Saturday, October 17, 2009

Thoughts Before Sleep

The verse below was part of Mass earlier in the month and it really struck a chord with me. It's so relevant to the present age, which is why it jumped out at me.
Romans 1:23-25 (Douay-Rheims)
23 And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things. 24 Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves. 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
It's common today for people to expect personal achievements and possessions to make them happy. It's easy to become obsessed with what we have and what we want in our consumer driven society. We ignore God or try to put him in a box that we only open on Sunday mornings and live the rest of our lives grasping after things that we think will make us happy. And then we wonder why we aren't happy.

Our souls long for God. While buying shoes or handbags or cars or houses might temporarily fill a small part of the void, the emptiness returns, a yawning hole. God gives us the freedom to choose, but He doesn't guarantee that our choice will make us happy or fulfilled.

Sometimes we even decide to set that freedom up on a pedestal and worship it in God's place, refusing to recognize that while we are free to choose to strive for Heaven or give ourselves up to Hell, there can be no true freedom except through Christ.

Making the right choice doesn't automatically mean that we won't suffer. Suffering is a part of this world and if we put our trust in God our trials can bring us closer to Him, acting as a purifying fire. The alternative, a life ruled by concupiscence and materialism, is a self chosen sentence that rarely leads to anything that even resembles happiness, much less the joy that comes when one realizes that Christ is risen!

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