Our earthly attractions PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 17 November 2017 13:58




“WHEN I am lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men to myself.” (Jn 12,32)

With these words of Christ, we are given the fundamental law that ought to rule all our attractions, desires and appetites here on earth, whether they are big or small, strong or weak, of the material kind or spiritual, banal or sublime.

Unless all our earthly attractions follow this rule, or at least are inspired and directed by these words, they will be leading us along dangerous paths that sooner or later will end up in some disaster.

We have to see to it that it is Christ, and Christ on the cross, who is the ultimate object of all our attractions, desires and appetites. He should be the magnet. To be sure, this is not going to spoil our human and earthly attractions, but would rather put them on the right course. This is not going to dampen them, but would rather purify and enhance them.

Making Christ on the cross, Christ resurrected and ascended into heaven, the constant and ultimate object of our attractions, desires and appetites, will never undermine or compromise our humanity. On the contrary, he will perfect our humanity as he would redeem it from our sinfulness and reconcile us with our Creator and Father.

We obviously start our attractions, desires and appetites from the level of the instincts, hormones, from the level of the biological and the sensible and later on the intelligible. That’s understandable. But we should not stop there.

We have to train our attractions, desires and appetites to be theological to be able to capture the spiritual and supernatural dimensions that also rule our life. In fact, it is in these dimensions that our true and proper perfection and fulfilment is attained.

The theological aspect of our attractions, desires and appetites should be given priority over all the other human aspects.

As said earlier, this theological aspect will not compromise the human aspects, much less, do away with them.

It will simply put them in their right places—purifying them—considering both our dignity as persons, image and likeness of

God and children of his as well as our wounded condition here.

This truth is dramatized in that episode of Christ visiting the home of the sisters, Martha and Mary. (cfr Lk 10,38-42) Martha was busy doing the chores of hospitality, but Mary simply sat beside Christ’s feet and listened to him.

When Martha complained to Christ that Mary was leaving her to do all the serving, Christ corrected her. “Martha, Martha,” he said, “you are anxious and worried about many things. There is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part and it will not be taken from her.”

We have to learn how to train our attractions, desires and appetites to be theological, inspiring them by Christ crucified, resurrected and ascended—that’s when he is lifted up from the earth—so they can bring us to our proper human and Christian perfection.

The start of this training will always be difficult and uncomfortable. That’s simply because we are being asked to go beyond the biological, physical, social, sensible and intelligible causes of our attractions, desires and appetites.

This is not to mention that we have to contend with the effects of our weaknesses and sinfulness. But with God’s grace and our all-out effort, we can actually manage. We should not be too worried about our weaknesses and sinfulness.