I could read Archbishop Fulton Sheen's book Three to Get Married over and over again. And I could find a quote on every single page that could inspire a blog post. His wisdom shines through in every paragraph. Here's one of the portions that jumped out at me today:
"Every person is what he loves. Love becomes like unto that which it loves. If it loves heaven, it becomes heavenly; if it loves the carnal as a god, it becomes corruptible. The kind of immortality we have depends on the kind of loves we have. Putting it negatively, he who tells you what he does not love, also tells what he is. "Amor pondus meum: Love is my gravitation," said Saint Augustine. This slow conversion of a subject into an object, of a lover into the beloved, of the miser into his gold, of the saint into his God, discloses the importance of loving the right things. The nobler our loves, the nobler our character. To love what is below the human is degradation: to love what is human for the sake of the human is mediocrity: to love the human for the sake of the Divine is enriching: to love the Divine for its own sake is sanctity."
Three to Get Married, pg. 4Archbishop Fulton Sheen
It's so easy, in our fast paced consumer culture, to be swept up in the things of the world. And everywhere we look there are advertisements that tell us that it's okay. More than that they tell us that this is how life is supposed to be! Being good little consumers is patriotic, if we buy more the economy will improve, and there are always ads that give us lists of products that we just can't live without.
In a way shopping and buying becomes a lifestyle. For some it's even an addiction (try to go a week or a month without shopping! It can be worse than caffeine withdrawals!).
Of course it's not just shopping. It's so easy to be swept up in the things of this world. It takes a conscious effort to keep God before our eyes, while our culture is intent on selling us any sin we can think up (particularly if that sin involves sex).
Our priorities in life, the things that we give our time and energy to, reveal what we truly love (my rambling had to come around to the quote eventually). When our time and energy go towards obtaining things or justifying the standards of our fallen world (to ourselves or others) a very real problem comes to light.
What do you love? What priorities are at the top of your list each day? Is it something that lifts you up towards God? Or would it fall under Archbishops sheen description of "degradation?"