Little By Little
“Little by little we take it in and we get used to it,” this was how Fr. Dixie pointed to us brothers in his homily how we can slowly absorb and integrate changes, good or bad. He was discussing how a religious could become used to a life that isn’t so religious, leading to the betrayal of his religious vows.
This had me thinking this morning because it reminds me of my theory of the little-by-little devil. There seems to be a devil in us that keeps urging us to sin little by little. So subtle is the transgression we don’t notice how we are falling steadily until we finally wake up to the fact that we have already come a long way down. The danger of saying “it’s just this time” or “it’s a small thing” isn’t so small after all.
On the other hand, this brings to mind the Japanese concept of Kaizen, the principle of incremental improvement, which I believe we should practice. Little by little we take upon ourselves the task of self-improvement, in matters of everyday life and of our spirituality, day by day. What little effort we put in will slowly gain and build up towards perfection.
Changes can be little by little. What matters is the direction of the change.