The New Trinity: “Me, Myself, and I”

The Greek word ‘hamartia’, means ‘missing the mark’, and is often used in Sacred Scripture when referring to ‘sin’. We have been taught, from an early age, that we are all sinners; that we were born with the stain of original sin, and that baptism removed that stain from our souls and made us innocent in the eyes of God.

Our first human parents committed that first sin, a sin of pride and selfishness, because of “a deep-rooted tendency to miss the mark, to be self-centered, to see all of life focused on ‘me, myself, and I’” [Richard C. Sparks, Contemporary Christian Morality]. And unfortunately, that tendency toward self-centeredness seems to be alive and well today, or as Father Bruce Lamb calls it, “it is the new trinity of Me, Myself, and I rather than Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

The book of Ecclesiastes recognizes and declares explicitly that self-adoration is the central weakness that leads us toward the inclination to place ourselves before God. “Vanity of vanities, says Qoheleth, vanity of vanities! All things are vanity! For what profit comes to man from all the toil and anxiety of heart with which he has labored under the sun? All his days sorrow and grief are his occupation; even at night his mind is not at rest. This also is vanity” [Eccl 1:2, 2:22-23].

God is Love and He created us out of love and all that He has created is good. “God did not make death, nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living. For God formed man to be imperishable; the image of his own nature he made him. But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world, and they who are in his possession experience it“ [Wisdom 1:13, 2:23:24]. Man, through pride and selfishness, brought death and evil into the world. God gave us free will, the ability to choose between right and wrong. That means that every sin is personal, a personal choice to do wrong, to choose moral evil rather than virtuous good, to ‘miss the mark’.

Saint Augustine tells us that “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as ‘an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law” [CCC 1846].

Sin doesn’t hurt God but God does hate sin. Fr Paul Check wrote recently in Catholic Answers magazine that “The reason God hates sin is that it damages and even destroys the thing He loves the most: his children. Aquinas wrote,For we do not offend God except by doing something contrary to our own good’ (Summa Contra Gentiles III, 122.2).

So consider this. Evil exists because of man’s desire to be more than he was ever meant to be. Every time we sin, whether by commission or omission, it is an act committed by our own choosing, by our own free will. It is not and can never be God’s fault. Whenever we sin, the only one to blame is me, myself, and I. And who gets hurt? You guessed it. That new trinity: Me, myself, and I.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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