LENTEN REFLECTION – Thursday of the First Week of Lent – 9 MARCH
Fertile excuses and evasions
Blessed Cardinal John Henry Newman
Next I observe that a civilized age is more exposed to subtle sins than a rude age. Why? For this simple reason- because it is more fertile in excuses and evasions. It can defend error and hence can blind the eyes of those who have not very careful consciences. It can make error plausible, it can make vice look like virtue. It dignifies sin by fine names; it calls avarice proper care of one’s family, or industry, it calls pride independence, it calls ambition greatness of mind; resentment it calls proper spirit and sense of honour and so on.
…What all of us want more than anything else, what this age wants, is that its intellect and its will should be under a law. At present it is lawless, its will is its own law, its own reason is the standard of all truth. It does not bow to authority, it does not submit to the law of faith. It is wise in its own eyes and it relies on its own resources. And you, as living in the world, are in danger of being seduced by it and being a partner in its sin and so coming in at the end for its punishment.