The grace of onward

Destroy sin’s rearview mirror.

Jesus said the one who looks back at the plow cannot inherit the Kingdom.

Just turning around, Lot’s wife became an inert pillar of salt, regardless of actual motivation - fear or curiosity.

A grace to ask for: a forward expectation; a forward orientation of my life and its trajectory; a forward leaning mind open only to newness.

Temptation is to look backward. Tracking life is tracking self and dead work. An attentive gaze does not track the gazer.

Tracking includes that anxious policing of the interior for signs of sin’s desertion, noting more than a well-disguised desire to re-intoxicate. There is the seemingly private scan, to find and pick the scab of sin. But God sees this unseen maneuver of grasping after fumes of recent narcotic pleasure.

The Lord cannot operate in the reverse.

Sin is to go backward, to always go back. Not again! No more! Enough!

The sinner is totally and completely familiar with backward: it is boring, self-deluding, self-defeating, stupid, uncourageous, cowardly. The woman will say: I want nothing to do with you until that stupidity is conquered.

What is it? Indisciplined memory, the daring to take getting high into our own hands. The temptation to operate the ecstasy in secret, again….

This is the last frontier, the last barrier to freedom . The mind and memory, desire and heart.

Ask for the strength to stop looking backward, to stop searching imagination, stop raking into memories, and to remove the pebble of my human will.

The process of sin is complex and has to be systematically rooted out. This little group knows that this process is a complex - a composite of physiological, psychological, and spiritual elements. Jesus is the only power that can take them all apart and dispose them.

Here is a short excerpt from a homily by Fr Joseph Edattu of Divine UK, helping us to understand why we repeat sins of flesh.

Lack of presence of God leads to entertaining the evil spirit, evil desire, temptation, and sin.

Once a sin is committed, guilt kicks in. Have you noticed that we are not so perturbed by the evil desire, temptation, or the entertainment of the evil spirit, that actually caused us to sin?

We are worried only about the sin that was committed, not the process that led to the sin. The process still remains rooted in our minds even after the sin is committed. This is the reason we repeat sins even after several rounds of confessions.

The process which led us to sin is much more dangerous than the sin itself. The sin has already been committed, but the process still remains, and can lead us to commit sins repeatedly. For every addiction, there is a root cause. One is punished by the very thing by which one sins. ‘..’so that they might learn that one is punished by the very things by which one sins.’’ (Wisdom 11:16)

Many people fall into addictions and sins because they don’t want to face the reality of life.

To get rid of sin, preventing yourself from committing the sin alone will not suffice. The root needs to be removed from your system. The four steps that precede sin, i.e. the absence of God, entertaining evil spirit, evil desire, and temptation need to be expelled before the actual sin is completely removed from your body.

So we turn in prayer to our Doctor, our God

Beloved Jesus, come to live the reality of my humanity. Come Divine Will to remove the process of sin from body. Remove these traces and embolisms inside my sick soul: remove the amnesia that blocks our awareness that God is present; remove our desire to love and entertain the evil spirit; remove the deeply ingrafted evil desire in the root of my heart; remove the specter of temptation. Cure us Jesus; You came so that human life may now have freedom. We ask with faith in Your royal name Amen.