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Today, a special thanks goes to the dear readers who endured my previous post all the way to the end. For those who had no time to read it, here is a briefer version before we go on to today’s post.
Trouble began in the universe when one of God’s creatures, the original angel of light, began a rebellion against the Almighty. That angel allowed himself to become envious of God’s generosity and transformed himself in an angel of darkness.
When the angels were invited to actively participate in God’s munificence, serving humankind, the original rebel responded: “I will not serve!” Thus becoming the adversary of God. To God’s generosity, that ancient rebel opposed his rapacity. Ever since then, the nature of that angel was willingly changed to one that opposed God’s will at every turn.
The ancient Greeks observed that human avarice was born from envy. They rightly noticed that there were two basic kinds of avarice, one seeking to posses things and the other seeking to control people. St. Paul defines them as an excessive desire of gain, greed, covetousness, cupidity; or an inordinate desire for some supposed good. In the case of fornication, the greedy person desires the pleasures of marital life but not the love and service that come attached to it. In this particular case we see the imprint of the original sinner who loved the glory of being an angel of light but refused to serve, thus rejecting the duties proper to his high state.
To be materially avaricious is a sign of not trusting in God’s generosity. “Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, ‘Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.’” — Hebrews 13:5. The will of God is to serve us generously, giving us love and life. The human tendency to sexual immorality is a form of idolatry of the self, a selfish desire to use others for gratification without concern for love and justice. “Put to death, therefore, the components of your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires, and greed, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5.
These two kinds of avarices come from the devil. Both are forces opposing the generosity of God. From God’s generosity come Logos (the Word, who came to us perfectly personified in the Incarnation as Jesus) and Sophia, the wisdom of God spoken of in Proverbs 8: 21-31 and Sirach 1: 1-5: “All wisdom is from the Lord, and with him it remains for ever. The sand of the sea, the drops of rain, and the days of eternity—who can count them? The height of heaven, the breadth of the earth, the abyss, and wisdom—who can search them out? Wisdom was created before all other things, and prudent understanding from eternity.” To show us a perfect representation of his Wisdom, God gave us Mary of Nazareth, the greatest woman that will ever live.
In a world contaminated by evil, we need wisdom to discern the will of God. Through Mary we have received the Word in the person of Jesus. This is a deep mystery the riches of which we will never finish learning.
To those essential forces of the goodness of God, the devil opposes material avarice and fleshy covetousness, represented in his wicked system by two ancient gods: Moloch and Mammon.
While that “hideous strength” opposing the will of God exists in the world, we need Sophia, wisdom to discern the divine will. That is the mission of Our Blessed Mother beautifully expressed in her words at Cana: “Do whatever he tells you.” — John 2:5. In those five verses at the beginning of John 2, we hear her talking to the Logos first: “They have no more wine.” And then talking to the servants instructing them to do whatever Jesus tells them to do, to follow his word.
In this dangerous times we live in, when the forces of evil most obviously have infiltrated the Church, we must pay close attention to the example and words of Our Mother. If we just ask her, she will give us the wisdom to discern what to do.
In this awful moment, when we see the abominations caused by all kinds of avarices hold sway on a great number within the Church, find consolation and hope in the words of Wisdom:
And Mary said:
“My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
holy is his name.
His mercy extends to those who fear him,
from generation to generation.
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm;
he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts.
He has brought down rulers from their thrones
but has lifted up the humble.
He has filled the hungry with good things
but has sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
remembering to be merciful
to Abraham and his descendants forever,
just as he promised our ancestors.”