Accompanying and following up PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 13 April 2016 14:06

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

In this bounden duty of ours to care for one another, and even more, to love one another as Christ has loved us, we have to make sure that at least we learn to accompany everyone along the way of life, always following him up to see how he is progressing.

As parent, teacher, confidante, adviser or even just a friend, we have to realize that we have this responsibility, and thus, we have to equip ourselves accordingly. We have to learn to be mindful and thoughtful of everyone, extricating our mind and heart from being concerned simply with our own affairs and interests, or as some people would put, from being concerned only with ‘what comes naturally.’

We should not be guided only by what our senses can see and feel, nor what our intelligence can perceive and discern. Without rejecting them and, in fact, always using them, we should go beyond our sensible perceptions and intellectual understanding of things and allow the dynamics of faith, hope and charity to lead the way.

These virtues of faith, hope and charity are supernatural gifts that give us a more complete appreciation of people and events.

They bring us to another level, the level of the spiritual and supernatural, or the divine level which ultimately is the end for all of us and everything that happens in our earthly life.

For this, we need to submit ourselves to a certain discipline that would keep us thinking in terms of faith, hope and charity, while making use of whatever data and info our senses and intelligence can gather from the ground.

In other words, that we develop a theological mind which should not just be an intellectual activity but rather a genuine personal contact with God, our Father and Creator who is always with us for he is the one who keeps in existence and who actually guides us through his abiding providence toward our proper end.

Said another way, our effectiveness in accompanying and following up others would depend on our actual identification with Christ, our assuming his mind and heart which only have goodness, wisdom and mercy to give all of us, and which only have redemption as motive.

It’s in this way that we develop the proper concern and love for others. It’s in this way that we can manage to accompany them always irrespective of whether they are near or far, present or absent. It’s in this way that we can manage to go deep into their mind and heart and to help them get back to God who is our final and proper end.

To put this ideal into practical terms, we need to make some kind of daily plan that should start with using the spiritual means of prayer, sacrifice and the sacraments before embarking on some human strategy.

Let’s never forget that our concern for others has to be first inspired by our love of God, since accompanying and following others up is first of all God’s concern before it is ours. We are mere cooperators and collaborators of God.

We need to nourish this very crucial requirement of vitally identifying ourselves with God. Thus, we have to make sure that our prayer is real prayer, real contact with God where we can really feel God’s attitude and sentiments toward us.

And what can keep this vital link with God going is when we also thoroughly study the doctrine of our faith, because it is in that way that we concretize our accompaniment of the others. The doctrine of our faith would indicate to us what attitude to cultivate, what thoughts and desires to make, what words to say, what things to do, etc.

We should not be afraid to make attempts to reach out to others no matter how many failures and disappointments we meet along the way. In this we should simply be stubborn, not giving up. We need to have the go-go attitude. We just have to adapt Alexander Graham Bell’s attitude: “When one door closes, another opens.”

We should be ready to do constant battle to things that will constantly undermine or weaken this duty of ours to truly accompany and follow up others. There are many distractions nowadays.

We can now easily find excuses to justify our neglect of this responsibility.

We really need time to pray and reflect, if only to recover the proper attitude and outlook in this regard, and to develop the relevant skills. With the world getting more complex and challenging, we cannot afford to be left behind in this most important department of our life!