Headline: Recover the ManPosted on: 2016-01-07
The crown of God's creation
So many resolutions made for 2016 would by now have been forgotten by their makers. In reality, no dream realizable if its operational template is faulty. People dream of a better world, a better year and a better home but the indispensable component needed to realize them all, man, crown of God's creation is often neglected. In defining the essence of man's being, the Catechism of the Catholic Church quotes the second Vatican Council document "Gaudium et Spes": "The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists, it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator" (CCC 27). In this pristine condition, man operates at his best. This is the man whom David addressed in the beautiful psalm "What is man that you be mindful of him, the son of man that you should care for him? Yet you made him a little lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and honor and gave him the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet..." (Ps 8: 5-7).
Decay of the Central Processing Unit
Almighty God knew exactly what was at stake when man descended below his "installed moral capacity". He sent his only son so that all who believe in him might be saved. (Jn 3:16). Jesus was born in a lowly stable and of lowly parents but he taught the noblest of values and proclaimed the love of God and neighbour above all things. He showed man that being born in a stable does not necessarily make one an animal. Christian doctrine teaches that in the coming of Jesus as man, God simply did all he could have done to save man, his most prized creation. The decadent state of man which completely contrasted with the bliss of Eden, attracted such overwhelmingly compassion. At Eden man and woman could afford to be naked without being ashamed, meaning that they feared no danger or harm, natural or artificial. But right after the fall, man evolved in the story of Cain and Abel, the Flood, the Tower of Babel, Sodom and Gomorrah. Those stories summarize contemporary man, downgraded to the level of infanticide, fratricide, genocide, and even self-destruction because of his denial of God's place and role. The prophet Isaiah addressed such a situation: "Woe to him who argues with his Maker, being but a pot among pots. Will the clay say to him who fashions it, "What are you making? You have no skill. Woe to him who asks a father, 'What have you begotten!' or a mother, 'To what have you given birth?" (is 45: 9-10). The
The fatal "Declaration of Independence" by Adam and Eve in Eden betrayed concupiscence, human ingratitude, pride and greed. Satan told to them: ".. your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil" (Gen. 3:5). They swallowed the foolery, hook, line and sinker. Today, that seed of rebellion has become a tree with many branches. Man has become a terror to his own kind for wherever God is sidelined, man too is necessarily diminished. Never in human history has there been like now, a civilization that legally murders its own children right in their mothers' womb. That is what much of humanity parades today under a thin veneer of freedom, glamour and fashion. Among the most disingenuous inventions of man today are his contraceptive devices and methods, his weapons of war and devices of materialistic self-destruction. Jonathan Swift, describing such blatant human conduct of his own time, said: "I never wonder to see men wicked, but I often wonder to see them not ashamed". So, as is observable today, wicked acts perpetrated by men and women which normally should cause deep shame have not only become commonplace but fashionable in defiance of the commandments of God. Religious enterprise and activities must therefore seek to restore man to his "spiritual factory settings" and bring back that man who lived in harmony with his Creator. Unless that process of recovering the original man is sustained, man will simply evolve into a greater monster than he, in many ways, already is.
The recovery route
The popular story of a working father being impeded by his little son is apposite for our thoughts. He decided to send the son away with a tough task to do. He got the page of a newspaper with a map of the world on it and proposed a handsome prize to the child if he would put the shredded pieces of the newspaper page correctly together. The son took the bet. The father then tore the page into many small pieces and sent the young man off. Convinced that he could not lose this one, the father settled down to his work. Great was his shock when the boy returned shortly afterwards, triumphant with the map of the world correctly reassembled. The distressed father grudgingly paid up. In curiosity he asked his son how he had managed the feat in such a short time. The victorious young lad turned the other side of the page where, the father had not noticed, was a the full-page image of a man. Then he said. "Dad, I simply pieced the man together and the entire world fell in place. Fix the man and you will surely fix the world as well" How very relevant those ideas are for us, starting off 2016!
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