No matter with whom I converse, one word sums up their feelings about today’s world: crazy. It can be because of erratic politics, senseless shootings, discontented marchers, the absence of a moral compass, bizarre weather and other unnerving happenstances that boggle the mind.
What exactly can stop us from going crazy?
The virtue of temperance contains our answer.
Usually we think of it as discipline in which we better control that which threatens our spiritual and physical well-being. It means that God endowed us with a sense of order we need to maintain to remain balanced. Craziness happens when chaos reigns, creating turmoil.
How then do we maintain innate order? It is by absorbing God’s awesome order and its harmonizing effect.
The virtue “fear of the Lord” usually connotes fright and terror. It is true we often fear God’s justice and possibly not getting into heaven. But more important, fear means being in awe of God’s gift of order and its strength to dispel life’s craziness.
In the “Canticle of Daniel” we possess a litany of that which orders our cosmic existence: the waters about the heavens, sun, moon, stars, showers, dews, winds, fire, heat, frost, cold and snow.
The list reminds us that without this order, we wouldn’t exist. It is the realization that life exists because God ordered it so.
In Romans 8:28, Paul addresses this harmonizing order in stating, “We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”
One way to appreciate our gift of order and fend off craziness is to observe Mother Nature in action. For example, to wonder about how birds fly; to listen to rain and marvel at how it causes seeds to grow; and to be astonished by the heavenly smell and colors of flowers.
We need to get outside of ourselves and our small world and enter more fully into God’s world of wonderful order that hold us together.
G.K. Chesterton wrote we have lunacy when we become like the moon that is a circle with no outlets, causing us to be consumed by too much of self. He reminds us to counter craziness by elevating our life away from its earthliness and raising it to God’s life, especially God’s gift of awesome order that holds it together.
In a time of crisis CatholicPhilly.com keeps the information flowing
During the current coronavirus crisis, you can help CatholicPhilly.com deliver the kind of news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live ― every day.
Budgets are tight at this time, and CatholicPhilly's is no different than those of most families. We make sure your donation in any amount will go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103