James 4:13-17; Ps 49 Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs; Mark 9:38-40
"Where ever the need of the light and life of the Risen Christ is greatest, the church will want to be there…Frequently we act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. But the church is not a tollhouse, it is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems…"
"One of the more serious temptations which stifles boldness and Zeal is a defeatism which turns us into querulous and disillusioned pessimists, "sourpusses". Nobody can go off to battle unless he is fully convinced of victory beforehand. If we start with out confidence we have already lost half the battle and we bury our talents. While painfully aware of our own frailties, we have to march on without giving in, keeping in mind what the Lord said to St. Paul" My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Pope Francis Evangelium Guadium
We often speak of self-defeating behaviors.
How often have w meet people who set themselves up for failure? They procrastinate, choose things that will disappoint, they reject attempts of help or opportunities of success.
Behavior change is complex. Yet St. James tells us plainly, "so for one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, it is a sin."
Sin is a self-defeating behavior. It sets us up for failure , time and time again.
We know this! Yet why do not take a more proactive role in removing ourselves from those situations?
Because of the fall, all of us experience the effects of that original sin and enlarge part they show themselves as self-defeating behaviors.
Part of our task is to not accept these behaviors as fixed parts of our personality. We can not say God made me that way and be done with it. This is the first task of taking hold of the day as St. James says, "If the Lord wills it, we shall live to do this or that." Our plans are subject to that which is greater than us. Thus, we are empowered to embrace each day as a gift and opportunity.
It is in recognizing the poverty of our spirit that we encounter the blessing power of God as the psalmist reminds us, "Blessed are the poor on spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs!"
We are conquerors for Christ lives in us. Our self-defeating ways can actually be a source of grace that enables us to be in touch with God's creative and transformative power.
JEsus reminds us, "whoever is not against us is for us." We too shall not be against ourselves but open always to God's redeeming grace.