Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Losing my mind

We usually use that expression in bad way to describe feelings of exasperation. But there is a good and health way to lose our minds.

In the first reading today, St. Paul explains to the people of Corinth how the Holy Spirit, which he calls here "the Spirit of God", functions in us. Among the things it does is give us "the mind of Christ", nous Christou.

The word mind refers not to perception or even intelligence in the sense that my dog could figure out how to open the kitchen cabinets. The word mind refers to that unique human capacity to know what is good, to know what is true, to understand in a way that no other creature can.

Unfortunately for us, once we are baptized the human mind, the natural mind, does not go away and so we are left in a sense with two minds: one natural, one supernatural. Both are operative in us all the time and we must choose which we are going to follow at any given moment.

Here again is where discipline comes in. We must practice all day every day listening to the mind of Christ. We must learn to recognize when we are allowing our natural mind to overwhelm us. We must train ourselves to turn down the volume on the natural mind and turn up the volume on the mind of Christ. With constant practice we can develop the habit. The habit we call the virtue of prudence, which is considered the mother of all virtues.

St. Paul tells us very simply,

we have the mind of Christ.

We only have to do two simple things:
-listen to act
-act according to it.