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How to combat our own selfish, dominating heart

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Philip Kosloski - published on 04/12/24

If we are honest with ourselves, often we are the ones who are overly possessive. Combatting our own selfishness requires vigilance.

It’s relatively easy to look at other people and scoff at their selfishness and possessiveness.

We may think to ourselves that our neighbor is the one who needs conversion.

However, we are probably the ones whoneed conversion the most.

If we examine our heart on a daily basis, we may find that our own heart is overly possessive, becoming too attached to the things of this world.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church mentions the antidote to a possessive heart:

In positive terms, the battle against the possessive and dominating self requires vigilance, sobriety of heart. When Jesus insists on vigilance, he always relates it to himself, to his coming on the last day and every day: today. The bridegroom comes in the middle of the night; the light that must not be extinguished is that of faith: “‘Come,’ my heart says, ‘seek his face!'”

CCC 2730

What this means is that we need to realize that Jesus will come again when we least expect it.

It’s important to note that it may not be Jesus’ second coming, but simply Jesus’ coming at the end of our life on earth.

We don’t know when God will call us home and we don’t want to be caught unprepared, like the five foolish bridesmaids who were not ready when the Bridegroom came out to welcome those who had their lamps lit. (cf. Matthew 25)

The first step in combatting against our selfish and possessive heart is to be honest with ourselves and recognize the truth.

We may prefer to look at other people and point out their faults, but we need to look inward and recognize the state of our own heart.

Once we discover the state of our own soul, we will be able to notice how we are attached to things that really won’t matter when God calls us home.

It doesn’t mean we need to sell everything we have, but it does mean that we need to be detached from material things.

We should be willing to give-up everything for God, no matter hard it may hurt.

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