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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 26, 2020
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Rock and Refuge
with Fr. Roy Cimagala
OPINIONS

Back to the dark ages?

Rock & Refuge

Of course, not! If at all, this extraordinary time we are having these days because of the coronavirus pandemic is a clear invitation for us to learn to live for the future. In fact, it is offering us an opportunity to learn to live for eternity. We should be happy about this development. This pandemic is a clear blessing in disguise.

Yes, we have to learn to detach ourselves from time, whether it is the prehistoric era, ancient, dark ages, medieval, modern or contemporary time. More precisely said, while we live in time, we have to learn to transcend it, setting our mind and heart always on eternity where we are meant to be in our definitive state.

It does not really matter what part of earthly time we live in. What matters is that we know how to relate our time to eternity, the natural to the supernatural, the material to the spiritual. Thus, we should learn how to drop and leave everything behind when the time comes for us to enter the eternal life, and be ready to face our Father and Creator.

Our usual problem is that we tend to get swallowed up by our earthly condition of time and nature, ignoring the far richer reality of our definitive life with God in heaven for all eternity. If we would just know the ultimate parameters of our life as provided by our Christian faith, then we would not really mind what historical era and culture we belong to, since we would know how to relate our here and now to our definitive life beyond.

The things in this world and life only have a relative value. They are meant to offer us the means, the reason and the occasion to relate ourselves to God from whom we come and to whom we belong in a most intimate way. It is our relation with God that has absolute value. Everything else follows from there.

And so, with the new conditions that now are imposed on us,

like the lockdown, quarantine, curfew, the social distancing, disinfecting, etc., which perhaps may force us to do things that we usually do not do anymore, like cooking and dish-washing, doing laundry, house-cleaning, etc., we should just be game enough to go through them.

What matters is that we relate them to God. These tasks have the same or even more potential sanctifying value than our usual serious and more difficult jobs during our normal days. What matters is that we put love for God in doing them. And since they are relatively easier tasks to undertake, then we have a golden opportunity of attaining some degree of sanctity in an easier way.

But more importantly, these extraordinary conditions we are having now are a good opportunity to really deepen our prayer life and everything in our spiritual life which, in the end, is what would endure for all eternity.

We cannot deny that because of the usual frenetic lifestyle these days—some of us would even describe it as having a fast and furious lifestyle—we most likely give our spiritual life a very shallow attention and care, if at all.

Now is the time to polish our skill at mental and contemplative prayer, at developing an abiding and practical spirit of sacrifice, at polishing our knowledge of the doctrine of our faith, and at achieving a stronger unity of life, where there is more coherence between our faith and our life, between our good intentions and our deeds, between the theories and principles we profess and their practice, etc.

With respect to our life of prayer, we should learn how to really be focused in our conversation with God, knowing how to avoid distractions and how to equip ourselves adequately so that our prayer becomes meaningful and substantial.

There are many good things that can be done during these extraordinary days, many golden opportunities that can be taken advantage of.*

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