Giving up something daily PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 December 2017 14:11

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

IF we have the mind to follow Christ’s self-emptying and his advice to deny urselves daily, it might be a good idea to make it a daily habit to give up something—be it a matter of comfort, preference, convenience, opinion, food & drink, etc.

To be sure, we will never run out of things that we can give up either permanently or temporarily. We, of course, should try to permanently give up on vices that we may have, but even in those things that are not necessarily bad, we can choose to give them up, at least for a while, if only to follow Christ’s example and advice.

Nowadays, with all the things that can truly enslave us and imprison us in our own world, keeping us in a state of self-centeredness, this daily habit of giving up something can somehow extricate us from that predicament and return us to the path that is proper to us.

We cannot deny that many are into some forms of addictions. We are not referring only to drugs, alcohol, smoking and sex, but also to things that otherwise are good or at least are morally neutral but have managed to dominate and enslave us.

These things can be the new technologies, the Internet, the social media, the games and sport in general, the hobbies, the entertainment, shopping, travelling, etc.

Some people may rationalize that their recourse to these things is their way of resting if not of coping with the pressures of the day. Obviously, these reasons are valid, but we just have to make sure that such resting and coping do not take us away from God and from our proper relation with everybody else as is proper to us.

The problem that we often see is that these forms of resting and coping tend to distance if not alienate us from God and from others. They tend to build a shell, a cocoon, a silo that separates us from everybody else, including God. They tend to lead us to indulge in our own selves, and to become a very sweet poison that can actually ruin us as a person and as a child of God.

It’s the wrong kind of resting and coping. The right one can only heighten our relation with God and deepen our relation with everybody else. Yes, we need to distance ourselves from time to time from our usual activities and concerns not only to rest and to cope with the pressures but, more importantly, to recover our proper senses, to regain our proper bearing.

Yes, everyday we need to give up on something, even the legitimate ones, because the erratic impulses of our wounded flesh, the deceptive allurements of the world and the wiles of the devils will always hound us. We should not be naïve about this reality.

We need to confront that reality realistically. And one good way is to see to it that everyday we are giving up something.

That would help check our tendency to slide very surreptitiously into self-centeredness.

In fact, we should try to promote this habit as widely as possible, because it is a genuine necessity of ours, given our wounded human condition. Everyone should help in this campaign. Parents, teachers, priests should take the lead. And how wonderful it would be if even our political and business leaders would also do the same!

To be sure, it’s a giving up that would fill us up with something proper to us!