Fr. Roy Cimagala .
WE need to be most aware that every moment and situation can and should be an encounter with God. And this is no gratuitous assertion, considering that God is omnipresent.
Psalm 139 expresses this truth very beautifully. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” (7-10)
Besides, he is full of love and solicitude over us. He is always attentive to us. We just have to learn how to correspond to this basic reality about God and us. God actually begs us to give ourselves to him. “My son, give me your heart, and let your heart delight in my ways,” says the Book of Proverbs. (23,26)
Perhaps, many times we have to make a conscious effort to put ourselves in his presence, because given our human condition, we tend to take him for granted, not really out of malice but simply out of our human limitations. It takes God’s grace and time and effort before we can be real contemplatives, when seeing God in everything becomes automatic and instinctive.
Fact is we are so easily dominated by our physical, temperamental and environmental conditionings that we ignore the spiritual and supernatural reality of God. Not that God is not in our physical, temperamental and environmental world. He is all there. But he needs to be spiritually discerned before we can meet him. We need to exercise our faith, activate our piety before we can meet him.
Thus, Christ said once: “Ask, and it shall be given you. Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For everyone that asks receives. And he that seeks finds. And to him that knocks, it shall be opened.” (Mt 7,7-8)
We have to be wary of our tendency to think that there are moments in our life—in fact, the bigger part of our life—when we would just be on our own or that God is not present or is irrelevant. We have to correct that mentality.
We especially have to be most careful when we find ourselves in situations of stress, tiredness, laziness, or when we are faced with problems and difficult challenges, because these are the moments when we are most vulnerable to think that God is not around, thus opening ourselves to the tricks of our wounded flesh, the world and the devil.
We need to realize more deeply that we need God more than anything else in life. We definitely need him more than we need air, food and water. We need him more than our powerful arts, sciences and technologies.
And we need him most especially in our moments of weakness and temptation. Without him, we surely will end up sooner or later tempted and finally falling into sin. We may be enjoying for a while the benefits of our human powers, but without God, we certainly cannot go the distance. We end up sinning.
When we are with God, when we manage to make every moment as an encounter with God, we somehow would get to know what is essential in our life. We can find redemptive meaning in any situation we can find ourselves in. Even in the worst scenario of our life, we can always find reason to hope.
Besides, we would notice that we can generate a spiritual energy that goes beyond what our food and all the other natural sources can give us. We would not confine ourselves to the natural world, but can manage to live in the spiritual and supernatural world.