by Lesego Zikhali
Often times I hear people say, “What am I going to give up this Lent”, and most often I hear people say, “I’m giving up junk food as often as possible” or “I give up watching TV, listening to music, and drinking alcohol”. But I say, how about we mainly focus on being the temple of God.
Perhaps we need to contemplate on being the temple of God by giving up the things that hinder our spirituality such as pulling out the weeds of pride, greed, lust, wrath, gluttony, envy and sloth, because the temple of God needs to sprout with generosity, meekness, charity, diligence, temperance, chastity and humility.
The 7 seven weeds cured by the 7 seeds
- The weed of Envy is the sin of having desires for others’ traits, status, abilities or situation. This sin makes us feel jealous and wish misfortune unto others which disturbs our souls, and our souls are always at war to win peace. Therefore, this Lent I ask that we challenge the sin of envy by planting the seed of Kindness because it helps us to help others above the need to supersede them.
- The weed of Lust is the sin of an inordinate craving for the pleasures of the body which can lead us into rather wild behaviour. This for instance is why we have a high rate of rape and sexual immorality in our country. Let us challenge ourselves by curing this weed with the seed of Chastity and Self-control which cures lust by controlling passion and leveraging that energy for the good of others.
- The weed of Gluttony is the sin of an inordinate desire to consume more than that which one requires. Let us plant the seed of Temperance because it cures the weed of gluttony by implanting the desire to be healthier and generous, therefore making one fit and better able to serve God and others.
- The weed of Sloth is the avoidance of physical or spiritual work. Let us challenge ourselves by replacing this weed with the seed of Diligence by placing the interest of others above a life of ease and relaxation.
- The weed of Greed is the desire for material wealth or gain, ignoring the realm of the spiritual. Let us replace the weed of greed with seed of Charity which is the desire to give to others above storing up treasure for oneself.
- The weed of Anger is manifested in the individual who spurns love and opts instead for fury; it is also known as the sin of wrath. Let us challenge ourselves by being Patient and compassionate because it cures wrath by understanding the needs and desires of others before thinking, acting or speaking immorally.
- The weed of Pride is excessive belief in one’s own abilities that interferes with an individual’s recognition of the grace of God. Replacing the weed of pride with the seed of Humility is the best cure to do so as it diminishes one’s ego and boastful tendencies, therefore allowing an attitude of service.
Each of these weeds mentioned above has its own root in the desire for more, i.e. the human need for excess. Each sin goes against the root of Christianity which is the love of God, love for our fellow brothers and sisters and the love of our own selves.
Therefore the cure for these sins is the gift of a new heart this Lent, which acts in accordance with the love and the law of God. This new heart can only come from God. Ezekiel 36:26-27 says, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you”. Let us not harden our hearts and pray for the seeds of eternal life.
Remember this Lent and at all the times to possess the love of God by carrying your daily cross in the spirit of Christian sacrifice, i.e. prayer, fasting and almsgiving.