Sharpening our hunger for heaven
We are, of course, in this world which plays a crucial role in the over-all scheme of our entire life. But we have to remember that even as we immerse ourselves in worldly affairs, we should not allow ourselves to be so trapped by them that we forget that we are meant for a life beyond this world.
We are meant for heaven, for life in eternity, hopefully with God our Creator and Father in whose image and likeness we have been created. And so, we should sharpen our constant awareness of our heavenly destination, and the ways by which this awareness can be kept.
Christ said it very clearly. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselvestreasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Mt 6,19-21)
And St. Paul echoes the same sentiment. “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Col 3,2) We should do everything to avoid getting entangled with our earthly and temporal affairs.
It’s not that these worldly concerns of ours are not important. They are very important! But only as means, not as ends.They are nothing, and they can be very harmful to us, if they are not related to our true and ultimate end.
We have to find ways to relate everything to God, to thesupernatural character of our final destination in heaven. Whether we like it or not, this is how the cookie crumbles for us, given our nature that is not only material but also eminently spiritual.
We are meant for a supernatural life with God because that is how we are wired and equipped with our intelligence and will, and also because, first of all, it is God’s will and he gives us the grace to effect it in us.
This is no gratuitous assertion, because many are the references in the Bible that tell us so. “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes delight in my ways,” we are told. (Prov 23,26) And in another instance, we are told: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you. I have summoned you by name. You are mine.” (Is 43,1)
The strongest proof, of course, is the fact that God became man, Jesus Christ, who assumed all our sins with his passion, death and resurrection. God wants us to be like him in Christ through the Holy Spirit.
We can correspond to this grand design of God for us, first, by keeping a constant dialogue with him. This should not be difficult to do since any item in our life can be and should be a material for that dialogue.
Our problem is that we prefer to talk with our own selves, and very often we just find ourselves empty headed and prone to all our weaknesses, temptations and the many other allurements in the world.
The Holy Spirit is constantly prompting us, is always intervening in our lives, showing us the way and empowering us to do a lot of good. If we would just allow ourselves to be led by the Spirit,instead of our own flesh-and-world-based reason and will, we would be doing a lot of good. We would be storing up treasures in heaven.
To be led by the Spirit is the best thing that can happen to us. We would not be lost as we cruise the many tricky ways of the world. No matter what happens, even if we commit mistakes in our temporal affairs, we would still end up doing good.*
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