By: Fr. Roy Cimagala
Since we have been created in the image and likeness of God, we should put all our energy into becoming like God. This is not some kind of mental disorder some people stereotype such an effort to be. In fact, that is the ultimate purpose of our life here on earth.
We need to be reminded that our life here on earth is the time God uses in his eternity to create us. Our creation is not yet over. We are still a work in progress, a work that now includes our redemption. In the eternity of God, he knows that man will fall from his state of original justice and needs to be redeemed.
There are many things involved in becoming God-like. In fact, everything must be involved, including our weaknesses, our sins which, if handled properly, can also actually lead us to God. God became man to show us how we can become like him amid our wounded and sinful human condition.
For this purpose, we cannot overemphasize the need for us to study and meditate on the life of Christ as recorded in the gospels and taught by the Church.
We have to familiarize ourselves with his words, deeds, gestures, and reactions he made to different situations, since everything he said and did was meant to show us how to deal with different situations.
Christ said he is “the way, the truth and the life” for us. We cannot be any other than be like Christ. We need to assume his mind, will, and heart.
If that sounds incredible, don’t worry because in the end, Christ himself will do it for us. He will complete and perfect what God has started with us. Ours is simply to be open to his will and ways, like “clay in the potter’s hand.” (cfr. Jer 18,6)
We need to overcome the awkwardness we feel in dealing with this truth about ourselves. Our nature is an open one, not a closed one. It is open to the elevation to the supernatural life of God, or to its downgrading to the level of the animals and the damned.
We have to do our part to become God-like in Christ through the Holy Spirit. And there are many and even endless ways of achieving this goal. Definitely, we have to learn to pray, to talk with God, to have a constant consciousness of his presence and interventions.
We have to avail of the sacraments, the usual channels for God’s grace to come to us. We have to learn how to fight against anything that takes us away from God—our weaknesses, temptations, sins, the deceptive allurements of the world, and the tricks of the devil.
We should realize more deeply that we are becoming more and more like God every day. We should aim at getting to see, understand, and react to things in the way God sees, understands, and reacts to them through Christ in the Holy Spirit.
In a sense, we should learn how to be meditative and contemplative even in the midst of our worldly affairs. In fact, the world and everything in it should not be a hindrance in our relation to God. If we try our best to be like God in Christ, we would know how to deal with whatever worldly situation we find ourselves in, such that it would lead us to God.
God has given us all the means. And there are now many and abundant instrumentalities in the Church and in the world to make these divine means accessible to us. The different charisms and spiritualities in the Church offer such facilities. They are all there for the taking so that in the end we can be God-like.