Friday, October 22, 2010

Darkness and Light

Materialism today is the sign of a greater struggle of heart toward the heart of Christ. The struggle has manifested itself in every time of the existence of man.  G.K. Chesterton, of the early 20th century, speaks from a longing heart when in his younger years he wrote:

“What were heaven if ought we cherished, shall be wholly left behind?
Is it God’s bright house we dwell in, or a vault of dark confusion…?”

A 21st century Catholic speaker I heard once described her epiphany from sin as a literal transition from the dark places she was keeping herself in, to the light of the sun in the bright noon day. Life in the past or the present often leaves us groping in the dark through all of our Earthly possessions seeking something more.

Fear not. Materialism is only a cancer. Once found in an early state, it can be removed with careful operation, but we must always look for its return.
What forms does materialism take?

Remember first, that the flesh has a taste for pride, vanity and sensuality. Materialism is a small part of all of these main root sins.

If Christ calls man to “renounce all that [they have] for his sake and that of the Gospel.” Luke 14:33, then first we must look at how we are able to do all that God obliges us to do in the Spirit of the Scripture. If material possessions hinder the spread of the Gospel and of the charity that is our duty to express owing from the scripture, then there is a problem.

Second, Christ longs for your heart as much as your heart longs for him even though your mind is elsewhere trapped. The heart and soul are always longing for Christ because he is the key to the Father of love. When you find your mind is not in tune with what is truly best for your soul, then there is a problem. People want to adore something, but so often it becomes themselves, showing up in disordered tendencies such as tattooing, piercing and flesh modifications. Their sight has become sullied by the desire to own fame or entitlement. This love of sensuality rots the link to the true desire to adore the Creator of the Universe.

“Jesus celebrates the joy of the poor, to who the Kingdom already belongs.” CCC2546

Third, materialism is the opposite of the intention of Christ’s teachings for his true disciples. He teaches of the poor widow who exemplifies the standard of giving which he holds us too.CCC2544 This ‘poverty of spirit’ is the way of the cross and a way of detachment.

But I have so much! You say. Look at the life of Elizabeth of Hungary. She lived as a servant of God surrounded by riches and luxuries compared to her fellow man in the 13th century. She gave to the poor, even to the point of annoying her household. One day her husband came upon her in the castle road and asked what was in her apron. It was filled with bread from the keep, but roses appeared when she opened her apron.

The spirit of poverty is within, and it is built up with a treasure chest of piety and Earthly searching for the treasures of God the Father. Materialism is only a physical sign we create ourselves that pulls us away from spiritual treasure. Recognize it and combat it with full intentioned prayer.

“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21