REFLECTION: Saving and losing PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 15 December 2014 11:43

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

One very intriguing teaching of Christ is that we have to lose our life to save it. “Whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (My 16,25)

We need to go beyond the sensation of being simply intrigued, charmed and mesmerized by these words, and get to understand what they really mean, what they involve and require, and start to apply them in our lives.

These, for sure, are words of wisdom, spoken as they are by Christ himself, the fullness of the revelation of God to us and, thus, also of what is ultimately true, good relevant and necessary to us. We should never take them for granted, but should rather do all we can to convert this teaching into reality in our lives.

We obviously have to approach them with faith, a complete trust in Christ who would never deceive us. For this, we have to loosen our grip of the here and now, of the merely sensible and natural reality, to be able to take a leap of faith that would always involve some mystery, since faith always entails the spiritual and the supernatural.

This mind-frame and attitude is precisely what is behind these intriguing words of Christ. We need to lose our fear of letting go of the natural realities, not because they are bad or wrong, but rather because, like a fledgling that already has acquired flying feathers, we need to take off to the wider and richer world of our faith and supernatural life.

These words of Christ are an invitation, if not a command, to make faith, hope and charity the main principle of our life, and everything in it—our thoughts, desires, words and deeds, the personal, family, professional, social aspects, etc. They tell us that we are meant for a supernatural life with God, and not simply a natural one by our own personal selves or among ourselves together.

We should not be guided only by our feelings alone, not even by our reason, no matter how brilliant, because if our reason and all the other human estimations and calculations of things are not based on faith, then they will very likely miss certain realities meant for us.

Our human powers and faculties (our intelligence, will, etc.) need to be fueled properly by faith, hope and charity that connect us to the source and creator of all things. They just cannot be fed by the merely sensible and even the purely intelligible realities. Their proper objects go beyond those levels.

Obviously, these faith, hope and charity are not things that we invent and produce ourselves. They are first of all gifts of God, our Creator, who gives them to us abundantly.

We have to realize more deeply that being our Creator and Father, God always intervenes in our life. His governance over us and everything else never ceases, since he is the very foundation of everything that exists. His abiding providence is never passive, but always active.

But we need to correspond to these gifts as best as we can. We should not be indifferent to them. We have to sharpen our awareness of this need, and start to train our mind and heart, our emotions and other bodily powers to feel the need for faith, hope and charity.

All this will certainly require continuing effort and struggle. Not only do we need to purify ourselves and to get involved in the constant war between good and evil. Most importantly, we need to always strive to be better and not to be self-satisfied at a certain level of goodness.

We have to do constant battle against complacency and lukewarmness so we can be more generous and burning in our love for God and our concern for the others. We have to understand that losing our life for the sake of Christ in order to find it will involve us in an endless pursuit.

We have to be ready to enter the realm of the mysteries of the spiritual and the supernatural. Yes, if we simply rely on our human faculties and powers, we can readily see our limitations, and we can choose to stay within that system.

We can see the sky, for example, but we cannot reach it, much less, go beyond it. But with faith, hope and charity, yes, we can. What we need is to be humble and obedient to our faith, so we acknowledge our limitations but allow ourselves to be taken up beyond them. This is to lose in order to save.