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Author Topic: Looking At "My And "Mine" And "I"  (Read 580 times)
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« on: Apr 09 2015 01:35:28 AM »

, this week we notice how the devil has successfully convinced us that everything is “mine.”

This is how Screwtape describes the devil’s devious plan:

You must therefore zealously guard in his mind the curious assumption “My time is my own.” Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours. Let him feel as a grievous tax that portion of this property which he has to make over to his employers, and a generous donation that further portion which he allows to religious duties….

We produce this sense of ownership not only by pride but by confusion. We teach them not to notice the different sense of the possessive pronouns-the finely graded differences that run from “my boots” through “my dog,” “my servant,” “my wife,” “my father,” “my master,” and “my country,” to “my God.” They can be taught to reduce all these senses to that of “my boots,” the “my” of ownership….

And all the time the joke is that the word “Mine” in its fully possessive sense cannot be uttered by a human being about anything. (Screwtape Letters, 113-114, emphasis added)

In our culture, this sense that everything is “mine” can even be seen in the way we name the technology we use. We all have “iPhones,” “iPads,” “iPods,” and each of these devices are geared at serving only one person: the “i.” We are not encouraged to share these gadgets with others; instead each member of the family is to possess their own and many dinner tables are witnesses of everyone looking down at their phones instead of talking to each other.

Additionally, we take “selfies” with our “iPhones,” which are meant to capture an individual in a specific setting. The focus is not so much the people or event that is taking place, but the “self” that is taking the picture.

The devil has successfully won over our culture and we don’t even notice it. We forget that everything is a gift from God.

One example of the Church’s teaching that everything is a gift from God comes in relation to our view of the poor. Saint Ambrose once said, “You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his.” All that we have is from God and it is meant to be shared with others. Whatever it may be, whether it is our time, money, or possessions; all is gift.

Also, we are designed to image the Holy Trinity and live in relation with others. We are not meant to only serve ourselves, but to serve others. This impacts the way we use our time, money or possessions and helps us to realize the proper way to use them.

Saint Francis of Assisi’s life was a great example of this simple truth. He did not believe that anything he had was due to him, but was only given to him to better serve those around him. In fact, the only person who is due anything is God. We owe Him everything.

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