WE know that in this life there are always some risks. We
have to contend with some dangers and threats along the way. They are
actually everywhere, from the physical aspect of our life to the most
subtle levels of the spiritual and the moral.
We, of course, should try to avoid them. But there also
are situations when these risks are unavoidable and we are somehow
forced to take them. We have to be prepared for these eventualities.
We have to learn how to detect these risks so we can avoid
them. And we also have to learn how to manage them when they have to
be taken. We need to develop the appropriate skills for this, using
also the appropriate analytical tools.
The first thing to do is to sharpen our understanding
about what would constitute as risks and dangers, especially in the
area of our spiritual and moral life. We have to be clear about what
would constitute as sins against God, against others and our own
selves, and against the environment, etc.
Sad to say, many of the people’s sense of sin and
temptation is increasingly distorted these days since what are clearly
against the will and commandments of God are now being legalized and
We now have legalized abortion and same-sex marriage, for
example, and the frivolous lifestyles complete with sexual perversions
and all kinds of addictions are spreading.
All kinds of cheating, deception and corruption are
rampant. All these would certainly create a loosening of morals all
over the place, especially affecting the young ones who are most
It is now quite a challenge to make people develop the
proper sense of sin. This can only happen if there is also the prior
and abiding effort to develop a closer relationship with God. Without
this latter effort, there is no way we can have a good sense of sin,
let alone the ability to know and resist their risks.
So the real challenge is actually how to make people
develop their spiritual life of love and communion with God. So far,
what we see is a highly formalistic kind of spirituality that hardly
has any substance. There’s a lot of inconsistency and instability in
the spiritual life of many people.
Regarding risk detection and risk management, what is
immediately needed is the habit of making a regular examination of
conscience so that people can effectively monitor the developments of
their spiritual life. People have to be taught how to do this, always
highlighting both the immediate and long-run benefits of this
There has to be good system of monitoring the different
events and situations of the day. This may include the practice of
noting down not only mentally but also on paper the significant
features of these events and situations that need to be looked into
People have to be taught how to discern the different
spirits behind every event and situation to see if they are good or
bad and thus to be able to act accordingly. They have to know the root
and sources of the risks and temptations they have to contend with.
Together with teaching people how to do the examination of
conscience, the practice of how to formulate a good plan of ascetical
struggle should also be taught. The spiritual and supernatural means
should take pride of place, but the concrete human means should also
be made clear.