Thursday, October 22, 2009

Daily - 10/22/09

Romans 7:18-25a

18 For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not.

19 For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want.

20 Now if (I) do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.

21 So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand.

22 For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self,

23 but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

24 Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?

25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.


This is the first reading for Friday. Tomorrow is the rarest of occasions -- the mass reading coincides exactly with the passage being discussed in the Friday morning men's bible study. I also couldn't resist because I won't be able to make it this Friday, and I absolutely MUST be heard on this subject.

[The Friday morning guys know that WASN'T a joke.]

Paul is describing the spiritual battle that we all fight every day. We may not realize it, but this is always happening. The "flesh" -- our human nature -- is fallen and has a tendency to sin (ie, concupiscence). So even as we give ourselves over to God, we are trapped in our own flesh, which will sin. We can never completely escape that.

I'm willing to bet that every person reading this message feels that at times. A comforting thing to note is that we're in good company. If this still goes on with Paul, who was given the gift of understanding the fullness of salvation, then it's OK if it goes on with us.

Paul is able to understand and accept that when this happens, it is because of our fallen nature -- sin dwelling within us. Note that he doesn't offer this as an excuse -- he's not saying to go ahead and sin because it's hopeless. He's saying that sometimes, despite our best efforts, we sin anyway. It's a matter of fact that we have to live with. We are fallen. We are not perfect, and we won't ever be.

The good news is that if you read on to Romans 8, you get to see the flip side of the coin -- the possibilities of life in the spirit.