We are meant for a fascinating life PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 22 June 2015 13:19

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

A certain sense of fascination should characterize our life. As a jazzy song would put it, fascination should take control. Let’s hope that as another old song would put it, fascination turns to love, just as love often relishes in fascination.

Saints are invariably known for their life of fascination in spite of the trials, difficulties and even martyrdom that they had to suffer. Some of them have reached the level of mysticism and ecstasy, which we can consider as the extraordinary forms of fascination.

All this is understandable, since as humans with body and not only with a soul, an ideal situation for us would be to be awe-struck or be excited even in the humdrum of our daily routine. Ideally, the body should share in the true delights of the soul.

We just have to make sure then that our sense of fascination is not exclusively developed and lived in the realm of the flesh, of the material, and of the earthly and temporal. That would detach the body from our soul, our material condition from our spiritual character and supernatural goal.

We have to make sure that our fascination is inspired by faith and sparked to action by our will. We can describe it as a theological fascination that has to be deliberately developed.

It should not just be a spontaneous movement of the flesh, stuck at the level of spur-of-the-moment reactions entirely dependent on feelings and ruled by an obsession for novelties and curiosities. That would make fascination less human.

To be sure, fascination is not just a physical act. It is a human act that should correspond to all the requirements of our human nature and condition.

Our fascination should not just delight the flesh. It should delight us in our totality as a human person and as a child of God.  In short, it should delight our mind and will properly, stimulating them properly to get interested in their proper objects.

And these objects could only be love for God and others. Short of these, our fascination would be incomplete and imperfect. It certainly would be vulnerable to abuses and excesses.

Thus, we see many people getting addicted to sex, drugs, gambling, worldly power, etc., since their sense of fascination has not entered the realm of the spiritual and the supernatural.

This is a challenge we should acknowledge and face. We have to save our sense of fascination from the grip of the material and emotional to make it spiritual and theological.

Obviously, in developing this sense of fascination, we need to go through stages. While the initial stage is understandably the physical and emotional, we have to understand that it should go all the way to the spiritual. For this, a certain training is required. The proper understanding, attitudes and habits have to be developed.

In this regard, it might be interesting to pay attention to a passage in the gospel which can refer to this need of ours to develop a life of fascination. It’s in the gospel of St. John where we hear our Lord say: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw al things to myself.” (12,32)

The passage that follows it immediately gives a parenthetical explanation of these words. “Now this he said, signifying what death he should die.”

I think that in these passages we are made to know how our Lord attracts us to himself and therefore what should fascinate us. It’s when our Lord is lifted on the cross that we would be drawn to him. It’s when we train our attention to Christ on the cross that we would be fascinated by him.

And that is because it is on the cross that our Lord shows the supreme and most pure love that can ever be shown to us, and that therefore should attract us. Our problem is that we tend to confine love to what is physically and sensibly pleasant only, to what makes us feel good.

It is a shallow kind of love that cannot understand the value of suffering in this life, the cross, as a necessary ingredient in our human condition that is now marked by sin and all sorts of weakness.

We need to train ourselves to focus and meditate on the passion and death of Christ and to develop this theological fascination of the crucified Christ. Only then can we perfect our sense of fascination that should mark our life here on earth. Only then can we protect ourselves from unwanted, immoral fascinations.

Last Updated on Monday, 22 June 2015 14:32