Understanding ourselves is so important
in the spiritual life.
Good spirituality, after all, is rooted
in good psychology.

Many times spirituality
is too focused on listing down
“sinful actions.”

But far more helpful than listing down
our habitual or “favorite” sins
is understanding ourselves
and the roots of our sinfulness.

In yesterday’s exercise at the Pool of Siloam,
you already identified
your greatest weakness
from among the 7 Capital Sins.

That is a great start.

But our sins, capital or not,
are grounded in human instincts “gone wild”–
basic needs and fears that have,
for some reason, 
become unmanageable.

Our instincts, needs, and fears are all part 
of our being human.
Without them, we can’t survive, 
and we would not be completely human.

But as we know, things go wrong in this world, 
and more often than not,
these basic needs and fears get the better of us.
Unmonitored, they begin to run our lives
and become the very sources of our sinfulness.


What are the INSTINCTS, NEEDS, and FEARS
that may be the roots of my sinfulness?

If you identified with Mary in the Gospel story,
you may have a strong need for friendship and intimacy,
and a corresponding fear of rejection and isolation.

Do you think this is a valid description of you?
If you agree, take a moment to reflect on
how your need for friendship and intimacy,
and your fear of rejection and isolation
get in the way of your spiritual life–
i.e., your relationship with God and others?

If this does not apply to you,
what NEEDS and FEARS tend to rule your life
and shape your decisions,
at times leading you to sin?

How do they lead you to hurt yourself
or others, or generally fall short of
loving and serving the Lord?

What “first steps” can you take
this season of Lent
to begin to monitor and manage these needs and fears more?

Take your time to reflect and pray about this.
Play some instrumental music, if desired.

Detail from Painting: Johannes (Jan) Vermeer – Christ in the House of Martha and Mary
Music: EP Hontiveros SJ “Sa Dapithapon”