711. Do all human beings have a right to enjoy the fruits of the Earth? “This right is a direct corollary of the need to live. God does not impose a duty without providing the means of carrying it out.”
712. Why has God made using material things attractive?
“For two reasons, first to motivate human beings to accomplish their mission, and second, to test them by temptation.”
a) What is the purpose of temptation?
“To develop human reason, so that it may safeguard humankind from excess.”
If human beings are pressed to use physical things based on their value or usefulness alone, their indifference could have compromised the harmony of the universe. For that reason, God has given humans enjoyable attractions that lead them to carrying out Divine plans. God uses these attractions to also test them with temptations that cause them to commit actions that their human reason should protect them against.
713. Has nature indicated the clear limits of pleasures?
“Yes, limits that coincide with your needs. Excess leads to gluttony and you end up punishing yourselves.”
714. What should we think of those who seek to enhance their pleasure in all sorts of excesses?
“Such individuals should be pitied rather than envied because they are very close to death.”
a) Physical or moral death?
Those who seek an enhancement of physical satisfactions in any kind of excess place themselves below animals, because even animals stop at the satisfaction of a need. They relinquish the reason given to them by God for their guidance, and the greater their excesses the more power they give to their animal nature over their spiritual nature. Diseases, illnesses and death itself are the consequences of excess. They also serve as atonements for transgressing God’s law.