Sizing up God PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 19 February 2017 15:05

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

This is, of course, impossible to do. But we can always try. The truth is we need to size God up since as image and likeness of God and children of his, we need to know him as much as we can in order to conform ourselves to him. It’s in the trying that matters. It’s not in knowing him completely, because he will always remain a mystery to us.

Yes, God is full of mysteries. We can never fathom his will and his ways. And yet he is also the most obvious and nearest object of our mind and heart if we bother to care. And that’s because God is everywhere. He is the fullness of love, the maintainer of our existence. Wherever we turn, whether around us or inside us, things will always point us to him.

But for all this mystery and inscrutability of God, we are made to know him fairly enough because we are left with his word and laws, with his sacraments, with his Church, etc. Our faith tells us that the Holy Spirit continues to be with us, and where the Spirit is, the other two persons of the Triune God are also with us.

To size God up, we need to know his commandments, for those are where we can find his divine will for us. Following that will, obeying his commandments and laws is what would connect us with him.

In this regard, we have to distinguish between the so-called Old Law and the New Law. Both of course are necessary for us, with the former as some kind of preparation and prerequisite for the latter.

The Old Law as expressed in the Ten Commandments simply describes how we ought to behave as a human person, endowed with intelligence and will. It tells us what is proper to our human nature. By itself it does not bring us to our supernatural goal of living our life with God, but simply predisposes us to it.

It’s the New Law that does that. As articulated by Christ himself, the God who is the perfect image of God himself and therefore the very pattern of our humanity since we are the image and likeness of God, we have to love one another as he himself has loved us.

Christ becomes the standard of our loving, and he showed this to us by first obeying the will of his Father who wants him to pay for all the sins of man by offering his life for us. And with that death, he shows us the extent of his love for his Father and for all of us. In short, his love goes all the way. It’s total. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends,” he said. (Jn 15,13) Suffering for others out of love for God is the very substance of the New Law.

The extent to which we follow this New Law is also the extent to which we can manage to size God up. That is why we have to learn to continually go deeper in our eagerness to suffer for others out of love for God. Without this attitude, our effort to know and love God as we ought is hampered, if not aborted.

And the drama involved in following the New Law need not entail extraordinary circumstances. It can be done in our usual struggle against our personal weaknesses and temptations.

When people ask me how they can handle their sexual weaknesses especially when they are alone, I usually tell them to intensify their prayers and spirit of sacrifice whenever they are alone as when they are preparing to sleep because that is where temptations come and our weaknesses are stirred.