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Archive for March 20th, 2015


Psalm 103: What is Oursenvy

March 20, 2015

“It is easy to look on the gifts of others as a threat.  We often want what we don’t have and in doing so forget the good that God has given us.  But wanting what is not rightfully ours is the root of many serious sins.  Let us instead look how generous God has been to us and rejoice in his generosity to others.  For this is the way to justice and happiness”.  (MAGNIFICAT Evening Prayer for Friday, March 13, 2009).

Psalm 103, often given the name Praise of Divine Goodness, brings us an opportunity to consider how willing we are to consider what is ours and what is not. It asks us to reflect on who has given us all that we have. It is an opening into our own psyche to think about who and what we covet, and why.

Today’s readings bring us new windows on our own lives.

It was out of envy that they handed Christ over.  Matthew 27:18

Love is patient.  Love is kind.  It is not jealous.  1 Corinthians 13:4

It is now the hour for you to awake from sleep . . . The night is advanced, the day is at hand.  Let us then throw off the works of darkness [and] put on the armor of light; let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus Christ . . . Romans 13:11-14

Wanting what is not ours only brings pain to ourselves and others.  This we know and we are quick to realize the damage we suffer when we covet the possessions of others; but how often do we unknowingly covet the intangibles of life?  We may wish we possessed others’ friends, others’ jobs, others’ good looks and easy manner.  Do we wish we had the closeness others have with God?  Are there relationships others might have in work and in play that we wish were ours?

When we want what is not ours, we open ourselves to that which grows in the dark.  When we give thanks for the gifts freely given us by God, we open ourselves to the light.  When we use our feelings of jealousy as opportunities to thank God, we regard each sensation of envy as an opportunity to rejoice in God’s merciful kindness.

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, do not forget all the gifts of God . . . he delivers your life from the pit, surrounds you with love and compassion, fills your days with good things . . .

To read about women and envy at the PSYCHOLOGY TODAY site, click on the image above or visit: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-couch/201307/why-women-fear-envy-and-why-we-dont-need

Tomorrow, The Forgotten Son.

Cameron, Peter John. “Prayer for the Evening.” MAGNIFICAT. 14.4 (2009). Print.

Adapted from a reflection written on March 14, 2009.

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