REFLECTION: Local, global, metaphysical PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 15:04

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Nowadays, we cannot afford to remain local without going global. With the frenzied pace of world developments, it would be fatal if we ignore the widening scope of our concerns. We need to be ready for the delicate task of integrating the parochial to the universal, and even beyond.

We need to break loose from a provincial outlook to assume a more regional, national and even international perspective. This would require adjustments in our attitudes and ways of thinking and judging, based on a healthy balance among the different cultures, ethos, mentalities we will be dealing with.

We need to widen, and also deepen, our knowledge of things. We just have to realize more keenly that we have to develop an interdisciplinary approach. While we may be comfortable and competent with a particular viewpoint—economic, social, political, etc.—we need to connect with the other angles from which things are also considered.

In this regard, we should not disregard the spiritual and moral aspects of the issues and other developments. These, in fact, are a constant that should never be waived. They are the final guiding light in assessing things.

Truth is we need to connect all our temporal affairs in their varying manifestations, levels and aspects, to God, to his plan for us, and to the requirements of truth, justice and charity.

While enjoying a certain autonomy, our worldly businesses just cannot be absolutely detached from our duty towards God and others. They need to be inspired and oriented towards God and by our love and concern for the others. Sad to say, the relevant attitude and ability to do this are largely absent in most people yet.

For this, we have to develop the skill to go metaphysical, that is, to think beyond the physical and the material dimensions of our life. This would enable us to go to the essential without getting lost in the incidentals and accidentals. This would enable us to uphold and defend the absolute truths while being tolerant with matters of opinion.

Thinking metaphysical allows us to enter the spiritual and supernatural realities of our faith, hope and charity, the ultimate considerations we have to make when doing our temporal affairs.

We should never remain in the purely human, natural, social and material dimensions of our life. God has to come in. He’s actually already there. We just have to acknowledge him and include him in our thoughts, words and deeds.

This, of course, is not going to be easy. Just imagine the vast mass of the population that need to be educated and given proper and continuing formation! Even among the so-called educated class, how many can really distinguish and handle the intricacies of such big realities as culture, faith, charity, common good, justice, etc.?

And yet I’ve also been meeting a growing number of young people who are conversant with both local and international issues. They’re, of course, techies who with today’s powerful gadgets can link up with people from distant places and with ideas from all over the place.

I envy them, in a way, because when I was at their age, I did not have that kind of grasp of world events. We contented ourselves with what we can get from the radio and newspapers, and later the TV.

With the new technologies, all of us should feel the need, as far as we are able, to be technologically abreast, so we can navigate today’s complex world more easily. We have to help another here.

But the young techies today need to be closely guided. The great advantages they enjoy now can also turn to be proximate occasions of sins and temptations. Let’s always be wary of the duty to correctly use these powerful gadgets, otherwise they can do us great harm.

Ethics and morals are never useless items in this regards. In fact, they hold pride of place in our considerations of things. They have the first and the last word.

What is crucial is that all of us be properly grounded in our relationship with God and with others. With that in order, we can manage to have a good sense of value and priority to lead us. We would have the suitable criteria to enlighten us in our thinking and assessments.

This would also guide us in sorting out the practical aspects of today’s intricate challenges, like how much time to spend in the Internet, how much money to allocate to different needs, how to be immersed in the things of the world without getting lost in it.