Praising God PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 09 December 2015 14:09

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Oh, what tremendous goodness praising God can do to us! If we can manage to truly praise God, we can safely say that our heart is really with God. No one can praise God unless God is fully with him and he is fully with God.

Praising God corroborates what Christ has told his Father:

“I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, for although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, you have revealed them to the childlike.” (Lk 10,21)

Giving praise to God can only reflect the proper and total attitude we ought to have with God. It means that we are submitting ourselves completely to him in whose image and likeness we have been created, and whose children we truly are.

We acknowledge that he is everything to us, and that He and us are together.in the most intimate union we can ever have.

Praising God summarizes all the other aspects of our relation with him.

It perfects our thanksgiving for everything that he has given us. It presumes we are truly sincere when we ask for pardon for our sins. It bolsters the effectiveness of the requests and favors we are asking of him.

Praising God would make these words Christ told his apostles applicable and effective in us: “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see. For I say to you, many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, but did not see it, and to hear what you hear, but did not hear it.” (Lk 10,24)

Obviously, we have to make sure that our praising God is not only a token gesture, some kind of lip service alone. It really has to come from the heart, and has to involve the entirety of our being. It should not just be for show.

It should reflect the reality that we have been blessed by God who loves us fully in spite of our defects, mistakes and sins. It has the strong flavor of our divine filiation which is never annulledin spite of whatever, as long as we continue to love him in return, the way Christ has told us, i.e., to love God with all our might and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

Praising God can only reflect that we are in the Holy Spirit, because no one can truly praise God unless he is in the Holy Spirit. This was even attested by Christ himself. In the same gospel that we have been quoting above, it is said: “Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, ‘I give you praise, Father…’

Indeed, one way we can say that we are in the Holy Spirit is when we can truly praise God with all our mind and heart, with all our body and soul. And this can be done anytime, anywhere, even while we are in the middle of our work and our concerns.

We have to disabuse ourselves from the thought that praising God can be done only in churches or in some prayer meetings.

Praising God should be done always. And far from being a hindrance to our earthly affairs, as some sectors claim, it would rather help us to tackle our temporal concerns better.

And that’s because praising God unites us with God who did everything to save us from the consequences of our sin. He became man in a way that is most radical in terms of empathy and compassion toward us. This, he did all the way to the cross. He was willing to be misunderstood and, in fact, to assume all our sins by dying on the cross.

Praising God does not alienate us from our earthly realities. It does not bring us up in the clouds, and make us ignorant of the ways of the world. Let’s remember what Christ said about being innocent as doves but shrewd and clever as serpents. He even went to the extent of recommending that while we cannot serve two masters, we can make friends by “means of unrighteous mammon.” (cfr Lk 16)

So it is possible to praise God and at the same time be street-smart. In fact, given how the world is today, this is what we ought to be. Our mind and heart should be in heaven, but our feet should be firmly rooted on the ground. We have to embrace these two fundamental dimensions of the reality proper to us.

Let’s hope that we can manage to praise God wherever we are, doing it both in a most natural way and in a very spiritual andsupernatural way as well.