Filtering and purifying PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 11 December 2018 12:41



THIS is a skill that is getting more and more relevant and indispensable these days. With all the waste matter and other forms of impurities and contaminants that now fill our environment, we have to make sure that we, for example, filter and purify our water. We just don’t drink directly from the tap anymore. We try our best to get hold of water that is already processed, if not distilled.

If this is true to our water needs, this is even more true to our spiritual needs, that is, insofar as our thinking and willing are concerned. In fact, filtering and purifying our ideas, thoughts, intentions and desires is even more necessary since what are involved are mainly invisible things—truth, goodness, beauty and such things as our faith and beliefs, our loving, etc.—that are more important than our material needs. And they require a more complicated process, so to speak.

We cannot deny that these days many things that at first sight look good and can give us a lot of advantages that can, in the end, contain dangerous and toxic elements. The new technologies, for example, can give us a lot of convenience and practical usage, but if not filtered and purified, in a manner of speaking, they can also plunge us headlong to moral perdition.

Also, today there are a number of philosophies, theologies and ideologies that can contain a lot of good principles, a lot of truth, and yet somewhere along the line, they can also contain doctrines that at best are questionable if not outright erroneous and dangerous.

Today’s fascination, for example, for diversity, tolerance and correctness can be considered a progress in the general attitude of people. The irony is that if not filtered and purified it can lead to confusion and error about what is right and wrong, what is moral and immoral.

That fascination for diversity, tolerance and correctness certainly fights against our tendency to bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Again the irony is that such fascination can go to extremes such that it becomes uncharitably intolerant also of those who may not go along with it. It can go against its very own philosophy. It can turn against itself.

We always need some filtering and purifying in the operations of our intelligence and will. I remember a friend who is deaf and is given a hearing aid. He complained because the hearing aid does not filter all the surrounding sounds. And so he hears all kinds of noise and sounds in the environment at the same time and he could not hear what he ought or wants to hear.

And what is the filtering and purifying agent we should use in our dealing with ideas, thoughts, desires and intentions? None other than to be with God. Said in another way, the agent is to live genuine charity.

To be with God or to live in charity makes us discriminating without being discriminatory. It enables us to distinguish the essential from the non-essential in life. It helps us to discern the truth.

We really need to do everything so that our union with God and our ability to live charity is always sustained through prayers, study of the doctrine, development of virtues, recourse to the sacraments, waging of the ascetical struggle, etc. Without these means, there is no way but to get contaminated by the many beautiful and pleasurable impurities around.

To be sure, with God and with charity as the filtering and purifying agent, we would not be left vulnerable to the unavoidable evils in the world. In fact, the contrary is true. We would be more able to resist these evils, more keen in discerning what is good and evil. We would know how to live with all the sins of the world without compromising our true identity and dignity as a human person and a child of God.

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