From minimalist to maximalist PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 May 2016 11:41

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

That’s what happens when one is in love. He is not contented with doing things just to get by or just to get a passing mark. He does things to the best of his abilities, always seeking new frontiers of creativity, effectiveness and efficiency. That’s simply because love is giving not only things but his own self without measure. That’s love most intrinsic law. It’s given without measure.

We need to learn to adopt this kind of lifestyle. It’s not going to be easy, of course. Many things have to be resolved and mastered. We have to contend with our tendencies to be self-centered, to be attached to things, to be materialistic, complacent, cold or lukewarm, etc. But with God’s grace, our full trust in God’s ways matched with our efforts, we can enter and flow in this amazing dynamics of true love.

Truth is for this love to develop and grow, we do not need some special moments and opportunities to trigger it. Any occasion, any event, no matter how small and, humanly speaking, insignificant can be a golden privilege to live heroism that is inseparable from loving.

Thus, the possibility of living this kind of love is always around, because even in the most humdrum activity, we can choose to make it exciting with love. As one saint would put it, we can make verses out of the ordinary prose of each day. We need to condition our mind to be more aware of this oft-forgotten truth. We don’t need to be martyred like Rizal in Luneta to prove our love for

God, people and country.

And one neither needs to have some extraordinary talents to achieve the ever-dynamic fullness of love. It’s all a matter of the will giving itself fully in corresponding to God’s will that is all that is needed. And so, even a very ordinary person, with below average IQ and forgettable endowments, can have this kind of love.

Yes, I have known a good number of people, very simple and modest in the way they are and do, who, I believe, have this kind of love. Their heart, the seat of their will, is pure and is fully given to God and to others, even when they still can commit mistakes and their best can still be made better, which is always our case since we are always a work in progress in this life.

We have to realize that on the part of God, who is the source, pattern and end of love, everything is already given to us. In fact, nothing less than God himself, in Christ through the Holy Spirit, and abundantly made available to us through the many instrumentalities of the Church, is given to us.

As St. Paul would put it: “Know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.” (Eph 3,19) These words may sound tremendous and unbelievable, but they happen to be words of our faith. It’s really up to us to choose between a minimalist or a maximalist, a mere bureaucrat or a true lover!

We need to cultivate the proper attitude, understanding and skills, as well as the corresponding lifestyle and culture with respect to this wonderful truth of our faith. We have to help one another in this endeavor, making use of the ordinary events and circumstances of our day, as well as the extraordinary occasions, challenges and trials we encounter in life. In fact, everything in life is an opportunity to grow in love.

We have to be wary of the tendency to get entangled with the technicalities of any situation that, though they certainly have to be attended to, would lead us to miss the real spirit that ought to animate us.

With this attitude, we end up not choosy as to when we can develop this love. Whether we are engaged with small or big things, manual or intellectual work, etc., we follow the same principle and are happy all the time, even if we have to contend with the usual ups and downs and drama of life.

It would be good that starting with the family and the schools, this awareness of the possibility of love to develop and grow even in the most ordinary events is firmly established and continually reinforced in the higher levels of our social life.

Let’s hope that this becomes an abiding awareness of everyone and of every institution. Let’s hope that we continue to develop the appropriate programs and strategies, both personal and collective, to make this awareness constant.