God and leadership PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 23 August 2015 16:56

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

As social beings, we will always need leaders to bring us to our common good. We therefore need to choose leaders with the proper qualities. And this means that they have the proper understanding of what our common good is in all its aspects—from the temporal to the eternal, from the material to the spiritual, from the immediate to the ultimate, etc.

We should stay away from the way of choosing our leaders simply on the basis of popularity, wealth or technical skills. While these have their objective value and should be given their due consideration, we have to understand that they cannot be the beginning and end of leadership. We need to go beyond them.

We have to say this now since our current world culture seems to be practically at the mercy of these criteria that at best are only secondary and instrumental. We have to outgrow this kind of mindset.

Leadership has God not only in its center and core, but also, in a manner of speaking, in every pore of its being. Without God, or ignoring him, or simply giving him token consideration would make any idea of leadership hollow. It may manage to make a lot of sound and fury, but it would be inherently infirm, certainly doomed to failure sooner or later.

Its bravery would simply be bravado, its wisdom and prudence cunning, its victories pyrrhic. Its vision can never be total and with the right hierarchy of values. It will be biased, distorted, deceitful. It will not be able to tell everything that we need to know and do.

It will shun away from sacrifice or anything that would need some amount of pain that would be necessary. And when the unavoidable problems and troubles come due to our fragile human condition, it hardly would have any resource to tackle them.

We need to explode the myth that giving God the primary role in the pursuit of leadership would simply be a drag, an unnecessary element, or that it is impractical, irrelevant, undoable. Or that it would just confine us to the spiritual and supernatural and desensitize us from the mundane, etc.

This kind of reasoning can only reflect a certain lack of faith and a lazy thinking. These actually are the basic problems we have at hand. We need to do something about this predicament by showing that we as persons need some amount of faith and that we should try our best to go all the way in our thinking and reasoning.

We should avoid being led simply by what our senses perceive, nor even what our intelligence can discern. Again, while these are always necessary, they are in need of a higher source of knowledge and stimulus that can only come from faith.

Our act of faith, which we do one way or another, should get engaged with an objective faith that comes from God himself, our Creator and Father, who continues to govern us through his providence.

Our act of faith should not just be a matter of what is empirical, convenient, intellectually stimulating and the like.

This objective faith is not a fantasy that can be made up by anyone depending on how a person is. It’s something that can be known because even if God is so supernatural that we he will always be a mystery to us, he is also very close to us. In fact, he is in the most intimate part of our existence as well as being all around us.

Besides, he has revealed himself to us in full by sending his Son to us, Jesus Christ, who left us with his word, his sacraments, his Church. He has left us with his real presence in the Eucharist.

If we would just have the proper disposition of faith that comes together with hope and charity, we can always connect ourselves with him, and somehow get to know his will and ways not only in a generic way, but also in a concrete and specific way.

Thus, leaders should be men and women of faith, of genuine piety, who know how to cruise in the material and spiritual world, in the temporal and the eternal, in the mundane and the sacred.

True leaders should be able to lead everyone ultimately to God making use of our natural conditions. They should be able to go beyond our many human conditionings, not by avoiding or nullifying them which would be quixotic, but by making use of them by the power of God.