Full yet Lonely – A Picture of the Modern Person, as Seen in a Video

blog 8.21.15One of the great “evils” of our time is satiation. I put the word “evil” inside quotation marks to emphasize that no particular good thing that God has made is, in itself, evil. But on account of our own inordinate drives, we accumulate and indulge beyond reason. And in becoming satiated, we leave little room for God or other people.

The more materially affluent we get, the more spiritually poor we seem to become. The higher our standard of living, the lower our overall morals. The more filled our coffers, the emptier our churches. This is the evil of our times; and it is no theory. The data from the past 60 years demonstrate that as our collective standard of living has risen, church attendance and other signs of belief and spirituality have plummeted; so has family time and the developing of deeper human relationships. Marriage rates have declined drastically while divorces have soared. Birth rates are down. Children are viewed as a burden by a satiated world with a high standard of living.

And it isn’t just wealth; it’s all the things that distract and divert us. Most of these things are lawful pleasures, but it’s often just a case of too much of a good thing.

What if, instead, we were awed by God’s providence and fell to our knees in thanksgiving? What if, in our riches, we prayed and went to church even more, out of sheer gratitude? Alas, this is seldom the case today.

The Book of Proverbs says, Give me neither poverty nor riches; Feed me [only] with food that I need for today: Lest I be full, and deny you, and say, Who is the LORD? Or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain (Proverbs 30:9-10).

Yes, indeed … lest I be full and deny you, saying, “Who is the Lord?” It is a dangerous snare in our times that many think they do not need God or others. Our affluence creates the illusion of self-sufficiency and self-fulfillment.

St. Augustine sadly noted (in a time when people were far less satiated than they are today), I, unlovely, rushed heedlessly among the things of beauty You made. You were with me, but I was not with You. Those things kept me far from You, which, unless they were in You, would not be. (Conf 10.27).

Many other Scriptures warn of the spiritual danger posed by wealth and worldly satiety:

  1. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.  For the love of money is the root of all evils; it is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced their hearts with many pangs (1 Tim 6:9-10).
  2. No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money (Luke 16:13).
  3. But woe to you who are rich, for you have already received your comfort. Woe to you who are well fed now, for you will go hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will mourn and weep (Luke 6:24-25).
  4. But many that are first will be last, and the last first (Mat 19:30).
  5. How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! … It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Mk 10:23-25).

It is amazing that, even after hearing all of this, most of us still want to be rich. We would jump for joy if we won the lottery, rather than soberly cringing with fear and looking for good ways to shed the excess. We still continue down a path of unreasonable desire.

Alas, such is the human condition—at least the fallen version of it. It isn’t very pretty and it’s proof positive that we’re going to need a lot of grace and mercy in order to get home.

Think of that as you watch this video. It’s a pretty stark portrait of modern man. Consider how full he is, yet how lonely. He speaks only of himself and seems to interact with almost no one else. He’s lost in a self-referential world of excess. He’s filled with every good thing but too full for God. Somehow, the man knows that worldly things fill him for only a moment and then pass. But still the answer is to acquire more. Quite a portrait here of too many of us today!

8 Replies to “Full yet Lonely – A Picture of the Modern Person, as Seen in a Video”

    1. Maybe not me personally. I think their policy directed at their users is however rude and applied unevenly. Some groups get a pass, others do not. That said, I don’t think we have enough evidence to say it is a religious persecution here. Thank you though for your kind comments.

  1. Not sure who said this, but this article reminds me of something I once read: “We were made to worship. If we don’t worship God, we will worship something else.” How important it is to start the day with prayer, continue the day with prayer and end the day with prayer. If only it was possible for me to go to Mass daily, that would be the best. Our soul is restless, until it rests in God. Enjoyed the article and the video.

  2. God bless you Father. What a wonderful and honest look at ourselves in this world. FB can try and silence you, but your spirit cannot be silenced. i come here thirsty and seeking refreshment and always find it here. i took the time to look at your pictures of your congregation and its vibrant healthy spirituality. It speaks volumes about your pastoral care. Don’t you ever doubt for a minute that you are needed.

    After reading your posting on detachment, i woke with this prayer complete within me and wrote it down. The Holy Spirit is alive in you.

    Prayer of Detachment

    Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.

    Make the Sign of the Cross

    Adonai, teach me wisdom. Oh Adonai, clear my eyes so that i, who am so blind, can see. For i am truly blind and deaf to the things of Your heart. Unlock the vaults of my soul, break the chains satan has placed upon my soul, for i am enslaved. i pray, through Your only begotten Son Yeshua, that these chains be shattered.
    Today, i take full responsibility and repent on my knees before You my Adonai, for cherishing things, instead of loving You. Things, that You so long ago, told us cannot talk, cannot walk, cannot feed, cannot heal, cannot bless and cannot bring us to Your eternal Kingdom.
    Things made of wood, of stone, of paper, of glass, having no life, no love. i confess and repent that i have valued these things; my home, my job, my money, my clothes, my cars, my friends, my children and even my spouse over You. i confess and repent that in placing all these things and more, including the lusts of my body, i cherished and worshiped them, over You.

    i thank You my Abba, for opening my eyes and my heart to see and begin to understand how i have hurt You. I now understand that given all the castles, all the satisfactions of the flesh, all the kingdoms of this world, i would have nothing without You. Only in You is there true love, life, peace, joy and abundance. Only in You, does this stubborn, selfish heart discover that love does not live within things.
    i thank You for the things, the countless gifts You have given me, Your poor child. i now understand it is we who are homeless and impoverished, destitute. Without Your gracious gifts, we have nothing, for all we have comes from You alone. i confess and repent of believing i received these things through my own efforts. It is You, who have blessed me with shelter, a warm roof over my head, when so many have nothing. It is You who gifted me with a way to go places-my job, shopping, the doctors, to visit the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the homeless and visit those in prisons.

    It is You who feeds me out of Your hands. It is You alone, who sustains my life, my breath, the ground i walk upon. On my knees before You, i take full responsibility and repent before the Throne of Grace for my hubris, my insufferable arrogance and pride. i throw myself on the divine mercy of Jesus Christ. Forgive me.
    Create in me a clean heart, O Adonai. Birth within me a new and right respect and love for all You do to sustain and shelter me. Sever and detach my heart and soul from things that can never do for me what You can. Help me, help me Adonai, to fully accept that i am nothing, can do nothing. That from You all life, all sustenance flows, for You are everything.

    Your Son Yeshua, stripped Himself bare from the soul for us, counting it good. He gave all up for us. Lead me to the Cross where i can learn to have real gratitude and real sorrow for all we cost You. Strip my soul bare. Uncover my hidden things and set me free. Lord hear my prayer. Let my cries come unto Thee. My Jesus, i trust in You. Have mercy on me, the sinner. Amen +++

  3. I have heard that the reference to the eye of the needle is actually a gate in Jerusalem. For a camel to get through it, all of their burdens must be removed. I thought this was a very poignant image for us, we must divest ourselves of all worldly things before we can enter the kingdom of heaven.

  4. I have trouble with being temperate in what I eat; there is more joy to be found in self control and healthy habits, but temptations are hard to resist! I’ve been working on moderation for a Long time, and with God’s help I’ve been making steady progress. Life is too short and too precious to be overly absorbed with food and eating.

  5. Thank you Father for another compelling post. One critical implication is how we raise our children in relation to technology. I see parents gleefully putting mobile devices into the hands of 3 year olds. “Not necessary”, this Dad of a 13 year old girl thinketh.

  6. Deuteronomy 6: 10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land which he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you, with great and goodly cities, which you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, and cisterns hewn out, which you did not hew, and vineyards and olive trees, which you did not plant, and when you eat and are full, 12 then take heed lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 13 You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve him, and swear by his name. 14 You shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the peoples who are round about you; 15 for the Lord your God in the midst of you is a jealous God; lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

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