We all have sinful tendencies, but most of the time we don’t even realize it. We only realize it when we get upset, or something bad happens. And when we get upset or something bad happens, we usually blame someone else’s sin, not our own.
The reason we blame someone else first is called the deadly sin of Pride.
One of the worst kinds of Pride is religious pride. That is when we hold on to religious convictions for both good and bad reasons. The good reason is that religion is good, true and beautiful. The bad reason is that we want to look good in others eyes.
It is easy to become legalistic or impatient with others, even when the works we are doing are heroic. Religious pride often is hard to see.
If we get upset when someone touches our religious ideas or our religious place in society, it it because of secret pride? The Legion of Mary helps fight against this religious pride because no one can claim the work is his own. By going out in pairs and praying and meeting together the work becomes the Legion of Mary’s, not our own.
There are two parts to sin. One is our own sin, which we need to confess and be forgiven. The other part of sin is the effects of sin, and our tendency to sin. We need to fight courageously against our fallen human nature. We can be tempted to pride or anger or immodesty etc. a thousand times and a thousand times resist.
The effects of sin: Weakness
Ever since Adam and Eve, we are weak and need help from Mary and God. Our natural inclination to will the good is diminished, “but is not entirely destroyed.” by original sin. (St. Thomas) Original sin affects us in many ways we don’t recognize. For example, it affects us especially when we seek too much relaxation and recreation.
One of the greatest enemies of love of God and neighbor is laziness one the one hand, and on the other, over zealousness for trivial things that give us pleasure and relaxation. We always seem to get off track and go overboard with pleasurable pursuits, to mix metaphors. We put the things of God off for later. This is because some of the virtues most affected by original sin are temperance and modesty in actions. Why temperance and modesty?
Because original sin is passed down through generation, we least control those things connected with generation, and so temperance and modesty are some of the first virtues to suffer. Virtues aligned with temperance include abstinence, sobriety, chastity, purity, continence, humility, gentleness, clemency, modesty and lack of greed. Chastity is the obvious virtue that is closest to generation, but chastity is actual just a part of temperance. Modesty is also part of temperance but for for lesser things. Modesty in actions to includes not seeking too much relaxation from entertainment, sport, jokes, and so on. Of course, lack of enough relaxation or being a killjoy are also vices against modesty. Since we lack control in these areas, both extremes are common. See St. Thomas on Original Sin, Concupiscence, Modesty and Temperance.
Mary is the solution to sin
Virgin of Virgins, you were untouched by that stain of sin, that first of all evils, the sad inheritance of the human race. From my earliest years I have placed my hope in you. Where the power of evil overcomes me and makes my life too sinful for your gaze, all the more will your unbounded compassion show me your generous love, because my sufferings is so deep, my sinfulness so unworthy of your aid.Luis de León, Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The easiest solution to sin and it’s effects is not to concentrate on sin but on Mary and Jesus.
She alone of all mankind was conceived immaculate, without sin, so that we could receive the grace to fight sin from her, our Mother in grace. Look to her and forget yourself in her.
The humility that we lost through original sin is regained through Mary.
Pride is directly opposed to the virtue of humility. Obedience to Mary is more humble than obedience to Jesus, because she is only human. See:
Sin and its effects requires prayer
If this is the first time you have thought about asking God to help on the way to heaven, pray “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” (Luke 18:13). If this is the millionth time, you can still pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner!” The first step is just as important as the last. That is why the Divine Mercy Chaplet is so important, and as popular as the Rosary. We pray in the chaplet, “For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.” The Church and Mary will guide you in all your ways.