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SPIRITUALITY


 

 

THE EVIL IN ME

"I find this law at work in me: when I want to do good, evil is right there with me . . .what a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" (Romans 7:21,24)

My Helper, in all my mental struggles, You did not permit me to be carried away from the faith.

This is my faith: You exist; You love and care for me. And, in Christ, You have established the way of salvation so that we can obtain life in You. And you have verified and commended this way to us that leads to Life through Holy Scriptures.

But with this conviction I burn to know one thing. What is the origin of evil that so often wells up from the hidden depths of my heart?

I have endured many agonies. . .I have cried out to you. . .I have begged to know, that I might be free from it. In these terrible times, I spoke to no one else, not even my closest friends. But all the time you heard! My heart's desire was always before You.

I had been searching outside not knowing that the answer was inside. My soul was seeking peace outside unable to see that peace was inside.

You, O Lord were not angry at my fumbling blindness. You kept me in a state of restlessness. Finally, I saw the truth about the origin of evil.

It is that I felt superior in all my strivings; not seeing that, in all these strivings, I was still inferior to You. Pride is like a spiritual wound in the face, shutting up the eyes of understanding. This pride separated me from You. But Your stinging ointment caused my pride to subside.

What is this stinging ointment?. . .understanding and sorrow for my sinful condition. Seeing my condition, I looked upon you and your mercy for me. And You became my beginning point. 

This is the right order of my spirituality, that I be subject to you and then, by your grace, I should rule over my body.

From then till now I have kept that wholesome sorrow for my sins that causes me to run to you for the healing of my soul, and not away from you in my pride. For I see now that this pride -- self-sufficiency before you -- is the source of evil in me.

It is in coming to you weak, hungry and in need that my darkened and troubled soul gradually gains strength.

St. Augustine 

 

(11-27-02)

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