Saturday, May 5, 2012


This is a  long post and one I would rather not make, but is essential for soul-baring.  When you join Regnum Christi, you learn about root sin.  Fr. Jonathan Morris discusses root sin briefly in his book, The Promise.  There are three.  Pride - Putting your security and self-esteem in yourself (Easily annoyed with those who contradict.  Given to anger and impatience).  Vanity - Putting your security and self-esteem in others (People-pleaser).  Sensuality - Putting your security and self-esteem in feelings and comforts (Feelings rule the day).  We all have some of each of these, but chances are we have one that is predominant.  For me, after some serious soul-searching, I realized that vanity infiltrated everything I did.  Not the mirror-gazing variety (although, not guilt-free in this department, either), but being motivated by what other people think.

In Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis says "So long as a man is foolishly pleased with himself, to You (God) he is only displeasing; so long as he covets the good opinion of men, he is depriving himself of true virtue."  Jesus says to him, "You must not let your peace of mind depend on what people say about you.  The construction they put on your actions may be correct or false; that doesn't make a different man of you.  Where will you find true peace, real glory?  It is in me, as you well know.  The man who is neither bent upon pleasing his fellows nor afraid of offending them will enjoy great peace.  It is from affections allowed to run wild and from baseless fears that all disquiet of heart arises..."

With that, I'll share two journal entries from last year when I first started trying to figure this whole thing out.

March 16th, 2011 -

Dear Lord, please help me.  I want to be a light to souls and stir them up for you.  I want them to think about you and praise you and thank you, Lord.  In my attempt to share my tiny glimpse of you (I shared an email with one of my reflections), what started as an effort born of pure intention quickly became an email-checking frenzy after I shared it...waiting to see if anyone was touched or moved in any way.  I still believe my eagerness is for a soul moved closer to You, its source, but if that is true, why do I become so impatient?  I just want to be a tool for you, but I don't know if I'm being effective unless people tell me.  Is it prideful to share my thoughts on You?  Is it self-important?  I don't know if my thoughts are gifts from You and thus should be shared or if they are my own and thus should be kept to myself.  You have told me before that your plans will be clear to me, maybe I should keep quiet until then?

Please show me where I am sinning, Lord.  I'm trying to take my blinders off, but I need your help.  Please, also, show me how I can best serve You.  I love you.  Amen.
March 23, 2011 -
I'm still trying to figure out if I'm vain or not...Today, as I was washing my car, I noticed I would look up every time a car passed by.  Why?  I think I want to know if they notice me or not.  I think I feel special/different when people notice me.  I don't think I care so much what they think about me.  Okay--if it is not their good opinion I'm after, then it is the feelings of being preferred or set apart somehow...that has to be pride!  So:
PRIDE - motherhood, impatience, wanting to be preferred
VANITY - motherhood, house
Since writing these entries, I realized that my vanity (commonly) manifested itself in my relationship with my husband and those closest to me.  I realized that in my marriage, I would do anything to have my husband think well of me.  This was fine with him.  I would go out of my way to keep him comfortable.  I would avoid conflict by trying to keep the kids quiet and the house clean, and not encourage him in his spiritual growth.  Why?  For love?  Sadly, no.  For fear.  Fear of being seen in a negative light. 
So, with God's grace, a clarifying discussion with my spiritual director, a long month of feeling like my husband was an obstacle on my pathway to holiness, and wondering "What should I be doing differently?!!!", I figured it out.  I needed to continue to love and serve my husband (the same things I was already doing), but for a different reason.  For love.  With purity of intention.
Purity of intention deserves a day of its own, so we'll discuss that tomorrow.
Enjoy this day with your family.  Soak up the time.  Practice the Presence of God.
Peace and Love, Heidi

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