Blogs » J.Q. Tomanek of Victoria » Lent is kicking my hee-haw sound maker

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I have mentioned before that I attend a men’s seminar at my parish on Wednesday mornings at 6:00 in the morning. It is early and every Tuesday I think, “But I really want to stay up and watch Southland.” I do it anyway and wake a little more tired than usual.

So we have reached our second Wednesday inside Lent and the topics are much more convicting. Last week, the topic was sexual purity. Especially in a culture that has to put an immodestly dressed and/or acting person on just about everything from beer to tooth brush commercials, the message of the seminar speaker was loud and clear: “Treat women as queens rather than as property. Women are not to be used as mere objects of pleasure.” He talked about pornography and its effects on the brain with increases of certain neurochemicals like dopamine, testosterone, epinephrine, oxytocin, and norepinephrine. Needless to say, porn is addictive and makes many men slaves. With its shackles, how can man say he is free?

This week, the second most tumultuous topic a man hardly ever wants to hear concerned money. How much is man giving back to God? How much money can be considered mine if I use the gifts I have been given to make a living with my labor? Are there really any such things as “self-made” men? Why is it that giving the first 10% of your pay check tends to re-organize your spending habits? Is it just that CEO level top shots make 500 times more than the average employee? If money, spending, and consuming make a person happy, how is it that the richest and those that barely have what they need rank the same on the scale of happiness?

So, two weeks in a row, I have been challenged to keep the fight against my flesh and remember where my talent has come from. I have been reminded where lust leads (not just eternally mind you) and how much money doesn’t buy happiness. The refinery is hot, God-willing it will not consume. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ora pro nobis.