WE have to make sure that whenever we encounter pain and difficulty in life, failure and loss, misery and misfortune, things that can usually happen in anyone’s life, we avoid falling into self-pity which will only make things worse.
These predicaments in life are actually golden opportunities for us to get closer to Christ, to be more identified with him in his redemptive passion and death, and to be in a position to receive greater grace and blessing from above.
It’s a matter of exercising our faith, purifying and broadening our human estimation of things. It is a matter of relying mainly on God’s providence that knows how to derive good from evil, without neglecting the effort we need to exert.
Let’s have the same mind-set and reaction of St. Paul toward his own weakness as illustrated in his second letter to the Corinthians: “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.
“But he said, to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (12, 7-10)
Let us study these words very closely and try to fathom the implications they contain. From these words, we can somehow gather that any predicament we can have is somehow given to us by God, or is allowed by him, for a purpose. And that purpose is so that God’s power can be shown on us and can benefit us, making us a better person.
And while it’s true that the predicament we have can really give us some real pain and trouble, God assures us that he also gives us the grace to handle it. Let us not allow ourselves therefore to be guided only by our own feelings and our estimation of things, because these cannot appreciate the grace God is giving us.
Let us then have the same reaction as St. Paul who, instead of being discouraged and depressed because of his trouble, was happy to suffer all kinds of problems because he was convinced that those problems would attract God’s greater grace and would occasion God’s power to work in him.
In other words, we should just have a sporting spirit in life, because even in our bad moments and worst conditions and status, God’s powerful providence will always be at work. We need to trust in God’s ways.
Let us not waste time lamenting and complaining even as we try to sort out and solve our predicaments. But let us not forget that no matter how much we try to handle our predicaments, a time will come when we just cannot handle them humanly.
In the end, we are going to die, and with that there is no more human solution. But if we trust in God’s providence, our very death can be the transition to our eternal life of bliss with our Father God, from whom we came and to whom we belong in a most intimate way, as in living in communion with him and with everybody else.
Again, let’s be game in life. Let’s not be afraid of anything. Let us just focus on what we are supposed to do, that is, doing a lot of good, giving love to everybody, consuming ourselves in that effort since by losing our life here on earth, we gain the life eternal.
We should avoid falling into self-pity, discouragement, despair…
Fr. Roy Cimagala is the Chaplain of the Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise, Talamban, Cebu City ([email protected])/PN