I have seen a lot of changes during my lifetime; I was born in Malta in the 50’s not long after the end of World War II. I have parents who lived during the war when the population were on the verge of starvation during a siege that lasted for years. We always had enough to eat but we also never threw anything away that could be recycled or fixed.
In many ways, consumerism has been a bit like a runaway train. The waste that we and other 1st world countries produce is massive. So much good is thrown ‘away’. In many ways, compared to most of the world, we live very affluent lives. I know of course that not all Australians share equally in this abundance and indeed there are many who struggle.
Recently, we have been finding empty shelves in the supermarkets. There is a limit on how many items we can buy. Income has suddenly come under threat for so many. For most who live in this country, this is a new experience.
Gratification is not a bad thing. If you are hungry you eat, thirsty you drink, tired you rest or sleep.
Balance in gratification, is however also healthy and necessary. If I take something that belongs to someone else without their permission that becomes stealing! If I eat too much, I am a glutton, etc.
Gratification of the senses and desires all the time without checks or balances, is demeaning to our dignity and ultimately also a cause of unhappiness.
Acting without wisdom and balance leads us to strange and unhealthy places. I need to choose what is right and good and not just what is easy or expedient. It does not mean that something is right just because I can do it or feel like it!
Maybe the empty shelves and other challenges that we are now experiencing can help us to be more reflective about the right way of fulfilling our desires and gratification. Just because I want something does not necessarily make it right.
In our daily reflection, it would be very helpful to share my desires with God, the source of all wisdom.
Seek first the Kingdom of God and the rest will be given to you. And afterwards, Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
God bless you today.
Bishop Charles Gauci
Bishop of Darwin