Vanity attacks
- Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - September 28, 2014 - 12:00am

Like heart attacks or strokes that can put our life in mortal danger, we have to be wary also of what we may call as vanity attacks that can put our spiritual and moral life, much more important than our physical or biological life,  in grave danger.

Vanity is actually a very ridiculous anomaly that can happen to us. Basically what it involves is the funny disorder of the creature mocking or at least outshining its creator, the servant giving orders to the master, an entity of a lower category dominating the superior one, or a part presenting itself as the whole.

It is a phenomenon that is a product of fantasy or of a wild imagination that is detached from reality. It is pure subjectivism that is divorced from objectivity. It dwells and thrives in dreamland, in the mind and heart separated from the outside world.

It cannot pass the test of time. Artificial, unnatural and fake, it is highly perishable and always in need of supporting props and rationalizations. Those indulging in it cannot find true peace and rest.

What causes it could be many. It could be ignorance, pride, lack of faith, worldly lifestyle, Godless environment, etc. It could be cowardice or fear to face reality and the truth. These are where our attention should be more focused on, dismantling them as much as we could, so that we can eventually burst the bubble of vanity.

Sad to say, vanity is not only getting rampant nowadays. It now appears as the norm of behavior, the standard of social life.

No one seems to be bothered or threatened by it anymore. In fact, many seem to enjoy it and to promote and praise it to high heavens.

Vanity can come to us in various forms and ways. It can corrupt our proper understanding and attitude toward our looks or physical beauty, our intelligence and talents, our wealth and propitious positions in society, our earthly powers and fame.

We would be more concerned about our appearance than the purity of our thoughts and intentions. We use our power, wealth and other privileges we have simply for our own good rather than for the common good.

Instead of acknowledging these things as gifts and blessings from God meant to give glory to God and to be used according to God's will which is for the common good, we rob them from God and consider them to be solely our own, using them simply according to our own will that is full of whims and caprices.

In other words, we take them out of their proper positions and roles in the over-all plan of God for us. They are like branches cut off from the vine. Thus, for all their glitz and glam, they are doomed to inutility. Sooner or later, they would just dry up and die.

They would just trap us in meaningless cycles of life, as expressed in the Book of Ecclesiastes: "Vanity of vanities…All things are vanity! What profit has man from all the labor which he toils at under the sun?"

They do not have enough resistance to face life's challenges and trials, its ups and downs. Sooner or later, reality will bite them, tearing off the masks, exposing the pretensions and hypocrisies, exploding the false images, the hype and the gloss.

We have to do constant battle against the danger of vanity. This can only mean that first of all we engage everything in our life with God who is the source of truth, unity, beauty and all good things.

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