Saturday, April 1, 2017
Today we hear from St Cyril of Jerusalem in A Year with the Church Fathers. He tells us about avoiding sinful thoughts.
St Cyril tells us that we think that it's OK to let sinful thoughts roll around in our minds as long as we don't act on them. We think that it won't hurt anything. But he says that those little thoughts grow insidiously into great big ones... and eventually become actions.
He uses a really powerful metaphor and says that if we rip out the sin by its tiny roots, we avoid the pain of axes and fire later on. Have you experienced the axes and fire? It's not pleasant. And it takes its toll. I definitely recommend ripping it out by the roots early on.
When we find ourselves beginning to experience baby sinful thoughts, let's ask for the grace we need to see their significance. Let's do as the picture above says, and run away.
Now all of this running away and axes and and fire are negative. And that's not what our lives in following Jesus is about. Our focus is not on avoiding sin, but on love. When we devote our lives to loving God and loving other people, it gives us motivation to avoid even the little sins.
God, thanks for giving us the motivation we need to avoid even the tiniest of sinful thoughts.