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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, January 5, 2017
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Rock & Refuge

Staying on course

Our earthly life, it is said, is a matter of a journey, a pilgrimage toward our eternal destination. Given our conditions here where we have to contend with all sorts of things, there is great need for us to stay on course, avoiding getting diverted and lost along the way.

To be sure, we already have been given everything for us to stay on right track. And that's nothing else or no one else than Christ himself who tells us that he is “the way, the truth, and the life.” The constant order of the day for us, therefore, is how to be identified with Christ all the time.

We need to be deeply and permanently convinced of this truth of our faith and also of its practicability, otherwise we would be wasting time. That's because we can appear to be doing a lot of things and yet miss the goal to which we are meant to reach.

Especially these days when we have to contend with more and more things brought about by our technological progress, we can find ourselves losing focus and getting confused and lost. Our attention can easily get scattered and dispersed, our thoughts become shallow and narrow, our reactions turn automatic, mindless and involuntary.

That is why we can never overemphasize the need to be always vigilant, ever rectifying our intentions to make sure that whatever we are doing or whatever situation or circumstance we can find ourselves in, we are always focused on God and on his will and ways.

God is both the principle and end of our life, as well as the pattern of our life as shown to us by Christ who is made alive to us by the Holy Spirit. He is the one that enables us to blend all aspects, situations and circumstances of our life into one consistent unity. In short, that's when we can have unity of life.

We need to be wary of our tendency to get easily entangled in our worldly and temporal affairs. Even if we are pursuing lofty earthly goals, like philanthropy, social justice, economic well-being, etc., we would still end up a big failure if all these otherwise legitimate pursuits are not inspired and aimed at the twin love of God and neighbor.

When we notice, for example, that we are doing well in our business and other professions, but are rather cold and indifferent to our duty to do apostolate and to help others get closer to God, then we actually are not loving God by doing his will. We are simply pursuing our own self-interests. We are apt to be reproached by Christ who once said: “What shall it profit a man if he shall gain the world, and lose his own soul?” (Mk 8,36)

We cannot deny that this is the common phenomenon nowadays. Many people are just after their own things at the expense of their duty toward God and others. We need to see to it that in all our activities, plans and concerns, there should only be one objective. And that is to love God and neighbor, as we have been commanded.

We therefore need to devise some kind of plan of life where everything mutually influences each other in pursuit of our ultimate goal of loving God and others. For example, our prayer should inspire our work just as our work should give fuel and inspiration to our prayer.

We need to close the gap between our life of prayer or our contemplative life, on the hand, and our active life of work and our involvement in worldly affairs, on the other hand. Our thoughts should always be both in heaven and on earth, not one without the other.

This means that we should develop and grow in our spiritual life as we get more and more immersed in our earthly concerns. This is what is ideal for us, and it can be achieved if we just put our whole mind and heart into this pursuit. It's not an impossible dream. We can always count on God's grace.

We need to see the intimate union between the natural and supernatural, the material and the spiritual, the temporal and the eternal. These are dimensions and parameters that are involved in our life, and we just have to learn how to deal with them.

As said earlier, we already have been given everything for us to stay on the right track as we go through our life. We just have to be constantly vigilant, making the necessary corrections along the way.*

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