Sun | Dec 16, 2018

Diary of a Ghetto Priest | Our weaknesses as seen by Mother Teresa

Published:Friday | October 19, 2018 | 12:08 AMFr Richard Ho Lung
Missionary of the Poor brothers praying.

There are desires or passions we have that can lead us astray. Some are stronger in each one of us; and we must examine our desires lest they lead us into sin. Nevertheless, they are natural and necessary as part of our human nature. They need to be checked and controlled, however, so we control them rather than allowing them to control us.

Let us reflect on the following:

- A desire to be esteemed, to be seen as successful, to fear failure; a needy dependence on the good opinions of others.

- A desire to be financially well-off, and a tendency to compare ourselves to others and value ourselves and others according to material wealth.

- A desire to be welcomed, to be understood, to be loved, to be praised.

- A desire to always act competently and to have our efficiency appreciated by others.

- A desire to carry out our own plans in our own way; a desire to always be right.

- A desire for safety and security - whether financial, social, or emotional - apart from God himself.

- A desire to impose ourselves on others by vigour, charm or persuasion.

- A constant curiosity; a desire to be a person 'in the know', to be the centre of information.

- An attachment to a particular person whose attention we crave, and around whom we easily experience jealousy when others gain that person's friendship or esteem.

An attachment to specific objects, possessions, articles of clothing, favourite foods, or preferred entertainments.

- A desire to organise our time and go through our day according to our sense of comfort.

- An overconcern in matters of physical or emotional health.

The depth of our love and joy will depend on detaching ourselves from thirsts that do not satisfy and saving our hearts for the one thirst for which we were made.

Let us look at all the above desires carefully and reflect on them. This way, we can grow in self-knowledge and govern, rather than be governed, by our instincts and feelings.

Jesus is the only one we should greatly desire above all other objects, creatures, or pleasurable feelings. All our passions must be moulded and moderated according to the beauty and perfection of Christ and serving Him.

Please note that all these points above are taken from Mother Teresa's reflective notes given on a 40-day retreat.