There is this popular thought among the general baptized public who are not hostile towards religion but indifferent to it. It’s the idea that the worship of God will be something they’ll look into at a later stage in life when they’ve ticked every other box in life first.
“First I’ll build my house, business, home and travel the world. Then we can talk about Jesus and I’ll try and slip in the door of heaven at the end of my life when the Lord isn’t looking. It reminds me of the Gospel passage where people who are asked to follow Christ make excuses.
Then he said to another, “follow me.” But he said, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” And another also said, “Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house.” But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”Luke:9:59-62
There is this tendency in us always to put ourselves first. If we are not putting ourselves first we are putting other peoples needs before the Lord. When we follow Christ there is this requirement to put behind us all self interest but in this fallen world that is rare.
Even people who are active Christians tend to put their own needs before God, prayer and so on. But to totally ignore God for the best part of your life is a real scandal. It’s not only a scandal but very dangerous to the soul. It’s Russian roulette with your soul.
“I believe in God and all that, it’s just I’m not that ‘into it'”. How many times have I heard that one? It’s as if their religious faith is some sort of hobby you have to be into in order to get fulfilment out of it. I can tell you now there’s days when I’m not into it at all. I wake up and feel no desire to go to Mass, but I go anyway because I know that if I don’t, the flames of hell await me.
We are so immersed in the pleasure seeking life of self-gratification that we feel the very truth of Salvation itself must give us something otherwise it’s of no use. None of us get enjoyment out of going to work everyday. Some of us have good days and bad days at our place of work. But we know that if we do not lift ourselves off that mattress every morning pretty soon, poverty will be at our elbows.
Yet, how many of us behave the same way with our faith? And all that is asked of us is to attend weekly/monthly confession and Mass once a week. No, you don’t have to visit Jerusalem and pray the rosary every day even though those devotional prayers are a good idea on a daily basis. All you need to do is go to confession and Mass and that’s it.
If someone told you to do something complex like climb mount Everest to get eternal life, you’d do it. But the Lord is asking of you something so simple and yet you cannot even do that much. How selfish are we that we would assume that somehow we would get a long life enough to consider practicing our faith again? That is how spoiled and complacent we are that we walk around thinking we are immortal and going to live until we are 100.
It’s like what my grandfather said about the second world war. “Everyone including me when marching through the fields or running up swords beach at Normandy comforted themselves with the thought that it would be the guy next to him to get shot but not him.”
We all go through life like that comforting ourselves with the very stupid thought that we will live to see old age and that all our friends will die before us. Think of the man who gets wounded. Unless he goes to the doctor, and keeps putting the whole idea of visiting the local hospital off, the wound will not heal. Instead, it’s more likely worsen over time before it’s too late and they’ll have to amputate the leg.
That’s what happens souls who put off the practice of their faith until they’re 90. Yes, God will welcome you home at any age, but you’ll have to burn in purgatory for only God knows how many years until you’ve paid every last penny of your debt to him for your actions in life. The sooner you get doing it the better is what I say. Who knows when you’re soul will be called before the Lord? One minute you’re on the rollercoaster of life with your big fancy house and then you’re dead.
I met one guy with a life threatening illness. He showed me his big house. He had it all made with his wife, kids, big house and a very good career that generated a lot of wealth. Then he gets the phone call that he’s got an illness that he would most likely pass away from. He wasn’t much of a Church goer. He had built his life brick for brick and ticked every box the secular culture demanded from him. And now still in the throes of his youth, it’s being taken away from him so suddenly.
My brothers and my sisters, do not build your life without God. Do not put yourself and your worldly duties before the Lord and your soul. Yes, build your big house, get for yourself a nice car and work to have whatever kind of life you want rich or poor doesn’t matter, but don’t do it without the Lord or you’re in serious trouble. Don’t put off the Lord until your old age. Don’t allow your first and last visit to a Church since you were young be the one where they carry you in there in a coffin.