By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
THAT is what Christ himself told us to aspire—that God’s will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. Yes, while we are here in this world, we should always have a sense of heaven and a hunger for it. The world, with all the drama it contains, should not be a hindrance but rather a pathway for us to go to heaven. Christ himself has shown us the way.
If we follow the teaching and example of Christ, we would also know how to deal with the world that is now immersed in sin. Yes, like Christ, we have to suffer and all that, but it is all worthwhile. Anyway, as long as we truly identify ourselves with Christ, we would also know how to suffer the way Christ suffered and died for us.
In a way, we have reason to passionately love the world, rather than be afraid and overcautious of it. If we have the love of God for the world, there is nothing to be afraid of. Victory is assured over all the negative things that can arise in our earthly sojourn.
We just have to acquire the mind and the spirit of Christ, his will and his ways, which he actually gives in abundance through his grace. If we pray, study the doctrine, develop the virtues, avail of the sacraments, do apostolate, etc., the world can truly be our path to heaven.
This is one of the challenges we have in life. How can we reflect heaven here on earth? How can we make everything in our earthly life a preparation, an anticipation, an occasion and means, a path toward heaven, our final destination, our definitive home?
These are not useless questions, or so abstract, theoretical and impractical an issue to be bothered about. They are very important matters to be attended to and to derive the corresponding duties we have, for tremendous duties and responsibilities we actually have in this regard.
Truth is, if we look around, our common sense will readily tell us that we are not yet in heaven. In fact, we are still very far from heaven, or worse, we seem to be developing instead the opposite of heaven, what with all the crying situations of injustice, inequality, thefts, deception, scandals around.
This world, as it is now, is, of course, not heaven. But it plays a very important and crucial role in our journey to heaven. It is where God, our Creator, and Father, has placed us to see if we want to accept the designs he has for us. He does not impose his will, full of wisdom and goodness, on us. He wants us to freely accept it.
It would be good if we can include in our mentality, lifestyle, and culture the frequent consideration of heaven. It would be good if we develop a taste of heaven even now. This is not an impossibility. In fact, it is a necessity.
Such awareness and attitude would help us greatly in giving our earthly life its proper shape and direction. It would give us a complete picture of our life that should go beyond the here and now, and even beyond death.
Otherwise, we would have a myopic, shallow, narrow, if not distorted and erroneous view of life, and would be, in the words of St. Paul, “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the wickedness of men…” (Eph 4,14)
St. Paul suggests to us the following action to take: “Set your hearts on heavenly things, not the things that are on earth.” (Col 3) We have to learn how to be properly focused here on earth, practicing a certain detachment from earthly things even as we use them and somehow also enjoy them. The earthly things should not undermine our heavenly yearning. They should rather sharpen that heavenly yearning.
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