How ashamed I am to see such sinfulness in myself,
and to recall certain small things, mere grains of sand,
which I nonetheless lacked the strength
to lift off the ground out of love for you,
embedded as they were in my wretchedness.
And the water of your grace was not flowing beneath this to raise it up.
My Creator, as I contemplate the great mercies I have received from you,
I wish I could at least tell of some good act of mine,
even thought it would be of little significance
in the midst of my great unfaithfulness.
St. Teresa of Avila , 1515-1582, Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun and reformer
Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.