Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sunday 26B, "...whoever is not against us is for us": the Church reaches out to evangelize in Christ for the common good

There are some who are against the Church, Christ's Body on Earth, and thus have set themselves against Christ.  Christ has taught that we are members of His Body the Church.  When others attack our rights as to keep His commandments, to love Him and others, they attack God.

Our bishops have in increasing numbers spoken out to teach that all of those government officials who support the HHS mandate are "against" us and therefore to vote for them is to vote against Christ and His Church.  Many of our bishops are doing all that they can to make clear our duty to vote with a moral compass and to realize how we are or are not cooperating with a moral evil in these times of clear choice between good and evil.

There are always many men and women of good will about whom Christ speaks in the Gospel, those many who, though they do not have the fullest relationship with Christ in His Church, yet believe in some aspects of Scripture and Tradition and therefore may be willing to join with the Church in pursuing the common good.

"By common good is to be understood 'the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily.' The common good concerns the life of all. It calls for prudence from each, and even more from those who exercise the office of authority." (CCC 1906)

We have seen tragically that increasing numbers of our elected officials are acting counter to the common good by attacking our freedom of religion because such religious freedom is a "fundamental and inalienable right of the human person" given by God and not to be taken away by man.

"First, the common good presupposes respect for the person as such. In the name of the common good, public authorities are bound to respect the fundamental and inalienable rights of the human person. Society should permit each of its members to fulfill his vocation. In particular, the common good resides in the conditions for the exercise of the natural freedoms indispensable for the development of the human vocation, such as "the right to act according to a sound norm of conscience and to safeguard . . . privacy, and rightful freedom also in matters of religion." (CCC 1907)

Currently our society is set on a course which will increasingly prevent the fulfillment of the vocation of believers.  Catholics, because we possess the fulness of the Christian Faith as handed down in Scripture and Tradition, are the first and most deeply to be affected. There are already many others of Christian Faith, believers in non-Christian religions and many non-believers who understand what is at stake in our struggle for religious freedom and have joined us in the fight.

A Pew Research poll recently revealed disturbing facts about Catholicsas reported by Dr. Jeff Mirus in

"Now, the American bishops have clearly identified the HHS mandate as a gross abrogation of religious liberty, and they have made it clear this violation is a key Catholic concern in the current campaign, the kind of concern that would prompt anybody with profound Catholic sympathies to vote against the Democrats. And yet only 51 percent of regular Catholic churchgoers state that they are willing to do so. This failure of churchgoing Catholics to defend their own religious freedom and the rights of the Church is the most significant revelation in the Pew poll."
If many Catholics have already given up their religion, it is a very small step to also giving up their religious freedom.  One of the answers to this crisis is the strengthening of Catholic identity for all believers beginning with the way we celebrate Sunday Mass.  Our rich and long tradition teaches us how to do that.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Saint Vincent de Paul: "Naked I came forth from my mother's womb"

... and naked shall I go back again.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
blessed be the name of the LORD!"
-- Jb 1:6-22

The works of mercy are charitable actions by which we come to the aid of our neighbor in his spiritual and bodily necessities. Instructing, advising, consoling, comforting are spiritual works of mercy, as are forgiving and bearing wrongs patiently. The corporal works of mercy consist especially in feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned, and burying the dead. Among all these, giving alms to the poor is one of the chief witnesses to fraternal charity: it is also a work of justice pleasing to God:

He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none and he who has food must do likewise. But give for alms those things which are within; and behold, everything is clean for you. If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, be warmed and filled," without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?
-- CCC 2447

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday, Week 25: Every word of God is tested"

... he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.
Add nothing to his words,
lest he reprove you, and you will be exposed as a deceiver.

-- Prv 30:5-9

"Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches only what has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, it listens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that it proposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."

-- CCC 86

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Sunday 25B: "Who is the greatest of them all?" The one who serves the rest.

Arguments arising from envy and rivalries often occur among those who share the closest of relationships.  This happens perhaps most often within the family.  A son or a daughter will sometimes seek affirmation that he or she is the favorite child, preferred above all the others by the parents.

Despite the best efforts of the parents to avoid "playing favorites" among their children, every once in a while a word of affection or approval, an action which confers some sort of favor on their part for one of the children will be interpreted to mean the answer to the mystery has finally been solved and one child among the others will cling doggedly to the notion that they are the favorite despite any and all evidence to the contrary.  Why does this happen?  For us human beings love is the highest value, therefore being loved more than all others is the greatest prize of all.

" 'What were you arguing about on the way?'  But they remained silent.  They had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest."

Envy, the consuming desire to have something that belongs to another, to be someone else or somewhere else rejects the will and providence of God and tears human relationships apart.

"The tenth commandment requires that envy be banished from the human heart. When the prophet Nathan wanted to spur King David to repentance, he told him the story about the poor man who had only one ewe lamb that he treated like his own daughter and the rich man who, despite the great number of his flocks, envied the poor man and ended by stealing his lamb. Envy can lead to the worst crimes. 'Through the devil's envy death entered the world':
'We fight one another, and envy arms us against one another. . . . If everyone strives to unsettle the Body of Christ, where shall we end up? We are engaged in making Christ's Body a corpse. . . . We declare ourselves members of one and the same organism, yet we devour one another like beasts.'(CCC 2538)

In today's Gospel the Apostles descend among themselves into envious bickering about who is the greatest among them.  They have begun to discover that Jesus is great, that He is the Messiah, perhaps they have even begun to believe correctly that He is God.  What more "natural" inclination could there be among those who share the intimate friendship of a great man, possibly the greatest of all men, than to compete among themselves as to who among them is closest to Him, can claim to be greater than the others, himself next in greatness to the Great One?

Christianity is hard and sometimes painful.  For our divine Founder our Faith was the hardest and the most painful, for in order to save us in His Church He had first to die on a Cross.  So the Lord takes the opportunity, upon discovering the occurrence of rivalries and dissensions among His closest followers the Apostles, to prepare them for the scandal of the Cross, the stumbling block that has prevented many down the centuries, following upon the time of Apostles, to fall away from the Faith and to no longer follow Christ.  The Apostles, the twelve foundation stones of His Church, needed to be strengthened in order to lead the others.  Christ teaches that, for they who follow Him most closely, more so than for others is necessary a servanthood like His own on the Cross.  In order to demonstrate this He depends upon the example of a child.

"Taking a child, he placed it in the their midst,
and putting his arms around it, he said to them,
'Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me;
and whoever receives me,
receives not me but the One who sent me.' "

You see, it turns out that to be great like God, to be close to Him and enjoy His love, we must be like Him.  And the more deeply we share in His servanthood on the Cross the more deeply and satisfyingly will we share His love, be as it were His "favorites".  This love of God overcomes temptations to envy from which arise the rivalries and dissensions which rend the fabric of families and the human family.

To be servants like the greatest Servant, Jesus our Lord, we must serve others by seeing in them children of God just like ourselves.  We must serve others by welcoming them and loving in the highest way by helping them to also meet, know and love Jesus Christ as have we.  We do this in imitation of Jesus our Lord who rendered the greatest service in the history of the world: through His perfect Suffering Servanthood on the Cross He has made of us all true children of His heavenly Father.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ss Andrew Kim Taegon, priest and martyr, and Paul Chong Hasang and companions, martyrs: "Envy not the lawless man"

... and choose none of his ways.

-- Proverbs 3: 27-34

Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even to death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude. "Let me become the food of the beasts, through whom it will be given me to reach God.
-- CCC 2473

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Wednesday, Week 24: "Love never fails."

If I give away everything I own,
and if I hand my body over so that I may boast
but do not have love, I gain nothing.
-- 1 Cor 12:31-13:13

By embracing in his human heart the Father's love for men, Jesus "loved them to the end", for "greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." In suffering and death his humanity became the free and perfect instrument of his divine love which desires the salvation of men. Indeed, out of love for his Father and for men, whom the Father wants to save, Jesus freely accepted his Passion and death: "No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord." Hence the sovereign freedom of God's Son as he went out to his death.
-- CCC 609

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Tuesday, Week 24: "Now you are Christ's Body, and individually parts of it."

a body is one
-- 1 Cor 12:12-14, 27-31a

"Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time." Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: "That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me." The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.
-- CCC 820

Monday, September 17, 2012

Saint Robert Bellarmine: "I in justice shall behold your face"

... on waking I shall be content in your presence.
-- Psalm 17

Being more closely united to Christ, those who dwell in heaven fix the whole Church more firmly in holiness.
-- CCC 956

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Twenty-fourth Sunday B: The witness of love shares in the sufferings of Christ

Yesterday the Church celebrated the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows and the mystery of the way in which a Mary's motherly love for her Son and her participation in His suffering on the Cross was so real that it fulfilled the prophecy that a sword would pierce her heart. "See all you who pass by the way if there is any suffering like my suffering." No one suffered more than Jesus Christ who did so purely out of love for us on the Cross. But anyone who has lost a child can surely give some insight to all of us on how such a tragedy is like the piercing of the heart of a parent's love.

We were made by God for happiness and for rejoicing in life and thus death, and anything related to it, brings intense discomfort for us and often the reaction of avoidance. One thing which we avoid is pain but in today's Gospel Jesus Christ specifically commands that welcome pain and suffering into our lives in a way very much like His own greatest suffering for us, such that he uses the very word which describes it: "Take up your cross".

"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself" he tells us. And this is the reason why he uses the word "cross" in the context of self-denial: in His love for us God denies Himself, turns against Himself on the Cross by dying do that we might live. In order for us to truly love Him our compassion must be a sharing in the Cross through the "suffering with" another, the "com-passio" which is the expression of sincere self-giving.

But it is love which moves God to accept the cross and complete His self-offering through His death. And it is love, that thing which we seek above all others, that we will truly receive as we learn in all things to deny ourselves by taking up the Cross.

"What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?"

In a weakened or failing marriage, is it not often true that real communication and authentic love breaks down for the reason that spouses fail to deny themselves by truly listening, truly responding to the other with a sense of selfless compassion? Does not love mean compassion, the ability to suffer with another by listening and being with another through all of their life experiences, both good and bad?

And such is true with the greatest love of all: God's love for us which is never in doubt. Our love for God requires believing effort and faithful action. Love requires the witness which stands with God just as Mary stood by the Cross of her Son until the very end.

Can our love for God grow stronger if we are lacking in the generosity which puts other less important things aside each week in order to faithfully attend Mass on Sundays? Can our love for God be authentic if we are unwilling to defend the weakest among us whose lives are in jeopardy, the persons in the womb? Is our love truly witnessing for God when we exclude Him and His law from some of the actions we take and the decisions we make in our public life? Christian love stands with God until the very end!

It is here each week that we learn to carry the Cross: in the holy Mass which re-enacts and represents and makes real once again for us the saving passion of Jesus Christ which saves us from sin. Is it not more than worth our effort to put aside the pain of inconvenience which is necessary for us in order to meet the Lord at his altar each week here at holy Mass? And our witness of love is its own reward through the grace of Faith which answers God's call: For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and that of the gospel will save it."

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Lady of Sorrows: "Love"

... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
-- 1 Cor 12:31-13:13

Jesus is recognized as the long-expected Messiah, the "light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel", but also "a sign that is spoken against". The sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christ's perfect and unique oblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of all peoples".
--CCC 529

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Saint John Chrysostom: "I too am a person subject to authority"

I received from the Lord what I also handed on to you
-- 1 Cor 11:17-26, 33

The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they received from Jesus' teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. The first generation of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testament itself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.

Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical or devotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms, adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light of Tradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance of the Church's Magisterium.

-- CCC 83

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Wednesday, Week 23: "the world in its present form is passing away"

Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek a separation.
Are you free of a wife? Then do not look for a wife.
If you marry, however, you do not sin,
nor does an unmarried woman sin if she marries;
but such people will experience affliction in their earthly life,
and I would like to spare you that.

"We know neither the moment of the consummation of the earth and of man, nor the way in which the universe will be transformed. The form of this world, distorted by sin, is passing away, and we are taught that God is preparing a new dwelling and a new earth in which righteousness dwells, in which happiness will fill and surpass all the desires of peace arising in the hearts of men."
-- CCC 1048

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Tuesday, Week 23: "the unjust will not inherit the Kingdom of God"

Do not be deceived;
neither fornicators nor idolaters nor adulterers
nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves
nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers
will inherit the Kingdom of God.
-- 1 Cor 6:1-11

The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel, the sin of the Sodomites, the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt, the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan, injustice to the wage earner.
-- CCC 1867

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday, Week 23: "there is immorality among you"

... a man living with his father's wife
Incest designates intimate relations between relatives or in-laws within a degree that prohibits marriage between them. St. Paul stigmatizes this especially grave offense: "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you . . . for a man is living with his father's wife. . . . In the name of the Lord Jesus . . . you are to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. . . . " Incest corrupts family relationships and marks a regression toward animality.
-- CCC 2388

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sunday 23B: "have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?" Legalized abortion violates justice

"have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?"

The "legalization" of abortion on demand in 1973 created a false distinction among human beings by declaring a so-called right to murder a human being who just happens to be living temporarily inside the mother's womb. Justice was violated by using the outer periphery of a woman's body to decide that the right to life of some human beings could be denied by the whim of another human being if the victim happens to be found on the wrong side of that periphery: the preborn side.

In order to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness we are reminded "show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ." Yet, in declaring "legal" the killing of the most innocent among us, the child in the womb, are we not doing precisely that?

Cardinal Dolan, in the closing prayer which he offered last week at the DNC in Charlotte, had this to say: "Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected." He went, as an apostle of life, among a people whose ears have in some ways been "stopped", that is, closed to the Gospel of Life.

Can we say that we live a fully human life if we can no longer hear, if we stop our ears, to the pleas for help of the least and the weakest among us? Can we say the we are truly human, that is, responding to the likeness of the God-given divine image in each one of us, if we no longer hear the voice of God who cries out "Choose Life!" Can we say that we truly welcome the least among us, into this world with their God-given gift of life, and thus into our family of faith for the sake of salvation, while life in the womb is unprotected? We cannot.

Every human person is made by God. We belong to God and to His law of love. Any human law which violates God's law is no law at all.

"And immediately the man's ears were opened"

In God's creating action every human being conceived is given life and to end that life is murder. But even more, God's desire is that life, once begun in the womb, should never end so sacred a gift that it is.

God desires that each child be brought into the world in order to meet, know and love Jesus Christ. This happens sacramentally in Baptism when every child hears Christ say to them through the ministry of the priest, "Ephphatha!"-- that is, "Be opened!". This is so that every human being will indeed have their ears truly opened, which cannot happened until the Gospel is preached to them, the beautiful task first of their parents who are the first teachers in the ways of faith. Through the ministry of Christ in the sacramental life of the Church this gift of grace grows and flourishes, accompanying the human person throughout life in this world to prepare them for that most wonderful fullness of life with God in the next.

To hear God speak as the Scriptures are proclaimed in this holy Mass, to see Him truly present in the Eucharist: for this are conceived and born, for this our eyes and ears are opened! No human being should ever be denied these greatest gifts of grace. When we begin to think we have the right to decide who among us should or should not have these gifts in their fullness, we arrogate to ourselves something that belongs only to God; we violate the justice which is the only way that God's love can begin to pierce the hardened hearts, be made heard and visible to those who have closed their eyes and ears by rejecting their neighbor in any way.

Let us all ask that the gift of God's grace in Baptism, for the hearing and believing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Life and love, be received in its fullness, through our ears truly opened to God in the life of every neighbor, born or unborn. And having heard the plea for justice, may we work to afford every human being every protection in law so that human life may be respected and loved, from the moment of conception until natural death, in all its stages and conditions.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wednesday, Week 22: "To the other towns also I must proclaim the good news"

... of the Kingdom of God, because for this purpose I have been sent."
To proclaim the faith and to plant his reign, Christ sends his apostles and their successors. He gives them a share in his own mission. From him they receive the power to act in his person.
-- CCC 935

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Tuesday, Week 22: "The one who is spiritual, however, can judge everything"

"What is there about his word?
For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits,
and they come out."

As Lord, Christ is also head of the Church, which is his Body. Taken up to heaven and glorified after he had thus fully accomplished his mission, Christ dwells on earth in his Church. The redemption is the source of the authority that Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit, exercises over the Church. "The kingdom of Christ [is] already present in mystery", "on earth, the seed and the beginning of the kingdom".
-- CCC 669

Monday, September 3, 2012

Saint Gregory the Great, pope and doctor of the Church: "it is of course required of stewards that they be found trustworthy"

the one who judges me is the Lord.

"The priests, prudent cooperators of the episcopal college and its support and instrument, called to the service of the People of God, constitute, together with their bishop, a unique sacerdotal college (presbyterium) dedicated, it is, true to a variety of distinct duties. In each local assembly of the faithful they represent, in a certain sense, the bishop, with whom they are associated in all trust and generosity; in part they take upon themselves his duties and solicitude and in their daily toils discharge them." priests can exercise their ministry only in dependence on the bishop and in communion with him. The promise of obedience they make to the bishop at the moment of ordination and the kiss of peace from him at the end of the ordination liturgy mean that the bishop considers them his co-workers, his sons, his brothers and his friends, and that they in return owe him love and obedience.

-- CCC 1567

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sunday 22B. "That you may live": the spiritual health of the Eucharistic diet protects from the defilement of sin

In my visit to the hospital last week I had the privilege and joy of giving absolution and anointing to a parishioner who may be living through his last days in this world. I experienced both the sorrow that comes with compassion for those who suffer the final agonies of life but also the joy of knowing that I was able to give him the assurance of God's love and compassion through forgiveness of sins.

We all suffer from illnesses of various kinds from time to time, and most of us can expect a recovery sooner or later, sometimes under a doctor's care. For us this can be an occasion also to think about and pray for those whose hope of recovery from illness lies only in prayer for a miracle, such as those who are terminally ill and, in some cases, those suffering with cancer. Our own experiences with suffering can help us to become more compassionate toward others.

A good doctor will tell us that preserving and increasing health is a day to day concern, and that eating the right foods in the correct quantities is also a means of maintaining health of mind and body. This was true for the people of the first covenant during the earthly life of Christ. We see then too that God’s desire for life included health and that preserving the gift of health that He gives with life is part of his plan. Hence we see the dietary laws which preserved health but also inculcated a covenant identity of love through obedience for God's chosen people. But this was taken to an extreme when it became an end in itself, practiced in forgetfulness of God as the source and in His love as its highest purpose and end.

We, too, live a covenant life of loving obedience through Jesus Christ as the source of truth in the Ten Commandments which are summed up in two greatest commandments of loving God and neighbor and also expressed in the Beatitudes and precepts of the Church which apply these to our daily life.

“… that you may live..”

God’s desire is for life. He intervenes in our world and in our lives so that we truly live by sharing His life which never ends. He intervenes perfectly in Christ who reveals and fulfills in Himself all the laws which enabled the people to love the covenant relationship with God.

"Going even further, Jesus perfects the dietary law, so important in Jewish daily life, by revealing its pedagogical meaning through a divine interpretation: 'Whatever goes into a man from outside cannot defile him. . . (Thus he declared all foods clean.). . . What comes out of a man is what defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts. . .' In presenting with divine authority the definitive interpretation of the Law, Jesus found himself confronted by certain teachers of the Law who did not accept his interpretation of the Law, guaranteed though it was by the divine signs that accompanied it. This was the case especially with the sabbath laws, for he recalls, often with rabbinical arguments, that the sabbath rest is not violated by serving God and neighbor, which his own healings did." (CCC 582)

Thus, one of the ways in which our life is diminished is by the suffering brought on by an illness, which sometimes can cause death. So to have life to the fullest we must protect it from anything which might “defile” it on the natural level. But the Lord teaches us in the Gospel that even more we must protect the grace of the spiritual life: unlike the health of the body which can be jeopardized by threats from without, the soul is endangered by what comes out of a person who opts for evil and sin.

Sin is a sign of the lack of spiritual health.

"Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man." But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds." (CCC 1853)

Just as we obey the "commandments" of health for the body through dietary advice, a doctor's care and medicine when recommended that we may have life here and now, so God's covenant love includes care for our spiritual health that we may have life forever.

Commandments of life for the covenant relationship for believers are supported for health of the spirit by God's grace in the Eucharist, a "dietary" sacrament, through the ministry of the Divine Physician through in healing oil of "anointing" and as emergency medical intervention through the sacrament of Confession.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Saturday, Week 21: "Consider your own calling"

God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise,
and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong,
and God chose the lowly and despised of the world,
those who count for nothing,
to reduce to nothing those who are something,
so that no human being might boast before God.
Another temptation, to which presumption opens the gate, is acedia. The spiritual writers understand by this a form of depression due to lax ascetical practice, decreasing vigilance, carelessness of heart. "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." The greater the height, the harder the fall. Painful as discouragement is, it is the reverse of presumption. The humble are not surprised by their distress; it leads them to trust more, to hold fast in constancy.
-- CCC 2733