The thing we have to watch out for isn’t so much damage to our belief in God as damage to our Christian state of mind. Our mindset has tremendous, far-reaching effects; it can be devoted to and formed by God, or it can be an enemy, one that penetrates to the soul and distracts us from him. There are certain states of mind in which we should never dare indulge, like worry and contempt. If we do indulge in these states of mind, we will find that we are completely distracted from our faith. Until we get back into a quiet mood before God, our faith in him will be nil, and confidence in the flesh and in human ingenuity will rule.

Never indulge in worry. Beware of the cares of this world; they produce a wrong temper of soul. It’s extraordinary what enormous power simple things have to pull our attention away from God. Refuse to be swamped by the cares of this life.

Never indulge in self-justification. St. Augustine praised God for healing him from “the lust of vindicating” himself. The mindset that says “I must explain myself; I must get people to understand” is one that will destroy the soul’s faith in God. Our Lord never explained anything. He left others’ mistaken impressions and interpretations of him to correct themselves.

Never indulge in criticizing others. Sometimes we discern that another person isn’t developing spiritually, and we allow this discernment to turn into criticism and contempt. When we do, we block our own path to God. God doesn’t give us discernment about other people so that we can criticize them. He gives us discernment so that we can intercede in prayer on their behalf.

Wisdom from Oswald

We are not to preach the doing of good things; good deeds are not to be preached, they are to be performed. So Send I You, 1330 L