We are all sinners called to be saints PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 11:45

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Two forces somehow do a lifelong battle in the minds and hearts of all of us. The forces of good and evil, the spirit and the flesh, the supernatural and the world, clash endlessly there.

But if we have the right frame of mind, that is, grounded on our faith in God, we know that such conflict can only produce a greater good. Evil does not have the last say, to be sure, though it will ceaselessly continue to try its luck.

St. Paul expressed this reality when he said: “I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.” (Rom 7,23)

But then, he made a consoling conclusion from all this:

“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7,24) Further on, he said: “In everything God works for good with those who love him…” (Rom 8,28)

We should not be too surprised and worried about this fact of life, because in spite of its truly disturbing character, Christ has given us a way out of it. We just have to be sport and try our  best, with the help of God’s grace, to handle this lifelong predicament well.

Getting too worried about this does not help us any in resolving it. It will only make things more complicated. It will just give more foothold to the real enemies of our soul.

We just have to learn how to suffer the inconveniences of our weakness, temptations and sin itself. We should not be afraid to get dirty, to be defeated sometimes, because as long as we don’t lose our faith and hope in God, we can always bear and conquer all things.

There is some kind of dialectical relation between good and evil, grace and sin in our heart. All the evil and the sinfulness that we can have can actually occasion our holiness. And the more exposure, temptation and even experience of evil and sinfulness we can have can occasion a greater level and a more tested kind of sanctity.

Let’s be wary when we only develop a spirituality thatrestricts itself to the practice of good things and yet is helpless when faced with the ugliness and effects of sin and evil in oneself  and in the world.

That would be a spirituality that is not realistic, that chooses to ignore a salient if unwelcome aspect of our human condition here on earth. It is prone to fall into self-righteousness, rash judgments and fault-finding.

It is also prone to the tricks of hypocrisy and deception if only to cover the unavoidable inconsistencies in our spiritual and moral life. It cannot help but drip of sanctimony, the caricature of holiness. Besides, it tends to turn off people especially when its flaws get widely known.

We have to remember always our sinfulness, but also always with faith. This will lead us to be humble, which is a basic and indispensable virtue that helps us to tackle this condition properly.

Humility leads us to always seek the presence of God, stay away from occasions of sin, and combat temptations resolutely. It helps us to develop a spiritual and supernatural outlook in life, nourishing our faith, hope and charity, all these done discreetly.

Humility makes us simple, transparent and docile to elders. It prevents us from being reckless and imprudent as we get to have a clear view of how weak we are.

Humility convinces us that there’s no point doing balancing acts with temptations. It teaches us the effective ways of doing ascetical struggle, using prayers, sacrifices, sacraments and other spiritual and human means.

Humility leads us to develop an abiding sense of penance, knowing how to be sorry for our sins, confessing them to priests to ask for forgiveness, and to do continuing acts of penance and atonement, through mortifications and works of mercy.

Humility makes our conscience sensitive and delicate and

at the same time strong and more resistant to the lures of evil. It checks on our tendency to succumb to what St. John refers to as “concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes and the pride of life.” (1 Jn 2,16)

Humility practically makes us immune to the persuasive logic of our sinfulness. The flesh, the world and the devil cannot gainsay and contest the arguments of humility. This is how we attract the power of God to dwell in us. We should do all to grow in this virtue!