REFLECTION: Pump faith, hope and charity PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 24 May 2014 11:41

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

We need to learn this skill, that is, how to pump faith, hope and charity to our every thought, word and action such that we can truly say that every breath of ours is actually prayer, and not just a physical operation so basic in our life.

Saints have done this. Christ himself always felt the need to pray, even going to the extent of spending the whole night in a secluded place just to have a conversation with his Father. In everything that he did, he always referred to his Father.

Our life is supposed to be a life with God always. Christ revealed that to us in no uncertain terms. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.’

These words reinforce what he also said on another occasion. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.”

We should not understand those words as meaning that we are meant only to be with him in some formalistic way, or only from time to time. We need to be with him in a vital, organic way, something that he himself makes possible by giving us his gifts of faith, hope and charity.

But since we are like God, his image and likeness, his children, in fact, he does not impose or force on us what he giving us in abundance. We need to correspond to his self-giving, something that he himself also empowers us to do.

That is why we have to understand that we are meant to live always by faith, hope and charity, and not only by reason alone, much less by feelings.It is through these supernatural gifts of faith, hope and charity that we attain our true ultimate goal even while here on earth, that is, sharing what God has with us.

Our usual problem is that we think that by using our natural powers alone to more or less know the truth and do some practical and helpful things, we would already be ok, or that we would already be living our life as we should.

Such understanding of our life actually does not meet the deepest longing of our heart that will always look for the eternal, or for a joy and a life that never ends. Such understanding of our life is simply earth-and-time-bound. It ends and gives nothing after death.

We need to relate everything to God, and that is what is meant by living a life of faith, hope and charity. Without such relating, without such offering together with the accompanying conditions that such offering involves, all our work, concerns, affairs, in short, all our life would prove useless, as they would no eternal value.

We need to be pumping faith, hope and charity into our thoughts, desires, words and actions, so that we can truly live our life with God. It’s actually what gives us peace and joy, as Christ himself promised.

He clearly said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you.” (Jn 14,27) And, “I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.” (Jn 15,11)

We have to be wary of the false and deceptive forms of peace and joy offered by the workings of our flesh and the dynamics of the world. That’s why we need to deliberately make many acts of faith, hope and charity, otherwise we would be held captive by the urgings of the flesh and the wiles of the world, not to mention, the devil.

This, I believe, is an urgent task. That’s simply because we all know that the world is immersed in a culture that while having many good things also have many bad things. If we want to avoid getting confused or misled, we need to have a firm grip on faith, hope and charity.

Without this continuing pumping of these gifts from God, we would become very vulnerable to our own weaknesses and the many temptations around. When this pumping becomes part of our system, then we can afford to face anything in life, including all sorts of trials and temptations, and we would still come out victorious.

We can be strong, and able to repeat with St. Paul, “I can do all things in him who strengthens me.” And ultimately, “It is no longer   that live, but Christ who lives in me.”