Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Sensuality and Sensibility


Living sensual lives, ruled entirely by our own physical desires and our own mind; so that by nature we were as much under Gods anger as the rest of the world.Ephesians 2:3
As Christians, we are suppose to be different from non-believers. Our minds and hearts should be focused only on one thing: loving God and doing his will. This attitude of loving God goes beyond doing what WE think is right. It goes beyond what WE believe is right. It is seeing things through the eyes of God so we can get to know him more and love him more. In the verse above, we see that sensuality is defined as being ruled entirely by our physical desires and our own mind. Included in physical desires are lust, greed and the other common sins. The media has done a good job in giving this definition to us.
One thing I realized is that sensuality is also being ruled by our own mind.
One example that I like most is the one given by Fr. Thomas Greene in his book Vacation with the Lord. He posed this question. If you happened to get 10,000 pesos without any effort, what would you do? He then proceeded to explain the three different responses to this situation.
The first kind are the procrastinators. They keep saying that they will give some money tomorrow. Tomorrow becomes today and they postpone their plan until they forget about it.
The second kind are the tithers. This is very typical of some Christians who would give a percentage of the money to charity and do with the rest as they want to.
The third kind are those who lay the money before the Lord and ask the Lord on what HE wants to do with the money. If the Lord tells them to keep the entire amount, they keep it with gratitude. If the Lord tells them to give a certain percent to this and a certain percent to that, they do it without complaint. If the Lord tells them to give the whole amount, they do so, probably after much argument with the Lord.
The question is: which of these do you think did what is pleasing to the Lord?
We know that people who procrastinate never get things done. These are the seeds who fall on little soil. They get carried with emotion. Feelings dictate their actions and they do things because they want to and because it feels good. The bad thing about this is that because their faith depends on emotions, they believe that they are right and will fight to be right.
The second kind are those who give money to wherever THEY think is the best place to put the money. The act they did is like telling the Lord, “OK, here is your cut now leave me alone”. Although they did good by giving to charity, it is still their will and mind that ruled their action.
The third kind are those who do what they humbly discerned to be the Lords will. They leave everything up to the Lord and let HIM decide on the situation. Sure enough, they might complain. They might struggle but in the end, they always do what the Lord wants.
Our Blessed Mother is a model of a sensible Christian. She lived in total obedience to the Lord. When confronted with the possibility of being the Mother of God, she accepted it as the Lord's will. When the wise men presented the gifts to Jesus, she let them do it and treasured all these in her heart. When confronted with the death of her Son, she humbly stood by his cross, accepting this as God's will.
Mary's life shows us that faith is a matter of decision. It is not based on emotions and logic. It is not based on knowing why things happen. It is based on trust in the Lord and loving the Lord. I believe this is sensibility: to do not because we know why but because we know who is leading us.
May the Blessed Mother continue to be an example of sensibility for us so that we may treasure things that we do not understand and trust in the God our Saviour.

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