Fr. Roy Cimagala .
OUR life should mirror the life of God himself, since we are supposed to be his image and likeness. That’s how we have been created. We are meant to live our life with God. We can even say that God treats us the way he treats himself. For this purpose he gave us the power to know him and to love him by giving us intelligence and will, and most of all, his grace that is completely gratuitous.
It is this grace that enables us to be like God and to live our life with him. Our intelligence and will, on their own, would not enable us to be like God, but they are necessary for us to correspond to God’s grace. They have what is called the ‘obediential potency’ that enables us to receive grace and to have the potency to elevate us to the supernatural life of God.
And even if we messed up the original plan of God for us, he recovered us with his work of redemption. Our life should also therefore mirror not only the creative life of God, which is already overwhelming, but also the redemptive work of his, which is even more overwhelming.
But let’s not be afraid, since God himself will take care of everything. Ours is simply to go along with him by corresponding to his love as best we could. This business of mirroring of God’s life in ours should be a result not of our desire only, which is quite subjective and cannot go the distance. It should be the result of our sense of gratitude for the immense and tremendous love God has for us.
As the way of true love goes, love is repaid with love. God has loved us first, and so we love him in return.
This mirroring of God’s life in us should somehow be lived out everyday. In this, we have to try to be very specific and concrete, avoiding a generic approach. In a manner of speaking, let us move from a grainy kind of outlook in life to one that is high definition.
And so, each time we wake up in the morning, for example, let’s direct ourselves first of all to God to thank him for the new day and the new opportunity we have to spend our day with him and to live our life with him. And then let’s see how we can make the day beautiful, productive, meaningful.
That is why as soon as we recover our senses after waking up, let us try to figure out how we can mirror God’s life in our day.
For sure, there are many and endless possibilities. If we are truly moved by God’s love us, we will never run out of ideas, initiatives, plans and strategies to mirror God’s life and love in our daily life.
If we are truly moved by God’s love for us, we would always be inventive and creative, and we would do all this without counting the cost, in total generosity. Everything will be done in gratis, although we know that God cannot be outdone in generosity. In other words, we mirror God’s overwhelming and gratuitous love for us in our love for him in return. We would be drawn into the dynamics of God’s love.
All throughout the day, we should have an abiding awareness that everything we do, from our thoughts and desires to our words and actions, is motivated and inspired by the love of God. We should end the day aware that we have spent it in love for God which will always have the accompanying complement of love for the others, including those who do not love us.
Let’s remember that God’s love has a universal coverage. He is very willing to give mercy to those who offend him. This is how we can make a beautiful and meaningful day everyday.
Look for Christ Always. This is a basic duty of ours, a grave responsibility in fact. Without Christ, we would just be on our own, relying simply on our own lights and powers that, no matter how excellent, can never accomplish our real ultimate need—our own salvation, our own completion and perfection as a person, as a child of God.
We have to learn to look for Christ. He is the pattern of our humanity, the redeemer of our damaged humanity. In fact, the goal that we should try to pursue with God’s grace, of course, but also with our own effort is for us to be ‘another Christ,’ a clearly supernatural phenomenon that will require us to be at least open to it and to merit it.
This looking for Christ should be like an instinct, a constant behavior of ours. We have to look for him, so we can find him, and in finding him, we can start to love and serve him which is what we are expected to do to be ‘another Christ.’
This has basis on what Christ himself said: “Ask and it will be given to you. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you…” (Mt 7,7) We need to do our part in a relationship that is actually initiated by Christ himself. He loves us first before we can love him in return. (cfr. 1 Jn 4,19)
If we don’t yet have this habit of looking for Christ, then it’s time that we start cultivating it and making it a guiding, directing principle of our daily life. We have to exercise our faith, overcome the usual initial awkwardness that we experience, and continue finding ways and means to look for Christ at every moment of the day, especially in our work, and even in our rest.
“Come to me,” “Follow me,” are some of the open invitations Christ is giving us. He continues to issue such invitations. We should not be afraid to go to him and follow him. We have to discover the most wonderful reality that only in Christ can we have our true joy, our genuine peace, our ultimate solution to whatever problem we have.
As far as Christ is concerned, he is always around. In fact, he is already within us. And his presence in us, to be sure, is not simply passive. Toward us, Christ is full of solicitude and concern. He is eager to help. He is never sparing in his mercy for us, knowing that despite our good intentions and best efforts, we often find ourselves at odds with him.
We have to find ways of how to correspond more punctually to Christ’s presence and love for us. Let’s see to it, for example, that even as we wake up in the morning, the first thing we do is to put ourselves in his presence and start to consciously offer the whole day that is just beginning to him.
And in every activity that we do, we should make the effort, at least in our intentions, to offer it to him, and to begin and end the activity with him. For this we have to conquer some of the usual spoilers that would make us think that we are getting too serious, too unmanly, or even getting inhuman. You can be sure that those thoughts are not true and must come most probably from our human weaknesses if not from the devil himself.
It would also help that we have a systematic way of getting to know Christ more and more. Let’s remember that we can never him know enough, no matter how much we have studied his life and words. Christ is never just a historical figure nor a literary character nor social or cultural icon. He is God made man to save us.