Declaring war vs self-indulgence

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - December 2, 2020 - 12:00am

That’s right. We need to declare an unrelenting war against our self-indulgence which has become a very formidable problem we all have. Yes, this has always been a problem to us, but these days it is much more so.

With the many new wonderful things that can instantly give us convenience, comfort, pleasure and satisfaction, many of us are trapped into the very sticky web of obsessions, addictions and the many other forms of self-indulgence that feed on our weaknesses, like lust, pride, conceit, gluttony, unhinged curiosities, envy, etc., etc.

We just have to give a cursory look around to see how bad this problem is. Many people are just looking at their cellphones most of the time. There are reports saying that many young people often forget their meals and lose sleep because of what they do in the Internet. It’s clear they are terribly hooked there and it seems it’s  now next to the im   possible to get them out of there.

As a result, many duties and responsibilities are left unattended. Disorder and chaos are fast gaining ground as priorities are skewed. Superficiality has now become a mainstream lifestyle, reinforcing the trend toward consumerism, materialism and what Pope Francis refers to as the “throw-away culture” where ethical and moral considerations are ignored or even flouted, i.e., regarded with contempt.

Yes, many people are now living in their own world, detached from the realities of life. Their spiritual and social life, their relation with God and with others are now all but non-existent. At best, they give only appearances of these unavoidable aspects of life, enough to meet at least certain external expectations.

We have to react to this unfolding and disturbing reality with drastic measures. We have to do this with coordinated efforts, involving as many of us as possible. Let us recover our true bearing that in the end is rooted on the spiritual and supernatural, on our intimate relation with God that should translate into our increasingly intimate relation with everybody else.

Let’s make God the beginning and end of everything that we do. He should always be in our mind and heart, in our thoughts, intentions and desires, in our feelings and passions. He should always be in our deeds. And because of him and through him, the others should also always be in our mind and heart.

Without God and without others, let’s be convinced that we are actually lost, even if we feel that we are conquering the world and are having a nice time. Let’s do everything that God and others become the fixed reference points of our life. They are meant to lead us to our true maturity, our fulfillment and perfection, our joy.

Thus, whenever we realize that our thoughts, intentions and desires simply revolve around ourselves, around our interests and what give us convenience, advantage, etc., let us react immediately and rectify ourselves.

It would be good if we develop the appropriate attitudes, mindset, skills and habits that would make us begin anything we do by rectifying and purifying our intentions, offering it to God in a very conscious way. This way, we would be guarded against the tendency to fall into self-indulgence. We can reinforce that rectitude of intention by offering anything that we do also to specific persons.

To be sure, there are many other ways we can avail of to make sure that we avoid falling into self-indulgence!

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