Fr. Roy Cimagala .
WITH all the explosion of the many attractive, tempting and riveting things we have today, we cannot deny that we really need to sharpen our virtues of prudence and detachment, otherwise there is no other way but to be swallowed by them and to get lost.
Christ already warned us about this difficulty to resist the allure of worldly things in a very graphic way when he said: “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Mk 10,25)
A rich man is precisely anyone whose heart is full of worldly things, be it money, power, etc., while practically empty in terms of love for God and for others. The duty to sharpen our prudence and detachment in the midst of so many worldly allurements is now becoming very serious and urgent.
We just have to have clear guiding ideas of how to be prudent and detached in the context of the rapid developments of the world today. For sure, the most fundamental principle that we should always remember and follow is that everything should be referred to God before, during and after the use of these worldly things.
Let’s never forget St. Paul’s clear advice as to what motive we should have in our all our activities and affairs. “Whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor 10,31)
We should check ourselves often to see if indeed that is the motive of all our thoughts, words and deeds. If we notice that we are moved to do something, like using the internet, for example, just to satisfy our curiosity, or just to acquire knowledge or anything that can only show self-interest, then we need to rectify our intentions.
We should only be driven by the motive of giving glory to God, which in concrete terms is translated into loving God and loving everybody else, by knowing them better and serving them wholeheartedly.
To be sure, this is what is proper to us, and would lead us to our human maturity and Christian perfection. Of course, to be realistic, we cannot deny that we are often hounded by our weaknesses and the many temptations around. And so it should be no surprise to us that we need to do some struggling, some fighting.
When we notice that there is no struggle involved, we should have good reason to suspect that we are going the wrong way, that we are clearly succumbing to our own weakness and the many temptations around, and that we are actually harming if not destroying ourselves.
We should have constant awareness of the presence of God, of his continuing interventions in our life, of his will and ways. That’s the only way we can sharpen the virtues of prudence and detachment. The ideal situation is that the use of the modern technologies, for example, would make our knowledge and love for God and others grow. If not, then they become nothing other than dangers.
When we take God for granted, there is no other way but for us to be at the mercy of our blind instincts and other bodily impulses, and of the worldly trends that are insensitive to the spiritual and supernatural character of our life.
These days, it’s imperative that we teach everyone as early as possible to refer everything to God. It would be good that right in the family environment, the children are already taught how to refer things to God.
That would not comprise as an act of brain-washing, but rather as a way of providing them with what everyone of us most need—that is, to be with God.