Taking care of our spiritual powers PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 27 May 2018 16:00



WE need to give due attention and care for our spiritual faculties of the intellect and will. As our Christian faith tells us, of all the powers and capabilities we have, it is the intellect and the will that make us image and likeness of God before all the other components of our humanity, like our body, can partake of the same dignity.

That’s simply because these powers of ours enable us to know and to love, and therefore, allowing us to enter into communion with the objects of our knowledge and love. They are spiritual powers that transcend the dynamics of our physical or material constitution, i.e., our biological, chemical make-up, etc.

As such, these powers of ours are capable of receiving and acting not only on things of nature, but also on the spiritual and supernatural realities. A philosophical term is applied to this phenomenon. And this is called their “obediential potency,” that allows them to be elevated to the supernatural order, to the world of grace, the world of the spirit and of God.

As a Catholic dictionary would put it, obediential potency is “the capacity to receive either a miraculous change or a supernatural perfection that exceeds the natural capacities of a being.” Of all the creatures of God, we, together with the angels, have that potency.

It stands to reason therefore that we have to give due attention and care for these powerful faculties of ours. We just cannot allow them to develop on their own, simply guided by what our senses can discern.

They have to be inspired and guided by the things of God who give us a share not only of his knowledge but also of his very life through the gifts of faith, hope and charity, or the gift of grace in general.

Unless our spiritual faculties of intellect and will are guided by faith, hope and charity, they can only go anywhere and nowhere, and in fact can expose and lead us to a lot of dangers.

Indeed, they can be our worst enemy, our gravest curse!

Without faith, hope and charity, or without grace, we may know a lot of things and get involved also in significant human affairs, but we will fail to reach the goal meant for us. We would be prone to get entangled in controversies and endless contentions.

That is why nowadays we see a lot of controversies and wranglings, bashings, not to mention sins that are now considered as the right things to do, like abortion, contraception, corruption, same-sex marriage, divorce, etc.

With faith, hope and charity, or with grace, we get to see and behave beyond the physical sense and to reason beyond the human sphere. In short, we get to reflect the life and the ways of Christ in our own lives, Christ who is the very pattern of our humanity and the redeemer of our wounded humanity.

To be sure, letting our intellect and will to be inspired and guided by faith, hope and charity does not undermine the natural operations of these spiritual faculties of ours. If at all, it will only enhance their functions, using them in their fullest potentials.

With faith, hope and charity, our intellect and will can avoid getting trapped in a bubble that isolates them from the spiritual and supernatural world. With faith, hope and charity, even the smallest and insignificant activity of these spiritual faculties can acquire an eternal value.

We need to see to it that our intellect and will are truly inspired and guided by these theological virtues, going deep in our knowledge of the doctrine of our faith, availing of the sacraments, developing the virtues, and waging a lifelong ascetical struggle.