Feed the spirit PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 14 September 2015 13:42

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

Just as we have to feed our body, take utmost care of it, develop it to its optimum maturity, we also need, and even more so, to feed our spirit, our soul, giving it our best shot in developing it to the fullest.

After all, if we have to go by what Christ himself said, it is the spirit that gives us life—in fact, what leads us to eternal life, to the “forever.” “The Spirit gives life,” he said. “The flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” (Jn 6,63)

These words should give us a clear idea of where true life for us is to be found. It’s in the Spirit with whom our spiritual soul, in the state of grace that is freely corresponded to by our efforts, can get engaged.

It’s not just some genetic and biological laws that give us life. Neither is our life sustained mainly through our legal systems nor some laws of the natural and social sciences, nor through

our increasingly powerful technologies. These are important, of course, but only in a subsidiary manner. They need to be vitally linked to the real source of life.

St. Paul seems to allude to this in a loose sense when he said: “The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.” (2 Cor 3,6) We need to link up with the Spirit, the Spirit of God who is actually with us, who is given to us abundantly, for us to have the life proper to us.

This is a truth of our faith that we need to be more aware of and more attentive to its requirements. We have to act on this fundamental truth about ourselves if only to conform ourselves to God’s will for us.

But given the way the mainstream world culture is, and even just our very own national culture that can already be considered as Christian, this effort to conform to this truth is going to be gargantuan, since we are still wide of the mark.

We have to acquire the skills to feed our spirit by learning how to pray, how to exercise the theological virtues of faith, hope and charity, appreciate the need for sacrifice, have recourse to the sacraments, continually cultivate the virtues, and wage constant ascetical struggle, etc.

We have to learn to view things and to react to them mainly in terms of our faith, rather than just assessing them mainly from the point of view of our human sciences, laws, arts and technologies. No matter how legitimate and necessary the latter viewpoints are, they can never be enough. They don’t have the last word. They cannot bring us to our ultimate end.

We have to understand that faith, hope and charity are always necessary for us. They are not optional, to be used and applied only to certain things. They have to be applied all the time, in things both sacred and mundane.

In this regard, it would be helpful if we do everything needed to make St. Paul’s words our own: “We have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.” (1 Cor 2,12-13)

In short, we have to feed our spiritual soul with the Spirit of God who, as St. Paul said, “searches everything, even the depths of God.” He further said, “no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Cor 2,10-11) The idea is to echo St. Paul’s words: “We have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor 2,16)

We should not consider this possibility as fantastic or unreachable. After what Christ has done for us, offering his life on the cross, we can safely presume that he has given himself to us completely, without sparing anything. We just have to leave behind our own estimation of things, and embrace the full inputs of our faith.

We have to understand that unless our human knowledge is linked to the Spirit of God, it cannot give us the truth that really matters. Yes, it can give us some aspects of truth, but not the one that would bring us to our eternal life.

Yes, we need to study and thoroughly meditate on God’s word, making full use of the allied sciences until we make God’s word our own, and God’s mind our mind!