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Beware of the culture of triviality

Fr. Roy Cimagala
Candidly speaking

 

Fr. Roy CimagalaWe have to be careful not to fall to triviality. The profusion of data, images and messages that are now technologically generated and circulated can easily confuse, intoxicate and desensitize us to the point of developing a culture of triviality—everything would be considered of the same value or nothing is considered serious.

With this attitude, we can lose our sense of balance and direction, priorities are thrown haywire, and we mostly likely would be led only by our senses, feelings, instincts and passions, that at best can only cover so much of the reality we are in.

Even if we still have a good use of our reason and intelligence, we would find it hard to discern the impulses of faith and grace, the promptings of the Holy Spirit that for sure continue to come to us, since our life is always a shared life with God, in spite of our freedom and independence.
In fact, the sense of the sacred vanishes. Faith and religion are not only ignored. They are increasingly attacked, accused of being anti-human. Talking about developing a supernatural outlook is now considered trash talk.

We need to be properly grounded and sober, and at the same time flexible, able to flow with the times that are getting more and more complex. This is now an urgent requirement that should be met fast and adequately. Let’s hope families, schools and other institutions realize this and start to act about it.

Fact is there are now many young people falling to triviality, and a host of other anomalies that usually go with it. To mention a few, we can cite vulgarity, laziness, disorder, addictions that now go beyond substance or drug addiction.

We can now talk about psychological addiction that may be fed mainly by smut and porn. From there, all sorts of perversions can come. And when not promptly corrected, they can spread quickly, causing a kind of epidemic.

And since these irregularities are more moral than organic, more psychological than physical, the urge to justify them can easily take place. This is what we are seeing in some developed countries that are actually getting into decadence. And we are starting to see signs and symptoms of these problems in our country.

In fact, we now have moves to legalize these irregularities in an effort to make these practices the new normal in a new world order where God is stricken out. The world culture is becoming a Godless culture.

St. Paul already warned us of this eventuality. “The time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own likings, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander into myths.” (2 Tim 3-4)
We have to see to it that we are properly guided and directed even as we sail through life’s seas. For this, everyone should try to come up with an effective plan, consisting of certain practices of piety organically linked to his daily activities so that the love of God and others would always throb in his heart.

The proper structures and atmosphere in homes, schools, offices, etc. should be created and maintained, so that this plan of piety can really be lived. Very crucial to this would be a continuing program of formation and education that should be pursued in an air of freedom and never of coercion.

Obviously, for this purpose, the Church leaders should be in the forefront. But they should also train others—especially parents and teachers—to be experts in this plan of piety so they, the parents and teachers, can transmit this plan to children and students through their words, actions and the very testimony of their own lives.

In this task of formation, we need to highlight the core truth that all of us who are creatures and children of God actually have a natural longing for God, though that longing is often thwarted by a number of factors. We just have to find ways of recovering it when it is lost, and to reinforce it especially when we face trials.

That formation has to be holistic, covering the human aspect that is always basic, as well as the doctrinal and spiritual aspects that would include teaching others how to pray, to value sacrifice, to wage a lifelong ascetical struggle, to have recourse to the sacraments, and precisely to take care of their on-going formation.

This formation would prevent us from falling into triviality, with mind focused and heart burning with love.

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