Tuesday, January 12, 2010

we're no angels...

I think I have mentioned before that my children enjoy an animated series in which a young man begins as the sworn enemy of the "heroes" of the story and then, over time, joins them in their fight against the forces of evil.  Things don't go so well at first, however, and at one point he yells in frustration, "Why am I so bad at being good?"  Henry Ware Jr. asks the same question in his sermon, "Sources of Moral Weakness and Moral Strength."  Some excerpts:

"Psalm 31:10  "My strength faileth because of my iniquity"

:Let us ascertain the causes of moral weakness and seek the sources of moral strength. 
   First we are to look at our nature and moral constitution...Man is not an angel...it (human nature) has within itself an innate love of ease and of self-indulgence...With these traits it becomes an easy prey to temptation; it quails before trial; it avoids effort.  So that the whole history of our race, wherever we find it recorded, exhibits a downward tendency, a proneness to degeneracy, which it has required perpetual effort on the part of the greatest minds to counteract...

   Every man experiences in himself this proneness; his own life is a continual struggle to maintain the better principles of duty, against the inclinations to ease and self-indulgence, which would bear him down...So true is this that no proverbial saying is more common or easily assented to than this:-

"I know the right and I approve it too:
 I know the wrong, and yet the wrong pursue."

Or, as it is in scripture, "For what I would do, that I do not; but what I hate, that i do."...Therefore we are not made angels.  We are only men..."

Have a nice day!  and
 Blessings

2 comments:

Tracie the Red said...

RE: We are only men...

Didn't St. Paul address this in his letter to the Corinthians? "We hold a treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not us..."

To me, it has been a hugely comforting verse. :)

God with you BU, always

PS: word verification is "sticonse"

Who is St. Iconse? Must be some very obscure saint indeed...

boston unitarian said...

Lovely! Thank you so much Tracie. It is always a delight to hear from you.
Hope all goes well and
Blessings, BU