Survive and prosper
By Fr. Roy Cimagala
IT’S an art that is most worthwhile to learn and to have. Whenever there are drastic changes in life, like what we are having now when our movements are significantly restricted, we should know how not only to survive but also to prosper.
Impossible? Well, that really would depend on how we see things in general. If we are the pessimistic and negative type of fellow, then we would readily give up when new and more difficult challenges come our way. The impossibility of survival is already a foregone conclusion, and prospering is definitely out of the question.
But if due to our great faith and trust in God and the objective awareness of our own capabilities, we would just be game about our life, irrespective of how it turns, then we know that we not only can we survive but also can prosper.
Obviously, the standards to use to see if we are surviving and prospering should not just be the worldly and temporal ones, but rather the spiritual and supernatural ones. The former standards definitely cannot cope with the limitations of our human condition here on earth. The latter ones can, since they can transcend our earthly and temporal limitations.
So, more than anything else, when we are faced with difficult and impossible situations, we should strengthen our faith, for it is through it that the impossible becomes possible, and that the assurance of everlasting victory despite our earthly defeats is given.
We have to be wary of our tendency to react to our difficulties, trials and challenges in a purely human way, relying simply on our own natural powers, that usually depend more on feelings and emotions rather than on reason, and much less on our reason enlightened by our spiritual and supernatural faith.
We need to discipline ourselves so that the light of faith takes a leading role over our reason, emotions and other human powers we have. For this, we need to also learn how to live a certain sense of abandonment and also to suffer and to be patient and optimistic.
These qualities definitely are necessary if we want our faith to take root and be operative. With these qualities, we allow God to work in us and we can also see and understand the ways Christ has shown us in dealing with all kinds of predicaments we can face in this life.
Yes, we may not be spared from suffering and even from death, but with faith as our guide, with God working in us and with Christ showing us the way, we can see things more objectively and globally, we can see openings and opportunities in our difficulties, strength in our weakness, victory in our defeats, virtues in our trials, life in our death.
With a strong faith, we would be more able to help not only our own selves but also others. In fact, we would see the intimate relation of how being with God through our faith, hope and charity can bring us more closely to others and how in the end we would be helping ourselves greatly.
Yes, there is always the possibility not only of survival in our difficulties, but also of prosperity. We can have peace of mind because Christ has assured us that everything will just be all right. “In this world, you will have trouble,” he said. “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Jn 16,33)