As you are reading this blog of mine, some of you may find it boring and decide to surf another website for more ‘interesting’ articles, tweets, photos, videos or what not… all, just in a matter of seconds. Because of the internet and modern day technology, our attention span is getting shorter and shorter since there are so many alternatives before us. Convenience is a great luxury that our grandparents’ generation didn’t have. We cannot argue about the added value that these technologies have brought into our lives, but they pose threats that can be very dangerous to our existence.
About a decade ago, we had the iPod that simply played mp3 music files. That was a great luxury already, coming from mp3 players that could only store 5 to 10 songs. Then we asked for more. We had higher versions of the iPod, then the iTouch, then the iPhone, iPad, and now the iPhone 4S. This iPhone 4S can do pretty much everything from video calls, GPS mapping, live chatting, voice recognition, etc… Wonder what’s the next thing will we ask for? Just when you think it’s got all the features, something newer and ‘cooler’ is developed to satisfy us consumers.
Our lives are so accustomed to convenience. We want more, more, more and fast, fast, fast. We take shortcuts and want to make money the ‘easy way’. For some, it is more and more power or more and more sexual satisfaction! We can just never get enough! One saint said that this is a major tragedy since we are looking for joy in the wrong places. These ‘attachments’ are fleeting and will not give us the lasting joy that we long for because they disconnect us from God.
We want quick-fix solutions to address lingering problems. A little inconvenience and we get easily irritable and annoyed. This is manifested in many relationships nowadays that don’t seem to endure trials. They resort to the easy way out.
So what do we do now? What does this have to do with Lent?
Just as Jesus’ self-sacrifice through His passion and death, God has also given His ultimate sacrifice by sending His only Son to become fully human only to die on the cross. Imagine how painful that is for a father. And more so for a mother that is why we feel especially close to Our Lady of Sorrows these days.
In this light, we too are called to make sacrifices. They don’t have to be big ones. I have some friends who have given up eating ‘sweets’ during the entire season of Lent. Some have given up drinking alcohol. Or it can be as simple as being extra patient in trying to understand a difficult friend. Or doing small acts of kindness to your parents or siblings. This is also the reason why we fast and abstain from eating meat during Fridays of Lent.
This is mortification. It is about self-giving. We do not make sacrifices for the mere purpose of pleasing others or appearing ‘holy’ but we do it because of our deep love for Christ – that is charity. And in doing so, people see Christ in us. St. Josemaria said it best when he said that you must experience Christ within yourself—be His friend—then that overflow of your interior life will communicate itself to others’.
Advance Happy Easter!
P.S. Still working on part 3, the theme is HOPE. Will post it tomorrow.