Charity knows no bounds PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 06 March 2017 12:05

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

REMEMBER St. Paul saying that “charity bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things?” (1 Cor 13,7) We better be prepared to live by that injunction, always asking for God’s grace and constantly cultivating virtues, as we go through the many tricks and snares of the devil and the world.

Recently, I must confess that I was taken aback when I read in the news that Pope Francis said it was better to be an atheist than to be a Christian hypocrite. My spontaneous reaction was, “Oh, Pope Francis again and his big mouth!”

Who is not a hypocrite, I asked myself? We all are, at one time or another, or even up to now. Hypocrisy is a constant threat, given our human condition. That is why we need to struggle against it all the time. But it turned out that my reaction was exaggerated.

Yes, I have been victimized many times by pieces of fake news distorted by all sorts of biases and spins. And every time I get to see the whole picture, I realize that my reaction was unwarranted, I had to rectify myself and say sorry, and make a resolution to be more restrained and prudent in my reactions. But then, I fail again  from time to time.

In that Pope Francis atheist-and-hypocrite statement, it turned out that he did not actually say it, but was simply relating what some people say or how they react when they see Catholics not consistent with their faith. The style of Pope Francis is anecdotal and giving concrete examples while conveying the doctrine.

I suppose such is life. We cannot help but slip from time to time. What is important is that we react as soon as possible, stand up immediately and move on. Let’s not waste too much time lamenting about our mistakes. It can only show we are proud.

Thus, it’s important that we be sport and game in this life. We need to be charitable all the time. and let’s continue to struggle that it be so, or at least that we recover as soon as we can after a slip or a fall.

And charity means that we also have to understand and be merciful to the offender. In the case of the sources of the fake news, we should also be quick to understand and forgive them, even as we try

to clarify the issue. Let’s see to it that our clarifications are free of bitterness, sarcasm, irony and like. Charity is not lived when these elements are present in our reactions.

Obviously, to be charitable as we should be, we have to learn to suffer. On this, we already have been amply warned by Christ himself. And yes, we can learn to suffer as long as we do our part to correspond to God’s grace that will always be given to us in abundance.

Let’s just consider these episodes of being victimized by fake news as concrete occasions to deepen and strengthen our charity, making it more identical to that of Christ—a charity that knows no bounds.