Food for thought in month of love and sacrifice

Thursday, February 22nd, 2024 08:07 | By
Love heart representation. PHOTO/Pexels
Love heart representation. PHOTO/Pexels

February 2024 is a month of contradictions. On Wednesday 14th we had two choices – to love or to repent.

On one hand, it was Valentine’s, a day when lovers and couples express and celebrate their unconditional love. On the other hand, it was Ash Wednesday, a day venerated by millions of Catholics around the world as a day of repentance against God and fellow man.

Well, if you are a keen observer, you must have noted that Valentine’s Day has become merely another occasion for the majority of people. Those to who the day should appeal to, especially the millennials and Gen Z, go on with their business unperturbed. Beautiful flowers and expensive chocolate do not define love, seems to be the new mantra.

There are two scenarios here to explain the situation. One is the harsh economic times that have relegated romance to the back burner. People are struggling to survive with basic needs, and have no disposable income for luxuries. Further, human love has now become amorous, transactional and fickle. To get genuine love where neither party has no selfish expectations is today the exception. Ultimately, the so called true love eventually dies.

It is now officially a material world. Even for married couples, particularly for the men, one gets respect depending on what material benefits the partner is drawing from the relationship. Respect in matrimony oscillates with the changing fortunes. Till death, is now till broke, do we part.

However, if you remove sex from the equation, unconditional love still exists. As a father of a teenage autistic son, I know the sacrifice it means to give your all, without expecting any reward. Well, apart from God’s grace and utter peace that come from saving a hapless soul.

I may not agree with some of Pope Francis’ controversial views and interpretation on matters of faith and doctrine. Nevertheless, he has lifted the veil from our individual and collective hypocrisy. His recent remarks that fasting from what one loves are not necessarily a ticket to heaven, was apt.

Indeed, many of the people who feign piety are some of nastiest human beings. For instance, some Catholics who pray the rosary and attend Mass every day are incorrigible spouses and colleagues. They gossip about others, demean their spouses in public, and still find the confidence to pontificate, and walk proudly to the altar for sacrament without an iota of repentance.

Meanwhile, their families know no peace or love. They – supposed Christians – have no sense of reproach or retrospect. During crises, everyone else is the problem, but not them. This is the self-righteousness that has led many souls to damnation.

Indeed, such examples will face the harshest judgement from God for stopping many who interact with them from seeking God’s grace.

The culture of lies that has pervaded our society from top to bottom has become an epidemic that afflicts all of us. You can never take anyone’s word for it anymore. Our leaders lie through their teeth to buy time or for selfish gain, fully aware that their hopeless constituents will believe them.

Let this month be one of earnest soul-searching in everyone. The holier-than-thou attitude among many religious people has led to a culture of judgementalism. But the Bible is clear that all have sinned and have come short of the Lord’s glory. So, before you remove a spec in someone else’s eyes, first deal with the log in yours.

The misguided belief that “this is the 21st Century” is a sick excuse to change life’s immutable laws. The essence that governs a human being’s existence is not negotiable, otherwise we would have evolved to some kind of alien, because, well, it is the 21st Century. Be you and be real.
— The writer is a PhD candidate in International Relations

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