I think that our biggest problem today in this country and in this world, but most of all in our hearts is that we are all too happy and eager to celebrate Mardi Gras, but fail to acknowledge Ash Wednesday, we love Easter but ignore Good Friday, we celebrate and revel in Christmas but are ignorant of Advent. We glory in the goodness the Lord brings us without even acknowledging his hand in it, yet blame Him first when we suffer and experience hardship. We ask for, yet are unwilling to give, we expect to be loved for who we are, but are unwilling to love others in the same way. We look for our own self satisfying definition of happiness in a world that will never know the true meaning of that word because it rejects Christ. We have politicians and liberal minded individuals who care more about animals than babies, who preach gun control and no border wall in a superficial effort to appear compassionate, yet promote and legalize the killing of innocent babies, now not just before birth but after birth.
We want everything that is good, but are unwilling to accept the sacrificial aspects of love that truly render goodness.
So many of us claim to love Jesus, but only on our own terms and in our own way, refusing to worship in the way that He has asked and the Church demands, by attending Mass. We shallowly explore our own definition of finding God and ignore his very real and intimate presence to us in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist. We dismiss the need for confession, as we boast in pride and disobey the Church and the Clergy. We define our own laws and moral standards according to our wills and desires, which are often disordered and immoral. We then redefine them as alternative or atypical but nonetheless worthy of tolerance, and not just tolerance, but worthy of acceptance and promotion.
When we do these things we are rejecting God. We are rejecting God and replacing the praise and adoration that He alone deserves and we praise and adore ourselves instead. And then, we wonder why our lives are mess, our families disfunctional, our communities in dishevel and our country in chaos. We all can’t be number 1, and when we ignore the one who truly is and demand to be treated as a self-proclaimed deity we orchestrate our own demise and perishing. The theme song of Hell is “I Did It My Way”.
This Lent we have some choices to make. The goal for this life is not to be happy, it is to make our way to Heaven. Don’t let a shallow and depthless “happiness” get in the way of true and eternal happiness. The alternative is so very terrible that we can’t even imagine the depths of despair that lie waiting for us there. Start loving Ash Wednesday and subordinating it Mardi Gras, start embracing Good Friday as the reason for Easter, and start celebrating Christmas in the light of Good Friday. Look for the depth, opportunties, and the true meanings in all these celebrations instead of the surface fun and frolic. It’s not the happy clappy celebrations that will bring us the true experience of Christ, it’s when we enter into his agony and suffering that we find the true rewards given to those who love Christ by obeying his commandments, and asking for mercy when we fail them. Those who celebrate the penitential aspects of Lent and Advent, in anticipation and appreciation of the parties and fun that follow will find the glory of Heaven that follows through those sufferings and sacrifices. That is what we find in a life lived for Christ. And those celebrating the fun and frolic without the remorse and penance – well, I guess they will spend eternity paying the price for fun and worldly happiness at the expense of their eternity.