The most terrible cancers, and difficult to heal are the diseases that prevent us from being witnesses of Christ [IIª reflection: tepidity]

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CANCER MORE TERRIBLE AND ARE DIFFICULT TO CURE DISEASES THAT PREVENT TO BE WITNESSES OF CHRIST

[ (II)ª REFLECTION: tepidity ]

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Many church communities are infested with this type of disease: lukewarmness. Tutto is contaminated by this disease: fraternal relations, love life, the economics, the selection and election of community leaders, liturgical life, the charity …

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Author
Ivano Liguori, Ofm. Capp.

 

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Fragility, Roman work of painter Anna Boschini, It is from the catalog of Mondadori Art, 2019 [cf. Vitarte Gallery, WHO]

I challenge readers of The island of Patmos never to have heard in Church - including groups of laity, religious communities, priests or curial environment - expression: "It has always done so".

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This sentence, far from wanting to preserve tradition - the real one, no traditionalism - is actually the biggest threat to the growth of the Church community. Behind 'has always done well', It hides the trap that prevents the Christian to be an authentic witness of the risen Lord.

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Here then is to break into the second spiritual sickness: tepidity. You get to contracting this disease when we take the habit of doing things for the Lord routine. As well as teaching the old manuals of spirituality, lukewarmness may cover all or incipient the perfect.

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It seems strange, but often we can discover us lukewarm just after taking a sufficient degree of fervor and union with the Lord. Indeed, closing the grace or the Holy Spirit's inspirations, They are characterized as hazardous elements that draw them to the lukewarm; as well as the crystallization in a faith that fulfills a purely purely human. In this case, the complacency of an artificial faith takes over the "new wine" (cf. MC 2, 22) the Lord wants to pour with plenty in my life and I will see jailed me to repeat the same pattern that will drain the vitality of the Gospel, leading me spiritual flattening.

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wanting to hazard a definition of lukewarm we can say that: is repetitive devotion to the work of man that is opposed to the virtue of religion which consists of a readiness of mind toward God. And the Word of God is clear, about the condemnation of apathy and lukewarm condemnation of man:

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"I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. I would thou wert cold or hot! But because you are lukewarm, you are neither cold nor hot, I will spit you out of my mouth " (cf. AP 3,14-16).

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After the storm, Roman work of painter Anna Boschini

Many ecclesial communities They are infested with this type of disease and everything is contaminated by this disease: fraternal relations, love life, the economics, the selection and election of community leaders, liturgical life, the charity … Often, in front of a fair appeal before this soporific lifestyle, There is justified by saying: "What harm do? My prayers try to say them, Sunday Mass more or less follow her, what else should I do?». What is missing in these people and these communities is a holy restlessness to know Jesus and to make him loved.

 

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The apathy is recognized by several symptoms, byiamone with someone: the first symptom, It is the normalization. Today we have a tendency to standardize everything and then to justify everything. For example sin. Normalize sin is to recognize that God's love wound, because it is accomplished by many and with a certain frequency, It loses its problematic. Or they tend to normalize sinful acts minimizing them: "I committed peccadilloes, I had a passioncella, I kept the bad habit '.

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Challenge, Roman work of painter Anna Boschini

The warm tends to normalize and to minimize the reality that surrounds him with the illusion of bringing peace and mercy. It is self-convinced that there is nothing left to improve in your life because - after all - has reached a stable equilibrium reassuring. However, Jesus in the Gospel does not praise the tepid demand but raising the level of discipleship toward a justice empowered by sanctifying grace:

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"I will indeed say: unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, never enter the kingdom of heaven " [cf. Mt 5,20].

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The third symptom of apathy is doubt, son of lukewarmness, which the tepid man has a great propensity to doubt - not because he is a skeptic convinced - but because the question allows him to not take a clear position on faith and relationship with God. Often it is usually repeated phrases like these: "I think I'm a believer but I have always been many unresolved doubts about faith ', and although he is chosen in a good accompaniment which tends to settle certain problematic, doubts persist anchored to the will of the person. To which come Moses, the lukewarm who doubts, It is unable to enter the Promised Land in which he fully realizes the relationship with God [cf. Dt 32,48-52]. It is content to see the spiritual reality from afar. There is a substantial difference, however,, that Moses became a source of shame and emphasizes a certain incompleteness to their vocation; in warm doubt it is conceived as relief that relieves, once again, the problem of God.

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Meeting to freedom, Roman work of painter Anna Boschini

Fourth symptom of apathy It is the free rein of concupiscence. The man who is immersed in lukewarm, soon lost the reference to the person of God, the ability to renounce himself and status new man Saint Paul calls for the man who has been redeemed by Christ [cf. Mt 16,24; MC 8,34; LC 9,23; If the 4,24]. With the proliferation of various disorders in the soul that makes human nature far from grace, the warm is a slave of lust that he himself helped to feed. Here, then, that theso in lust it leads to the maturation of some very dangerous fruit - the seven deadly sins - that lead to ever greater moral disorders, much to spoil the beauty of man created by God. This lust leads man to regress to a condition that enslaves their instincts and passions.

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In the past the holy fathers of monasticism Evagrio Pontico, John Damascene, Gregory of Nyssa, Antonio Abate since most expert of the human soul, They had worked out different ways to fight the deadly sins, in addition to the constant vigilance of the heart, It was necessary evangelization of conscience, thoughts and feelings.

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With this second contribution which he sought to analyze the spiritual sickness of apathy, You want to warn the Christians so that there is always a steady progression in the journey of knowledge of the Lord, because as rightly teaches St. Augustine, the not advance the cause of God means going back. And because the desire for God's holiness for all his children [cf 1Ts 4,3], we can only fight the disease of apathy that cloaked nowadays of doing good and tolerance reaps many victims in the Church.

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[After the Secondª meditation]

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Cagliari, 5 February 2019

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