Wednesday, February 15, 2023

"Envy" a homily for Monday, February 13th, 2023

“The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not.  Cain greatly resented this and was crestfallen.”  

Sometimes, the Catechism can provide an entire homily, and so I would like to use the Catechism today, because the Catechism’s section on envy is beautiful, even though it likely disturbs us in some ways.

2538 The tenth commandment requires that envy be banished from the human heart.

Envy can lead to the worst crimes. (And the footnote here is to this passage from Genesis)

The Catechism continues: "Through the devil's envy death entered the world"

The Catechism here quotes from a sermon by Saint John Chrysostom, whose relic we have on our rerdos here at Saint Paul’s:

Saint John Chrysostom says “We fight one another, and envy arms us against one another. . . . If everyone strives to unsettle the Body of Christ, where shall we end up? We are engaged in making Christ's Body a corpse. . . . We declare ourselves members of one and the same organism, yet we devour one another like beasts."

The Catechism continues, saying “Envy is a capital sin. It refers to the sadness at the sight of another's goods”

Here we can pause and reflect “am I sad at the success of a fellow Catholic?” 

The Catechism continues: “When envy causes a human person to wishes grave harm to a neighbor it is a mortal sin:

Here the Catechism quotes St. Augustine, who saw envy as "the diabolical sin."... "From envy are born hatred, joy caused by the misfortune of a neighbor, and displeasure caused by his prosperity."

2540 Envy represents a form of sadness and therefore a refusal of charity; the baptized person should struggle against it by exercising good will. Envy often comes from pride; the baptized person should train himself to live in humility:

And here the Catechism quotes from another sermon by St. John Chrysostom:

"Would you like to see God glorified by you? Then rejoice in your brother's progress and you will immediately give glory to God. Because his servant could conquer envy by rejoicing in the merits of others, God will be praised."

Let us resolve to affirm the good we see in each other, and in each other's actions, particularly when we feel ourselves being tempted to be envious of them.

No comments:

Post a Comment