Rummaging through yellow-eared papers kept in rarely-visited cabinets is much like reliving one’s past. One discovers old stray ideas reduced to writing and slipped through anonymous folders, and invariably forgotten amidst the many cares of youthful life. Here’s a few self-decided to be fit to publish.
Thinking About Man’s Free Will
The “created” or “creature” both singly and collectively can never equal to the “Creator”, although in some respects the former can be likened to the latter. The created exhibits certain characteristics and powers that are reflective of the Creator. One of them is free will. The question then is: Was this free will given to him at the onset of his creation? If not, at what point of his growth/evolution was it installed so that from that point on, he was on his way to almost unlimited growth and development if he chooses to?
One plausible theory one can postulate given what we now know about how homo sapiens evolved through the ages may be that at the point when man consciously distanced himself from group consciousness and embarked on his own, he became a being singularly responsible for his action. He took a choice and decided not to be an involuntary part of a whole that he had originally been involuntarily assigned to. This probably gave birth to the concepts of law and order, crime and punishment, heaven and hell, ethics and morality, etc. This rending away from group consciousness could be the start of the Genesis accounts. A poor parallel may be how planetary order is maintained, where universal physical laws are in effect. Chaos would ensue when for example certain planets do not follow this order. Unless other laws somehow kick in to attempt to bring back order and harmony.
The integrity of man’s free will is left intact in prayer if we have the proper attitude toward it. One common reason for praying is to ask God for certain things to happen, like work opportunities, job offers, good health, victory in contest, etc. When we pray we access God’s presence but He does not make things happen for us, notwithstanding the worthiness or silliness of our supplications. He simply makes known that various opportunities/options, choices are available. We still have to make free choices; thus, preserving the integrity of our free will. Conversely, we are still fully responsible for our actions, and not Him.
If our plea involves an action on the part of a third party, say, a job offer, He is not in turn infringing on the free will of another. What He does is simply to present/implant/make available certain ideas/options/thoughts to the other person. If it comes out that the reply to your plea for a job offer is favorable, it is because the other party freely chose to make the offer. If the answer is negative, then it is also because he said no and not because God said no.
Role of Self-denial in Man’s Life
The emotions of love/lust/longing are rooted in man’s psyche/mind/soul/inner being, apart of and distinct from his temporal body. However, to express/gratify these, man has to work through his body. He is man because he is body and soul, not a body and a soul. Expression/gratification may be in the form of thoughts about the subject/object, face-to-face vision, interactive communication, touch, intercourse, etc. And if these are not possible/feasible, maybe flights of fantasy are resorted to. These emotions are definite attributes of the nobler nature of man, his soul. Therefore, their expression/gratification do not necessarily signify an inability to control one’s sense appetites, or that man is giving free reins to the needs of his body for truly these are needs of the soul too. Thus, we ought to ask whether we should always deny ourselves these lusty thoughts/longing simply because we grew up feeling guilty about them.
Heaven on Earth?
The Church teaches that being in the state of sanctifying grace is sharing in the life of God and that the ultimate reward is the beatific vision (heaven) which is the face-to-face audience with God. Another tenet states that in the valid reception of Holy Communion, the body and blood of Christ become part and parcel of us, making us God-like, here and now and on earth – a foretaste of heaven.
What exactly does this mean? Is it only symbolic? Or is it attainable in its true sense? How is it manifested in daily life?
To be truly true, there must be a higher level of existence/spirituality attainable here and now, which can be experienced by man under his present state here on earth. The obvious question is how to attain this level and what means to use. Once attained, many should be able to exude powers ordinarily considered supranatural. Some possible examples would be extra-sensory powers, mind-over-matter experiences, etc. – much like what Christ had while on earth. Or on a practicable level, man could become more event- and/or people-sensitive so that he becomes more able to understand and interact in a more effective and enlightened way – be more able to accept human events/realities in a better perspective. Spirituality/wisdom enables us to see through the hedonistic trappings and evaluate realities according to their ultimate purposes and values. These should be attainable by anybody, be he a believer of Catholic dogma or not.