Deferred Gratification or Delayed Gratification means that someone has the will power to put off obtaining a thing or pleasure now for a greater thing or pleasure later on. A good example would be someone who has the discipline and waits the time to save up his money until he has enough to pay cash for a car.
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In this act of Deferred Gratification, he was able to buy a car without having to make costly monthly payments which also entail paying interest.
The person who gives into his passions and impulses, (instant gratification) quickly buys a car that he will have to be making large payments on each month. This is seen all the time, when people use their credit card to buy things now and work and pay for them later with up to 25% interest.
On the spiritual level, the saints would offer up their carnal passions to become consecrated virgins to God. They offer up sexual pleasures in this life for the sake of the Kingdom Of God. They offer up something good for some thing greater and permanent in eternity. The sexual pleasures of this life are passing, the heavenly pleasures are for ever.
The Apostles and saints would give up royalty, family, homes, money to become poor and receive their riches in heaven. The martyrs would go so far as to give up their very lives to be with God for all eternity.
Most people today, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, want all of their pleasures here and now. They give in to their passions for pornography, sex before marriage, immodest dressing, sugar, bad music, gambling, unnecessary shopping and laziness, for pleasure right now. They really do not worry or care about the eternal consequences of their sins.
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All sinful actions, that have been deeply repented of and confessed, will still have to be paid for in purgatory, (unless you have done a plenary indulgence right before you die). All sinful actions, that have not been confessed, will be punished for all eternity in hell.
We see this happen with those who sell their souls to the devil and join the illuminati. They are promised pleasure, love, sex, money and fame for the short space of this life, (instant gratification), and put off paying their debt to the devil for selling their souls to him, which is to be damned and tortured for eternity. I will call this “deferred suffering“. Pleasure now (sin), Pay later, (flames of hell).
God is just. God is love. He gave us His only Son, Jesus Christ to die on the cross to save us from hell. He gave us the rules that are for our good. He wants us with Him for all eternity in the pleasure of heaven, (which are beyond understanding). If we ask God for the grace to give up sinful pleasure by accessing the sacraments of Confession and Holy Communion, by a life of self sacrifice, by a life of prayer, we will be given the help to avoid payment later on.
The reality of this is that a holy life, lived to love and please God and obey His laws, is peaceful and pleasurable right now, here and now. But the eternal pleasure stored up for us in heaven are beyond what any mind can imagine.
Spending time with Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament or in silent prayer, is the beginning of the peaceful pleasure obtained in this life from God. St. Theresa of Avila said that “all the way to heaven is heaven”. I would add, “all the way to hell is hell”. People engaged in sinful activities have their own drama and hidden anguishes.
Let us be willing to deny ourselves and follow Jesus by way of the Cross, so as to share with Him His resurrection for all eternity in heaven.
The original author of this blog passed away in July of 2016. RIP Father Carota.