Wisdom 2:12, 17-20
Psalm 54:3-6, 8
Where do the conflicts among you come from? (James 4:1)
Our minds have the capacity to do amazing things. They can imagine, memorize, reason, and choose. We use them to solve complex problems, to imagine new possibilities, and to enjoy the beauty of a sunrise. What an awesome gift!
But Scripture tells us that, because of sin, our minds also have a dark side. And sometimes, that dark side causes us to say and do hurtful things. Today’s first reading, for instance, talks about a war in our minds between darker elements like jealousy or selfish ambition and lighter elements like purity and mercy.
Today’s Gospel has a similar theme. It tells how the apostles were fighting about which one of them was the greatest. You can just hear Peter, saying, “Jesus told me I was the rock,” while John replies, “But Jesus called me the beloved apostle,” and Andrew says, “Don’t forget, I was the first apostle. I’ve been with him the longest.” It can sound a bit silly, but we, too, do this kind of thing, and this is the kind of thing James is talking about.
The problem, James tells us, is that we have a tendency to let our minds roam wherever they want to go. If we don’t keep a watch on them, they can wander into the darker areas of our hearts and begin conjuring all kinds of self-centered thoughts.
So here is a little plan to help you keep watch on your mind. Step One is to fill it with thoughts about the Lord every morning and at regular points throughout the day. Step Two is … well, there is no Step Two. Jesus is all we need!
Filling your mind with Jesus—through the sacraments, prayer, hymns, or Scripture—will dramatically affect the way you think and act. So be disciplined. Spend at least fifteen minutes exclusively with the Lord every morning. Then stop periodically during the day to turn back to the Lord. You will see those darkside drives to sin melt away.
“Jesus, help me say no to every temptation to sin.”~WAU