaining a saving faith. Tragic!
Our neglect in striving to HUMBLY seek grace–knowing we are nothing but sin–so to “stop sinning” (2 Peter 2:14), so God can humble us even more, so we can begin to truly LOVE HIM (and not ourselves), so God’s grace can transform us into becoming true self-sacrificing saints, who LOVE THE CROSS: suffering and sacrificing what we want (for the salvation of souls)… offering everything in atonement for our sins and the sins of the world–proves we are very blind and proud.
That proves we have such little grace and a great lack of contrition (lack of hatred and sorrow for offending God the Almighty), that we are actually following the world and that we are greatly attached to sin, the world and ourselves and not Our Savior. All of which rejects sanctifying (saving/forgiving) grace. Oh, our unamended idols (everything we run to for happiness) are killing us.
“The first degree of knowledge [of our nothingness/sinfulness/lack of humility] brings about repentance–that is, sorrow–changing laughter into lamentation [losing our false happiness (founded upon pride from thinking we are so “good”) and crying over our offences against God]…
In its second degree knowledge brings about amendment [a desire to stop what is harming us, others and God (removing all disobedience)], and as a result you no longer present your members to sin as instruments of wickedness, but you curb gluttony, throttle lust, put down pride and make the body that formerly served sin into a servant of holiness.
Repentance without amendment gains nothing…
–St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Doctor of the Church (Sermon on Christmas Eve)
Sadly, from not understanding our nothingness (need for grace), if we don’t see ourselves sinning, we actually think we are doing everything well, even if we have never sought God for grace to prevent us from not sinning in any of our thoughts, words or actions. But can we do anything truly good without God… without unceasing prayer, without His grace? No; not even if it looks good. Our pride will be doing it.
Well, actually, it is possible, for a moment–depending upon how much grace we accept–for us to respond to God coming to us and touching us with His grace, outside of our prayers… from God’s Mercy, especially through the prayers and penances (the cross) of others. Then we can hear and/or be moved by God in our thoughts, words and/or actions to do something good (at least partially good), as explained later.
But for that grace to stay and move everything, we must be constantly united with God through praying without ceasing. This is what gives us true hatred for sins and true love for God… It is His grace constantly flowing through us.
Without God, accepting His grace into our souls, all is for not. To truly accept this grace, it takes a humble heart. For proud prayers–despite all the help and miracles that we have seen God do through these prayers–accepts little to no transforming grace to truly help move our thoughts, words and actions into that of Christ’s. Therefore, pride makes nothing truly good. Proud prayers–not knowing our misery and need for a Savior to save us (to give us grace and change us)–rejects God. Please don’t be deceived. The more proud we are, the more blind we are, the more we reject The Truth… even if we can hear something, it will all be distorted by sin. Please don’t be deceived.
Time of Darkness
We all know the story of Noah being the only righteous one and the seven others, who were saved (from death/the flood) because of His faith. Well, that is a direct foretelling of God’s Church in this time of darkness, and how few there are being saved.
Sadly, now the world is at its peak of darkness. Yes, whatever wisdom we or others think we have is deceived wisdom confused by our pride. For hardly anyone is truly righteous (with a saving faith). Oh, we don’t even know what a saving faith is. We don’t know The Way to Heaven.
How are we going to allow Jesus to save us, if we don’t even know what He is saving us from… if we don’t even know what His needs to change in us for us to be able to accept His forgiveness? To learn more please read, “What is A Saving Faith.”
Sadly, even with the few, who have a saving faith, only a small hand full of other people will accept God’s saving forgiving mercy at the moment of their death, from the prayers and sacrifices of the righteous. This is because most live utterly blind to our need to repent and change; we think nothing of our sins, our vast worldly indulgences and our unfathomable constant seeking of self-love. We are utterly blind, thinking we are good enough and all going to Heaven (or at least Purgatory) after we die. But that simply isn’t true.
“In days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage [thinking nothing about their salvation], up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away [to their doom that they were without true faith and damned]. So will it be [also] at the coming of the Son of Man.” (Matthew 24:37-39).
Yes, we are clueless about our damnation that awaits us if we don’t seek Mercy (grace) to help us change, so He can save us.
Please know, God is going to come to us many times… not just in the beginning and the end. “The coming of the Son of Man” (Matthew 24:39) is now. He desires to come to us today, so we can gain fear of the Lord. Then after being concerned about our salvation, we can seek Him for grace to help us change our lives, so we can start accepting His grace to obtain a faith that can embrace His saving forgiving mercy He died to give us.
So, please don’t be deceived into thinking all of humanity or even all Christians are being saved. That simply is not true. Until this darkness ends, by the Son of Man coming to us to awaken us from our sleep in sin, most are rejecting God for our sins.
If we want true wisdom “seek the answer in God’s grace, not in doctrine” as St. Boneventure taught (Journey to the Mind of God, Ch. ). For endless people are reading The Word, books by the saints, and studying the Church doctrine, but we are only hearing part of The Truth, since we doing it all with proud blind hearts seeking knowledge through our own power not through God, the source of everything that is truly good.
After we become awakened and grow in true wisdom, we must do all we can to end this blindness among us. We must allow God to use us to lead His people into the arc, like the animals, who finally heard God calling them to safety from every race and gender and nation, who wanted to be saved from the flood (from their death). Oh, we must care about our and other’s salvation and allow God to work through us to save souls… to lead them to the Arc of Life (to the true faith in Jesus that saves).
Stop Wanting to Be Good
If we want to embrace our nothingness (to lose our pride), so God can be everything, we need to lose our desire to be good. I know this sounds strange, since most of us want to be good. We want to do the right thing. But if we are ever going to do what is truly good, by having God’s grace move us, we need to greatly change how we think with everything and stop wanting to be good is the beginning.
Just look at the world. We see a world opposed to each other… each thinking what they are doing is good. This is because we are so very blind. God isn’t guiding us to what is truly good. It is our prides (sin), which is causing us to see bad as good. And even if we might have enough grace to know good from bad, but most of us are doing it for the wrong reasons (pride is influencing us).
The problem is, within all of us are very proud beings, who are screaming to be “good.” Oh, we want to be special; we want to be right; we want to be talented; we want to do everything well; we want to be successful. We want and we want and we want…
Our prides are on fire. If we don’t want to be good at something… we want to obtain something we think is good all to make us happy. When we feel we aren’t gaining whatever it is we seek for happiness, we become angry, depressed or more determined to gain it.
Then, what does the lost soul, who doesn’t know the way to true happiness do to try to help the angry or depressed person, who hasn’t had enough success to obtain what they want to feel happy? We boost their pride. We tell them how wonderful, special and great they are. We try to make them happy through sin (self-love).
Yes, that might cheer them up. They might believe it. But, I tell you, NO SAINT has ever had that opinion about themselves, and it is for a very good reason.
“What shall I boast of, dust and ashes, since of myself I am but nothingness and misery [sin], of which I should never lose sight and should ever remain buried in this abyss of my nothingness”
–St. Margret Mary Alacoque (Autobiography #62)
Yes, saints consider themselves, ashes, dirt, dust… NOTHING. But we proclaim we are quite the opposite.
There are endless self-affirmations we tell ourselves just so we won’t feel like we are nothing. “I am successful. I am confident. I am powerful. I am strong. I am getting better and better every day. All I need is within me right now. I wake up motivated. I am an unstoppable force of nature.” Yes, we have made ourselves God. Who need’s Him and His grace to do good through us? We have it all? We don’t want to know or admit the truth.
Oh, these are the lies we tell ourselves everyday to build up our pride and find happiness in ourselves that rejects God, the true source of happiness. The reality is we can’t do anything without Him.
But we don’t want to know reality… we don’t want to be nothing… we want to be everything… we want to be God.
For those who, can’t find happiness from just “saying” lies to ourselves or having others lie to us, and we do feel we are nothing, it isn’t from humility. Sadly, it is from our jealous self-pity we suffer from, wishing we were who we aren’t… as we chant all sorts of self-hate to ourselves that pull ourselves down, not making us humble fruitful servants of God. It is all very tragic.
Also, please know, the saints didn’t proclaim their nothingness to pretend like they were humble, like some poor proud blind souls do, who think this is what a “faithful” person needs to do. When in reality these poor blind people don’t even see their own misery (their fantastic pride).
The saints, in their hearts, without a doubt, truly understood and believed they were absolutely nothing, and they didn’t want to be anything: not smart, talented, liked, attractive, cool, admired, successful, respected or anything… not even in the smallest thing.
From living this life of nothingness, the saints lived in wonderful peace and happiness, especially during the cross (suffering). Of course, even though they had this peace and happiness, they still suffered greatly over their and other’s offences against God. But they didn’t suffer from the lack of peace and unhappiness like the rest of the world does when things don’t go our way or might not go as we want. They only wanted God’s will.
Therefore, since we are not following the saints, we know we are doing many things very wrong. Yes, all of our positive thinking about ourselves, the building up us and others with complement after complement, the striving to be the best we can be to boost our pride is NOT what we should be doing. The saints have not done that.
We need to trust the saints and not our distorted wisdom. For we do not have the wisdom of the saints. The saints have proven they know the way to a true life of peace and Eternal Life. Therefore, we know they are doing what is right, and we are doing what is very wrong.
From not following the saints, we have actually made ourselves God, idolize ourselves. It is very tragic! Later in this article we will learn how to become nothing, so God and God alone, can be the true God in our lives.
We Don’t Want to Be Nothing
Because we live in a world that wants to be something, when others reject us, insult us, bully us or things just don’t go well, we are a mess. This is all because of our pride. We don’t want to be nothing, so God can be every thing. We want others to treat us well, build up our pride and make us feel good.
So, when the cross comes (poor treatment by others), we are far from in peace. We are hating the cross, dwelling on it and allowing the cross, to hurt us, and not help us.
Sadly, we don’t want nothing but God and His will (whatever He allows). We want a cross free life. We have such little faith, we simply can’t bear the sins of others, which all stems from us not wanting to be nothing and not wanting God’s will (the healing Cross of Christ).
We are so deceived, we think God’s crosses are horrible, and sure all sin is horrible. People should be loving and treating us well, but they didn’t do that to Jesus, who boar all of these crosses to SHOW US THE WAY.
If we are truly following Christ to Heaven (want Him to save us), we HAVE TO suffer the cross for the salvation of our souls too. Rejecting them, hating them, leads to our doom… not salvation.
But from being so deceived, from having a great lack of faith, we don’t trust in all God allows as needed to help move us into a saving faith and then into sanctity. We fret at its sight and dwell on its sting. We hate the healing cross of Christ.
We Seek Our Will
Oh, we are far from surrendering our everything to God and His will. We don’t really understand we can’t do or desire anything good and need Him for everything. We don’t know our sinfulness. We live blind.
Sadly, we have endless wants, as if we know what is truly good (as if we are God)–as if we know what leads to Heaven and is needed for us, for the salvation of our souls.
When things don’t go well, we don’t want what God has allowed. We don’t want the healing cross of Christ. We want our will. So when the cross comes, we reject it. We do not want to share in Our Lord’s ridicule, rejection, and false accusation. We don’t want failure, suffering or pain.
We don’t see how those crosses are meant to help bring us into a saving faith (lose our self-love and atone for our sins). Oh, we don’t really trust in Jesus, so we let the cross that was allowed to help save us, to crushes us into depression, anxiety and all sorts of problems.
The reason for all of our depression, anxiety, loss of hope and all of our negative thinking we have is from our sin of self-love. We don’t want to be nothing or to have nothing, but God and His will. We want to be something and to have all we desire.
Since we have not correctly learned how to be a Christian–since we don’t desire to be nothing or to obtain nothing, so God and His will can be everything–when someone puts us down, blames us for something or we fail at an endeavor or from whatever it is, we don’t rejoice, like the saints, for God allowing that cross to help humble us (to help make us nothing). No; we do the opposite.
We don’t follow the saints at all. We get angry, or we reject the notion we are less than wonderful, or we dwell in self-pity, putting ourselves down, wishing we didn’t do or have the imperfection someone is telling us we have or that we have seen…. all because we live for our pride.
The reason we have all of our negative thinking is because of our poor RESPONSES to our environment. No matter what happens, if we responded to the cross, thought God’s grace, all of our negative thinking would end. We would be growing in peace and into saints.
If we really believed we could not do anything good without God moving us, we would be seeking Jesus–His grace–so we could respond with love and goodness to everything around us, so we can become transformed into His images from the magnificent healing cross of Christ. But we don’t… and we are a mess of sin.
Are we really striving to not think of any worldly pursuits
or pleasures… so to have no self-love… so we, our sinful self, can WANT
NOTHING… just God and His will?
Are Our Good Works Bad?
Like was said earlier, even if what we did looked very good, if we didn’t have God’s grace doing it through us, nothing truly good was done. It is Our Lord’s grace and His grace alone that makes everything good…. and it is our pride that rejects His grace. Sadly, because we haven’t been humbly seeking God and His grace most of what we do, is not being moved by God, but our pride.
Just look at atheists. They do seemingly “good” things–acts that benefit others, that are being done by the talents God has given them, things that even God will use for good–but since most atheists have rejected all of God’s grace, not even the smallest part of their deed was truly good (driven by any grace of God). Even if what they did looked wonderfully charitable and sacrificial and seemed to greatly help others, it was really done under the power of the evil one (disguised as good)… driven by the atheist’s hidden pride. So the credit should go to the devil.
But that isn’t to say that an atheist can’t accept any amount of God’s grace. Some atheists can respond to God–true goodness–through their conscience and do something, at least, partualy good (have some grace moving it). But of course the atheist’s intention would not be good (to love God and help save His children), which is the intention in which Christ did all He did. That is the ONLY intention we must have in all we do. But an atheist can have at least some amount of their actions being influenced by some amount of grace, making some of it actually good.
For example, let’s say a Christian, who is out with his friends, sees a hungry homeless man. But instead of being moved by God’s grace through his conscience to help him (to have compassion for him), he oppresses God speaking to Him, and doesn’t even hear Him. Then he ignores the needy man to remain having fun with friends, and doesn’t even realize he did anything wrong. All of his actions were being driven by evil (his pride/self-love).
But let’s say this Christian, when he sees the homeless man thinks to himself, “I better get him some food since my friends will think poorly of me if I don’t”. This is a Christian, who seems to be doing what is “good” but he is not responding to God’s grace, but is really being moved by pride (wanting to look good). Therefore nothing was done that had the smallest amount of grace moving it either.
However, perhaps the Christian is on his way to pick his son up from school and sees the hungry homeless man, and says to himself, I can’t go get my son or I will be riddled with guilt for not helping his man. Perhaps, this sounds like he is being moved by grace, but actually he isn’t. He isn’t going to help the homeless man, since he wants to love God through helping His neighbor. No. He seeks to help him for self-benefit, since he doesn’t want to suffer with guilt. He really cares about himself not suffering. However, if only this man sought God through prayer (and could hear him correctly) he would probably have found out that the greatest good would have been to pick his son up from school on time. Yet, he followed what he desired, and didn’t seek what God wanted (didn’t seek God’s grace to move his actions).
Okay, I will give one more example. I could go on forever writing different sinerios of how the devil influences our actions and makes them bad, when we think they are good. Let’s say this Christian, who sees the homeless man is moved with compassion for him. He stops what he is doing to help him, but as he is getting him the food begins to think of how “good” he is for doing this for him. When he gives him the food, he hopes someone he knows will see what a good person he is for helping him. Now, what started out as good, wound up being a disaster in pride. If he didn’t sin (allow his pride to move him) he would have never thought about how “good” he is for helping that man. For he would have known He is nothing. That it is God’s grace that touched his miserable self-loving heart, and God’s grace that got him to take action… not himself, who is nothing but sin. Then he would have never looked into being noticed. He would have hated complements or attention to himsekf. He would want all glory to go to God and none to him. But that isn’t what happened… his pride (evil) ruined all the “good” God wanted to do through him. Yes, the homeless man benefited, but not the one doing the “good” deed. Actually, he received condmenation instead… no blessing. Tragic!
Yes, evil (sin) certainly doesn’t only show itself in violence, anger, impatience and the obvious “wrongs” we can all see. No; evil comes to us in the “sheep” like things we do as well. Yes, evil hides in the good we do.
Most of the time, we can’t see this hidden evil (pride) and neither can others see it in the “good” we do… at least, not until we learn how to more clearly see sin, then ours and even others sin, much of the time, will be blaringly obvious. But even then, only God will know the whole truth.
So, the good we do isn’t always “good.” Sadly, most of the time, it is far from it. Most of us have such little grace, if we have any at all moving what we do. It is really tragic. We just go through life not seeking Mercy to move our thoughts, words and actions, not doing anything to accept His grace. Doing what we think is best… being driven by evil and not God. Sadly, we are in such darkness, we don’t even know what we should be doing with our lives.
Some of us might blessed and be doing something good that is actually God’s will, which means we accepted some of God’s grace to know what is truly good (what God wants), and we are doing it (in our thoughts, words or actions). But, sadly, much of the time it won’t be moved by God, because instead of thinking, speaking or doing it for His glory, part or all of our desire is being moved by our desire for self- love or self-glory (pride).
The desire for self-will, self-love or self-glory, which are both from our pride, are the hidden evils that ruins all of our “good” works. It is a hidden ravishness illness that if we aren’t looking for it and seeking to destroy it, has surely corrupted in everything. It is extremely deadly and just everywhere. Please don’t be deceived.
But most of us don’t even know we must seek to destroy this pride in our lives, so we just live doing what we think is right not even knowing it is far from being moved by grace.
Please know, God has a plan (His will) for every second of our lives… what we should be thinking, speaking and doing. If we are blessed (accept God’s grace) to be able to think, say and do what God wants, we will not allow evil to control us that is if we can do it for the love of Him and not ourselves.
But for most of us, we don’t accept God’s grace for much of what we think, say or do. Most everything is moved by sin (ourselves)…. sometimes with the direct influence of evil (temptation) and sometimes not.
Some of us can grow into having such a liking for evil, we don’t only feel satisfied by doing what we want and doing it so we can feel good about ourselves, we grow in our love for evil so we begin thinking, saying and doing things for far greater sinister reasons.
Yes, our sin that moves us can expand to seeking it in far greater degrees. All sin, no matter how great, that moves us is deadly, but depending on how much of an attraction we have to it, we can begin to find pleasure in far greater evils, which is why some of us who are moved by sin do far worse crimes (or appear to be far worse crime).
Therefore, If we don’t seek to remove our will (doing what we want) and start doing what God wants and why He wants us to do everything, we will continue to be moved by sin making us so far from good people, we won’t even have God’s grace making us good.
Little Grace, Moderate Grace, United with Grace, Full of Grace
Then we might being doing something good, but it is not what God wants
For something to be Truly good, we must have enough of God’s grace to be united with God. That means we must be in a state of grace (with a saving faith).
within all we do, there are different degrees of good (God/grace) and different degrees of bad (evil/sin/pride) that moves everything.
Plus, also know, we have a free will, but that doesn’t mean we are the one necessarily controlling our actions… remember, “[we are] under the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). So, the phrase “the devil made me do it” is somewhat correct.
This really means, our free will has a choice to choose to do God’s will having Him control our actions and desires or to choose to do what we (our pride/sin) wants having evil control us. Of course, if we want salvation, we need to let go of our will (sin), as much as we can, and have God (goodness) guide us to a saving faith. To learn more please read, “How Can I Be Saved?”
For something truly good to be done, we must learn how to surrender our will for God’s will, which is making what we do and why we do it the same as God’s, and make all of what we think, say and do what God wants us to be thinking, speaking and doing, and why He wants us to do it in accord to His will, so that we do can be for His glory alone, if we are going to do anything truly good. This is how we accept God’s grace… so He can be everything through us.
We can even give glory to God for doing something through us, but if our words don’t match the reality of our actions, our words don’t really mean anything. Of course we want to give glory to God for everything, but we can never know how much of grace (God) we actually allowed to move what we have done, if there is anything at all. We can’t correctly read our souls.
What Happens When We Can See?
When we obtain this humility and truly understand our nothingness, and it dwells within us, when someone complements us for something we did that appears to be “good” or they just want us to feel special or happy, we might say the standard polite “thank you” or nothing at all, because we don’t feel it is the time to dialogue about our nothingness and God’s grace.
But on the inside, we will be thinking, “If there was actually anything done by me that was not driven by my pride, which was truly good, surely the credit goes to God and Him alone.” Complements toward us will begin to sicken us… not make us feel good. We will hate self-glory. We will feel like we are robing God of the glory that only belongs to Him.
Once we gain a delicate conscience and are able to see more clearly why we do what we do and learn more about our nothingness, we will be horrified to realize how little we do that actually has God’s grace moving us. We will be shocked to see that most of our intentions, especially before we obtain a saving faith, are riddled with impurities, being driven by our pride (self-love).
Regardless of how good we think we are or how seemingly wonderful, charitable and sacrificial our acts may appear to be, there are hidden sinister intentions, which are actually being moved by evil, riddled in what we do. This is very true and very tragic, which is why some saints have cried out that everywhere they look all they see is sin… their impure corrupt intentions. All they saw was themselves sinning.
When, or if, we get to this point in our faith and can see this clearly, it can be very overwhelming to see our nothingness this greatly, especially if we would rather die than sin (have a saving faith). Knowing we are constantly hurting Our Beloved Lord is horribly hard to bear, when we truly love Him.
This when people can start to obtain true scrupulous thinking. Most “scruples” people think they have prior to this enlightenment stage in our faith are probably not actual scruples at all… they are just God trying to enlighten us.. to awaken us from our sleep in sin. So, please don’t allow others to remove our concern for our sins… that leads to death, not Life. To learn more please read, “How Can I Over Come My Scruples.”
When one’s conscience is this alert, we actually have to try to not see so much. Of course, we still want to see and repent and change. But if we are really attuned to sin, we can see it literally constantly… since there is always a greater perfection we can strive for. So, we have to not focus on everything, just on what we think God wants us to work on leaving or perfecting at that moment.
Of course, before our enlightenment to our misery, we should be spending our life trying to see, since we are blind. But once we can see more clearly, so we don’t die of sadness over our sins, we will have to look less. The only way one can survive, without dying of grief over our offences against God, is by clinging to God’s mercy, living a life of penance and knowing He loves us despite our sins and wants to save and perfect/purify us.
When this enlightenment of our nothingness comes to us and lives in our heart, we no longer want to reward ourselves. We don’t want to live with any self-indulgent. We want to live for the cross to atone for our sins.
All of the self-indulging, self-glorifying things we used to seek, we simply don’t want. It will no longer be hard to reject the good food, the fun trips, the nice things, the worldly conversations and entertainment we used to desire and choose less. We will want less; we will know we don’t deserve anything but less. Yes, when a heart of true humility dwells in us, we will want the cross of Christ.
How to Be Nothing
If we want this life of peace. If we want Eternal Life and to stop rejecting God (salvation) since we have made ourselves God, we need to learn how to embrace our nothingness.
We need to want to be nothing. After we want to be nothing, then we need to come to see all of the ways we make ourselves, who are nothing, into something. This will take some time. God will only reveil so much to us at one time. But whatever God allows you to see it what you will work on removing. And then after you destroy that pride in you, then you can move to another area of your life the eventually, with the help of God’s grace, you will we the nothing you really are and God will be everything.
To be nothing is very simple. All we need to do is decide we want God to be everything trough us. This means we need to learn how to let go of ourselves (our will) and allow God and His grace to consume our every thought, word and action.
Seek God’s Grace
We need to stop spending our time trying to be good (God) and start spending our time SEEKING GOD’S GRACE, so our pride can stop moving us and God and His will can be the good that moves every thought, word and deed we do. For without this grace consuming we are nothing.
“I beg You, Lord, direct my soul yourself and be with me, for of myself I am nothing.”
–St. Faustina (Diary #1746)
If we can do this, then we will stop trying to use our gifts or complaining about our lack of gifts that God has given us or has not given to us, looking for success or complaining about our lack of success (seeking self-glory) and start surrendering our will for God’s knowing God has a plan for our good through every moment–if we can obey (do, think or say what He wants), or learn and change through all He allows. This means God has a plan for our salvation (the only thing that truly matters) in all He wants and allows to occur in our lives.
Please know, God is not interested in our prideful earthly success like we have been deceived into believing and seeking Him to obtain. If we can change and progressively learn how to seek, accept and keep God’s grace withing us, striving to do His will alone (never sinning and thinking, speaking and doing only what He wants), then God can use our gifts or lack of gifts for the salvation of our souls, as we give all glory to Him, not making false praise from hearts of pride, but true praise to God for His grace from God humbling–crushing our hearts–into nothing (where they should be), so His grace can fill and use us for what is truly good.
So, please know, no matter how we are made or what has occurred, God has a plan to use every moment of our lives to help move us into a saving faith and to use us to help others obtain a saving faith… God loves us sinners and wants us in Heaven… that is, if our free will allow Him to save us. This should be our hearts desire… not achieving something in this world, but surrendering our will for God’s so He can save and sanctify our souls.
If our focus in life was on obtaining the kingdom of God and not on having a great earthly life, we would be in wonderful peace, trusting in God in all He allows (the good and the bad), looking for God to fill us with His grace, so we can perfectly do His will, so He and His goodness can change us and do good through us for the salvation of souls.
Therefore, if the saints tell us that we must focus on becoming holy and sinning no more… that isn’t so we can be “good.” That is so God can come dwell within us, so He can do good through us, so we can come to true repentance for our sins and obtain the kingdom of God that we all should be seeking.
Also, I do want us to know, that even though God knows we are sin and not good, He doesn’t view us as evil. He looks at us from a Father’s eyes of love, that, most of the time, over looks our sin and sees our potential. So, while yes, we are nothing but sin… God also knows what He created us to be (good) and can’t wait to make us into His beautiful creation again… full of His grace.
“God is able to make every grace abundant for you, so that in all things [being full of grace], always having all you need [having God’s goodness moving you], you may have an abundance [of grace] for every good work [being done by God through you]” (2 Corinthians 9:8).
Love Ourselves – Hate Ourselves
Pride is the inordinate love of ourselves. Pride is how we replace loving God (doing good) for loving ourselves (sinning). How can we love ourselves when we are nothing but sin? We should hate ourselves. This is true. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t to love ourselves at all.
We need to love ourselves how Christ loves us. He doesn’t love us because we are so good or because of anything we have done. He knows we are nothing but sin… He knows that all good in us is because of Him.
God loves us because we are His children… as sinful as we are, we are His, and for that fact alone, He loves us. Therefore, we need to love ourselves and seek salvation since God loves us and He wants us there… and for that reason alone.
Of course, we need to also love how He made us, with our talents and gifts or lack of talents and gifts. Those aren’t “ours”. They are God’s and part of His plan for the salvation of mankind, that is if we allow Him–His grace–to move our gifts. But, no matter how many blessings have been bestowed upon us, we are never to love ourselves (our pride… our sinfulness). We are sin.
Please know the root of all sin that we must lose, that we must detach from, is our inordinate love for ourselves (our pride). If we want salvation, we can’t love ourselves. We are sin. We MUST obtain a holy hatred of ourselves… of our sinfulness. This is the only Way to Life.
Of course, I’m not talking about having the self-pity, self-hatred many suffer from, since our hearts are filled with jealousy of others, when our prides were injured when we did wrong. Some of us, if we are more self-destructive in our thinking, will wallow in self-pity over a mistake or a sin we commit… since our pride so badly doesn’t want to do anything wrong… these tears of self-pity, we might have, aren’t a sign of humility, but of great pride because we can’t bear to not be good.
The self-hatred I’m speaking about hating our sinful self, fully knowing we are nothing but sin. Hating how we have chosen our will and not God’s. Hating how aren’t constantly seeking grace to move our selves and doing much through our pride. Hating who we are without God living in us.
When we truly hate ourselves, our heart will long for God. It will be a deep pining, because we can’t stand ourselves without Him.
Beware of The Righteous Boast
Tragically, so many people who become Christians, never grow in humility, since once they begin to change, they begin to boast too. Tragically, from not learning the faith, they simply don’t know they need be seeking humility. Then they toil to try to be a good Christian only to poison themselves at the same time… since they grow in pride.
If we are working to not offend God and live the faith, beware to not become deceived into thinking we are now good, since our sins are now leaving and we are growing, knowledge, prayers and works, and begin to boast of our greatness or “holiness”. If we do that, as one sin leaves, our pride, which is just as deadly, if not more deadly, is increasing. Therefore, we aren’t gaining what is truly holy in us, which is God, but we are growing more greatly in sin… pride.
Always remember “only God is holy” ( ). If God does remove what is unholy in us (sin), if we don’t learn how to grow in humility at the same time, all will be for not. We most certainly will reject God at our end to love ourselves.
We can tell an atheist to not sin but does that make him good. Not at all, it is only God and His grace, when we allow it into our heart, that makes anything about us good. All glory is His alone.
The Deadly Complement
Oh, we can see our poor deceived souls just feeding others with complement after complement… killing them. Now, I’m not suggesting we never say a positive encouraging word to another, but we are never to inflate ones ego just for the sake of declairing how “good” they are. We might make them smile from puffing their pride. We might make them like us from puffing their pride. But what we are really doing is KILLING THEM.
Any complement should only be directed toward them to help show them that something they did was pleasing to God and that they should continue to do it in order to grow into a saving faith.
But we don’t use complements sparingly and for the right reason, so to not inflate another’s pride. Many love to complement others, since we want to be liked and like to see others inflate their pride in happiness… thinking they are “good”, when they are far from it.
Sadly, we are just blind to the deadly effects of the complement. But the saints ran from complements. They wanted nothing to do with them. Therefore, we need to do the same too, so we don’t destroy someone’s hope for salvation.
But sadly, today since we are in this time of darkness, if we don’t placate one’s ego, most won’t continue to do what we are doing. We will feel unappreated, since we are not living to serve but to be served. So, in a way, until we pull the blinders off of the world–until we teach others the true faith–sadly some complements are actually necessary… to motivate others to continue working or doing what is needed.
Even God will try to move us in our faith using sin, since sin is all we understand. But sin we must eventually leave if we are to embrace God and not sin.
Therefore, if we want to help save souls, we need to teach others the true faith, so we will stop being elated in our pride by the kind words of others, and start teaching others what we should be living for and giving credit to, GOD.
Detach from Ourselves
The entire focus of our life, if we want to be save by Jesus, is supposed to be focusing on detaching from ourselves, which is bad and attaching ourselves to God, who is good and wants to save us from ourselves.
We Live for Our Pride
If we want to stop following most of humanity, who are full of much pride, living a life loving and being attached to themselves and not their Savior–seeking endless things for happiness that aren’t God and His will (having many idols)–we will need to change everything. For we have many many attachments that are killing us:
- Our sins: the unchanged habitual sins we have or sins we are not truly sorry we have committed
- The world: people, power, and pleasure we seek for happiness
- Ourselves: Our will: self-love, self-glory, self-interests
If we are attached to anything upon our death and not fully attached to Our Savior, we will reject God (salvation) any of them.
we need to change and follow those who actually became truly righteous, God’s saints. We need to obtain their humility to be able to allow God to save us, since pride rejects both saving and helping grace.
“God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (1 Peter 5:5).
Then, after God’s grace transforms our hearts, we can be with Noah and Lot. Yes, we need to lose our pride and our desire for more and more pride. We must detach from it, or we will surely die.
If I Poke You, Will You Cry?
So, we can see our exuberant pride, God gives us tests. He pokes us and it is our response to that poke, that is suppose to awaken us to our great need to repent and change… to our great pride–blinding pride–that lives within us.
Poking someone is a great way for them to see the deadly pride within them, but they need to know what their response to our mentioning of their imperfection proves.
We are living in a time of such darkness, we need to go out into the world and greatly evangelize the True Way to Heaven, or all will be lost. To help enlighten souls, Lifting Our Values has provided a little card titled, “Did My Words Upset You” that explains in very few words that our anger, discussed, or “hurt” feelings at someone’s correction or pointing out a sin or imperfection, proves.
Hopefully, with reading these truths, coming from someone other than the person doing the correcting, will awaken souls to look further into the state of their soul.