Good morning!

Today a little reflection on the most deadly sin of them all….pride!

Pride is the most subtle of spirits and vices because pride is often rooted in achievement and perfection and God is a God calling us to be perfect!

And so at times we can follow Jesus and get healed etc. more out of our own desire to be perfect than out of love for God!

In other words, some wish to be perfect so they can walk about like a model on a catwalk and have everybody admiring them!

This type of attitude can be very prevalent in all areas of the church!

People arrive to church dressed immaculately. They pray 5 rosaries a day, they don’t go to pubs or clubs, they are perfect!

Or are they?

How much of their behaviour is done out of love and how much is a subtle type of spiritual pride, only God knows but when these same people have no love or charity for neighbour and no desire to evangelize then I smell a rat!

In today’s Gospel Jesus was criticised for hanging out with the wrong people and yet He was God!

Now there will always be ‘holy excuses’ not to evangelize and go out and the most subtle one is not to ‘enter into the occasion of sin’!

So your average Pharisee will use this excuse for not meeting and mixing with the ordinary people and it sounds so holy and self-righteous!

The problem with this attitude is that by ‘not entering into the occasion of sin’ they are ‘not entering into the occasion of love and reaching out’ which is an even more serious sin of ommission!

Of course it’s true that by going to places like pubs that you might have a drink too many, if your not careful you might even laugh but God isn’t so focused on your sin but your charity!

God’s focus is in the good you are doing, the people you are loving and if in the middle of that you should happen to slip up, so what? Confession is always there and no better way to grow in humility than to discover that you are no better than the riff-raff at the pub!

Now a word of caution! I’m not suggesting that you live in the pub and stop going to church but rather that you open your heart to all without judging and allow this to become a part of your spiritual growth!

I know people who do retreat after retreat and live in places like Lourdes and Medjugorje and yet have very little compassion or mercy for others who you may find in a pub!

One wonders if after so many years of retreats if they haven’t retreated backwards! 🤣🤣

Has the pit of pride tricked them while the real people desperate to hear and experience the love of God are on the streets and in the pubs and are still waiting for an ‘apostle of love’ to help them!!

So today my message is simple! Retreats and masses and prayers are excellent and 100% necessary but they are only half the story!

After we must be prepared to do like mother Theresa and get our rosaries dirty with the ordinary people all around us!

So friends, fear not ‘entering into the occasion of sin’ but take a deep breath, trust in God’s mercy and go out bringing the healing love and mercy of God to the lost sheep in pubs, clubs etc. less you fall into the sins of fear, pride and omission!

Off we go! People to meet!

Have a good one!

Mike