The Church of Saint Agnes

1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

The Church of Saint Agnes
1680 Dixie Highway, Fort Wright, KY 41011

Saint Agnes School | Contact Us

Memorial Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini

Date: 
Mon, 11/13/2017
Author: 
Rev. Msgr. Donald Enzweiler

In the Garden of Eden, our first parents, Adam and Eve are given a warning.
Though they live in Paradise, God calls their attention to danger.  “Beware” God says
not of the wild animals, not of the poison ivy, not of the stinging bees or pesky mosquitoes…
“Beware” God says “of sin”.
God counsels them about what they can and cannot do.
He blesses them with freedom but lets them know there are limits.
They will have to practice restraint.
Low and behold, Adam and Eve fail to maintain discipline regarding God’s warning.
They let their guard down, give in to temptation, and are seduced by evil.
 
Jesus echoes God’s concern about the danger of sin.
He warns his disciples:  “Beware” he says “of the reality of sin.
If you cause someone weak in faith to fall into sin,
if you cause someone to abandon the Way because of your bad example, or disedification…
if you scandalize a brother or sister who looks up to you
and as a result they take up another way of life…then the Kingdom of God is lost to you.”
 
If such a warning does not leave us shaking in our boots,
if we don’t fall to our knees with a renewed and heightened “fear of the Lord”,
with a more profound respect for the possibility of losing our salvation,
then we have failed to take seriously the consequences of sin.
As a result we will not be disciplined as far as avoiding the dangers of sin
and we will be seduced by evil…many people are without even knowing it.
 
The “Beware of Sin” sign has never been taken down.  And yet it’s like we don’t even see it any more.
Sin has become such a part of our daily landscape, that its presence doesn’t seem out of place.
Sin has been and continues to be normalized.  We no longer recognize what is wrong about sin.
We’ve adapted to it, made adjustments ever so slowly over time.
 
It’s like a frog put in a pot of cool water.
If heat is applied and the temperature of the water is increased slowly,
the frog never becomes uncomfortable and never jumps out. 
It stays in the water and will allow itself to be boiled to death.
 
When I was a teenager I had the opportunity to travel to Chicago.
I was taken aback when one of the locals there said to me “you talk with a southern twang”.
I had no idea.  I always thought I talked “normal”.
 
If and when we ever pray “Lord, increase my faith”
what we are praying is “Lord, increase my awareness of sin
and give me the strength and courage and discipline to give it a wide berth, to avoid it all costs.”
 
“Beware of Sin”. It’s out there.  It’s not just “out there” it’s in here, in the heart.
Resist.  Exercise restraint.  Disciple the will.  Don’t drop your guard.
Evil has seduced us.  God comes to rescue us.
 
Today’s prayer:  “O Lord, we seek You with integrity of heart.  Bring us to a new appreciation of the dangers of sin.  Keep us safe from those forces that would separate us from You.  May Your Spirit bless us always with wise counsel.  Amen!”