Concupiscence’ according to catholicculture.org is the “Insubordination of man’s desires to the dictates of reason, and the propensity of human nature to sin as a result of original sin”.
Archbishop Jason Gordon gave this ‘big word’ in his homily last Monday at St Mary’s College Chapel, Frederick Street, at the start of the week-long Lenten midday retreat of the Holy Rosary parish. The retreat was moved to the chapel because the church on Henry Street is closed for renovation.
Archbishop Gordon told the congregation, “Our concupiscence is the way in which the three-fold temptation becomes insidious in all of our living”. He said there was lust of the flesh, lust of the eye, pride and these were the “undoing of people”.
Archbishop Gordon gave an example of the lust of the flesh with the scanty costumes like “runner’s tape” worn at Carnival and the rest of the year was spent chasing money and possessions.
He said, “We [have] become a civilisation where to be is to have, and to have is to be. We define ourselves by what we have, by where we live, by what we drive, by so many unimportant things.”
Archbishop Gordon said there was an “old time” word for this— “idolatry”. He highlighted there is more disposable income, more things to acquire, increased access to education yet there was a lot of depression, loneliness, despair, anxiety and worry in children and adults.
“When I Iook at the human capacity and the connection with happiness, there I think we have a serious challenge that we are facing as a people,” he said. He asked the congregation how many “good Catholic people” saw the Sunday Mass as all important.
Lent is a good time to reflect on and ask the hard questions about the relationship with God. Archbishop Gordon said when the relationship with God is right then the person is right and then the nation goes right.