Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lenten Sunday

Imagine! A God who accepted even to undergo temptation by one of his own creatures--for the sake of his creatures.
St. Ambrose (yes, the teacher of Augustine) wrote about today's Gospel that there are "chiefly three weapons with which the Devil is wont to be armed for the wounding of the mind of man: the one of gluttony, the second of bragging, the third of ambition.... If he who seeks God is often tempted through the weakness of the flesh and narrowness of mind, how much more guilty is he who seeks the world! And ambition is the more ruinous, inasmuch as it is a persuasive advocate of dignities, and often makes criminals of those whom no vices could delight, no extravagance could move, nor avarice overthrow."
Here in Chicago we have elections on Tuesday. Two candidates for city office were removed from the ballot because of earlier convictions for felony, and we have had many other cases of corruption of late. Ambrose, a former city official himself, knew what danger there was in that third temptation. Clearly, though, ambition is an equal opportunity temptation! We can vie for honors in the strangest ways. So, from this and from all sin, deliver us O Lord!

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