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Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Human Condition

I've been wondering lately what it is about the human condition that makes us so consistently prone to compare ourselves one to another. I've noticed in myself this propensity to a greater degree (my noticing, not the propensity itself) then I ever had before. When I do something wrong, I tend to justify myself, "I'm not quite so bad as other people" or, even worse, "I've never done such and such like so and so did". When I do something well, I tend to pride and vanity, "I did that pretty well, at least as well as so and so". When I don't do so well, I tend toward envy, "I wish I could do as well as so and so" (so and so plays a large part in my world, apparently).

Self-justification, pride and vanity, envy - all of these stem out of focusing on how I stack up against others rather than against the Other. Even St. Peter, after Christ's resurrection, on seeing the Holy Apostle John, asks of the Lord "...what about this man?" I like our Lord's response, though, "what is that to you?" What business is it of yours? Why do you care? What difference does that make? In other words, focus on yourself; don't concern yourself with someone else's destiny, salvation, judgement, etc., etc. You follow Me! I think if I could just let that sink way deep down, I'd have more than half the battle won against self-justification, pride and envy.

O Holy Theotokos, save us!

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