Working in this Apostolate, we hear quite a number of personal experiences of people’s family lives as well as through knowing people personally. It is quite consistent though that when we observe that the things people DO, not so much what they SAY or THINK or BELIEVE but what they DO will yield certain specific results. This applies not only in family life but obviously in all areas of life, what we could refer to as “nature.” What we do “in the natural” while we’re here on earth will result in certain outcomes in nature. Not only that, but it is based upon these acts that we will be judged by Almighty God when each of us is called to his particular judgment.
However, due to our human weakness and possibly a veiled form of pride, we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that we can act in a certain way and achieve contradictory results, as if we are somehow “supernatural.” We say “I can handle it.” Of course God can decide at times to suspend the laws of nature for His own greater glory by performing a miracle, which by definition is rare. A very small minute number of people who have ever lived have experienced a miracle in their lives. Most of are just ordinary folk who live under the laws of nature. Therefore, it is up to us to obey those laws to achieve those results we believe God intends for us.
So if for instance we have a family and we have to manage the finances of that family, we can’t expect that if we spend everything that we make that we will be storing up a financial reserve to support that family. We can say, “Well that might be for those rich folks but a man’s got to live right?” But the day comes later in life when the family has financial needs that are unable to be satisfied because the man of the house did not manage his finances properly. (As we look at a couple of these we may be able to detect an associated capital sin, in this case, covetousness.) Or we might think that we are above nature when it comes to our personal health and that we can eat whatever we want without any consequences. If we just look around we can SEE that what (and how much) a person eats DOES have consequences. This accumulated effect takes on obesity in the short-term and a myriad of diseases and disorders later in life. (Do we see gluttony here?) So okay, you get the point.
This is yet another one of those tricks of Satan in which instead of practicing the self-denial and self-control habits we should form, we give in to the less-virtuous options since we don’t see any impending threats. But the big regrets come after years and decades of bad choices made systematically. This also applies to relationships including those in marriage and family. We tend to avoid doing the things we have to do by filling our lives with distractions and claiming we don’t have time or that other things are of higher priority. We really need to be cautious of those basic things that we sacrifice for the temporary passing novelties presented us by the world. On the other hand, some basic virtues (nothing to the extent of climbing Mount Everest) practiced systematically can yield a sound solid life in all facets.
This is not to say that if someone makes such mistakes that he is condemned to hell, because we all know that God forgives IF one humbly admits his faults, confesses his sins, is truly sorry, has a firm purpose of amendment, and CHANGES his ways, or makes better choices. That’s right; we’re right back to obeying the laws of nature God instituted at the creation of the world. But as far as recovering in the natural, for some it may be too late as financial ruin, disease, or divorce or family break-up may have already resulted. This is not God’s intent for us. Sure He will forgive, and after a long Purgation of the temporal effects of our sins we may still enter into heaven. But nature will not forgive.
Wouldn’t it be better to boy to God’s laws from the outset and live a steady and productive sound life that God intends to the extent of our own control? Lent is a good time to start building the habits it takes to make those basic choices that will yield positive results and to train our children in them. Let’s get started on that today.
God bless you+