Do not love this world nor the things it offers you,
for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you.
For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure,
a craving for everything we see,
and pride in our achievements and possessions.
These are not from the Father, but are from this world.
And this world is fading away,
along with everything that people crave.
But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
– 1 John 2:15-17 (GNT)
Here, the term "world" has the pejorative sense of enemy of God and man.
It refers to the kingdom of sin
and includes everything that is opposed to God.
Following Christ involves a radical choice: "No one can serve two masters." (Mt 6:24)
Craving for physical pleasure;
craving for everything we see;
pride in our achievements and possessions
– these are signs of a worldly life
and these three summarise everything opposed to fidelity to the love of God.
Craving for physical pleasure is not limited to disordered sensuality.
It also means softness, laziness bent on the easiest, most pleasurable way,
any apparent shortcut, even at the expense of fidelity to God […].
We can and ought to fight always to overcome this obsession with physical pleasure,
because, if we are humble, we will always be granted the grace of our Lord.
Craving for everything we see, is that deep-seated materialism
that leads us to appreciate only what we can touch.
Such eyes are glued to earthly things
and, consequently, they are blind to supernatural realities,
and they view everything they see – other people, the circumstances of our life and of our age –
in a merely human way.
"Then the eyes of our soul grow dull.
Reason proclaims itself capable of understanding everything, without the aid of God. […].
Seduced by this temptation, the human mind appoints itself the centre of the universe,
being thrilled with the prospect that ‘you will be like God’ (Gen 3:5).
So filled with love for itself, it turns its back on the love of God.” (St. Josemaria Escriva)
Pride in our achievements and possessions
– the third enemy to which our existence can fall prey unconditionally.
"It’s not merely a question of passing thoughts of vanity or self-love,
it’s a state of general conceit.
Let’s not deceive ourselves, for this is the worst of all evils, the root of every false step.
The fight against pride has to be a constant battle,
to such an extent that someone once said that pride only disappears twenty-four hours after each of us has died.
It is the arrogance of the Pharisee whom God cannot transform
because he finds in Him the obstacle of self-sufficiency.
It is the haughtiness which leads to despising others,
to lording it over them,
to mistreating them.
For ‘when pride comes, then comes disgrace’ (Pr 11:2)"(St. Josemaria Escriva)
REPETITIVE PRAYER FOR TODAY…
Jesus, I give You my mind, my heart, my body, my soul.
Remove my cravings and my self-centred pride
and let me focus only on You, for You alone are my Lord!