CBB Review: Little Sins Mean a Lot

CBB Review: Little Sins Mean a Lot May 18, 2016

little_sins_mean_a_lot_spotlightYou have likely guessed by now that I read a lot of books. On occasion I come across a book that speaks to me so loudly that I smack myself on the forehead….more than once. The book I am talking about is the latest from Elizabeth Scalia Little Sins Mean a Lot: Kicking Our Bads Habits Before They Kick Us. I must say that this is a book everyone should pick up and read as the message is one we all need to hear.

As you work your way through the thirteen chapters in this book you will discover that Elizabeth is taking you through a modern day jaunt through the virtues. She has poured herself into this book as evidenced by how honest and open she is about herself when writing on these topics. They are: procrastination, excessive self-interest, self-neglect, allowing small indulgences to take over, gossip, judgement and suspicion, gloominess and griping, deliberate spite or passive aggression, clinging to our narratives, half-assing it, cheating, sins of omission, and lastly self-recrimination. I’m all but certain that you can relate to more than one of these.

By exposing her own faults and in turn each chapter giving reflections and prayers on each subject Elizabeth provides readers with a meditation resource to change their lives. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in ourselves and so stuck in our ways that we need someone to come along and smack us up alongside the head with a proverbial two by four. This book is the two by four you need and frankly it’s one I needed as well.

When talking about procrastination Elizabeth says: “I have found this to be true all my life: whether it involved schooling, a dental appointment, or a big writing project, the hardest part of my undertaking was always just settling down to actually doing the thing I had been putting off – and in the end, the job was usually a snap”.

As she tackles gossip and Pope Francis’ referral to is as a dark joy: “Those words resonated with me, and to such an extent that often, when talking with friends, I will get a sense of things veering into the gratuitous and gossipy – usually around the time I notice that we all start to laugh at each other’s snarky comments about another – and I will try to find the off-ramp by saying, “We’ve talked a lot about this person; let’s pray for him.”

One final snippet from the book as Elizabeth address judging and suspicion: “I share all of this not to seek out sympathy but as a means of demonstrating how difficult it is for people to deal in good faith with us when we allow suspicions to guide our thinking, because every suspicion seeks its own validation, and this opens the pathway to judgement. Casting a suspicious eye upon others is a habit that grows naturally from a lazy garden of cynicism and negativity; judgmentalism is its attractive-looking-but-poisonous fruit”.

Elizabeth Scalia lays bare her own faults to allow us to reflect upon on our own. Little sins do mean a lot because as they pile up they become little components of a much larger problem. Thank you Elizabeth for this book, your witness and the gentle reminder that both provide.


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