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5 Habits That Are Hazardous To Your (Spiritual) Health
FollowingtheTruth.com ^ | 03-17-13 | Gary Zimak

Posted on 03/24/2013 7:16:01 PM PDT by Salvation

5 Habits That Are Hazardous To Your (Spiritual) Health

Although Lent is winding to a close, there is still plenty of time to work on the many bad habits that hurt our relationship with the Lord. If you were to make even the smallest progress overcoming one of your bad habits, then your Lent would be a success. While God never expects us to overcome our imperfections by ourselves, He does expect us to take the first step and try to fight against these tendencies. Here are 5 bad habits that, if not controlled, will keep you from growing closer to Christ. Are they the worst ones in the world? Maybe or maybe not, but every one of these tendencies will keep you from being the best Catholic you can be.

1. Anger – Despite the Lord’s repeated warnings, we often feel justified getting angry with others on a daily basis. Anger can be lethal to our spiritual lives and should be high on our list of faults to eliminate this Lent. How can we overcome it? With lots of prayer, receiving the Sacraments and by reading (and re-reading) the Lord’s words:

“You have heard that it was said to the men of old, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills shall be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says ‘You fool!’ shall be liable to the hell of fire.” (Mt 5:21-22)

2. Impatience – Although this fault is more subtle than anger, it can be very destructive to our spiritual lives. St. Paul tells us that “love is patient and kind” (1 Cor 13:4) and to “be patient with them all” (1 Thess 5:14), but we tend to lose sight of this when someone doesn’t move fast enough or disagrees with us. Let’s face it, we get annoyed with others several times each day, despite the fact that God is ALWAYS patient with us. For many years, I was a lukewarm, apathetic Catholic who’s purpose in life was to have a good time. By the grace of God, I’m still here and so are you. We should work on becoming more patient while we still have time. As a word of warning, if you pray to become more patient, expect people to pop up in your life who will give you PLENTY of practice!

3. Worry – Often we think of worry as something that’s inevitable. Many people have told me that “everyone worries”. I disagree. I’ve met people who, although they experience fear and even anxiety, don’t worry. Why? Because they have a deep trust in God. This is going to be painful to hear, but when we worry, we tell God that we don’t trust Him. Even though He tells us in Scripture that “all things work for the good” (Rom 8:28), we sometimes worry about events that are happening or MAY happen in our lives. Citing the previous Bible verse in his book Uniformity With God’s Will, St. Alphonsus Liguori stated that if God sends us suffering, it’s for our own good. After proclaiming the famous “Let not your hearts be troubled” (Jn 14:1), Jesus told us to believe in God and to believe in Him. Do we?

4. Lack of Charity – In our zeal to spread the “Good News” of our Faith, we sometimes overlook the need to do it WITH CHARITY. I’ll defer to Sts. Peter and Paul, who make the point more effectively than I ever could:

Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence. (1 Pt 3:15)

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Cor 13:1-3)

5. Over Sensitivity To Criticism – We sometimes try harder to please others than to please Christ. Many of us “like to be liked” and that desire can sometimes get in the way of our relationship with the Lord. Today’s world is not very friendly to Catholicism and the message of Jesus Christ. When we live and share our faith, we can expect to be criticized. In fact, the Lord told us exactly what would happen when He said “you will be hated by all for my name’s sake” (Mk 13:13). A bitter pill to swallow, right? Maybe, until we hear what He says next. “But he who endures to the end will be saved”! As we continue to travel the road to heaven, we should strive to make all of our actions pleasing to Jesus. As long as we do that, we’re in great shape!

If you’re like me and can identify with more than one of these bad habits, don’t panic! Pick one of them and make up your mind to use the remainder of Lent to work on it. Above all, don’t forget to ask the Lord for the grace needed to improve. Also, make it a point to receive additional grace through the Sacrament of Confession. Once you begin to see good progress (and you will, if you keep at it), tackle another one and keep going. While working on our bad habits should be a year round pursuit, Lent is a great time to get started. When we start to attack our faults like this, Jesus begins to increase (in us) and we begin to decrease (Jn 3:30). Ultimately, we’ll be able to echo the words of St. Paul and proclaim:

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Gal 2:20)



TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Moral Issues; Theology
KEYWORDS: catholic; habits
I fell into the impatience and over sentivity to criticism a couple weeks ago.

Probably we have all gone through trials such as these mentioned.

1 posted on 03/24/2013 7:16:01 PM PDT by Salvation
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To: All
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2 posted on 03/24/2013 7:17:56 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: nickcarraway; NYer; ELS; Pyro7480; livius; ArrogantBustard; Catholicguy; RobbyS; marshmallow; ...

Ping!


3 posted on 03/24/2013 7:18:42 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation; MarineMom613; Ron C.; wolfman23601; ColdOne; navymom1; Pat4ever; RIghtwardHo; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of general interest.

4 posted on 03/24/2013 7:20:07 PM PDT by narses
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To: Salvation
Pick one of them and make up your mind to use the remainder of Lent to work on it. Above all, don’t forget to ask the Lord for the grace needed to improve. Also, make it a point to receive additional grace through the Sacrament of Confession.

The prayer for Grace aspect, and the sacramental confession aspect, cannot be overstated. Without God, we will not ... CANNOT ... grow in holiness.

5 posted on 03/24/2013 7:29:48 PM PDT by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilization is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Salvation

Here is and herein is the problem. Unless you immerse yourself in what society is engendering you fail to fight the enemy but in the same vein vain vane when you immerse yourself in what society is engendering you fall prey to the failings within yourself. ROCK ON!


6 posted on 03/24/2013 7:31:00 PM PDT by bigheadfred
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To: Salvation

It’s really hard to not worry and be angry when the left is trying to destroy the hearts, minds and souls of our children. I know people who have watched their kids believe the lies of liberalism and turn from God. I pray God reminds them of His Word that they were taught as children.

Where is the line between righteous anger and ungodly worry?


7 posted on 03/24/2013 7:49:09 PM PDT by Linda Frances (Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness)
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To: Salvation

Good advice. I especially wrestle with worry, and it’s especially the reason I pray to God to remove that worry in me, to strengthen my faith. Thanks, Salvation.


8 posted on 03/24/2013 7:49:10 PM PDT by Thorliveshere (Tais deau sá taghdedaul!)
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To: Salvation
I would think the seven deadly sins would be more of a threat ..... .......superbia, avaritia, luxuria, invidia, gula, ira, acedia ?
9 posted on 03/24/2013 7:49:30 PM PDT by Squantos ( Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet ...)
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To: Salvation
when we worry, we tell God that we don’t trust Him

Well I'm a worry wort - enough to require intervention at times. This is partly neurochemical and not a matter of volition. So send me to hell, I guess.

10 posted on 03/24/2013 7:55:36 PM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not Nurture™)
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To: Linda Frances

So true, Linda. I believe it was Padre Pio who said something like “Pray, don’t worry.”

I know I have paraphrased his quote.


11 posted on 03/24/2013 8:07:08 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Squantos

Check to see if any of those are covered. I think they might be.


12 posted on 03/24/2013 8:08:47 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

“Over Sensitivity To Criticism”

Criticism itself is a much more corrosive and destructive act. I’m my humble experience, criticism is rarely ever constructive, and seldom meant to be. There is not a whole lot of space between ‘demeaning’ and critical.

We should most definitely avoid overreacting to criticism, but we should also avoid criticizing. Giving an opinion about how one might improve things is very different. ‘first take the beam out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly how to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye’.


13 posted on 03/24/2013 8:09:52 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Salvation
I know Salvation-Only kidding hehehehe.In reading the Saints they all had one virtue that stood out. I picked Obedience which was the easiest for me.I have been riding that one for 30 years.Never think you have concurred as we know we will be humbled.The Pope likes poverty and I like Obedience.
14 posted on 03/24/2013 8:13:23 PM PDT by fatima (Free Hugs Today :))
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To: Salvation

I’ve given up on this.

How am I supposed to avoid being angry? The country and the world are filled with a great many evil vermin. I HATE THEM. Never mind anger.

I’d love to watch them suffer for their deeds.


15 posted on 03/24/2013 8:16:02 PM PDT by Wanderer99
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To: pieceofthepuzzle
criticism is rarely ever constructive, and seldom meant to be

I agree, and I thank you for saying so. That was just what I needed to read this evening as I'm mulling over how to best handle a problem this week. Thanks for saying exactly what I needed to hear tonight. Peace be with you.

16 posted on 03/24/2013 8:18:36 PM PDT by PeevedPatriot
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To: pieceofthepuzzle

Amen!


17 posted on 03/24/2013 8:21:30 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: PeevedPatriot

I hope whatever it is you’re dealing with works out in a way that you are happy with. Have a great night.


18 posted on 03/24/2013 8:21:32 PM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: Salvation
An antidote from the Christian East--the Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian:

O Lord and Master of my life, take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
(Prostration)

But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to Your servant. .
(Prostration)

Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother, for blessed are You, unto ages of ages. Amen.
(Prostration)


19 posted on 03/24/2013 8:34:34 PM PDT by lightman (If the Patriarchate of the East held a state like the Vatican I would apply for political asylum.)
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To: Salvation

I have found that going to daily Mass and praying the Rosary daily are very effective in combating sin. Catholicism provides so many tools to use in this effort. Prior to becoming a Catholic I only attended church (Episcopal) or prayed when the spirit moved me, which was not very often.

I am easily addicted to things I like, such as bourbon and cigars. That is the bad news, the good news is I have, in this first year of being a Catholic, become addicted to daily Mass and the Rosary. God knows how to use your character flaws for good if you let Him.

After years of heavy drinking I gave it up for Lent this year and it has been fairly easy though I do miss it. I am going to drink again after Lent is over but with the intent of significantly reducing it. I told a Catholic friend at a party last summer that the worst thing about being an alcoholic is that you have to give up drinking (if you want to live that is). As GK Chesterton says “we should thank God for beer and burgundy by not drinking too much of them.”


20 posted on 03/24/2013 8:37:46 PM PDT by HerrBlucher (Praise to the Lord the Almighty the King of Creation)
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To: HerrBlucher

Congratulations on your decision. If the desires are overwhelming, however, I will suggest AA. There is also a Catholic counterpart, but I don’t know what it is called.

I had a father-in-law who was an alcoholic and I thought for awhile that my husband was headed that way too, so I went to Al-Anon.


21 posted on 03/24/2013 8:50:02 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: lightman

Excellent!


22 posted on 03/24/2013 8:50:27 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

2. Impatience

I’m reminded of the early bits of “Screwtape Letters” where wormwood advises him to get petulant and annoyed about little things.

Also reminds me of Bob Marley’s lines in Rastaman Vibration:

“You get down and you quarrel every day
You’re saying prayers to the devil I say
Why not help one another on the way
Make it much easier
Say you just cannot live in a negative way”


23 posted on 03/24/2013 9:15:40 PM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: P.O.E.

EVERYONE needs to read the Screwtape Letters! What a book!


24 posted on 03/24/2013 9:21:29 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

I have to tell you this story.

I used to work in a factory, and we would goof off and hide somewhere and read the papers, magazines whatever.

There was this guy Jerry, wore a slouch hat, leather vest, long hair, talked in a gravelly voice, would regale us with tales of his run-ins with the law.

One day at lunch, I said I was getting ready to go off and hide somewhere and was looking for something to read. He told me to follow him to his locker, he had something for me. I figured it was going to be a Hustler magazine or something, but he gave me a copy of Plato’s Republic. The next book he gave me was “Screwtape Letters”.

I’m forever in his debt.


25 posted on 03/24/2013 9:32:12 PM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: P.O.E.

We can’t tell by appearances, can we??

Great story!


26 posted on 03/24/2013 9:36:01 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Salvation

And we can never tell by which form angels will appear to us. The Lord works in mysterious ways, indeed.


27 posted on 03/24/2013 9:49:46 PM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Salvation

Beware of resentment. The shortest route to spiritual and emotional ruin is a passion for resentment.


28 posted on 03/24/2013 10:07:15 PM PDT by jmacusa (Political correctness is cultural Marxism. I'm not a Marxist.)
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To: Linda Frances

At least take confort, once those same children get out into the real world, the faith becomes real again.


29 posted on 03/25/2013 2:29:11 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

My prayer is that as the parish churches get really busy this week, starting yesterday with Palm Sunday, may God work in the hearts of those Catholics who have fallen away. Amen.


30 posted on 03/25/2013 2:31:25 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: Salvation

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS POST!!! I NEED THEM ALL!!!


31 posted on 03/25/2013 3:51:50 AM PDT by Ann Archy
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To: Linda Frances
It’s really hard to not worry and be angry when the left is trying to destroy the hearts, minds and souls of our children

Couldn't have said it better myself.

I understand that God's plan is good in the end, but I do oftentimes wonder if the tribulations of his people can and possibly will be universally bad for a time before we see the light.

People of faith are becoming fewer by the years. We are losing the youth to Liberalism and this fanciful belief that you only have this one life to live and you should live it like a rockstar on cocaine.

32 posted on 03/25/2013 5:32:58 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: pieceofthepuzzle; Salvation; All

In my best Forest Gump voice: “My momma always done tole me to look for the cloud’s silver linins...”

I have learned to love criticism b/c if I look long enough at any of the ‘bad stuff’ I can almost always find a silver lining. It matters not how the message was sent but much much more in how the message is received - perceived even.

Way back when my kids were young [< 5yo] and I was newly divorced I began a very personal war on hypocrisy b/c I didn’t want my kids to emulate my bad traits [ nor those of my ex ]. A few battlefield victories, yet the war rages on still, but I have an inner peace, thanks to Christ, that reminds me to allow for - even to celebrate - free-will!

It is often the worst things in life which build up our faith if we keep searching for the silver linings.

I’m still far from perfect but I do know I’m much better -in countless ways - than I used to be. The bad stuff ultimately helps us break our love affairs with the material things of this world and long for the things yet unseen, the eternal glories awaiting us all in Heaven.

“Where your heart is, there your treasures will be also.”


33 posted on 03/25/2013 7:31:10 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: BrandtMichaels

And it’s also why I love the true saints here on FreeRepublic - iron sharpens iron


34 posted on 03/25/2013 7:33:45 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: Salvation

Thank you.


35 posted on 03/25/2013 9:08:06 AM PDT by informavoracious (God help us.)
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To: BrandtMichaels

“The bad stuff ultimately helps us break our love affairs with the material things of this world and long for the things yet unseen, the eternal glories awaiting us all in Heaven.”

I absolutely agree with that statement, and that sentiment, but I think there is something else to point out here that is very important. People can be extremely selfish and hurtful, and some will try to destroy you. Most of us here can likely attest to this personally. It is very important not to let these people push you away from your own spirituality, but in a more secular sense it is also very important not to let these people steal your worldly happiness.

There is a difference between being serene and comforted by your spirituality and being truly joyful in the moment because you are genuinely happy in your life. I truly believe that God wants you to have both most of the time, and didn’t intend for us to live our lives as doormats for those who would hurt us without remorse or empathy.

I’m reminded of “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”. To God we are all ‘little ones’, and when people are destructive in their criticism and have no compunction about stealing your joy, trying to diminish you, and shaking your confidence in yourself and who you are, they are in a big way stealing your joy that you could be spreading to others.

Criticism is often wielded like a dagger, with similar intent.


36 posted on 03/25/2013 10:08:27 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: pieceofthepuzzle

Very well stated and something else I strongly needed repeated - both my sister, Jane and my cousin, Patty, think I’m too much of a doormat when it comes to my romantic interests.

Another place to apply some sandpaper...


37 posted on 03/25/2013 11:24:05 AM PDT by BrandtMichaels
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To: HerrBlucher
I have found that going to daily Mass and praying the Rosary daily are very effective in combating sin. Catholicism provides so many tools to use in this effort.
Wonderful post! We are in the same "club" as well...
38 posted on 03/25/2013 1:00:59 PM PDT by mlizzy (If people spent an hour a week in Eucharistic adoration, abortion would be ended. --Mother Teresa)
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