Are you spiritual
Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, email@example.com
July 24, 2014
I was happy to learn that a
grandnephew of mine is part of a boy band in Manila that won a
competition recently. His mother, my niece, diligently sends me videos
of his performances. I can’t help but make time to see them, in spite
of my tight schedule.
At least, seeing them makes
me reminisce my younger days when I too was part of a band. The
difference was that mine was a seminary band and my performances were
limited to certain audiences and occasions. His would bring him to
public concerts and dimly lighted clubs.
Still, the viewings would
provoke me to make certain observations and considerations. Like, how
different the singing style is now. That’s to be expected, of course,
But there seems to be a deliberate attempt to appeal to the sensual.
Somehow we can make that
conclusion, tentative at least, because of the reaction of the
audience. I can’t help but notice the shrieking of girls and some
boys, and the look of awe on their faces, that clearly show a mere
This is where the difference
is greatest. But let me hasten to say that such difference may just be
a matter of taste and preferences due to differences in age, culture,
temper of the times, etc. to which tolerance and mutual respect should
be exercised. But we need to clarify a few things.
Certainly, looks play a big
part of their formula for popularity. With hair colored, brushed up or
spiked, faces slightly made-up, skin-tight pants and shirts that
literally follow the contours of their physique, some metallic
accessories pierced or dangling somewhere, the boys simply inflict
swooning on their audience their age.
Their movements and
choreography include swaying, grinding, shrugging and twisting that
definitely are flammable and electric to youthful sensitivities. Many
in the audience are left completely defenseless and floored.
It seems to me that things
are arranged in such a way as to give free rein to the primitive urges
and hormones, detached or still unconnected to the directing influence
of right reason, let alone, of faith, hope and charity.
As we can see, our urges and
hormones, and the world of the senses in general, or the aspect of
sensual pleasure in our life are not bad in themselves. They just need
to be directed by right reason, and especially by faith, hope and
These latter, to be cure, do
nothing to suppress or annihilate our urges and hormones which are an
integral part of our humanity. What they do is simply put them in
their right places or on the right track so that these senses, urges
and hormones truly express and affirm our real dignity as persons, and
not just objects or animals.
In other words, when left on
their own, these senses, urges and hormones can be dangerous, since
they would be deprived of direction. They would simply remain on the
level of the material and the worldly that is proper only to inanimate
objects or to animals, but not to us as persons, and especially as
children of God.
They would simply be
subjected to laws of physics, chemistry, sociology, economics,
politics, etc., but not to the moral law that would consider us in our
totality as persons with intelligence and will, freedom and
Let’s hope that we can be
more aware of this concern and comply with its requirements. At the
moment, there seems to be a worldwide trend toward pure sensualization
or carnalization, leading us, especially the young, to be merely
carnal, instead of being spiritual, to use terms defined by St. Paul.
It’s important that we
develop a certain sensitivity to this concern because otherwise we
would all be deluded by a very treacherous virus, a sweet poison that
can truly harm us individually and collectively.
To repeat, this is not at
all about suppressing or disparaging in any way the value of the
senses, the urges and the hormones, and the sentiments, feelings,
passions that they produce. Neither the value of the physical
attributes we have.
We just have to realize more
deeply that they need to be ruled and directed by reason and
ultimately by faith, hope and charity. Otherwise, we can be accused by
Christ himself who once said of some people –
‘They look but do not see
and hear but do not listen or understand.’ And citing a prophecy of
Isaiah, he said, ‘Gross is the heart of this people, they will hardly
hear with their ears, they have closed their eyes…’