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Distortion

“Jesus realized the legal experts of His day had distorted the meaning of God’s Law. They had forgotten God’s mercy and grace toward human beings when He made provision for the Sabbath. For the sake of ultra-piety, they had become insensitive to the purpose of God and to the sufferings of humanity. I can identify with the legalists of Jesus’ day. I am comfortable with rules, and I am very capable of using them—either for my own benefit or as a club against others. I find it easier to live and judge others by the letter of the Law rather than by its spirit, which intends that I should treat other people with mercy and grace.” (Archpriest Steven John Belonick)


“Some people serve their distorted desires for fulfillment in money and possessions, like the rich fool in today’s gospel lesson. Others make false gods out of nationality, culture, race, or politics. Too many people today want to keep up “the dividing wall of hostility” so that they can indulge in the pleasure of condemning others as evil even as they imagine that they themselves embody all virtue. At a deep level, we all know that the passing distinctions between people and groups in this life extend no further than the grave. In order to protect ourselves from facing the anxiety fueled by basing our lives on such insubstantial realities, we like to convince ourselves that some worldly agenda manifests the ultimate good. It is no surprise, of course, that we tend to place ourselves on the right side of such divides.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)


“One way we make sense of life’s circumstances is by the meanings we ascribe to what we encounter. The narratives we tell ourselves have enormous power because of the web of reciprocities linking the way we think with the way we feel, behave, and relate to others. The problem arises when we impose meanings onto our experiences that stem from distorted or incomplete views of reality. Sometimes the narratives we tell ourselves are rooted in defense mechanisms that keep us tethered to self-deception, self-justification, victimhood, or enabling behaviors.” (Robin Phillips)


“Many people want to see the real God. The truth is, the only God they are likely initially to see here on earth is the one they see in us as His living icons. Our behavior in the world either manifests the truth of God’s love or distorts it into something that does not resemble God at all.” (Father David L. Fontes, PsyD)


“If we don’t have real love in our hearts as a result of a life dedicated to a relationship with God as our highest priority, it is impossible to truly deal with our own sin and the sins of others. When we are filled with God’s love, recognition of our own sin moves us to heartfelt sadness and then repentance. Without God’s love, recognition of our sin can lead us to a form of distorted self-judgment. This is a manifestation of pride since we are playing judge with ourselves which is to usurp God’s position and authority. He alone is our judge. When we think like this instead of mercy and compassion, we tend to apply the same judgment to others when we recognize their sin.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)


#ArchpriestStevenJohnBelonick #FrPhilipLeMasters #RobinPhillips #FatherDavidLFontesPsyD #SacramentalLivingMinistries


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