Grace to you!
Among cancer patients, there are numerous instances of incredible faith and courage worth sharing. One example was a teen diagnosed with cancer of the blood.
She fought the cancer with all her blood. Her courage and positive attitude amidst the pains of her treatment remain, for many in her neighborhood, a source of strength and inspiration. At her funeral, in an overflowing church, many testified to her resilience. She fought to the end.
As I lift cancer patients in prayers, asking for the grace of healing, I am reminded of their courageous testimonies.
Observe the terrible impact of cancer to the cells. By way of analogy, one can compare it to how sin impacts the soul and our spiritual core. Just like cancer, it eats deep so much so that the soul is weakened. Thank God sin and the root of sin don’t have the final say. We can ward it off; in other words, we can overcome sin by the grace of God.
However, given that sin comes very easily, coupled with our weakened nature as human beings, in addition to sin’s alluring power, it takes the heart of a spiritual warrior to overcome. Grace is sufficient (2 Cor 12:9), but we have to accept its sufficiency and put it to work for us to overcome sin.
The Letter to the Hebrews gives us one of the dispositions in dealing with temptations and fighting against sin: “Resist unto blood” (Hebrew 12:4). Meaning, resist to the point it hurts or should I say, to the point you feel you are completely drained. The discipline required to become victors is such it entails grave sacrifices. Blood relates to sacrifice.
We have to know this about sin. In addition to its subtle allurements, its tenacious bearing shouldn’t be underestimated. If we must win, in matters of sin, there should be no middle ground. Compromise is the bait of sin snowballing.
Any slight, willful compromise has huge implications in the spiritual life. From those little attempts, the torrents of sinful passion take the better of the person. Victory becomes more and more difficult.
Nip it in the bud. Look it straight in the face and call it out for what it is—sin. We can’t hold our shoulders high when we’ve put our head down.
Many times, sin gets the best of us. It shouldn’t stop us from fighting. Isn’t it why Christ provided for us the Sacrament of Reconciliation so when beaten, we can be healed? Isn’t it why Christ shows mercy? Divine mercy and grace nip sin in the bud.
May we not be like despairing warriors who say, because they have been severally beaten, there is no more need to fight. Rather may we be like the soldiers, who though wounded, fight on to win the war.
Praying for our victory over sinful passions. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.