Daily Prayers for Lent from CPLO and the Jesuit Institute 15 March – Week Two – Virtue can become vice

Lenten Prayer Reflections by Ron Boudreaux SJ

“Two men went up to the Temple to pray, one a Pharisee, the other a tax collector.  The Pharisee stood there and said this prayer to himself, “I thank you, God, that I am not grasping, unjust, adulterous like everyone else, and particularly that I am not like this tax collector here.  I fast twice a week; I pay tithes on all I get.”  The tax collector stood some distance away, not daring even to raise his eyes to heaven; but he beat his breast and said, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner.”  This man, I tell you, went home again  justified; the other did not.”(Luke 18:10-14)

We can become so proud of our own virtue, that the virtue becomes the fault.  We see this often in those who claim to be most holy.  Often, they see themselves as better than others.  Even in their sinfulness, which they are ready to acknowledge, they claim that someone else’s sin is so much greater than their own.  “I know this is wrong, but what he did is so much worse!  I’m not as bad as he is.”  We judge, even sometimes without saying a word.  Inside we can be full of venom while the outward appearance is one of kindness.

O, God of all goodness, on my own, I can do nothing good. 

Teach me to accept with all humility my own lowliness as your creature. 

Your will be done, not mine.

Amen

Fr Ron Boudreaux SJ
MS (U. of Colorado), MA (Loyola U., Chicago), MDiv (Jesuit School of Theology in Berkley, California)

Fr Ronald J. Boudreaux SJ, hails from Louisiana, U.S.A. Born in the small town of Scott, he graduated from the University of Southwest Louisiana (now University of Louisiana at Lafayette) with a BA in French, minors in English and Spanish. Fr. Boudreaux entered the US Army Security Agency in 1968, studied Russian at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and served as a Russian linguist in Germany until his discharge in 1972. Fr. Boudreaux received his Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Colorado in 1987. After entering the Society of Jesus in 1997, he went on to study philosophy at Gonzaga University and Loyola University Chicago. He received a Masters in Divinity from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkley, California in 2005. Fr. Boudreaux served as retreat master at Montserrat from the fall of 2006 until the summer of 2010, when he was missioned to his tertianship studies at Weston, Massachusetts. During that time he ministered with the Jesuit Institute of South Africa in Johannesburg. Fr. Boudreaux returned to Montserrat in July 2011 and currently serves as superior to the Jesuit community and Director of Montserrat.

r.boudreaux@jesuitinstitute.org.za
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