Life always has more to offer PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 27 May 2015 08:49

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Yes, indeed! And they come in all shapes and sizes, good and bad, pleasant and unpleasant, likeable and hateful. There are surprises and moments when we seem to rot in expectation and still things we long for don’t come.

Life can’t be restricted simply by our senses and preferences, nor by our knowledge and wisdom. It gives us a lot more. There are things that simply are beyond our control. We have to learn to face life as it unravels by itself.

When we seem to be overwhelmed by trials, challenges, tasks, pressures that can come anytime anywhere, I believe the attitude to have and the reaction to make is to be calm, pray hard,and while we do all we can, we have to learn to live a certain sense of abandonment in the hands of God.

In those situations, I believe we just have to allow ourselves to play in God’s game plan, in his abiding providence whose designs are beyond reckoning, are way beyond comprehension and appreciation.

We just have to allow the workings of grace to play out in our life, loosening our tendency to be always in control of things. These situations are privileged moments when we are made to expand and deepen our understanding of things and our capabilities to deal with whatever.

God’s ways are mysterious and inscrutable. He can write straight with crooked lines. He never abandons us. He is always intervening in our lives. And he knows how to draw good from evil, such that even in our own blunders and stupidities, we would still have reason to hope, and thus to say sorry, make amends and reconcile with God and with others.

We have to be wary when we are tempted to lose hope because of our mistakes and sins. You can be sure that that temptation can only come from the devil who would be happy when we fall into discouragement, or when we let our initial reaction of disappointment and frustration to deteriorate into depression or to explode into violence.

We just have to strengthen our faith that with God, everything will always work out for the good. That’s what St. Paul once reassured us: “To them that love God, all things work together unto good…” (Rom 8,28)

It would not be wise to let ourselves sink in fear and anxiety, or sadness, depression and bitterness. Like Christ, like all the other saints, we just allow those uncontrollable things to happen, no matter how bad they may be, because they will always have a good purpose, even if at a given moment, we do not know it.

The template for this is the passion and death of Christ on the cross. There we see how he allowed himself to suffer the most painful and ignominious death there is. Being God, he could have avoided it, but he just went through it.

He did it to obey the will of his Father and to go through the unavoidable consequences of our sins. Of course, being God he  could have avoided it and could have carried out his mission of our salvation in a painless way, but that would be like not addressing the issue.

Besides, with his passion and death he is showing us how we too can tackle the unavoidable consequences of sin, and that is precisely to just abandon ourselves in the hands of God, without losing faith, hope and love even if we continue to sin.

This contradicting predicament of ours to still believe, hope and love God and others in spite of our sinfulness has been vividly described by St. Paul who said: “I am delighted with the law of God, according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, fighting against the law of my mind, and captivating me in the law of sin, that is in my members.

“Unhappy man that I am, who shall deliver me from the body of this death? The grace of God, by Jesus Christ, our Lord. Therefore, I myself, with the mind serve the law of God, but with the flesh, the law of sin.” (Rom 7,22-25)

It’s worthwhile to meditate on these words if only to make us understand our most intriguing predicament when we find ourselves divided by two conflicting laws affecting us. We just have to learn to suffer, like Christ, abandoning ourselves in the hands of God our Father and allowing the working of grace to impact on us.

Let’s not allow our suffering to depress us. On the contrary, it should strengthen our faith, hope and charity.