By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, firstname.lastname@example.org
April 26, 207
CHRIST himself said it so clearly. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Lk 11,23) “I am the vine, you are the branches.” (Jn 15,5)
There is no way we can have a life that is proper to us other than to be with Christ and to work with him. After all, Christ is actually the pattern of our humanity and the redeemer of our damaged humanity. We cannot be what we ought to be outside of Christ.
Without Christ, everything will be vanity. “Vanity of vanities,” as the Book of Ecclesiastes says. Without Christ, we would simply be falling into self-indulgence which can be mesmerizing for a while, even a long while. But in the end it would lead us nowhere.
This is a truth of faith that has to filter down to the ends of the world. We may have to do it slowly and with great effort, but also steadily, never stopping because of certain difficulties and resistance. To be sure, this is a truth of our nature, let alone, a truth of faith. Our nature is not just biological, social, etc. It is first of all spiritual that relates to the supernatural world in a knowing and loving way.
Yes, we have to respect the freedom of men, but we also have to make everyone realize that we need to respect freedom itself. And that can only mean that we have to conform ourselves to Christ because he is the very author and personification of freedom. This is a natural truth that should lead us to the spiritual and supernatural world.
Remember Christ saying, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one goes to the Father except through me.” Well, if Christ is the truth, then he is also freedom, since it is the truth that will set us free. (cfr. Jn 8,32)
In other words, we cannot be in the truth and be free if we are not with Christ. Let’s remember that truth and freedom are not self-generated things. They are not our inventions. They come from our Creator.
We have to strive all our life that we be with him. That is why, in the Mass, we always are reminded, “The Lord be with you. And with your spirit.” It is to make us realize that we cannot be without God.
For his part, he already reassured us that he will always be with us. “Behold, I am with you everyday, even unto the end of time,” he said. (Mt 28,20) And we can be sure that his omnipresence in us is never passive. It is a presence that is full of love, of solicitude.
The challenge and the task are enormous, indeed. Convincing people about this truth, especially those who are not inclined toward things like religion and faith, can seem impossible. But it simply has to be done.
We may have to start from very basic things without mentioning anything yet about faith, God and the spiritual and supernatural realities. The so-called classes on apologetics really have to be carried out without let-up. Let’s hope that the task of catechesis and evangelization never stops.
There has to be a gradual process of introducing the indispensable role of faith, of God and of spiritual and supernatural realities to the people, making them understand that these are essential elements in our life.
We need to demonstrate the validity and necessity of faith and the spiritual and supernatural realities. Obviously, a lot of prayer and sacrifice should be done before, during and after every effort we make for this purpose.
But we cannot deny that talking about faith and the spiritual and supernatural realities will always involve some mysteries that can overwhelm what our senses can discern and what our intelligence can understand. We need to help everybody develop a sense of mystery in life.