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The modern man contests the veracity of creation. Evident from contemporary philosophy, there is increasing inquiry on proof of the gospel and demand for authentication of the faith. Invariably, an evolutionary trend is ordained in the emergence of a new god – the perfect man – who can satisfy all needs and solve all problems. Thus the truth faces antagonism or competitive inhibition when aligned with outright falsehood or twisted version: the half-truth. In the modern man, the atheist may find either an identity or accomplice in his own demonstrable puerility, personal vendetta and moral rebellion against a perceived passive God. A unique spiritual rejuvenation in the mode of intellectual exercise could appeal to all men, including the lukewarm saints and serve as the benevolent bait that draws the fishes to the Good News of God's love. More than the shadow of doubt, the greater need is the substance of grace. Virtue is the manifestation of the nature and character of grace. The Heart is the Hall of Virtues.
If life is a play, it can be mistaken for a comedy. Beyond the overwhelming scenes of tragedy, we can always find the humour and imbibe the morals. That way, we can maintain both our sanity and integrity. Like actors committed to the script, we are made heroes or villains by the controlled narratives in the theatre of make-believe. Though, we choose neither the crew nor the roles we play. Yet, we are judged for the deeds of the characters we cast. We are blamed for the epic battle for survival by men in the ages we set. We are criticized for the plot of circumstance which matched the victim with the aggressor in the human struggle for existence. And one could be forgiven for thinking that we actually put the entire cosmos together. Whoever determined the weaker beings among humans of different sexes, ages and races might have shown a singularly raw taste in the matter. But, should we remain indifferent to the subject of freewill?
On the screenplays, image is all that matters. But behind the screens, we always get to choose who we become. We always have a choice either to be weak or strong. The tragedy isn't the assigned vicious roles or the receiving ends we found ourselves in life. The real tragedy is the choices we make on a daily basis to remain victims of circumstance. We choose to wear the medals of honour as removable emblems of dignity instead of shields for survival. We yearn for illusive appraisal of the public rather than true witness of the community. We respond to fears of the past more than love of the future and the joy it beholds to all that embraces it with hope. We vote for the morbid dreams of a sworn fundamentalist against the livid hopes of a progressive generation in need of visionary leadership. We prefer the benevolent crumps from a master's table who keeps us in chains, to the prudent refinement by the furnace of a liberator who melts our chains. Those are merely choices, it seems. Yet those are the very choices which define who we are. They are the very decisions which determine our fate or destiny much more than the ancestral root whose bloodline we claimed or the astrological star whose trail ran across the land of our birth to the crystal ball of a fortune teller. It is attributed unto us in this lifetime to depict the hallmark of virtues as the very expressions of our inner being. It is expected of us to apprehend the power in knowledge of our existence and utilize it for the greater good. We should defend the innocent, fight for the weak and help the poor. We should imbibe enduring morals which attenuate our fears and reduce our susceptibility to human wiles or perceptions.
Image is nothing. Value is everything. Real value is placed on substance not shadow. The substance of grace is evident only in the life of the virtuous man. And its sufficiency is proven amidst the harshest circumstance or deepest shadow of reality.