Enhancing our dignity PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 07 July 2018 15:03

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

WE have to realize more deeply that our dignity as a human person and as a child of God is enhanced to the extent that we manage, with God’s grace, to live as a family, as a community, as a people and nation, etc., and all of these along the lines and spirit of communion with God and with everybody else.

This is because as a human person with intelligence and will, we are meant not only to know but also to love God and others and, in fact, everything else in the world. We are meant to be connected with each other and to live as an organic community. We are not just individual persons. We are meant to be with others, with God as the first other.

And as a child of God, created in God’s image and likeness and redeemed by Christ, we have to reflect the innermost inter-trinitarian life of God, and the unity and love between Christ and the Father and the Spirit.

Every opportunity we have to live community life, starting with our family, and then our relatives and friends, our classmates, and the many other aggrupations we get involved in, is an invitation for us to grow and develop our dignity as a human person and as a child of God to its fullness.

We have to be more aware of this fundamental truth about ourselves, and to start taking serious action to conform ourselves to it. We can start with our family life, seeing to it that we do everything to make that aspect of our life really vibrant and      meaningful.

Let’s not forget that it is in the family, the basic unit of society, that everyone of us starts to develop both as an individual and a social person. From there we are supposed to learn how to relate ourselves to God and everybody else.

But, alas, can we truly affirm that the family nowadays is as it should be? Unfortunately, I have been observing many families today having unhealthy conditions. There is hardly any good family life.

Many husband-and-wife relationships as well as parents-children relationships are tenuous. And among children, the spirit of fraternity is hardly felt. There is a lot of cases of isolation and fragmentation.

We really have to look into how we can make the family a strong and cheerful one, animated by the right spirit of love that comes from God.

In this regard, I was happy to read in Pope Francis “Gaudete et exsultate” a strong affirmation of how we need to develop a life in community and in communion with God and others in the different levels of our life.

Here are some relevant words of his: “When we live apart from others, it is very difficult to fight against concupiscence, the snares and temptations of the devil and the selfishness of the world. Bombarded as we are by so many enticements, we can grow too isolated, lose our sense of reality and inner clarity, and easily succumb.

“Growth in holiness is a journey in community, side by side with others…A community that cherishes the little details of love, whose members care for one another and create an open and evangelizing environment, is a place where the risen Lord is present, sanctifying it in accordance with the Father’s plan…” (140 ff.)

It’s worthwhile taking note that by creating a community among ourselves, we make God present in our lives and enhance our dignity as human persons and children of God.

We sometimes think that to be with God is to experience some extraordinary phenomena, when we can have God right where we are, inside each one of us, and among ourselves and around us! We don’t have to look far and to go far to have God.