The phoenix and the turnaround artist PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 September 2017 14:40



MIGHT be good to be familiar with these terms or phenomena. They can be useful and relevant to us, especially because in our life we would always be in need of renewal, of having to move on in spite of setbacks and other forms of contradictions.

The phoenix is a bird in classical mythology that lived for centuries in the Arabian desert. And after that time, it burns itself but rises again from the ashes with renewed youth to live through another cycle.

A turnaround artist is someone who takes an organization, event or something large that is broken and repairs it and makes it work again, and in many cases, profitable and beyond successful.

Yes, we somehow have to have the qualities of the phoenix and the turnaround artist. And the secret again is to be vitally united with Christ who, as the gospel says, will make everything new. (cfr. Rev 21,5) Obviously, this will require nothing less than full faith in Christ, and everything that that faith would demand from us.

Let’s foster our need for renewal. Let’s not take it for granted. Nor should we just mindlessly hitch it to some automatic mechanism brought about by social or economic forces, or by some cultural, fashion or temporal trends.

Let’s do it intentionally, making use of both human and supernatural means, because this is what is proper to us as persons and as children of God. We have to realize that this need is constant and will last till the end of life.

In this regard, we need to know how to blend the traditional and the innovative, the old and the new, the absolute and the relative, the more or less stable culture and the appropriate passing fads.

In a higher level, we need to know how to put into an organic whole the sacred and the mundane, the faith and the sciences, arts and the technologies, the eternal and the temporal aspects of our  life, etc.

Given the naked reality on the ground, we need to examine and question the status quo of our life many times, since we tend to do well at the beginning of any endeavor, then start to deteriorate as we go along, until we end up badly.

This has always been our lot and we should not be surprised by it anymore. And much less should we feel helpless about it, since there are many things we can do to renew ourselves continually, neutralizing the bad effects of our complacency, if not taking advantage of it to produce a greater virtue.

Among the things that we can do to counter our tendency to get accustomed to things and to fall victim to the desensitizing effect of complacency, routine and lukewarmness are the daily effort to make a good examination of conscience, a monthly recourse to a day of recollection, and a yearly spiritual exercise called a closed retreat.

These are good occasions to look more closely into how our spiritual and moral life has been faring, and to see, in a manner of speaking, what parts of our spiritual and moral life need to be cleaned up, oiled, or perhaps changed, revised or reengineered to adapt to changing circumstances.

We need to hone up our desire to do these things because, given again our weaknesses, we usually do not like to them. We should not forget that we like to enjoy more than to exert effort. Laziness and comfort-seeking is a legacy of our fallen nature.

These exercises can actually bring us to an indescribable sense of adventure, since we will realize sooner or later that there are many new things that are truly helpful to us and are waiting for us to discover. These new things would give us the sensation that we are flowing with the times, not stuck at a certain corner of time or a certain mould of culture.

We will soon discover that we have many more potentials that are just waiting to be tapped. These exercises help us in unleashing these potentials and putting them to optimal use and effectiveness for our own good and the good of all, and all for the glory of God.

Let’s hope that these considerations would help us acquire the qualities of a phoenix and a turnaround artist.