Sep 27, 2013
Pope Francis – this great lover of poverty – keeps reminding his sheep that penance should play an important role in Christian life. This advice should be taken very seriously. Modern man seems to be allergic to the very word. The “American dream” is to succeed in making life easier, more pleasant and more comfortable.
Pain killers (sold by the billions) aim at controlling the slightest discomfort, be it a mild headache or the drilling of a tooth for sixty seconds. Gadgets are daily invented to make our lives more enjoyable, and come closer to “self-fulfillment.” Fast food restaurants guarantee that the slightest craving for food and drink can be instantly satisfied. Why suffer hunger and thirst?
One’s physical appearance seems to be, for many people (not only teenage girls), a top priority. Numerous flyers keep singing the virtues of a “wonder cream,” a new make-up product, an amazing eyeliner pencil, etc. These “miracle” products guarantee that winkles will disappear and that one’s face will be rejuvenated. The traces of shameful “old age” will magically disappear. Anyone can finally have the face he would have chosen had he been asked.
We are psychologically trained to forget that this body of ours – even though an essential part of our being a human person – will one day be eaten by worms which, we can assume, do not care whether this now rotting corpse used cosmetics or not. All ashes have the same taste.
Innumerable products promise their users a “perfect” figure. “Eat all you want and lose weight” is likely to win many customers. These “miracle” products are advertised all over. Cleverly they promise a free sample to the first hundred callers. Advertising techniques inspired by “famous psychologists,” are not only a science; they are an art specializing in catching customers, and thereby guaranteeing rich profits.