Dealing with our persistent defects and predicaments PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 31 March 2016 12:01

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

The story of the sick  man lying for 38 years in the pool of Bethesda (Jn 5) still hoping to get into the stirred water ahead of the others to be cured somehow illustrates to us a common situation that we can find ourselves in.

Like him, we can have some persistent defects and predicaments which we try to overcome or resolve, but so far, no success is achieved yet. This condition can come about because of a variety of causes and circumstances.

It can be a physical deformity or sickness, about which nothing much can be done. Or it can be an emotional, mental, or psychological issue, or a character defect which can affect, even for a lifetime, the way we think, react, and behave. We all know that even if we came to this world as a bundle of joy, we also have our share of imperfections.

We have to learn to live with them, cultivating the proper attitudes and outlook, and in fact, knowing how to make use of them for our own good and the good of everybody else. They are not necessarily bad news. They can and should be good news.

This possibility can only take place if we regard them from the point of view of our Christian faith. There we can find why these things happen and how we can take advantage of them. If we are humble enough to accept these truths and learn to live by them, then our life can be filled with meaning and even joy.

These defects and predicaments can come, first of all, due to the limitations of our human nature and the material world in which we live. If we would just manage to acknowledge this fact of life, then there should not be much of a problem to solve.

We just have to accept ourselves as we are, knowing that if God, our Creator and Father, made us in a certain way, there must be a sublime purpose which we may try to decipher in our whole lifetime. That is why, it is important that we learn to live in the dynamics of mystery which our life will always be.

These persistent defects and predicaments can also come because of sin, ours and those of others. Yes, there are sins that can leave long-lasting if not lifelong effects. In this case, we just have to remember that Christ taught us to carry the cross till death, and everything will just have a happy ending. If we die with Christ, we will also resurrect with him.

That is why it is important that we always think and reason out in terms of faith, more than just our feelings or our own natural and human estimation of things. It is faith that gives us the global picture of things. It manages to give real and redemptive meaning to any situation in our life.

It is our faith that reassures us that we are never alone, that we are never left abandoned to fend for ourselves against anything that can take place in life. Like that sick man at the poolside of Bethesda, lying there for 38 years, waiting for his lucky turn, we should remain hopeful that not everything is lost.

God will always intervene in our life. He is a good father to us, ever merciful and compassionate, slow to anger, quick to forgive. We might be a misbehaving child, but he always looks first at our being his child before he does something with our misdeeds.

It might be good to always relish this psalm that reassures us of the goodness of God in spite of our mistakes: “For his anger is but for a moment, and his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (30,5)

Our problem is that we many times choose to be guided by our own feelings and private thoughts, detached from our faith. And so we plunge into fear and shame, sadness and depression, and we suffer unnecessarily.

We have to learn to be quick to go back to Christ who will always welcome us no matter how ugly our mistakes are. We should also learn to be quick to say sorry to God and to all the others who may be involved in our misdeeds, defects and predicaments.

More than that, we can always try to be helpful to others.

This way, we open ourselves to learn things that can help us resolve, at least in part, our persistent defects and predicaments.