REFLECTION: Bouncing back PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 July 2014 11:24

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

We all need to learn the art of bouncing back. Falls, failures, defeats are unavoidable in our life. But we just cannot and should not remain fallen. We need to get up as soon as possible and begin again.

We have to consider life as some kind of sport. We, of course, want to win in all our battles, and make conquests and enjoy the perks of victory. But we also know that this just cannot be all the time.

We need to be sport. Life is much richer than we think it is, and offers us a lot more than we expect or we want. Our attitude should be to be open to all possibilities in life, whether good or bad, but always having hope, based on faith and exercised in charity.

If we have faith in our humanity and in Christ, we know that our falls, failures and defeats, as well as everything else in our life, happen always for a reason, and that some good can always be derived from them.

In fact, our falls and failures serve to open our eyes to certain realities and necessities that we tend to take for granted.

They force us to learn somehow. In this sense, they are good, for which we should be thankful. There’s no strong reason to remain sorry, wounded and hopeless for long.

We need to be aware of this fundamental truth and learn how to be perceptive enough to see what we ought to learn from all of them. There’s no use spending or wasting a lot of time lamenting or feeling sorry over a failure or fall.

It’s not healthy, in the first place, if prolonged unnecessarily, and can lead us to some pathological situations. It’s important that we know how to react properly to our falls. And this simply means that with humility, we acknowledge them, ask for forgiveness, do some suitable reparation and atonement.

Dealing with our falls and mistakes is actually quite easy. It should be done with faith, and not only with our human reasoning and much less with our feelings alone. Faith gives us the complete picture of things, and situates our falls and failures in their proper places.

Let’s remember that God’s providence is always leading us to him, and makes use of everything, including our falls, to advance his loving and merciful plan for each one of us.

But, alas, this also requires our cooperation, since as image and likeness of God, we need to correspond to his will and ways knowingly and lovingly, and not by being forced or imposed upon.

If with humility we acknowledge our sinfulness and our falls and mistakes, and do the necessary acts of contrition and reparation, we continue to be with God who knows how to draw a greater good from these debacles.

Our falls and failures should not be a reason to stay away from God. On the contrary, they should be a potent reason to go to him instead, with all our strength, reprising the effort of the lepers, the blind, the mute, the paralytic and the sinners in the gospel who precisely because of their condition did everything just to be close

to Christ.

As one catch phrase of a movie about a saint put it, there is no saint without a past, and no sinner without a future. We need to be realistic about our condition in life, but we also need to have hope always. Hope actually springs eternal, and hope in God never fails. God is always true to his promises no matter how much we abuse

them.

This is not, of course, to be interpreted that we should be cavalier and casual about our falls and failures. We should try to avoid them as much as possible, even to the extent of suffering some cuts and bruises in our effort to avoid them.

We should also have a healthy sense of shame about them, but of the kind that brings us closer to God and to others, rather than farther from them. We need to distinguish between a good sense of shame and the bad one.

The secret to all this is humility that allows our faith to work its full force in us, when our reason and feelings cannot cope anymore with the ugliness of our failures. It’s pride the makes us remain in sadness and depression over our errors, losses and defeats.

We have to learn the art of bouncing back from our defeats. And we have to do it with joy and elegance!