Friday of the Twenty-fourth Week in Ordinary Time

“Those who want to be rich are falling into temptation and into a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires, which plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evils.”  So wrote St. Paul in his first letter to Timothy.

St. Ignatius has his retreatants meditate on this truth in a special way as part of his spiritual exercises.  Inside one of those exercises, he presents a three stage process of temptation.  First comes the desire for riches, then the longing for honor, and finally pride, which is the fount of all the vices.

Thus, when a new cell phone comes out, sometimes we feel like we have to have it, because its new features will increase efficiency and productivity, improve communication etc.  Hidden inside that desire for riches, there may, in fact, be lurking two other temptations.  Maybe we think that having that cell phone will make us a go-to person, and improve our reputation, either in our own eyes or in the eyes of others, and that would be the desire for worldly honor that St. Ignatius is warning us about.  Maybe we think that, more than anyone else, we deserve the credit for becoming a better person by having this new cell phone, and this is the pride that we are being warned about.

September 22nd, 2017