As I left for work this morning, the temperature was around 15 degrees. It wasn’t that big of a deal for me, especially once my car warmed up and the heater started producing warm air. By the time I reached the local convenience store (for my morning cup of coffee), I was very comfortable. When I got back in the car and began to pray the rosary, I began to think about how “easy” life has become. It suddenly occurred to me that many people don’t think about getting to Heaven because of all the comfort that exists in this life.
Modern technology such as television, radio, iPods, DVDs, answering machines, wireless Internet, cell phones, heating, and air conditioning allows us to be much more comfortable then people from earlier generations. Many of the saints really knew what it was like to be cold, hot and uncomfortable. They could understand suffering better than those of us who become frustrated with slow Internet connections and poor cell phone reception. They truly grasped the difficulties of this life and longed for a better and eternal life. Because of this, they struggled to live their lives in a way that would allow them to one day share in eternal happiness.
While technology doesn’t make it impossible to detach ourselves from the world, it certainly makes it more difficult. One of the blessings of Lent is that we have a chance to voluntarily deprive ourselves of earthly comforts and focus on the next life. We are able to better see those things to which we’ve become attached. Sometimes it will become obvious that these attachments are keeping us away from God. By removing them from our lives, we can focus more on the ultimate goal … Heaven.
While the ease of modern life makes it more difficult to get to Heaven, it’s certainly not impossible. The Internet, television, and other media can actually help us to learn about our faith in ways that were not possible a few years ago. The key is to look at how we use created goods and ask ourselves, “Do they bring me closer to God?” If the answer is “no”, try eliminating some of them and see what happens. You’ll soon see that removing these distractions from your life will allow you to better focus on your relationship with The Lord.
Ultimately, that’s all that matters!