It’s not a logical thought; dying to self to live fully. What does that mean? Why would a person want to die to their own needs and live for other? Our basic human drive causes us to preserve our lives. We were meant to live, thrive, and have our way, right?
I often teach that Catholic ideas go against what appears to be logical to our society and culture. Materialism, greed, self centered ways, stepping on others to climb the ladder, “it’s nothing personal, it’s just business.” All these ideas are evident and are internalized by our people. However, Jesus said crazy things like, “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”, “the meek will inherit the earth”, “it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”. If we are blessed enough to be raised with Christianity we are confused! How can we exist in both worlds?
It can be done. Jesus understood that we would have to carry our own crosses if we were going to follow his way, the unpopular way that many times ended in a physical and painful death. Yet, he still extended the invitation. After all, consider what both paths offer. The pleasure driven life will lead to temporary happiness, bliss, physical pleasure, financial security, egotistical living, with the finest things in life, able to do whatever one pleases. Where will that lead one in the afterlife? The Kingdom driven life, though mocked and ridiculed by many, offers a deeper pleasure one from giving, living with less, loving more, possibly living in poverty, and struggling with those who struggle. What will that lead to in the after life? God gave us each the the freewill to choose our path.
So, is there a way to integrate the two? Yes, with temperance, moderation in all things. If we utilize the gifts God has given us to make a good living instead of spending it completely on us we can share it with others. Instead of fighting to get to the top we can be mentors and morally help others succeed. If we are rich we can use that to better the lives of others. We can bring both together to choose the good and moral way to live.
Which choice will you choose? Do we have to make one choice or can we use the best of both worlds in a moral sense. Which path is more logical? The choice is made daily with each thought, word, and deed we choose to do or not to do.