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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Rock & Refuge

The virtuous
and vicious cycles

While it is true that love, and everything related to it, should be repaid with love, its opposite should be avoided. That is, hatred, and everything related to it, should not be repaid with hatred.

The former creates a virtuous cycle that we should foster. Love generates more love. The latter is a vicious cycle that we should try to eliminate as soon as possible. That's because hatred can only breed more hatred.

We should always be aware that whatever we do always tends to take a certain life and can grow, multiply and spread. That is part of our human condition where our human acts possess a certain spirituality and morality. These acts of ours are not inert. They have a certain dynamic.

Of course, we should know that in the end it is the good that leads us to eternal life, while evil leads us eventually to death, though it can seem lively and advantageous for a while. But in the end, the advantages of evil can only be deceiving, a proof that the good will always prevail in the end, since we are all in God's hands.

We can cite St. Paul's words as basis for assertion. “For the wages of sin is death,” he said, “but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6,23) The gift of God, of course, is the supreme good we can ever have.

We should be more pro-active in creating an atmosphere ofgoodness wherever we are. As one saint would put it, let us drown evilwith an abundance of good. This should always be our attitude and constant practice.

Remember Christ saying, “If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Mt 5,39) We have to avoid what is referred to as the Law of Talion: eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.

Difficult? Of course, it is. But impossible?Definitely not. God's grace and our firm trust in God's wise and merciful providence can convert what may seem impossible to us to something possible and doable.

This point about the virtuous and vicious cycles is especially relevant in the world of politics. That's because it is in politics where this notorious Law of Talion is commonly practiced. Our politicians, and actually all of us, should know how to react properly when some form of evil is hurled on them.

Some people think that the Christian way of reacting to evil is unrealistic. Bluntly said, they think that if one is consistent with the Christian way of behaving, he will never find any foothold in the world of politics.

I believe this is a baseless fear. We have often ignored the stable good produced when we do good and stay in the orbit of love, and get easily seduced when we enjoy the immediate but very transient advantages of evil.

This is because we have not learned the value of Christ's cross or the value of suffering borne with Christ. We are notoriously short-sighted and narrow-minded. We tend to consider only the here-and-now, without framing it with the before-and-the-hereafter.*

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