Editor’s Note: You may or may not have noticed my blog header has changed to “Beyond Words.” You may or may not have also noticed I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been in a bit of a lull regarding just the right words and just the right topics to write about. You could say the “write” words just haven’t come and, at the same time, I’ve been thinking of changing the focus and title of my blog. Sitting in mass this weekend I heard just what I needed to hear and voila: I’m back! My new “Beyond Words” blog will continue to be more of the same with maybe a few tweaks here and there. You need do nothing different to receive it and I can still be found at carlawordsmith.com. I hope you continue to read my words and as always, let me know when I get off the “write” track.
Happy Super Bowl Sunday…or as Father Larry said in his sermon, “the superest of all Sundays.” Well, kinda.
We all know it’s merely “super” because either the NFC team (New England Patriots) or the AFC team (Atlanta Falcons) will go home tonight World Champions. Again, kinda. Not really “world” champions, but Super Bowl Champions. It’s a day to be with family and friends and to eat, drink, and be merry. It’s also a day when, as Father explained, the 7 Deadly Sins rear their ugly heads.
Of course there is Gluttony. We eat foods we know we shouldn’t and we eat way too much. Many of us will also drink too much.
There is Envy. We are all envious of those pesky New England Patriots, their famed quarterback and coach, and all their past Super Bowl heroics. It’s said the only people rooting for the Patriots today are Patriot fans. The rest, are envious.
We will show Anger when the team we’re rooting for calls a bad play, turns over the ball, or when the other team scores.
Patriots fans will be full of Greed today, as they hope for their fifth Super Bowl victory. Quarterback Tom Brady will also be vying for his fifth Super Bowl title, which will make him the most prolific NFL QB in history…Super Bowl ring-wise at least.
Fans on both sides of the field will most likely display Pride as they cheer on their hometown boys.
The rest of us are sure to exhibit Sloth; sitting in front of televisions for virtually the whole day. Work? We’ll get to it tomorrow. Laundy? It can wait. Today is a day for America to take the day off!
As for the last of the deadly sins, Lust, let’s hope we don’t partake in it, if only that we lust for our team to win and not that Brady gets hurt!
All of this is, of course, fun and the game of football, but look ahead and as soon as tomorrow, and we are likely to be guilty of those very sins in our daily lives.
Do we work so hard to make more and more money that we neglect our family?
Do we eat even when we’re not hungry and serve ourselves whopping portions of what we do eat?
Do we get angry driving in traffic and envy those driving nicer cars than ours?
Are we so full of pride that we have lost our sense of humility?
Do we lie around watching mindless TV rather than going for a walk or volunteering somewhere?
And, do we lust after things that are immoral or just plain wrong and have impure thoughts or actions?
If you answered yes to any of those, no fear; you are not alone. At the same time you might tell yourself “no harm, no foul” if I cursed at the driver next to me or if I am proud of my accomplishments. The problem is, all these sins are the roots of greater sins such as murder, adultery, theft, and others.
So how can we avoid being sinfully proud, envious, and the like? By praying. It’s that simple. Simply pray every day. Pray for the gifts of the Capital Virtues.
Chastity will help you overcome lust and the infected acts it encourages.
Generosity will make you less greedy. Start by detaching from things of this world.
Temperance will overcome gluttony by helping you live in moderation.
If you have the gift of Brotherly Love, you will be less envious, which will lead to less badmouthing and a genuine happiness for others.
Anger can be weakened by meekness, which will help you control resentment while cultivating patience.
Humility will topple your pride and help you rely less on your will and more on God’s.
If you feel you have the sin of sloth, pray for Diligence and the ability to fulfill your duties in life, even when they are tiresome.
Whatever you do, don’t get overwhelmed. Instead, start with just one or two and watch how the others will be none too happy to creep into your life.
As I read my Facebook and Instagram pages these last few weeks, I see an incredible amount of envy, anger, pride, greed, and the need to insult and degrade. It is both alarming and disturbing how much hate and bitterness prevails. I have been guilty of them myself, but learned a good lesson on Friday.
As I was getting my hair done, my stylist and I were talking about the current state of our country, and after a lengthy discussion, I mentioned how I think it’s unfair that the “winners” of this election are being inundated with insults and abuse by those not victorious and are not allowed to be openly happy and celebratory. I was expecting a “Yeah, that’s just not right,” but instead my very wise and astute stylist replied, “maybe it’s an opportunity for us to be humble.” Bingo.
What a great place to start.