Man’s need for enlightenment

      Glory Enyinnaya

In spite of the natural law written in our hearts by the Creator, yet, there are many obstacles which prevent reason from the effective and fruitful use of this inborn faculty.

These include the senses, the imagination and the disordered appetites which are the consequences of original sin.

The senses

The truths of religion – so beautiful and endearing to the man of faith – are bland and insipid to the sensuous man. He derives no comfort, no pleasure, nor sweetness from them. They are simply words, vague ideals, mawkish sentimentality. His lusty palate has sampled salacious pleasures of the first order; he is left unmoved and baffled by spiritual sentiments. Such a man is shielded from a true knowledge of God by the coarseness of his brute nature.

This is one of the reasons why the Church places such a high value on virginity. There is a purity, a delicacy, a singleness of purpose which characterizes the virgin. Ignorant of more atavistic instincts, the virgin can dedicate himself to spiritual matters without reluctance.

‘’You can’t miss what you haven’t known.’’ Having known no sensuous gratification, the virgin finds total satisfaction in the pursuit of wisdom. Not so the sensual man, who is loathe to renounce his hedonistic pursuits for more refined pursuits.

The knowledge of this basic dichotomy between the flesh and the spirit prompted rulers in ancient times to ban their soldiers from sexual intercourse while on active service and to turn their most trusted advisors into eunuchs. Alas! Primitive man could and did renounce the flesh for military conquests or political power. Yet modern man, in this era of Sexual Revolution, can envision no ambition higher than purely physical gratifications. And yet, we claim to have evolved into a more advanced civilization!

The imagination

Many men, who would have been good, have imperiled their salvation, by procrastination. “I’ll be serious with God,’’ they vow. ‘’But first this degree, this job, this house, this promotion…” And so they push their relationship with God further and further into the hazy future, while they use the present to work for temporal ends.

Don’t fall into this vicious circle. You think: “when this is settled one way or the other, I’ll be very generous with my God”.  Can’t you see that ‘He’ who is ‘Ultimate Truth’ is waiting for you to be generous without reserve, so that he can settle things far better than you can imagine?

Once you get a full view of this earthly life, you will see how all-important a part God plays in it. Instead of living for the moment or for the next few years, you’ll live for a higher and more important goal. You will see the unending importance of what you are doing today, you will understand how each act of this day helps you become a little more perfect and a little more ready for Heaven.

Man’s interior conflict

The first man and woman had many gifts that made their earthly life as easy and peaceful as possible. They were free from pain, labour, sickness and death. They had supernatural light to their minds, and supernatural strength to their wills. They had complete command over the appetites and desires of body and soul.

In disobeying God, the first pair committed a small act of eating the fruit, but with serious consequences. Man now has to bear an inner conflict, as a result of that first rebellion. His animal appetites now go after their wants without regard for his better judgment and free will. Even when man wishes to follow his intelligence and strive after better things, he has to fight for control of his unreasoning appetites and blind desires.

So it happens that men, in such, matters easily persuade themselves that what is true is actually false, or at least doubtful, simply because they do not want to believe that it is true.

This is why man stands in need of being enlightened by divine revelation, about those things that naturally exceed his human and hampered understanding, so that even in the present condition of the human race, they can be known by all men with ease, with firm certainty, and with no admixture of error.

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