The collateral dangers of the new things
HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - November 21, 2020 - 12:00am

We have to be very wary in our use of the new things. They can be very attractive since they give us a lot of advantages. But we should never forget that we need to also develop the appropriate attitudes and skills, because together with their advantages are some dangers that can trick us so subtly that we may not even notice that we are being tricked.

Our new technologies, for example, will generate new ways of communicating, of transacting business, of doing the different things in our life, as in politics, sports, fashion, arts, etc. They can evoke greater creativity, efficiency and productivity, but they can also occasion distractions and all kinds of temptations especially in the area of humility, charity, holy purity, order, prudence, etc.

Yes, they can make us forget that everything that we are, have and do are supposed to be for the glory of God and for the good of all. They instead can deceive us with the sweet poison of self-indulgence. They can be so absorbing and riveting that they can make us lose sight of the true purpose of our life. We end up simply fattening our egos, thinking that such would be the real purpose of our life.

That is why we can never overemphasize the indication given to us by Christ. “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” (Lk 9,23) We should never dare to forget these words or even to take them for granted. They are a clear and effective guide for us as we cruise our increasingly complicated world.

To be sure, this is not some kind of paranoia. Rather it is a concrete expression of prudence, of divine wisdom, as we grapple with the confusing mix of good and evil in our world.

Because of the new normal brought about by this COVID pandemic, people are resorting to the online system. While the purpose of communication is served, many people are also bothered by the temptations to fall into vanity, frivolity, waste of time and disorder. Some get entangled in the web of pornography and the many other forms of scams, commercialism, and materialism.

There is, indeed, now a great need to remind everyone about the real and ultimate purpose of our life, and to give them concrete ideas of how this purpose can be effectively pursued.

Obviously, everyone has to be reminded to always deepen and strengthen their spiritual life, their relationship with God and with others, because absent these there is no other way but to be completely swallowed up by worldly values alone, together with their dangers.

Everyone has to be taught how to be true contemplatives in the middle of the world. That is the only way we can properly handle the collateral dangers of the new things we are having these days.

The skills and art of keeping the presence of God throughout the day, of having rectitude of intention in our words and deeds, and of relating everything to God and developing a sense of how our daily activities are in synch with God’s providence, should be taught and acquired.

This is a big challenge to face, and we can hack it if we would just put our mind and heart into it. God’s grace for this is never lacking.

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