Walking around in the departmental store, one would see shelf after shelf of shoes, bags, make-up of all brands, etc. Walking out of the store is yet another store that sells watches and another that sells awesome-smelling body products. While all these add to the comfort and luxury of life, the question that came up was "Do they improve the quality of LIFE?" Perhaps, having some of these really does no harm. However, self-indulgence in them will definitely prove disadvantageous for us.
When we dress up, make up, put on all the decorations on our bodies, we look into the mirror, check our faces, our appearances, etc. All energy, attention and emphasis are placed on our flesh. Gradually, we forget that we are human beings, made up of flesh, blood and soul. When all is focused on the flesh, what, then, happens to the soul? What do we have in our lives that nourishes our souls? We prepare our bodies so well to meet clients, bosses, potential employers when we go for interviews, friends, boyfriends, girlfriends and spouses. What do we adorn our souls with to meet our God? We put on our best dress for a wedding dinner, go to the salon for a nice hair-do. What dress do we put on for our long-awaited reunion with Christ?
Mother (now Blessed) Teresa said, "The devil tempts us not so much to harm us but to kill the God in us." One very effective way the devil has tempted us is the use of "modernity" to shift our attention onto the outer appearance, and away from the awareness of our souls. The media and commercial businesses are promoting the pampering of our senses and we take to body massages, spa, excellent cuisine and so on and so forth to pleasure the senses. The pornography industry booms. The drug-making businesses have made their upper management richer. Is there any room for God any more? We are ensured we will have a busy day at work and even after working hours, there is still work yet to be completed so as to give another assurance of a busy tomorrow. We are exhausted from work. Parents no longer have time for their children. Children have no source of guidance and proper love. We are so deprived of personal time and we feel a lack of love - self love. We don't even have time for quality communication with one another. Parents resort to giving materialistic love to their children, children take to loud music to drown out the loneliness or turn to their mobiles for games and entertainment to fill the time their parents cannot fill. And we start to pamper ourselves more and more - after all, we have been slogging hard at work and deserve a good break! Pause for a moment. Where's the time for God? Where's the nourishment and food for the soul? When?
The quality of life is declining ever more rapidly. The level of self-centredness in us is escalating so much more enthusiastically than we can manage a balanced life.
The old 5Cs - cash, condo, cards, cars, club membership
The new 5Cs recast by SM Goh - career, comfort, children, considerate and charitable
Fr. Peter Wee @ the novena today gives us a challenge, that while all these are good, we need to put the ultimate C above all these. And this C represents none other than Christ. And together with this C (Christ), Courage to follow in His footsteps.
How important is our reunion with God? The level of importance, which we must set instead of leaving it to the convenience of chance, will determine the percentage of time and focus we allocate to preparing our souls for this meeting. How important is this God and how much does His love mean to us? Our priorities in life will depend completely on our answer to these questions. Our priorities will then determine the acts and activities we engage ourselves in everyday. These activities will directly influence the real quality of our lives not by earthly standards but by the one true standard God sets in our hearts and souls when he first created us wholesome and sincere. If we do not commit to an answer to these questions for our own selves, and let "nature" take its course, we can be sure the world will not wait for us; We will be consumed into the commercialised, superficial and make-believe world and lose sight completely on what lies beyond this earthly life.
21 August 2010