The particular should link with the universal PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 05 May 2018 13:47

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

IT’S indeed good that we be faithful and loyal to the particular vocation, spirituality or charism that we have. That is a God-given gift that we should try our best to be most faithful to. We just have to see to it that such fidelity and loyalty do not prevent us from appreciating the other spiritualities, vocations and charisms within the Church.

More than that, we have to learn how to work in tandem and in solidarity with the other Church-approved spiritualities, no matter how different they may be from ours. In this, we have to take the initiative to know more about them and to see what we can do to be able to work with them for the good of the whole Church, since every spirituality, vocation and charism is meant for building up the Church.

We have to be wary of the danger of falling into some restrictive and exclusivistic lifestyle that would isolate, if not alienate, us from the others. This, sadly, is a common tendency among the many Church institutions and groups, giving rise to petty  rivalries, jealousies and gossips.

Obviously, the higher authorities of the Church should exercise the prudence of how to orchestrate the different institutions with the different spiritualities in play. But each institution should do its part of coordinating and establishing linkages with the others.

There has to be mutual respect among them and the legitimate differences should be acknowledged, respected and made to work along the lines of complementation and supplementation in order to work for the common good of the Church.

We have to remember that no spirituality, vocation and charism has the exclusive possession of the universal essence of what is to be holy, of what true love is, etc. And every spirituality, vocation and charism is not a frozen thing, but a dynamic one, alive and always open for further enrichment, deepening and adaptation to changing circumstances.

Thus, a Church institution that only talks about itself or about its particular spirituality and charism, with hardly any effort to know more about the others, would be going along a dangerous path.

We need to break away from that attitude. Everyone should try his best to follow what St. Paul once said: to be all things to all men.

Especially at this point of Church and world development, there is need for us to be more united in pushing for what is essential in our life while respecting and coordinating the different ways of doing it. Everyone should have a universal outlook while keeping his respective particular spirituality.

We have to face this challenge squarely if we want to be ruly faithful to God and to affirm our real Christian identity. I wonder if our Church authorities in the different levels are doing something about this.

It seems ironic that with all the progress we have in our communication technologies, we do not seem to make corresponding progress in coordinating the different institutions and groups within the Church.

Yes, indeed, there are some efforts toward this end, but we look like we are still ages away from what can be considered as a working ideal. If, for example, we ask today some Church-goer at random about this issue, most likely we are going to hear that he has not heard anything about this concern.

We have to have a way of determining that we are making progress in terms of more and more people aware at least of this issue and doing something about it.

I am sure there are many relevant issues involved in this concern and that need to be addressed. They can be complex and complicated. But we should at least try to work on them little by little.