Forming convictions PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 July 2015 10:41

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

We need to see to it that we are forming convictions, those strong, deep core beliefs that would serve as a clear and sure guide in our lives. We have to be wary of a certain culture, quite rampant these days, which simply fosters shallow thinking, knee-jerk reactions, and shifty views, and in the end produces men with no principles.

Convictions are like anchors and foundations that give stability and consistency as we go through the flux of life. They are like rudders that give direction to the ship of our life as we cruise through the varying conditions of the ocean of time. We should not be casual, much less, indifferent to them. We have to cultivate them with determination.

And where should our convictions be based on? Obviously upon our nature, and the nature of things in general, which in turn are given to us by its Creator, God, who has revealed not only himself  to us through Christ in the Holy Spirit, but also the nature of world, including that of ourselves.

We should try to avoid simply grounding our convictions on some ideologies, and much less on some momentary fads and fashions. They at best can only give so much. And quite often, their deficiencies occasion dangers, since they may be due to some errors or confused understanding of certain things.

Christ is the sure way. He himself said so. “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (Jn 14,6) Not only is he, as Son of the God the Father, the very pattern of our creation but also, by becoming man, our Redeemer.

That is why Christ once said: “Everyone therefore who hears these my words, and does them, shall be likened to a wise man that built his house upon a rock, and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded on a rock.” (Mt 7,24-25)

And so we need to pray and meditate on the word of God, study its implications and consequences, cultivate the appropriate attitudes, practices and virtues, and develop a basic plan of life which, while always renewing, adapting and modifying itself according to changing circumstances, would put us on track to our definitive, ultimate goal.

We need to see to it that there is growth and progress in  this duty of forming convictions. We cannot remain in the infantile stage, nor in the toddler, child and adolescent phases. We have to aim at adulthood and maturity. In fact, we have to aim at the fullness of God, fullness of truth and charity, with Christ as the model, since that is what is proper to us.

We have to help one another in this grave concern. The family is the basic and indispensable venue for this purpose. Thus, everything has to be done to make the family strong, vibrant and in the best condition to carry out this duty. We should avoid anything that would undermine the vitality of the family, like when marriage is redefined, one or both parents are absentees, family life isneglected, etc.

If for one reason or another, the family is found deficient, if not dysfunctional, then through the principle of subsidiarity, higher entities may step in, like the other relatives may have to intervene,  or the school, the community, the parish, the government, etc.

To be sure, forming convictions would not make us rigid and narrow-minded, tied up with some unforgiving principles. If our convictions are truly based on Christ, they would always be marked by

charity, broadmindedness, prudence, patience, mercy, compassion, as well as justice, fortitude and strict adherence to the truth.

These convictions, while having an absolute, permanent  core, would always be dynamic, and would know how to flow with the times, and how to renew and adjust to varying situations and circumstances.

These convictions would allow us to have a global picture of things, to give due considerations to the big and the small things in life, the spiritual and material dimensions of life, as well as the temporal and eternal.

And far from making us cold and always serious, they would help us to be very warm and affectionate with others, calm and cheerful. They banish insecurities. They enable us to remain confident whatever the situation is.

We have to do everything to cultivate these convictions that are necessary in our life. Let’s go beyond the culture of easy living and shallow thinking. Let’s find our true foundation and orient ourselves to our ultimate goal.