Politics, morality, spirituality PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 December 2015 14:42

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Now that the political scene in our country is getting hot and hotter by the day, we need to clarify a few points, so we all can do politics as it should be done, or, in another way of saying the same thing, as befits our dignity as persons and children of God.

The idea behind is to make politics truly serve the common good. It is also to make politics be one concrete way of praising God, our Creator, who governs us even in our politics with his providence with which we also have to cooperate as fully as possible.

Politics, as a human necessity and as a free act of man, is definitely subject to the moral law, and as such, should also have a proper spirituality to animate it. This is a truth of our faith that should never be lost in our mind, and much less, in our culture. The autonomy we enjoy in our politics is never to be taken to mean that God has nothing to do with it.

Politics just cannot be left to the raw forces of our human nature, which has the capability of detaching itself from its creator and his law. It just cannot be subject to the law of the jungle. Without God, politics would be left to our own ideologies, historico-cultural conditions, our own personal hunches of how things ought to be, etc.

These definitely have some valid points, but they certainly cannot cover the whole scope of possibilities that our politics can create. Neither can they help politics to bring us to our ultimate supernatural end with God. At best, they are only means, occasions and expressions that our politics can make use of.

We therefore need to realize that the Church has a duty to evangelize it, humanizing and Christianizing it, since Christ is the pattern of everything human. And more than that, he is our savior after we, and all related to our humanity including our politics, have sinned and have been alienated from God.

The Church’s intervention in our political discourses is never partisan in nature. It’s simply to give guidance, helping in shedding light on the human mystery and cooperating in solving contemporary problems.

The Church tries to scrutinize the signs of the times and interpret them in the light of the Gospel. Her role is strictly spiritual and moral which should underpin all our human activities, including our politics.

She can judge that a certain political view or option or behavior is not anymore moral or is contrary to God’s law and to our humanity. And that should not be considered as partisan.

In a way, the Church seeks to lead us, including our politics, to Christ. It actually is a tremendous, overwhelming task that makes use of spiritual and supernatural means rather than some partisan and political maneuverings.

The interventions of the Church are never an imposition, but as guidance. Everyone is free to accept, agree and act on them, or reject them. Obviously, it is hoped that everyone, especially the laity, cooperates in carrying out this delicate task.

That is why the Church always calls everyone to do politics in a manner worthy of our Christian identity. That is to say, that we be honest and sincere, open-minded and respectful in our exchanges and even debates.

We need to allow Christ to enter politics. All of us, both the politicians and the electorate, should realize that given the nature and character of politics, we all need to be strong and firm in our spiritual and moral life. Otherwise, we would get swallowed up by the monster.

Christ humanizes and purifies politics. Christ sets the proper standards. The fine points of Christianity are not meant to hinder politics, but precisely to purify it and to protect it from falling into the grip of the devil’s game, to which it is very vulnerable.

Christ certainly demands from politicians that they undertake constant personal conversions, assiduous study and development of their political skills in monitoring developments, in dialoguing, consulting and consensus-making, in making prudent decisions and implementing them.

Christ would certainly enlighten us as to what would constitute our proper and integral development. This has been the subject of many opinions, theories, ideologies and systems. But without Christ, these ideas just won’t have the proper spirit to bring us to our authentic end.

Christ would make us see the big picture without neglecting the small details and the constitutive parts. He will teach us the ways of prudence, and ultimately of love, that would include precisely its difficult part—what to do with mistakes, opponents, failures, etc.