Monday, July 17, 2017
secret vices, secret virtues
St John Chrysostom talks to us in A Year with the Church Fathers about two types of secrets.
He says that when he preaches, he talks about those who are doing good and he talks about those who are doing evil. But no one knows who he's talking about, which benefits both of them. The ones who are doing good are not tempted to pride, and the ones who are doing evil are encouraged to amend their ways without shaming them in front of everyone.
But that reminds us that both of these things happen with the 7.3 billion people alive today. There are alot of people out there doing good, and we never hear about it. Jesus told us to keep our good deeds under wraps. (He also told us to shine our light for the world to see, but that's a matter of motivation and we talked about it in another blog) He said to pray in secret. Not to let our left hand know what our right is doing. In other words, don't make a big deal out of it when we do good. So millions of people are doing good every day, and we never hear about it. That should encourage you, with all the bad news you hear all of the time.
There is also a great deal of evil being done out there. And for other reasons entirely, we don't hear about most of that either. In a way, that's good too. Because as long as those doing evil think that it's not public knowledge, they (often) try to do better. They might see what they're doing is wrong, and turn from it. We should hope for that, and pray for it. Because we're all in this together. If they choose the dark side, they hurt the whole human family, including you and me.
So let's pray for those doing evil, that they might find the light. And let's keep doing good on the DL, knowing that millions of other people out there are doing the same thing.
God, thanks for secrets that help us.